With the success of their recent “Every Band In The USA” parody video, rumors quickly spread that the Cyrus clan had filed a lawsuit against the Chicago pop band, The Fold. I caught up with lead singer Dan Castady to find out what happened, how life as an independent band has been, and what’s in the future of The Fold. Also, be sure to check out their full length, Dear Future Come Get Me – if you enjoyed the parody, or even if you didn’t, true pop/rock fans will love this record.
Alright, first off – tell me about the whole Miley deal…
We were on a tour recently that went south about halfway through. Low ticket sales and a lot of finger pointing. We were questioning whether being on the road was beneficial. Somebody in the van said, ‘You guys should start doing Miley Cyrus covers because then all the kids will listen if they aren’t a fan.’ So our drummer came up with the idea of making parodies. We weren’t doing it for attention, but it brought a lot of success.
We had the idea about a week after we recorded the song that it would be so funny if someone dressed up as Billy Ray and called me and said he’s really mad about the song. So we started brainstorming about it. So we think we know who started the rumor – a friend of ours who heard it and thought we were serious. When we were ¾ done with the second video, people started talking about the lawsuit. It would be silly for us to say that we weren’t really getting sued and then 3 days later post the [second] video. It’d be giving away the punch line of the joke. So we decided to say that we can’t comment. We thought all of it was part of the role we were playing and the fake lawsuit. Some people still think it’s real! We thought that once they saw the video, everyone would have a collective laugh and a sigh of relief. People see the video and think it’s funny and then are like ‘So wait how are you going to get 3 million dollars’? It wasn’t calculated or anything we were doing to trick people. We thought we’d do it because we thought it’d be fun. That’s the whole premise of the parody as well. We were laughing at some of the lines in this thing as we went along.
Has it helped CD sales?
Yeah. Our management was talking with the guy who runs www.imwithcoco.com, and they thought it’d be cool if The Fold write a theme song of sorts for the campaign. People are more judgmental about our actual music when they hear the coco song than the “Every Band In The USA”. It’s definitely helped. CD sales definitely went up about ten times. That couldn’t have happened to a band that that appreciates it more than us. Every time they buy one I get an email from Paypal. I get to write a little note in every CD we sign.
So since Glamour Kill sponsored you, will All Time Low tour with you now?
I wouldn’t rule it out! We’ve been wearing down Alex with asking if he’d get involved. He’s such a cool guy! A hunch that I have is that if we went out with them it’d be in the UK first. Man I hope it’s in the states though!
How has it been being an independent band? Is it more freeing? More stressful?
I love it. We cherish each of these little break- throughs. When we were on a label we were so busy. We never knew if we were doing the right things or if we were just another face in the crowd. This had made us so much more accountable for what we are doing and active – with the internet today it’s all about content. If it’s a video, song, or saying, ‘Hey today were gonna give a song away.’ I just love that, it all means so much more and it’s all in our hands. I love the ’give them something’ game. As long as its genuine and behind who we are as a band, we’re not going to lose. We’re not going to post videos of us getting drunk at a bar because that’s not who we are -we’re Christians who like to have fun and like pop music. Of course, a few bleeps will happen if Pete Wentz is in the video!
How did your time at Tooth & Nail prepare you for where you are now?
Through our whole career I’ve always felt like our livelihood was in question. I thought it was great that we were touring with Anberlin, but felt that in two weeks we would go back to having nothing. I didn’t like that feeling. For some reason, now that we’re independent, I feel like our livelihood has reappeared. When people see us having fun, they want to get involved. It made me appreciate our freedom. T&N never thwarted our creative vision at all! It’s just that we were always trying to get attention there and when we stopped getting attention we didn’t know what to do with ourselves. I think it prepared us for this in a way that made us realize that we pointed fingers for too long when we could have been really making our band more successful.
How important is your faith when it comes to writing lyrics and being in the band?
I always follow the plan that is should just be natural. I heard Aaron Marsh say this right as I was starting the fold. There’s something about when somebody is kind of forcing the word God or Jesus into songs, it can kind of start to feel like people are selling God, that’s a territory I don’t even want to have to feel like I’m messing with, the whole reason I’m in this is that the fold is supposed to go into places where God is not. We’re supposed to be able to show people what god has done with us and invite them into it. See it’s not what they thought , there can be joy laughing and fun and you still can have a surrendered life to Jesus. If I feel like this is what I’m saying in this song and I’m led to mention God, but I never want to force anything, I feel like it would come off as not being genuine.
What advice would you give to a band that wants to take it up a notch and start touring independently?
Really good question. Something we didn’t do, is don’t do it too soon. Don’t feel like ‘forget our hometown we got to go play ever other city around us. Focus on one or two cities. Build up a relationship with another band in a different town and trade shows. But even before that, you have to have good content. Your songs have to be amazing. I’m realizing this every day. What’s great to you isn’t always going to translate. There’s so many bands out there! Good enough and great are really different. If you take the time and write the songs that really speak well in a unique way, then your songs are going to be doing a lot of work for you. You’re going to have to work a lot less later on when you’re touring. Then once that’s done, don’t bite off more than you can chew. It’s realistic. Everybody thinks they’re they are the exception, but you’ve got to be realistic and have a practical plan
Are you currently searching for a label? Or rather, hoping they’re searching for you?
We’re just optimistic. There’s so many cool doors that have been opening. We’ve been dreaming that Apple would get involved, and that’s just starting to happen. There was a time when we really thought we needed a label, with the way things have been going lately, but unless there’s a real clear cut plan for radio, there’s no need for a label.
Awesome –well what else should we be on the lookout for with The Fold?
Follow us on Twitter- or Facebook if you are a Twitter hater. We try not to overdo it with updates but there’s a lot of exciting things happening. That’s where we share it with you. We love to talk to people. Please come find us. We’re not a band who hides away in our house.