Speaking backstage at their sold out London show, Against The Current talk about not fitting in. Words: Ali Shutler
“I feel like we’re in a pretty good place right now. We’re working things out,” says Will Ferri backstage of London’s Islington Academy. “We’re finding our style and our niche,” Chrissy Constanza adds before checking she’s pronouncing it correctly. “We’re definitely evolving as a band.”
A few minutes earlier Against The Current were bringing their, “dream show” to a close. It was an evening punctuated by Co2 cannons and confetti but as the twisting snap of ‘Another You (Another Way)’ draws the curtain, there’s a sense that this is a band with so much more to say.
Against The Current are a month into a world tour that’s just kept growing. They’ve hit mainland Europe and Asia, with the rest of the UK and America still to come. “People say that this sounds like a long tour but we’re planning 2016 and it’s going to be a lot longer,” promises Chrissy. “This is baby steps compared to next year”
”It’s always exciting. The bigger the show, the more excited we are,” starts Will. “We like headlining because even if you’re supporting an awesome band and you connect with that band’s fans, it’s not the same as being in a room with your people. You’re all there for the same purpose. We all connect,” reviews Chrissy. “I would rather play this show again than play a show to 3000 people, where no one gave a shit about us. Tonight was electric.”
“We try to bring everyone together at the live shows. Best friends have met through our music and that’s awesome,” offers Will. “When I go to a show and I get goosebumps during a moment in the set, that’s when I know a band is truly great and doing it right. It’s that moment you go ‘this is amazing’. We want to give everyone goosebumps.”
“We want them to have that feeling where the band is connecting to you as much as you are with them. A lot of our songs have a positive message. We’re not a band promoting a lot of the things that some bands do. We’re always promoting positivity. We want our fans to feel better when they leave our shows.” Chrissy questions the idea of her band saving people but she does, “really want them to have that feeling when they leave a show that something about them is better. That they’ve connected and felt something because we feel like that, especially with shows like this.”
That message is proudly held aloft on current single ‘Outsiders’. It’s the first track from their upcoming album and “sets the tone and the pace” for the record, exploring the “concept of being an outsider but doing it in a positive way. Owning that you’re different and that that’s actually a good thing.”
Introducing the song onstage, before filming a video for it, Chrissy declares, “There are no standards. There are no rules. There are no paths.” It’s a sentiment the band themselves embody. Causing a fuss with cover versions and playing with genre, Against The Current don’t fit in.
Before the band take to the stage, Fall Out Boy’s ‘Centuries’ is aired over the speakers and the crowd embrace it wholeheartedly. Taylor Swift’s ‘Bad Blood’ is met with the same reaction. Bring Me The Horizon, You Me At Six, Miley Cyrus and The Weeknd all garner the same response from everyone present.
“I feel like that’s what makes an Against The Current song, just the fact it doesn’t fit in a box. You can’t jam it in a box, it always exceeds those limits but it stays within the realm of what’s us. I think it’s cool we have that ability to sway from side to side. I think that’s why our fans our so diverse. We’re trying to reach everyone. Everyone living currently, we’re trying to connect to in some way,” declares Will. “We haven’t ever really defined our sound because if we write a song and it feels like it’s us, then it’s us. It’s just being true to who we are.”
On record there’s a sheen to the band but on stage, everything’s more rugged. From the snarling introduction of ‘Talk’, through the assured stomp of ‘Paralyzed’ until the lofty ambition of ‘Brighter’, there’s more than just huge choruses. Live, it’s their chemistry that shines. The trio play off each other, yet manage to include the audience in their games. Beneath that, though, there’s something very real to hold onto. Now we just have to wait to see what direction they build it in.
The band’s debut album is recorded and is in the process of being mixed. “I definitely thought I’d be really annoyed this whole tour, wanting to play the new ones but I haven’t,” admits Chrissy. “Every mix we get back varies so much from the last one we heard. We haven’t played the new ones live yet so we don’t know what they feel like.”
“It’s going to be a big change once we start playing those songs live,” ventures Will. “We want to feel we’re doing something different and new.”
“We’re just genuine,” reasons Chrissy. “We are who we are and we’re not trying to be anything else. We’re not trying to make ourselves look, sound or act like this. To quote ‘Outsiders’, “This is who we really are.” It genuinely is. We don’t hide anything. We’re just us and that’s something people relate to because it’s refreshing to know someone. We want people to feel comfortable and safe with us. We want to create a positive atmosphere with our fans, but not in a corny, cheesy way. I think that’s something that’s hard to find.”
Against The Current‘s ‘Gravity‘ World tour is still in full swing. Dates below.
08 King Tuts – Glasgow, Scotland
09 Asylum – Birmingham, England
10 Manchester Club Academy – Manchester, England
11 Joiners – Southampton, England
12 Clvb Ifor Bach – Cardiff, Wales
13 Academy 2 – Dublin, Ireland
22 Crofoot Pike Room – Pontiac, MI
23 Mod Club – Toronto, ON
24 Subterranean – Chicago, IL
25 Triple Rock Social Club – Minneapolis, MN
27 Marquis Theatre – Denver, CO
28 Music Garage – Salt Lake City, UT
30 Rio Theatre – Vancouver, BC
31 El Corazon – Seattle, WA
01 Alhambra Theater – Portland, OR
03 Bottom Of The Hill – San Francisco, CA
05 The Roxy – Los Angeles, CA
06 Chain Reaction – Anaheim, CA
07 House Of Blues – San Diego, CA
08 Pub Rock – Scottsdale, AZ
10 Walters – Houston, TX
11 House Of Blues – Dallas, TX
13 Rocketown – Nashville, TN
14 Masquerade – Atlanta, GA
15 The Social – Orlando, FL
17 Jammin’ Java – Vienna, VA
19 World Cafe Live – Philadelphia, PA
20 Webster Hall – New York, NY
21 Brighton Music Hall – Boston, MA
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