There’s been a lot of public drama concerning your former fiancée Amanda, who publicly accused you of using narcotics again, even posting videos online. Has that since died down?
I try not to feed it, because she can just go on and on and on, and she’s never going to be happy. She wasn’t happy in the relationship, so I don’t really understand her problem or why she’s even still pursuing things, because all the time she wasn’t happy. I guess [because] she feels that she didn’t get something? We’re not really sure as to why she won’t go away, but she hasn’t posted anything crazy lately. All that stuff’s still out there. It is what it is. I’m just going to focus on myself, on this band, on what I love.
Where do you stand now with your old bands?
I’ve always been good with Dance. It might seem like we’ve always had problems, but even the last time when they asked me to leave again, we didn’t have any problems. We live in the same town, so when we go out, we see each other all the time. I hang out with Will [Swan, guitarist] when I’m at home. I call him up, and we play video games and stuff. As for Emarosa, I don’t really talk to any of those dudes. I don’t have anything to say to them. I don’t have anything bad to say about them; I’m here to keep it on a professional level. They haven’t really made any effort. I put it out there a while ago that things can be what they were—we can be friends again—and they didn’t really take it, so I did my part.
You’re also no longer affiliated with Rise Records.
We got off our contract with Rise, and there’s not really much to say. I haven’t talked to him [Craig Ericson, founder]. We weren’t really on the best terms parting. We weren’t mad at each other, but we’re not really friends at the moment. He didn’t really ask to be part of [Slaves]. He didn’t seem to be interested—he has Emarosa—so he was content with not being a part of it.
Instead you signed with Artery Recordings, founded by your manager, Eric Rushing.
Me and him worked together for the whole thing to get this thing moving. He’s been my manager through everything. You get to know people—their personalities—so we definitely know what we want from one another, and we expect each other to go above and beyond that. It’s a good relationship to have with someone, especially someone that works technically for you. You want to be able to trust them, and you want them to be able to trust you, so that’s the most important thing to me. Eric trusts me wholeheartedly, and I trust him.
What’s coming up?
We have the All-Stars Tour coming up, and then after that we’re going to Australia. I’m not sure if there’s a headliner in between or after, but it’s coming up. We also just shot a video yesterday [for “My Soul Is Empty And Full Of White Girls”].
What made you choose that song for a video?
The song has a double meaning. It goes back and forth between having to deal with drugs and with a relationship, and towards the end they kind of just fuse into one. That’s what I was going for, and going through, at the time.
Have you enjoyed being on the road again?
I still enjoy being on the road a lot. We just did the tour [with Hands Like Houses], and it turned out really well. I didn’t think it was going to go as well as it did, and it ended up going beyond that. I didn’t think the kids would know the lyrics yet, but right off the bat people were screaming it, so I think they want to see me back in a band, and I’m ready to give that to them.
You’ve had more than your share of second chances. What makes you feel like this one is different?
I’m going to hope for the best. I feel like for the first time in a long time I’m in a good spot. I’ve picked a good group of people to surround myself with, to keep myself grounded, to keep myself level-headed and try and learn things I need to learn from other people. I feel like this, to me, is the first step to doing something successful and something I’m going to want to be a part of for the rest of my life.
Do you think all the notorious stuff that went down in your past will eventually be forgotten?
I don’t know if I feel like it will always follow me around, but it’s definitely going to be a part of my past. It’s always going to be there. It is a person that I made myself, and it’s how I’ve learned, so my past will always be there. You can hate my past all you want. I’m here to make you love my future.