An interview with Secondbest From the Western Suburbs of Sydney. Secondbest
Article By Cindy James on May 26, 2002

Secondbest From the Western Suburbs of Sydney come 5 piece punk/emo outfit SECONDBEST. S.B have existed for a little over 2 years now, with a stable line up for just under a year. In this year the band has experienced a quick rise picking up the supports of Millencolin, Unwritten Law,

and The Ataris. Following the successful release of their debut single “Cold Wind” the band have gained a position on this years Vans Warped tour and seen themselves tour the country already this year. I have a quick chat to guitarist/vocals Tariq of this rising band Secondbest.

Cindy: So what’s the current line-up of Secondbest?
Tariq: Aram Kemer Drums18, Nathan Tchier vocals 21, Steve Guia bass 16, Zaven Kemer guitar 16, and Tariq Tchier guitar, backing vocals 17.
Cindy: When & how did the band form?
Tariq: We pretty much formed at school. We were in year 10 and Aram and myself were best friends. We started jamming and it all began in his garage. We have had a few line up changes but it's all in cement now.
Cindy: Where are Secondbest based?
Tariq: We live in the Parramatta region, and I know everyone reading this is like "ohhh are they from there? :(" haha but yeah we don't like it as much as the next person. That's why we tour so we can see as much of the country as possible and not just stay here haha
Cindy: How did the band name come about?
Tariq: Aram always believed that he was " Secondbest" at everything, and no matter how good you are at something, there is always gonna be someone better than you. So yeah he chucked the idea up and we agreed.
Cindy: What would some of the musical influences behind Secondbest consist of?
Tariq: There are a heap of bands. The stuff we have recorded is mainly our punk influences coz the songs are fairly old…like Cold Wind etc are close to 2 years old, so they would be influenced by bands like Strung Out, Texas is the Reason and Midtown. The newer stuff however is fairly different. I have been listening to a lot of heavier stuff lately so it is starting to come out in the music. My main goal is to have as much power in the music as possible without actually being a heavy, heavy band. So I like to keep it as melodic as possible but give the music a lot of feeling and power.
Cindy: Do you feel you have changed as the band has progressed?

Tariq: Of course! We started as 15 year olds and looking back, I guess my songwriting has progressed a hell of a lot and the band as a whole has gotten much better at performing live and together we have made up some really different songs and learnt a whole lot about the industry and stuff. I guess we have come a long way but there is a lot more to go. We have only just begun I guess. We have learnt to deal with a lot of complex issues that are involved when being in a band and have moved forward, together as a whole.
Cindy: Just completing a string of Perth, Melbourne and Qld shows and the N.S.W leg of the Vans Warped Tour, did the band make many new contacts, friends or tour plans whilst on the road?
Tariq: Umm all the touring we have been doing has really expanded our fan base; we have made some awesome new friends and played with some very cool bands across the country. Our Perth tour was wicked because the turnouts to the shows blew us away. It was an excellent experience, as were Melbourne and Qld. The Qld tour was more to record our new EP and film clip, and we fit in some shows as well so it was pretty hectic, but we would do it all again.
Cindy: You guys are just completing the finishing touches of your forth coming E.P set for release in July, are there any plans to release a single and video film clip insight?
Tariq: Yeah the first single is called "Don't Look Back" and the clip is done for it. We are hoping to release the EP late July if all goes to plan. The film clip and single will be released a few weeks prior to the release of the CD. ‘Don't Look Back’ is kind of a live favourite I guess, so we released the song that has gotten the best feedback from our live show.
Cindy: Have you guys thought of a title yet?
Tariq: We were thinking of titles, but we didn't want to be cliché and just have a 3-syllable title ya know? So we just named it after the title track, and let the music speak for itself.
Cindy: Can you tell us a bit about the split compilation C.D Secondbest are featuring on along side U.S.A’s “Midtown” “The Movie life” and Melbourne’s own Blueline Medic, and how this compilation came about?
Tariq: Well its kind of Nathan's project that he has been working on for quite some time now.
Midtown are a great band and good friends of ours, so Nathan got the ball rolling with their manager and it is all falling into place now. It is released late June in Australia on Redline Records, and will be released later in the year in the USA, on MCA records. Definitely an opportunity that we are stoked with. It consists of one old one rare and one new track from each band.
Cindy: Opening shows for such big name acts like Millencolin, Unwritten Law and The Ataris, did you find many career opening opportunities arise?
Tariq: Yeh I guess it helped us build our fan base up a lot, although when we opened for the Ataris and Strung Out I must say we weren't a very good band. We were just settling into our new line up and learning things each day. That’s not to say that we are a good band now, however we feel that we are better than we were back then. An opportunity to play with your favourite bands and to play to many people however is possibly the best thing about playing in a band.
Cindy: Is there one member who writes all the music and lyrics in the band or does it all get shared around?
Tariq: Umm well I actually write most of the stuff. It is more controlled that way and the product comes out a lot better,

however everyone in the band has very good ideas, so we use them to refine the songs a lot of the time. For instance Zaven and Steve write some very cool riffs, and Aram writes some excellent things on the drums, which tighten the music up very nicely. Nathan writes some cool singing melodies and lyrics at times also so I guess you could call it a group effort. Cindy: How many previous recordings have Second Best released?
Tariq: We released a demo called "Consider the Following" which is sold out now. That would have been about 2 years ago. Then we released "Cold Wind" last December, and the Split CD, and now "Don't Look Back" also.
Cindy: Being sponsored by “rushn” clothing must be beneficial for you guys, how did this endorsement come about?
Tariq: Nathan set it all up. Rushn saw what we were doing and said "yes we will be a part of it" and they are our favourite clothing label. Very cool clothes, and very cool people. So we have been supporting each other ever since.
Cindy: Touring and playing shows, do you guys have any onstage or off antics? I wouldn't say we have many on stage antics. We just play our songs I guess. We try not to talk so much in between songs coz we talk a lot of trash and simpsons quotes and stuff haha, but off stage is a different story. But I will leave that to your imagination…
Cindy: What was the last gig you went to that you’s didn’t play at?
Tariq: Hmm would probably be P.O.D at the metro I guess. We play so many shows and are underage, so it makes going to shows fairly hard sometimes. I also went to this show on the Central Coast the other night which was pretty fun ;)
Cindy: C.D you brought?
Tariq: The new Midtown and Strung Out cds.
Cindy: Would we find it in your stereo right now?
Tariq: Right now, would be the new Midtown, Linkin Park or Sevendust I spose.
Cindy: Is there a web site where we can find out more about Second Best on?
Tariq: Sure is. We have a forum aswell for all you forum junkies :).
Cindy: Any last words to sum up Secondbest?
Tariq: Umm I don't really know what to say. Hopefully if you guys get the chance, check out our new CD. It will be available through any store in the country Late July. We are constantly touring around the country, so if you get the chance, come and have a drink. Thanx for listening to me ramble :)