Southbound Fearing

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Brady from Southbound Fearing and I recently chatted about how the fan response has been to their latest album Bad Dreams and Melodies, what this year holds for touring, and what we can expect in the future. Be sure to check out our review of Bad Dreams and Melodies and pick up a copy of the album which we gave a 4/5 and said “SouthBound Fearing return with a driving and positive album that pop/punk rock fans will greatly enjoy.”

So, let’s start by talking about your album “Bad Dreams and Melodies.” You released it back in October, of course. How do you feel this album has been received since it debuted?

We’ve been blown away with how positive the response has been! Our fanbase seems to really like the record and I think the record has opened us up to a whole new group of fans as well. Bad Dreams… is also our first record to receive positive reviews from the music critics, not that we really care what the critics say, but its been cool to see everyone getting behind us. Our self-titled album came out in 2011 and got absolutely terrible reviews and that sort of got under our skin a little bit. We had two big radio hits off of that record and we were all thinking that the album would keep gaining steam then we got a call from our radio promoter saying, “Well…you guys better make another record because there aren’t any more good songs on this one for me to promote” We were like…Dang,I guess the naysayers were right…we made an album with two good songs on it, lol. We really took the time to write the Bad Dreams…record. We took it slow and made sure we had the right batch of songs. We made sure we were giving these songs the time and effort that they deserved. We all feel the new album is our best yet and at least so far it looks like our fans agree!

What/who were your influences going into recording the album?

We wrote the album in two parts. We wrote half of the album on the road. We’ve been on tour a ridiculous amount the last few years and alot of the songs come from our experiences on tour. There is a theme in alot of the songs of being humbled and (sometimes forced) to rely on God. There has been a ton of awesome tours where we play for alot of people, make money, have a ton of fun and all that, but there has been some really really tough tours where we’re struggling to find the cash to buy food/gas. We’ve been broken down on the side of the road at least 100,000 times, lol. We’ve overdrawn our bank account, racked up debt, been in situations with our vehicle that we easily could have been killed or seriously injured…we’ve had those kind of tours as well! The songs “Hold Fast” and “I Heard the River” definitely come from those experiences.

We wrote the second batch of songs when we took 5 weeks off before hitting the studio specifically to write and fine-tune the songs. That really gave us time to reflect, pray, and figure out where we were as a band and where we wanted to go. We felt that up to that point in our career we had been largely looked over, pushed aside for one reason or another. We’ve never had a ton of money to “buy-on” to tours. We don’t have the sickest new lighting gear or anything like that. We’re just four dudes from Ohio who love playing rock and roll and we made the conscious decision to be okay with that. We decided not to worry about the haters, not try to compare dimes to dollars and “out-buy” other bands in terms of adding junk to our stage show or anything like that. We just do what we do best and everyone will either get with us or get out of our way. “Vale Tudo” and “Control” are two of the songs that came out of that time.

Have you had a greater response to any particular tracks over the others?

“The Love that Never Fails” was our first radio single from the new album and the fans really dig that song live! We always get a great response from “Vale Tudo” and “Slander” too…probably because everyone loves a good straight up rock jam 🙂 We had been playing “Bad Dreams and Melodies” live for about a year before the record came out..we were on tour with Seventh Day Slumber and the SDS guys heard us writing that song during soundcheck one day and they basically forced us to start playing it live. The fans really liked that song right away and a bunch of them were mad that the song wasn’t for sale…We were like “guys, we just wrote that song… like… just now.”

In the review, I mentioned that you have a unique sound that puts you alongside bands like Anberlin and Story of the Year, but a heart of worship that would allow several songs to be featured on any modern worship compilation. How did you land on this sound?

First of all, thank you, that is definitely high praise. We’ve been a band for over 7 years and our sound has evolved with every record we’ve put out. We call our sound “Rock and Roll, No Gimmicks.” By that we mean we’re just trying to be real, play real rock and roll with real lyrics. We want people to know exactly what we’re singing about because if the fans can’t figure out the meaning behind our songs than what is the point?

Will future albums retain this sound or are you ready to experiment going into a new album?

I’ve actually already written a handful of new songs since Bad Dreams… came out and to be honest…they are pretty heavy (I mean…in comparison to our other stuff). We’ll always have our sound but I think you can expect our next record to be heavier and more aggressive than anything we’ve ever released.

Speaking of a new album, is there anything in the works that we should know about?

We’ve been releasing records at a ridiculous pace the last few years, We released new records in 2010, 2011, and 2012 which is insane… We’re going to tour our butts off for the next year and hit the studio more than likely in early 2014.

What influences are making an impact on you in preparing for it?

In our line of work, there is never a shortage of inspiration and motivation! On every tour that we do we find ourselves in situations and conversations where we learn more about Jesus, life, and rock and roll.

Will you be working with Red Cord for future albums?

We have one more album on our contract with Red Cord, so yes.

How have Red Cord been as a label for you guys?

Its been great working with RCR, we’ve released our last three records with them and we’ve watched them grow in huge ways since we signed in 2009. We have a great working relationship with those guys and they always make us feel like a top priority. In any kind of partnership the key is that both sides are moving towards the same goals, that’s what makes a record deal or any other kind of deal mutually beneficial and we definitely have that with Red Cord.

Can you talk about touring plans for this year?

We’re co-headlining the “No-Gimmicks Tour” in March with our friends Righteous Vendetta then we’re headlining a tour in May with a new band called This City Awaits (keep an eye out for those guys.) Then festivals this summer and looking to do some big tours this summer and fall.

If you could have your pick, what artists would you love to have tour with you?

We’ll tour with anyone…you tell me!

I always end with a silly question to close out: Who’s better, Batman or Superman?

Marvel > DC …But I’ll say Batman.