By Stephanie Amy Collazo
Day 26 has come a long way since they were first introduced to us on MTV’s Making the Band 4. Since 2007, they have released two studio albums, lost a member, switched labels and now – after a short break from the limelight – the foursome is back with their third album, A New Day. We met up with them in the Atlantic Records offices in N.Y.C. to catch up about the new album and their Valentine’s Day plans.
YRB: What have you been up to since dropping your last album, Forever In A Day?
Willie: Well, we took a little break to do the family thing initially. Since 2006, with the reality show into the album and the tours, then back to the studio [and] the [second] album, we never slowed down. So we took a little time for that, and in the process of that, we lost a member and we ended up switching labels, which was another break for us. I did a movie and a play I’ve been writing and other things – now it’s back to the studio, just gearing up.
YRB: Bands and artist who come from talent show competitions are sometimes scrutinized for their way of getting signed. Have you received any negative commentary?
Brian: Of course, it comes with the territory. If you don’t have people scrutinizing you then you’re not doing your job right.
Willie: I think the biggest thing with that is the thought process for other people. As people getting famous from reality shows they think that people give it to them overnight. What they don’t know is that we were all doing this way, way before we ever showed up on television. I was in a group called Kwiet Storm; we had a video on BET in 2001. Rob was signed to Wyclef, and that was all before. People don’t know that we were artists before making the band. I think that’s what really makes people not believe it as real. The fact that they think, ‘Oh, they’re just walking around getting cheesecake for Diddy.’ It’s a journey; it’s a real struggle. I feel that if people knew the real story they’d think, ‘Oh, those are just some grinding dudes that took a chance, and that’s where the reality TV show comes in.’
Robert: What makes up for all that is that we have amazing fans, the best fans in the world, so it’s hard to pay attention to all the negative stuff because we have so many people lifting us up. We pretty much focus on that.
YRB: A lot of artists that come out of those talent shows tend to fall off, how have you guys been able to hold it together?
Willie: We had fell off. [Laughs]
Mike: We went left when we should have went right. [Laughs]
Willie: You have got to stay true to God first, and you never know when your opportunity is coming. You’ve got a group of guys coming from multiple situations and continue to win.
Robert: This situation is a hard one to make it through as a group, in any way this is a hard situation for you to make it. So if you are expecting to come here and for it to be easy, you’re not going to last anyway. Ours is just a little bit harder than normal. We expect a struggle; we expect it to be hard.
YRB: We know that the dynamic of your group has changed from when we were first introduced to you. What would you say the experience of losing a member has taught you as a group and individually?