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Made For Broadway: No More Messing Around

The pop-punk group’s latest is a crash-course on how to write a solid gold single.

13 Mar 2017 / Interview / written by Tecla Ciolfi / Pic by WolfPrey Photographic Collective

In a recent interview with The Guardian, legendary pop-punk songwriter and musician John Feldmann gave his top tips on how to write the best moshpit anthem.

Responsible for writing some of the most memorable, angsty anthems, Feldmann has worked with The Used, Good Charlotte, Biffy Clyro and most recently served as producer and co-writer on blink-182’s “California” that was #1 in 28 countries and scored the group their first-ever Grammy Nomination.

As if having walked straight out of a workshop with Feldmann and into the studio to record, Made For Broadway’s latest track is pop-punk gold and stands as their best work yet. I caught up with drummer Rob Storm after the release of their latest single to find out what, or who, is responsible for this newfound, crisp direction.

Tecla Ciolfi: So, I’ve been searching for a song to adequately describe the shit storm that was my last relationship and I think I’ve finally found it. Was the track’s narrative inspired by recent events and if not, is it easier to lyrically pen a song that deals with a universal narrative like heartache?

Rob Storm: Like how a lot of songs are seeded, recent catastrophes were partly responsible, but creative freedom was definitely what made this song happen. To be honest, it’s actually way harder writing with universal narratives – it’s shit everybody has heard a thousand times, so a lot more energy goes into making it sound new and shiny.

TC: The songs really kicks into high gear with the introduction of the chorus, it’s probably the best-written and hookiest I’ve ever heard from you. You described the song as a “moment of clarity” in the new direction of your song writing, can we expect more of this on the upcoming album?

RS: Well, we’re aiming for more like it – so sure, lets say yes (laughs). For us, that “moment of clarity” was a long time in the making – we’ve all been investing time for a while now into being better songwriters and a huge part of that is making conscious decisions about everything. When we listened back to this song for the first time after finishing it we knew we’d made better choices – maybe even the right choices.

Moving away from that signature weird alt-dad-rock-racket we were making toward something better-defined was a good thing for us, and slowly we’ve found that being “just different enough” is where it’s at as writers. The amazing response we’ve had to this song feels like it has validated a lot of what we thought and worked towards.

TC: So let’s talk about the music video, which is pretty genius in its simplicity. The three-scoop ice-cream melting is the finest metaphor for a slowing fading relationship that I’ve seen in a while. Who’s responsible for the concept?

RS: I had these ideas kicking around for artsy stream videos, and this came out of that. We’re super into DIY stuff so we wanted a way to make something new and different instead of putting up some album art and calling it a day.

TC: Visually, you’ve made quite a name for yourselves as a band – from your colourful, animated videos to your energetic sets – is your aesthetic a collaborative one where everybody pitches ideas or is there a dominate personality when it comes to decision-making?

RS: We try and keep decisions pretty democratic in Broadway-land, but truthfully sometimes it gets a little “Electoral College-y” with a chance of Democratic People’s Republic of Korea – hint: the more freedom you put in the name the more it’s a clusterfuck.

Politics aside, we’re all really into animated series, cartoons and art in general so ideas tend to come in from all directions, but Brogan (Thompson) and Sean (Braam) are the designers and do the right kind of drugs to make it happen.

TC: With the unmistakable Americana twang in Justin’s vocals, how was the response when you toured California in July last year? It was also the month that blink-182’s album hit #1 on the Billboard Top 200, so I can image that punk fever was at an all-time high.

RS: That’s the thing about California and punk – it’s always vibing. It never stops being crazy that in a country where kids are super spoiled for choice in terms of the quality and quantity of bands they get to see passing through their towns, they never stop being amped to go to shows. The response was inspiring, more than anything else. There’s a lot more to that story though, so maybe one day we’ll sit down with you and a pizza and tell you war stories about how we bravely defended pop punk in California.

TC: I’m all about pizza and good vibes, so I’ll definitely take you up on that the next time I find myself mulling around Jozi.