Ahead of the EP’s release, Dylan Minnette, Braeden Lemasters and Cole Preston took turns answering 20 questions for Billboard. Below, they weigh in on everything from the unexpected success of "Are You Bored Yet" to the importance of voting in this election.
1. What’s the first piece of music that you bought for yourself, and what was the medium?
Braeden Lemasters: I remember the first physical piece of music I bought was Funeral by Arcade Fire at Barnes and Noble when I was like 14 -- and WOW, good stuff. Listened on my dad’s old CD/vinyl player from the ‘90s as soon as I got home.
2. What was the first concert you saw?
Lemasters: The first concert I ever went to would have probably been my dad playing music at this coffee shop in Ohio called The Mocha House. I grew up watching him play at all the Ohio spots starting when I was like four.
3. What movie, or song, always makes you cry?
Lemasters: Titanic always makes me shed a tear. Jack!
4. Which of your new habits developed during quarantine do you think will persist when it is over?
Lemasters: I’d say getting up at the same time every morning, and drinking tons of water!
5. Who or what made you realize you could be an artist full-time?
Lemasters: My dad is the one who was always playing music and guitar and singing while I was growing up. All the songs he would play I always loved. It wasn’t until I was about 10 when I realized I wanted to play/write music, too, and a big reason for that was truly discovering The Beatles for the first time.
6. What’s at the top of your professional bucket list?
Lemasters: I just want to keep making music and evolving and being surprised with whatever happens.
7. How did your hometown/city shape who you are?
Lemasters: My hometown [Warren, Ohio] shaped who I am because of the family I grew up with. A very loving and supportive family. My grandma had one of the biggest effects on me. We were so close and she was so supportive of everything. Such a special person to have in my life.
8. What’s the last song you listened to?
Cole Preston: "So Long Old Bean" by Devendra Banhart.
9. If you could see any artist in concert, dead or alive, who would it be?
Preston: The Beatles, or Scott Walker somewhere fancy.
10. What’s the craziest thing you’ve seen happen in the crowd of one of your sets?
Preston: Our show in Glasgow, Scotland last year had to finish early because of a rowdy crowd. Always fun for the crowd to go ham, but this show was a little too out of control!
11. What’s the weirdest or most unique venue you’ve played?
Preston: The first-ever Wallows show happened at my old house near [the University of Southern California] while I was still in school. My friend Gideon was on the ultimate Frisbee team, and for some reason their "Frisbee prom" ended up happening at our house. We played that house party, which was also sort of a prom night I guess? It was wild.
12. Which band would you drop everything to join if you were asked?
Preston: I would never betray my Wallows family, ha! But...if BTS needed me for some reason, I might have to consider.
13. If you were not a musician, what would you be?
Preston: The true answer is I'd probably be somewhere in the music business (i.e at a label or managing or something). But if I had it my way, I'd be selling real estate. I'm addicted to Zillow. I'm on Zillow more than I'm on Instagram or Twitter.
14. As Election Day approaches, what message do you want to share with fans about the importance of voting?
Preston: Cast your vote! If this is your 10th election or your first election, VOTE! It matters. Don't let anybody tell you it doesn't. Our country needs it more than ever.
15. When did you first notice "Are You Bored Yet" was taking off on TikTok?
Dylan Minnette: Honestly, I don’t think we noticed for a very long time. Someone pointed out that Charli D’Amelio had done a TikTok to it -- singing along with the chorus -- like a week after she had posted it, and we were like, “Woah, okay!” I think she obviously brings a lot of attention to anything on that app, so i guess that’s what it was? But I still don’t even see it as a big “TikTok song,” honestly.
16. Overall, what has it been like to witness the slow burn success of "Are You Bored Yet," considering it was released in early 2019?
Minnette: It’s interesting, because we can’t see the success of the song unfolding in front of our eyes -- like in the form of crowds at festivals growing, or anything like that -- so it’s easy for it to not really feel real? We’ve obviously seen the streaming numbers go up exponentially this year, and that has blown our minds, but it’s not tangible or right in front of our eyes. We just can’t wait to get back out into the world as a band in the public eye and see the difference, if any, once we can finally do so. I think that would be particularly eye-opening.
I also think that we’re proud of this song in particular because it’s a song we’ve always really liked, but never saw it being “the song” for us, you know? So to have a song we made that we enjoy become more successful than we would’ve ever predicted is a really gratifying feeling, and sort of makes this feel like that underdog song to us. We’re just excited.
17. Who do you want to collaborate with next?
Minnette: Oh man, that’s a tough question to answer, because there’s just so many people that we would love to work with. But I’ll just manifest one at least… Ariana Grande.
18. What are the challenges of releasing music/an EP during a pandemic?
Minnette: Normally when you release a project, you have tons of interviews and appearances and shows around it to promote it, but that’s just not the case for any project in 2020. We’d love nothing more than to be able to play these songs live for our fans right now, because I think they’re the most fun, energetic songs that we’ve put out to date, and I just hope by the time we finally can play again, they’ll even still be relevant! But in actuality, this EP would not exist at all if it wasn’t for quarantine, so in the end, we only have it to thank for Remote.
19. What about the benefits/positives?
Minnette: I think the biggest benefit is that people in the music industry have now been forced to realize that it’s okay to release something without being able to do all of the rounds of promo for it or a tour, because people are just hungry for new music. Something new and meaningful purely to them to help stimulate their brains and their emotions. I’m just happy and thankful that we have the platform and opportunity to be able to do so.
20. What do you miss most about performing in front of a live audience?
Minnette: What I miss most is purely just that itself. There’s nothing like performing to an audience full of people, and giving that energy, and having that energy and excitement and love given back to you. Without that, I feel like there’s no real such thing as actually performing. I can’t wait to see everyone’s faces again. I hope they still want to when this is all said and done. We’re ready!