When you think of TIMES NEW ROMAN, the first thing that comes to mind is usually all the papers you had to write and how that was the standard font for all papers. Out of that need to break from the standard format came the Christiansburg band of the same name, fueled my teenage angst, catchy pop punk hooks, powerful guitar riffs, and emotional lyrics. The six-piece band includes vocalist Billy Sours, guitarist Glen Nuenighoff, keyboardist Luke Chamberlain, bassist Brandon Deacon, guitarist/vocalist Elliott Williams, and drummer Matt “Squid” Wade. Together, the band released their third studio album A Place to Rest Your Head in May of last year, and they have been dividing their time between school, work and everything in between. We spoke with Williams about his band’s scholarly name, how their new album has been received, as well as their plans for their next record.

Is TIMES NEW ROMAN your favorite font to use?

No, I usually go with Calibri. It’s the main setting for me. We are all in college, and TIMES NEW ROMAN makes my papers way shorter.

Did you consider any other fonts for your band name?

No (laughs), but we always get jokes about how we should have called our band ARIAL BOLD and been a metal band (laughs). I was in a journalism class in high school, and TIMES NEW ROMAN just stuck out to me because I liked the way it sounded.

How do you describe your band to people that have never heard of you?

It’s really hard to describe since we are a mix of pop punk and rock with some emo influences. It depends on what they listen to. People tell us we sound like THE WONDER YEARS mixed with RELIENT K, but I really have no idea how to describe our band to people who aren’t into pop punk.

Last year, you guys released A Place to Rest Your Head. What has the response been like to it?

Honestly, it has been a lot better than we expected. We recorded it with Mike Bridgett in Waldorf, MD, and he made the recording process go very smoothly. When we had our release show with MIXTAPES, it was packed, and we got a lot of great feedback. A couple months ago, a kid messaged us saying that the album has helped him through depression and thoughts of suicide, and we never thought our music could have such a powerful impact like that.

Is it something your parents are proud of?

Most of our parents are very proud of us. I can’t speak for the other guys, but my mom is really into it. She always played piano, and she played tambourine in her high school prom band. She is super proud and supportive of our band. My dad hasn’t really told me whether he is proud of our band or not.

Growing up, was your mom a big influence for you musically?

Definitely! I grew up around music all the time. She was a piano teacher, but I never learned. When I started getting into guitar, she pushed me to pursue it, and because of her, music has always been a big part of my life. We practice at her house, and I’m glad she introduced music to me so early on.

What is your favorite song to play off A Place to Rest Your Head?

It’s between “Haverchuck” and “One of My Own”. I like “Haverchuck” because it’s so fast, and it’s the most aggressive song we have written. It’s really fun to play. “One of My Own” means a lot to me. I don’t know what it’s about exactly, but one of my friends was going off to the army and he was dating this girl that was a really shitty person. I told him he should have dumped her, but didn’t take my advice and got engaged to her when he got back. To me, it’s about how you can’t let people drag you down, especially if they don’t take your advice.

When do you plan to release your next record?

We haven’t discussed it too much since we are all in school. We definitely still plan to write music and play shows, but next year is up in the air. Our keyboardist Luke is in ROTC, and in late July he has to leave for four years with the Air Force, and our other guitarist Glen, who I go to school with at Virginia Tech, is graduating and pursuing a job. Billy and I plan to take as much time as we need to write an EP or full-length, but we are still in the writing process. It also sucks that none of us have much free time.

Which do you prefer more: Sheetz or Wawa?

Wawa because their chicken parmesan subs are awesome, and they are heated to perfection every time. There is a Sheetz at home that gives me diarrhea, so I like Wawa better. Also, Wawa has their own tea, and it’s super good.

Other than your own, who is your favorite band from Virginia?

Currently, I have to say BOTTOM OF THE NINTH from Radford. We are friends with a bunch of other bands, but BOTTOM OF THE NINTH are the nicest dudes. They are a little younger than us, but they have always helped us out.

Do you think the Virginia music scene is heading in a good direction?

Honestly, I haven’t kept up with it as much as I have wanted to since I have been so busy with school, but shows are getting better. Our area is known as the New River Valley, and there are four main bands that have been really helping to turn things around: BOTTOM OF THE NINTH, PYRO, OHIO, ASIDE OCEANS, and us. Also, on our last tour in Richmond and Virginia Beach, there were amazing turnouts. Bands just gotta keep promoting, and people need to support local music.

What music festivals are you guys playing this spring and summer?

We are on the Bands Playing Music festival in Knoxville on May 23rd with VEARA and ON MY HONOUR. Nobody else has contacted us yet, but we plan to play at least one more this summer.

Are there any other shows or announcements you guys would like to make?

We are playing DISTANCES’ last show next Friday. It would be cool to see people come out and support those guys and the other bands playing. They are super dedicated, and we are stoked to be on the show. We are still doing stuff and working on songs on our own. We are not done yet.

For more updates on TIMES NEW ROMAN, be sure to “like” their Facebook page, follow them on Twitter, and check out their music on Bandcamp.

Joe Fitzpatrick

Joe Fitzpatrick

As editor-in-chief, Joe is very passionate about promoting music and culture in Virginia and DC. A resident of Fairfax, Joe enjoys going to shows, checking out local breweries, and trying new foods with his girlfriend Alex.

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