Balance and Composure have been having a busy year year on the road since releasing their album The Things We Think We’re Missing. We were lucky enough to sit down with vocalist/guitarist Jon Simmons before he and the band hit the stage in Eindhoven. Jon dished to us about the band’s creative process, artwork, what’s it like to juggle work and music, and a lot more! Find out all the details in our interview.
HTF: How have you been enjoying the UK and European shows so far?
JS: It’s been great. UK was really fun, Europe started yesterday in Belgium. That was a great show, and tonight is the second European show and I’m excited.
HTF: Are you looking forward to doing/ seeing anything if you have a few days off?
JS: Yeah, I’m always up to see anything. We walked around today, it was amazing. Well, chaotic with the football matches. It was absolute chaos. We always sight see when we have downtime. I love Antwerp; where we played yesterday, it’s one of my favourite cities. It’s beautiful. We really explored yesterday and that was great. It’s an old, beautiful city and everything was cool.
HTF: Take me back a few years to the inception of Balance and Composure. How did the band come about?
JS: In high school. I asked Bailey and Matt to jam with me and my friend Andy. Andy and I have been friends for fifteen years now. We made a band. Eric, who’s older, finished college and joined about a year later. So we started the band like senior year, junior year for Bailey and Matt.
HTF: What is your creative process like?
JS: It varies. Someone comes up with an idea, usually a little part to a song like a riff or a verse or something. Someone brings that to practice, presents it to the group. If we like it, we build on it and make it a full song. It’s a collaborate process that a lot of people start, which obviously has to happen.
HTF: You recorded your last record with Will Yip, and recorded to tape. What was that experience like?
JS: It was really cool. The final product turned out really well, but it was a little difficult at times. It was something we had never experienced. We were used to being able to stop and just start from where you messed up. With tape, you have to go through the whole song without a mess up. It definitely makes you better musicians but it’s tough because it’s a new song, you wouldn’t have it perfect yet when you go to record it. So you just have to do it over and over and over again.
HTF: You locked yourself away in a cabin writing this record, is this something you would like to do again?
JS: I personally would. I think the outcome turned out really well, but we haven’t discussed it as a band. Maybe not necessarily a cabin, but just being away from everything is really nice.
HTF: You also contributed a song to the Will Yip/ Studio 4 compilation Off the Board. Was that a song you had originally planned for a previous release or was it new for the compilation?
JS: It was going to be for The Things We Think We’re Missing, but didn’t make the cut. It didn’t think it flowed with the album so we saved it for that.
HTF: Artwork has always been quite important to the band, and the artwork for The Things We Think We’re Missing was also done by yourselves. How do you feel it ties together with the music?
JS: It’s just what we saw. We had the record for a while and thought about what we wanted the artwork to look like. It can mean anything to anyone, but that is what we envisioned with the album.
HTF: Balance and Composure recently toured with Manchester Orchestra. Who are some other heroes you would like to tour with?
JS: Manchester Orchestra was great. No, there’s no one else we’d like to tour with. We’re done. We’re breaking up. Just kidding. I don’t know, there are always bands we want to tour with that are not really possible, it feels like. Like Foo Fighters, or Radiohead. The Joy Formidable, that would be really cool. There are always bands we want to tour with. We love touring with Circa Survive too, we’d love to do that again.
HTF: Some of you guys have regular jobs aside from music. How do you juggle having a 9-to-5 job and the demands of being in a band, like touring?
JS: It’s tough, but my job lets me come and go for touring and recording and stuff, which I’m very lucky to have. So after work, usually I practise. The other guys wait for me to get out of work and we do it for like two hours afterwards. I get home around ten, and I start the next day the same. It’s stressful, but it works because I also don’t want to be broke.
HTF: Have you got any plans for an upcoming record and/or for 2015?
JS: We’re going to take some time off when we get home from here. Two more weeks in Europe then we go home, thank god. I’m just excited to sleep in my bed and stuff. We’re going to dabble with ideas, maybe start the writing process. We’ll be home for like six months so we’ll have time to do stuff like that.