Thursday, September 27, 2012

Interview: Action Item

>> Action Item just finished up a tour with Owl City.  The tour came to Irving Plaza in New York City  recently, and I had the chance to talk to AI singer Brian Cag at the show. 

You just finished your set here at Irving Plaza. How do you think it went?
It was great! New York City is just such an amazing place.  We're from New Jersey so it's ten minutes away from here.  It's always a great time, and we have friends and family here at every show in New York so it's great to see them too.

Being from New Jersey, does playing shows at New York City venues like this have a special feeling for the band?
It's amazing. The last time we were here we headlined Gramercy Theatre and it was sold out.  It's been phenomenal actually, New York City is primarily our big hometown so it's been a blessing to be able to bring kids to any shows here. 

Speaking of bringing kids to shows, I noticed that there was a large amount of older fans enjoying your set just as much as the younger fans were.  How does it feel to have people of all ages coming out and supporting your band at shows?
It's definitely a compliment to know that your music can transcend different ages and not just be stuck within one demographic.  That's something we're really trying to break out of.  We have young fans, sure, but I'd really love to just reach all ages and all types of people too.

That makes sense since you guys have been together since 2008, right?
Yeah, but we've been best friends since I was 12.  We decided to play music seriously in 2008 or 2009, and it's been quite a journey so far.

Since then, you've gone from playing smaller shows to shows like this one.  How has that experience affected the band?
It's been a while.  Coming from playing to 50 people who don't give a crap about your band, or 5 actually.  We've done such crappy tours where 10 people show, maybe, at bars and stuff like that.  People don't really hear about that, but I'm not afraid to speak about it.  We've done such crappy tours for such a long time, played to nobody and then things kind of turned around when we had a show with Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez.  It was our first arena show, ever, and that kind of changed everything for us.  It kind of set us on a path where we were just blessed to even be there.  So that was a good opportunity for us.  I think touring is just a crazy thing that you just have to learn as you go along.  There's no school for that, you just have to live it.

What do you consider one of the best experiences you've had as a band so far? Was is that show with Justin Bieber?
Well that was definitely a game changer.  One of the best experiences so far.. We're going to radio with our song "Last Day of Summer," and hearing it on some stations is crazy.  When you start to play music when you're growing up, it's your dream to hear your song on the radio.  When you first start playing guitar or singing you're like, "hopefully I'll hear myself on the radio" and that's where our heads are at now as far as that, it's just crazy to have that happening.

How did it feel when you first heard your song on the radio?
It's cool.  It's playing on some small markets across the country.  It's starting to pick up slowly.  It's definitely a growing process.  People think it just happens at the snap of a finger, but that's not really how anything happens to be honest.  It was actually humbling to hear it and think "oh, that's me" and to have other people hearing it.  It's crazy.

As a band, you guys already seem pretty humble.  I remember seeing you guys going up to people waiting on line to get into Bamboozle two years ago and having them listen to your new EP.
We still do that, it hasn't changed.  We're still the band to go out after every show and meet everybody and not be afraid to talk to people.  I don't hide in my dressing room, I'm not that kind of singer.  I'm not going to be ego tripping, thinking I'm too good to be in front of you.  We'll always be that band as long as we can.  God willing, if things get even crazier then we'll still think of cool ways to meet everybody and cool ways to still be connected.  Being connected with our fans is one of our main priorities. 

You seem to have that opportunity here being on tour with Owl City.  Have you noticed a better crowd response at these shows?
It's a great pop tour, and [Adam] has amazing fans that would like our music.  I guess our music kind of fits into that range of pop and I think it's been great.  The response has been amazing, it's been the same if not better than our last tour.

You released a new single which seemed to get a great response tonight. What was your reaction to having even the newest song go over well?
It's cool, and it's always kind of scary to play a new song.  People might have just be learning the lyrics so there aren't that many people singing along, but tonight it was packed so it was good.  It's good to see the reaction in person above all, it's the best measure of seeing how a song is doing.

You also released a video for that single which has a lot of views.  But what's next for you guys?
We'll be putting out a new CD at the beginning of the new year.  January 1st is the tentative date.  It isn't named yet, but it will be soon.  We also have a new video game coming out for the iPhone and Droid which should be fun and interesting.  There's also a possible new single and video in the works as well.  Also a co-headlining tour to coincide with the release of the new album.

Is there any more information you can give us about that tour?
It's going to be us and some of our best friends.  That's about all I can say for now.

Is there anything else you'd like to say to the fans?
Thanks for always sticking with us and for being here, coming to shows, buying singles and the whole deal.  Thank you for being part of this whole family of Action Item fans.

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