A Story Told "Good Looks" Interview.
Our writer Matty Jiles got to talk with Alex Chaney and Josh Allen of A Story Told to discuss their upcoming release “Good Looks”.
Q: So the first lead single from this record was “Good as Gold.” Can you tell me a little bit about the story of that song?
Josh: It was probably one of the first tracks that we actually wrote for the record. I don’t think we knew at the time that the record was going to kind of center around the theme of that song. But as we started writing, we kept seeing more comparisons with the lyrics and what we were trying to say in that song and some of the other songs. This was the first time that we were trying to step outside of our box and go a little more poppy but also a little more rocky sounding. I think it turned out really cool, really unique, and fresh sounding. We just knew it was going to be the first single. I feel like from the time we finished the song, we were like “This is what we want to put out as the first statement of the record.”
Q: Awesome! And that relates to what I was going to ask next. What do you think sets this record apart from your previous releases?
Josh: Our last record Keep Watch, I think it was very…I don’t think it was as polished as this one. I think it was a little bit more raw. This time around we just kind of wanted to try new things and get a more polished sound.
Alex: More focused.
Josh: Yeah, more focused. More like “This could be on the radio!’ type of deal, but it’s still us. We were the primary songwriters on that record too, so obviously it’s the same writing style, but I think we tried new things. New types of sound, and looked at things differently this time around.
Q: So you mentioned a bit before about the overall theme you were trying to get across. Can you talk a bit about that theme?
Alex: So “Good Looks” Obviously the title is very sarcastic. Our access to social media, the internet, stuff like that, it’s all about reputation. What you’re doing, if it’s super important and what not. I think that so many people create another person within themselves. Just to put on display. We created a character out of the record that is the album cover. Just this fictional character that is so much more concerned with what people think about them than who they actually are. I think the record goes through all the paces of what that feels like.
Josh: I think with our generation; we feel lots of pressure to be somebody that we necessarily aren’t. You get on social media and you see someone doing something that looks amazing. And you’re like “Why am I not doing that? Why am I not in their shoes?” So we just kind of took that theme. You know, we’re people too and we feel that way. So we kind of wanted to express those feelings in a record with this theme of “Good Looks aren’t everything.”
Alex: It can tend to be a very serious topic, so I think it was important for us to just make it fun and sarcastic. Because if not, it’s just such a depressing topic and way too serious.
Q: From listening through, I think I’d say my favorite track is the second one, “Feel Bad”. Very very hooky and cool. Can you talk a little bit about that song?
Josh: It came out of frustration. You get to a point where when writing a record, you’re trying to please an audience that’s not there. You have these expectations for yourself. You have the pressure of expectations from everybody else, and we were just like “What are we doing?”
So we had all of these songs already written and we got in the studio that day, and just went “You know what? Let’s just completely start over with writing a song.” It’s a simple chord progression and song structure and we just wanted to put those frustrations into the lyrics. We want to do what we want to do and not feel bad about it, as cliché as that sounds. So we came up with this whole concept. We were feeling it with creating this whole record, and we know other people are experiencing it as well. We wanted to create this whole message that you can pursue your dreams. You can go against the grain. You can not be like the person beside you and it’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Alex: Life’s not scripted. You don’t have to get up at 6 AM and go to bed at 10 O’clock. It’s really what you make of it. Just because everybody else goes to work 9 to 5 doesn’t mean you have to, too. I think once we started getting those ideas of what we want to do and say and not feel bad about it, we envisioned what the song can mean to everyone else who listens to it. I think that’s the beauty of the track, how it speaks to so many people in so many different ways.
Q: Yeah, very cool! And I remember while looking through your social media I saw that you did some sort of a cool twitter campaign with that song?
Josh: Yeah! It turned out very cool. We wanted to know what people want to do and not feel bad about it, and the response was crazy! Maybe hundreds of entries? I mean anything from silly stuff like eating Taco Bell and not feeling bad about it
Alex: Or partying in public.
Josh: Yeah, and then you have people who are just like “ I just want to be myself and not feel bad about it.” So it was really cool to dive into our fans minds and see that they actually can relate to this song. It was really a fun thing to do.
Q: So what are each of your favorite songs on the record?
Josh: I’m stuck on “Red” right now. It’s about halfway through the record, and I think it’s probably one of the most different songs that we’ve written. The verses are really chill, but then the chorus just hits really hard. I’m stuck on that one right now.
Alex: “Dreaming Again” is the last track on the record. That song for me just encompasses what we’re trying to do. This passion to make music a career, and really just giving it everything we’ve got. Giving up on so many other things in life we could be doing for it, and strangely it’s the song that captures that.
Josh: Yeah, I think it captures the sound we’re trying to go for perfectly.
Q: You guys are about to be going out on a tour with 7 Minutes in Heaven. Are you excited for that one?
Josh: We’re really excited! We’re hitting the northeast, we’re heading back home for the CD release, so we’ll have them with us. We actually just met them at Four Chord Music Festival like a few weeks ago. We’ve actually never even played with them before, so that was the first time we even met them.
Alex: Yeah, cool dudes. It’ll be a really good time, I think.
Q: So have you heard their new EP that just came out recently, too?
Both: Oh yeah, it’s great!
Josh: I think “Symmetry” is my favorite song right now.
Alex: Yeah, “Better Off!”
Josh: It’s a really really solid pop-punk record. It’ll do good things for them, so we’re excited!
Catch A Story Told their upcoming tour with 7 Minutes In Heaven & be on the look out for our full EP review posting tomorrow!
10.13 - The Foundry - Lakewood, OH
10.14 - Gamechanger World - Howell, NJ
10.15 - Patterson Creations - Attleboro, MA
10.16 - The Bungalow - Manchester, NH
10.17 - The Place - Brooklyn, NY
10.19 - The Sidebar - Baltimore, MD
10.21 - V Club - Huntington, WV
10.22 - The Summit - Columbus, OH