Tag Archives: as i lay dying

INTERVIEW: Zachary Scott of It Lies Within

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How’s the tour going so far?

The Fear No Evil Tour is actually going really well. We’re definitely stoked to be down here in Florida for the tour, for the most part [the bands are] coming from Michigan and Pennsylvania. The crowds are going great. It’s a great end of the year for us and we’re having a lot of fun.

Awesome. Your new album Paramount comes out in a few weeks, too. How are you feeling about it?

It’s a crazy feeling because it’s been such a long time in the making for this album. The most member changes and just kind of being busy on the road so much. We’re just excited that it’s finally done and completed and we can’t wait to show the world, honestly. It’s cliché to say, but it’s honestly some of our best work and we have the best member lineup we’ve ever had right now. So words cant express how excited I am.

It’s been a few years since your debut album Chrysalis came out. What have you been doing in that time?

Basically, we’re a touring band. Anybody that does know anything about us would know that we’re constantly on the grind and for those that don’t know, basically we just try to tackle a different message throughout the industry and more staying on the road and playing constantly. We played over 180 shows last year, and we’re on our way to 140 this year, also hitting another country and going overseas for the first time. We’ve just been taking a different route, and again it’s primarily due to the member changes. We just wanted to make sure everybody felt good and really felt like they were a part of the album. I call it “the dream team” now. We’ve had our most solid lineup for over a year, adding our newest member, the old guitarist of the band Deception Of A Ghost (Kyle Dameron) to the band now. So we’re just really excited and we’re continuing this year like we would normally, just playing shows and touring out the year. And we’re gonna start [2016] with a new album.

I watched your new music video for “Ecdysis” and I’ve got to admit I had to look that term up. But it’s like a molting process, the shedding of an outer layer, right? So, in relation to the album title Chrysalis, what does this new song title and this new album mean for you?

We have a scene. We have a niche that we’re trying to work on. I think it’s something that’s important for every band to have and I think we’ve found that. And we’re a positive message band, you know, so the message we try to portray is we all have darkness inside us and we have to shed that skin. Chrysalis is kind of about that cocoon that you’d always be in and trying to break out, and [Paramount] is more about shedding out of that–breaking out to the top. The video was the latest song we wrote on the album, and we had most of Kyle’s influence on that, being the new member, so that’s definitely one that we wanted to start off with strong.

Do you have a favorite track off the record?

You know, I have a few to be honest with you. There’s a couple that just really equal out. “Starscream” is up there. I really like the song “Light The Way,” and the whole album is just awesome. There’s not a stagnant song. I don’t feel like there’s any fillers in the album just to get by. Every single part in the album is just exciting, and the way we put the album together, the way the songs flow, it’s just like a constant elevation. It’s like a fun roller coaster ride.

How does this album compare, in terms of sound, to your first album?

That album came out almost four years ago now. We’ve always been a metalcore band, but we were more influenced by bands like As I Lay Dying, All That Remains, and back then those bands were powerhouses. Those were the bands that motivated us to actually start this band and do what we’re out here doing, especially spreading a positive message. So I would say we’ve come into our own, having a new vocalist, Erik Mckay (bass/vocals), he’s just got some amazing clean vocals so we’re singing a little bit more on this album. And with having co-producer Jonny McBee from The Browning on it, obviously you’re gonna get that electronic element coming from him and I think he’s one of the best in the game. So we were really excited to collaborate with him on that. We wanted to just open the doors to new audiences. We didn’t want to keep this one narrow focus.

You mentioned The Browning. You also have members from The Word Alive and Fit For A King on this record. How else did that affect your sound?

This is the first time we’ve ever had guest vocalists on our album. And again, being such a long road between albums, we’ve just done so many things and accomplished so many things including rubbing elbows and hanging out and meeting these cool people that we looked up to. To be able to have Ryan Kirby (Fit For A King), Telle Smith (The Word Alive) and Jonny McBee (The Browning) on our album…them supporting us and believing what this album can do–it feels really good to have that backing. We’re just really excited for what 2016 has for us because the sky’s the limit and we’re definitely not going anywhere any time soon. It’s been a long, long, hard road for us. We’re definitely ready.

If you had one wish for 2016 what would it be?

Warped Tour.

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Paramount comes out 1/8/16. Preorder it HERE.

Interview with Sean Long of While She Sleeps

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When was the last time you thought for yourself? Are you sure? Listen to Brainwashed, the new While She Sleeps record, and you may call your answer into question–and that’s the point. “We have all grown [up] being told exactly what to do in pretty much every single aspect of being alive,” says Sean Long, guitarist for the UK metal band, “leaving little room for pure creativity and fun, even though we are led to believe that we have freedom. We are trying to make people aware and to just take a step back and be conscious of the fact that not everything you hear or are told is what’s right or what you should do.”

The band’s against the grain ideas seem to be working in their favor, as Brainwashed has already met with some rave reviews across the board. The new record earned a 5K rating from Kerrang, 8/10 from Metal Hammer and Rocksound, and not to mention HXC Magazine‘s own 4.5/5 rating. The band challenge the listener with poetics as well as sheer heaviness, penning lyrics like “If you want words to live your life by/ Walk the graves, walk the graves / It’s written on the headstones/ Time waits for no one” (“Our Legacy”). While She Sleeps mean to throw you outside your comfort zone if only to urge you toward something better–“We are not lost/ There’s method in this madness” (“Method In Madness”)–and now’s the time to listen.

The devastating energy and merciless attitude of the songs are also part of what make it a stand up metal album, an aspect of the music that Long sites as coming out of some serious trials. “I think [it’s] because we have had such a wild year of struggle and confusion,” he says. “It most definitely shines through our music and also as friends. We are in this together and we like to think that people who like our music, too, are also in it with us.”

One such struggle was a 2014 surgery on vocalist Lawrence “Loz” Taylor’s vocal chords, which could have been enough to send any band spiraling. Whatever the troubles, though, While She Sleeps have clearly pulled through, and have even surpassed expectations, both physically and musically.  The song “Four Walls” relies heavily on gospel style group chanting, while the entire fifteen track record is bracketed by strange chatter and noise in “The Divide” and “The Woods.” “‘The Divide’ is a presentation of chaos into order,” explains Long. “It’s making a stand on what we could do if we worked together. All the voices of ‘The Divide’ are the same voices to the next track in which they all sync up. It’s showing the two poles of what we can do together or against each other.” Citing his personal favorite tune as “Life In Tension” he insists, “For us it’s a triumphant album.”

Brainwashed is not only the result of the five members of While She Sleeps, but also the result of the impressive audio professionals who helped work on the album. Recording engineer Carl Bown (Trivium) and mixer Colin Richardson (Bullet For My ValentineAs I Lay Dying) provide influence that is immediately recognizable upon listening to the full album.

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“Carl Bown is our boy,” Long takes care to emphasize. “[He is] one of the best guys we know. All of this talent under his belt and [he] is just a great guy. No ego blowing up everywhere which I hear all too much these days about people with talent. It really pisses me off that people do well then somehow lose themselves and think they are owed something or they are better than most. Carl knew from the start just how to keep our punk edge yet give it the real production it needed without losing any raw vibes.” The combined effort from all involved make Brainwashed what it is, an album designed to interrogate as much as to console.

Go and get your copy of the new record and catch While She Sleeps on the Vans Warped Tour this summer for a performance Long declares will be “fucking mental.” Until then, question everything and take his most pressing message to heart: “Simply be your own god.”