The Score is heading out on the road.
In the wake of the release of their latest EP, Pressure, Eddie Anthony and Edon Dover are bringing their galvanizing blend of arena rock, electronica, and indie-pop across the country on the upcoming Pressure Tour, supported by openers LostBoyCrow and OVERSTREET, a tour that will stretch from April 27th in Salt Lake City to a final show in Los Angeles on May 17th. Following the success of their 2017 debut album, Atlas, the Score returns, this time with a new darkness circling under their signature invigorating sound, confronting the struggles they face with a renewed sense of sonic defiance. Popdust spoke with the band to discuss their new tour, the process behind Pressure, and their relationship with their fans.
So your upcoming Pressure Tour spans the country, swinging through a homecoming show in Brooklyn at the Knitting Factory, and ending at the Troubador in LA. What are you looking forward to most in this new run of shows?
Eddie Anthony: I think we're looking forward to growing the live show. The venues are sizing up a little bit, and we're looking forward to selling out more of these shows. We're playing a couple of cities we haven't played before, like Cincinnati, so that should be rad...really just kind of seeing the fruits of our labor in the studio and being able to see it live with the fans, and see it translate that way.
So you're looking forward to seeing how your audience has grown since the last time you were on the road?
EA: Yeah, the audience is always growing, but just seeing new faces live, and seeing them sing the words to every single song...It'll be great to see them singing the words to the new EP.
Considering your sound blends traditional rock elements and electronica production style, what goes into bringing that sound to the stage for your fans as best you can?
EA: We're trying to make it sound as much like the record as possible, but still trying to give it that live aesthetic that makes it still rock 'n' roll.
Edon Dover: Yeah, we got this dope light fixture in the shape of our logo; It's really cool to have that behind us, it's a whole light show while we're performing.
EA: It's a legit experience. The music sounds so big as it is, so we want the live show to really showcase that.
ED: Eddie and I wrote these songs with the aim for them to be performed in stadiums and arenas, that's how we envisioned it. These are huge, anthemic, big sing-along songs. Right now, we're obviously playing smaller rooms, but we try to give the experience of that stadium vibe even in a smaller room.
I do get that vibe from Pressure. In that vein, there's a lot of commentary about how your music sits somewhere between a lot of different genres, like arena rock, pop, and electronica. How has your understanding of genre changed since you first started as The Score?
EA: Oh my God, yeah. When we started the Score, we went through a ton of iterations trying to find who we were, as a songwriting-producing team and then translating that into a band, just trying to figure out what we wanted to be doing. I think the Pressure EP is the best reflection of that for us. We know we walk the line with genres, between the alt stuff and rock and pop and electronic stuff, and we think that's okay because today I can't tell what alternative and what's pop. Everything's such a blend. It's us evolving as a band.
ED: At large, you can see the music industry changing. Thanks to technology and the internet, all these genres are blending and creating new subsets of genres, and it's becoming harder and harder to categorize all music. Eddie and I embrace that, we don't try to think within a specific lane. We take in different influences and try to create something we feel good about, and if we have to figure out what lane it'll go in, we'll figure that out afterward, but we don't let that inhibit our creative process.
Listening to Pressure, there seems to be a new kind of urgency in your work, something that's evolved since you made Atlas. What was in your heads when you decided you were heading back into the studio?
ED: When we went to Pressure, we were under a lot of pressure.
That makes sense.
ED: Pressure to come back harder and better, and to really make our fans happy because Atlas did so much more than we'd ever imagined it would. So while that was exciting, it was also stressful. We tried to push our boundaries, we brought in more hip-hop influences to what we're doing—there's trap horns on a couple of the records—and I think lyrically, we explored some themes that were a little bit darker. The struggle of pursuing your dreams, not just achieving your dreams and already being there and "I am a legend" and "I am unstoppable," but rather the journey there and the hardships and the challenges along the way.
EA: I think being on a few tours helped shape [ Pressure]. When you play songs live, you get a gauge from the audience of what is for-sure working, what's getting them amped, and what's a nice filler song. We want all these songs to sound awesome, and to have everyone screaming and singing along. I think that was in the back of our heads too, evolving and messing with different sounds and thinking about the live shows in their entirety.
From the EP, songs like "Born For This" and "Glory" exemplify a kind of rousing confidence that exists all over your music, even back to "Oh My Love." Where does that come from for you as songwriters?
EA: "Born for This" especially is about stuff we were going through, about being labeled, "We don't know what you are," and being criticized for that. [The song] isn't about stabbing back at somebody, it's saying 'We were born to do this," and invoking that self-confidence you need. In music, there are so many "no"s all the time, and you need to be confident or it's not gonna happen. I think the confidence comes from us working at our craft every day, in the studio and on tour, and seeing us progressing as a band.
ED: Both of us were taught from a young age, "If you want to do something if you have a vision, go for it." And that ultimately comes through everything we do.
You've mentioned this idea of reflection in the studio, of pulling in new influences to grow as a band. How much does your journey, your personal growth, factor into your music?
EA: For us to be growing, the songs should be getting better, they should be sounding better, the writing, the production, everything should be better and evolving. I'm sure if you compared [ Pressure] to our stuff from three or four years ago, it's probably night and day. We're constantly growing, and we want our fans to see that through the different iterations of what we go through sonically.
ED: Yeah, as people, we're maturing. Every year is another year doing this, learning more about the music industry, getting wiser about our craft, and having more life experiences. I hope that people notice that our music is maturing as we are, and the themes we're talking about are more multifaceted than before, and a little bit deeper.
Do you feel that your fans are growing along with you?
EA: Yeah, we want our fans to grow along with us. It's great being at these shows and hearing people when we're meeting them at our merch table, and they're saying "'Strange' [from Atlas] got me through this," some crazy life event...For us, it shows that our fans are growing and maturing, and we'd like to think our music is has something to do with that.
ED: Yeah, it feels like a community. You can definitely see a community aspect at our shows. And we love seeing people come back, for a second show, a third show, a fourth show, getting to know them personally.
What do you want fans to take from Pressure about what's next for the Score?
EA: We just put the video out for "Dreamin" [from Pressure, featuring rapper blackbear], and we're happy about Pressure, but Edon and I are always writing, and we already have another EP's worth of material. We want them to know that we're continuing to grow, and we're gonna continue to push what our sound is.
ED: We want them to know that we're on this journey, pursuing our dream, but we're always looking to achieve more, to get to the next level. And we hope that our fans can hear that in our music, and we encourage them to do the same thing, to go on this journey with us. It's not easy, there are always challenges along the way, Eddie and I complain about it every day in the studio, but that's all part of the fun, and we're just really excited about what's next. And we're gonna take over!
EA: That's the plan.
Matthew Apadula is a writer and music critic from New York. His work has previously appeared on GIGsoup Music and in Drunk in a Midnight Choir. Find him on Twitter @imdoingmybest.
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