With Confidence: With Skill, With Success
If you’ve got a fire extinguisher handy, it’s probably for the best because With Confidence have been travelling the country and they’re on bloody fire. Having inked a deal with Hopeless Records earlier this year, announced their debut album Better Weather and wrapped up a nationwide tour, the Sydney crew is blazing a trail and nothing is going to stop them. After catching their recent Sydney show and ahead of their upcoming release, BLUNT had a chat with frontman Jayden Seeley to talk tours, tossers and Voldemort.
Has this tour been different from your prior ones? Obviously you’re headlining, but has the hype for the new songs and your recent Hopeless signing changed the vibe at With Con shows?
For sure. We’re definitely noticing more people coming out; people getting a little bit crazier. There’s definitely been an effect. We’re also seeing people get into the songs a lot more. We have done a lot of support tours in the past year, so it was really nice to be able to play headliners where everybody in the crowd is knowing the songs and singing them back to us and going absolutely wild. We’re definitely seeing a progression in the last year at shows for sure.
After your Melbourne show, Luke your guitarist tweeted that you ran into some “misogynistic assholes”. What happened?
We played a show and then we went out to a club. And it was kind of messed up, because we… I feel like we’re all pretty good dudes. And we saw this guy getting like, real handsy with this girl. And this girl was obviously like, “Go away, leave us alone, we’re not interested”. And he started getting really full on, like, violent with her. So all of us stepped in, and we were like, “Hey man, she doesn’t want to talk to you”. We just sort of talked to her and were trying to get this guy to go away. He arced up a bit and got really pissed off and started trying to fight us. We’re not the fighting type, we’re a bunch of musicians, we’re about peace and love. I feel like we’re all stuck inside this scene where everyone is pretty friendly, so it was a bit of a reality check that there’s still some dickheads out there. We’ve had it a few times in the past, guys and girls at our shows that are making stuff uncomfortable for other people, and we just wanted to let people know that that kind of shit doesn’t vibe with us and it’s not welcome at our shows.
That’s completely understandable. Are you nervous about how much time you’ll be spending on the road this year? You have your Europe run with As It Is and Warped Tour in the US.
We’ve got a lot of shows this year. I would say I am nervous; nervous is definitely an emotion I’m feeling. Nervous but extremely excited. I’ve had this overwhelming appreciation for how lucky we are lately. I’ve definitely been stepping back and trying to take everything in, because a lot has happened. But honestly, everyone in the band could not do anything else with their lives. This is all we want to do.
“At the heart of the song, it’s saying that it’s okay to talk about mental illness; we shouldn’t be scared of it. We should start talking about Voldemort, I think.”
Last time I spoke to you, your drummer Josh said the short-term goal for you guys was becoming a Warped Tour band. Now that you’ve made that lineup, has the goal marker changed?
Definitely, yes. I think it’s hard because we haven’t released our album yet and we’re already going and doing these crazy, massive, fuck-off festivals [laughs]. Like shows that, I don’t know, you would expect bands that have been around for a while to be playing, so we are very, very lucky. But I think the goal marker for me isn’t a bigger festival or to play a stadium or something, I think at the end of all these shows I just want to be able to get home and confidently say that I am now a better performer, a better musician, a better artist. I want to be able to get home and write music that’s bigger and better than before. To spend so much time around live music and around musicians that I respect and love, to hopefully watch their sets, maybe have a jam with them, talk about lyrics – whatever it may be – just to improve our art. That to me is the priority and the new goal marker. So this next album, after Better Weather, will just be completely next level.
When you guys signed to Hopeless Records, everyone was stoked because your favourite bands are on that label. What’s been the benefit of your choice to ink a deal with them so far?
There’s so many, it’s crazy. Hopeless approached us about a year ago, and within the first couple of weeks they’d shown their direct interest. They were like, “We wanna work with you” but I don’t think it really registered with us how much that meant. I think already they’ve given us connections to booking agents throughout the world which has opened up the realm of overseas touring, which is something we’ve always wanted to do but we never knew how to break into. But they made those connections, they found us the tours, and before you know it we’ve got our flights booked and we’re ready to go. That was one of the first things that Hopeless set up for us. There’s two more things. I guess one would be they’ve put us into contact with some really cool people. I can’t really mention names right now, but it’s really cool because it’s like artists and producers that I’ve loved and respected for the last few years and to be able to work with them in the future is awesome. That and they really helped us move the album along, and having I guess, the opinion from a whole family of people in the US, who we all really respect the opinion of, we’ve definitely had some good criticisms and advice and I think that has helped shape the album a little bit as well.
You made a good choice then. Wrapping up, there’s a song called “Voldemort” on the upcoming album. Care to indulge our Harry Potter tendencies and tell us what it’s about?
So to me, that’s one of my favourite songs off the album to be honest. I wrote that after falling asleep listening to the Blink-182 discography, so it’s sort of very throwback pop-punky, but it is a very upbeat, fun song. With the new album, we’ve got a whole bunch of themes, but I think one that’s really prevalent is mental illness, which is something that everyone in the band has experienced, one way or another, whether it be through a close friend or themselves. And “Voldemort” is actually about one of my best friends who has depression and anxiety. It’s sort of a song saying that I’m gonna be there for her, you know, that it’s okay to have that and be able to talk about it. And the idea of calling it “Voldemort”, it’s a little bit lame, but I’m a massive Harry Potter fan. It’s a quote from Hermione Granger: “Fear of the name only increases fear of the thing itself”. It’s the idea that depression and mental illness is Voldemort, and people are fucking terrified to talk about it, you know? Someone will bring it up and everyone will be like, “Oh my god, oh my god, what do we say, this is so weird”. At the heart of the song, it’s saying that it’s okay to talk about mental illness; we shouldn’t be scared of it. We should start talking about Voldemort, I think.
Better Weather is out June 17 via Hopeless Records/UNFD.