May 25, 2024

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Fit For An Autopsy’s Will Putney dissects the band’s new album, exactly what the future holds for FFAA, and new END material

Whether or not you consider Fit For An Autopsy to fall under the deathcore banner, they are difficult to describe adeptly. FFAA would probably prefer you just call them “heavy” instead, because over the course of six full-length albums (including recently released Oh What The Future Holds), the band continues to defy convention. With influences all across the heavy music spectrum, FFAA manage to fit in (hah!) on just about any lineup.

We sat down (virtually) with FFAA’s Will Putney to discuss everything from the band’s new record to the band’s fantastic album art, and much more – including some of the bands he produces. Join us below.

Interview by Hunter Hewgley.

Fit For An Autopsy is a band like no other; not only in terms of the incredibly unique songwriting, but also in the fact that even six albums into this band’s career, you guys haven’t managed to write a single album that sounds like any of your other albums. Every record manages to tackle different themes, with different tones and moods from song to song, and album to album. With that in mind, what were your goals this time around whilst creating ‘Oh What The Future Holds’?

Well first off thank you! Whenever we go into writing a record I don’t really have a full plan or a ton of expectations as to what will happen. We definitely had more time to work on music through the pandemic so I was able to write more songs, try more experimental vibes for the band, and generally just stretch the scope of what the band is capable of a little further. It was actually a cool experience not being limited by any real schedule, and I think it helped create our most dynamically diverse record to date.

After hearing this album a few times, I think that the biggest thing that has struck me is that in a way, it’s a bit more death metal-ish than something like ‘The Great Collapse’ or ‘The Sea of Tragic Beasts’. We’re there any moments in music in the past few years or so that influenced your decision to take your band in this direction, or was it just naturally what came out when you started writing?

It’s always funny what people pull out of our records, because to me I feel like there was probably less death metal influence on this one than some of our previous releases. I probably spent more focus building out more of the melodic moments and created the bridge between the two worlds. I do think the aggressive songs on this record have more impact and weight to them because it all feels really fine tuned and executed exactly how I was hoping it would translate. So if those parts stick for you, mission accomplished haha.

Another aspect of the record that really stood out to me is how much you guys messed around with tempo changes this time around. There’s so many moments on the album that take you by complete surprise, even after multiple listens. It’s the moments like these that really made my jaw drop when listening through this thing, and I’m sure many others will have a similar experience. Is the “wow factor” of certain sections and how they impact the overall song something that you consider when finalizing a song?

I definitely tried to not stay as one dimensional with this album, both musically and lyrically. I think we’re all influenced by much more diverse styles of varying genres that the major energy shifts in the music is just a natural progression of what we want to hear. The sum of all the parts feels more exciting to me than just living in one world.

As far as particular songs that truly stand out on this album, I would be amiss not to mention the monster of a song that is ‘Two Towers’. Specifically, this track is noteworthy for how much it changes the pace of the overall album and how great of a job it does at breaking up the tracklisting a bit, and serving as a true conclusion for side A of this record. Is this something that you consider when putting together the final tracklisting of an album? What goes into the final decisions of where songs are placed in the overall unit of an album?

Two Towers is probably one of my favorite songs on the album, and was definitely designed as a side A closer. It’s one of the first songs where I tried to experiment with more of an abstract story-like approach to the lyrical content, and used the music to help paint that picture. I had this idea of what if you’re past and future self could meet, and the song tells this story which leads you to this inevitable conclusion that one has to accept the things you can’t change. It was probably the most fun one to make because it threw me out of my comfort zone a bit but I love the end result.

One thing that Fit For An Autopsy has become known for is your incredibly beautiful album artwork from album to album. This one in particular just might be my favorite; seriously, this thing is gorgeous to look at. How did the idea for this artwork come together, and how might it have been influenced by the actual meaning of the record itself?

We love working with Adam Burke, for me he is just the best at translating our visual ideas into artwork. The mother representing the earth and child representing us and the future generations to come in this solemn pose paint a pretty clear and stark picture in parallel with the subject matter on the album. It’s unsettling but beautiful in a certain way, I feel like it’s the best representation of the record we could have hoped for.

Let’s talk a bit about the overall tone of ‘Oh What The Future Holds’ compared to what someone might come to expect from a Fit For An Autopsy release. While stylistically different from one another, most of Fit For An Autopsy’s albums have a bit of a common ground in terms of tone and how the album actually makes the listener feel. They all have this sense of hopelessness that cuts through the raw heaviness of the actual music. This depressive atmosphere is something that many have become accustomed to when it comes to listening to a Fit For An Autopsy record, but it feels a bit different this time around. This album takes that hopeless feeling and turns it into pure rage and frustration. Seriously, this thing is pissed from start to finish. Has the weight of how poorly society has progressed in the wake of the pandemic and the grueling year that was 2020 had an effect on how you chose to speak about these issues this time around, or were there other factors that influenced this particular change in direction?

I think we’ve been addressing similar topics for a number of years now, and every time we try to write a record I wind up back at the same place with those themes being the important matters to write about. This isn’t a pandemic themed record by any means, I think there was a bigger picture I’m usually more interested in writing about. But it just hammers home what we’ve been discussing lyrically for years, things aren’t getting better. The interpersonal and social issues are still here and getting worse, the environmental issues we write about are getting worse. It’s all headed in that direction and I still think it’s important we stay in line with discussing those things with our lyrics. If it comes off more aggressive and more frustrated it’s because it honestly is.

On a bit of a lighter note, I think it might be fun to talk a bit about how this record actually came together in the studio and how the final product came to be. Are there any songs or moments in particular that were a bit more difficult to flesh out than others? Specifically, we’re there any songs during the process of creating this record that you might deem “a pain in the ass?”

The last track “The Man That I Was Not” was a big challenge for me. I was calling it “The Mountain” as the working title! It’s probably our longest song to date, it also drifts further off the center of what we do than probably any song in our catalog. This was one of those songs where in my head I had the vision for what I wanted it to be, but it just took a while to find it on the instruments. I rewrote sections of it several times, switched the key of the song at one point, it was a lot of trial and error. In the end I’m glad I suffered through it because it’s one of my all time favorite FFAA tunes, but man that was tough haha.

On a similar note, I always find it so fascinating to hear studio stories and antics that happen behind closed doors while an album is being created. Are there any particular moments that were memorable to you and the band while in the studio creating ‘Oh What The Future Holds’?

Nothing too crazy this time around haha. When we’re in the studio we’re here to work, all the fun and games come later. My goofy highlight of the session was a Ralph Wiggum picking his nose tattoo on my foot, done by our guitarist Pat, sitting on a dining room table.

Now with this being a Will Putney interview, I simply cannot go without acknowledging that you do much more than just spearhead the creative processes for Fit For An Autopsy. With that being said, I have to ask, is there a chance we could hear some new material from END in the near future as well?

There is definitely a great chance a new END will surface in 2022.

Finally, what’s next for both Fit For An Autopsy and yourself after ‘Oh What The Future Holds’ comes out?

The band is excited to tour as much as we possibly can, it’s been way too long! We’ve got a US headliner in Jan/Feb followed by an EU/UK headliner in May/June. And a lot more on the books we’re just waiting to announce once regions of the world are open and safe to play. On the studio side, expect a ton of releases out in 2022, we’ve been busy churning out awesome records over this long touring break for everyone, and there’s some great music to come!

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