Dan Estrin, January 25, 2004


Written & Photos by: Jason Perlman


Jason: The first time I interviewed you guys about 2 ½ years ago, you were playing in Cleveland because of a radio station gig and were playing with four other bands. Now you’re a platinum-selling, radio-playing everywhere kind of band. What’s the difference been or has there been one?
Dan: I don’t know, I’ve never felt a difference, I just think I learned a lot. I think we’ve all learned a lot over the last two years. Learned about the music industry and learned things about recording, so, I don’t know, I really don’t know how to answer that.


Jason: Going into the second record, there’s obviously a lot of different sounds on it than the first one how much of that is natural progression of maturity and how much of that has been influenced by the outside world once your on the road for a few years?
Dan: About 50/50. I don’t know. We’re traveling around and I think it goes with my answer to the other question, you learn so much about what we’re doing. Before we signed the record deal we didn’t know what the hell what it was all about. I didn’t know the first thing about touring or the first thing about the record industry and now just living happy for a year and I think that has probably something to do with what your next record is going to sound like But also, we don’t get asked a lot of questions that we don’t have answers to. It’s not very deep with us.We just go and do it, that’s really it.


Jason: Was there any thought to the sophomore jinx that some big bands go through? Did that not even cross your mind?
Dan: Yeah, it crossed my mind and we’re not in the clear. The record just came out so, it could flop tomorrow it could flop in a week, who knows? But it’s not really something that we like all sit around and like talk about and we’re honest with each other and we know that fuck, who knows what’s going to happen. On our first record we sold like a million and a thousand but that doesn’t mean that we’re going to sell like 500,000 records on the second record. Hopefully, we’re going to sell 100,000 records, but that just doesn’t mean shit.


Jason: When you go through and you sit at home after the tours over, you’re making the second record, how much did you think back to what has happened to this band? Did you ever see yourself selling a million records?
Dan: Yeah, it’s weird. It’s like while your doing it stuff it just kinda doesn’t really hit you, I don’t think. But then there are times that I’ve been out or I’d go home and it was kinda at that point when I was home in between the two records, it was like over. It was like the coolest shit we ever did was done and it was gone and I never knew it was going to happen again. Would we ever be doing this thing, like would we ever be playing it in front of 60,000 people in Japan again for a festival? And when I watch videos of that shit, I’d go, “Wow, look what I was doing.” I never thought I would be doing this type of stuff and it kinda freaked me out. While it’s happening it doesn’t really hit you. Sometimes it does, like I’ll be standing up on the stage playing once in a while on this Linkin Park tour and I’ll look back and see our backdrop and it’s like this oops thing and I’ll look out and see all the people out there and I’m like, “Fuck man, there’s so many people that would kill to be doing this.” And I would’ve back then and I’m so glad that I got it. It’s awesome. But I still bitch and moan about everything.


Jason: The song 'Out of Control,' did that have anything to do with just a perspective of the band and what was going on? I’m assuming that when you go from where you were to selling a million copies, there’ s gotta be some things that just go on that you have no control over and no idea what’s really happening.
Dan: No, when I write music it just kind of happens, you know. It’s not like I’m writing something because I felt a certain way. Sometimes, it is if I feel a certain way but lyrically I think Doug talked about that song. It was more about religion, devoting your life to religion. He’s not saying do that, he’s not for it. So, it didn’t have anything to do with the band.


Jason: I think just taking that example of I looked at the song one way and Doug looked at the song another way but obviously every band probably takes something from each song and eternalize it. How weird or how exciting is it when somebody comes up to and you and says this song means this to me or what you did hear means like it’s gotta be something...
Dan: Yeah, it’s a cool feeling. I mean, I don’t write the lyrics so I look at Doug but um...it is good...it’s a great feeling. I’ve had people come up to me and tell me that they loved the music from this particular song or that they loved this part of this song. I love hearing that, it’s such a cool feeling.

Jason: How many bands have you toured with that have really inspired you or helped you? Are there bands out there that you toured with that you found out maybe this is how we need to or I need to approach this or how much are you just kind of winging it?
Dan: Any band that we’ve ever toured with where we’ve opened up, like the headliners, we learn from everybody. We’ve already seen some things that we like and we’ve learned from. We did the Sprite tour but that was more hip hop stuff, I would say that me personally, I learn from all the bands we’ve toured. Whether some of their crew members are complete assholes and I say, 'Dude, I never want anybody like that working for us,' to just watching how they go from song one to song two real smooth.