OBM: Hi, thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions for us. How are you doing; what’re you up to at the moment?
Well, we just spent the day gearing up and getting ready to head on the FIRE AND ICE tour with We Came As Romans and are now sitting in the back lounge of our bus watching Jersey Shore (Well, I'm not… I think that shit rots your brain) and discussing the upcoming tour. We're very amped, I think it's going to be a pretty awesome run. We're about to unleash the first single " Protoman " live for the first time tomorrow.
OBM: “Slave To The Game” is your fifth release, when you started the writing process for “Slave To The Game” was there anything that you felt you wanted to do differently this time around, or a certain element you made sure you kept, or a goal that you wanted to aim for?
Well, after having such an amazing experience recording SPEAKER OF THE DEAD with Joey Sturgis, we knew right off the bat that we wanted him to handle production on our next release. This was definitely the right choice, he's got a great ear and the ability to bring the ideas that we have to life. We were familiar with the experience of recording with him, so it was a comfortable transition into the studio. We also added our good friend Mark Castillo (of Bury Your Dead & Crossfade ) to the line-up on drums and he absolutely killed it in the studio. He's a machine.
OBM: Talk to us about the idea behind the title “Slave To The Game”?
Frank is a big fan of the double entendre, so there may or be multiple meanings for a lot of his lyrics, titles and concepts - and I think that despite the fact that a lot of his lyrics are so personal, it's ultimately up to the listener to decide what they want to get out of it.
OBM: How does Emmure work in the studio? Is it all business or is there a fair amount of goofing off still?
It's not all work and no play, but we like to get in there and get things done in an efficient and timely manner. Joey is the same way, which is part of the reason that we enjoy recording with him so much. We usually maintain the same schedule as vampires when we're working, but we're all adults at this point and we know that there is plenty of room to party when we're out on the road and that focus is crucial in the studio.
OBM: Is the whole band there for the whole process? Or do you kind of come in, do your part and go? Is everyone contributing to each part?
Everybody tracked on this record, which hasn't always been the case on previous releases. All five of us were not there at a single given time - Jesse stayed the whole time, while the rest of us popped in for a week or two at a time and handled our parts. It worked out great - instead of having to sit around and wait for drums to get smashed for 12 hours a day for a week, I was spoiled and got to arrive to songs with a fully mixed and edited rhythm section.
OBM: What do you do in your free time at the studio?
We pretty much do the same things that everyone else does when were in the studio. I mean, you're in a nice little suburban house in the midwest - but there isn't too much around since there isn't very much going on in Connersville. Believe it or not, recording is exhausting work and usually after a full day of it we all just want to cook an intense meal, put on some netflix and chill out.
OBM: You guys got to work with Joey Sturgis in the studio again, how is it working with him?
Joey rules. One of the most talented dudes we've had the pleasure of working with.
OBM: How much would you say a given Emmure song changes from entering the studio to the final product? Can you give us an example?
There's actually quite a bit. We spend a lot of time on the demo process before we go into the studio. We're basically always working and writing. For the majority of the songs, Jesse and I both have home studios and gear that we bring on the road with us. We run logic with a variety of plug-ins to create the best representations of the songs we're creating and are able to bounce the ideas back and forth with the beauty of the internet. Once we have our pre-production demos solidified, we send them along to Joey and from there we go through them with a fine tooth comb and retrack everything. We usually try to make sure the structures of songs are solidified before we track the actual recordings, but on occasion we'll finish a song and hear something that maybe we should have repeated or omitted and fix it later in the game. Joey works super fast, so usually at the end of each song when it's time for Frank to track, the instruments are basically mixed and sounding awesome. I think this is a pretty crucial element…I think a lot of Emmure songs have a certain mood to them that usually really comes to life toward the end of the process of recording the instruments and mixing them. When Frank is able to lay down his tracks on top of a sonically massive instrumental, it brings out his best - and I think it really shows on SLAVE TO THE GAME.
OBM: Speaker of the Dead, was all programmed Drums. This time Mark Castillo had record live drums for the entire Album! Would you say that this changed your sound and moved it forward?
I don't know if changed would be the right word - but I think that the addition of mark has helped the bands sound evolve a little bit. He's super tight and is able to take the ideas that we have about certain drum parts and morph them into a beast. I swear, some of the fills that we did in the pre-production were inhuman and he was able to hear them, pick them apart and then execute them even better.
OBM: What does it mean to you all that Emmure is now the band influencing a multitude of new artists?
I think it's pretty awesome and flattering.
OBM: I think that the band life style and always being on the road, is too often made to be more glamorous than it really is. Having been on the road so much, what is it for you that keeps you doing it?
I think that for all of us in the band - touring and life as musicians is all that we know at this point. We were all pretty young when we stopped doing whatever we were doing to spend 8-9 months a year on the road and the rest of the time writing and recording record, so life on the road to us is just that - Life. We base everything we do around an extremely hectic schedule and we all take what we do seriously, but still have a good time while we're at it. It's the best job ever, but it's still a job.
OBM: What does music mean to you personally?
Music is everything. It has the ability to uplift or destroy you.
OBM: What was the last vinyl record or cd you bought?
Behemoth - Evangelion on vinyl. So good.
OBM: What does the next few months hold for Emmure?
Well, tomorrow we begin the FIRE AND ICE tour with We Came As Romans and will be traveling allover the United States and playing a few shows in Canada. Our new record, SLAVE TO THE GAME hits stores on April 10th as we wrap up this run in time to play a bunch of awesome festival dates . We're very excited to return to the BAMBOOZLE festival this may in New Jersey. Shorty thereafter, we'll be returning to Europe for the festival season and we couldn't be more excited for that - we fucking love Europe.
OBM: So, any last words, anything that you would like to tell your fans?
Well, first off - thank you for your support, whether it's through picking up our record, coming to see us at a show, buying a shirt, or just listening and diggin ’ it- we appreciate it from the bottom of our hearts. We'll do our best to try to play every single city in the world that we can because we want to play for all of you. Check out SLAVE TO THE GAME on April 10th.
Right on! We wish you good luck, and thanks again for taking a minute to talk with us!