Over the course of their 14 year career, AUGUST BURNS RED have risen to the top of the metalcore tree. And whilst the band have spent recent months on the live circuit reflecting on their breakthrough album Messengers, the time has come to deliver another new opus of fresh material. Enter Phantom Anthem. We caught up with guitarist Brent Rambler to lift the lid on their upcoming album including its themes and creative process alongside discussing AUGUST BURNS RED‘s musical influences and the secret behind their continued success.
Congrats on your new album Phantom Anthem! Are you guys excited for everyone to hear it?
Brent: Thank you! Of course we are excited for everyone to hear it. We think if you are a fan of the band you will enjoy it.
What are the lyrical themes and content for Phantom Anthem?
Brent: We touch on a handful of topics on this record. Some examples are: finding something new in life that rejuvenates you, the fear of death, being the first one to take the step if you want to see change in the world etc etc.
How was the writing and recording process for the album?
Brent: The writing process never really stops for the band. JB and Dustin are constantly working on riffs plus Matt and I are always working on lyrics. Our songs take a while to write so we usually have everything ready to roll once we get into the studio. As far as recording goes, we took two months to track this record. That was because we were entering the studio directly on the heels of a seven week tour. We started with the guitars on this record which is kind of backwards for us, but we felt it was the best route to go, so Matt had more time to work on his drums before hitting the studio.
Do the band have any favourite songs from the album? What are you most excited to start playing live?
Brent: My favourite song on the record is The Frost, however I think I’m the most excited to play Hero of the Half Truth. Songs a rager!
Does the band have a psych-routine before you hit the stage?
Brent: Yes! We all put our hands in and our guitar tech complains about something that sucked throughout the day, and then we say “we don’t need (insert thing that sucked), because we have each other!” It gets the blood pumping.
How did you find the recent Messengers anniversary tour? Do you have any plans for a UK headline tour for Phantom Anthem?
Brent: The Messengers tour was awesome! We knew it was going to be good, but we didn’t expect it to be so nuts. I’m sure you will see us soon enough in the UK. No solid plans yet since we were just there, but we will be back on this record.
Where is the band’s favourite place to play?
Brent: Montreal is my personal favourite place to play. The venue is amazing and so are the fans.
Do AUGUST BURNS RED have any particular musical influences are the moment? Are there any bands out there at the moment that people really need to hear?
Brent: JB was listening to a lot of ANIMALS AS LEADERS when he was writing. Dustin is ALWAYS listening to John Mayer. Some cool newer bands in my opinion are OCEAN GROVE and ASTRONOID. They sound completely different than each other, but they are both sick.
Jeremy McKinnon guest featured on your last album with a clean singing section on Ghosts. It seemed to go down very well with fans – do you have any plans of bringing in some clean vocals in the future?
Brent: We were looking to have a guest vocal on this record, but nothing really worked out. All of the people we were into couldn’t make it work. Doing guest spots on someone else’s record takes a lot of time and effort, so it’s hard to get all the details to line up.
Would you say the consistent success of the band can be attributed to having consistent lineup for over 10 years now?
Brent: I definitely think that plays a big part. We know each other at this point, and we know how to work with each other. I think if you are constantly changing members you can lose some of that natural chemistry that is need to make a band successful.
What plans do August Burns Red have for the future?
Brent: We are going to release this record and then tour like crazy in 2018. See you soon!
Phantom Anthem is set for release on October 6th via Fearless Records.
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