August Burns Red kicked off their fall headlining tour this past weekend. Check out their set list from opening night below after the jump.
August Burns Red, blessthefall, Defeater Announce Fall Tour
Attila’s new album, About That Life, managed to chart in the Billboard 200 this week with nearly 14,000 sales. August Burns Red charted in the ten spot with over 24,000 copies of Rescue & Restore. Check out a report with sales figures from Billboard below.
Metalcore has firmly established itself as a genre in which progression goes to die: a musical fortress built by artistic limitations, ruled by cookie-cutter kings. Its breakdowns and mosh calls cater to its own niche of fans, each waiting with baited breath for the next flavor of the week, none with any regard for those striving to break the mold. Many will follow, each hoping for their own piece of the pie, while few achieve any sort of longevity. For most, those fifteen minutes of fame are more than enough to satisfy their aspirations.
August Burns Red is the exception, not the rule.
On their fifth full-length release, Rescue & Restore, the Pennsylvania-based quintet once again challenge themselves in new, exciting, and unthinkable ways: a supreme feat considering their back catalogue. “Provision,” the album’s lead number, is a sonic jab to the throat, a prototypical album opener from the veterans. Frontman Jake Luhrs sounds more focus and sturdier than ever, his trademark growls taking center stage from the opening bell. “Treatment,” the disc’s second cut, carries with it a kinetic energy (a theme throughout the bulk of Rescue & Restore), trading the paint-by-numbers blueprint of its predecessor for a more frantic, scattershot approach.
Where 2011’s Leveler showcased the five-piece stretching its tried and tested formula further than ever before, Rescue & Restore finds August Burns Red changing the game again. “Spirit Breaker” is an emotional, lyrically proficient cut highlighted by a beautiful spoken-word section, while “Count It All Last” and “Sincerity” deliver a series of pulsating breakdowns without ever feeling forced or tiresome. “Creative Captivity,” the album’s sixth track, is a predominantly instrumental number, a near-five minute technical achievement.
PropertyOfZack had the chance to chat with JB Brubaker from August Burns Red last week for a new interview. We spoke with JB about the band’s new album, Rescue & Restore, being on Warped Tour, the boring metalcore scene, and much more. Check it all out below!
August Burns Red have a new album coming out next week, you guys are on Warped Tour, and you’ve released a few songs off the album already. How has the reception been to those songs so far?
It’s been overwhelmingly positive thus far. We read our comments a lot on YouTube and Facebook and all that jazz. I’d say that over 95 percent of the comments are positive. Obviously, you’re going to get the kids that are like, “Oh this sucks. Write stuff like Messengers. You guys aren’t heavy anymore… blah blah blah.” We see those comments and they kind of come off the loudest – the negative ones. But we have to remind ourselves that the vast majority of them are encouraging and positive. So you have to take that stuff with a grain of salt.
Was it more important to you to have constant music out there for fans? Or did the opportunities just come up and you wanted to do them?
I’ll say that the 7” split that we did with Silverstein was definitely an opportunity that we saw that we wanted to do. The Christmas album was something that we’d been talking about doing for many years now, we’d just never really had the time or the creative energy to do it. So I think that it was more just us taking the opportunities that we had with where we were at, than the actual – consciously trying to put out a ton of material over a short period of time. But I think it’s good that we got a lot of stuff out there in a short period of time, because people can be kind of fickle and we like to stay relevant. It’s good to have new stuff coming out so people don’t forget about you.
At one point you did a pretty interesting interview where one of the guys in the band made a comment that metalcore wasn’t a super interesting genre like it always used to be. When you headed into this new record, compared to your older stuff and compared to material out there by bands in general right now, did you guys consciously try to switch stuff up?
Well, I’d say it’s a little bit of both. We consciously do our best to try to not sound like every other band playing metalcore right now because like we said in that past interview, the genre is getting pretty dull to the point where there’s not a lot of bands that we want to listen to in this style of music – which is a shame because we used to love this stuff. That’s why we started playing this music in the first place. It’s kind of to the point where it hasn’t exactly held its luster for the past five to seven years or so. We want to try to separate ourselves a little bit from the things that are happening in the genre that we’re not generally fond of. We want to keep it interesting so people don’t lose all taste in the genre.
But on the other hand, we’ve always wanted to be a band that has wanted to progress its sound. So I think, naturally, that even if the genre has gotten really stale like it has, I think we’d still be doing what we’re doing as a band, progressing our sound. It would be interesting to see what we would be doing if the genre had continued to move forward as a whole. I’m wondering what our sound would sound like now if that had happened. But we’ll never know.
In the studio this time around, what did you guys do to change things up? Or in terms of writing?
Well we tried to avoid some of the clichés that are going on in the genre that we’re not generally fond of. In the writing process, we were trying to stay away from stuff like really pop-structured songs, which I think is a really popular thing right now in metalcore. You’ve got the breakdown verses and then the soaring clean-sing chorus. There’s a lot of that going on. Then we tried to use some different instrumentation that we hadn’t done in the past. We used a lot more string – there’s a lot of cello and violin – we even used the trumpet in one part, which we’ve never used before. I think a lot of the songs have moments that aren’t very metal at all, which give the album a lot more depth than our past albums have. Almost every song has some sort of clean… I don’t want to say ‘interlude,’ but ‘section.’ Which I’m sure some people will say, “Well you guys aren’t the same now that you have all of these softer moments.” But we’re not 22 years old anymore and we have another style of music. That’s sort of creeped it’s way into what we’re doing now. That’s just the way it’s going to be.
August Burns Red have released a lyric video for “Count It All As Lost.” Watch it below after the jump.
Monday means BandsOnBands, and we’re excited to be posting the first of two PropertyOfZack features today with JB Brubaker of August Burns Red. The band will be releasing Rescue & Restore tomorrow, so make sure to pre-order it here and to check out the band on Warped Tour.
In this week’s feature, JC discusses his love for Matt Pond PA. JB goes on to describe how he was first introduced to Pond’s music and how he very quickly became obsessed with the music that he found. Listen to songs by Matt Pond PA here and check out what JB had to say about one of his biggest influences below!
From JB Brubaker of August Burns Red:
I first heard Matt Pond PA when I was a freshman in college about 10 years ago. August Burns Red’s original singer and my close friend, Jon Hershey, and I would often stay up late listening to new music we’d find on the Internet. We were looking up tour dates for New Amsterdams and saw that Matt Pond PA was one of the support bands so we decided to check them out. The first song I heard was “The Hollows” from the album Measure. I was just beginning to dabble in indie rock as I had been pretty consumed by hardcore and metal at that time in my life, but the song really stuck out to me. I loved Matt Pond’s voice and the accompanying cello was a nice touch.
Shortly after I became pretty obsessed with the album Emblems, which to this day is one of my favorite albums. I was promoting and attending a lot of local hardcore shows around this time and I can remember driving back to my college dorm after these shows and listening to Emblems. It was the polar opposite of the live music I had been listening to all night and was a welcome departure after those shows.
With the release of the album Several Arrows Later, MPPA was pretty popular amongst my group of friends and I. This album was especially popular and was played often at our gatherings and parties. The last song on the album is called “Devil in the Water.” I have fond memories of floating in my buddy Kip’s pool late one summer night with that song playing over the patio speakers. It was before ABR had really started touring a lot and we’d occasionally have these great pool parties there. It still reminds me of a more care-free time in my life and that song always brings back fond memories of summer nights with my friends.