Saturday, 27 February 2010

Interview: Conditions


Back in 2008 Conditions made their UK debut while supporting Paramore and New Found Glory and were earmarked as a band for the future by fans and critics alike.

Two years on, a member down and without a label, guitarist Alex Howard spoke to ATP about why the Virginia four-piece aren’t quite ready to give up just yet, their plans for 2010, their recent ‘You Are Forgotten’ EP and more.

Alter The Press: For those who are unfamiliar with you guys, tell us a little bit about the band?
AH: We started in the fall of 2006. We had all known each other from playing in different local bands, so when all of those broke up we decided to start something fresh together.

ATP: Are you looking forward to getting back out on the road at the end of February?
AH: Very much! We've been cooped up at home writing new songs and we've all been working stupid restaurant jobs and such to pay the bills, so we're all really antsy to get out on the road again and do what we love most.

ATP: Other than touring, what are the band's plans for the near future? Can we expect any more material or more live shows?
AH: You can expect both. We're planning on recording and releasing a new full-length and hitting the road hard this year so you should be seeing a lot from Conditions.

ATP: So the ‘You Are Forgotten’ EP dropped just nearly six months ago now, how do you think the songs have gone down with the fans?
AH: I think overall we've had a great response. It's selling better than anything we've put out so far so I suppose that's a good thing! Of course certain songs are favoured more than others, but all in all we've heard mostly good things.

ATP: What were your aims with the EP and do you think you've achieved what you wanted with it so far?
AH: It was definitely a progression into a more focused Conditions. We tried some new things to see how we liked it, and we stuck to some old formulas at the same time. It was kind of the launching point into where we're going with our upcoming full-length.

ATP: What were the circumstances behind bassist Riley Emminger leaving the band? Do you think his absence as hindered the band's progress at all? Was his decision to leave anything to do with his roll as Paramore's guitar tech?
AH: Riley is and will always be one of our best friends. He lives with me and Jason still. He is continuing working for Paramore as their guitar tech, and due to their busy schedule has opted to keep working for them rather than tour with us. There are no hard feelings at all and although we miss him greatly, we hope the best for him and he will continue to be very close to us no matter what.

ATP: There was a point where there was alot of hype around the band. The UK tour with Paramore in 2008, the unsigned band accolades from PureVolume and Kerrang! etc. Do you think you've lost a bit of that momentum in terms of the media? There's actually very little on the net about you guys, which is surprising given the good reception you've got from fans and critics.
AH: I think we've lost pretty much all momentum that we had going in the UK for sure. Because Riley was playing with us at the time, we didn't do much touring in 2008 after the UK tour with Paramore because they had such an insanely busy year. I think we unfortunately dropped the ball on such an amazing opportunity by not getting back over there sooner, but that's all said and done so there's nothing we can do now but try again! On the other side, I think we have a good deal of buzz going on in the US and we can tell from the increase of online fans and fans at shows on tour. 2010 will be our busiest and most exciting year for sure, so all we're doing is looking towards the future.

ATP: What was your inspiration behind the songs on 'You Are Forgotten'?
AH: I think Brandon would be the best one to answer this question, but since I'm not around him right this second I'll just say what I think about them. He writes based on his past and based on relationships and things he views in the world and things he believes in. They are simple messages really. "Born Again Question" is taking stabs at religious groups that force their beliefs on people. "Citizen" is about people you don't want in your life and leaving them behind. "Goodbye Good Name" is more or less about respecting women and how the "gentleman" is a dying breed. I'm not going to dissect all of them, but his lyrics touch me and I hope they also have some meaning for listeners out there.

ATP: Where do you hope to be this time next year?
AH: Touring and supporting our debut full-length, and coming back to the UK.

Conditions on Myspace and Twitter.

'You Are Forgotten' EP by Conditions is available now.

Liam McGarry

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Sport and Music Journalist
l.mcgarry1@uni.brighton.ac.uk
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