The Story So Far's Will Levy On Side Projects, Photography, 2022 Plans and More [Q&A]
Photos: Moe Horta
The Noise is Ones to Watch’s home for all things punk, hardcore, metal, emo, you name it.
With four profound albums already under their belt and a new highly anticipated release on the horizon, pop-punk stalwarts The Story So Far have proven themselves to be one of the cornerstones of the scene. Formed in Walnut Creek, California in 2007, the band's one-of-a-kind approach has taken them all around the globe and has inspired countless other artists over the past 15 years.
From iconic pop-punk anthems such as "Quicksand" and "Empty Space" to dreamy Oasis-esque tunes like "Upside Down" and "Take Me As You Please," The Story So Far has no shortage of material to play live on tour. The influential act recently concluded their jam-packed US headliner with Joyce Manor, Mom Jeans and Microwave which included a hefty career-spanning setlist of 20 songs and some of their biggest headline shows.
While out on the road, The Noise sat down with The Story So Far guitarist Will Levy for a quick chat before one of their many sold out dates. To check out what Levy had to say about his passion for film photography, his side project Cold Moon and what's next for The Story So Far, be sure to see below. For more from the band, head here.
You've managed to stay busy during the pandemic by releasing music under your side project Cold Moon. Can you explain how that band came to be and how your approach to songwriting differs for each project?
WILL LEVY: Cold Moon started before I was in the band but I've been friends with Kevin and Mike Ambrose for a long time now. Those two, along with Jack Sullivan, wrote some songs and asked if I would play bass. The approach is the same really, noodle around on guitar, either demo it at home, or bring it to the group and create it together in the room. Something special happens when you get in a room and play music with friends and [there are] no expectations other than being present in that moment.
Over the last few years you have also taken interest in film photography. What inspired you to take an analog approach to your art and what is your favorite part about film photography?
I got into photography from my grandparents who were always traveling and sharing photos from their trips. They also gave me a photo album of me as a baby, but once I turned a certain age, we stopped printing film and entered the digital age. So I felt motivated to document my time traveling and the people in my life. My favorite part about film photography is that I've gotten to learn so much and connect [with] a new community, similar to that of music. I've been given so much help and inspiration from my peers and that feeling of creativity and love is what I chase and is why I do the things I do.
For fans that might not know, the Proper Dose album artwork consists of photos that you took. What motivated you to create art in a way that doesn't directly involve music? Would you be interested in creating art for other artists?
I can't take all the credit here. I took a bunch of photos in Canada, I mean 20 rolls or something crazy, and as a band, artwork is the last thing we work on when it comes to our albums. So we ended up working with Robert Carmichael, I gave him my favorite shots from the trip and he came up with the layout and design and we tinkered until we settled with what you see now. The motivation was just to get more involved with our artwork and try something new. I'd love to be involved with more of it!
You have a very DIY approach towards creating/promoting your projects. What artists have inspired you to take this approach in your own work?
The band Title Fight played a huge role in my approach to artwork, they always had a sure vision and it was great seeing them do it themselves. But as far as photographers go, Kat Nijmeddin, Hayley Rippy, Ed Mason, Danielle Parsons and Chelsea Leopold have helped me a lot when it comes to artwork and pushing myself. I can reach out to them with questions about developing or anything and they've always been helpful and I'm constantly inspired by what they create. The world is full of beauty!
The Story So Far has been part of many awesome tours over the years with a lot of stacked lineups. How does this current tour compare to previous runs and how does it feel to be back on the road after some time off?
This tour has been great, all the bands bring something unique and great to the stage and provide a lot of energy. It feels great being back, I love playing music and shows now more than I ever have. I feel more confident in my playing and confidence in each other. We're having a great time.
When We Were Young Fest has created quite the buzz since it was originally announced and resulted in quick sell outs for all three dates. How does it feel to be included in such a legendary lineup and who are you most excited to see?
It feels great to be included, it also feels wild and really puts into perspective how long we've been doing this. I am truly humbled to be included in this line up. I can't wait to see AFI...hometown heroes!
What can fans expect for the rest of 2022? More touring and possibly new music?
We are working on new music but don't have any release date planned and of course we'll be touring some more this year.