Not many up and coming bands get the opportunity to tour with big name artists on their first national tour. Paradise Fears fought the odds and are now on their second national tour with The Cab, The Summer Set, He Is We, and Days Difference on the Everything’s Fine Symphony Soldier Tour. I met up with Jordan Merrigan to talk to him about New Year’s resolutions and what they hope to accomplish this year.
Introduce yourself and what do you do in the band? My name is Jordan and I’m the lead guitarist/singer. Well just lead guitar but I rarely sing. So lead guitar.
The tour only started, so how has it been so far? It’s been great! The first night is always tough. The set is kind of unique for us because there are four songs that we’ve never played live. So the very first night was the first time anyone, ever, anywhere in the world heard these songs. We’re still figuring it out as far as energy and how we’re getting into them. But it has gotten progressive. We’re only three shows in and it’s gotten better and better. So I think we’re finally building some momentum and hopefully it will take us through.
What can your fans expect from this tour? I can’t remember the person who said this, but they said that our set was UFC cage match meets N*SYNC. We’re big believers in crowd participation. People don’t want to go to a concert and just stand there and listen to a band. They want to go and interact with the band and have fun with the band. We do our best to be engaging and show a lot of energy. We feel that if people see that we’re having a good time on stage, they’re more likely to loosen up and have a good time. If you come to our show, you’re going to have a lot of fun. Maybe feel a little violated, but only like once. We will violate you with our words.
If you were a stripper what would be your stripper name? Isn’t there a formula for this? The street you grew up on and your first pet’s name. So I would be Penny Constance. Which is kind of ok I guess. That really works. You’re going to see me on the strip later tonight with that alias.
Do you guys have any resolutions this year, whether it’s the band or you? Me personally, I would like to be healthier. It’s cliché, but I feel like I can always be healthier and exercise. As a band, we don’t have a vocal resolution, but I would probably say driven. We’ve kind of found that we haven’t been touring that long and found that there are a lot of hiccups you run into like van trouble. It’s really easy to get discouraged but we’ve done great so far. This is a lot of work. The biggest thing for us is to just stay driven and having the greater goal in mind. Always stay motivated.
You guys just released an album last year. How has the response been? The response has been really cool. What’s cool about the album is that before we released it, we did a lot of pre-ordering stuff. So there was a ton of hype up to the release date. Since then, there has been a really cool response from people. For awhile, we would follow tours and sell our CD. So we’ve been able to get a lot of copies in a lot of people’s hands. It’s a full length, 11 songs. We feel like there’s a pretty good variety in there. Overall it’s been a great response. It feels like it’s been out for 10 years, but really it’s been out for 6-7 months. So there are still a lot of people out there who haven’t heard of these songs. We have a dedicated fan base that reinforces us that they want to see us [in their town]. But there are a few people who are just hearing our songs for the first time saying, “Hey, I actually like this. A band from South Dakota can write some pretty decent songs.” As we start touring more and more, a lot more people are hearing our music and the response is cool.
There was this guy on youtube who would bash us on his videos. He claimed to have a cousin in South Dakota. I have no idea [who he is]. Other than that guy on youtube, it’s been a good response.
Recently, you guys have been getting on bigger tours and having more exposure. Have there been any record labels wanting to sign you? Not really. We’ve gotten an email from a prominent label and a couple emails from management people. Up to this point, we very much had a do it yourself approach. We’ve heard a lot of horror stories from bands that are signed and hate it. After hearing all that, I’m so lucky to be in a band with five other dudes who are, if not even more, motivated than I am. The biggest thing with a record label is that they’re going to do something [else with our band]. Doing it yourself it better. The creative control is there [and] you’re the CEO of your company. You make decisions [such as] being on whatever tour you want to be on. For now, a label isn’t for us or the best move to make because we’ve been able to get on really great tours on our own. I’ve alway said, “If the perfect deal came along, then maybe.” Even then “maybe” because we’re really comfortable where we’re at as an independent band.
What’s in store for Paradise Fears this coming year? Touring. Lots of touring. All Time Low was kind of the biggest tour that we did. We toured with a band called Quiet Drive last year. It was quick little run. There are just so many people out there who haven’t heard of us before and we want to change that. We want them to see us live. We’re proud enough of our live show where we feel like if they see us live they’re going to enjoy it and hopefully be longterm fans. So we’re going to tour a lot and some new music in the mix. The primary thing is [to get our music heard] by others.
The guys from Paradise Fears put on an incredible show.Their set was filled with many smiles and laughs as well as songs from their Yours Truly album. They also did a mashup of “Stereo Hearts” by The Gym Class Heroes and Taking Back Sunday’s “Cute Without The E.” Most mashups don’t mesh well, but Paradise Fears did a phenomenal job in blending the two styles. These talented guys from South Dakota made a mark on the Las Vegas music scene and have possibly made some new fans.
Make sure to catch them on the Everything’s Fine Symphony Soldier Tour.
Check them out: www.paradisefears.com