DS Exclusive Interview:  Dan O’Connor (Four Year Strong) on growing up and growing beards

DS Exclusive Interview: Dan O’Connor (Four Year Strong) on growing up and growing beards

There is absolutely no doubt that 2011 has been a huge year for the juggernaut that is Four Year Strong.  It’s included the highs of playing to the biggest crowds in their career  to the lows of fan backlash and burnout.  Either way it’s moved the band forward to “In Some Way, Shape or Form,” an album that sounds nothing like Four Year Strong but sounds exactly like a Four Year Strong album.

We sent some questions to Dan O’Connor about the new album, growing up, moving on and the bands beard-growing super power.  Read the full interview here.

Four Year Strong just dropped the new album “In Some Way, Shape or Form.”  What’s next for you?

We’re touring in support of the album and doing what we do.  We are a band who has a touring heart.

How would you describe the new direction with “In Some Way, Shape Or Form?”

The new record definitely changed some things up.  We didn’t know what we were going to come up with.  We just wanted to do something new.  It’s definitely a little darker than our last album.  We wanted to make sure every instrument had its moments and wanted to evolve our sound.

Have you grown up since FYS started?

In every way.  When we started this band we were just a bunch of high school kids trying to make music.  Now we have all became adults, and I’m married now.  It only makes sense we would grow and mature with age.

I hear Queen influences on “Only The Meek Get Pinched.”  How did this song came about?

Alan started writing the song and then brought it to me and the rest of the guys.  We knew off bat we wanted it to be the last one on the record.  It’s got a lot more classic riffing with the piano, we went out of our way to create that vibe.

FYS has been openly honest about how in the lead up to the new album the band struggled to maintain your personal relationships as a result of tour burnout.  Having looked at your upcoming tour dates, you are on the road just as much as ever?

I think a lot of the tour burnout we went through was because the relationships in the band were strained.  We talked a lot of the things out.  We are actually not touring as much.  We are trying not to spread ourselves out too thin this time around.

What would you have done differently to avoid going down that same road with the release of the new album?

I don’t think there’s anything I would have done differently, because we wouldn’t be where we are today without that.  Even the bad decisions have led up to great things.

Any advice for musicians out there trying to make it?

I would tell them to make sure you do things for yourself.  Don’t wait around hoping you’re going to get discovered.  Make your own luck if you really want it bad enough.

Four Year Strong are headed to Brazil in the new year.  It’s not a commonly travelled road; can you tell me what about this part of the world that you are most looking forward to?

I’m really looking forward to meeting the fans.  I heard the crowds are crazy in Brazil and that everyone has so much energy.  I’m excited to just to meet the kids and play for them and to see how crazy it gets!

Four Year Strong was once described to me as “the best bearded band in the biz.”  What is your secret to such abundant facial hair?  Can you provide any words of motivation to those men who can only muster patchy beards and bum fluff chins?

All I can say is there’s really no secret.  The only secret is don’t shave.  Some are born with talents or a beautiful face.  I was born with fur.  You gotta count your blessings in this world.

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