Interview and words by: Shea Hill
Up and coming Canadian pop punk band Like Pacific are hot, real hot. Since the release of their first full-length album, Distant Like You Asked released via Pure Noise Records in 2016, Like Pacific has been on a roll. From touring with pop punk legends like Four Year Strong and Set Your Goals to tackling the beast that is Vans Warped Tour, Like Pacific carry a strong momentum propelling them to the top of the charts. Highlight Magazine sat down with singer Jordan Black and bassist Chris Thaung to discuss the band’s notable past, exciting present and promising future.
2016 was an incredible year for the band, and they’re not slowing down in 2017. The band are currently Senses Fail’s 15-year anniversary tour alongside Movements and Counterparts.
“So far it’s been a lot of fun,” Black said. “It’s so weird to think that we’re on tour with a band that everyone loved in high school, so it’s really cool to be here and do that. We’ve been friends with Counterparts for so long so we were waiting to tour with them so it feels right; it feels seamless. Movements are new friends of ours and they’re great, they’re awesome.”
“It’s insane because I never thought that I would get here,” Black said.
“These are all bands that we literally all grew up listening to whether it was at my high school or anything, it was all bands that we loved before we even started Like Pacific really,” Thaung said. “It’s cool to be on tour with them.”
Like Pacific are no stranger to extraordinary tours. Following a long U.S. tour with Neck Deep, State Champs and Knuckle Puck in spring 2016 (The Alternative Press World Tour), the band passed pop punk initiation by completing Vans Warped Tour in summer 2016. Black says “[The AP tour] was the biggest tour ever.” Thaung agrees, saying that it was “probably the best one [Like Pacific] has ever done.” The AP tour in spring 2016 kicked off Like Pacific’s album cycle for their first full-length album, Distant Like You Asked, which was released via Pure Noise Records.
“It was tough,” Black said. “It’s like you kind of have to do Warped Tour in this genre of music no matter what and it is a great thing for your band and I did have fun, but it’s a lot of hard work. Sometimes the bad can outweigh the good, but then on some days it can be great.”
Like Pacific shared a bandwagon with fellow Canadian pop punk band Safe to Say all summer on Warped Tour. They consider themselves lucky for that. According to Black, there was no way they could’ve imagined “doing it in a van.” Even though Thaung said he was “miserable 75 percent of the time” because of the heat, Black said he was in the same boat too.
“The one nice thing I can say about the bandwagon is you could close the curtain on your bunk and be alone when you needed to be alone. If you were in a van, you’d be like ‘okay, I’m looking at everybody right now and this sucks’.”
While Like Pacific are all Canadian born and raised, they tour their neighbor to the south arguably more often than their own home country. The guys mentioned Canada can be a bit too small at times, while the U.S. is spread out,. Black, however, still sent his love to Canada.
“Not that it sucks in Canada, but it’s just the fact that for music it’s really hard to break out and it’s very hard to get crowd attention I think,” Black said. “In the U.S., it’s like once you get that attention it’s like alright you got it. I mean, I think we got the attention. We started getting crazy tours and stuff like that, so like I’m going to say it’s way harder to tour Canada.”
Since signing to Pure Noise Records, the band have had more opportunities to tour outside of their vast home country. Signing to independent record label Pure Noise in December 2014 marked a turning point in Like Pacific’s career as a band. The band have described their experience with Pure Noise as “amazing” and “the best thing [we]could ever ask for.” Thaung revealed that Like Pacific have “always wanted to be on this label.”
“This is the label we saw ourselves being on,” Thaung said. “If we’re going to be on a label, we’d want to be on Pure Noise [Records]. Then it happened and we were like ‘holy fuck,’ and a bunch of our friends are on it and even new friends like Four Year Strong and stuff like, that so it’s very family oriented. It’s crazy.”
Distant Like You Asked received outstanding reviews and competed in the running for album of the year for many. Thaung said the band were “relieved” by the positive reception the album earned. The positive reception coming off the album kept the band going through a year of difficult touring schedules and hardly ever being home. This upcoming summer, Like Pacific will be home in Toronto working on their new album.
“The good thing about this is we’re going to take our time on this album,” Black said. “We’re not touring this summer. It’ll be nice to have the summer where I can see my friends, but also go to the studio 20 minutes away from my house and go home after.”
Thaung and Black admitted the next album with be a “little darker” and “very melodic.” Black said there could be less singing and more yelling. Fans can expect new music from Like Pacific in early 2018.
The future of Like Pacific looks bright, but occasionally Black and Thaung see the brightness in another light. When asked to describe the future of Like Pacific in one word, Thaung swiftly chimed in; “hectic.” Black agreed.
“Hectic, yeah. It could be anything, but definitely hectic.”