Interview : Mike Perez – No Bragging Rights (Antwerp, November 2014)

While touring through Europe as part of the Never Say Die tour (with Terror, Comeback Kid, Stick To Your Guns, Obey The Brave, More Than A Thousand and Capsize), Mike Perez, frontman of No Bragging Rights took some time to sit down and answer a few of our questions in Antwerp, Belgium, this week.

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– You’re currently on the Never Say Die tour with many great bands, how is it going?
It’s going awesome. Higher than my expectations so it’s great.

– It’s not your first time in Europe, what do you enjoy most about being here?
What I enjoy about Europe is that I feel like more people appreciate that we came so far. It’s weird but we have a lot of people that say ‘Thank you for coming’. So it’s cool that people appreciate it a little bit more. And it’s just cool to be playing here. We’re still new to Europe, so it’s great to be playing new places or go to places we’ve been before and see more people coming, because the first time we got here, nobody knew who we are.

– You’ve recently released a new record ‘The Concrete Flower’, how is the response to it so far?
Good. I don’t know what people were expecting, but everything we heard has been really positive which is good. I didn’t really hear anyone say ‘your last album was better’, because people may prefer that one. They probably have a deeper connection with the songs, but as far as of people receiving this one and hearing it, we’ve had a positive response.

– What song do you thing sums up the best the spirit of the record?
Probably the title track The Concrete Flower because all the songs are just different examples of persevering or talking about mental illness, and that song touches a little bit of everything.

– What is your favorite part of putting out an album?
Just playing new songs. We tour a lot, we play a lot the same songs, the same set, so it’s cool that when we have a new album, we get to mix it up. And even for our fans that keep coming out, it’s cool for them to hear something new and see their reaction.

– Do you have a specific writing/recording pattern ?
We like to have the music first, whatever Daniel writes. And usually when we get into recording, we like to have at least a theme or topics to write about. I like to have these things, that way when I start writing music, I can already start picking what I feel the song is giving me.

– You got back to Pure Noise Records to release this record, what made you take this decision and how does it feel to work again with them knowing that you were the label’s first release back in the days?
Going back with them was awesome! The way it worked out is really well. Good Fight was cool for us, but they had an option to pick up our next album and they didn’t and I feel like that was a good move for both of us because we’re not the kind/size of band that they’re working with right now. And we’ve been wanted to go back with Pure Noise for a while. So as soon as we realized we were out of contract with Good Fight, right away, we called Jake from Pure Noise and he said yes immediately. Jake is a really good buddy of ours so it’s really cool.

– Music is a good way to share a message. And you support great causes, such as fighting mental illness, fighting suicide, how important to you is it to make a good use of your popularity to raise awareness amongst the people?
That’s why I do it. I get enjoyment playing music and performing, but I’d get the same enjoyment playing acoustic or play songs in my room. Music is fun to me, but our message is why we need to tour, our message needs to be heard. If we didn’t have that or felt passioned about it, I think all of us would have done something else. Our message is kind of everything, or at least to me. Somebody asked me about our set being so short and I talking a lot, but I’d rather play less songs and say what I have to say, it’s how I feel.

– No Bragging Rights have been around for a long time, more than ten years now, what do you think is your greatest achievement so far?
Yeah 1999. Our greatest achievement is probably that we’re still here and we’re still getting bigger tours. It’s been such a slow process for us, but I feel like we’re still growing. We just did our biggest tour in the United States and now we’re doing our biggest tour in Europe. So hopefully, when we do decide to come back on a headline tour, we’ll see that growth in there too. So I don’t know what our biggest achievement is but probably that we’re still a band. (laughs)

– You’re part of a very crowded music scene, especially in the US at the moment, how do you feel about knowing that you’ll always have to come back with innovative stuff to still interest people?
It’s kind of cool because you always want to do your best. I don’t see this as a competition, I don’t think we’re competing with anybody and I feel that we’re here to do what we do. We can’t stand next to a band like Stick To Your Guns and try to do the same, they’ll blew us out of the water. Or we can’t try to be as tough and cool as Terror. We just have to come out and do what we do, and present our message, and I feel that’s how we’ll stand out. I hope there is just only one No Bragging Rights. That’s what we want to be, we don’t want to be anyone else.

– How would you like to be remembered later?
Someone who tried to help. I’ve seen some positive things, I don’t know if I’m doing things the right way or not but I’m trying. So if I can be remembered as somebody who tried to help or tried to make some kind of difference, it’s cool.

– So what’s next for No Bragging Rights?
We go home, and we’re doing just five shows in the west coast. And then we’ll be back in January with Funeral For A Friend and in march, we’ll be doing some festivals in the United States, here and there. And I think that’s it for now.

– Last few words ?
To anyone who’s seen us before, thank you for coming out and checking us out. To anyone new to us, check us out, if you like it awesome, if you don’t, awesome. (laughs)

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Find out more about No Bragging Rights
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I’m Yousra, in love with most of the things that earth has to offer, and isn’t music one of its most amazing wonders ? In that purpose, I try to always be on the look-out for every new band that will make my ears happy and my soul filled again.

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