Although a couple artists have had disastrous results from when they decide to go solo (Ginger Spice, anyone?), former lead singer of Mayday Parade and Go Radio, Jason Lancaster, seems to be doing just fine. Lancaster recently released his first solo album, As You Are, is expecting a son, and has more time to indulge in hobbies.
At this year's West Palm Beach stop on the Vans Warped Tour, we sat down with the singer to talk about family, his newest release, and the differences between touring solo and with a band.
New Times: So you have a new album coming out. How is it different than the work you did with Go Radio and Mayday Parade?
Lancaster: It's actually a combination of all of them and some added stuff. There's the punk-pop element to a lot of the songs and there's the, I guess, radio rock we did with Close the Distance (Go Radio album) and Go Radio and a lots of folky stuff I've always died to record but never really got the chance to. Stylistically, it's very similar to everything I've always done.
Why go solo?
I just wanted to. You know... To be completely honest, I didn't have the ability to do it full time anymore. I wanted to have a family and a kid and everything like that. Afterwards, once I got home and just really got settled in, I was like, "OK, time to record this solo record." And it's kind of like everything I've always wanted to record. I wanted to do another record, fans seemed to want another record, so I figured out a way to make it happen. It was difficult to do the full time touring and have a family at the same time. Touring wasn't providing the way it needed to, and I wanted to have a family and be able to do those things.
So, when I got home, and figured out that it was time to start a family, I got really excited about it and decided to do a record, too. As a solo artist, I had complete freedom over it. There weren't any stipulations, nothing forcing a particular song to go in one direction.
You obviously place a strong emphasis on family. What does family mean to you?
Family is about the people who have your back no matter what. The idea that no matter what goes on, even if it comes down to choices you make, these people are always going to love and be by your side and support you even if they don't fully believe in it. That's what family is. Sometimes it comes in blood and sometimes it doesn't. But that's like what I have with my wife.
How is your touring life solo compared with playing in a group?
It's a lot cleaner (laughs). I love the routine. A lot of people call it monotony, but I really enjoy going, "OK, well it's Monday, on Mondays I do this." I've spent the last forever touring and every day was something a little bit different. And while it's fun and it's good, it wears on you. It's good to have something constant.
So now that you are on your own musically, are there any other solo projects outside of the music world and music realm you want to do that you didn't have a chance to do because you were touring with a band?
I have a lot of hobbies: I love recording, I love producing, writing. You know, those are things I will always do. But now I get to mess around with wood (laughs). Things like that. Carpentry is so much fun, and I love doing it! I'm about to have a son, so I'll get to go with him and take him fishing and all these things that I would have missed if I had been on tour, you know? I don't have to worry about missing now.