Since their formation in 2002, Solid State Records quintet, August Burns Red have shown the world their take on modern metalcore, releasing three full-lengths which boast their unique metallic sound lying at the heart of their ensemble. First touching Australian shores in 2009, the Pennsylvanian rockers are to return this December alongside giants, Gwar, NOFX, Megadeth, A Day To Remember and more. KYS recently caught up with JB to learn of all the business this group has gotten up to in the last year, and get in on a few ABR secrets for the end of 2010.
Hello sir, it’s with great pleasure that we speak today. For all the unknowing readers, please introduce your band in five adjectives.
Hi! Thanks for having me. Alright, August Burns Red in give adjectives. Fast, Heavy, Melodic, Energetic, Fun. How’s that?
Awesome, so fill us in on your name, role in and favourite aspect about playing in August Burns Red.
My role in the band is lead guitar. That’s what most people would see me as. Behind the scenes I’m the business guy of the band, along with our other guitar player, Brent. I also do the majority of the song writing and handle a lot of our merch designs and ordering.
My favourite aspect is the writing process, and of course the rush we all get from playing live.
In July 2009, you guys released your third studio album, ‘Constellations’ through Solid State Records, which debuted at No.24 on the Billboard 200 and has since projected you across the world. Can you describe the response so far?
The response to Constellations was huge. It was sort of our coming out as a band. It solidified us as one of the bigger metal bands in the scene right now, which is something we are so thankful for. Constellations has enabled us to do so much we never envisioned we’d do with this band like tour South America, Japan, etc. It’s been an exciting ride and we are hoping to keep it going as long as we can.
Whilst irrefutably a metal band, you guys have released a cover of NOFX’s ‘Linoleum’ in the past and commented on influences such as Misery Signals and Hopesfall. Who were your biggest influences during the writing process of ‘Constellations’ and how do they compare to this point in time?
Our influences have remained pretty consistent over the years. Between the Buried and Me has always been a big one. There’s a lot of different riffs on our records and I’d say I’ve been influenced from anything from Converge and The Hope Conspiracy to Cult of Luna and Isis, along with various Swedish metal bands in between.
You guys are currently wrapping up the Alternative Press North American tour, co-headlining with metal giants Bring Me The Horizon and supported by Emarosa, Polar Bear Club and This Is Hell. What is it do you think that has brought you guys to this size with the ability to fulfil such huge tours across the world today?
I feel like there are two things that have helped us. One of which was writing records that people have liked and want to see played live. The other would be making smart business decisions, taking the right tours, passing on the right tours, hiring the right team around us, etc. There’s a lot of people involved with our band at this point and I think all of them have contributed to bringing ABR to the level we’re at today.
Beginning as highschool mates jamming out in 2002, August Burns Red has since taken you guys to some amazing places from Dubai to France to our very own shores of Australia. What tops your list of favourite played shows, and which bands do you most love touring with?
My favourite place I’ve ever been was Japan. I absolutely loved it there and didn’t want to leave. My favourite shows could happen anywhere. I really do enjoy playing anywhere, whether it’s for 300 kids in Japan on 3,000 kids in Australia. Much different vibes, but they’re both lots of fun for different reasons.
My favourite bands we’ve ever toured with are Emery, Between the Buried and Me, As I Lay Dying, Unearth, Evergreen Terrace, Architects, Silverstein, and Polar Bear Club.
2009 actually saw you guys tour across Australia in support of Parkway Drive’s tour alongside Architects. What was your first impression of this country and how do the shows compare to places around the world?
Well the shows were awesome thanks to Parkway being gigantic down under. It was a really great first impression of Australia. We loved it there. It’s such an awesome place to live and it’s a bummer it’s so far away because I’d love to visit more frequently just to hang out. The shows in Australia didn’t feel much different from shows in the States or Europe. I kind of lump those three places together. Kids seem to be on the same page and behave in a similar fashion. I would certainly rank Oz as one of the best places I’ve had the pleasure of visiting.
So at the end of this year we’ll be seeing you again, playing a big part in the No Sleep Til Fest across Australia to share the stage with some huge names; NOFX, Megadeth and Dropkick Murphys to name a few. What can fans expect to see from August Burns Red this time around?
Well we’ve been touring on Constellations for almost a year and a half now and last time we visited Oz we were just starting to play our new songs live. I think we have a much better handle on them and are more comfortable “rocking out” to the Constellations stuff. As a result I would expect us to play better and move around more than we had last time we were there. We also will be playing longer sets and a bunch of different songs then you might’ve seen last September.
You guys have released some real sweet Christmas jingle-remixes in the past, will you guys play Santa and give Australian fans some new seasonal tunes, or new songs in general on this tour?
Hmm perhaps we shall! We have a new Christmas song ready to drop in a couple weeks. Maybe we’ll even bust our Carol of the Bells on the No Sleep tour. haha
Being a full-time touring band, you guys must have a good idea of how to live life on the road. What are August Burns Red’s favourite foods to eat, music to jam and ways to stay sane in the van?
When we tour in a van we tend to eat a lot of junk and fast food because it’s easy and convenient. When we’re on a bus our diets get significantly better. Favourite things to eat would include Mexican food like burritos and tacos, chicken, fruits and vegetables (because you gotta stay healthy!) and of course desserts like pies and cakes. We each jam different music in the van. I tend to lean more towards indie rock and punk stuff these days. My favourite bands include Arcade Fire, Beirut, Nofx, Cold War Kids, Mumford & Sons, Matt Pond PA, Nada Surf, and The Bouncing Souls. To stay sane in the van we sleep a lot while we drive. Makes the trips go faster and keeps us out of each other’s hair. haha
With that in mind, what can we expect for the year that is 2011 coming up ahead?
We’ll be recording a new full length record and then touring our balls off in support of it once it comes out. We definitely plan on returning to Australia once it comes out, and we also have plans to hit a bunch of new places we’ve never been before. I don’t want to say where in the event that it doesn’t come together as planned, but I’m really looking forward to 2011. It’s shaping up to be a great year for ABR.
A thousand thanks for your time and the tales you’ve shared this interview. Have you got any shout outs or words to all the lovers out there?
To all the lovers, I’m jealous of you. See ya soon!