It’s obvious From First to Last frontman Sonny Moore’s not too concerned with the ins and outs of the business.
The dude is sitting on a tour bus, rolling through Middle America and sipping hot tea. He’s got his dog by his side, and he’s half-asleep on the phone with someone he’s never met, talking about his band. It seems he couldn’t care less about major-label bidding wars, SoundScan reports or who’ll be paying for his band’s next video — presumably for the track “Shame Shame,” which will be the second single off the band’s sophomore LP, Heroine.
The 18-year-old singer is just enjoying the ride. Or maybe he’s still wondering what last night was all about.
“The guys in Fall Out Boy raided our bus,” Moore said. From First to Last have been on the road for the Black Clouds and Underdogs Tour with Hawthorne Heights, the All-American Rejects and Fall Out Boy (see “Fall Out Boy Start Divulging New Tour Dates — The Real Ones, That Is” ). “They came on our bus, with video cameras, and we were all in our pajamas. They came running through, screaming, and then ran off, and we were all looking around like, ’What just happened?’ We’re kind of the smaller band on the tour, so we get f—ed with. But it’s all in good fun.”
Between now and May 15, when the tour ends in Chicago, Moore expects more shenanigans. But that’s cool with him because “these are the biggest shows any of these bands have played — 8,000 to 12,000 kids a night,” he said. “We’ve been playing to thousands of kids who’ve never heard of us before — the types of kids we normally wouldn’t be playing in front of. And we’re selling tons of merch.”
Not too shabby for a band that, back in December, was awaiting the release of Heroine and spending most of its time inside a claustrophobic van. Within the past four months, From First to Last have been the subject of an intense bidding war, waged mainly between two labels: Warner Bros. and Capitol. The band signed with the latter, and Moore expects to start working on the group’s debut disc for the label early next year.
The ink was still drying on From First to Last’s deal with Capitol Records when the Epitaph-issued Heroine started hitting shelves. A week later, the disc opened up on the Billboard albums chart at #25, with first-week sales of 33,000-plus. The week before sales totals were released, Moore said he was informed by Epitaph that all indicators pointed to between 35,000 and 40,000 copies sold. Moore wondered aloud, “Is that a lot?”
About two months ago, From First to Last shot a video for the first single, “The Latest Plague,” in Sweden with Popcore Films (Norma Jean, Cult of Luna).
“It was f—ing awesome,” Moore said. “It’s like, ’From First to Last takes you through the wacky, wild adventure of how they got together as a band.’ It starts out with us all living our sh—y lives, with, like, [guitarist] Travis [Richter] working at a gas station. And he steals a car and picks us all up, and at the end of the clip, we all rock out in this tower. It’s hard to explain. We used model buildings for the shots, and it looks like old-school Alfred Hitchcock, where we’re, like, driving in the car, and the outside’s moving.”
After the Fall Out Boy tour wraps up, From First to Last will head over to Europe to play a spate of festival gigs before returning to the U.S. for this summer’s Warped Tour (see “Warped Tour Kicking Off A Day Early — Dates And Venues Revealed” ). This fall, Moore said, the band will do a headlining run of the States with Wes Borland’s Black Light Burns in the opener slot (see “Bye Bye Bizkit? Wes Borland Says Limp Are Pretty Much Done” ). A third band will also be added to the bill.
He’s not sure whether it’ll be a stadium or club tour. That, he said, depends on how well Heroine does over the summer. Borland, who was called in to play bass on the disc (see “From First To Last Are Done With Wes Borland, Target Rob Zombie” ), will play both sets on the tour.
Moore’s not about to let the band’s success get to his head — but the compliments are always nice.
“The best one I [got] was from Andy Wallace, who mixed the record,” Moore said. “He also mixed all the Jeff Buckley stuff too, and he said, ’Wow, the vocals on this record and the vibe on this record takes me right back to when I was mixing Jeff Buckley.’ That was, like, really f—ing cool.”