During the Starland Ballroom stop of the “All Stars” Tour, the men of Blessthefall took some time out of their busy schedule to discuss life on the road and their upcoming release Awakening, which is out on October 4th through Fearless Records. During the interview we discussed the musical direction the band is taking, their latest single "Bottomfeeder," the concept behind both the album and the story, and the messages the group wants to send to each and every one of their listeners.
Neepam@RRR: Okay, so, first off, would you guys mind introducing yourselves and your role in the band?
Beau: Oh hi! I'm Beau and I sing in Blessthefall.
Jared: I’m Jared. I do screams and bass.
Matt: I’m Matt, I drum.
Eric: I’m Eric, and I shred.
Neepam@RRR: You guys are currently on the All Stars Tour with Alesana and Emmure, how has it been so far?
Neepam@RRR: How has the fan reaction been?
Beau: Yeah, it’s awesome! Actually, it was brutal the other day we got booed off stage, It’s really awkward. No, no it’s pretty good, actually.
Neepam@RRR: You guys are releasingAwakening on October 4th, do you have any pre-release thoughts on the album?
Beau: I’m sorry?
Neepam@RRR: As in, thoughts regarding instrumentals, lyrics, fan reactions…
Beau: Oh, we just released a song, “Bottomfeeder,” like last week. It’s got a gnarly reaction, it’s pretty cool. We also released a studio video. It’s been great. It’s been great live, even. Everyone doesn’t know it yet, but it’s a great, energetic song.
Neepam@RRR: Would you mind guiding us through the writing and recording process of the album?
Eric: We write it out on the guitars, and then we bring it to bass and the drummer, and then we bring to vocals. After that we throw it in the oven and it comes out as a delicious little treat. [band laughs]
Neepam@RRR: Before you guys started the album, Mike Frisby left the band. Has his departure affected the dynamics or the writing process in any way?
Eric: Yeah, I haven’t been working out as much, but other than that… [laughs]
Beau: The songs came out better, I think.
Neepam@RRR: Lyrically, Witness was all over the place, from religion to love and loss. Is there any central underlying theme on Awakening?
Beau: It’s all influenced by real life experiences. You know, like real life struggles, the same thing everyone goes through everyday. So it’s very relatable, we won’t tell any, like, stories or anything. It’s rad, I think kids are really gonna connect with it, even more so than on our last record. We got a lot more personal.
Neepam@RRR: As you guys mentioned earlier, you recently released “Bottomfeeder,” which is definitely one of the heavier songs you’ve released. Is that reflective of the album overall?
Beau: You know, I think we have way more interesting songs. That song’s kinda like “Here you go. Have a good time and party.” The breakdowns are awesome, the chorus is sweet, but I think the rest of the album is a lot more creative. It’s a good first single release for kids to have fun to.
Eric: It’s definitely a heavier album, but that [“Bottomfeeder”] is kinda more straightforward. It’s good, it’s fun to play live. Kids only seem to care about a breakdown anyway, nowadays. [Band laughs]
Beau: If they don’t know a song, they like to have a breakdown.
Neepam@RRR: Were there any musical influences on this album? In the past you’ve cited bands like Underoath, are there any other newer influences?
Beau: Always, ya know?
Eric: Same influences. We still listen to the same bands we grew up to. I don’t think any of us listens to any of the bands that are coming up right now. It’s not really our style or anything. We’ve basically listened to the same bands since we were kids.
Jared: Yeah, personally, definitely, for, like, bass tones and stuff.
Beau: Yeah, we have some sweet bass stuff on all our records, and that’s kinda cool.
Neepam@RRR: The album art for the new album is absolutely fantastic, with the woman in the water. Is there any significance or symbolism behind that?
Beau: Yeah, I mean, when you get the whole layout, you’re gonna get a story with it, which is pretty cool. Its like, this girl’s kinda lost and she’s holding on to that pocketwatch; it’s kinda like holding onto the past, and I think a lot of us are doing that. We’re searching for something in our journey in life. It shows her underwater in other photos, and the cover is her bursting out of the water. It’s kinda like getting past that and getting your head above the water, literally and figuratively.
Neepam@RRR: Do you guys have any post-Awakening tour plans? Any headlining dates lined up?
Beau: Yeah, we’re doing Europe.
Eric: And then after that we can’t really mention.
Beau: Yeah, we got some secret stuff going on.
Eric: We are headlining Europe, and we have a bunch of tour plans for the fall and spring.
Neepam@RRR: You guys haven’t been on the Warped Tour since 2007, is there any plans to go back on the tour?
Beau: We’d love to, we’ll see what happens.
Eric: I can’t make any promises.
Beau: Not unless there’s another cool tour like this [the “All Stars” tour] going on.
Neepam@RRR: Could we have your favorite song from the new album?
Beau: It’s hard to pick a favorite.
Jared: I think “The Reign” is my favorite.
Matt: I like “Promised Ones.”
Eric: I like “Meet Me At The Gates.”
Beau: I like all of them. They’re all awesome in their own way, it’s hard to pick a favorite.
Neepam@RRR: What do you want people to take away from Awakening?
Beau: Just to get positive influences. There’s a lot of negativity going on in our scene. Everyone just wants to wear upside down crosses and not believe in anything. We want to give these kids something, we want them to look up to us and be good examples and give them something positive with this record.
Eric: Especially those kids that are trying to be in bands, you don’t need to have digital gimmicks coming out either. You can still be band with five members: two guitarists, bass, drums. You don’t need all this other crap thrown into it to be a professional band.
Jared: Of course, black guys would be good. [Group laughs]
Neepam@RRR: Finally, do you guys have anything you want our readers to know?
Beau: Get the record!
Eric: Get the record, it comes out October 4th, and come to our headliner!