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Interview: Blessthefall

Posted: January 13, 2015 | Music, The Scene | beau bokan, blessthefall, featured, interview | 0 Comments

The last time that Syke checked in with blessthefall, the group of five hardcore rockers (singer Beau Bokan, guitarists Eric Lambert and Elliott Gruenberg, bassist Jared Warth, and drummer Matt Traynor) was in a dark studio in Phoenix recording demos for their then-upcoming album, ‘Hollow Bodies.’ We recently had a chance to catch up with the band. Check out our interview below.

SYKE: What inspired the album title, ‘Hollow Bodies’, and artwork?

BLESSTHEFALL: Hollow Bodies got its name from the empty soulless humans that walk the earth. We see a lot of people while out on the road, band members/crew, venue workers and just your average window shopper in the mall. At the time of the album being written we came across a good number of individuals who really got under our skin. People who had a false sense of entitlement and cockiness. They inspired us not only to never be like them, but inspired us to have our album title be about them. As for the art, we were inspired by the FX tv show American Horror Story Asylum. We wanted to go dark, and mysterious.

SYKE: Was there a specific theme to the album?

BLESSTHEFALL: I don’t think we have ever set an all around theme for any of our albums. Limiting yourself to just one topic or one vibe would close the doors for plenty of other opportunities that could be had. We went with the same blueprint as usual: make the hard parts super aggressive and make the open singing parts super catchy.

SYKE: What do you want fans to take away with this album?

BLESSTHEFALL: Take away whatever you feel from it. If its your album to blast when happy, then sing away and have a great time. If it is your goto album to blast when having a rough day, rock out and get your aggression out. Let the music speak to you how you want it to.

SYKE: Was the response to Hollow Bodies what you expected?

BLESSTHEFALL: We put a lot of hard work and soul into this album. When Joey Sturgis finished it up and put on the final touches, we knew it was the best album BTF has created. We are proud of each track from front to back and i think the listeners have agreed. We hit the Billboard charts crushing any numbers we had previously set with our prior 3 albums. That was a humbling moment.

SYKE: When you’re writing a record, how much do you think about what your fans want versus what you want to do, creatively?

BLESSTHEFALL: We write for us, but we also take into consideration what our fans expect from us. But in the end, its our band and these are the songs we have to continue to play year after year, so we make sure we enjoy what we are doing first.

SYKE: You were on the Crowd Surf America Tour earlier this year with Chiodos and IKTPQ. What was it like touring with those bands?

BLESSTHEFALL: It was fun. It was Interesting. Towards the middle/later half of the tour, Chiodos jumped off due to internal problems. But, we have toured with Chiodos in the past, so it was easy to have a good time with those guys again. We were very excited to have the IKTPQ guys out with us. It was our first time meeting those guys (except Jona) and they are some of the best dudes and great band as well. Lots of hangs.

SYKE: Were there any special moments on that tour?

BLESSTHEFALL: Basketball matches and beer pong tournaments happened on a nightly basis.

SYKE: You’re about to head out with Asking Alexandria and Chelsea Grin. What is it like going on tour with bands that you don’t necessarily sound like?

BLESSTHEFALL: Both of these bands are some of our best friends. We toured with both of them in Europe 2 years ago. That was a great time and can’t wait to have round 2. As for the fact that none of us sound exactly the same, i think that brings a great mashup of fans into one room for a great time.

SYKE: What are the positives/negatives of playing in front of a fan base that isn’t totally yours?

BLESSTHEFALL: If they aren’t a fan, a positive is that we get to do our thing and try to win them over as new fans. As for a negative….i don’t think there really is one. Unless they are extremely stubborn to give us a chance at becoming a new fan.

SYKE: You’re 80 years old, talking to your grandkids about your old band. What one story would you tell?

BLESSTHEFALL: Just the fact that we have been everywhere from Japan to Brazil to Indonesia to Australia. That, or the fact that we almost died in Canada on the Taste of Chaos 2007 Tour hitting black ice and crashing into a snowbank.

SYKE: What has been the most memorable show experience? Why?

BLESSTHEFALL: I think playing a festival in the Philippines for 30,000+ people would take the cake. We have never played to a crowd that large before.

SYKE: What are your thoughts on downloading music?

BLESSTHEFALL: At this point in the music business, as long as our music gets to our listeners, thats all we want. Of course, we would rather have our fans pay for our music because we worked our butts off to be able to put out the songs/albums.

SYKE: What are your thoughts on crowd funding sites such as IndieGoGo?

BLESSTHEFALL: As a band started from the ground up with zero dollars in our pockets and a fan base consisting of just our parents, i think anyone can do it naturally like we did. I think bands take advantage of their fans with those sites. I do not endorse it.

SYKE: What are your thoughts on streaming services such as Spotify?

BLESSTHEFALL: Whatever it takes to get your music out to listeners.

SYKE: How do you think the music industry will continue to evolve, due to technology?

BLESSTHEFALL: Hopefully new technology will help save bands from piracy issues and not make matters worse than they already are.

SYKE: At what point do you consider using technology for writing an album or playing a live show? Where do you draw the line?

BLESSTHEFALL: It would be fun and different to do live look ins for writing/recording. Saosin did it for one of their albums and it really drew my interest to get the final version of all the songs i saw get layed down piece by piece.

SYKE: If you were able to go back in time and start the band over, is there anything you would do differently, knowing what you know now?

BLESSTHEFALL: All our choices as a band have brought us to this point today and i wouldn’t risk to change a thing. Small things like “maybe we shouldn’t have hired that tour manager” could have been avoided i guess haha.

SYKE: If you could give an up-&-coming band one piece of advice, what would it be?

BLESSTHEFALL: Stay true to you and your sound. Don’t try to be or sound like anyone else. Most importantly to have fun and practice practice practice.

SYKE: As your band continues to become more well-known, more people look up to you. How does it feel to be a role model?

BLESSTHEFALL: Its a very humbling thing to have people look up to us as a band or individually as musicians. At the same time, we are just a group of 5 normal dudes like anyone else!

SYKE: Does being in the spotlight add pressure to act a certain way/do certain things? — It only adds pressure for us to bring our all on stage and in our recordings. We want to make the best possible shows and cds for our fans. As for acting a certain way, you just have to be yourself. I hate people that put on fake personas or try to be a rockstar.

SYKE: Do you feel you have an obligation to raise awareness about a certain issue or support a particular cause you’re passionate about?

BLESSTHEFALL: I don’t think we have any more of an obligation than a person not in a band to try and raise awareness about an issue. If you feel strong about something, then be passionate about it anyway you can.

SYKE: Have you been involved with any particular nonprofits or causes? Why?

BLESSTHEFALL: We feel very strongly about breast cancer awareness, so we printed a shirt with Keep-A-Breast to help with the cause. On Warped Tour, we did many of our signings with the KAB company/under their tent as well. Lets not forget Blacklist and to try and get smoking out of everyones lives! Its gross!

SYKE: Have any songs or music videos raised awareness about a specific issue?

BLESSTHEFALL: We had one video that acknowledged problems a lot of teens deal with on a day to day basis. The end of the video showed to try and break free of the chains holding you back and break your cycle of negative things surrounding you.

SYKE: As you know, Syke and Blacklist raise awareness about the tobacco industry and support a tobacco-free scene.

SYKE: Is there a specific reason why you take a stand against the tobacco industry?

BLESSTHEFALL: Many of us have had family members either die or get extremely sick from being addicted to smoke/tobacco. We all can’t stand smoke and it really takes a toll on us when a room is full of it. More venues need to be smoke free.

SYKE: Has anyone in the band quit smoking?

BLESSTHEFALL: No one in the band has smoked before. Its nice having a strong group of 5 individuals who all feel the same way.

SYKE: We are currently working on a campaign that draws attention to the financial costs of smoking. On average, you spend over $1,000 per year if you smoke half a pack a day.

SYKE: What would you rather spend money on?

BLESSTHEFALL: Mortgages, car payments, gas, food. There are millions of things i could spend that money on! Such a waste.

SYKE: What would you rather your fans spend their money on?

BLESSTHEFALL: More albums from their favorite bands. Some new band tees from Hot Topic or merch tables. ANYTHING!

SYKE:  What can we expect from you guys in the future? Any upcoming tours?

BLESSTHEFALL: We have this winter tour with Asking Alexandria, then in FEB/March we have a Europe tour with Architects and Everytime I Die. Other than those 2 tours, i can’t release any of the other tour plans. You’ll find out more soon enough!

SYKE: New music or music videos?

BLESSTHEFALL: A new album is in the works. We are still on the beginning stages of writing, but we expect to be in various studios recording demos, pre production and laying down the final version. This new album will blow you away, so stay tuned and follow us online for mor

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