We caught up with All That Remains bassist Jeanne Sagan and drummer Jason Costa on the Lowell, MA stop of the Rock Allegiance Tour this past weekend. They graciously let us invade their bus to talk about touring, life on the road, and why it’s better to interview together.
Examiner: How has Rock Allegiance been so far?
Jeanne Sagan: It’s been interesting, we’ve done shows with Volbeat but we’ve never done show with HIM. So it’s kind of interesting to see the mixed crowds that are showing up. It’s been fun.
E: The tour is about to wrap up this weekend in NY; looking back what has been a highlight from this tour for you?
JS: Oh man, probably the Aftershock Festival we played in Sacramento, CA. We were supposed to play the main stage but our bus broke down on the way there. It just worked out that we ended up headlining the second stage and it was just amazing because we really got to see who was there for us; they had to go out of their way.
Jason Costa: That was the best vibe.
JS: It was great.
JC: And we were playing forty minute long sets so it was nice to play for almost an hour; it was fun.
E: There were a few times were Phil needed to rest his voice and one show where you didn’t play. How’s he doing with that, going strong now?
JS: He’s fine. He just needs to take his heartburn medicine and that’s really all it is. He just started the tour forgetting about how to tour. That was like within the first week that he lost his voice. He’s fine now. I think he learned from that experience, hopefully.
E: Recently you got to pay in countries like South America and Brazil. Had you played there before, what was it like?
JS: No. We’ve done some shows in Mexico, but it was neat to go down to South America. The only thing about those tours is you have to fly every place. So it’s like you play, you get back to the hotel by like midnight or 1 AM and then you have 4 AM lobby call to fly to the next place. You keep doing that and it’s really tiring.
JC: Literally two hours of sleep every night.
JS: But the fans there are as ravenous as people here. They were amazing and it was really cool. I wish we had more time to actually look around.
JC: We walked around Chile one day and Chile is absolutely one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. It would have been nice to explore other places like Argentina.
E: Is there any place you haven’t been yet that you’d like to play?
JS: South America was on that list.
JC: I’ve been pretty much everywhere I wanted to go. There are always other places that you don’t know about that are beautiful that someone will tell you about and you’re like ‘oh I wish we could go there.’ We haven’t been to Asia yet; we haven’t done that little circuit yet like China… and…what else…Thailand.
JS: We have cobwebs today. This is why we have to tag team this.
E: That’s alright, I’m sure it’s been a long crazy tour.
JC: There was some drinking last night.
JS: I went and saw Asking Alexandria last night, so I had a few too many shots with those guys.
E: Always fun to do! Speaking of Asking Alexandria, you’re going to be heading out on tour with them next. What can fans expect from that tour?
JC: I’m going to end up in the hospital, it’s with Sevendust.
JS: It’s going to be great. I’ve only met a couple people in Emmure and I’ve never met anyone in For Today but it’s going to be really fun. It’s going to be hard to play after Sevendust some nights.
JC: Of course, they’re really good. Even if you don’t like Sevendust and you’re not fan, people will still say ‘I don’t really love them but man they’re really good.’ It’ll be a nice challenge going on after them sometimes.
JS: It’s going to be really good vibes.
JC: Yeah, all the band like each other.
E: Awesome; so you’ll most likely be touring into next year and A War You Cannot Win just dropped last fall. When do you start thinking about writing and getting new ideas for a record? Are you always continuously writing or does there come a time when you all sit down and say ‘okay, we need to start focusing on that?’
JS: We started thinking about it, but we’re not big writers on tour. Oli, definitely though; once it’s implanted in his head he’ll just sit there and work on stuff.
JC: He records all of his guitar riff and everything, and he puts it all on computer. Then he comes to rehearsal and he’s like ‘here’s this and that, we might be able to do this’ and we just hammer it all out. We don’t really in general do too much writing on tour.
JS: I feel like we’re good last minute crammers.
JC: Yeah we work decent under pressure.
JS: Through the last six albums, I think we kind of figured it out. That mentality works, we just go straight in like ‘get it done!’
JC: When it comes time to write and album, it’s a lot of work. Like me, I drive two hours to rehearsal, then we rehearse for four hours and then I have to drive two hours back home; four days a week.
E: I have to ask, since you’re from New England, are you big sports fans and what are you favorite teams?
JS: Bruins! I’m going to the game on Thursday against the (Tampa Bay) Lightning, I think it’s the first game of the season.
E: Yes it is, should be a good game, they’re a decent team. Bruins games are great in general. What about you Jason?
JC: All of them. You have to say that if you’re from Boston.
E: Right, you have to root for them all no matter what.
JC: We’ll we’re lucky in Boston because our teams are good in general.
JS: We’ll watch a lot as long as we get NESN, because a lot of times we don’t get it. We don’t have satellite today so we’re watching movies.
JC: Yeah if you park too close to the building sometimes it interrupts the satellite. So we have DVDs.
E: Netflix is good too.
JS: I have Velcro on the back of my phone and I lie in my bunk and watch Netflix with the phone on my ceiling.
JC: You can get a cord and plug it into your DVD player in your bunk.
E: Jeanne you have a DVD player in your bunk? That’s pretty cool.
JS: You want to check it out? I can show you mine.
JC: Feel free. It’s a little messy; it’s the end of tour so this is six weeks worth of crap in here.
JS: Ten people live on this bus so…
E: That’s a lot of people sharing a small space, especially a bathroom.
JC: Well the nice thing is we have a shower on the bus but a lot of the venues have showers in them too. By the time the bands wakes up the crew has already showered so it’s usually just like ‘does anyone have to pee? I’m going to take a shower.’ Everyone’s really courteous in this band too like if someone’s taking a shower they’re in and out real quick. You kind of have to anyways because there’s not an infinite amount of water on a bus, so when you shampoo, turn it off, that kind of thing.
JS: I battle with that because I hate being cold. When you turn it off and then turn it back on its cold water and I’m like ‘ahhh!’ until it warms up.
JC: You just put it up all the way and it doesn’t come out cold.
JS: Yeah but then your skin bubbles.
JC: No you turn it up all the way and turn it down real quick and that’s when it stays warm. Tour tricks.
JS: See, interviews are way better when you double team it.