Forever Came Calling (Credit: Matt Vincent)

2014 is looking to be a big year for California natives, Forever Came Calling. With the release of their new album What Matters Most and an Australian tour just around the corner, we sat down with frontman Joe Candelaria to chat about the new album, beating the sophomore slump and seeing the world from a different perspective.

By Mark Plummer

You’re currently on the Common Vision tour, what are the challenges to playing with so many different acts on the same night; compared to a tour with just a main act and two supporting acts?
I think trying to remember everyones names is the hardest for me! [Laughs] Besides that, just the fact that on this tour we have double the bands of a normal tour, so the shows are longer, sets are shorter just things of that nature.

You have an album coming out in September; when writing What Matters Most, what did you want to achieve with this release, both lyrically and musically?
Lyrically, I just wanted to be honest with myself and the world. I wanted to exercise demons that I might have tried to bury in the past. I realized on this record that at the end of the day this is our art and way to express ourselves and if I can’t make myself happy with it, how can I make anyone else happy with it? Musically, we just wanted to write the best songs we’ve ever written and really challenge ourselves as songwriters. It was a trial by fire, but in the end I have never been so proud of anything.

Are there any tracks on the album that will surprise your fans, anything where you decided to push at the boundaries?
We took a lot of risks, while keeping it pinky on this record. We even brought in a gospel on a song. Check it out. We can’t reveal all the secrets! [Laughs]

You’ve already released one album and a few EPs; what lessons have you learnt, in particular from the recording of Contender, that you were able to bring to the recording process for What Matters Most?
To remember that we can “Be the band we wanna hear” and at the end of the day being comfortable with yourself as a musician makes for the best takes.

The industry always seems to mark the second album as a difficult one, did you feel that this release was more challenging than what you’ve recorded previously; was there any pressures that were more unique to this album than your first?
The good ol’ sophomore slump. I think when anyone has any sort of success no matter how big or small, everyone wants to kind of count it as a fluke – so people generally wait for you to fall on your face – but being in a position where someone might think that about my band is what I live for. I love proving people wrong, I think our band has always been a sort of rouge dark horse and we catch people by surprise. I like being in that position.

What influenced the material on What Matters Most; any bands, singers or personnel who you felt directly impacted on your music this time around?
Against Me!, Taking Back Sunday, Jimmy Eat World, Say Anything, Manchester Orchestra

If you were successful with being chosen to play on the Warped Tour next year, are there any bands you’d love to share that stage with?
All the bands we just listed! [Laughs] Except Manchester Orchestra. I’m not sure they would do it.

Any releases coming out this year that you’re looking forward to, or is there anything already out that has got you pumped? This band Northbound from Florida put out a record called Death Of A Slug and its great. Also Family Thief is releasing his album this year which is going to blow people away.

You’re touring Australia soon, what are you looking forward to about touring outside of the US?
Just seeing the world from a different perspective, hanging with our friends in The City Shakeup, making new friends, and meeting some kangaroos!

Many thanks to Joe for taking the time to chat to us. ‘What Matters Most’ is released on September 9th.


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