War Games Interview
1. State your name, role in the band, and a fun fact about you.
Kyle: My name is Kyle Therrien and I sing in the band War Games. A few fun facts about me: I am a Libra, I’m 24 years old and I love dogs. I walk around my local park once a day. (when I’m not on the road) I walk not for health reasons but solely because I love to see people walking all types of dogs hahaha “Is that weird?” I hope to one day own a dog, but seeing as I am always on the road it would be unfair for me to get a dog and not have enough time to spend with him or her.
Cameron: My name is Cameron, I play drums in War Games, and I fall asleep at the wheel. If I’m not with the guys doing band stuff or working over 50 hours a week painting cars at a collision shop, then 99% of the time you will find me building or fabricating something elaborate with wheels and an engine… or talking to dogs like babies.
2. How did you come up with the band name and what does it mean?
Kyle: Our guitar player Ian Provost came up with the name War Games after we had spent hours in a room with a chalk board writing down potential band names. I like the name ‘War Games” because to me it involves two words that are associated with two completely different things. “War” can be a reminder amongst all the life changing technologies and progression throughout human history of how primitive a species we still are. Also “War” can be an everyday battle or struggle in life, or in a relationship. “Games” is something fun, something to help distract the mind from everyday qualms and responsibilities. “Games” can also pertain to someone or something toying with your heart or something that’s more important to you than obviously “them.” These are some of the things that come to mind when I think of our band name. To me it means trials and tribulations, Up’s and downs life throws you.
Cameron: We were all sitting down on the floor in “Pinky.” Pinky was Kyle’s little sister’s room, which still bared the bright pink walls, that we overtook to do band work in. We had a slew of names written on a chalk board and this one just stuck out to us the most after sleeping on a few key names. I just recently stumbled upon an email from last year with the “master list” of names actually. There were probably a good two dozen or so.
3. Can you tell us a little about how you met and started out?
Kyle: We all started playing in bands at a really young age. For some of us it was hearing bands like Blink182 and Green Day on the radio and thinking “I wanna do that!” For others it was growing up in a musical household and eventually picking it up on our own. Then again for some of us, music was a fluke. There hasn’t been a common, defining characteristic that we’ve found in the band, but differences are what make things great and interesting!
Cameron: I met the guys slightly by chance. I had just got off of a tour filling in on drums for With The Punches on Just Surrender’s headliner tour. I was determined to find a full time band to play in after 3 weeks of being on the road with those guys. I had given up music for good at one point between schooling, work, and a serious relationship and spontaneously brushing the dust off of my road cases, packing up and heading out on the road breathed life back into me. A friend I met in college had randomly invited me to a show that his friend was playing knowing that I was into music and it would be a cool place to catch up, being at a bar and all. War Games was headlining the show (then playing under the name Another Option) and I remember telling them to call me if they ever needed a drummer. Two months later and my phone rang– it was singer, Kyle Therrien. I’ll never forget that show though.
4. What are some major influences on your music?
Kyle: We are extremely open minded individuals, so our influences range from a wide variety of musicians and bands in a plethora of genres. A song like “The Only Debt We Bear is Love” and an album like our latest release “Mountains” I’d say are heavily influenced by the music’s engineer and producer Ace Enders. We all grew up listening to Ace’s bands “The Early November” and “I Can Make a Mess Like Nobody’s Business” so it was an honor to get him involved with the writing process and overall production. I think his insight definitely played a large role as an influence on the record.
Cameron: For me personally, Moving Mountains, Death Cab for Cutie, and The Dangerous Summer. I love those bands a lot– they all have such extremely talented drummers that influence my style.
5. For anyone who hasn’t heard your music before, how would you describe it to them?
Kyle: Our music is indie rock… we get compared to a mix of bands like Mumford and Sons, Balance and Composure, Moving Mountains, The Early November, and As Cities Burn. We have a lot of energetic songs, but also a lot of soothing slower songs. Check it out you won’t be disappointed especially if you’re into those bands!
6. What’s your writing process like?
Kyle: We write songs generally in three different ways. Our songs usually start by Ian bringing music to the table, or Kyle bringing vocal melodies and some basic music to the table. Other times we have written songs throughout a series of practices together. All three methods have resulted in three different styles of songs, so it works out pretty nicely!
Cameron: It’s been entirely different for every song this band has written. Ian, our guitarist, has been showing us some parts he’s come up with on his spare time and we’ll jam on it and go from there. There’s really no rhyme or reason or one person dedicated to writing though. Ian, Andy, and Kyle all live in the same town in Massachusetts. Ryan lives in Providence and I live in southern Rhode Island on the Connecticut border, a solid hour and a half from where we practice. Getting together to write with all of our crazy schedules has been pretty tough lately but man, I can’t wait for you guys to hear the new material! We’re gearing up to record next week with Ace Enders of The Early November so keep your ears and eyes open too because there’s a music video in the works to go with it!
7. What’s your favorite part about being on tour?
Kyle: Some of my favorite parts about being on tour are driving while listening to my favorite jams, meeting new people, and of course performing. I love hanging out in parking lots talking to kids for hours after shows and enjoy eating at restaurants that aren’t located in my part of the US which is Massachusetts. Some of my favorite places to eat on tour are In and Out Burger, Jimmy John’s, Originals in Montrose, PA, and many more.
Cameron: I love traveling and seeing the country, being introduced to different cultures, and seeing just how diverse this country really is. I love how everyone treats you outside of New England. I love the staple food establishments that I absolutely HAVE to go to every time we pass it because we don’t have them within hundreds to thousands of miles from our home. I have made really amazing friends on the road that I can’t wait to see every time I’m in their area and talk to a lot of them on a pretty regular basis. I love all of that but nothing compares to getting up on stage and playing drums with every inch of my heart and soul, every fiber in my body, as if it was my last with four of my best friends.. That sounds clichè as shit (can I swear on an online interview?) but we are. When you’re confined to just a van/trailer and venue for weeks on end and literally spend every waking second with those dudes…. they’re your best friends.
8. What are the worst parts about being on tour?
Ryan Flinn (guitar): Worst parts about being on tour: driving long drives, bad food, rest stop bathrooms, and most definitely when someone is in a bad mood. Also driving in a van after your band has murdered an eat’n park midnight breakfast buffet.
Cameron: The worst part of touring is putting up with things beyond your control. Show cancellations really put a damper on your spirits and bands wallet. The economy in general has affected bands that tour– between the people that can’t afford to go to shows resulting in less pre-sale tickets, less “at the door” tickets, which in turn lessens merch sales, and that fuel tank of ours that sucks 80 dollars’ worth of fuel for 3 hours of driving. I’m constantly thinking about how I’m going to pay for all of my bills and rent when I get back.
9. Do you have a favorite song you play live?
Ryan Flinn: My personal favorite song to play live is either a new song we’ve been working on called “Lungs,” it’s got a lot of parts and as a guitar player that’s always fun. Another song I really like to play live is “Ride High,” it’s got a cool groove.
10. What has been the craziest thing to happen to you at a show?
Kyle: Just recently at a show in Morgantown, West Virginia, I climbed up the rafters above the stage to swing upside-down and sing. When I tried to grab the rafter with my hands I began to slip and had to evacuate by swinging and jumping down on to the stage. I landed on Ryan’s amp and nearly broke my leg. Somehow I made it as graceful looking as possible. That’s the craziest thing to happen at a show. Now after and before shows that’s a whole different story….but I won’t get into that.
11. What does the band stand for? Do you have a message you’re trying to get across to fans?
Kyle: I’m not sure if War Games stands for anything. We write honest songs, and a lot of those songs are motivating and inspirational in my opinion. I use music as a drug, as a tool to help me escape reality. It sooth’s a broken heart, inspires my soul. I like to remind people how precious life is in my music, I try to remind people that they can conquer the world if they believe in themselves. For the most part our music is positive, but sad songs are just as important…we write those too!
12. If you could tour with anyone, who would it be?
Kyle: Wow….um…. John Lennon or The Beatles would be amazing.
13. What can we expect from you in the future?
Kyle: A new EP! We are gearing up to hit the studio with Ace Enders again and will be releasing a song partnered with a music video in months to come. We’ve taken on new management, “Motionless in White” keyboard player Josh Balz and have been planning to make 2013 “the year” for this band! We are hoping we can make some of our hard work pay off this year, so keep an eye out for us! For those who haven’t heard of us check out!