Christian Nielsen- Vocals/ Lyricist | Stone Creel- Guitar/BGV | Armando Penagos- Guitar/BGV/Graphic Design | Brandon Dabbs- Bass | Evan Wagnon- Drums
The album was recorded with Bryan Papic of Luckyhorse Recording at multiple locations including The Church at Brook Hills studio, Luckyhorse studio, and other house studios, and then mixed and mastered by Bill Henderson at Azimuth Recording.
The band has a few shared musical influences in which we try to take influence from on a consistent basis such as Have Heart, Defeater, Pianos Become The Teeth, and Counterparts; to name a few. We all listen to a variety of musical artists that influence us.
Armando: Bon Iver, As Cities Burn, Counterparts, Kings Kaleidoscope, and various worship groups like Bethel.
Christian: mewithoutYou, Hands, Have Heart, Worthwhile, Underoath, La Dispute, In Irons, I Am Terrified.
Stone: I enjoy American Football, Enemies, Owen, Take it back, Dikembe and Title Fight.
Brandon: Enemies, Oso Oso, Algernon Cadwallader, Grown Ups!, Owen, From Indian Lakes, Caspian, and Pianos Become the Teeth’s albums “Old Pride” and “The Lack Long After”.
Aside from music, I would say our two other biggest influences are the Bible, which structures the way we go about every decision and then our audience, which we try to make something to reach everyone emotionally.
Something we like to keep in mind when finding inspiration from musicians is to take inspiration from others, not to take music from others.
How does this record differ from previous projects?
We would like to think there has been a consistent growth in our music since we have started, or at least that’s what we strive for. Especially with a few of the songs we have redone and added or changed things in.
If you had to compare or your band to other artists/records who would it be?
Comparison can be a tricky thing that carries both positive and negative attributes. Whereas we try to not compare ourselves to other bands in order to stay honest to our personal sound and personality, we gladly accept positive comparisons. Lately we have been compared to Counterparts, Circa Survive and Defeater, which has been really cool.
This record is packed full of really amazing lyrics. What was the writing process like for this record?
Our vocalist, Christian, writes the majority of the lyrics and then we will look at the lyrics as a band and refine them. We may add or change small phrases here and there. I think Christian has an interesting perspective on writing lyrics. Most of the time he will wait until we have the basic structure of the song and see what kind of feelings or emotions the song invokes instrumentally. The majority of the time Christian will write the majority of a song in one sitting, which I always thought was crazy, but cool. Brandon Miller (our original vocalist) wrote lyrics for the older songs we redid for this album, such as These Days and Christian has refined some of the phrasing and lyrical structure of those.
I have listened to this record a lot and since the first listen the “message” that really stands out to me is honesty, boldness, passion, and hope.
I really appreciate, firstly, every kind word you have had to say, but also the use of the word, “honesty” here. I think the overarching theme of the album is being honest in the struggles of holding onto faith as a believer. This album goes over a range of topics like in the song, “These Days”, discussing the struggle of personal desires over Godly desires within a romantic relationship. The song, “Looking Glass”, goes over the desire to show people love who would typically be disregarded by their circumstance or position such as the bastard son, the jobless beggar, and the prostitute (as mentioned in the song) among many other topics throughout the album.
Your faith obviously plays a huge roll in this album. How do you think the mutual faith shared between the band impacts your music, presence, and the response you may receive from other people?
Since the band was formed in 2013, to this time, we have experienced a ton of different responses, from people laughing, mocking, sincerely applauding, crying joyful tears, joking, expressing feeling emotions they haven’t felt before, being surprised, indifferent, hateful, and/or thankful. One of the most consistent responses that we hear is the feeling of being refreshed; which is an extremely encouraging response. The faith shared between us brings us to one main goal, to care for other people, and Meadows is such a great opportunity for us to show the way we care for others.
I love the spoken word in Weight, Wait. I think it is a good contrast to the other songs. That is something I feel is really effective in this record, the way you guys manage to incorporate so much variety in all your songs.
We have always enjoyed incorporating spoken word elements in our songs, but definitely wanted to use it sparingly as not to over-do it. Writing songs that are different from each other yet cohesive enough to be put on one project together really stretches us as musicians. No matter how much the listener may like one song, I’m certain they wouldn’t want to hear it twelve times in a row. We are definitely anticipating doing more spoken word parts in future songs.
The record sounds so real, almost live, it's amazing.
I’m glad you mentioned that, because that was a very intentional choice with the tones we sought after while recording. We’ve never run any backing tracks live and we aren’t super interested in heavily processed sounds for our style. We also wanted to be able to emulate the album as accurately as possible in a live setting.
What does local music mean to you?
The local music community is always going to be our family. They are the ones who have been there since the beginning and have supported us through the awful songs and the best songs. The Local music community is essential to every band and the more people are involved with it the more potential arises for cooler things.
Any last words?
Yes. (what a terrible response to end an interview.)
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