Answered by Eric Morgan
OBM: You’ve just put your new album through Victory Records, care to plug it a little bit?
We released our third Victory Records album, The Future Again, last month and couldn't be happier with how well it's doing on tour.
OBM: It’s an awesome album, are you pleased with the way it turned out?
I'm a bit of a perfectionist so I'm never 100% content with anything (that's what keeps me going!) but I am so pleased the idea we envisioned for this album was able to come to fruition in a way that really challenged our musical norms.
OBM: What is the writing process like? Do you have to be a certain frame of mind to write?
For us, we have a couple different ways we go about writing. Sometimes Patrick or I will come up with riffs on our own and bring them to each other to flesh out. Then we bring them to the full band and rework it until we're satisfied with the song. Those songs usually end up having the best natural flow and give Justin the most flexibility with organizing music around vocal ideas. Other times I will get this specific idea for a song in my head that I really want to orchestrate and make the more complex pieces fit together. This is when I sit down and write out all the guitar, bass, and drum parts until I have a finished idea to present the band. We still tweak the song with the full band and they still always blow my mind with how little changes I never considered end up taking the song to another level.
OBM: I am absolutely hooked on the songs “The Constant” and “Princess Of The Sun”. Can you tell us a little bit about the meanings behind those songs?
"The Constant" is the only song I wrote lyrics for and it focuses on the relationship between my best friend and how the connection with her has faded to nonexistent in recent years. Musically, it was the first song Patrick started writing for the album and features another close friend of mine, Dayan Marquina, singing during the bridge.
Justin wrote the lyrics for "Princess of the Sun" which describes his transition between relationships with two girls that are completely polar opposites. I began writing the music for that song over two years ago. It was originally going to be an updated version of a song called "Japan" off a 2005 demo but it quickly morphed into an entirely different direction. This song is closest to the style of our first two albums.
OBM: If there was one theme for the lyrics of this record what would you say it was?
The overarching theme of this album is that no matter how desolate things may get, there's always a way to start anew and overcome the obstacles that have previously held you down. For us, it was writing this record after a year of hiatus and letting that inner drive blossom once more -- our future again.
OBM: Is the band / music a way of exorcising past demons?
Definitely! The most obvious way is lyrical in how you process your emotions into words. Also, just singing those lyrics every night is a healing experience. The physicality of tour and pouring it out night after night also helps balance out your emotions and puts things in perspective.
OBM: What is the significance behind the title “The Future Again”?
After our winter 2010 tour we were at a low point as a band. We had difficulty communicating with each other and became disillusioned with the music industry. Justin and I actually didn't speak for almost six months and I was mentally tired of dealing with the music industry. When we finally started to heal, we realized we still had that fire inside to create music together. We wanted this to be something very different for us and make it a point to say we still were going to make this work. That's how it became our "Future Again".
OBM: What are some of your metal influences?
Personally, my biggest heavier influences growing up were Hopesfall, Between The Buried And Me, and Misery Signals.
OBM: Is there any other music that influences you that we wouldn’t expect?
I love melody. I think that shows in my writing style and a large part of that comes from my non-metal influences. Further Seems Forever, Yellowcard, Senses Fail, Rufio, The Postal Service were all big influences to my musical development.
OBM: There are bands popping up all over the place. What about in North Carolina? Any bands we should be looking out for?
North Carolina's music scene went through a lull a few years ago but now there are some really great bands making waves. There's an amazing band called H RV RD that recently signed to Equal Vision Records who you should keep an eye on. There are a couple younger bands like Bruised But Not Broken and Carson that I'm positive will blow up in the next couple years.
OBM: Who are you currently listening to? Is there anyone out there that is currently impressing your socks off?
The new Yellowcard album is fucking insane. Absolutely their best album to date. After so many years they are still putting out so much energy, it's very inspiring.
OBM: Can we expect to see you in Germany anytime soon?
I'm working on plans to come overseas next year. Crossing my fingers.
OBM: Thanks for your time, anything else you’d like to say?
It's very humbling that someone would care enough about our music to interview us from across the world so thank you first and foremost. We will be announcing our winter tour plans in the coming weeks so everyone make sure to stay tuned!