Congratulations on the release of your EP Sanctuary and supporting the U.S. and European tour! How did it feel being back in front of the crowd sharing your music once again?
It felt so good! There’s truly nothing like being on stage. Sharing this new EP for the first time live was insane. Fans were learning the music as we were experiencing it in a live setting for the first time. It made it really special for us.
The European leg ended recently. What are some of your favorite parts of being on tour?
Meeting the fans face to face. Especially fans of ours who are overseas and have supported the music from afar for years now. London, Paris & Amsterdam were some of our favorite cities to play in.
Sanctuary has a variety of songs that have helped fans feel as if they’ve grown with you throughout the years. Which songs resonate with you most?
“Don’t Go Changing” really resonates with us. Sometimes we need that reminder to just stay on course and embrace who we truly are. That’s easy to forget. Our fans need to hear this and so do we.
Critics have said that “Take Me” is just as good as “Potential Breakup Song.” What are your thoughts on this?
That’s a big compliment to us. PBS changed our career at a young age and I truly think that Take Me led us to our current sound. That song brought us back from the dead in a way and it means a lot that it was perceived so well after a 10-year hiatus from music.
Your recent partnership with The Trevor Project and Propeller to get as many people per show to sign a petition to end conversion therapy. Did you expect your partnership to get as many people involved and caring about this issue?
Actually, we did. Our fans are incredible people. Most people want to do good in society and the people that support our music are incredibly supportive of the LGBTQ+ community. Our fans showed up and took the time to donate each and every night. We will never forget this.
AJ, you’re on a spinoff show called “Schooled.” As fans continue moving with you from “The Goldbergs” to “Schooled,” what’s the most important thing you hope fans take with them from season to season?
Hopefully a continued sense of comfort and laughter. There have been so many times where a family will come up to me, expressing their love for the show and how every week that night of TV brings them together. Even if just for a short moment.
“Schooled” is back for a second season this fall! How does that feel and where do you hope Lainey evolves?
I hope she finds love again. Barry was her childhood sweetheart but it’s time for her to move on and embrace who she is as a woman. More importantly, I’m looking forward to her becoming a better teacher. I think she has a solid understanding for her students and I want to see her become an even stronger mentor.
Are there any projects you two hope to participate in in the future?
Aly and I would love to develop a one-act play for two women. Something that mirrors what we did in “Weepah Way For Now”. A dark comedy perhaps.
The “Star Maps” video features a star-studded cast. How did the casting and idea come together for this project?
We felt strongly about doing a cameo heavy performance video. We have so many talented friends that were willing to do this. After speaking with Amanda Crew (our dear friend who directed it) we ended up putting together our dream cast. We’ve never done anything like this and I think it’s a really strong visual that accompanies the song perfectly.
Sharing new music must be very nerve-wracking. What has been your reactions to how the fans responded to your new songs?
It’s incredibly emotional to see how our songs have affected people over the years. It makes us perform better, feeling the excitement from our crowd. We feed off that energy. Some nights it’s emotional. Especially when we perform “No One”. That moment is just us and an acoustic guitar. Eventually, the audience ends up joining us for the last chorus and we all sing it together.