They’ve only been around five or six years, but We Are The In Crowd are one of the hottest—and hardest working—young acts on the scene. The Poughkeepsie, New York quintet first turned heads with its 2011 full-length debut, Best Intentions, and toured the globe supporting such diverse bands as Set Your Goals, All Time Low, Mayday Parade, Go Radio, and Yellowcard. Early singles “Rumor Mill,” “Kiss Me Again,” and “On Your Own” enjoyed heavy rotation on alt-rock radio and cemented the band coveted slots on Vans Warped Tour and Leeds Festival.
Now, with the release of their long-anticipated follow-up, Weird Kids (out today on Hopeless Records), We Are The In Crowd are poised for next-level success. Lead-off single “Attention” perked ears this past fall, and video production for “The Best Thing (That Never Happened)” just wrapped.
Fronted by female vocalist Taylor “Tay” Jardine and rounded out by the twin guitar attack of Cameron Hurley and Jordan Eckes, We Are The In Crowd deliver high-energy shows filled with catchy pop rock zingers that draw listeners in and capitalize on the community spirit generated by audience feedback. Drummer Rob Chianelli and bassist Mike Ferri keep the motor running with snappy tempos and airtight rhythms that provide a solid foundation for the band’s fun, kinetic tunes.
The plucky five-piece headlines next Tuesday at Grog Shop in Cleveland Heights as part of The Reunion Tour.
We caught up with Ms. Jardine—“Tay”—via email, fresh off a U.K. tour with Neck Deep and Save Your Breath. The singer was eager to share a few inside secrets about what makes her and the boys tick both on and off the stage.
CLEVELAND MUSIC EXAMINER: We’re looking forward to your show next week at Grog Shop. We know you’re from New York, but do you have any fond Ohio memories?
TAYLOR: I once fell off a stage in Indianapolis and we played Ohio the next day. I spent the majority of the day in an Ohio hospital getting x-rays. That I could never forget.
CME: If our calendar is correct, today (Feb 10) you’re in London, England. Have you ever been there on prior tours?
TAY: We've been there many times it may be our 9th/10th time! We love playing London!
CME: In your short five or six years together, you’ve issued three albums and toured a lot with other popular groups. Any wild tales of backstage excess? Or is it a relatively tame, controlled experience on the road with you guys?
TAY: Usually we are quite tame. Touring is exhausting in itself, so backstage we try to all get in the zone and prepare for the show. There are frequent dance parties though. Great warm up!
CME: What do you do to pass the time on tour buses, waiting in airports, and lounging at hotels? Any favorite hobbies within the band?
TAY: The boys have been obsessed with PC games, I usually watch movies!
CME: You’ve played Vans Warped Tour at least twice. Any observations on playing a gig that size with so many other groups in one place?
TAY: Learn, learn, learn. No band does it the same and there is a lot to learn from watching the dynamic of other bands.
CME: Okay, let’s talk Weird Kids. The new album drops later this week [February 18, 2014] and has already received a bit of attention (pun intended) courtesy the singles and videos. Where was the album recorded? Who produced, and what—if anything—changed in the process from 2011’s Best Intentions?
TAY: We recorded it in L.A. with John Feldmann. Working with him was an absolute pleasure and I couldn't ask for a better experience. The biggest difference between the two releases is our growth in writing. That's been the word most used lately "growth." We wanted to make Weird Kids our identity, so we didn't hold back.
CME: Being the vocalist, is Tay also the principle lyricist? Where does she draw her inspiration from? What kind of things go into turning a cool phrase in a We Are the In Crowd hit?
TAY: We all contribute lyrics, actually. We all contribute to every part. But most often the subjects with be something I've gone through because I think it's important to really feel the song you are signing. But yeah it's a little different in our band. Everyone has their hand in everything! I love it.
CME: Can you apply the above question to a couple present songs, like “Manners,” “Windows in Heaven,” or “Best Thing (That Never Happened)?”
TAY: “Manners” and “Best Thing” were both inspired by the same break up that I went through but they show slightly different parts of it. “Windows In Heaven” came from my personal experience as well. I lost my Dad when I was 13 and this year marked 10 years since. I didn't know it at the time but I definitely needed to write this song.
Watch the official video for “The Best Thing (That Never Happened):” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BFqtasnu7y8&feature=youtu.be
CME: We’re into guitars. What kind of axes are Cameron and Jordan playing these days?
TAY: Cameron plays: Music Man Silhouette, FGN Master Field, Fender Telecaster. Jordan: Music Man Reflex, PRS Mira
CME: Discuss the importance of social media (Facebook, twitter, etc) when promoting music, tours, and so forth--so us old folks can appreciate the differences over time!
TAY: It's extremely important! It exists so we might as well utilize it. I like to stay balanced and a bit filtered but still let fans know who I am and what I've been up to. It's a great way to make fans feel that connection with a band.
CME: Who were some musical influences growing up in the ‘90s for you? I was already halfway through college in 1990, so you’re certainly more in tune with 90s-00s groups than I would be!
TAY: I was born in 1990 so I certainly was allllll about it! I was a super tween. Nsync, Britney Spears, Pink, Alicia Keys, Green Day. Loved it all.
CME: Any favorite books or movies?
TAY: I'm big kid. Huge Disney fan. Lion King will always be my absolute favorite. But recently I've watched Wolf of Wall Street and that movie was so great. I'm also reading the Nelson Mandela autobiography.
CME: Lastly, are any other special causes or interests we should promote when writing about the new album and tour?
TAY: Hmm, you covered a lot! We will be on the road for as much of this year as we possibly can, so catch us out there! Thank you!
We Are The In Crowd with William Beckett, Candy Hearts, Set It Off, and State Champs. Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at The Grog Shop (2785 Euclid Heights Blvd. Cleveland Heights, Ohio 44106). Tickets $13.00 / $15.00 DOS. Doors at 6:00pm, show at 6:30pm.
We Are The In Crowd’s new album “Weird Kids” available now on iTunes: http://bit.ly/1hMzsKD