"To write music that makes people feel valuable, there’s no greater gift."
From top to bottom, music to fashion, Mullins fits the description of an icon for the Warped Tour music scene. But by no means does he carry the vibe that it’s all about him. The main motivator that keeps him and the band going, he says, is hope. “If someone comes to our show,” he explains, “I want them to feel better walking out than they did walking in. And when they listen to a record, same [thing]; to feel more hopeful about what the future can hold and about how valuable they are as people. To write music that makes people feel valuable, there’s no greater gift. I don’t ever see myself writing a record that feels hopeless or just all dark.”
After some talk our food arrives. Unfortunately, everyone has a good tasting experience except for Elder whose ahi tuna dish is more like a blackened rock of a steak. We order him the salmon that Mullins has already gleefully begun tackling as a replacement, with a proverbial pat on the back for being such a champ. “He’ll never complain, ever,” Mullins says, laughing. “Even stuff that most people would think is gross he likes. Like dude, that’s so next level.” But an unfortunate little experience always makes for good laughter and good conversation.
It’s small strokes of bad luck like this that remind us rockstars can be down to earth, just like anyone else. In fact, despite their fame, they enjoy living a quiet, small town life in Nashville. To paint the picture, Mullins says, “The lady that bags my groceries knows my name. That’s what I like life to be like.”
For as many cities and packed venues as they encounter, these two love the allure of a simple life away from all of that; especially Elder, who loves the outdoors and dreams of being a farmer someday. “It’s not just a joke,” he says. “I would love to be an agricultural king someday. Just grow all my own food and not have to go to the grocery store and life out in the country and not have to worry about the big city life.” Hopefully then, he can escape despicable tuna. Until that day comes, though, it looks like they’re out of luck, because it’s nothing but world tours for them from here.
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