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Wednesday, February 28th
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TreatyA year after releasing their debut album “Sweet Dreams Sucker”, Treaty of Paris has lived up to the expectations of being the first band on Andrew McMahon’s record label. One of Chicago’s best local bands, Treaty is gearing up for an opening spot on Jack’s Mannequin’s headlining tour this fall. During the New Jersey date of their tour with Straylight Run, we caught up with drummer Chris and guitarist Phil on the whereabouts of this up and coming band.

Cristina: “Sweet Dreams, Sucker” came out a year ago…
Chris: Already?!
Phil: That’s weird.
Chris: Scary

CC: So how has the band changed since then…
C: We’ve toured a lot. Before going on the road for this tour, I was at home talking to my mom about the band. I did my cliché year assessment, like what was I doing a year ago today, and we’ve been touring a lot. I guess that’s it. That has been the most important part, specially the fall and spring. We did Warped Tour, a run with The Spill Canvas and Yellowcard. A lot has happened tourwise and I guess that’s what our goal was – to tour most of last year.

CC: I know before this year you had a huge fan base in Chicago…
P: *laughs* You could say that…

CC: So how has this past year helped you grow from that?
P: We were on Warped! We’ve only played in some of those cities maybe once, or some of them we’ve never been to. Before we thought, “Oh this is going to be awful!” But it was just insane. Basically, for every show we had a couple hundred kids watching us. At first we had like twenty, and we were playing in this huge stage…
C: Yeah we thought it would be so awkward.
P: Yeah, but once these bands would stat playing around us that drew on a huge crowd. Kids were just coming out of nowhere…
CC: Well, that’s Warped for you.
P: *laughs* It was such an “Oh My God” this is insane moment!
C: It was definitely crazy. We were playing in the Smart Punk stage with these huge bands, some of which we’ve never met before and some which we’re huge fans of. It was extremely exciting just to be there.
P: That was the first experience where I felt like we were a real band. We’re on this huge, awesome tour. It was a good feeling. Like, we’re finally where we’ve been working so hard to get.

CC: But you guys have been doing Bamboozle for two years now…
C: Bambozzle is crazy. Especially this year, it was extremely cold, really rainy.
P: And we were playing between Paramore and Jimmy Eat World.
C: We thought it was going to be tough, but by show time we had around 150 kids waiting for us.
P: Yeah, probably more. It was awesome. But then some people starting leaving when Paramore probably walked out.
C: *laughs* But we still drew this huge crowd, which was even better than we would have ever imagined.
P: Yeah we had an amazing opportunity.

CC: So how was this Warped experience so striking for the band if you have been playing in the same type of festival setting for Bamboozle?
C: It’s Warped! We grew up with the whole idea of Warped.
CC: true, Bamboozle is more of an East Coast thing
C: Exactly. As a kid growing up, wanting to be a musician, Warped is an ultimate goal. So to actually be on the tour and be part of the wole experience was surreal…
P: Like we would be going for breakfast and see As I Lay Dying. We had press at the same time as Angels & Airwaves. So Tom would be there and we would try to focus on our interview. It’s like Warped proved to us that we’re on the right path as a band.
CC: Yeah, I guess you guys are doing all right.
P: Yeah, not too bad. The tour we have coming up we’re excited about.

CC: Finally, a tour with Jack’s Mannequin…
P: Yes Finally. You will get to see us with Jack’s.
C: It’s been in the works for a while. When we first signed with Andrew his first thing was, obviously, we have to tour together. We set it up and then it got pushed back because his record was going to be released later than expected. Then he was doing some things that we weren’t sure if we would be involved with. We had no idea if he was going to do a big or small tour, or anything for that matter. So we wanted to leave our options open because we didn’t know. But when we finally got the call we were so excited.
P: Here’s the thing. We were all in bands before, we all knew how the business worked. We honestly worked our asses off. Finally after an email on myspace, I contacted Casper [Jack’s Mannequin’s Tour Manager]. At first, Andrew wasn’t even interested in us.
C: Yeah, at first he was like “this isn’t my thing.”
P: But then we met him in Chicago, and it honestly felt like family. Next thing we know, we get a call saying “Andrew changed his mind, he wants to sign you.” Then we are opening up for Jack’s at the House of Blues in Chicago…
C: Now he had never seen us play before. By the way. Not even one note. He heard our Acoustic EP but he had never heard us play live. We signed our contract about 20 minutes before we walked on stage. We took a group picture with everyone. We went on stage and he announced us, and we were like “here we go, this is it.”
P: I think he said something to us, literally as we were walking on stage, like “I hope you guys don’t suck.”
C: Yeah, and it didn’t help that Mike [lead singer] was deathly ill.

CC: That’s ironic. I honestly love your CD, I think it’s incredible. But, some people criticize the CD, saying it is too pop-ish. Then, they change their minds when they see Treaty play live…
P: Honestly, we feel that way too. For example, after we did the Yellowcard tour, in Orlando most remarkably, we sold 250 records after the show. We were selling records on that tour like crazy. Maybe people won’t get our music through our CD, so we have to tour and tour so people can get a through sense of our music.
C: The thing is that playing live is one of the biggest compliments we can get. Most kids go see a band after falling in love with a record and they are disappointed. For us to prove that we are even better live is really important.
P: We knew this was going to be a very long process that would involve a lot of touring.
C: Yeah, it’s almost like we’re starting from year one. Really, it’s almost like we’re starting from scratch. The process doesn’t just start with signing a record deal. It’s about putting yourself out there.

CC: So are there any plans for a new record anytime soon?
P: Right now we have about ten songs, but we have to record them at home. Again, we are working on a new deal with some people. So yes there will be a record soon but I don’t know how soon.
C: We’re hoping sometime early next year, maybe spring.
P: In a perfect world, we would announce the date for our new CD at Bamboozle and then release it and promote it during Warped. That’s if we get the opportunity to play at Bamboozle again.
CC: Oh come on. You guys played two years in a row. There are some unexpected bands that played Bamboozle a couple of years in a row like the Jonas Brothers…
C: *laughs* I actually have a story about them. So we were on a plane to New Jersey around that time two years ago and I sit next to Nick, I think it was. So we talk for a while. I play him “Rollerskates” and he plays me some of his music. Of course, he loved our stuff.
CC: You could get some many new fans if you advertised the fact that the Jonas Brothers loved your stuff.
P: Yeah, it’s funny that they’re selling out arenas now. You should’ve gotten his number.
C: Nick, remember me?! From the plane! We talked!
CC: And we would’ve seen a tour with the Jonas Brothers then?
P: Of course! We would’ve played with them in a heartbeat.
C: *laughs* But that would drastically change our fan base.

CC: Any interesting tour stories, apart from meeting Nick Jonas on a plane?
C: The Spill Canvas was awesome. Phil had to leave the tour for a little while at the end, and we were stuck because we’re used to playing our songs with two guitar parts. It’s not that we can’t but we prefer it that way. Dan from The Spill Canvas was nice enough to learn a couple of our songs and play the last few dates with us. We have really good relationships with bands we’ve played in the past, like playradioplay!, Ludo, and Spill Canvas. We have a lot of fun on tour.

CC: I bet, you guys honestly have some of the funniest road videos on youtube.
P: *laughs* I’m glad people actually watch those.

CC: I guess that brings up another point – your fans. It seems like you guys have a good relationship with them
P: We have fun. We’ll put you on one after this!
C: Yes! Honestly it’s the most important thing. Hanging out with your fans, and keeping in touch with them through email and myspace is really cool. It’s just really important. I mean, I know every band says this but we would honestly be nothing without them.

CC: Your fans are mostly concentrated in the Chicago area, but people around the East or West might not know you as well, so how are you guys trying to build from that?
P: Yeah, we’re the type of band that likes to hang out with everyone. We just want to meet people. I guess our ultimate goal is to have everyone know who we are and love our music.
C: World Domination!

CC: You guys switched bass players not so long ago.
P: Yeah, we had Brandon who decided, at the end of the Yellowcard tour, decided to be home with his girlfriend and wasn’t into it. We still love him, no hard feelings, but he decided it wasn’t for him. Nick just loves being on tour. He wants to be with us, he loves to play. He fit in nicely with the rest of the band.

CC: So it wasn’t a challenge trying to fit him into the live performances or…
P: Not at all.
C: He even raised the standard for the rest of us.
P: I remember the first show, he war hardcore rocking out, with his hair all over his face. So then we all started to move around more and it’s a ton of fun.

CC: Do you have any preshow rituals a band, now that you’re all more hardcore than before.
P: *laughs* Well, we huddle.
C: We cheer, and put our hands in.
P: Chris, you do push ups.
C: Umm yeah, I warm up.
P: And we swear a lot. But you probably shouldn’t record that. We try to sound all hardcore, nothing exciting, nothing wild. I guess we do more “wild” things on stage.

CC: Oh, do tell.
P: Some of the guys came practically naked on stage once dancing like robots.
C: We’re big on tour pranks too.
P: The Frantic and us had some fun. They actually went to the venue early and told the venue to put a sign up saying the show was canceled. When we got there they’re screaming “psyche!” Then we of course wrapped their car in saran wrap and put Vaseline under the handles. They put a sign on our trailer that said “Honk if you’re horny for men, love, The Frantic.”
CC: I’m excited for the last night of the Jack’s tour then.
P: Oh yeah. Andrew is big on pranks. We’ll have a ton of fun.

CC: So cliché last question, where is Treaty of Paris in the next five years.
C: Touring.
P: We didn’t break up. We’re together touring the world, sharing our music with our fans. I’ll probably have to pay Chris’s house and just take care of each other. But at the same time, I want to maintain the same connection we have with our audience now. I would never want to lose that.

Spencer AbbottCristina Carrazza is the assistant regional head of the Midwest region at Musiqtone. You can reach her at cristinacarrazza@musiqtone.com.

(C) 2008 Musiqtone. All Rights Reserved. Any part of this interview cannot be used without written express consent from both the representatives of Treaty of Paris and Musiqtone.
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