An Interview With Tower: Our Country’s Rock And Roll Hope For The Future
Tower are probably my favorite new band from 2016. Their rock and roll is a perfect blend of everything from the Ramones to Led Zeppelin, Death Angel to The Donnas. This is a band who hint at a brave new future for rock and roll and put on a goddamn hell of a live show. I’m over the moon that I got to see them on New Years and can’t help but to swoon over this band. Point being – my chance to sit down with them before their release show was a special opportunity and one that I won’t soon forget.
How does it feel being at the end of a long album release process?
Sarabeth (S): Stressful! This month has been absolute hell. The emails are nonstop. There’s tons of people involved in this, it just doesn’t end. The emails go on and on.
Philipe (P): On the back end we are running around getting merch and stuff. Me and James had to move out of our practice space.
S: So many things happened in October! Our record is coming out, we have a tour coming out, this record release show, something else that’s sort of in the works that gets shifted, another private show. It’s been a stressful month.
How has it been with The End? Have they been treating you well?
P: Definitely. It’s a little rocky. We’re both putting in 110% but trying to understand each other. A lot of the time people aren’t totally committed but here both of us are fully committed. It’s interesting to be with a company who are so interested in doing a lot of things. Of course it’s still the beginning so we’re not sure if everyone [will] deliver. We will fulfill our part but there will be head bumping.
S: So far so good though!
Is it weird to be on the same label as HIM?
P: I don’t know enough about HIM to answer!
S: I might have seen them at Warped tour in 2002! I was very young!
P: They have a crazy roster, right before we joined they decided to cut back and focus more on individual artists but they still have some rad 90s bands and some totally different stuff. It’s kind of cool!
I guess what attracts people to Tower is the dedication to old school rock and roll, where does that come from?
P: We all love Thin Lizzy a lot! There’s a lot more bands involved though.
S: We all grew up on rock and roll, especially James. I feel like Tower is all of our influences combined into one sound. You can hear everything in our sound: punk, thrash, heavy metal and even R&B. We all are into a lot of different types of music. That comes through with Tower.
At what point did you realize the chemistry was there within the five of you?
S: We all sort of worked with each other in separate projects before.
P: It was literally right there. We realized right away that it clicked!
S: We all want to play rock and roll!
P: It’s a calling. I don’t know if it’s up to us. I’ve played a million types of music but the most fun is when I’m playing this. We get to get technical and then lay back. I get to do backup harmonies with Sarabeth too. It’s such a good time. It feels like what we need to be doing.
S: Our souls are rock and roll! Quote me on that! (Laughter) You can hear Lars saying that or something!
You talked about Sarabeth’s voice… did you have vocal training growing up?
S: It’s funny, I just watched a bunch of old videos from when I was three or four and I was singing in every video. In high school I really got involved in music and voice. I did theater and took vocal lessons. I’ve always been involved when it comes to singing and that continued into my adult life. That’s where the theatrics and drama of it come in! I’ve been performing for a long time. I haven’t been performing heavy metal for that long though It was always theater or other types of music. You can say I’m experienced but I don’t know if I was really trained. I don’t use those techniques anymore.
To clarify, is Tower metal for you?
S: Fuck yeah!
P: It falls into that category I think.
S: We do whatever the fuck we want. I think we are more heavy metal than anything else. We do have heavy parts but there’s a lot of soulful parts.
Obviously there’s been a lot of super positive press about you – how does it feel to have that much positive feedback?
S: Well after being booed in the Apollo Theater…
S: I had just turned sixteen and I decided to try out in the legendary Apollo Theater. So they had me bring in music for the band and I brought in Mariah Carey‘s “Vision Of Love” because the 80s live forever in my heart! (Laughter) I went on stage and I was already getting booed in my green Bloomingdales dress my mom purchased the week before. I got nervous and the band started fast. I was thrown off by the booing. I had just turned 16. Some guy appeared and tap danced me off the stage. At first I was in shock, it happened very quickly. My mom was crying and I was like “I’m fine mom!” The band told me to come back because they said all these other singers had been booed off but I didn’t give a shit I refused to come back! That was hard for a sixteen-year-old to get booed off the stage! I had the balls to get there but I didn’t have the backbone to stay there! I took a break after that and discovered my voice again and started singing rock and roll. (Laughter)
P: Back to the press though! It feels so good! We have all put a lot of work in this band. We are all cutting so much stuff out of our lives, like choosing not to do a lot of things and being frowned upon. We’re missing weddings, birthdays and all this crazy stuff. It’s good to know when you’ve decided to jump into something like this you get good feedback because it means we get to keep doing this.
S: It’s really cool to hear positive things because we work really hard and have missed out on a bunch of things because we’re working really hard. It’s nice to hear.
P: It’s rad because all we are trying to do is have a good time and make sure everyone in the room has a good time. On stage we are just trying to party with everyone. Usually it goes well, people enjoy it and come back. It’s good to hear good things are happening!
What is the future of Tower looking to be right now?
S: We really are looking to get to Europe. We feel that a lot of people in Europe would be really into our sound. We are also trying to get to the West Coast. We haven’t gotten out there yet.
P: We have a ton of friends out there!
S: We just want to be a touring band and see the world. We are all best friends so why not?
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