April 25, 2019 | 52° F

Q&A?with Senses Fail

Photo by Marielle Sumergido |

Guitarist Matt Smith and Vocalist Buddy Nielson of Senses Fail perform to a sold-out crowd at the Livingston Student Center last night as a part of the concert, hosted by Rutgers University Programming Association.

Editor’s Note: Tom Boylan spoke to Dan Trapp, drummer of Senses Fail, over the phone.

The Daily Targum: Have you guys been to Rutgers before?

Senses Fail: No, we’ve never played there, that’s for sure. Buddy’s sister went to Rutgers, and we have friends and stuff that have gone there and whatever, but I don’t think I have even ever been there, so it’ll be a new experience. It should be cool. We’ve played at random colleges here and there but, you know, it’s seems like kind of a natural thing for us to be able to do that in our home state, you know?

DT: How did you get involved in this show?

SF: Well, the show originally was supposed to be a few months ago and they just kind of approached us and asked if we wanted to do the gig, and it got cancelled because of the snowstorm we had in February. They just rescheduled it for today and then we start our tour on Wednesday, so timing-wise it worked out perfectly. We would come to town and do a show, like a warm-up show, and then get out there.

DT: Do you know anyone that has been affected by Superstorm Sandy?

SF: Oh yeah absolutely, I mean, I have friends that live down in Brick that have had trees that fell through their house. My friend watched her car float away down her street when her street became a river. And my wife’s aunt and uncle have a small, like, bungalow kind of beach house that got destroyed, well not totally destroyed but you know they had to gut the thing, so they made out better than a lot of people unfortunately. It was crazy. I actually just got the chance to drive through there for the first time like a month ago or so. I mean, considering it’s pretty far out, everything is still really, really badly messed up. It’s a shame, you know, but I definitely feel for anybody who either lost their house or have a ton of damage to their homes. It’s really a shame.

DT: You guys recently released an album, what was the inspiration for that and how did your sound develop from your earlier works?

SF: We did, we did. Well, we got a whole different line up of members and different songwriters and everything so it was just like a natural thing for us to change, regardless. And I think that we always kind of wanted to lean to the heavier side of things, and I think we’ve [definitely] tried to do that here and there in the last few records and weren’t fully able to commit or rather capable or writing.

DT: Your band toured with The Early November before, what’re they like on the road?

SF: Great guys. It’s been a while. We toured with them a lot in the early days cause we both kind of started around the same time and we both signed to drive through at the same time and we did a couple tours together. We’ve done a few Warped Tours that they were on. I think the last time we toured with them was in 2006 — the 2006 Warped Tour — so it’ll be really cool to see them. I mean, I’ve seen a couple of the guys here and there over time, but we haven’t played with them in almost 7 years now. They’re really nice guys, really cool, laid back, you know, just into playing music and living life, so it’ll be cool to see them again.

DT: When did you start your music career?

SF: I started playing drums when I was eight or so, my parents had always played music when they were younger, and my dad had played drums. A friend of my parents had a drum set that he was selling and my mom bought it for my dad for a birthday or an anniversary or something, I don’t remember, but I was like eight, and then it showed up in my basement and I started playing, playing with some friends, started a band through a high school and doing that, started playing some shows and everyone sort of met up and started the band. I was 15 when the band started, so it’s been a while now.

DT: What is the future plans for the band?

SF: As of now, we got this U.S. tour that starts next week and we do that for a little over a month and then were going to the U.K. and a couple places in Europe for a few weeks after and that’s it, but we’re working on a whole bunch of stuff for the rest of the year. We’ll be back in the U.S. by the end of the year. Just like any record cycle were just going to do as much as we can and see as many places as we can get to. So it’s pretty cool, pretty exciting.

By Tom Boylan

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