Before You Exit in Singapore: Interview & Concert Review

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Pop-rock band Before You Exit recently dropped by Singapore, where they headlined a two-night concert series at The Color Run Singapore. Connor, Riley and Toby McDonough are the band of brothers collectively known as Before You Exit and Musichel had the opportunity to interview this talented trio! Despite their rapidly growing fan-base of exiters, the boys were cordial and genuine as they treated the reporters like they would friends.

Before You Exit with reporters!
Photo credits: Jaaziel Job

Due to time constraint, we only managed to squeeze in two questions during our short interview with the band. All questions asked by Musichel are denoted with an [M]. In the interview, we talked about the ups and downs of being in a touring band, inspirations for the I Like That EP and also, the brothers’ favourite Starbucks drinks!

The brothers also tell us what is coming up next for the band, who they would like to collaborate with in the future and how house chores are done in the McDonough household. Lastly, Toby addresses his twerking issues!


What’s the inspiration behind the “I Like That” EP?
Riley: Obviously we’re teenage guys who are going to write about teenage girls. But there are different songs with different kinds of concepts --- a lot of times it’s just something we want to write about and we would just write down a song title.
Connor: It’s either about something we go through or our friends go through. It’s always different when writing songs and stuff, each song has its own meaning. We have 6 songs in the EP but 60 demos; it’s the hardest decision to make.
Riley: It’s like a dating show!

Since the band's name was inspired by the motto “Before You Exit, Make a Difference”, what is one difference you would like to make by being part of The Color Run Singapore? [M]
Riley: Well, I just want to leave my painting…. [laughs] or leave some paint behind….
Connor: Jeez, that was great.
Riley: I think it’s going to be a really cool event, and they were telling us that they were going to expand it much more, this was just the first place in Asia they were doing [The Color Run].
Connor: It’s pretty exciting for us, we are so glad to be a part of it, especially with it being the first one and everything. It’s going to be very cool and hopefully people will enjoy our performance!
Toby: We’ve run a 5km for way longer before and it was freezing cold out, it was so hard to breathe. It was not very fun. I mean it was fun but just very difficult. When you usually run three miles you’re on the treadmill, not actually outside, especially in this heat.

What are your music influences individually?
Toby: We actually listen to the same stuff, it ranges from classic rock to hip-hop to country to pop, we listen to everything. If you look at my playlist, it’d range from Aerosmith to "Call Me Maybe" by Carly Rae Jepsen.

What is the one thing you miss most that most teenagers experience?
Riley: I don’t know if I’d miss it but I’ve never gone to a school dance. At the time when all my friends were going to Prom, I was on tour. But it was worth it --- I was playing shows every night!
Connor: All my friends at home are going to college but I’m going on tour so… it’s definitely something I would not want to give up to go to college for. This is definitely a once in a lifetime experience and anyway, I go to college online!
Toby: I’ve lived a middle school life, like an average Joe, but I like touring way better than that. The only thing I really miss is being home with the dogs, but hopefully in the future we would be able to take them on tour with us.

Toby, you put on your twitter bio “Twerks for a living” --- please explain that.
Toby: I have no idea how that even started. People would always say, "Twerk, Toby, twerk!", and they created twitter accounts about twerking with Toby and all that. Weird stuff. So I just went along with it and did it on live streams and stuff.
Connor: He can’t even do it well.
Riley: He’s not Miley Cyrus.

What’s the craziest thing a fan has done for you all?
BYE: We’ve gotten many crazy gifts and experiences from fans for sure. One time somebody gave us a star; they bought a star and gave the launch certificate and all that, it was really cool. We get so many cool things and sincere letters. Toby got a painting. We also got a really cool plaque that said, "Before You Exit, Make A Difference". We hung it up on the bus as a reminder for the crew and us.
Toby: I used to love this show called Drake & Josh and there was this one episode where they got clackers. Someone went on a cruise and saw a Drake & Josh shop and they bought clackers for me and a Drake & Josh hat. I have it with me now!
Connor: You have the clackers with you?!
Toby: Yeah, they are in my backpack!
Connor: Yup, on a twenty hour flight, Toby is going to play with clackers.

Many fans have been tweeting us and they are dying to know what your favourite Starbucks drinks are! [M]
Connor: [Laughs] I’ll give you a couple, I would get  an Iced Mocha in Venti usually.
Riley: It doesn’t taste good.
Connor: Uhhh it’s pretty great actually, I’m not going to brag.
Toby: I’d usually get Iced Coffee or Mocha, I’d get any Frappuccino actually.
Riley: Is there a Starbucks here in Singapore? We’ll definitely have to go!
Connor: Let’s see what else... I’d get a grande Toffee Nut Mocha, which is like a Salted Caramel when it’s in season.
Toby: They have Peppermint Mocha which is like a Christmas drink all year but they don’t have the Salted Caramel.
Connor: Yeah, I don’t know, it's weird, but it comes back in two weeks which I’m very excited for.
Toby: You even know the exact date?!
Riley: I’d get an Iced Coffee.

If there was a suitable script, would you consider drama or acting?
Connor: Definitely. We actually started out performing ever since we were kids, the three of us have always done shows. I was like the director, inviting everybody to the play, and Riley was actually like the lead actor.
Toby: I’m glad I never followed up with that career because I was probably a horrible actor.
Riley: People always asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up and I would always say I wanted to be an actor.
Connor: Maybe in the future, I would like to direct a movie. Who knows?
Riley: Sometimes it’s great to be off-camera.
Toby: Its great filming videos for other people sometimes. Even three-minute videos are so frustrating; they’re like “Don’t mess up your hair.” But you’re like, “Oh my god I want to mess up my hair!”

Do your parents come along with you when the three of you are on tour?
Connor: They do actually, that’s my mum over there. Hey, mum!
Toby: They are always with us on tour, every time.

What are upsides and downsides of being in a touring band?
Connor: Getting to see the world. Meeting the fans.
Toby: It’s crazy to go to another country and seeing fans.
Connor: It’s amazing to go somewhere and have such a great fan-base where so many people come out to see you. That’s the coolest part. We’re so grateful to be able to experience that because many people don’t.
Riley: Travelling! I may never have the chance to come over here if I were to not have been in a band. It’s so cool to be learning about other cultures.
Connor: Negatives... it definitely gets stressful sometimes when something is not organised.
Riley: For other bands, the musicians are usually not the ones doing much except playing. They have everyone telling them what to do. With us, it’s like we run everything so it’s a lot of pressure.
Connor: Like our videos, we have management that are there to help, but we like to do it ourselves, which is a cool thing for us to get to run our own things, but it’s stressful for us sometimes.

Which band or artist would you like to tour with in the future?
Connor: I think it would be pretty cool to tour with the Jonas Brothers. Even though people would think oh we are all sibling groups. I think it would be really cool [to be compared with the Jonas Brothers].
Toby: Maroon 5
Riley: It would be cool to tour with the Jonas Brothers, it would be like an all siblings tour.
Connor: We are also Taylor Swift, One Direction and Justin Bieber fans.
Riley: Selena Gomez and Katy Perry
Toby: When we’re ready, we can go get the tour. That would be the song for our tour [with Selena Gomez].

bye5Photo credits: Paul Froggatt / PR Photos

What's coming up next for Before You Exit?
Connor: We are pretty busy for the rest of this year. [Our] Biggest next steps would be working on new songs!
Toby: We already did an LA trip.
Connor: And the Paradise Tour with Cody Simpson. We did the Olly Murs tour too.
Riley: We made the transition from being on tour to being back to writing [songs]. It’s always back and forth --- you’re either a studio band or a touring band. We were back home for a week and I was already so bored and like, “I want to tour again!"
Connor: We’ve only been home for two weeks this year, so it shows what we really like to do [touring]. But now. we are in the writing phase and we have a bunch of songs, we are even looking back at songs that we didn’t look twice at last time.
Riley: We are in that process of gathering our favourite ones.

Any dates for new music coming up?
Connor: Not yet, but we have lots of stuff, we’ve got to narrow it down.
Riley: That’s a good place to be in right now [gathering and narrowing songs down].
Connor: For us now, we have our EP out. Before it was like we didn’t really have strong original music. People would be like, "Oh I love your covers” and not like, "Oh we love your music”. When we played shows, people would request our covers. No one seemed to like our demos. Which is what it is, it’s fine, but then we came out with our new music and it’s really cool that when we played a show people would only request our songs.

Who does the house chores?
Riley: We’re not really home so…
Connor: We used to have a chart; our mum would make us take out the garbage can and all.
Toby: That went on for one week. That [idea] went out the garbage.
Connor: Now it’s like everybody just takes care of their own rooms. And we’ll all do the dishes or whatever.
Riley: We usually just eat out because we’re not home for long periods of time. So we don’t do the groceries.
Toby: We came home from tour and there were literally ripped open cans in the refrigerator. I guess the dogs got to it.

Page 1Before You Exit @ The Color Run Singapore --- concert review
Page 2Interview with Before You Exit in Singapore

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