J-14 caught up with The Morning Of's Justin Wiley and Jessica Leplon at The Bamboozle Festival to talk about their new album, The Way I Fell In (it drops today, May 4!), Justin's crush on Katy Perry, and why Jess' nickname is "The Goldfish."
J-14: What's one of your fave songs on The Way I Fell In?
Justin Wiley: The last song on the CD is "Heaven or Hell" -- the reason I like it so much is because Copeland is my favorite band of all time and their singer, Aaron Marsh, sang on it. To have him on the record I wrote is unreal to me, just an unbelievable feeling. The first time we heard that song after he sang on it, we were driving over the Rocky Mountains -- he sent me an email and said, "Hey, here's the track." So we plugged in my internet card, downloaded it, and listened to it in the van, and I just remember it was the most beautiful moment of our lives. We listened to it seriously like 50 times in a row.
J-14: How have you grown since your first album?
Jessica Leplon: This record is a a lot different from the last because Justin, myself, and Dan the drummer weren't in the band when a lot of the stuff from the first record was written, so this was more of like this band. We all worked really hard together on it. It's a record that The Morning Of has been waiting to make.
Justin: With the old record, a lot of critics were saying High School Musical -- which isn't bad because Jess and I love HSM, but we wanted to prove that we are a band who can do catchy, fun songs, and we can also do more serious songs. We took our time and wrote a lot of songs and picked the best ones. I feel like we've grown up a lot.
J-14: What inspired the music on this record?
Jessica: It's the music we listen to.
Justin: We're a band who appreciates so many different kinds of music, from straight radio pop to weird indie music that nobody listens to but us. Even just a little part in someone else's song can inspire you to write your own. The first track on our CD is called "Jennasea," and the hook says something about coming home. OneRepublic's CD was really big in my life, and they have a song on their CD called "Coming Home," and it was one of the only songs to ever make me cry. I don't know what it was, but I remember going through a really tough breakup, and the lyrics were just so potent. I loved that idea of coming home, and that's when I wrote "Jennasea." All my relationships, whether it's with my parents, my bandmates, my girlfriends, my friends, that's what inspires me.
J-14: Is it tough to keep up relationships on the road?
Justin: I'd say that's what the majority of the CD is about. Maintaining relationships while you're away are just impossible -- they just fall apart. Even though you're trying your hardest to make something work and continue, it's just really, really hard to be in a relationship with somebody if they're always gone.
J-14: Jessica, what's it like to be the only girl in the band, especially on the road?
Jessica: Everyday it changes. I try to get my own space. There's a futon on the back of the bus, but I don't want to sleep [squished on there] with a bunch of guys! But they entertain me -- the [boys] come in handy.
Justin: We treat her like one of the boys, but we can tell when she's in a girly mood, and we cope with it. I think we treat her really well! Jessica is not a diva. We call her the goldfish because all you have to do is feed her and she's happy. I've never once heard her complain. If anyone's the diva, it's me.
J-14: Which band has been your fave to tour with?
Justin: I'd say Sparks the Rescue. They came on both of our headlining tours, and we just get along with that band better than anybody.
Jessica: I love them so much.
J-14: Who are your celeb crushes?
Jessica: I love Zac Efron! And I like Michael Cera.
Justin: Katy Perry. I really like "Waking Up in Vegas." What I like about her is her quirkiness. She's so cute!
The Morning Of played J-14's Truth Or Dare: Bamboozle Edition before their performance at the festival -- check out Justin and Jessica's answers here (and Jess' take on Drake!):