With Confidence have been making waves recently across the alternative music scene, most notably with the release of their debut album 'Better Weather' in June 2016. Having formed in Sydney, Australia in 2012, the band began to upload videos to YouTube and released their debut single in 2013. Singer and bassist Jayden Seeley and guitarist Luke Rockets sat down with GoldenPlec to discuss the turning point, when things really started to take off and some of the obstacles they have met along the way.
Breaking the U.S. is a big feat for any band, however With Confidence are successfully building a strong fan base over here. Comparing their current tour with State Champs, Don Broco and Against The Current to their previous experiences in the U.S. Seeley says, “we did Warped Tour last year but this is a totally different experience. We’re in the cities [this time around]. And since Warped Tour we’ve noticed and exponential rise in people who actually know who we are and have been really getting into the set and singing along.” On the note of this tour, having four bands with already substantial fan-bases might be a risky move, however the guys confidently express how well everyone has been getting on, “it’s a big family.”
The debut album has done impressively well and has been consistently gaining attention. Seeley explains that it’s been a bit of a whirlwind. “It’s gone a lot better than we ever anticipated. It just kind of took off internationally.”
Rockets adds how “it has exceeded expectations. Looking back over the year, there’s not a thing I’d want to change about the album or the tours we’ve done. I’m trying to plan what we’re gonna do to celebrate the anniversary for the album. When we released it we had a big party in L.A. at the house of the A&R guy at our label. We had a jumping castle, a Mexican food station, endless beers and spirits. So if we can top that...”
To which Seeley responds, “I don’t think we can top that... but we’ll do something!”
The pair mention that getting an American label (Hopeless Records) was an important moment towards their ongoing and ever-increasing relationship with America. Speaking fondly of the music scene back home, Rockets explains, “When we were starting to tour nationally we’d just make friends in every city and when we’d come through we’d crash at their place [and vice versa]. It’s very DIY and bands helping other bands. We’ve got a strong music scene back home.”
To which Seeley adds, “it’s always hard for any sort of local scene because it is an island that’s so far from everything. It’s very expensive for us to come over to the U.S. or the U.K or wherever it may be. But, we just kept pushing and tried to widen the audience and eventually it was just feasible to do it. I think any band can do it you just gotta work hard enough and keep pushing.”
In January of 2016, With Confidence announced that they were signing to Hopeless Records after a few months of discussions. Hopeless is known for the strength of its roster both old and new with the likes of Sum 41, Neck Deep, Enter Shikari among many others currently signed to them – they are also known for signing All Time Low whilst the band were still in high school (the band have since moved to Fuelled By Ramen). The pair explain how quickly the signing happened and how it took them by surprise. “They reached out to us and set up our first initial phone call,” Rockets explains. “I remember we were in my parents’ kitchen at like five in the morning because we were trying to coordinate the time difference. That was crazy for us, because we knew there was interest with them reaching out but we didn’t expect them to offer us a deal straight away, which they did. It hasn’t slowed down since, they’ve been great and we’ve been working ever since.”
Seeley also explains how important it is that the label understand where they’re coming from musically. “With any label, with anyone you’re working with, for any band it’s so important for that person to be enthusiastic and genuine about the music, and excited about what you’re putting out. I think the best thing about Hopeless was that they, initially, and still to this day have been so excited with what we’re doing.”
No matter how amicable any scene is, there are always going to be a few bad eggs. With Confidence discuss the problem of people crossing the line in the crowd and getting too riled up and possibly starting to fight. Although they say it’s not particularly a problem at their shows, they talk about the balance of having a crowd that is excited and energetic, but also respectful to one another. Seeley says that it can depend on the type of music. “We always want the crowd to get rowdy, we always want people pushing each other around, crowdsurfing – but safely. When I’m at a show and someone jumps or falls on me, I’ll know that the mosh is rough and this is how it is and I’ll help that person and it’s about the crowd helping each other to have a good time and going in knowing it’s going to get a bit rough and that’s okay – that’s what the show is. But it’s when people don’t understand that or people come in wanting to start trouble, say somebody pushes the wrong way and they’re not there to have fun so they’ll throw a punch. That we’re not okay with, it’s a really shitty thing to do in a place and an environment that’s meant to be safe and meant to be fun, you’re meant to all be there for the same reason and just sometimes there’s the trouble makers.”
Although With Confidence luckily don’t have to deal with this too much at their own shows, they did run into some bad luck back in March when two of their guitars were stolen at a gig. Rockets talks us through that ordeal. “The CCTV footage is there. The back of that venue has a very easy access point which should not be accessible to the public and the gear was in storage and as we were getting ready for the set guitars went missing, pedal boards went missing, etc. We reviewed the CCTV footage and sure enough some dude in a big puffer jacket came in and takes guitars.” However, they were able to play the show with a little help from the other bands on the tour, “thankfully Broadside and Safe to Say lent us gear.” There's not really a better way to describe these kinds of events than Seeley puts it, “it’s just a shit thing to do to bands.”
Their perpetual touring cycle hasn’t stopped them from writing. As we speak, guitarist Inigo Del Carmen is sat beside us writing in a notebook. “It’s important that as soon as you have an idea you jot it down,” Seeley explains. “Whether it’s the whole piece or just an idea you can come back to. Because we do want this next album to be a big step up and I think from what me and Ini have come up with in the past couple of months it will be.”
All in all, it looks like the last year has just been a sign of things to come for the band. As well the shining debut, their live show also proves why they are one of the most talked about bands in the scene – originality and skill clear throughout. Also, their modesty and down-to-earth nature really shines through when speaking to them. There’s no sign of slowing down either, With Confidence have a tour in Australia coming up and then some shows in the UK, Germany and the Netherlands in the autumn.