INTERVIEW: With Confidence at Slam Dunk Festival 2017

Australian quartet With Confidence have made quite the name for themselves over the past year or so. Since releasing their debut album Better Weather last June, they’ve unleashed their sentimental brand of pop-punk on worldwide tours and gathered a legion of fans in the process. We caught up with guitarist Inigo Del Carmen at Slam Dunk North to talk all about touring, writing, and changing the world through music.

Did you enjoy the festival yesterday?

IDC: It was amazing! It was so fun. I forgot how awesome it is to run into all the people that you know from last year. All our friends, Like Pacific, Trophy Eyes, Tonight Alive are here to have a good time. We partied it up yesterday!

Since you last played Slam Dunk you’ve dropped an album, Better Weather, and toured across the world. How have you managed such a crazy schedule? 

IDC: It’s been insane! To me it’s just normal now  — I can’t deal with being at home that much anymore. Being at home just gets my feet itchy and I hate, well, I don’t hate working but, when I’m working I’d rather be on the road.

We’ve been on the road now for about four months. Well, I have, the boys went back home between the States and Europe so they got a week, maybe a week and a half, but I went straight to Switzerland and Josh (Brozzesi) stayed in England so we’ve been away from home for quite a while now.

At this point in time it kind of gets like “Oh I miss home!” but lately it’s just been let’s go on let’s keep on going let’s do another tour real quick.

Where’s your favourite place to tour?

IDC: I’ve got to say, I love touring the US. Touring the US is my favourite thing because it’s so easy and it’s beautiful. Places like Washington, and driving through Utah, are insanely pretty. It’s probably my favourite country to tour. Apart from that, Switzerland is just amazing as well.

I think touring is one of the best ways to see a country. It’s not the best way to do touristy stuff because most of the time we’ll get to a city, we’ll do all the band stuff and then we’ll have an hour or two to roam around, but I mean that’s more than enough time to do whatever we need to.

This is your second time at Slam Dunk festival, what convinced you to come back?

IDC: It was just so good the first time around and like we were like “Why not?” It’s one of the best festivals to play especially here in the UK. We always hear that it’s the Warped Tour of England pretty much and it’s just the best. You have all these sick bands playing, it’s such a good time.

Alongside Slam Dunk, you’re currently playing four co-headline shows with Set It Off – how are they going so far?

IDC: They’ve been amazing! The Set It Off guys are fucking great. The opening bands as well like Too Close To Touch are so awesome, same with Homebound, everyone on this tour is so cool it’s just been awesome and I can’t wait to play London. Then we might need to say goodbye for now but like, it’s going to be sick, I think it’ll be awesome.

Since last year your fanbase has grown massively — do you still feel pressure performing to festival crowds?

IDC: Yes and no. It’s weird being on a bigger stage especially when you feel the need to fill the room. It gets a bit scary, especially when we’re crashing with Turnover — who I want to see — but yeah it’s alright. Yesterday’s turnout was fucking amazing, it blew our expectations out of the water like I didn’t think it was going to be that successful because, I mean we did pretty well on our headline tour but, this is a festival so there are so many other bands playing but like, people turned up and it was such a good time.

Yesterday’s turnout was fucking amazing, it blew our expectations out of the water. I didn’t think it was going to be that successful because, I mean we did pretty well on our headline tour, but this is a festival and there are so many other bands playing. But people turned up and it was such a good time.

It’s crazy how many people have told us we’ve been doing really good so I’m stoked.

You guys are heading back to Australia over the summer — are you excited to play some hometown shows?

IDC: Oh yeah, it’s funny because — the amount of times we’ve toured Australia — it’s like this might be the first year that we only tour it once and then I don’t know when the next time’s going to be. It’s fucking weird but I’m excited yeah, it’s good to play some hometown shows every now and then.

I kind of miss it. I miss driving, personally. You guys don’t have that much space between cities! I think the most you guys do are five-hour trips whereas in Australia the closest town’s about eight hours away, that’s Melbourne. I think Sydney to Adelaide is about fifteen hours. I miss it! I love the drives, I love our little minivan — it’s a good time.

Better Weather came out almost a year ago – have you had fun playing these songs on tour?

IDC: Oh hell yes! Before we finished the record I was already itching to play all the songs live. We played — I think it was on the Real Friends tour — we played “Keeper” even though it wasn’t released we were just like “Fuck it! I really want to play it, so let’s just do it!” Having the whole album out and being overseas and playing those songs for the first time in those countries is just all around awesome. When we did our headline tour here a couple of months ago it was just the best because we got to play all the songs from the album and a little bit more and people were so stoked about it. It was just a great time.

When we did our headline tour here a couple of months ago it was just the best because we got to play all the songs from the album and a little bit more and people were so stoked about it. It was just a great time.

I didn’t expect people, especially in Europe where we’ve never headlined before, to sing along or know the words but it was incredible. We sold out the last show on the tour and in Frankfurt we only had four tickets left — the shows were insanely good for our first ever headliner in Europe.

Have you had much time to write or think about new songs recently?

IDC: Yes and no, it really depends. On our last tour with State Champs me and Jayden had been writing a lot. But that was because we’d had the luxury of being on the bus with Against The Current and they had a little back room on their bus so I could nip out and write some lyrics. We’d have an acoustic guitar with us so I could jam some riffs too. ut I think writing on the road is one of the most difficult things to do because it’s a whole different vibe you’re not sleeping you’re always tired you’ve already played a show and you don’t really want to pick up the guitar again but you think “Fuck it, why not?” but I think the songs come out differently when you do it that way.

But I think writing on the road is one of the most difficult things to do because it’s a whole different vibe. You’re not sleeping, you’re always tired, you’ve already played a show, and you don’t really want to pick up the guitar again. But then you think “Fuck it, why not?”. I think the songs come out differently when you do it that way.

Do you get inspired by things that happen on tour?

IDC: Hell yeah, and also the bands we’re on tour with. I feel like every time we tour with a different band we pick up a bit of them in some of the songs we write afterwards. After we toured with Real Friends I was like “Ah shit I’m feeling different lyrics vibes” — I think I wrote “Dinner Bell” after touring with them. The way the words flow are very similar in my perspective.

Would you say your music has a message?

IDC: Definitely. I think this last album’s main message was don’t be afraid of how you feel. The whole message of “Voldemort” is that we should talk about depression. It’s not something that you want to hide. You shouldn’t feel like you have to hide it and we should all be open to talking about this stuff. I don’t know what the next album’s direction is going to be, but we definitely want to have a message in our music and our goal as a band is to make the world a better place. Through music, I think it will change a lot, hopefully.

What does the future hold for With Confidence? 

IDC: We have a lot of touring scheduled, I can’t say anything yet, but we’ll hopefully be returning to the UK, Europe, and the United States. Also, just a whole bunch of writing and see what we come up with and see how it goes.

Are you a With Confidence fan? Let us know @CelebMix!

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Written by Faith Ridler

Faith Ridler is a UK based student, music journalist, and twenty one pilots aficionado. Follow her on Twitter @FaithLRidler!