The kick-a** Philly band, Cold Fronts, had the first show of their Forever Whatever album tour on Tuesday (October 20th!) and kicked it off here in Pittsburgh at Spirit Lodge. After soundcheck, but before the show, I sat down with frontman Craig Almquist to talk tour, album, and Pittsburgh. (To read my album review click here)
This is a shortened version of the full interview.
HC: So. Is Pittsburgh the first stop on your tour? Or your second?
CA: So, we played CMJ but then we had like two days off so, I’m gonna call this the first on the tour. CMJ was an obligation, you know, we were in New York, gotta play it.
HC: Alright so, how do you like Pittsburgh? This isn’t your first time in here.
CA: I loooove Pittsburgh. I love Pittsburgh. All my friends are from here, Pittsburgh’s always been like really good to us, like people are always enthusiastic. On top of that, it’s a beautiful city, I’m not even trying to, you know, pander to the Pittsburgh public. Not trying to do that, I genuinely really like the city.
HC: Do you remember the first show Cold Fronts played here? Like where it was?
CA: Um, the first time we played Pittsburgh, was at a place on Lawn Street called The Sh*t Brick. And it was a basement. And then I think even the second time we played Pittsburgh it was, at The Sh*t Brick in the basement. So we did that a couple times. And then we played Smiling Moose a bunch. We played, what’s that one college-
HC: Point Park?
CA: Point Park- Yes!
HC: It’s where I go so [laughs]
CA: I know. I almost went there! […] So, yeah. We played at Point Park, Smiling Moose, yeah.
HC: So, how long has Cold Fronts, like, been together?
CA: Yeah, I know that’s a confusing question kinda. So I started Cold Fronts about five years ago, just like, making demos and stuff. And um, basically, I spent a summer in New York, moved back to Philly, and then I kinda just started the band without knowing, you know, anything about really starting a band other than from bands in high school that I played in. So I started it and I wanted to take it seriously and practice a lot and have a good show, and make a cool record, and all that stuff. So, it’s been going on for five years. But there’s a big, like, learning curve and I feel like it takes a while to be able to write the songs you wanna write, and to perform the way you want to perform. Like that, stuff like that doesn’t happen like the second you start the band.
HC: Yeah, like finding the right people to have the right sound
CA: Finding the right people- Well, yeah. Cause our line up changes like a lot. And part of the reason I think why is because it’s a real struggle to like, being in band’s really fun, but it’s also really grueling to like dedicate like all your time to. Which is kind of what I do. Like I just dedicate all my time to it, and then, you know, other band members will be like ‘You know hey, I can’t go on tour cause I have a real job’ I’m like, ‘It’s cool, we’ll get someone else to come on tour’ or ‘Hey, my girlfriend’s gonna break up with me if I go on tour’ I’m like ‘Ok, cool’ We’ve all been there. We sacrifice a lot.
HC: For life on the road.
CA: [laughs] It sounds so corny but it’s true. It really does like, take a toll on relationships. And friendships. So that’s, yeah, that’s the long answer.
HC: That’s ok. So, you said you were playing in high school with bands. When did you start playing? And do you only play guitar? Or do you play more instruments?
CA: I started playing music in like, second grade. I started playing drums. And then, I was always a drummer in bands up until middle school. And then I started playing around with guitar. I getting started piano lessons. And then, you know, by then I started playing in bands, doing Battle of the Bands stuff in high school. Then I went to college and for like a couple years it was just like ‘Oh, just study’ you know? And, ‘It’s time to get serious.’ And by like, my second year of college I was like, “Oh my god, I only want to be in a band. I’ve always just wanted to play music, what am I doing here? I should be focusing just on music.’ What was the question? [laughs]
HC: So, you went to college for two years, like, how old are you and what’s the median age of the band?
CA: I finished college. The median age of the band is 25.
HC: Alright. Now, questions about the album. Ok. Forever Whatever. You’re obviously super pumped about it.
CA: Yeah, I’m very pumped.
HC: Of course, it’s your first album. And I feel like you tweeted this the other day, but I’ll just ask. What’s your favorite track off of it?
CA: I really like “Energy Waster.” “Buschleague” is probably my favorite. Um, and “Hurts To Be Away.” Even though we’re not playing “Hit Me” or “Hurts To Be Away” tonight. [Laughs] We’re gonna do an EP this winter. Just so it’s like, by the time it’s January, February, like we’re gonna try and record in November, December, and then, that way we have something out for January. Just to constantly keep putting stuff out. I don’t want it to take that long ever to make a record again. [Laughs]
HC: Right. Yeah. What is like, your favorite place you’ve ever been to? Obviously on like, other tours cause this is the first stop.
CA: I think Nashville is probably one of the favorites. Other than Pittsburgh [laughs] Um, to play. Just cause it’s like always, just such a change of scene. Like, you get down South and it’s like warmer, people are a little friendlier. And you know, we don’t always go there. We’ve only played there two or three times, so.
HC: Yeah. No, Nashville’s cool. What’s like, your dream place to play? Like, either a city, in like a specific venue or just like, tour-wise, like do you want to do like, arenas one day, or stadiums?
CA: My dream? Saturday Night Live.
HC: Oh my god!
CA: That’s like, that’s my goal. That’s like, what I’m in this for. I don’t care if it takes ten records, I wanna be on SNL. [laughs]
HC: Ok, ok. I support that 100% [laughs]
CA: And you know, if I can’t make it on SNL then like, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.
HC: Jimmy Fallon is first. Ok. Priority of late-night: Saturday Night Live, Jimmy Fallon, everybody else.
CA: Yeah [laughs]
HC: Alright, the last thing I had was either like any recommendations. Like, your favorite bands?
CA: Alright, the new Fidlar is sick. The new Wavves is really sick. Those are like, two records that just came out this year that I’ve really been listening to. Um, Twin Peaks, do you like them? They just went on tour with Wavves, they’re awesome. They have this record called “Wild Onion” it’s sick. Been listening to a lot of Drake. Honestly we listen to Drake like, all the time. And then, wait, that’s good, those are three bands that all like, kinda tour together and are in the same scene. [laughs]
HC: That’s good.
CA: I’m tryin to think of like, [Philly] locally who to shout out. Like, Cruisr, DRGN KING, Hop Along, Dr. Dog, mewithoutYou, Dogs on Acid, the Superweaks. Those are all Philly bands that are really sick. I always feel so bad when I forget somebody. Needle Points. That’s a good one.
HC: Well, that’s pretty much it. Thanks for doing this and squeezing this interview in before the show really quick.
CA: Yeah, for sure. You’re welcome!
Her Campus would like to thank Jimmy and Josh at Drusky Entertainment for helping coordinate this interview. And thank you to Alex, Joe, Max, and especially Craig, for being great and granting us this time. We can’t wait for more things to be released in the future! Rock on and peace out, until next time Collegiettes!