Finding that “Fix”: An Interview with Artist Vs. Poet
I recently sat down with the guys from Artist Vs. Poet (or AVP) before their show at Soma for the ‘Bout Damn Time tour with This Providence, The Audition, Anarbor and The Bigger Lights.
AVP are a five-member pop-punk band from Denton, Texas, comprised of Tarcy Thomason on vocals, Joe Westbrook on drums, Jason Dean on bass and Craig Calloway and Joe Kirkland (aka “Kirky”) on guitars. Hanging out with AVP, you would think that these guys are longtime friends based on their comfort with each other and easy interaction. However, the guys in the band have really only known each other for a few years after finding each other via MySpace and YouTube, which is a real testament to the “MySpace Age” of music. According to Thomason, he “just posted a bulletin and said, ‘Hey I wanna get together and start something new.’ It was just gonna start out acoustic but then Craig responded to it and we wrote a few songs and got in the studio and soon enough it became a full band.” The band was completed upon finding “Kirky” in a video on YouTube.
During their first tour as a band, AVP got a lucky break. “Bob Becker came out to a show and randomly saw us and he wasn’t even there for our set,” Thomason said. That’s where it all started. Shortly thereafter, AVP were picked up by Fearless Records only a year after becoming a fully formed band. Their popularity rapidly increased, with attention from Alternative Press as well as having their music featured on MTV shows “The Real World” and “Parental Control.” When asked what it feels like to be recognized so early on in their career as a band, Thomason simply says, “It’s been amazing. The whole story of the band is really just surreal. It’s great.”
Since joining Fearless Records, AVP have released two EPs to much success, and on March 2nd of this year released their first full-length album, Favorite Fix. The album includes the title track from their Damn Rough Night EP, as well as 11 other extremely catchy songs that not only stick in your head, but also reveal experiences and emotions that the audience can instantly relate to. The album contains songs about “whatever we’re going through at the time,” Dean said, “whether it be good or bad. We like to take things that we find in our lives that the kids can relate to.” Thomason says the title song is “about addiction, whatever it may be. It doesn’t have to be a drug addiction or anything like that…and it’s about trying to overcome that addiction.” In regards to the response to the album, Dean said, “People like it. It’s a little bit different from the stuff we’ve done in the past, but nobody seems to mind.”
“We’re all stoked on it. We’re very proud of it,” added Thomason.
Later on, AVP took the stage with the biggest (and arguably the catchiest) hit off their album so far, “Car Crash.” They are bursting with energy and instantly captivating the crowd of screaming girls, and even the boyfriends that came with them. Not only are they energetic, making full use of the stage, but their passion for their music is also clearly visible, most notably in Thomason as he pours everything into singing the songs. Finishing the set with “Damn Rough Night,” it’s clear to me that as long as their energy and passion remain, they will soon be the “Favorite Fix” of millions.
Be sure to catch Artist Vs. Poet when they return to San Diego for the Vans Warped Tour on August 10th, and check out Favorite Fix, available now on iTunes.