Interview: Kendall Johns of We Rise the Tides

Photo Credit: William Heidler

BearlySinister: First thing’s first: Can you introduce yourself and the role you play in your band?

WRTT: My name is Kendall and i scream in the band.

BearlySinister: The first single from your new EP, “Death Walk”, was released a couple weeks ago. How did that title come to be? What’s the story behind it?

WRTT: Well the first single we released for it was “Flesh and Blood” which was released in October, but we just released the album release date and all that bullshit with our second single “Pins & Needles.” We recorded this album in June 2013, so when we decided to release a single we chose “Flesh and Blood” because we felt it would do good. It showed off our new sound but still left people hanging because it is the lightest song on the album. The chorus had a strong hook and we felt that the song would grab peoples attention after being on the back burner for awhile. Also, the message we send in the song pushed us to release it first. Its kind of a song for the listener. Im from a small, remote town called Cathlamet, WA. I had 30 kids in my graduating class and 100 kids total in my high school. I wore tighter jeans then the girls, so you can assume I was kind of outcast for pursuing what I was doing at the time, which was music and not the kind of music the town liked haha. Anyways, music was the only thing that really got me through the years. So when i was 15 years old i decided i wanted to be that escape from reality that music was for me. And if a chubby kid from a hick ass village can see the success that im fortunate to have seen, then I believe anyone in the world can! Just put the headphones back, hold on for another day and stay focused on a goal. We ultimatly wanted to send a message that we will always be there for our listeners.

BearlySinister: How was the writing process for this album and who did you work with?

WRTT: The writing process was pretty common. After our line up changes, Riley (Guitar/Clean vocalist) took over the writing role, which honestly saved this band! He runs a home studio, so he would write and demo out songs, then send them to us. He would always get pissed at me because I would tell him to change a bunch of shit haha. But yeah, after that, Colton (Drums) wrote his drum parts and everyone learned the songs. Riley and I worked together on lyrics and did pre production for everything. Then in June we hit the studio with Steven Riverman, which was an amazing experience! Steven is seriously one of the smartest people i have ever met! His production was amazing and he really brought alot to the table with this album. He fucking nailed the mix and we are stoked on how it sounds!

BearlySinister: How does this album stack up against the rest of We Rise the Tide’s releases?

WRTT: It doesnt even compare. Our last album was bullshit. Im not going to sugar coat it, it sucked. And if for some reason, people liked us from that album, then this album will make people shit their pants.

BearlySinister: Do you have a favorite song from the EP? Can you tell me the story behind it?

WRTT: It goes back and forth a lot, but right now my favorite song is “Worthless.” I was in a bad place when I wrote it so it makes me like it even more because of how personal it is. The song is basically about the lowest peaks life has to offer you. I see a lot of bands sending the really hopeful messages, which is really cool and all but no one takes you down to the lowest they have ever felt. Which is something we did with this album. I was going through some shit when i wrote “Worthless” and i found myself thinking that death sounded alot better then life at the time. I have to drive a highway right along the columbia river to go to work and I seriously thought of driving my car into the lake and going to sleep. It just sounded so peaceful at the time. So I didnt hesitate to stab that onto paper. But the one thing I want people to understand, is that we do send hope! I show you the depths of my life in this album, but at the end of the day, im still here. Im doing this interview. I survived! And if a fucked up person like myself didnt grab the rope, then trust me, you can make it through anything!

BearlySinister: You’ve been making a name for yourselves locally for quite some time, some even call you “legends” on the local circuit. How does this make you feel?

WRTT: Its humbling. We have been at it for awhile now! I pride ourselves with our live show. I feel like we tear shit up pretty good.

BearlySinister: You’ve done quite a bit of touring in your area. Have you had a favorite tour?

WRTT: Yeah our last tour was definitely my favorite because we had our new line up, so i was actually happy on it! We played well, there was no fighting and we just had a really good time!

BearlySinister: Is there a dream tour you’d like to see We Rise the Tides on? What about as a spectator?

WRTT: Well since its a dream… Touring with Motley Crue and Poison would be sick as hell!

BearlySinister: Do you guys have any rituals you like to perform before touring, performing or recording?

WRTT: Yeah! Before every set, we huddle and kind of have a meeting. The we pray. Which doesnt make sence because 2/5 of the band dont even believe in god and we are by no means a christian band. But it always just makes me feel better. So the guys suck it up for me.

BearlySinister: Social Media: Necessary evil or great help for your band?

WRTT: Mixed feelings. Definitely hasn’t hurt us, But we haven’t really gotten lucky with it either. Plus its funny to see people talk shit about us and tell us how much we suck haha.

BearlySinister: If you could go back in time and tell yourself anything, what would it be?


BearlySinister: Are there any plans for a music video(s) from songs on this EP?

WRTT: We really want to do a video for “Worthless.” We have some sick ideas for it, but we dont have a director or a budget yet, so we dont know when that will be happening.

BearlySinister: Who inspired you to be a musician and were you classically trained or self-taught?

WRTT: Thomas Erak from the Fall of Troy. They were the first band I was a genuine fan of. The first show I went to and they made me want to pick up the guitar and be in a band! I fan girled when I met Thomas at warped tour two years ago. He wasnt playing, he was just walking around. I am self taught. I was actually kicked out of guitar lessons when I was 12 years old because I was a little shit head.

BearlySinister: What has been your favorite memory as a member of WRTT?

WRTT: Friday night was probably the best show we have ever played. It was a night that had to sink in. I was so proud of my band and how good we did. It was the perfect show for us. Nothing could have gone better!

BearlySinister: Now that the EP is finished and ready for release, what’s next for WRTT?

WRTT: Tour in April that will be announced soon! Then being on road as much as we can possibly be!

BearlySInister: I don’t want to take up too much of your time, so I guess I’ll wrap it up here. Is there anything else you’d like to say to your fans, our readers and the general public?

WRTT: Yeah thanks for having me! Pre order our album! And you can always hit me up if you are in trouble! Or any member in this band! If you ever see us on the road, come say hi, have a beer with us and hang out! Love you all! Thanks again!

Be sure to check We Rise the Tides’ upcoming EP, “Death Walk”, out on March 25th and catch ’em at a show!

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