ZL: No, all originals. [Laughs] We never covered anything, man. We even sold our [bleeping] tapes there.
SS: We’ve been writing our own music since probably the first time we ever jammed together.

Were people calling out, “We’re ready to do ‘YMCA’ whenever you guys are …”?
[Both laugh]
ZL: I think they were probably a little put off like a lot of people are the first time they see [us].
SS: It’s funny; when you’re that young, back then, nobody was in seventh grade and having a full band and playing out in clubs and stuff. I remember when Silverchair came out, and ... we had felt like we had been a band for a couple years at that point. Silverchair came out and they were 16. That was like young. Now we were on tour with a band in London called The Bots--
ZL: Those kids were 11 and 13—
SS: They were touring around the world. Opening for all kinds of different bands. Back then it wasn’t as common.

Did you feel back at that time that something was going right?
SS: We knew the second we started playing music: “OK, no more skateboarding; no more karate; no more baseball.”

You quit everything immediately?
SS: Yeah, pretty much quit everything. [We’ve] only now gone back to a lot of those things that you left behind when you were a kid. At the time it was just like that was our skateboarding or whatever.
ZL: It didn’t really feel hard either. Making a name for yourself in your own scene felt so within reach even as a kid. Even having your parents lug your gear to places that you’re not even allowed to go in and still getting shows. It felt just like something you do.

When people listen to “Pick Up Your Head,” what’s something you hope people take away as far as the way you’ve matured or something you brought to the table this time?
SS: Maybe just pay attention to the lyrics. Because having not written a lot of lyrics and coming to it more as an audience almost, listening to the songs--we listen to so much music, I listen to a lot of music, and there’s a lot of bad writers out there. And I feel like these songs aren’t bad. I feel like the lyrics are really good. Maybe it’s just that I identify with ‘em so readily.

Is there a lyricist that comes to mind that’s bugging you lately? I know I have one.
SS: Zack Lopez.
ZL: [Laughs] I can think of so many. I need one; give me something.
SS: Yeah, who were you going to say?

Bruno Mars bugs the hell out of me.