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Our most recent conversation with the band happened at this year's Warped Tour where the band found themselves as one of this year's headliners as well as being on the cusp of dropping their new album 'Tracing Back Roots' which dropped less then a week ago. We caught up with lead songwriter/guitarist Joshua Moore and discussed how the recording process went with legendary producer John Feldmann for this album as well as what is to be expected from the band with in the next few months!
Obviously this is not your first time around on the Warped Tour. How has this summer been so far?
It's been cool! It's like a huge difference from when we were on the Monster stage compared to the main stage. After Warped Tour, we were on the road for forever again. Just being on the main stage, there's the prestige that comes with it so it's really cool. Kids stick around to watch, no matter what band is playing, because it's main stage. At the same time, I think that we are gaining a lot of new fans because there are kids that will be left over from like Black Veil Brides set and Sleeping With Sirens, who with the new CD, genre-wise we're not that close anymore either.
Then maybe obviously the new record 'Tracing Back Roots' is less then two weeks away.
Yeah it comes out on the 23rd. Today is the eleventh, it's my cat's birthday which is really nerdy of me to say but so yeah now it's in twelve days.
Obviously you having a large part in the writing process, how do you think it's changed from the last two albums?
I guess, like writing this CD, just like the things I have been able to do on it are completely different from the older stuff like musically. Not that there was ever a time where I wanted to write a song that was different and the rest of the band was like no. It was just a lot more working with the genres that encompass our band. Writing stuff that's way more over on the radio side. At the same time, there's a song that I think is a bonus track that's one of the heaviest songs that we've ever written as well. So there are songs on both ends of the spectrum. We have music that will keep our fans happy so it wouldn't feel like we've completely changed but then we have songs that show that we have changed. A lot of people feel that change isn't a neccessary thing. People may be surprised. It's not something that we're doing for the money because there's so much of that in the music industry. I don't know if you know that but it's just filled with money everywhere (laughs). It's just what we've been wanting to do and this album we were able to kind of do more of that direction and working with John Feldmann was awesome too. He's a really good dude like on a friendship level as well as a professional level. He's just great to be around and great to work with. So being able to do that was great. To see what we could write. It wouldn't have gone nearly as well as it did if we went with somebody else. Just working with John kind of opened my mind to the different ways to write and maybe a little stylistic help but very few people can do that. Not that John didn't help in writing. John and I wrote five or six songs together. I think we ended up only using four of them. Well, there's a tangent for you.
Then do you think that obviously affected the recording? Like working with some one like John and being a band for this long. Do you think it affected it considering you talked about going a new direction?
It didn't at first. I mean we went into the studio with ten or eleven songs. I've said that in every interview. I don't want to say ten then have some kid be like it was eleven! You're a liar! So it was either ten or eleven songs that I had done on my own. About five of them were done back home in Michigan and then another five or six I did when we were on tour with The Used in the back lounge with my computer and everything. So we already went in with truly a CD's worth of music and then from there, John and I did about six. So then we had about seventeen or eighteen songs then we crossed off a couple of them and then we ended up doing thirteen songs. Two of them are on the special release that will be available at Target. Exclusively. There's two bonus tracks on that one and then I'm sure they will surface on the internet somewhere. Yeah, being able to write with Jon was a completely new experience for me. I had written about half the songs with another person. On 'Understanding', 'Cast The First Stone' was something Joey and I wrote together-ish. It was more he wrote some parts, I wrote some parts and we just kind of put it together. With John, it was actually more together and collaborative on like all the aspects of the song. Which was just awesome. It was cool that it wasn't a pressure thing. I was joking around with saying I just had this image of him where John and I would have a conflicting opinion and he would just be like 'Well, my friends think you're wrong' and he just points at his wall of gold records and I'd be like 'Oh god'. Okay, you win John Feldmann. You and your forty gold records but it was never like that at all. If there was ever anything that we both had an opinion on, we would just say why we would go this way because of this. It would be either I'm right or you're right. That was it. It was like a one minute discussion and we'd just always move forward and I think we both just had the complete best interest of this CD at heart so it was really easy. I mean that was that.
So it was a pretty easy process?
Yeah, it was a long process. I think Kyle, Dave and I were there for about two and a half weeks and then the rest of the band flew out after that for about three weeks. We actually got finished early which was really cool since we were planning to be there for another nine days then we got done really early so that was nice. I guess that's what happens when you work hard in the studio. Not that we didn't work hard previously but every other studio time, we were working until the last possible day. Like for 'To Plant A Seed', we actually had to buy an extra week of studio time.
Because the studio time ended and we were like, we have six songs.
But that was your first full length, right?
Yeah. Then we did 'Understanding' and we got like eight weeks of studio time and I was there literally until the last day. Then with this record, we finished early so that was awesome.
Got it down pact!
Finally, eight years later!
Obviously you have a lot coming up with the album being out so soon and you're almost half way done with Warped Tour, what is going to be coming up?
Actually we have a lot coming up. We have eight days off before we go to Europe for the rest of the month then we're in Europe all of August then we have a full tour planned for October and then in November we're going back to Europe again. Early December, we're going to Australia. I think that got announced, I'm pretty sure it did. Not a hundred percent sure but pretty sure I just saw it in my email. I kind of wandered through the crowd trying to find my phone but I think I saw it. So yeah that's basically about it.
Non stop, really.
Yeah, pretty much. We started this year off with the Take Action tour then a week later we were literally in the studio for a few weeks. So we're seven months into the year already doing so much. It's pretty normal though unfortunately. Not that we don't like touring but it is nice to be home. We'll be at home for a bit in September then we'll be on tour for the rest of the year.