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!