Fans are lined up trying to get a glimpse and taking pictures from outside the window. Is this normal for you guys?
Hayden Kaiser: I didn’t even notice they were there, so I guess it is normal now.
Just a day in the life of a celebrity.
Christofer Drew Ingle: I don’t know. I guess I never thought of myself as a celebrity or really any of us have. Because what does celebrity even mean, somebody who is celebrated?
Hayden: Yeah, I was going to say I never think of us as celebrities. I mean, I guess the band is but when we go home it’s not like, “Ah, I can’t go to this restaurant because it’s just not going to work.” It’s never like that but in this world we may look like we’re really cool.
Christofer: But about 10 minutes down the road we’re not as cool.
When did you realize you had talent, did you know yourself or did someone tell you?
Christofer: It didn’t really hit me until I started getting some recognition. Before that it was just something that we enjoyed doing and I still enjoy doing. I don’t think anybody ever told me like, “You’re a star!”
Hayden: I honestly didn’t start playing guitar until I was 12 or 13, before that I would just play video games. I still do that actually but when I was a kid I thought, “Man, I want to be a video game tester when I grow up.”
Your career kicked off after you began uploading your music to MySpace at 16. Are you disappointed MySpace is gone?
Christofer: Not at all. I wasted a lot of my life on that thing. From about 15 to 17 it was all just MySpace. Accepting friend requests, messaging people, replying to comments. I actually enjoyed choosing my background song though.
Hayden: And what was it called, the “Top 8”?
Taylor MacFee: If you were dating somebody they better not drop out of that number one spot or it’s over!
Christofer: The worst part is that it was in order too. You had to be like, “Who is my number one?” That’s kind of f-cked. That’s how you can ruin some friendships.
When you look back on the songs you wrote then, do you still feel a connection to them?
Christofer: The fan favorites that we’ve been playing throughout the years are still ingrained in my memory so I definitely still love playing those but there are also ones that I have forgotten about. A lot of them I just haven’t played in forever or even listened to so if someone asked me to play them I wouldn’t even be able to remember.
How would you describe your fanbase?
Christofer: Our fanbase is really something special because they are just all peace and love, they really are. These kids are all about it. It’s changed over time too, they are growing with us a little more now and we’re starting to see that. Kids are coming out that are older, getting into college and figuring out their sh-t, smoking pot, getting crazy, doing that sort of thing so it’s fun to see that. But then a lot of them are young girls who think we’re heartthrobs.
Taylor: Too bad they are sorely mistaken.
Christofer: Right? But it kind of comes with the territory, playing in a band there will be girls.
What has changed about you the most since you started?
Christofer: I’d say for me it’s that I’ve gotten to see the world and meet a lot of different kinds of people and see things from a bigger perspective. From being able to travel and do what I love, my mindset has changed. Before I was just a close-minded kid and pretty fearful of everything. I was a scaredy cat. Then I saw the world a little more and had my fun, experimented and now I just have a different mindset. I look at the world as a beautiful place and so much bigger than what I ever imagined it to be when I was younger.
Hayden: We grew up in the bible belt, too.
Taylor: When you go out and travel and see all of these different cultures and people and how they’re living it makes it really different when you get back to where you are from. International touring is pretty insane. Probably the first time that I ever saw something and was like, “Whoah,” was when we went to the Philippines for the first time. We were going to one of the malls that we were playing at and driving past the slums and all of the shacks and there were goats and dogs with three legs running around and kids playing. It was just so crazy to see because this was their life, this is how they live and they were fine with that, they were happy. Just some kids splashing in a puddle, playing or something. It makes you think, “I’m such a prick!” I complain because my water bill is too high.
Is there anything you would have enjoyed experiencing if your career hadn’t started so early and you had been living a “normal” life?
Taylor: Every now and again I think about it because when I first started playing music I also was playing sports at the time so the idea of playing college sports is really cool to me.
Christofer: This guy could dunk. He won a slam dunk contest in high school. Several!
Hayden: I always think about playing sports. It’s almost a curse because anytime I’m watching basketball or anything I’m like, “Man, that kid is younger than I am, he’s only 22.”
Taylor: Yes! That just happened to me when I was watching a game the other night. Man, if I wasn’t doing this, which is the best job in the world, I could have slummed it playing college basketball maybe. Or done some track, you know?
Christofer: And you’d be so fit. Man, that’d be great if I was just working out all the time. I’d feel so good.
Taylor: Just be beach ready at any moment!
What has been the biggest drawback that also comes with success?
Christofer: I would say relationships and finding the right group of dudes to live with for 80 percent of the year.
Taylor: Really relationships in general.
Christofer: Yeah, that too. It really puts a damper on any serious relationship you have, whether it be family or somebody you’re thinking about. That’s the hardest thing for me. I haven’t been able to have a truly functioning relationship since I’ve been hitting the road, which has been since I was 16. So I guess I’ve never really had a truly well-functioning relationship. But I feel like a lot of people haven’t. I’ve been in a lot of relationships but not one that’s like that.
Why do you think you three gel together so well?
Christofer: We’ve been playing music together since we were 13 so it just kinda happened. Who would have thought that one day we’d be playing in Never Shout Never?
Taylor: We argue with each other and bitch and moan and get sick of each other.
Christofer: Whenever you’re around people so much it’s easy to get on each others nerves but it always brushes out really smoothly.
If you could have a drink with anyone, who would it be?
Taylor: Oh, I’ve got like five people that just popped in my head.
Christofer: I know, I’ve got to filter through ‘em.
We like that it came quick.
Taylor: Well I drink quite a bit, so I think about these things.
Hayden: I’d definitely have a drink with Jackie Chan. Oh, man. I would ask him all sorts of questions like, “What did you think about doing the stunts during this movie?” or, “How was making this movie with this guy?” I would be such an idiot.
Taylor: What do you think Chan drinks?
Hayden: I don’t know. Something white.
Taylor: Yeah, like a nice unfiltered sake. You wouldn’t be able to understand a word he was saying after three or four drinks!
Christofer: I’d probably have a drink with Bob Marley.
Taylor: I’m really, really trying to figure out which one I want to pick. It feels so important that I pick the right one! It would probably be a three-way tie if that’s okay. It would either be Sam Elliott, Clint Eastwood or Frank Sinatra.
Cristofer: Frank Sinatra? That would be cool. You’d probably walk away with a little more confidence, buddy.
Taylor: Wait, I just booted Sam Elliott. Sorry. It would either be John Wayne “the Duke”, Clint Eastwood, or Frank Sinatra.
What are you most looking forward to during the holidays?
Christofer: My mom makes cinnamon rolls every Christmas morning. She’s been doing it ever since I can remember so that’s a nice touch. I’ll eat like two or three of them.
Taylor: I love Christmas, it’s honestly one of my favorite holidays if not my favorite holiday. When I was young my parents always played the Rosie O’Donnell Christmas record [“A Rosie Christmas”] that has all of these cover songs.
Christofer: That’s insanity.
Taylor: Yeah, she sings on it and has special guests like Elmo. Harry Connick Jr. makes an appearance. We did it from an early age and now it’s nostalgic. And the food too.
Hayden: I was just gonna say the food. We just have a good old fashioned family get together every Christmas morning.
Do you guys leave Chicago tonight?
Christofer: Yeah but first we’re going out to Joliet to go to the casino. Last time we won $2,500 at the slots!
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