We The Kings have had a crazy year between releasing their third album Sunshine State of Mind, headlining the Friday Is Forever tour, and then finishing the year with a string of dates opening for Demi Lovato. Front man Travis Clark recently chatted with J-14 all about the new album, the sweet story behind the album's second single "Say You Like Me", and what it's like touring with his close friend Demi on the road.
Q: Where did the title Sunshine State of Mind come from?
Travis Clark: We live in Florida, which is the sunshine state, and because we pretty much spend eleven months on the road and a couple days here, a couple days there at home, we try to keep with us our family and friends from our hometown. It's really the only thing that we know for anything permanent and we wanted to dedicate a record to our friends and family. Sunshine State of Mind is kind of saying like, "Wherever we go, we always have you guys on our mind."
Q: What's the most personal track to you off the album?
Travis: It's weird but every song has a certain spot in my heart. Nothing was just thrown on the record, everything was there for a reason and there because I wanted it to be there. But there's a song off the record called "You and Only You" and it's a song that I really want to kind of one day sing to my wife -- wherever she is in the world. I think it's the most romantic song that I've ever written and I think it's the ultimate wedding song without straight up saying that this is a wedding song, you know? The lyrics and everything just means a lot to me. It's like when you find that one person that makes you want to stop looking and it's a really special thing and it's kind of just letting everyone know I'm still on the search for that one and only.
Q: What's the story behind your second single "Say You Like Me"?
Travis: The song, I wrote it in Australia while we were there in February earlier this year. We were on a tour called Soundwave. While I was in Sydney, I met this girl who was literally the most stunning person that I had ever seen in my entire life. I know nothing about her, it was really crazy. I went up to her and I said, "Hi," and I didn't know what else to say other than, 'Hi, you're so beautiful and I would regret it if I never told you that." And she was like, "Oh, that's really sweet." It wasn't at a show or anything like that, it was just literally while we were there walking around the streets. I wanted to see if she liked me for who I was and we literally sat down and talked for 15-20 minutes and she was like, "Well, I have to go," and I just didn't know what to say. I was literally stunned the whole time by how beautiful, nice ,and sweet she was. I didn't give her my name. I didn't ask for hers. I didn't do anything a normal person would do when they meet somebody, so I have no idea where she is or who she is. So I wrote "Say You Like Me" and it's kind of the idea that there's all these games that people play in relationships where it's like yes means no and if I say I don't want to hang out, it means I do want to hang out, and when they're mad at you, they want you to talk to them, but they really don't want you to talk to them.
Q: You guys are currently opening for your good friend Demi Lovato. How's it been going?
Travis: This is the first time that we're actually on an official tour with her. It's amazing, it's fun to just tour with somebody who knows your life outside of a band. We've been friends for a pretty long time and it's cool to just talk about other stuff other than music. We obviously talk about music because that's kind of our lives, but it's nice to be able to confide in somebody and talk to them about whatever is going on in life. She dyed her hair red and so we've kind of decided that this could be a ginger tour and there have been tons of people at the shows that dye their hair red for the shows and it's really funny to see when I look out in to the crowd, there are red heads for miles. It's crazy. We were just in Dallas for one of the show dates and that's where her family is from and I was walking by the hall and one of her cousins started freaking out when I walked by and got really nervous and shy to talk to me. It was so weird to me because when I see Demi, I see a girl whose done really well for herself and she is what people would call famous or what people would call a celebrity and they look at me and in my opinion she's a bigger artist, a bigger pop star, or well known, so I'm walking by and they start freaking out and are nervous to come over and talk to me.
Q: Do you guys have any fun stories or pranks you've played on each other?
Travis: Our keyboardist has an apple shaker. It's not like a tambourine but sometimes they have those egg shakers but he has one that's shaped like an apple. Demi and I thought it would be funny if we traded his shaker apple with a real apple. And so literally in the middle of the set we were playing "We'll Be A Dream", he picked it up, shook it once, and realized it was a real apple and just started cracking up laughing,
Watch Travis' prank for Demi here. Then be sure to check out how Demi got We The Kings back here.
Photo: Travis Clark