Interview: This Century

This Century are swiftly gaining international attention for their catchy pop hooks and writing chops, and their intensely passionate fan base has been impressively proactive about furthering the band’s career. The members have embraced this enthusiasm by personally getting in touch with fans online, offering them an opportunity to get involved with the promotions and marketing aspect of their career, and this hands-on approach has landed them coverage in various popular media outlets. Vocalist Joel Kanitz took the time to fill us in on This Century’s upcoming tours, their relationship with The Maine, collaboration with Austin Gibbs, and more.

 

Some of your previous albums were released via Action Theory Records, which is heavily associated with members of The Maine. How did you go about getting on that band’s radar, and do you plan on continuing to work with them in the future?

Well basically, the briefest way I can explain it is, The Maine signed with Warner Bros and they were given the opportunity to do their own little imprint thing, so they decided to do that and call it Action Theory. And Pat has always been very involved with what we do and helped us out a lot, and I guess he was considered A&R at that label, and he wanted This Century to be the first signing. And he talked to one of the agents over at Warner Bros, and he agreed to that, and yeah, we were the first official signing at Action Theory. And as far as that goes, we are actually no longer on Action Theory anymore. So for our future release, the plan as of now is we would do a self release.

 

You guys have been collaborating on some music with Austin Gibbs. Can you explain the backstory as to how you joined up?

Austin has been a good friend for a while; he’s on the same management as us. And basically the way it went down was, we were practicing and rehearsing where he lives. And he would sit in for a lot of our practices, and one day we were messing around with this sound idea that we had had like two years ago; we used to play it during sound check on tour – just messing around with it. And we thought it would be fun to maybe bring that song back, and maybe finish it up and play it on this tour. So we kind of started messing around with it during practice, and he liked it, and I said, “Hey, why don’t we have you sing on the song? We’ll finish the song real quick, and we’ll go record it and do it for this tour.” So we decided to do it last minute, and it seems to be going over pretty well with fans.

 

 

You guys are about to wrap up the Endless Summer Tour. How would you describe this experience overall?

It’s been great! We haven’t toured for a year – something like that. I mean Shawn and I did a little acoustic thing, but other than that we haven’t been on the road since the Young and Useless tour, which was last summer. So we weren’t really sure where things were going to be at. But it’s been nice to see a lot of the same fans that are dedicated, and also we’ve seen a lot of new faces on this tour. So it’s been awesome. I mean, we’re definitely excited to finally be wrapping it up, and we’re going to be heading over to Europe next, but yeah, it’s been a great time!

 

 

You guys received a lot of attention for your cover of “Paper Planes” a few years back on the Punk Goes Pop Volume 3 compilation. Do you have any plans of recording more covers in the future?

Yeah sure, we’ll probably do covers; the “Paper Planes” thing was interesting because Fearless was like, “Hey, do you want to do this Punk Goes Pop thing?” And we said sure, why not, we’ll give it a shot. And we were originally given a list of songs, and a lot of those were like Katy Perry, Kesha, Britney Spears, you know, just a lot of stuff that the radio is oversaturated with. We saw MIA and thought it was the most challenging and maybe the most interesting to us. So we weren’t trying to reinvent the song or anything like that, but we just wanted to do something that was a little bit different.

 

Many bands these days interact with listeners through social media, but you guys seem to be especially adamant about it. What motivates you to stay so connected with fans? Can it be difficult to keep up with that while on the road?

[Laughs] Oh yeah, it can be harder just not having Internet on the road. But yeah, we just feel it’s very important, especially in this day and age, being very active on the social networks – the big ones like Facebook and Twitter and all that stuff. Just because so many people now communicate that way. Over in the Philippines we were able to get a street team together, spread the word enough to where we were able to get fans to request our song on the radio, and then it just kind of snowballed from there. And that was all through social media, so we’re very big on that because we did see the importance of that. And it’s fun, too; we have a good time replying to fans, making them feel like they’re kind of a part of what’s going on.

 

Southeast Asia is generally not the first place American bands begin to see international success. To what do you attribute your success in that particular market?

We saw that there was some interest there and we decided to feed that opportunity. So we started contacting our fans over there, and asking if they’d be interested in putting together a street team. From there they recruited other kids, and put together a great street team. So I would say it’s a lot of the social networking, but also we have some amazing fans over there. Especially our street team, they are a big part of why we were able to go over when we did.

They’re starting to take interest in American pop; Brazil is another one of those and we just caught wind of it that our song had been getting spun on one of their radio stations, and we decided to try and keep feeding into that and growing it.

 

What would you say has been your biggest obstacle to overcome as a band?

That’s a tough one. I would say maybe the biggest obstacle would just be – touring can be hard to do. Just for a person, all of us individually, just touring and being away from family. That might be the biggest obstacle, but I don’t know, that’s a hard question.

 

 

What’s one artist that fans would be surprised to find out you listen to?

[Laughs] Josh Groban for me. I have most of his discography on my iPod, and the reason behind that is my mom listened to that a lot, and that kind of carried over to what I listened to when I was a teenager. But also I just recognize the talent, and I think he’s a very amazing singer. And I went to one of his concerts a couple years back, and it was an incredible performance. So yeah, people might be shocked; some who know me a little better might not be as shocked, but yeah.

 

What is the best video game ever?

Pokémon. I was huge on Pokémon in grade school. I got the Pokémon Blue and had Squirtle that I started off with. I did the whole thing, and I did the cards and all that stuff. So yeah, Pokémon definitely takes the cake in my opinion.

 

Any words you’d like to leave with fans who are going to be reading this?

I guess I just want to say to all of our fans over in Europe, we’re going to be coming over soon, so make sure you get your tickets! We’ll be coming with The Maine and then we are done with our record, so we’re working on getting our record out before the end of this year, so stay tuned for more from us. And of course, thank you for everything that they’ve done!

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