Tom Higgenson

 

Written by: Jason Perlman

 

I have seen the Plain White T's a few times, and there is a lot of raw energy. How can you do such a high energy show during the Warped Tour?
Tom Higgenson: Luckily it's only for a ½ hour a day so it shouldn't be too bad and we get a lot of free food and free water so hopefully it won't be to bad, we'll find a way, we'll make it work.

 

I think the hardest thing would be that you don't know what's going on from day to day.
TH: Yeah, it sucks. We have to get there really early like 9:00 a - 10:00 a and find out when you play and it changes everyday. So sometimes your right in the dead heat in the middle of the day and sometimes it's later, but it kind of makes it cool because it doesn't get into some kind of boring schedule everyday. It is kind of a little bit different and a little more exciting.

 

But you get those nice barbecue's at the end of the day so that's gotta help and free food on tour is always good.
TH: Yeah, oh yeah.

 

Do you think about your half-hour show or do you as a band just go out there and see what happens?
TH: We don't really plan what we're going to say or what we're going to do. We just make our set list of what songs we're going to play and then just get out there and bang them out.

 

The name The Plain White T's sounds maybe like it could be a band about nothing, kind of like the show Seinfeld, the show about nothing. Did you think about that when you picked the name?
TH: Actually I was thinking about the show Seinfeld the other day. Seinfeld is supposed to be a show about nothing but at the same time it's a show about everything. I don't know, it's kind of the same way, I guess.

 

How would you describe the music of The Plain White T's?
TH: I would say, I don't know, I guess it's just like rock-n-roll music. It's good and speaks to a lot of people, I think. I don't know. it sucks trying to describe your own music. I feel like a shit because there's like 8 people listening to me right now (laughing).

 

When the band writes, how does that work within the band, is it lyrics first music second?
TH: Usually, I just write songs when I get a chance, like when I'm home or something. I'll just write a bunch of songs and show them to the band and if they like them then we'll sit down together and try to put the music around the song and stuff like that.

 

Has there ever been a song that you really liked but the band didn't?
TH: Definitely, I think only maybe a couple of them. It doesn't really go on unless everybody's kind of into it then it's kind of pointless to play them or record them if everybody isn't feeling it but yeah, there's a lot of songs that I've written that I think are great songs but for whatever reason didn't really fit with what we were doing or wasn't what everybody was into so I had to put them on the back burner. Maybe they'll be in a box set in about 10 years.

 

Have you ever been surprised at one of your songs that just came out so much better than what you expected?
TH: When I wrote the song Revenge on our new record, I wrote the song in about 15 minutes one morning in my basement and thought it was totally a stupid song and didn't give much thought to it. It was like, "Okay, I wrote this song but it's kind of weird or kind of too bizarre with the same thing over and over again," but I played it for the guys and they kind of felt the same way. It's cool or whatever, but that was about it. When we were putting songs together for the record we were in the practice studio going through songs and I was like, "Hey, let's try that Revenge song and just play a beat like this and see what happens." It turned into a really cool song that I thought was a stupid throw away idea that I had.

When you're thinking that about a song, that it isn't what is right for the band, what makes you go ahead with that song? Is it to just get that song out of your head?
TH: I don't know, because there are a lot of songs that I started that I still need to finish that I think are really great songs. It just happens different all the time. Sometimes I sit down and in a ½ hour the song will be totally written; lyrics and everything. Sometimes it's like I'll write a verse and a chorus and think, "Wow, this is really good but I don't have a second verse," and it will go like two months or maybe five months until I get this great idea while I'm driving or in the shower. And think yeah, this would be great for that song. And then all of a sudden there's that second verse and then the song is done. So, it's always different and I'm always kind of thinking about songs and new ideas and when it comes it comes and that's about it I guess.

 

Are there any bands that you're looking forward to on the Warped Tour?
TH: It's weird this year. It seems like there are a lot of mid-level bands. There aren't really any huge bands on this years Warped Tour, it seems like there are a lot of mid-size bands. Which I think is awesome because we pretty much know everybody on the tour already. Fall Out Boys is on the tour, so it will be cool to see those guys and hang out with them because we know them. And bands like Melee and the Matches and just all of our friends are going to be on it so that's going to be the coolest part.

So, you won't be feeling left out of the barbecue?
TH: Yeah, exactly. Like when we did the Warped Tour a couple of years ago there was like The Used , AFI and like all of these ridiculously awesome huge bands, and we were like nothing. It was so intimidating and so weird walking around and like, "Oh, hey it's Burt, you know like Burt from Used." It was just kind of out of this world like the Twilight Zone or something. But I think this year we'll be a lot more comfortable and feel like we fit in a lot more, like I said we know a lot more people so it should be really cool.

 

I was actually talking to a band called The Dead 60's who are from England and they obviously don't know a whole lot about it but one thing they do know about is the barbecue and that they may need to tone down the drinking each night because it's an ongoing basis. Do you consciously think about a regimen like we need to get to bed or is it just a free for all?
TH: You kind of have to just go and worry about like resting after your done I guess. It really sucks because there's a lot of driving and you get used to going on about 3-4 hours sleep a night, so it sucks but when it's all done as tough as it is it's so much fun. It works itself out.