Jason Lancaster doesn’t want to call Close The Distance mature, but its an undoubtedly more grown-up affair that has more in common with Counting Crows than his pop-punk roots. Lancaster gave AP a behind-the-scenes look at every track on the new record, which is due out September 18 via Fearless. You can listen along here.
1. “Go To Hell”
This song was one of the last ones written on Close The Distance. It was really fun and seemed to take on a life of its own, really jumping off the keys at us and taking its own direction. I can honestly say there wasn't an easier song on the record to write.
2. “Lost And Found”
Alex [Reed, guitar] brought the majority of this song to the table after he got back from Philadelphia. It was mostly done and was a great tune right off the bat. It's one of the only songs on the record we didn't touch in pre-production.
3. “I Won't Lie”
This is one of my favorites. I love the way it moves in and out of the chorus with the gang vocals and driving guitars. We really wanted to let the song breathe and not force it into any specific genre.
This is Steve's [Kopacz, drums] favorite, but for me was one of the most stressful songs on the record. I loved the idea from the beginning, but it was very hard for me to really call that song “finished,” because I was always scared of cutting it short and not doing it justice. I'm happy with it now, though.
This guitar riff was one of the first ones we wrote for this record. In fact, it may be the very first. It hit our heads around the time we finished Lucky Street, and it stuck around until we started writing again.
6. “Close The Distance”
The title track on the record really sums up the last year for us. It talks about the drive we had, and the want to push ahead. I'm so proud of the band and our team for everything that Go Radio got done last year, and it was a big deal for us to be able to tell them.
7. “What if You Don't”
“What If You Don't” is about how much we're all pushing ahead with our lives. It's about the want to see our future mature with our hearts and minds. It’s also about wanting to have something to show for all the hardships we've been through making this band. We're all grateful for what we have and we're not whining, but this song tells the story of wanting to have our music grow up with us and our fans.
8. “The Ending”
This song was co-written with us by a really good friend of ours, Mike Jansen. He's a tremendous writer and it was a huge honor to be able to work so close with someone we all love so much.
9. “Over Me”
This song was one of the first ones we worked on in the studio, and we spent about four days on it. At the end of the process, we scrapped it and started over. It was worth it.
10. “Hear Me Out”
This is a song that means a lot to us. It started out as an ode to Alex's grandmother who recently passed, and it turned into something that we're all emotionally attached to. I love this song and every feeling that I get when I hear it.