Monday, December 7, 2009

Chatting With Em (The Action Design)

If you missed Sick of Sarah's 'Sleep When You're Dead Tour' this past summer I feel so bad for you! SoS' two supporting acts Donora and The Action Design were just fantastic live. I had never heard of The Action Design prior to this tour. I was hooked right away! The songs are fun, energetic and sometimes really sad. While the lyrics can sometimes be part of a sad story, they are always fun to sing along to, and the choruses, always catchy. Em is just a ball of energy, and you can't help but want to be apart of the vibe she's pulling you into. She moves around the stage and keyboards just a little bit less than Emily Haines! It really was a great show, one that I left with 2 tAD records and no SoS merch, which is saying a lot about tAD's performance that night!

Hello Em! Thanks for doing this. This really means…more than you know! Thank you so much!

Hey, no problem at all! Thanks so much for interviewing me!

I’m a new tAD fan. I just discovered you guys when you played with Sick of Sarah at a Michigan show in October. You guys blew me away! Absolutely amazing! How was it touring with Sick of Sarah?

Wow, thank you! It was super fun touring with Sick of Sarah – they’re all so friendly and fun to hang out with. We were like family, taking care of each other through all the van breakdowns!

I also love the Tsunami Bomb material a lot as well. Although Tsunami Bomb was a punk band, I found the tAD tracks and the TB tracks to be quite complementary to each other. When bands break up it’s usually hardest on the fans, but since I personally felt I could easily transition from one band to another sonically; I was wondering if the Tsunami Bomb fans did the same. Do you believe that a lot of the tAD fan base is made up of TB fans?

I feel like a lot of our most loyal fans came with us from Tsunami Bomb, but overall I’d say it’s a pretty good mix of TB fans and new tAD fans.

Another amazing thing about you guys is that you seem to be all about the personal touch. The online store is full of hand-printed artwork! That’s pretty great. How do you come up with all the designs/ideas? What inspires you? How do you even have time to sew, print and design all these orders individually!?

Ha ha, I just don’t have much time for anything else! For imagery, a lot of times I draw inspiration from the lyrics or from a concept that the band is into at the time. I want to do more with the sewing… I’ve got a few more ideas I haven’t completed yet!

This is a silly question, but as I mentioned I am a new fan. You seem to be extremely artistic and all of the items you design are awesome! You obviously have a gift for design as well as music. I have to ask, does your love of design/art have anything to do with your band’s name?

No, I didn’t even think of that! I do enjoy doing design work, but that came from necessity. The band name is more an expression of productivity and positivity.

When did you realize you wanted to be a singer/musician?

I wanted to be a singer when I first heard punk rock years ago, which came to me in the form of Green Day. I loved it SO much that I just wanted to be part of it – at the time, I never thought it would be such a big part of my future!

What are some of your early musical influences?

Aside from Green Day, I’d say Rancid, No Doubt, Tilt, MxPx… my parents always listened to The Beatles, James Taylor, and Huey Lewis & the News when I was really little, so they always have a place in my heart as well.

Are you into any current bands?

Morrissey, Metric, Phoenix… mostly I’ve been listening to vinyl lately, and my collection is a lot of old yard sale/thrift store stuff. My current favorites are Dolly Parton, Cat Stevens, The Faint (NOT a yard sale purchase!), Michael Jackson’s Thriller… and random bullfighting music and burlesque music from the 50s.

I’ve been keeping up with tAD’s Youtube channel as well. I have to say the new material you guys are working on sounds SO GOOD. Can you tell us when we could possibly hear a new tAD record?

Soon, very soon! Well, not a whole record I suppose, but we do have 2 songs that we’re going to unveil when they’re ready.

And for the last, most hard-hitting question of all! Is Jaycen’s last name really “Mckissick”? Also have you ever known anyone to spell it “Jaycen”??? If this is too personal feel free not to answer :p

Ha ha, I like how this is the most hard-hitting! Yes, his last name is definitely Mckissick. And I’ve never seen any other Jasons spell their name like him! There’s only one Jaycen in my life!

If you love yourself be sure to check out the live performances below, especially the unplugged performance of "Tokyo Train", and if you don't love yourself do it for me, cause I love you;-)

photo credit: Trish Leeper

Landmines (Live, posted by 'mrbayag')

Tokyo Train at Fearless Music

Pale Horizon at KDHX

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