The last couple years have been a roller coaster ride for reader favorite Close Your Eyes. In the midst of building a passionate following and touring relentlessly, the band experienced a line-up change, with the departure of former lead singer Shane Raymond and drummer Jordan Hatfield. Now, with new members and a renewed passion and focus, Close Your Eyes (CYE) are set to return to the game with Line in the Sand, this October through Victory Records.
This week, we got a chance to chat with guitarist Brett Callaway about the new album, new lead singer Sam Robinson (Blessed by a Broken Heart), Shane’s departure, and what God is doing in their lives right now.
Lee: First off, thanks for the interview, guys. Close Your Eyes has always been one of the bands that our readership has been extremely passionate about, which will show in the questions! The questions are from our readers as well as some of my own. Of course, several people wanted to talk about the new line up… Can you talk a little about what Sam is bringing to the band and what his heart and passion are
CYE: Sam is bringing an amazing vocal talent to the band. He is probably the most talented vocalist I have ever been around, and he shares our passions and beliefs, which is wonderful.
Lee: Share a bit about the direction you see the band heading in with this new chapter?
CYE: Wherever it takes us, really. I think this is the best set of songs we have ever put together and I hope everyone else feels the same way!
Lee: Can you talk a bit about how your faith will impact the new songs/record?
CYE: Just the same as it always has! Our faith is a big part of our lives and we write about what we know and feel…so it obviously comes out!
Lee: What does this mean for Blessed by a Broken Heart? Is that band done or will Sam be co-touring, etc.?
CYE: That is not for me to answer.
Lee: How excited are you guys to tour Europe? Any expectations of the tour that you’re looking forward to?
CYE: We are very excited. Our European fans have been asking us to come over for a long time. We have really wanted to for years and it finally worked out! I am just looking forward to meeting new people, awesome shows, and doing a little sightseeing.
Lee: We also had a several questions surrounding Shane’s departure, if you don’t mind addressing them: Can you talk a little about Shane’s decision to leave the band?
CYE: It was the right decision for him and the band I truly believe. I do not want to go into it a whole bunch, but he just could not continue on doing it.
Lee: What are your thoughts on Shane’s new project/band?
CYE: I wish him the very best in everything he does. I have another buddy in that band and I feel the exact same way about him.
Lee: Does it ever get annoying to have fans place so much emphasis on Shane at times rather than the band as a whole, even though you obviously love the dude to death?
CYE: Haha YES! But it is understandable.
Lee: Let’s talk about the new album: Line in the Sand will drop in late October. Can you tell us a little about the concept behind the album and what made you land on this direction?
CYE: The concept has to do with freedom. The title comes from a speech by William Travis given at the Alamo just before the final defeat. It was a show of extreme courage and character.
Lee: Can we expect any surprises on the album or guest appearances?
CYE: There are a couple of guest appearances. One probably a bit more expected than the other!
Lee: How have you had to change/adapt the sound to better suit Sam’s vocal stylings?
CYE: We have always just written what we felt. I don’t think there was ever really much thought to that. Obviously every voice sounds different, but we are definitely still Close Your Eyes.
Lee: Will you be playing older songs during the upcoming tours, or are you going to try to switch mostly to newer material?
CYE: We are definitely playing older songs as well!
Lee: What do you feel like God is speaking to you or doing in your lives lately?
Lee: Lastly, I always end with a silly question: Whose better, Batman or Superman???
CYE: Well I like the Dark Knight trilogy better than the new Superman movie…so I guess Batman!