Photo by Bella Howard
LA rock band Weathers discuss their new album, mental health, their latest single “Dirty Money” and what’s next for the band.
Interview by Emily May
Weathers burst onto the scene with their singe “Happy Pills” in 2010, which was the most added song on alternative radio on its impact date, received the most adds for a new artist in the 2010s and peaked at No. 21 on the Billboard Alternative Songs chart and have been steadily creating a buzz in the alt-rock scene. Consisting of Cameron Boyer (vocals/rhythm guitar), Cameron Olsen (lead guitar/vocals), Cole Carson (drums) and Brennan Bates (bass/keys/vocals), the band recently released their latest album Kids In The Night on June 28th via RCA Records, working with producer Tim Pagnotta (Walk The Moon/Neon Trees). The album was preceded by two EPs, Kids In The Night Pt 1 and Pt 2, in an effort to build momentum and embrace their reinvented sound. Although the band started out embracing a darker theme, their 2016 tour opened their eyes to different perspectives of life which caused the band to want to have more fun creatively. Themes of mental health and the view that “it’s ok to not be ok” are present in the band’s music, with their latest single “Dirty Money” exploring the relationship between mental health and success. Aiming to make Weathers bigger then just music, the band is hoping to create a lifestyle and community around the band. Weathers is currently on tour with Magic Giant and Castlecomer, after which they will be headed out on a headlining tour with support from Overstreet and Ariana & The Rose. Staff writer Emily May spoke recently by email with singer Cameron Boyer about the new album, mental health, their latest single “Dirty Money” and their change in sound. You can follow Weathers and stay up-to-date with all tour and music news via the following links. Check out the videos for “Dirty Money” and “Problems” below.
iTunes/Apple Music- https://itunes.apple.
You chose your band name as a result of being friends and seeing how you have all grown and changed over the years. In what ways do you feel that you have grown and changed, both personally and artistically? Do you feel that there is still growth that you are hoping to achieve going forward?
We think that artistically, first, when I (Boyer) was younger, I primarily focused on darker aspects of life and that would result in our music sounding a lot darker. Over the recent years I feel like I’ve grown to see the more positive side of things and want that to translate through our music. I suppose that could be an answer for both personally and artistically. I learned that type of mentality by focusing more on myself and figuring out who I am vs how others view me.
When you first started out as a band, your rule for making an album was that every song had to be dark. Your tour with Saint Motel changed your perspective. What do you feel it was about that tour and your experiences on it that made you guys veer in a different and more positive direction musically?
The Saint Motel tour, being our first cross country tour, opened our eyes to different perspectives of life, and because of that we wanted to have more fun creatively as opposed to being in our own little dark bubble. Traveling cross country and experiencing so many new things for the first time encouraged us to open ourselves up to new perspectives, not only personally but artistically as well.
A lot of your music is geared towards the theme of mental health and the idea that it’s “ok to not be ok”. As a theme that definitely resonates with a lot of people, have you had any especially memorable interactions with fans who have identified personally with your lyrics and shared their stories with you?
Very often the band and I will get messages on Instagram where a fan or a friend of their’s has battled mental illness and has shared with us that our music has helped them in some way or another. For us, it is very humbling to know that someone out there has listened to our music and has found comfort in our music. It’s amazing. The album is intended, in concept, to be very simple in that you can turn a bad experience into a learning experience and therefore a positive experience.
After the Saint Motel tour, you tapped into your own personal experiences and discovered a sense of empowerment and self-acceptance. How has that journey been for you and how do you feel that music has helped you to express those experiences along the way?
That sense of empowerment actually came before the Saint Motel tour. I was in a relationship on and off for roughly 6 years and that person was my best friend and my go to for everything. In a lot of ways we grew up together. She ended up being unfaithful, which forced me into focusing inward for a while to take care of myself first as opposed to focusing on anyone else. I needed that time to figure out more about me, which I think is important for anyone to do. It took me about 2 years to do that, and if it wasn’t for those 2 years, I wouldn’t have found the self confidence that I needed to put one foot in front of the other.
You are really focused as a band on your merch and coming up with new ideas and building a brand for Weathers. What inspired this approach? Do you tend to brainstorm and execute ideas amongst yourselves or do you collaborate with artists outside of the band for merch ideas? How did your love for fashion develop?
We want Weathers to be bigger then just music. We want Weathers to be a lifestyle and a community. The inspiration is our past and turning that loneliness that we’ve experienced and that many others experienced into an understanding, that you are not alone and that there are others, just like us, just like you, that are going through the same shit as every member of this band. Collaboration is a bit of both. The band definitely discuss lyrics to what props to use in a music video, so it’s fairly democratic. We take inspiration from other artists of course, but just as important is shared ideas of those closest to us personally. My fashion sense? I couldn’t tell ya. I like what I like. I can’t think of a moment or someone that was a catalyst for how I dress. But we can all agree that David Bowie and Freddie Mercury are the best dressed men of all time.
You have several music videos for your songs! Do you have ideas for the videos going into the filming of them or do you collaborate and figure out ideas once you start? You directed the videos for “The Night Is Calling”, “1983” and “Problems” with an old friend of yours. Do you plan to direct more of the band’s videos going forward? What do you love about directing?
The planning stage of a video starts way ahead of time. There’s a lot of prep that goes into a video. Figuring it out as we go would likely be a disaster. I’d say on average, it takes 1-2 months of planning before we start shooting a video. Of course I would love to do more videos for the band. Writing and directing for me isn’t just a side gig, it’s just as much a passion for me as music. If I had more time, I would invest a lot more into it, which eventually I will.
You guys wrote a song for the award-winning indie film Mary Loss Of Soul a few years ago. How did that opportunity come about and are you hoping/have plans to write music for films going forward?
First of all, how did you find out about this?! That’s impressive! The opportunity arose when a friend of mine was the lead actress in the film. She asked us to write a song and so we did. And yes of course we would love to sync more songs to films!
You recently released your latest single “Dirty Money” which explores the relationship between mental health and success. What has that relationship been like for you guys and how do you keep things in perspective and take care of your mental health? How do you feel that your lives have changed, if at all, with your growing success?
Well, to break it down, the song is about egos and the battle of one’s inner demons of being in a band at such a young age. For us, imagine being in a van, traveling the world, sleeping very little, eating gas station food and realizing that despite our perceived success, we’re still not even close to where we want to be. So that struggle is real. We want to be the biggest band in the world, and getting there won’t be easy, especially on our own egos. With that said, and this is as honest as I can be, the fans truly make it worthwhile. Playing a show, whether it’s 50 kids or 1500, when they sing along, that shitty gas station food is all of sudden gourmet dining.
Your latest album ‘Kids In The Night’ was released last year and was preceded by 2 EPs, ‘Kids In The Night’ parts 1 and 2. What made you decide to release 2 EPs and and album so close together?
The idea was to build momentum, that we were back, that after Happy Pills which was released 2 years earlier, to give out some appetizers before the main course. When we released the teasers for the first EP, the reaction was very rewarding. It built such excitement not only for our fans but for ourselves as well. That lead into our sold out show at The Troubadour which obviously put us on cloud 9.
You are currently on tour opening for Magic Giant and will then be heading out on a headlining tour. What have been some highlights of your tour with Magic Giant and what are you looking forward to with your headlining shows?
Highlights are seeing old fans and making new ones. The Magic Giant and Castlecomer guys have been great to us. Making new friendships and new memories is definitely a highlight. We’re excited for the headlining run because to be quite honest, everything will be on our terms. How long we play, how we interact with the fans both on and off the stage, to production (sound and lighting) to bringing out Overstreet and Ariana & The Rose, who we’re fans of, along with us.
What’s next for Weathers?
More touring, more music, more merch, more videos, more fun. We truly believe 2019 will be a benchmark year for Weathers.