For our second band interview in our "Countdown to Warped Tour" compilation, we spoke with unclean/clean vocalist, synths, keyboards, programming and bassist of Breathe Carolina, Kyle Even. The 25-year-old pretty much does it all in the band, along with vocalist, guitarist, synths, keyboards, programming, and drums man David Schmitt. The duo alternate instruments for most recordings, and only bring on extra members when they're touring.
While we chat, the sweet and down-to-earth Even cracks up every chance he gets --a laugh, I'll admit, is at once addicting and contagious. He talks to us about growing up in Denver, touring with his favorite bands, and their love for Carlo Rossi Blush wine --the inspiration behind the name of their new... clothing line?
New Times: Where are you now?
Kyle Even: We're just on the side of the road, just like chilling right now [laughs]. We're in Arizona on our way to Cali.
Are you headed straight toward the Warped Tour?
Yeah. We'll be on the whole thing this summer. So it'll be a wild time [laughs]. It will be wild. We were on it last year, too.
What's it going to be like for your guys touring with a lot of bands that you've worked with before?
That's what I'm looking forward to most: Chilling with old friends.
Are there any bands that you're looking forward to seeing in particular?
Oh yeah. Our boys in Pierce the Veil, Emarosa, Anarbor, Fight Fair, of Mice and Men, Nevershoutnever, I dunno, the list continues. Half the tour we've done shows with before.
What about bands that you'll be looking forward to meeting for the first time?
Oh yeah. I've seen Sum 41 live like way back, but it'll be cool to see them walking around and just being human beings, know what I mean? [Laughs]. Them and All American Rejects... I've been into those bands forever.
So you'll have sort of like a fan boy moment and follow them around?
Yeah, yeah. Bring Me the Horizon, too.
--at this point there's a brief interruption with screams, Kyle seems to jump up, then laughs. --
Sorry. They were both like yelling at me, it was like, "Ahhh!" They scared me real quick [laughs]. Anyway, keep going, I'm sorry.
What's it like growing up in Denver? Do you feel like it's influenced your music at all?
Well Denver is Chill. Denver's way chill. We live like.. You step outside and you got the mountain range right there, but it's like an hour and a half to get the a ski resort and go up and snowboard and chill. The weather's real nice out there. It's not like cold all the time like everyone thinks. Winters are cold, but it's not like insane. But everyone's nice, everyone's laidback, everyone's just chilling. I dunno, I love it there. It's like my favorite place.
And how's that influenced your music?
I dunno. I think it's just made us who we are. I think that's it, just being us.
What's the inspiration behind the name Breathe Carolina? I heard that it has to do with someone having a dream?
Yeah, that's David's thing. He actually had a dream when he was younger about a lady named Carolina and she was living in his life, doing what he was doing. She was like going through a bunch of stressful shit, and he just kinda told her to breathe and chill and just go with the flow. And I dunno, he thought of the name. He wanted to name something that for a long time, but he told it to me, and I told him it sounds good, and we've been that ever since.
Was she in a band in his dream, too?
I dunno [laughs]. He's never really gone that deep. He kinda told me how he thought of it later, but at the time it wasn't like an in-depth dream analysis. I hear about it from like whoever else asks about it, in this kind of scenario.
So what made you guys come out with the Hello Fascination Deluxe Edition? How's that different from the original?
It has like seven other songs that are on the original record. It has a track that we did when we were recording but it's only on our Japanese release, so that'll be on it. Our Boy Dave [Strauchman] from Every Avenue, Jeffree Star, and our boy Austin Carlile -- he used to sing in Attack Attack! and Of Mice and Men. They're all on a track as well with us. We're stoked about that and to try and have that released in the States. There are old songs, remixed tracks. I dunno, it's cool.
What was the inspiration behind the newer songs on the album?
While we were out in Cali we'd just watch a lot of movies or kind of just chill and hang out with friends, so we kind of just created songs based off of that. We actually did a song about all our boys and us being on tour for the last two years. It's called "The Rescue." It's like the last track on our CD. That one's probably my favorite lyrically, anyway, because it's probably the most real.
Do you work on the lyrics at all? Or is it all just David working on them?
Yeah, we both work on the lyrics. David kind of constructs the song. He can play like every instrument, it's crazy. He's played drums, guitar. This is actually his first singing project. He was a guitarist before he was a singer for this band, and then he played bass before that, so he's done it all. He takes charge of it.
So he comes up with the melodies since he knows the instruments and you put in your feedback?
Well he'll build the skeletons for the tracks and we'll both kind of come up with melodies and ideas. A lot of times we'll just go in the booth and just try something, you know? Almost just like a freestyle to get an idea of what we're going to do, then we'll create whatever over that and it kind of works out. Like, "Do we wanna do the screaming parts?" 'cause we kind of say it spoken more or less. But to go in there and try it, sometimes we think a part is going to be a screaming part, but then it actually evolves into a singing part, and sometimes a singing part becomes a screaming part. So we kind of just experiment and do whatever we want. It's fun that way, though.
So it's pretty much what works and you guys are sort of spontaneous with it, then.
Yeah, yeah. Just going with it and see what happens. We kind of base the lyrics and stuff on the feeling of the song. If it's such an upbeat track, we're not really gonna be like [laughs] singing like sob lyrics or anything.
I came across something called the Blush fanpage on Facebook that you guys are tied to, and it had today's date on it [06/23/10]. What is that, exactly?
Yeah. Hell yeah. Blush is a clothing line that David and I are doing with my boy Josh, he works at Umbrella clothing. It's just a line we're doing. We wanted to do something to keep our minds occupied while we're at home, and have something to think about while we're on tour... Just something fun to do to release some of the energy. Like, I dunno. I'm stoked on it. Right now it's kind of geared more towards girls.
Yeah, I noticed a lot of people posting on the page were kind of confused, like some thought it was a beauty line, others a clothing line. You guys don't really specify what's going on and pretty much have pictures of hot dogs with dates scribbled in mustard and chicks with tons of makeup on.
Yeah. If anyone knows Umbrella, then I think they could kind of figure out that it would be a clothing thing. Today we have the site up. Our friend Megan Thompson -- she's done a bunch of shoots for us. She did our photo shoot for Warped Tour last year, we were like on the side of the road holding up a sign that said like Warped Tour or bust or something. She did our shoot for this year. It's funny how hyped we've made it. We didn't even think it would be that hyped up, and now kids are like, "What is this?!" and I have like my friends from other states hitting me up asking me, "Yo, what is blush?" So it's just kind of fun.
Yeah, I noticed you have almost 3,000 fans for the Facebook already, and it was just launched [last night].
We always do that, like when David and I first started putting songs up, we'd like do a countdown and then we'd put up the song. That's kind of how we started writing. It's kind of fun to go back and do something like that again. It's crazy to see. It's at wearblush.com.
That name's funny, 'cause when I think of "wear blush" I think of makeup, and not a clothing line designed by a band.
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Yeah, yeah. We didn't even get the name from makeup. We got it from drinking Carlo Rossi wine back in the day. We used to always drink the Blush [laughs]. That's like the origin of it [laughs]. It just kind of evolved into that.
Most fans probably didn't even know that or associate it with the wine when they first saw it.
We'll post something about that, and be like, "Yo, this is what it's about."
Warped Tour 2010. 12 p.m., Saturday, July 24. at Cruzan Amphitheatre, 601-7 Sansbury's Way West Palm Beach. Tickets cost $31.93. All ages. For more information and the complete lineup, go to warpedtour.com