Street: So how does it feel headlining in Philly?
Jesse Fink: It’s really exciting. The first time we played big time here was last year. We were literally just talking about it yesterday. We're really proud. Last year, we were opening at World Café Live and now we're headlining the Union Transfer. That's big. Philly is kind of our second home. So this feels like a homecoming show.
Street: Where is your favorite place to play in Philly?
JF: We opened for Jesse McCartney at the TLA. It is a really cool venue.
Street: So not Smokes?
JF: I was going to say Smokes, but decided not to. The sound system is not perfect. So no, but we have a soft spot for it.
Street: We interview you guys pretty often, what's new since we last talked?
JF: When was that? I think right before we played the Gramercy Theater. We sold out that show. It was a lot of fun and a lot of Penn people came. In January, we took a trip to LA. We wrote with a lot of people down there—a lot of big writers and producers. We wrote probably about 50 songs between last summer and February. We chose the all–around best five and went back to LA to record our first EP. We have two producers out there working on it now, and it should come out next month. Other than that we're doing shows right now. We're opening for Timeflies.
Street: If you could go on tour anywhere would it be?
JF: With two tours under our belt, we've covered most of the country. I would love to do some international stuff, though. I studied abroad in Australia and I would love to go back.
Street: Do you guys consider yourself a boy band or a man band?
JF: Man band. Definitely. My sister is a big fan and she sometimes calls us a boy band. I guess we've gotten a base of young girls and do some glam shots, but we aren’t a boy band. When I think boy band, I think synchronized dancing like Nsync. We all play our instruments and come from musical backgrounds. Little less bubble gum and a little more rock influences. I guess if you had to call us something, we are a band of boys. Or better yet, just a band.
Street: Who would be your dream opener?
JF: Sarah Lindstedt, which is lucky, because she's opening for us on the 20th at the Union Transfer.
Street: So how did you choose Sarah as your opener?
JF: We've been friends since freshman year. We were always jamming. I love her And I love her music.
Street: What is your craziest fan story?
JF: We're starting to get some super fans. I got a two–page, single space, hand written letter to my house the other day. We got a message that two girls are getting our lyrics tattooed so that's pretty crazy. Yeah, that’s a good G–rated answer.
Street: Oh, I am going regret asking this, but what is the hardest part of being a sexy frontman?
JF: Tough. I don’t think of myself as too sexy. I guess balancing that aura with my own perceptions of me. I can’t eat as much bacon as I used to. I really used to eat a lot of breakfast meats—burritos, too. Now I kind of watch what I eat. It’s pretty shitty.
Street: What is the best thing you learned at Penn?
JF: I learned that I didn’t want to be at school. And the best thing that happened to me was meeting my bandmates.
Street: Do you have any advice for other Penn musicians or even other college musicians?
JF: We usually receive more advice than we give, but now that we have a little success, I guess I can give it a shot....If you're passionate about something and have a little faith, you should go outside your comfort zone. We're young, this is the time to be passionate and pursue it.
This interview has been edited and condensed.