To start off, you guys played an amazing set. You all definitely opened up the show super well and gained so much respect from a lot of my friends.
Aww, thank you so much.
No problem at all. I know Aaron mentioned onstage that you guys are definitely one of the lighter bands on the Facedown bill and that could make people skeptic.
Yeah, we’ve accepted it. We’re the pansies of the label!
No way, no way! You guys can hold your own for sure. Is being a lighter band on a label that’s pretty known for its heavier tendencies something you all worry about though?
We were definitely a little hesitant to play a lot of the harder shows just because we didn’t really know what to expect. Of course Facedown is really known for being such a heavy and brutal record label, but to be honest with you, it’s been really awesome being apart of the Facedown family. The bands have been so amazing and have accepted us so much. Even for the kids who don’t really understand our style of music, or necessarily choose our genre, I believe they really get our hearts and that transcends.
Like tonight, we were getting a really good response when we just shared our hearts and when Aaron started talking about Myquan it seemed like people were really getting into that even more than our music. So if people don’t really get our music or think it’s a bit soft, it still transcends through our hearts which I think is pretty awesome.
Your album I Am Undone is in heavy rotation on my ipod day and night truthfully. I find it becomes deeper and more thought embellished with each listen. What was the writing and recording process like for you guys?
Wow, well thank you really. Umm, I can’t take any of the credit for the lyricism. My brother (Aaron, vocalist) is the wordsmith. He actually has a Masters Degree in philosophy. He’s just a very well read 26 year old.
The writing process was really just very hard, and very long. We used to be a four piece and after losing guitar players that were both very good friends it was kind of hard. We decided kind of sporadically to try to make a go at it as a three piece. We played some songs off of our old EP at a show in Virginia where we were attending college and it went okay. It was rough, but it was fun. Aaron, Jeremiah, and I have always been a tightly knit core. I mean I grew up with my brother of course, and Jeremiah is really like another brother of ours. He really has a like heart and passion as we do.
Musically, writing was very hard for us as a three piece. It was an unfair disadvantage for Aaron most of all. Not only did he have to sing and think of all these melodies and execute them, but he had to be the interesting part sonically of the guitar as well. But I think my brother does a fantastic job of playing really hard riffs and singing melodies. I have enough trouble doing the background vocals I do as well as the drums. And Jeremiah has always been a really awesome bass player. I just really admire the guys that I play in this band with.
Umm, before we went into the studio we had a lot of ideas as far as instrumentation, so we sat down with our producer who’s been a long time friend of ours, Andrew Prousalis, and he kind of tamed us down a bit. We sort of wanted to go crazy with the instrumentation but still be able to play it live and he probably knew we were getting in a little over our heads. So basically, he just sat us down and the way he put it was, “Now pick which brushes you want to paint this record with. Pick your arsenal and do it so that you have a very cohesive record.” He really knew that the scope of lightness and heaviness and all the in between would have been really hard to make cohesive in the beginning so he encouraged and helped so much. With his help, we were all pretty stoked with the end result.
The writing process probably spanned for about two and a half to three years for us. A lot of the songs were written in the last 6 months but“Men in Little Houses” and “Our Little Girl” were originally written as a four piece so we had to rework and revisit both of those and spend time with them transitioning and switching melodies from a second guitar to vocals and whatever else we had to do.
I mean, God just really brought it all together. It scares me to think about writing another record. We’ve written a little bit since [the last record] but it definitely was a painstaking process. It was very toiling. We had some practices where it sucked and we didn’t even want to play music anymore. God showed up when he needed to and gave us the lyrics and the music so really all glory to him for the end result.
I think a lot of the process really humbled us too. Sometimes we would come in and have nothing and the next time we would come in on what we had from the last practice and play it and say, “This sucks. Why did we even like this?” We were writing such horrible music that we were getting so stoked on for the next practice and we’d just be like, “This is terrible too. How did we even get stoked on this?” But right when we needed to start pumping out songs, riffs would come out of nowhere. And the lyrics, man the lyrics would come literally hours before each track was recorded. God would just give Aaron a whole sheet of lyrics that were above and beyond anything we could even hope for. I just think it was so awesome and went a long way in God really showing his faithfulness to us. Not that he hasn’t a billion times before, but this record was just huge for us.
Oh, and the title of the record I Am Undone comes out of Isaiah where it says that he’s standing before the Lord and all he can say is “I am undone.” This ties in not only with the record, but the way we live our lives. When we left college we moved into a more depressed neighborhood in Charlotte to live just with the actions of our hands and the words of out mouths and kind of live out the love of Christ. In those two years the only thing we kept feeling is how undone we would be without Christ. Like when you stand in the presence of God you just feel the weight of your being. It says it in our song “Communion” about how if God were to let us go for just a second we’d feel how held together we really are by him. In those moments when God gives you that little reality check of how much you need him you’re just falling to pieces. You’re literally undone. So I guess not only in the writing process of the record but also in the way our lives have played out over those two years we just kept realizing how huge God was and if he hadn’t of showed up what would have happened. So the concept of the record when we went in even before we even really tried to work with all the music was reign true and in the creation as well.
You guys all seem to have such a fluid way of putting words together and a knowledge of expressing God’s word so simplistically! Were you always exposed to that environment or was this knowledge found later on down the road?
Umm, we actually are all pastor’s kids.
Yeah, well me and my brother’s dad has been an associate pastor for 23 years and Jeremiah’s dad has been a head pastor for 15 years or upwards. Glory to God for us having such awesome, loving parents. They instilled in us not just morals, but knowing to truly seek Christ and let him be your all. I think God has used a lot of different things in our lives. We all went to a Christian college and it did alot for us. We saw a lot of the ugly side of religion that we didn’t like and we saw a lot of awesome things that really allowed us to get deeper into God’s word.
But yeah, we had an awesome headstart! We were all raised Christian, had rad parents, and had God steadily working in us and moving us along. I mean it’s a process, but we’ve been so blessed. God is faithful! Like being apart of facedown and just being on tour and meeting these kids has been so awesome. Even the miniscule things that God has brought us to be apart of are huge. It’s been so awesome and just so encouraging.
What kind of words of encouragement would you give to kids who aren’t necessarily living in the most positive environments. but still want to seek out a relationship with God?
Umm, definitely just to continuously be in God’s word and to seek after him. If we’ve learned anything it’s that the church is here for a reason and that God’s body is meant to function as God’s body. As a separate entity, God can do so much with you, but when you’re with your brothers there’s encouragement, there’s correction. Iron sharpens iron is one brother sharpens another.
The time that I’ve spent with Aaron, Jeremiah, and other people that I love that God has put into my life like my fiancé, have been invaluable. So, just know that you don’t have to do this all alone. If anything, please, if you feel alone just myspace us and we’ll give you our phone numbers. It’s about encouragement and God using other believers and different part of the body, as a whole.
Absolutely! Well to bring it back into you guys a little bit, what are you guys all doing as of right now? Are you relaxing at home? Writing?…
Well we’ve really focused on touring on this record for the most part. When we’re on tour, we’re on tour and when we’re home, we’re home. Those things haven’t exactly found a perfect coexistence yet, but we have actually written a little. Right now we’re probably more in that struggling stage that I referred too and that just might be how God writes with us. We’ve probably gotten about a song and a half worth of material none of which has transitions or anything but I’m really stoked about the stuff we’ve written. It’s different and I can’t even tell you the scope of what the new record would look like upon the little bit of material that we’ve written, but we’re definitely looking forward to writing a new record and just seeing what comes.
Well I’m personally excited to see what happens as well. Do you have any last comments or parting words you’d like to share?
Umm, basically I would just encourage people like I said before to seek after the Lord because it’s so worth it. Honestly, we could really care less if you like our music, but if you have questions or if you’re struggling or even if you just need encouragement, please feel free to message us, email us, whatever. We’ll give you our numbers and if we’re in your city we’ll talk and hangout.