August Burns Red (ABR Week - Day 5)

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Just in case you somehow missed it, this has been an awesome August Burns Red Week here on IVM. In celebration of their new album Rescue and Restore, out everywhere now, we have spent the week giving Matt Greiner (Drummer) a series of “easy” and “hard” questions to answer. Today, however, we jump back to what we do best with a straight up interview featuring many of your questions.

Lee: While the concept seems pretty self-explanatory, explain what brought about the need to “save metalcore from itself?”

Matt: The metal-core genre is somewhat monotonous sounding and needs some fresh air breathed into it.  I hope that Rescue & Restore helps encourage and inspire bands in the genre to try to implement different styles of music into their creative process.  Sometimes all it takes is a band to try something different in order for other bands to build up the courage to break out of a ‘trend’ or specific sound.

Lee: The album seems to have a duality to it, in that it speaks to the concept that we live in a broken world, but there is hope to be found. Explain how this interplayed (if at all) with the primary concept behind the album.

Matt: The album artwork and overall message is paradoxical.  On one hand is a realistic look at the dismal state of our music genre and, on the other hand, is an optimistic perspective as to the future of metal should people step outside of the rigid ‘boundaries’ that have been established in the industry.  In a more general sense, the artwork reveals an individual letting go of something that is hurt and broken in order for it to soar and become whole and complete. Over all, there is hope and wholeness to be found but it’s going to take some risk and some sacrifice.

Lee: We have some fan questions selected from the site: Along these lines “Freedom Gunfire” asked: “ABR has stated that they are trying to get out of the box of the metalcore genre and do some original things. What groups do (you) listen to for inspiration? Can (you) list any fellow core groups that (you) feel are also doing a good job of brining originality?

Matt: The first band that comes to mind is Between The Buried And Me.  They do an excellent job of writing music that is usually juxtaposition to the sound of our genre and yet continue to thrive and succeed as a band all the more.

Lee: “Jimmy Lopez” asked: “After 5 albums, how do you keep yourself passionate about what you do in touring, writing music, and recording?”

Matt: That is a good question!  I am the kind of person that likes to have my hand in several different ‘cookie jars.’  I own a business that manufactures drums, am recently enrolled in Agriculture school, and enjoy hiking, riding dirt bike, and spending time outdoors.  All of these hobbies help to supplement the fun that I have playing music.

Lee: “Christian” asked: “How hard is it balancing the old and new styles; keeping it true to heritage, while keeping people interested at the same time?”

Matt: It definitely requires a balance!  Writing music that is interesting and catches people’s attention and yet maintains attraction among older fans is a difficult task.  Writing new music is exciting for us.  We always have been focused on writing the kind of music we are interested in playing and listening to for ourselves.  If other people like it than it’s a win win!

Lee: “Jeremiah Holdsworth” asked: “Is there any chance of doing a hymns album or EP (done in the musical style that only ABR does best)?”

Matt: I think we will leave that responsibility to bands like Ascend The Hill who are able to make hymns sound beautiful in their own way!

Lee: “Justin (Emergenscenery)” added: “Or how about a full covers album?”

Matt: We have been so busy writing music the last 2 years that I don’t think we have ambitions to write music other than original tunes.  You never know though, we did write and record a Christmas record recently!

Lee: Let’s talk a little about your influences (non-musical) going into the album. “John B.” wanted to know what you guys have been reading lately, and how it has been effecting your lives?

Matt: I read a lot actually.  I am back in college and so I read a few textbooks.  Mostly I find my inspiration by listening to podcasts from pastors like Dr. Tim Keller, a pastor at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in NYC.

Lee: So, we’re almost done. One more serious question, and then my final signature question. What does the road look like from here? Do you feel you’ve effectively begun the redemption of metalcore as a genre, or is there much more to be done?

Matt: I can’t say that we’ve done anything to change the metal-core genre as a whole.  However, I can say we tried to do something different and we enjoyed the process!  We’ll see!

Lee: My final question: Who’s better, Batman or Superman?

Matt: Batman!

Be sure to check out our official review of Rescue and Restore. Did you miss any of our other August Burns Red Week Content? Missed day one? Just click here. How about day two? Shazam. Missed Day three? Bibity bobity boo. Day four  slip through your fingers? Twinkle Twinkle…there you are.