On January 31, Columbus, Ohio's My Ticket Home released their debut full-length album, To Create A Cure on Rise Records.
Amid a busy touring schedule, guitarist Derek Blevins sat down with Guitar World to discuss the new release, friendships with fellow Rise Records bands and their deep appreciation of their fans.
GUITAR WORLD: Tell me about how My Ticket Home came to be and how you began playing music.
It started about three and a half years ago. I actually wasn’t involved in the band at the beginning. They started because they all went to high school together and grew up together and just started playing music and really enjoyed themselves.
I came around about a year ago, and everyone was very incredible and were very good friends. They had just lost their guitar player, Eli Ford, who’s now in Like Moths to Flames. Since we had known each other, I kind of just started filling in for a while. A lot was going on then with our old singer and guitar player, Sean Mackowski, who is now the fill-in guitar player for Attack Attack! I wasn’t originally supposed to even be in the band, let alone sing.
As soon as things started kicking off with Sean and Attack Attack!, I kind of just became permanent. We had Opportunity to Be come out in November 2010, and that was the first EP we released with Rise Records. After that, we just started writing and pushing really hard. Since releasing To Create a Cure, we’ve had very positive response, and the fans have been super-awesome. We really appreciate that. Now we’re just touring and trying to live the dream.
Where did you guys record To Create a Cure? Did you write the album in the studio?
We actually wrote the whole album outside of the studio. We had all done our own pre-pro, so we had everything pretty much done. We brought it to the producer, Caleb Shomo, who is also the vocalist for Attack Attack!
So you guys still maintain a pretty good relationship with Attack Attack!
Oh, definitely. We all grew up together and have known each other since high school. We’ve all been friends for a while.
There seems to be a pretty prominent heavy music scene where you guys are from. What about being from Columbus, Ohio, has influenced the style of music you play?
It’s definitely just the environment. Everyone out of Columbus is very positive, and the music scene there is so strong and incredible. It really is. For us, it’s just what we like to write, and it’s what people wanted to hear, so that’s what we went with.
Who have been some of your personal influences?
Definitely Stray From the Path. They’ve been a huge influence — not only for me but also for the entire band. The vocalist of Panic! At the Disco, Brendon Urie, has been a personal vocal influence, just because he’s amazing. I look up to him very much. Slipknot is a very large influence for us too.
You also recently shot a video for “A New Breed.” Tell me a little bit about the inspiration behind that and why you chose that song.
To be honest, we’ve always wanted to do a music video. We talked to Thunder Down Country, who are the ones that filmed it, and we just thought it’d be a cool idea to go out to the Mansfield Prison and shoot a really chaotic and really hectic performance video. We feel that a lot of performance videos have been done, but not a lot of them are done crazy [laughs]. We wanted it to be insane. I think that’s what we pulled through on that one.
As far as releasing “A New Breed,” we felt it was very “us.” It was a very well-rounded version of what we wanted to represent ourselves as for a song. There are a lot of other songs on the record that are definitely a lot different than expected.
You guys are touring a ton this winter with bands such as That’s Outrageous and Casino Madrid, and you have a tour with Decoder and We Are Defiance starting in March. How have the fans taken to the live set so far in terms of the new record?
Oh, man -- it’s been amazing. The turnout has been fantastic. The fans have been more than supportive and more than we could have ever asked for. It’s so incredible to see the scene so alive and still supporting music in general. It means so much that people are actually buying our record, you know. We never expected to do as well as we are, and we are very blessed and just unbelievably stoked about how good of a reaction we’ve gotten. This May, we’ll actually be heading out on the road again with The Air I Breath, Hands Like Houses — they’re so good — and Palisades.
Has there been any talk about an EP between TCAC and your next full-length?
Yeah. It’s definitely been discussed, but we kind of just want to wait and see how this album and how we do before jumping into writing something else.
Rise Records seems to be generous about letting bands do what they want. How has it been for you to have freedom on such a supportive yet successful label?
Rise has been so amazing through all of this. Essentially, they really have let us do whatever we wanted. We didn’t really have any boundaries or rules. It’s been awesome. The freedom — it’s really awesome to see a label just let a band go and run with it, you know what I mean? And that’s what I feel brings out the musicianship in all of us, is that fact there are no guidelines. You just write. It’s definitely a good thing. Thank you to everyone for everything. It’s been one of the most amazing times of our lives.
For more information on tour dates and releases, visit the official My Ticket Home Facebook page.