Audition grows up with album

Danny Stevens, lead singer of Chicago’s The Audition, talks to Daily Cougar staff writer Roshan Bhatt about the rock band’s new record in stores today, influences and relationship with its label.

Roshan Bhatt: Your new album, Champion, is coming out soon. How did the writing process go?

Danny Stevens: The writing process was pretty unique. The band’s from Chicago, and I’m from Detroit. We all had gone up to our drummer Ryan (O’Connor’s) lake house in Wisconsin. We wrote five songs there, and after that I had flown home to Detroit. I wrote the lyrics and the melodies to those five songs, and while I was working on those, they sent me another five songs (that they had written). I flew to Chicago and I had the songs finished, and we basically kept what they liked and rewrote what they didn’t like, and that’s pretty much how it happened.

Bhatt: What are the major differences between Champion and your debut album, Controversy Loves Company?

Stevens: It’s much more mature; we’ve had three years to grow up from the last record. We were still teenagers and were just very young. In the past three years we’ve met so many people and our musical styles have changed. We’ve seen the world. I think that you can tell that it’s a better sound, and the album is more musical, and it’s not as straightforward (as our debut). There’s more depth to it.

Bhatt: What were your influences going into the recording of Champion?

Stevens: Personally, I was into r’b and soul music and country music. Bands like Rascal Flatts and Robin Thicke, Ray Charles, and Stevie Wonder. People like that were my really big influences for writing this record.

Bhatt: I’ve heard a lot of things about your record label, Victory Records – some good stories and some horror stories. What is your opinion of the label? Have they treated you well?

Stevens: A label is a label. Their job is to make money; they do what they have to do, just like we have to do to make money. Anything that they do, you can’t blame them for. They do their job for us, and we do our job for them. It’s a good relationship.

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