MewithoutYou

author PP date 07/02/07

Before embarking on their tour supporting Brand New, indie/post hardcore phenomenon Mewithoutyou had decided to swing by Denmark to do a one off show at Loppen in Copenhagen. This of course called for the attention of Rockfreaks.net, and after having rushed to the city with only a couple of hours warning before the interview (and thus having to skip the Razorlight show that was taking place at the same time), I sat down to enjoy a brief chat with frontman Aaron Weiss before the local supporters from Sinai took the stage. Because of the short warning for the interview, I didn't have time to buy any batteries for my recorder and had to use my mobile phone instead, which resulted into a short but sweet interview. Despite the short amount of time avaible, we covered topics from fame to religion, and of course got Aaron's opinion on the omnipresent download-issue, so there's absolutely no excuse for not reading on:

RF.net: Could you give us a short introduction to your band and your music?
Aaron Weiss: Well, we're basically just a group of good friends, and I usually just say we play alternative rock since it's broad enough to mean anything, and then I leave it for people to decide. I'd say experimental punk but I really don't know enough about music to know what terms would apply actually.

RF.net: In 2005 you were the opening act for the Give It A Name Festival, which was the first of its kind in the UK. Back then you were just an opening act that next to nobody had heard of, and today you've released "Brother, Sister" to international acclaim, and play huge venues in the states. How does it feel right now?
I don't think we've grown that much in our popularity actually. Throughout our bands life it's been like a slow and steady increase in the amount of people showing up. Maybe a few more people will come to this tour, like at tonights show... When we first came to Denmark a few years ago it was like 10 people at each show, and tonight it will hopefully be more than that. It's not like we've ever had an overnight explosion of popularity. We've never gotten to be that popular, so we haven't really had to deal with the whole fame and fortune thing. We don't make a whole lot of money, and we don't get a whole lot of attention from people even though I guess that's relative. It's not been to difficult for us to deal with, because there just haven't been a whole lot to deal with.

RF.net: This is your only headlining show from your tour with Brand New. How does it feel to be touring with such influential and ultra hyped guys as they are? How has the crowd reacted to mewithoutYou?
Aaron: Well, this is actually the first show of our European tour, so we haven't played any shows with them yet. The first show with them will be tomorrow in Berlin, and actually I think we have two more headliners in the tour. One in Zagreb, Croatia, and one in the UK, I'm not really sure where right now.

RF.net: Oh, I'm sorry my info's off then.

Aaron: No, the last ones were added recently, so that might be why. Actually I don't know much about Brand New. I've heard them a little bit, and thought it was cool, but I'm just really grateful for them taking us out with them, and I'm really looking forward to meeting them, since I don't know any of the guys personally. So yeah, tomorrow will be our first show with them, and I'm actually really stoked about it, also because I always try to get to know the bands on a personal level. If the music is going to be similar, and how their fans are going to respond, I don't know. We're kind of an acquired taste. Most of the time people don't like us when they first hear us.

RF.net: Not only that, but you are also going to tour with another set of highly influential guys, namely the other half of At The Drive-In: Sparta. Did At The Drive-In influence your sound in any way, and how much, and how do you feel about touring with the other half of that band?
I know on our first record there was this one song where we tried going for a At The Drive-In vibe, with that sort of choppy rhythmic guitar. I really thought they were a great band, and I like Sparta too, but again, in recent years I've more or less fallen out of keeping up with newer bands, so I haven't really listened too much to The Mars Volta or Sparta. I liked what I heard, but I never got the records. Actually I never got the At The Drive-In record either, I'm not the big music collector, I'd just hear it at friends' places or something like that

RF.net: Tonight you are playing at Loppen, a tiny venue at Denmark. When you started the band, did you ever imagine you would end up having a show in a country as small as Denmark? How have your goals changed during your career?
You can't really say that we ever imagined it no, since this band started out as kind of a side project to another band, it wasn't really supposed to be a big thing, but this is how it ended up, and we're just really grateful to be able to travel and see countries all over the world because of what we do.

RF.net: Both your lyrics and your interviews tend to have allusions to God and religion equally. Is mewithoutYou a Christian band, then? How do you feel about people who question the whole belief in God? How do you think this affects mewithoutYou fans?
Well, I wouldn't say that we're a Christian band, because there are many things about conventional Christianity that I don't necessarily agree with, but with that said, I am a strong believer in Jesus, and if the music I play can inspire people to think about some of the good things that Jesus also tried to teach, then that's just a very good thing for me. Since religion is a huge part of my life, it does of course have a substantial impact on my music, but I don't wanna be part of a band that preaches all the time, because I don't think that's the best way to connect with people, and I'd like our music to be about more than just that.

RF.net: Okay, we're running out of time, and I've come to rockfreaks omnipresent download question. What is your opinion on downloading illegal music off the internet?
To be honest, I don't really care if you do. Or actually, it's not fair of me to say that, seeing as a lot of people at our record company have worked hard on our cd's, and are probably hoping to make some money of them, so I can't really say that you should just go ahead and download it, but if it was just up to me, I probably would. It's not like we're one of those bands that make a lot of money off record sales anyway, so if people feel like checking us out, I'd rather have them download our music, than not buying the CD and thus not getting to listen to it.

--Tim's recorder ran out of space here, but the band thanked all their fans and wished for some more readers to check them out! Here's a link to their Myspace: http://www.myspace.com/mewithoutyou.

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