Riding the wave of their recently released Acoustic Sessions EP and a performance The Vans Warped Tour, War Games are more on top of their game than ever. We got the chance to have a chat with the band about their acoustic EP as well as their goals as musicians and future endeavors. You can pick up The Acoustic Sessions EP now on iTunes!
Can you tell us a little bit about yourselves and the band?
We are War Games, a 5 piece indie rock band from Southern Massachusetts / Rhode Island. We are Kyle Therrien (Vocals), Andy Calheta (Vocals and Bass), Ian Provost (Guitar), Matt Dilecce (Guitar) and last but not least Josh Zeollla on (Drums). We enjoy writing honest songs, recording, touring, drinking, and burritos.
For anyone who hasn't heard of War Games before, how would you describe your music?
Kyle: "I would describe our past releases as mellow 'Indie rock'. Catchy, passionate tunes you could listen to while in the car with grandma! However, the new tunes we have been working on have a lot of energy. Definitely a new, but much needed more raw approach for us. I'd say these new tunes on the way are for fans of Thrice, Every Time I Die and Hot Water Music."
What was the main goal for you guys with The Acoustic Sessions EP?
Ian: "The goal of the record was to give our fans a brand new experience when listening to Mountains, and demonstrate how malleable these songs can be by creating a fresh sound but still maintaining the familiarity. We had the fans choose the songs they wanted to hear, so we felt like we had to really step up our game and give them something worth listening to. Not just another acoustic album. We didn't set out to the reinvent the wheel, but we thought we could bend the definition of an acoustic album in a way that would surprise and draw our listeners in without damaging the integrity of the songs they knew already."
How did you guys go about choosing which songs you wanted to record acoustic versions of?
Kyle: "The inspiration behind an acoustic EP was actually something a listener of our band suggested. A listener from Florida messaged us on Facebook suggesting that we put out an acoustic EP, and well we all thought it was a fantastic idea. We decided to go one step further and reach out to our fans by allowing them to vote via Facebook as to which songs they'd like us to revisit. We then took those songs and created acoustic versions of them, naming this collection The Acoustic Sessions. It was important to me to make these songs interesting, not only for the listener but for us as a band too. I had often regretted purchasing a band's acoustic album because time and time again it results in being the same songs which are played the same way, the only difference being that it is just played on acoustic guitars. I think that sort of thing is a rip off. It was very important to me that we change and adapt some parts in the songs, and experiment with as many instruments as humanly possible! It makes it not only fun for the listener but extremely fun for us... the artist!"
Was there anything that you got to do with these songs that you normally don't get to try with your music?
Kyle: "We normally don't get the opportunity to use the ukelele or glockenspiel in our recordings, so there were definitely a few new tricks which we got to demonstrate on this EP. It was a very eye opening experience in that sense. Mountains is a very light record, but The Acoustic Sessions brought us into uncharted territory in more ways than we could have thought possible when we started to create this EP."
What was your writing process like with this EP?
Ian: "It was very much collaborative. We worked with a lot of people we'd never worked with before. That was great for us because it brought fresh ears in on songs we'd been playing in a certain way for so long before. I love the way we went about it!"
Do you have a favorite song on The Acoustic Sessions?
Josh: "Without a doubt, 'The Only Debt We Bear Is Love'. I feel this piece is so wonderfully orchestrated and emotionally driven, and this arrangement created for the EP further adds emotive sentiment and another level to the song. To me this song is timeless."
Ian: "My favorite song on the EP would be 'Crashing Like A Wave'. It has so many different layers and dynamics to it that it's hard not to love for me!"
What is something that you want fans to be able to take away from your music or live shows?
Josh: "I want them first and foremost to identify. It's my dream as a musician for someone to be at a show, watch Kyle sing these songs and think, 'man these guys get me.' If our friends don't connect to our songs and live show on an emotional level, we need to go back and reevaluate ourselves as songwriters and performers. It is truly one of the most important factors for me in songwriting, that the listener can connect and engage with our music and lyrics not only on a recording but in live performances too."
Now I know you guys have been attending and playing Warped Tour and working on promoting yourselves out there - how's the response been so far?
Kyle: "Promoting and performing on The Vans Warped Tour has been all I've known as a summer for the past five years now. Warped Tour is a great platform for bands looking for exposure, and also provides bands with the opportunity to perform alongside some of their inspirations and favorites. It's a festival focused not only on providing kids with live shows from some of their favorite bands, but also a festival which focuses on giving kids direct access to new bands!"
What are your plans after The Acoustic Sessions? Can we expect a full-length soon? Tour?
Josh: "We are elated to say that the follow up to this EP will be our first ever full length. We could not be more excited of the collaborations and proud of the producing and the writing for the next release. We have every intention and desire to tour to support the full length, at home and abroad! Right now our focus is set on creating material that's worthy of support from our friends and listeners, and we are very excited about where this focus is leading us!"