Email interview with Nick Thomas, vocalist of Take It Back! The band just released a new EP titled Rumors Of Revolt and are currently recording their full length. The new album will be out later this year on Facedown Records. Read about the new EP, the upcoming full length, lyrics, ministry and more below.
You guys had some member losses the Fall of 2008 including Zach, the vocalist on your Facedown debut. Can you fill us in with all of the current members and their positions in TIB!?
Sure, I’m Nick I played bass on the last record but moved over to vocals. We still have Daniel on guitar and Josh playing drums and we have a new guitar player named Cody. We still haven’t picked up a permanent bass player.
In February of this year you mentioned that there were some injuries on tour involving Jordan (your then fill-in bass player) and Cody. Can you update us on how those surgeries went and how things are coming along?
Everyone is doing well. Jordan luckily did not have to have surgery, but Cody did. He just finished up his physical therapy and is almost back to 100%.
How has the musical chemistry of all the new members been working out? Did losing members affect the songwriting at all?
The song writing process is going very very well. While looking for new members we didn’t have much to do except sit at home and play music. I really think that helped us to mature as song writers.
Many IVM staffers and readers alike were glad to hear that you guys were going to continue despite the member changes and were eager to hear new material. I’m sure this was the case elsewhere as well. What kind of feedback are you hearing on the new song “New Empires”?
We are getting really good feedback. Its exciting, the song has been on our Myspace for a few weeks now so people have gotten a chance to learn the words and some of them have really connected with the song. I’ve never been a vocalist before so I have never experienced having people identify with words I’ve written. It’s been really cool.
Rumors Of Revolt, the new EP, is set to release in August, which is only a few weeks away. How pumped are you to finally get some new material out?
We are very pumped. Playing the old stuff is fun, but I can’t wait to play songs that we all feel very passionate about.
Why do a limited edition EP instead of just doing a full length?
We wanted to get something out really quick so that people could hear my vocals and start associating them with Take It Back!. A full length just didn’t fit in to our schedule this summer.
There are two covers on the new EP, Black Flag’s “Rise Above” and No Innocent Victim’s “To Burn Again”. What was the reasoning behind picking these songs? Were they just songs you liked or is there something more to it?
Well, we all love both the songs but that isn’t the only reason we did those covers. All of us have always really respected No Innocent Victim so when we started talking about covers To Burn Again was on the top of our list. The Black Flag cover was kind of the same way, it was a song that we all loved and thought went very well with the rest of the songs on the e.p.
Will any of the other 3 songs appear on the full length that should be out this Fall?
Actually we will only be rerecording two of the songs for the full length.
Who did you record the EP with? Will you be recording the full length follow-up with them as well?
We did the EP with our buddy Kyle at Ashland Studios in Kansas City. We are actually recording our full length with our friend who is located in Minneapolis.
You are currently writing material for the new full length. How far are you into the process? How many songs do you plan to put on the disc?
We are very close to finishing up the new record. We are going into the studio August 15, and the record will be around 10 songs.
After that do you plan to tour? Are you guys looking to jump on some tours as support or will you be headlining?
Hopefully we will get some good tours where we are the supporting band. Most of the tours we have done so far we have headlined and it would be nice to take a break from that for a while.
Let’s talk lyrics. On top of stepping up to handle lead vocals, are you also handling the lyrics as well?
Yeah I write a lot of the lyrics, but I always get the other guys input on the song. I love watching bands where you can tell that everyone is super passionate about what’s being played and said so I definitely want the guys to feel as passionate about what I’m writing as I do.
The newest track “New Empires” addresses issues you see in the Church and the political realm. Do the rest of the songs address similar ideas? What can we expect topically?
A lot of the new stuff will be similar in content. The lyrics are a definitely more socially relevant than the last album. Over the past year all of our eyes have really been opened to the social injustices of our world, especially those from inside the Christian community. We believe our calling on this new album was to write about those injustices and bring attention to them, instead of just pretending they’re not there.
Ok, let’s talk about the vision of the band. Do you view TIB! as a ministry focused band or a band that happens to be made up of Christians? Can you share a little of your perspective with us?
We are, of course, a band made of up Christians, but we also believe this is our ministry. I think a misconception in the Christian music scene is that you have to preach from stage every night to be a ministry based band. Our goal is to affect kids more with the content of our music and the love in our hearts rather than the 30 minutes we are on stage. We would like to leave people with something to think about.
In regards to that, what do you hope to accomplish with TIB! (outside of the typical goals of bands)?
Pretty much what was stated above. We want to bring awareness to things that most people put out of their minds because they are not convenient to think about. I guess we kind of want to stir up the pot, make kids want to do something in the world to show their love for God.
How do you feel about the current state of hardcore music in general and then specifically in regards to so-called “spirit-filled” hardcore bands?
As of late it seems like hardcore music has been getting better and better both musically and content wise. People are starting to look past themselves and the scene and are starting to bring light to problems that are often easily looked over. I’m not really sure about spirit-filled bands. That seems like a very popular thing to call your band now a days. I can only hope that people are truly genuine in using that title and not simply using it because a band they look up to is.
Is there any portion of Scripture that has been on your mind or convicted you lately?
I wouldn’t say convicted as much as inspired but 1 John 3:16 has always been one of my favorites and its really seemed more applicable to my life than ever lately. Touring is rough and sometimes it can take its toll but if we are making a difference in one kids life its pretty worth it to us.
Do you find it a challenge to stay grounded spiritually while on the road? What advice can you give to our readers and perhaps other bands on how you help to keep focus?
It is really difficult. Touring can make you both very apathetic and very lazy. The only advice I can really give anyone is to make sure you are surrounded by like minded people. That’s the only way you are going to feel challenged.
Last question before we end. Take It Back! was named as one of AP’s 100 Bands To Watch in 2009. How did it feel when you saw that? Were you surprised or did you know ahead of time that you were picked?
It was very surprising. Especially after everything we have been through the last year or so. We found out a few months before the issue came out but it didn’t seem real until we got the issue.
Thanks again to Nick for doing this interview and make sure to check out the new songs at the band’s Myspace and then pick up the new EP!