Story Of The Year have been together for almost twenty years, and their discography now includes 6 albums. This May, the foursome are headed out to Australia for the first time in 4 years. We were lucky enough to grab some time with drummer, Josh Wills, ahead of this tour. Read on to hear Josh’s thoughts on the new album, the longevity of the band and much more!
The first question we asked Josh was how Story Of The Year had managed to stay together for nearly twenty years. “I think it’s just, specifically me, Dan (Marsala, vocals), and Ryan (Phillips, lead guitar) we were friends beforehand. We hang out together, we worked together. We all understand each other and we’re all friends.” Next, we asked if he had any funny touring stories he could share with us, to which Josh answered “how much time do you have?” followed immediately with a laugh. Josh took his time to think before giving us this story about what happened last time they left Australia. “We got deported from China once! We left Australia and were meant to play Shanghai, Beijing, Taiwan and then Hong Kong and then we were going home. We got to the airport in Shanghai and there was something wrong with our paperwork. We were stuck in immigration for like 16 hours. We were sleeping in this weird office area and then they came and got us and said lets go lets go, and they took us to the ticketing area. There were these armed guards with us the whole time until we left the country!” The band then continued on to Hong Kong where they played their show and hung out for several days. Josh was informed that when they were in China all of his onward flight information had been cancelled, and when in Hong Kong he made a call to the U.S Embassy. “The lady I was talking to on the phone was like, yeah, you should probably never go back to China!” Despite this experience, Josh still managed to laugh about the situation.
The focus of the interview shifted after this point to the bands discography, which now contains five albums. We asked Josh if he had a favourite song or album. “I think ‘Wolves’ is my favourite album, and I’m not just saying that because it’s the newest album.” ‘Wolves’ was released on December 8th, 2017. “From front to back, the music, Dan’s lyrics, everything about it, it’s my favourite.” Josh also went on to say his favourite songs on the album would be either I Swear I’m Okay, or Praying For Rain. This interviewer also asked Josh if he had a favourite song to play live, and he answered, again with a laugh, with Praying For Rain. He elaborated and also added “It’s the one I have to concentrate on the most. I made the mistake of making no drum fill the same, and it”s one of my favourite ones to play live.”
We also asked Josh about the bands writing process, and whether it changed from album to album. He supplied us with the answer “Ohhhh yeah. This last record was totally, pretty much Dan and Ryan. With the 2nd, 3rd and 4th record we’d all get in a room together and go over these demos and kind of deconstruct them and put them back together. We’re talking 8, 10 hours a day just sitting around together and playing these songs over and over again and working them out.” Josh also went on to say “I didn’t play drums on any of this stuff until I went and tracked it in the studio and that was a really bizarre thing for me because we never got together and jammed the songs together.” The band released this album through PledgeMusic and had as much time as they needed to work on the music. Josh reflects on this saying “It created really great songs, we weren’t under the gun to get stuff done. Once we had enough done, they were as far as we were going to take them that’s when we got a producer.”
Next, we asked Josh just how much the Story Of The Year fans meant to the band. “They mean everything to us. We wouldn’t be able to go anywhere without them. We couldn’t have made this album without them.” For this album, the band turned to their fans and crowdfunded the project through PledgeMusic. “They came out in full force and supported us, within two days our goal was met on Pledge, and it was amazing to see.” He elaborated further on the love for the fans saying “They mean everything and more to us, and we couldn’t be more grateful. We love every single one of them.”
The interview turned now to the upcoming Australian tour, and this interviewer asked Josh if he was looking forward to coming to Australia. The answer was an immediate “Very very very very very much so! I mean…” always time for a quick laugh from Josh “we also love coming to Australia, there’s just a rad vibe that you don’t get anywhere else. It’s amazing to go to, I’m so so excited.” This interviewer followed this up and asked if Josh had a favourite city to play in in Australia. “I don’t think we have a favourite, we love them all! We’ve only been there a handful of times.” Although Josh didn’t have a favourite city, but he did say “To this date, when we first came out we played to 6000 people in Sydney, and that’s the biggest headliner we’ve ever played so that’d be up there as a favourite.”
We also asked Josh what the rest of 2018 had in store for the band. “We’re gonna do some sporadic touring and what makes sense for us. We all have families with kids and nobody wants to raise their kid over FaceTime so we’re just gonna play what’s right.”
Finally, Josh wanted to tell everyone “how stoked we are to come to Australia. We’re super excited. If you haven’t picked up our album please do it on whichever platform you use for music. Australia is one of our favourite places to go.”
You can purchase tickets to see Story Of The Year on tour this May HERE!