Interview with Secrets vocalist Xander Bourgeois and drummer Joe English

- Jun 26, 2012 at 01:47PM
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Secrets are an up-and-coming band that have recently been signed to Velocity records. Since forming in 2011, the group has already gained a dedicated fan following and have toured with popular acts such as Attack Attack, Sleeping With Sirens, Escape the Fate and The Word Alive. When the guys recently stopped by Toronto, ON, I got a chance to talk to vocalist Xander Bourgeois and drummer Joe English about the "This World Is Ours Tour", their debut release and what the future has in store for Secrets.

How’s the tour going so far?
Joe: The tour is going amazing! It’s been crazy good, definitely the best tour we’ve been on. Playing to new crowds every night is awesome.

Do you have any crazy tour stories to share?
Xander: Well, we got denied access into Canada today! After three hours of talking on the phone to our label, booking agent and Canadian police they let us in. I guess we didn't have some kind of permit or paperwork that we needed. That’s why we missed tonight’s show, but we’ll still be playing on the rest of the tour.

Will you guys be coming back to Toronto soon for the fans that missed out?
Joe: We have to make it up to Toronto somehow! They’ve never seen us play live, they’re missing out [laughs] and I love this city.

How would you describe your live show?
Joe: We have a lot of energy. We try to put on the best show possible every night.

Xander: We’re either driving or sleeping all day so when we get on the stage in front of the kids we are giving it our all 120%.

Joe: All our energy comes out, and the crowd gets into it. We have to make sure everybody has a good time! We’re having fun and they are having fun.

How would you describe your sound in one word?
Joe: Hmmm... Tasteful. [laughs]

Check out the song: "Somewhere In Hiding"



The Ascent was released in January. How has the reception been for the album?
Joe: Surprisingly good!

Xander: Very surprisingly good actually. On the Sleeping with Sirens tour we just got off of and the Escape the Fate tour we’re on now, the crowd seems to love it.

Tom Denney produced your debut album and not many bands have the chance of working with him. What was the experience like?
Joe: It was a whole process. There was actually a lot of work involved in the writing and recording. There were many long days in the studio.

What bands are your influences when recording?
Xander: There’s so many because everyone has different influences. I listen to a lot of heavy stuff, and our singer Richard listens to a lot of pop music so my screams with his poppy background blend really well. As far as instruments they are all very diverse.

Joe: Yeah, we all have a variety of genres that we prefer. It’d be very tough to name bands because there are way too many and they all have different sounds. We’re very open to different types of music.

Xander: I listen to a lot of rap!

Would you be rapping on your next album? [laughs]
Xander: In forms of raspy singing, sure. [laughs]

What’s your favourite song to play live on the tour?
Xander: Mine is always "The Oath" because it is so fast paced and it is the first song we play.

Joe: I like playing "Melodies" and "Blindside". It’s fun and I feel really comfortable playing it.


Have you had any crazy fan encounters?
Xander: New York! It’s not crazy in a bad sense, it’s crazy in a this-is-awesome way. It’s like a dream come true.

Joe: Yeah, whenever we get to New York it’s insane. Last time, we literally pulled up and a crowd of kids ran up to the van and surrounded it.

Xander: They knew all of our names and everything and that was our second time there! Our first time there was the exact same way. It’s crazy!

The band formed in 2011 and already you are signed to Velocity Records, have a debut record out and are touring. Did you think everything would happen so fast?
Xander: It’s pretty surreal!

Joe: We’re all super excited about it. We’re putting in a lot of work and hours and it’s paying off.

What is the hardest part about touring and adjusting to this lifestyle that happened in the blink of an eye?
Xander: For me, it has to be the driving and not being able to sleep well in a moving vehicle. That’s very hard.

Joe: I agree with that 100%. The drives are long and it’s rough.

What bands would be on your ideal tour?
Xander: Abandon All Ships! I love those guys. We play similar genres and we’ve toured with them before. They’re like our best friends.

Joe: Of Mice and Men would be awesome.

Xander: Memphis May Fire is really cool too. They’re new album is really good.

Check out the song: "The Oath"



So since the band is named Secrets, can you tell us some secrets about yourselves?
Joe: I played soccer for my entire life until I got hurt and tore my ACL. Then I turned to music. [laughs]

Xander: I do game a lot! But on the topic of sports, I was in semi-pro bicycle racing!

What are some bands you listen to frequently on your iPod?
Joe: Manchester Orchastra, Shiny Toy Guns, Anberlin.

Xander: I have a lot of post-hardcore, like bands in our genre. I like listening to it and getting educated. I also have a lot of rap music. It’s fun to listen to. [laughs]

Joe: Yeah, that’s pretty much the opposite of what we’re doing. [laughs]

What does the rest of 2012 have in store for Secrets?
Joe: This Summer we are going on the "Scream It Like You Mean It Tour". It’s going to be huge! Every day I keep hearing about this tour and it’s just nuts!

Xander: There’s a lot of big surprises in store and it’s awesome, like a dream come true.

Why should someone who has never heard of Secrets check the band out?
Xander: We give our fans the most attention that we can give them. We’re always at the merch table talking to them. We care a lot about our fans.
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