We spoke to Jenna from Tonight Alive about her hometown, favorite foreign foods, and her favorite places to play. You can check them out on the Vans Warped Tour 2012, coming to a town near you this summer.
For the record, what’s your name and what do you do in the band?
My name’s Jenna and I sing in Tonight Alive!
Let’s talk about your roots. I’ve never been to Sydney, Australia before. What’s it like down there?
It’s awesome! I love it and I’ll probably never leave it [laughs]. Sydney kind of has everything really: City, Sea, Bush, Suburbia. It’s very multicultural and the weather’s pretty good too.
What was the very first concert you attended and how much of an impact did that have on you musically?
My parents took us to fairs and sit down concerts of super group type bands but my first REAL concert was Status Quo and Deep Purple at the Hordern Pavillion with my Dad. It was the first time I saw a real venue and the first time I every smelt weed. The first time I ever saw a band that I really loved was All American Rejects with Hellogoodbye at the Roundhouse. I’d never experienced a mosh pit before and it was love at first sight!
"What Are You So Scared Of?" finally came out in February in the USA - what’s the meaning behind the album title? What’s the concept behind the album overall?
"What Are You So Scared Of?" is generally the concept of recognizing your fears and overcoming them. It’s an idea that we came to when we realized we could either quit or keep pushing, even though to keep pushing was the harder option. We know firsthand the kind of hardships that our fans go through growing up because we’ve been there too. It’s a kind of culture at our shows to unite against fear in a way and we feel really strongly about setting the example to our listeners that everything happens for a reason, nothing worth having comes easy and there is always a light at the end of the tunnel.
Will we ever see a video for “Thank You & Goodnight?
Probably not; no! Sorry to disappoint!
What was your first tour in the USA like? Have you found a favorite food/drink/etc here that you can’t get back home?
I seriously had the time of my life. It was the first time we’d left Australia on tour and it felt like nothing else. I really love Baby Swiss Cheezits, Sunchips, Chipotle, Grape Juice, white chocolate coated Oreos and Denny’s. I love Denny’s. Basically all your junk food because it’s totally excessive and delicious!
What are some of your favorite venues/cities/countries that you like to play in? Any standout experiences that you’ve had (good or bad)?
We were lucky enough to play The House of Blues in New Orleans and Orlando and I absolutely loved it there! The Metro Theatre is my favorite venue in Sydney, The Gramercy Theatre in New York, The Academies in the UK and especially Shepherds Bush in London. They were all really feel good places to play!
On that note, which is the best/worst run venues from a production and band point of view?
I think there are far too many poorly run venues to list and I think we’ve played in almost 90% of them [laughs]. But I will say that everywhere we played in Europe was extremely accommodating!
A good amount of Australia bands have found success here in the United States, such as Parkway Drive, Hands Like Houses, The Amity Affliction I Killed The Prom Queen, etc. What are some artists from Australia that you think people here in America are going to respond really well to?
Our friends Skyway from the Gold Coast and Northlane from Sydney!
Do you guys get tired of the constant comparisons to Paramore?
I can’t remember the last time that happened actually. It’s been wearing off for a while now.
If the opportunity presented itself, would you have Hayley Williams do guest vocals on the next record?
Not unless we recorded a super group girl power song with Tay, Sierra, Hayley and me [laughs].
Last question: What is one book AND one band that you’d personally recommend to anyone that listens to Tonight Alive and what reasons do you have to support your choices?
Man I could answer this question 10 different ways and I know the boys would answer very differently because they’re big readers [laughs].. But I love love love ‘The Perks of Being a Wallflower’ and Jack’s Mannequin. I just think both of them are so honest and real. There’s nothing preconceived or pretentious about the way ‘Perks’ is written and I feel really connected and open minded to Andrew McMahon.