Weathers makes music for both sunny and stormy days. On some tracks, they sing about breezy drives under moonlit skies; on others, they’re unafraid to open up about mental health issues, from taking antidepressants to living with a schizophrenic loved one. In 2016, the LA indie rockers made a name for themselves with “Happy Pills,” which was a hit on alternative radio stations. Two years later, they released the Kids in the Night LP. Now, the guys are on tour with Warped Tour favorites Palaye Royale, playing venues across America.
Recently, we had the chance to chat with all four members of Weathers—Cameron Boyer, Cameron Olsen, Brennen Bates, and Cole Carson—before their show at Baltimore Soundstage. Read on to learn about the strange sights they’ve seen on tour, their childhood pastimes, their Scott Pilgrimalter egos, and more.
TYF: It’s your second night on tour. Do you guys have any especially funny stories from the road yet?
Cameron Boyer: We saw a llama in the back of someone’s car.
TYF: Oh my gosh. Where?
Boyer: Texas. We were driving out from Texas. This was on our way to the Palaye tour. It was pretty crazy.
Cole Carson: We also saw the weirdest-looking bus ever. Some dude was just chilling in a lawn chair on the upper deck.
Cameron Olsen: And the driver was full-on texting.
Brennen Bates: His forearms were steering.
Olsen: It was a party bus.
TYF: Was this also in Texas?
Olsen: This was literally 10 minutes after the llama.
TYF: Wow, that’s wild. In your song “Problems,” you sing, “Dance party at the DMV”; did you guys know that this region is also referred to as the DMV?
TYF: Yeah. As soon as I heard the lyric, I was like, “I’ve got to tell them.” DC, Maryland, Virginia… It’s the DMV region.
TYF: And we don’t call our DMV “the DMV.” We call it “the MVA.”
Boyer: What? Why?
Bates and Olsen: “Motor Vehicle Administration”?
TYF: Yeah. I guess if you called it the DMV here, people would get too confused, because everything is the DMV. But yeah, you guys are technically having a “dance party at the DMV” tonight.
Boyer: That is so true.
Bates: I like that a lot.
Carson: We’ll have to say that.
TYF: The crowd will go wild. Now I’ve got a few questions about your album Kids in the Night. You worked with Grouplove to write your song “Casual Mondays”; what was that experience like?
Boyer: That was insane. It was super awesome. We’ve been huge fans of Grouplove for a long time, so getting to meet Hannah [Hooper] and Christian [Zucconi], writing with them, was a really awesome experience. They’re very relaxed, chill people and very friendly. They wanted to write a song that felt carefree, if that makes sense. Something that the crowd could definitely sing along to. [While we were writing the song], we sat down with this thing called an Omnichord; it’s this little toy, basically, and you press different buttons and they’re all different chords in a certain key. So when we were coming up with chords, that’s how they wanted to do it, which is cool. It was pretty awesome.
TYF: You guys have a lot of cool music videos for your singles. In your music video for “Happy Pills,” Cameron Boyer is wearing a jacket that says, “So was red.” I’m curious as to what that means.
Boyer: One of my favorite movies is The Shawshank Redemption. And in that movie, you see “So was Red” carved into a room. When Morgan Freeman’s character gets out of prison, he goes to this hotel where he gets to stay for a little while so he can get his feet back on the ground. It’s where they send all the prisoners when they get out after a really long time. One of the characters, Red, was an older guy. And he went there and he committed suicide in the room. And Morgan Freeman’s character wrote, “So was Red” because it said the other guy was there on the wall.
TYF: Got it; interesting. In the music video for that song, you also change ages. If you guys could change ages in real life, what age would you change to and why?
Olsen: I’d probably change to middle school or something. Do I still have the knowledge that I have right now?
TYF: You still have the knowledge, yeah.
Olsen: Okay. I’d probably do middle school, ’cause I feel like with what I know now, I could dominate in sports as a kid. With the confidence [I have now]… (Laughs)Yeah, I’d go back to middle school.
Bates: I actually would say the same thing.
Boyer: I’d go back to 14. I want to start high school all over again. I want to have a better high school experience. I mean, it was a good one. I’m just such a different person now, and I would like to go back and do it the way I would if I were me then.
Carson: I don’t know. I think I’d probably stay the same age that I am. Honestly, I like the way everything played out, and if I did it again, it probably wouldn’t play out the same, so… Yeah, I’m pretty happy with how things went. (To Olsen) Also, sorry—“Dominate in sports?” I mean, are you the same size?
Olsen: I feel like at that age, it was kind of like a mental thing. Because everyone was kind of the same size in middle school, if you think about it.
Carson: Well, there were some kids…
Olsen: Yeah. But [in middle school], you don’t have that mental confidence yet. That aggression. You know what I mean? …I know when I played as a kid, I was kinda scared of everybody else.
Carson: I just needed an explanation ’cause I was confused.
TYF: Cameron [Boyer], you directed the videos for “The Night Is Calling,” “1983” and “Problems.” Is directing something that you want to pursue, or is it more of a side hobby?
Boyer: I think music and directing are both equally strong passions for me. Music just happened first. I love doing both, and it’s super rad that I get to do them with the band.
TYF: For sure. If you guys could star in a film together—not as Weathers, but as any cast of characters you wanted to be—and you could decide the plot, the setting, everything, who would you be? What would it be about?
Bates: That’s a really cool question.
TYF: Thank you.
Boyer: I definitely would want to be in a coming-of-age style story. I would want to be a kid going through high school and… strugglingwith something. And then figuring it out at the end, but having it not turn out the way I wanted it to. It would turn out a way that I didn’t expect, but that is actually better for me, if that makes sense. I don’t know where the other guys would fit. I feel like Cole would be…
Bates and Boyer: The jock.
Bates: But the jock who’s not actually a dick. You know how, usually, in the coming of age stories, the jock’s the dick? He’d be more of a middle-ground jock.
Olsen: He’s the backup quarterback.
Boyer: Have you seen Sex Education? Have you seen that show?
TYF: I haven’t, no.
Boyer: Okay. Well, Cole would be the jock in that. He’s a really cool guy. He’s still popular and stuff, and really good at sports, but he’s a really likable character at the same time.
Carson: I’ll take it, I guess. (Laughs)
Boyer: That’s a huge compliment to you.
Carson: Thanks. If it was me, I would have us all be Indiana Jones and going on an adventure together. I’ve been playing a lot of Tomb Raiderlately, so I’d like to go on some kind of puzzle-solving quest.
Boyer: I would not wanna be part of that with you guys.
Carson: No? That’d be so fun!
Boyer: Absolutely not. I don’t wanna die.
Bates: (To Boyer) But if it’s a movie… (To Carson) I thought you were gonna say Reservoir Dogsor something.
Olsen: I mean, we coulddo an action film, but in reality, none of us really would fit in in an action film. The more feasible one would be a coming of age movie. ’Cause if I was handed a gun, I wouldn’t know what the hell to do with it… but Reservoir Dogsor a Quentin Tarantino, Western-style thing wouldbe fun. Something like Scott Pilgrimwould be kinda cool, too.
Boyer: Maybe Scott Pilgrimmeets Blade Runner, minus the action. So, like, a cyberpunk Scott Pilgrim.
Olsen: [I like how] in Scott Pilgrim, they’re not a big band or anything, but everyone in the town knows who they are.
TYF: Yeah. Scott Pilgrim is one of my favorite movies.
Olsen: We’ve seen it probably 15 times as a band, at least.
Boyer: I used to have it on my computer. I’d watch it in middle school all the time.
TYF: I love that. What was your favorite music video to film as a band?
Boyer: Directing-wise, the most fun was probably the “Problems” video.
TYF: Would you guys say the same thing?
TYF: Because your album is called “Kids in the Night,” what were your favorite things to do as kids?
Boyer: I played a lot of sports when I was a kid. I lived on the beach growing up, and I loved going out late at night. I’d ride my bike up and down the strand really late, and my dad would get mad at me ’cause it was not safe. I dunno… I didn’t have a lot of freedom as a kid, so it’s hard to think of stuff other than school and sports.
Bates: Same thing, kind of. When I was a kid, I would always sneak out of the house. And my best friend lived, like, a two-minute walk away from me, so we’d walk around the town and go to the local campus and throw water balls around and talk and hang out and have a good time, but without doing anything stupid. Get to know each other more.
Olsen: I did a lot of sports as a kid. That was fun. Wandered around a lot. I had a lot of freedom. I was the youngest child, and I two older brothers, so by the time it was my turn… You know, my parents kind of gave up on the third try.
Boyer: That makes so much sense.
Olsen: Like, they didn’t put as many restrictions on me, ’cause they had been there, done that. I was also a total video game nerd.
Boyer: Me, too.
Olsen: Fourth, fifth and sixth grade, I’d be playing Halo and Call of Duty from sunup until sundown and then sunup. I did a lot of music as a kid, too.
Carson: I grew up in a small town in Illinois, so we could go outside and do whatever. A lot of flashlight tag went down at night. A lot of injuries. It was super fun. I loved sports growing up. I would ride my bike around town; it was my best friend. There were, like, 2,800 people, so you could kind of do whatever you wanted. That was pretty much what we did. You had to make your own fun.
TYF: Your song “1983” is about driving. What are your favorite places to drive to?
Boyer: PCH late at night is the best.
TYF: What’s PCH?
Boyer: Pacific Coast Highway. It runs across the whole US West Coast. That road going from Hermosa Beach to Malibu is such a good stretch. It’s so awesome. Also, I love going into the more industrial side of LA. It’s kind of like a creepy side of LA, and I like it a lot. And then the area around the South Bay, around Redondo, has some really good driving roads. In Hermosa, there’s really only one good road, which is Hermosa Avenue, and it’s great. Those are some good places, for sure.
Carson: I like camping—going out to a national park where you don’t see any buildings or anything. And you’re playing some alternative music, and you think it wouldn’t fit, but it oddly does, and it’s really relaxing, and there’s nobody else. You can’t see anybody else; you’re kind of in your own world. That’s pretty cool.
TYF: Yup. What are your favorite songs to listen to while driving?
Boyer: It changes all the time. I have the Drive playlist on Spotify, and I’ll put it on shuffle. I think my top one would be “Nightcall” by Kavinsky.
TYF: “Nightcall”! What a banger.
Olsen: (Laughs) It’s all dependent on mood. Mad, sad, happy… It’s gonna totally change what I want to drive to that night.
Boyer: Sometimes you want to drive your car like… [I mean] the mentality; I’m not saying you actually do this, but the mentality is, you want to drive very violently, if that makes sense. Sometimes there are driving songs [that make you want to] drive your car 80 miles an hour and then crash into a wall.
Bates: Kaleo’s my main listening song when I’m riding my motorcycle.
TYF: Good stuff. We’ve got a little bit of extra time, so I’ll ask you another question: If you guys were evil exes in Scott Pilgrim, and each one of you had to fight Scott Pilgrim in some kind of battle, what would your battle be?
(The guys collectively laugh and “ohh!”)
Olsen: Cole would be the “pirates are in this year” one because he says it all the time.
Carson: I love that, but I think I would relate to the Chris Evans one the most.
Olsen: Brennen would be the two DJ guys.
Bates: The Kawasaki twins or something like that?
Olsen: Yeah, ’cause you play that Amplify game. I feel like that’s like the type of thing that they would do.
Boyer: Style-wise, I’d stick with Matthew Patel.
Carson: Boyer would be that main guy at the end.
Boyer: Thanks, man.
Carson: I dunno. That’s the one you’d relate to the most, I think.
Boyer: Hey, you do not know me at all.
Olsen: I don’t know which one I’d be. Maybe the lesbian one.
Boyer: I thought I was going to be the lesbian one.
Olsen: None of us can be the vegan one.
Boyer: Josh, our tour manager, can be the vegan.
TYF: Finally, is there anything else you guys want to say to the fans and the readers? Anything you want to let the people know?
Boyer: We love you.