With Winter Jam in full effect and the tour winding down, we had a chance to sit down with Family Force 5 guitarist Derek Mount- known as Chap Stique- shortly before the tour kicked off. He chatted with us about what he was looking forward to most and how the band prepares for a tour as massive as Winter Jam.
“There’s not a lot that I’m not looking forward to,” says Mount. “It’s going to be really, really exciting just to play in front of all of these amazing people, and to play with these a lot of these bands, we’re really, really good friends with a lot of those guys and I just can’t wait to see our friends in Jeremy Camp’s band, and the guys in Skillet, and Building 429 and Veridia, all these bands are just really great.
But what is Mount even more excited about? The answer might surprise you.
“I’ve got to be honest with you, but one things I’m really excited about, this is new to me but I hear that they are like die-hard ping pong players and that there are tournaments that happen all the time and that it gets really serious and there are ping pong tables that travel on tour.
“I’ve always enjoyed playing,” continues Mount. “I don’t know that I’m at the level that some of these guys are but I’m looking forward to improving my game, that’s one thing I’m really excited about.
Not many fans understand how boring life on the road can actually be, which could be surprising for a lot fans. This isn’t the case for Mount, though. But what better way to keep things interesting than a game of ping pong.
“I’m the opposite of most people on tour. I’ve heard all these guys talk about life on tour getting boring and I’ve never once experienced that man,” explains Mount. “There’s so much music to make and there’s always people out there that you want to make music with, and there’s all this stuff to explore and cities and cool people coming to the shows and figuring out how to get food, healthy food. I love tour life. I don’t often get bored, but I think this ping-pong thing is going to be a very welcome change for me.
“I need to hone the skills a little bit,” jokes Mount “Hollywood [drummer Teddy Boldt] is a really good player too so we’ve been talking about getting some doubles going…it’ll be nice!”
It doesn’t end with Winter Jam this year for Family Force 5. Toward the end of May, the band will hit the road for this year’s Vans Warped Tour- a tour completely different from Winter Jam, and one they’re veterans of.
“Everybody always wonders that,” says Mount. “Like “Well you’re playing in front of such different crowds, what are you gonna do differently?”
“For us, we’re just gonna be Family Force 5,” he continues. “Fortunately we’ve had a lot of opportunities to play in front of a lot of different crowds over the whole span of our long career. This will be our fifth Warped Tour, which we’re blown away by…makes us feel really old to say that.
The truth is, Mount says, people like to have a good time regardless of what they call themselves and Family Force 5 plays a big role in that. They try to bring a party that’s going to make people laugh and smile and hopefully inspire them.
“We’ve had some amazing conversations and amazing moments where we can connect with people on Warped Tour or tours like that, so we’re really looking forward to it,” continues Mount.
“So we don’t change much other than every tour we like to change our outfits, so we’ll probably have some fun new look. To be honest, the temperature difference between Winter Jam and Warped Tour is going to be drastic. I think we’ll change that up and have a little bit different setlist. We get a longer set at Warped Tour than we do at Winter Jam, so we have to fly through some stuff on Winter Jam.
Fashion is a big part of what Family Force 5 does. Their elaborate wardrobes are always a spectacle at their shows. But has there ever been something so over the top or crazy that they just couldn’t wear it?
“We talk about fashion all the time but I’m not sure that specific one. I’m trying to think, we are pretty whack when it comes to fashion especially when we go overseas and check out what’s happening,” says Mount. “Sweden is a place we always find amazing stuff, the Netherlands and we went to Norway this year. We found some incredible stuff in London and Leeds, and, living in LA, there’s just tons of weird things out there.
It’s funny for us to look back at what we thought was really rad at the time, or what we did think was kind of stupid but now think is kind of cool. I’m trying to think of something that would be too over the top. There’s always stuff that we’re kind of like “no, we don’t want to do that” but just a funny thing in general that I’ll say,” says Mount.
Stream the entire interview below: