Against the Current's Chrissy Costanza on the Warped Tour and Pokemon Go

Against the Current's Chrissy Costanza on the Warped Tour and Pokemon Go

The 21-year-old tells all about touring, moving from singing covers to writing original songs, and growing as a band


ATC: (from left) guitarist Dan Gow, lead vocalist Chrissy Costanza and drummer Will Ferri will play a very different Hong Kong show this time.

Take three insanely likeable musicians, add a dash of social media savviness, an ear for a catchy tune, and a whole heap of talent: Against the Current have powered their way into the hearts and minds of even the most hardened music critics. But after getting their break on YouTube, this band does it for the fans, and believes in staying true to those who’ve followed them from the start. Fresh from two months on the road with Vans Warped Tour, frontwoman Chrissy Costanza was beginning to finally unwind when she chatted with Young Post.

What have you been up to today?

I did food shopping and I went to the pool and relaxed. We just got back from Warped Tour so I’ve been in hibernation mode. Now I’m making a pizza!

Video: How well do Alex Goot and Against The Current know each other?

How was Warped Tour?

It was awesome, a lot of fun. It was super-duper long, for sure, but it was a really great experience. It was cool being on tour with so many other bands, because we haven’t really toured much with anyone else. It was like band bootcamp! The highlight was getting to hang out with friends – we made this big Pokemon Go group for everyone on Team Valor, and had a huge group chat with everyone from every type of band in it. We’d meet up every night and take whatever gym was closest to where we were staying. We’d level-up gyms like crazy. It got very intense!

Which Pokemon is you favourite?

I really like eevee and vulpixes because they’re really cute … I know that’s kinda basic of me. I think lickitungs are hysterical – those are the greatest, and drowzees are crazy-looking but I like them.

Which Pokemon are you most like?

Jigglypuff. I’m small, pink and jig a lot!

What’s the idea behind the Speakeasy Sessions series?

We’re filming these live sessions from the trailer. They’re 100 per cent live: we hook up mics and record it all on Pro Tools, and put it online as is. We’re bringing in other singers from the tour. The first one was just us but we’re gonna have a lot of other singers in the videos posted throughout the rest of the year. We recorded five or six, I think. We covered everything from Justin Bieber to 30 Seconds to Mars and old school Taylor Swift.

Video: Against The Current answers lightning round

How did you end up on Rock Sound’s Black Parade album? What does My Chemical Romance and The Black Parade mean to you?

When I joined the band, I hadn’t been introduced to a lot of these bands on the scene – no emo bands or punk bands. The only band I knew was My Chemical Romance. The first song of theirs I heard was Helena and I absolutely fell in love with them. There was something about them that was a bit dark, a bit odd, a little weird. But it was so entrancing – the song were catchy and made you feel like you were part of something. That band is so influential for so many people and it’s really easy to see why.

Why did you pick Teenagers to cover?

We were given a couple of options – one was Teenagers, and we knew straight away we had to do that. It’s a classic My Chem song, it’s awesome. We did a very different take on it though, so it doesn’t sound exactly like the original because we knew it would never be as good as the original. So we went down a different route with it.

Are you excited about My Chem’s potential reunion?

Yeah! For sure, I don’t know what the deal is, so I’m not going to get too excited. But I would go to the show if they went back on tour.

What are your plans for your birthday?

My mum’s throwing me a party, I don’t know what she’s doing. Aside from that, I’m probably just going to go to New York City and go to a bar because I’m legal for the first time in the United States. But I don’t really drink much, so I’ll probably go to a wine bar and be a really lame 21-year-old! I want something low-key, whereas most people go out and do shots. We’ve been touring for so long – 18 is the legal age in most places – so I’ve been legal in most of the countries I’ve spent my year in anyway. It’s not like it’s going to be my first time walking into a bar and showing my ID. I’m just excited to be able to hang out with my friends and not have to worry about not being able to get in somewhere and holding everyone else back. I don’t care about the drinking, I just want to be able to go hang out and not have to worry about being too young.

YouTube stars Alex Goot and Against the Current gets original

Has your age ever been a problem when playing in any venues?

There was a place – in Texas, I think – where they wouldn’t let us into the green room. So we could only go into the venue when we played the show. And even then they made us have giant exes drawn on the back of our hands [to show they were underage]. It was kinda annoying, like – when we’re on stage we’re kind of in costume, but we had these giant exes in sharpie on us. And they talked down to us and were a little bit rude. We were like, ‘we’re not here to get drunk!’ We’re in a touring band – we could easily send our tour manager to buy us a bottle and then drink it on the bus if we really wanted it that bad. We’re not trying to use your venue as a source of alcohol – we’re just trying to do our job!

Now your album’s been out for a while and you’ve had time to stand back and see how it was received, have you been happy with the reviews?

Yeah, for sure! None of our fans have said they don’t like it. No one has said it’s not who were are – we’ve gotten none of that. We’ve had nothing but positive reactions from the people who matter most to us – the people who have supported us for years and have stuck with us. We can’t complain about anything – we haven’t had a backlash or any kind of negative review. If there are negative reviews out there I haven’t seen them. We’ve had great support from Kerrang! and Rock Sound and other alternative magazines. They’ve stuck with us and wrote good reviews, and we’re really thankful for that.

Now you have an album of original tracks, do you feel protective over the songs?

No! I would love for other people to cover the songs. We got our start doing covers and I think, and hearing other people covering our songs is super flattering. The fact that they like it enough to spend their time learning it is flattery to us – we love it. The best cover of one of our songs we’ve heard? There’s this girl called Lauren Bonnell and she does these acoustic live covers. She’s got a really great voice and she’s done a couple of our songs now. She’s awesome.

Looking forward to touring Asia again?

We love coming to Asia, we always have an awesome time there, so we can’t wait. We like to mix it up every show, so every show’s a little bit different. This time we have an album out. The first time we came to Hong Kong, there wasn’t much difference in the songs we were playing, so there wasn’t very much difference in the show we could put on. We have an entire record out we didn’t have last time, so it’s definitely going to be a very different show.

Against the Current will play at Macpherson Stadium on Friday.

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
Going with the flow


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