Five minutes with Tonight Alive

Tonight Alive
Tonight Alive

We caught up with Australian pop-punk five piece band, Tonight Alive to talk  music influences, their new album and pre-show rituals.

Where did the name Tonight Alive come from?

It actually happens to be one of the most uninteresting stories in the world. We had just finished one of our first band practices and needed a name to put up because we were creating our MySpace page. We threw together a couple of words that we liked and unfortunately we got Tonight Alive

What inspired you to set up the band?

Well, Jake, cam and I (Whakaio) were in a band before Tonight Alive. We just really loved hanging out every weekend and having band practice in each of our garages. It was definitely something we all looked forward to and still do. Then when Jen joined the band we started writing songs that we were all really excited about and now the rest is history!

Your latest album is titled “The Other Side.”  What was the reasoning behind that?

The title comes from one of the main themes that resides throughout the album. It’s all about the idea of knowing and realising that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. No matter how bad things seem, there is always something to fight for and a better place to get to.

Tonight Alive guitar action
Tonight Alive guitar action

What’s stayed the same & what’s changed from your 1st album on your 2nd album?

A lot has changed since the first record. The writing for this record was done completely on the road where as WAYSSO was done when Jen was still at school. During the two years of touring we’ve all grown up so much as both people and a band and it definitely shows with the outcome of the album. We didn’t go into the second album with the mindset of changing anything that what we were doing already but I think as you grow up it’s impossible to stay the same.

When recording the album was there any unusual equipment used that pushed your creativity?

We actually didn’t go crazy at all with the recording process. We wanted to get everything as natural sounding as possible, so every guitar is amped and every drum is played. I think the main thing that pushed our creativity was each other because we know each other so well now that we aren’t afraid to hold back what we are thinking. I think that’s an invaluable asset to have when recording.

Were there any key influences, people or moments, that you think are evident on the record now it’s fully finished that perhaps were intentional or not?

A main influence that became evident for me was our fans. We have so many people coming up to us telling their story and making us realise that our music has helped them through some of the hard times in their lives. We wanted to continue that with this record, to convey through these songs that no matter how hard things may get there is always a white to the black. Jenna’s lyrics are extremely personal about her experiences and I know that people are going to be able to relate and know exactly what she’s talking about.

Get down with Tonight Alive
Get down with Tonight Alive

From the track list, what song was the most fun to write & why?

For me, the most fun song to write was a song called ‘Come Home’. This was actually the last song we wrote before recording and became the easiest. Jen and I wanted to write a light hearted song to break up some of the darker tones of the other songs. I think we wrote, ‘Come Home’ in an hour and didn’t have to work on different parts or rewrite things like we had to for other songs. It’s just a fun uplifting song that I really enjoyed writing.

The Lonely Girl video is really great.  How do the band go around pin-pointing the story that eventually goes into filming?

That was mainly Jenna. She had a really clear vision of what she wanted for the video and we found a director that really understood what she wanted and it worked out great. It corresponds with the lyrics in the songs, about an experience she had with one of her old friends. We were stoked the first time we saw it and are so happy that everyone is reacting really well to it!

You’ll be coming over to the UK in the winter after the album’s released.  What songs do you really hope fans know the words to most & why?

I think we will be so stoked if kids know the words to ‘The Ocean’. We played, ‘The Ocean’ in the UK in May and it hadn’t been released yet so it will be amazing to see if kids have caught on to it yet or not!

Tonight Alive lead singer Jenna rocks up a frenzy
Tonight Alive lead singer Jenna rocks up a frenzy

Is there any particular ritual the band has before you go on stage?

Before we go on stage we all hug and wish each other a good show.  It’s nice because it puts you in a good frame of mind before you go on stage and makes you realise that what you’re about to do is the funnest thing in the world!

What are Tonight Alive’s plans for the future?

We plan to get putting out records and touring. This is what we love to do and we aren’t stopping anytime soon.

Check out Tonight Alive’s website for tour and music updates and the latest gossip from the band. Tonight Alive’s latest album ‘The Other Side’ is on sale now, so make sure you grab yourself a copy.

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