Zach Dear (guitar)
OBM: So, how are things with Expire today?
Pretty good man. I'm hangin in bed at 1pm in the afternoon, being a waste of life. My sister is in from Boston and since Expire doesn't have anything too pressing happening today, we're going to hit the lake.
OBM: The deal with Bridge Nine appears to be working out well for you guys. What made you go with those guys? What are some of the topics that you’ve delved into in this record?
Bridge 9 just felt like where we needed to be. With every release so far there has been an upward progression so we can continue playing to more and more kids. Six Feet Under was the next step from Hellfish just as B9 was the next step from SFU. Respect to all SFU, Dave does an incredible job and I'm lucky to call him a friend. Bridge 9 was just what the band needed to keep progressing.
As far as lyrical content goes, Josh talks a lot about his anxieties and depressions on the record. The ups and downs with the opposite sex aid a lot to the song writing.
OBM: How did you approach the writing process for ‘Pendulum Swings’ ? Did you go into this record with any particular sound or approach in mind, or was it quite an organic thing?
We write all over the place and we're always rushed. That's how we work best. We knew we wanted a very straight forward, heavey hardcore record and that's what we made. Whether it was writing in the van between shows or being couped up in a practice space for hours every night, we finally pieced 12 songs together that we were proud of.
OBM: Do your songs mostly come from one person or are they a more collaborative effort? Do you have the songs finished before you arrive in the studio? Do they grow there?
Musically, Marcus and I write pretty much everything. It's definitely a group effort when it comes to the final touches. Kip will come in and give us opinions as well as Josh, but for the most part it's just the two of us. Usually we will each write at home then bring the songs to practice and tear them apart then build up from the parts we liked. There isn't much writing that happens in the studio, more just fine tuning and tweaking.
OBM: How much would you say a given Expire song changes from entering the studio to the final product? Can you give us an example?
By the time we are in the studio, we pretty much know exactly how we want the songs to sound. The only things that will really change are vocal patterns and maybe small guitar things here or there. Mistakes that end up sounding cool will get focused on and that to me, is what gives a record memorable moments.
OBM: You guys work with Shane Hochstetler in “Howl Street Studios”, how is it working with him?
Working with Shane was awesome. Great guy, his studio is like 5 blocks from my house so it was very relaxed vibe. He hasn't done a lot of hardcore bands of our style but from day one of us walking in, everything clicked. We'll definitely be working with Shane again sometime in the future.
OBM: Where does the title “Pendulum Swings” come from?
Pendulum Swings is the title of the final track of the record. We didn't decide on the name of the record until the final day in the studio. That just seemed to sum up the lyrics really well so we rolled with it.
OBM: The artwork for the album is quite eye-catching, what is the idea behind it?
We wanted a cover that made sense with the lyrics as well as adding a different vibe to the record.
OBM: I love the lyric: “What was I to say? You let me down and you walked away What was I to do? I never seen that side of you Ignorance is bliss Somehow it makes me wonder how i could give two shits for a two-faced motherfucker Chewed me up and spit me out and left me to clean up the mess.” Can you please unpack your thoughts in this statement for us.
Anyone who's ever been in a one-sided relationship will understand these lines.
OBM: Is it important to you guys that your music creates an atmosphere? If so, what were you aiming for this time around?
We wanted to write a record that not only appealed to people who already liked our band, but that also was relateable to kids who had never heard us before. Aside from writing a heavey hardcore record, there wasn't a specific "atmosphere" we were going for.
OBM: Who have you guys pulled influence from in the past and present musically?
Everything from New York hardcore to 90's rock to hip hop to country music. We all listen to so many different things and I think it all reflects in our record.
OBM: You obviously have a great passion for music. What does music mean to you personally?
Music, hardcore and punk rock specifically, is the reason I'm not in my shitty hometown, tying off so I can stick a needle in my arm to forget about how much I hate my life. It gave me a reason to leave and see the world for more than just going to high school, knocking up some girl and working at a gas station the rest of my life. Music gave me the home I needed when mine was breaking.
OBM: Which contemporary musicians and bands do you particularly admire, and would recommend?
Madball is a band I have the upmost respect for. I don't know any of those guys personally, but I remember seeing them at a festival last year. During their set, they were playing quite a few new songs and the crowd wasn't being as responsive as when they would play tracks off Set It Off and Demonstrating My Style etc etc. Between songs Freddy told the crowd that if they wanted only old songs that they were at the wrong show, emphasizing that they continue to write and will play new songs because they are proud of them. That right there is one of the many reasons I love hardcore.
OBM: How do you see the future of Expire; do you have any goals, ambitions or ideas that you’d like to realise in the future (and that you can tell us about)
We're just going to keep doing what we do man. I can't see the future, nor do I want to.
OBM: Thanks for your time, anything else you want to say?
Thanks for the interview, my sister is extremely annoyed now so I need to go head to the lake. Peace.