Page 44 have had quite a year so far. Between releasing their new EP ‘Leave The Last Man Behind’ and opening the second stage at Download Festival’s 10th year, it seems that the band show no sign of slowing and rightly so. Vocalist and guitarist Adam Vygus was kind enough to have a little chat.
“It’s been great to be honest,” he admits, discussing the year so far. “We have had our first headline tour back in March which was a great success, then getting handpicked to support All American Rejects… and then Download. It’s going really well, we have a lot of plans we are trying to put into motion too!”
“[Download] was absolutely insane,” he adds. “Such a big stage and we had a really great crowd. We didn’t know what to expect being on first, but the crowd were fantastic. The weather helped us as it was the first time of the weekend the sun came out. Well obviously playing was the major highlight, but seeing bands we like such as Lower Than Atlantis and You Me At Six on the stage we played was pretty great. My favourite band of the weekend were Steel Panther they were so entertaining, a great festival band.”
“We didn’t get to meet too many this year as we were too busy watching bands from the crowd,” he adds. “We did all get photos with Chris Jericho from Fozzy as we all remember him from his wrestling days. We did get star struck last year when we played at T in the Park as we bumped into Dave Grohl, Blondie, Liam Gallagher and a few others.”
The band were winners of Red Bull’s Ballroom Jam last year, which has led to them not only playing festivals but recording their latest EP at their studio. “I’ve enjoyed it all,” says Adam. “It’s been a complete rollercoaster. I mean playing festivals, playing shows with the Blackout, We are the Ocean and Canterbury, spending time in London and recording – I have loved it all. But it’s given us a real sense of togetherness we have become a lot tighter as a group of people and has given us much more drive to succeed and better ourselves as individuals and as a band.”
“[Recording the EP] was great,” he continues. “Hard work at times, but we had a little more time to record than we normally do so we got to make them as great as we could. It was the first time we had pre-production and the producers got us to change bits of some songs which was a strange experience to start with, but the songs are much better for it and it’s helped us with our song writing.”
Comparing the offering to the band’s previous work, he explains, “Well it’s a lot better quality to start with. Some of the songs we recorded are quite old now, so the songs sound similar to older EPs . You can still tell its Page 44 but it’s a little more mature in the way that you can tell we are more confident with our voices and instruments. [The response] has been great. The first batch of CDs we had printed all went on pre-order and people seem to really love the recordings. Everyone has different favourites off the EP too which is great for us as it shows, that our song writing is at a consistent level.”
“Obviously that is something we want to aspire to,” he adds, referring to the possibility of a full-length release. “it’s just difficult at the moment, we are writing new music but the main barrier for us it funding, we simply don’t have the money to do an album to the standard we would want. I think the sound of the bits we have started writing are a bit more mature. Again, we still stay strong to the core values of our sound, with big hooks and harmonies and the songs are melody driven, but you will be able to tell we have matured a lot.”
As a musician, what is his view on downloading? “I think it’s killing off the music industry,” he says succinctly. “Bands like us rely on the money from selling our music to carry on doing the band. It costs us a lot to record, to tour, so every bit of income we get is needed and goes directly back into the band. If people steal our music illegally then we simply won’t be able to record more tunes. Also it means labels don’t give bands chances anymore. It’s almost impossible to make a living in a band anymore and this all started in my opinion because of illegal downloading. If you like artists that much you should be willing to pay for their music.”
Turning to more of an overview: what achievements with the band to do is he particularly proud of? “I’m proud of everything we do to be honest. Obviously winning RBBJ is up there because of everything that has gone with it. But after coming off the 2nd stage at Download I was proud too and made sure I told the lads.”
As for the rest of the year… “Well we are hoping to get back out touring later in the year but in the mean time we are concentrating on writing so hopefully it will mean some new songs for people to listen to.”
Page 44′s ‘Leave The Last Man Behind’ is out now.