Exclusive Interview: Alex DeLeon of the Cab on “Symphony Soldier” and their label and lineup changes

July 20, 2011 by Rachel Lux

Exclusive Interview: Alex DeLeon of the Cab on “Symphony Soldier” and their label and lineup changes

So you’re taking the single to iTunes and launching the presale all on your own?
Yep. It’s scary in a lot of ways, scary career-wise, because you’re doing it on your own. It’s kind of like taking the training wheels off for the first time. Me and [keyboardist Alex] Marshall, we paid for the album ourselves, out of pocket. But it’s fun. It reminds us of why we’re doing it in the first place. And we can do whatever we want and let our talent and our songs speak. We don’t have to worry about any of the other BS. People are going to hear the songs, and I think it will kind of speak for itself. We have 200 percent faith in our band—and our fans, most importantly. So it wasn’t even a question or a thought.
At the end of the day, it’s not about labels; it’s not about radio. It’s about the people who listen to the music and the people who are going to your shows with your T-shirts on, that are staying overnight waiting in line for the show. The people that are getting your lyrics tattooed on themselves. Those are the people that keep the music industry afloat. And people forget that. It’s not about them: It’s about the fans.

Aside from the album coming out, you also announced earlier this month that the Cab let go of drummer Alex Johnson.
I’m not going to go into crazy detail, but some people in life make decisions and go down the wrong paths. It happens. It doesn’t mean that it’s the end of the road. But people make bad choices and they start spiraling down a road that other people choose not to go down. And he was having a difficult time with things, and we were completely here, as friends and family. Once things started happening and we started talking to him about things, we realized we needed to be friends first before bandmates, you know? [Besides] him being the drummer, he was one of my best friends, which obviously doesn’t ever make anything easy. But we have full faith that he’s going to get back up on his feet and figure life out. Whether that will be him playing music or doing something else, we love him and we’ll always be here for him.
The Cab are very hardworking, and we are very motivated. We’re not one of those bands who like to party and to screw around on tour. We are very serious. We want this to be our career. We want to be a band that does this for the rest of our lives. We don’t want a “real” job at any point. We take it very seriously. And not that it’s, like, a tight ship, but there are things that aren’t okay. If you want to be successful and if you want to take things seriously, there are certain things that you just don’t do. Our beliefs and our lifestyles, like mine and Marshall’s, are completely different from Alex Johnson’s. Not that there’s anything wrong with it.

But you’re still on speaking terms as friends?
Yeah, like I said, if he ever wants to call us or text us, we’re here for him. Everyone’s upset. We’re upset that we had to do it; I’m sure he’s upset. It’s not an easy time. But it’s just something that had to happen before the record came out and before we started touring again. We take it very seriously. This is our career. This is our life. And we don’t want to ever disappoint anyone. We want to make the kids happy, sound great and just be around.

Do you have a response to the internet chatter alleging Johnson was using drugs?
It’s just not my place. People go through things. I’ve never done anything like [drugs], got involved in anything like that—it is what it is. People go through things and it’s something that he’s going through, so for me to elaborate is just hard for me, because I want to see him do well in life, and I don’t want him to stress about anything. He’s still family, you know?

Did he play on the record?
He did not play on the record. It’s kind of been something that’s slowly been brought to the surface a little bit. Not that long ago, but definitely before all the record stuff started happened.

You have some headlining dates in the beginning of August and then you’re going out with All Time Low. Do you know who will be playing with you on the tour?
Joey [Thunder], who kids already know and love, he’s been playing bass with us for a year or two now, and then drummer-wise, we have people in mind, they’re really good dudes, and I’m sure kids are going to love them. The guys that are going on that tour, I’m so proud to be in a band with [them]. They’re such good musicians, and they’re such good people with good heads on their shoulders. I think it’s going to be a really good start for us. ALT

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the cab alex deleon symphony soldier

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