At the start of this year, I was at a mental crossroads. I was struggling through the long-distance aspect of my relationship, I hated my job, and it started to feel like there was no light at the end of the tunnel. Then, when perusing some music to find some solace, Movements’ “Daylily” hit. There was just something about the riff that sparked tears in my eyes. It was my go-to through February and I’ve really resonated with Feel Something ever since, so I’m more than excited to get to hear the band’s second LP, No Good Left To Give, and give you my thoughts.
Today, I had the pleasure of speaking to Jake Luhrs, vocalist of August Burns Red, just ahead of their eighth studio album, Guardians, releasing on April 3rd.
Mike: My first heavy concert was you guys at Summerfest 2010 in Milwaukee. The crowd all stood on the bleachers to get a good look at you. What’s the strangest venue setup you’ve ever played?
Jake Luhrs: I recall early on playing a house show in Pittsburgh in a basement. Everyone was shoulder-to-shoulder, it was SUPER hot. If there was a fire, we’d all be in trouble! The metal scene was so hungry back then that no one even cared.
Mike: What are some current young bands that you’d love to have on tour?
Jake: Polaris, Fit for a King, and Silent Planet. These bands are on the cusp of being the biggest names in the newest wave of metalcore. There was a period of time where everyone was trying to sound like someone else, but these bands are absolutely doing their own thing.
Mike: Your band is known for its eclectic music videos, ex. “Invisible Enemy”s puppetry and “Defender”s comic book art. What kind of music video would you like to shoot in the future?
Jake: I really enjoy going for something unique, something that’s never been done before. We really liked doing the one for “Frost”. One that sticks out to me is Parkway Drive’s “Vice Grip” where they jumped out of a plane. That would scare the hell out of me!
Mike: ABR has released instrumental/remixed albums in recent years. Can we expect an instrumental Guardians and/or a remix of Leveler?
Jake: Oh, you know what, I guess it is coming up on ten years for Leveler! I would put my money on getting a Guardians instrumental; we like to get people into the genre without (the detraction of) my voice (laughs).
Mike: You’ve inspired tons of bands the past 15 years. What bands did you grow up loving?
Jake: Hopesfall’s No Wings to Speak Of EP was my first metal album. I loved the vocalist’s ability to convey pain, anguish, and heartbreak. That period of time was when the sound was just beginning to take off and they were a pioneer of American metalcore. I also love Norma Jean; Josh Scogin is a LEGEND for the evolution of heavy, aggressive screaming. Poison the Well, 7 Angels 7 Plagues, and As I Lay Dying stick out as well!
A massive thank you goes out to Jake for taking the time to speak to me. Jake is hosting a listening party of August Burns Red’s Guardians at twitch.tv/heartsupport at 1PM EST this Friday, April 3rd. He’ll be going in-depth on the lyrical content and making of this new album. HeartSupport is Jake’s admirable undertaking to combat addiction, suicide ideation, and other adversities. This is a foundation we can all get behind and is worth taking a look into.
Stream August Burns Red’s Guardians this Friday, April 3rd!
Reunion albums can typically go down one of two distinct paths. After years away from releasing music, many bands pick up right where they left off before their breakups, making up for lost time by either returning to their roots, or by continuing to progress the sounds of their most recent material. This is a respectable path, and gives successful bands who may have been gone for several years or more the ability to reconnect with their old fanbase while still pushing themselves artistically. However, once in a while a major band will reunite and go down a very different path. Channeling the members’ changed musical visions and life experiences in their years apart, these bands attempt to redraw the core boundaries of what they stand for artistically and sonically. The resulting works are less reunion albums than they are “reinvention albums”.
Underoath have premiered the second single off of their hugely anticipated album Erase Me, out April 6th on Fearless Records. The new song, titled “Rapture”, shows the Florida metalcore legends diversifying their sound in a big way. Reminiscent in equal parts of the hooky alternative of Spencer Chamberlain’s side project Sleepwave, and the soaring post-hardcore anthems of Circa Survive, the track’s melodies soar in a way that feels totally fresh and unexpected for the band. April 6th cannot come soon enough.
The song was just premiered on BBC Radio 1’s Rock Show with Daniel P. Carter, and you can stream it below, courtesy of BBC.