Interview: Longway's Brian Longway & Trevor Jackson

posted March 29, 2010

by Corinne

Longway's Brian Longway & Trevor Jackson

So first thing's first, how did Longway come together originally?

Brian Longway: I played in little bands throughout high school... and a couple after as a drummer (a bad drummer I might add) then I decided I wanted to do my own thing. I didn't want to play other people's music anymore. None of the bands were the kind of music I wanted to play. I've always written songs but I started writing songs that I'd want to play in a band... once I had enough songs to jam with people I started looking. Our original bass player Nick was a guy I worked with... and he knew Mikey [Pettengill, drummer]... and it kind of snowballed from there.

"Junkie" is the band's sophomore full-length release. You don't hear straightforward punk rock like this much anymore. What made you decide to make an album like "Junkie?"

Longway: Well I think our first album is actually more straight forward. But thank you... I like to hear that! I don't think we tried to make any "kind of album." When I write I don't really think about what kind of song I want to write... it just comes out the way comes out and if the other guys in the band like it.. we use it.. I think this album definitely shows growth from our last one.. I think the songs are better.. they have more going on.. but not too much to the point where we can't play them Ha! We're a pretty basic simple band if you haven't noticed. We just like to play music that we'd like to hear.. something real that rocks us.. and we hope that it will rock other people too. if we're lucky.

What did you learn from recording your debut album that made you say "definitely won't do that" or "definitely will do that" when it came time to put "Junkie" together?

Longway: We'll our first album was a mess.. the guy that originally recorded it didn't really know what he was doing.. it took forever and cost a ton of money.. we actually had to take all of out tracks from him and take it somewhere else to get completely remixed and reworked. I think we learned to work smarter not harder.. work with a better engineer.. we did some preproduction on "Junkie" which we didn't do on the first album. Got some production ideas from some talented people. I think with the growth in song writing, the addition of secondary guitar riffs.. the proper bass sound for our style, and better method of recording drums. "Junkie" has a lot to offer.

Longway have become a sort of staple of the Warped Tour. How do you feel about being on Warped Tour? Are you looking forward to this summer's dates?

Trevor Jackson: Being on Warped Tour is something we have been wanting to do for years. The way it came about is much like the crazy stories you hear of [Warped Tour founder] Kevin Lyman seeing a band, liking them and then they are on Warped.

We traveled to Alaska to play with Agent Orange and Kevin was in the crowd for the show and he came up on stage and announced that he was going to give us the entire 2009 Warped Tour. We got home from Alaska and a few days later Kevin called and said the BBQ band broke down and asked if we could come out and finish up the 2008 tour for them also. Got the call on Wednesday, quit our jobs and moved out of apartments on Thursday, and were in Salt Lake City on Friday. We worked our ass off the last two years doing all the driving, merch set up and sales, gear load up, BBQ ourselves. The four of us were making it a 24 hour a day operation for two months and 20,000 miles. No matter how beat down we are by the end of the tour as soon as its over we are ready to do it again. It is going to be strange just doing 9 dates this year. But we are stoked to do any days they will throw our way.

The tour has had a lot of changes over the years. Do you think the tour's still relevant?

Jackson: Yes, the tour is just as relevant now as it has ever been. The unfortunate part is that it's with a different style of music than what we grew up seeing at Warped. It has adapted with the shift of music and its fans. The younger kids have shed the punk rock, rock n roll style and have moved to this screamo computer generated crap. I don't get it but I guess it is the new movement. At the same time Kevin has always kept a hold of the root of the tour. On any day you can see almost any genre you want to see. There is still punk rock on the tour you just have to look a little harder for it these days and wade through the see of shit, neon shirts, boys in girls jeans and hair combed over one eye. But it's there!

Longway seem to always be on tour, and with not just any old bands either. Any good tour stories?

Jackson: There are a few good ones. We have turned some of these into Videos of The Week. Like seeing what looked like a dead body in the back of a truck and picking up Travis from Therefore I Am in a gas station in Detroit when he got left by his band. This summer Fat Mike was pretty comical with his antics. He contributed to the BBQ in his own special way and the Devil Wears Prada were on the receiving end of his joke. It wasn't very Christian of him! hahaha. You can see these tour videos on our youtube page.

I read you guys recently did an acoustic performance. Is that true? How did it go?

Jackson: Yes the rumors are true. It went a lot better than any of us expected. We pride ourselves on having a lot of live raw energy and didn't know how it would translate acoustic. We left stoked and had fun with it. [We] were told by a few people that they liked it better. Don't know what that means but I don't think you will see us exchange our Marshalls for an acoustic combo any time soon. But you may hear more of it via interviews and some one off acoustic shows here and there.

Do you have any influences you think listeners would be surprised by?

Jackson: Probably. We all come from a different musical background. I think for that you would have to dig into each individual member. But it is all over the spectrum. All of our influences come together in our songs and with the variety of musical styles we all approach the songs differently. It makes for good writing and recording process.

Who are some underrated bands that you think we need to check out?

Jackson: The Architects from KC, The Creepshow from Canada, The Exposed from UK, My Life in Black and White from Portland, Middle Finger Salute from UK, I don't know if they are underrated bands but they are definitely some good bands people should check out!

What have you been listening to recently?

Jackson: The ipod shuffle. We just did 44 hours of driving to and from SXSW. You will hear everything from Sinatra, GNR, The Vandals, Huey Lewis, Nirvana, Gaslight Anthem, Rancid, NWA, we all listen to different music so it makes for a good mix.

If you could have written any song what song do you wish you had written and why?

Jackson: What ever has made a shit load of money. Not being broke would be a nice change

Anything you would like to add?

Jackson: Buy our album on Itunes and our Merch @ oldshoerecords.com. Not being broke would be a nice change. HaHa. We hit the road with Flatliners, Broadway Calls and Cobra Skulls starting March 31st, and Warped Tour this summer so come out drink booze and party with us!!!

Thanks!