Seattle-based post-hardcore outfit Emery are no strangers to our shores. Soon to return to Australia for a headlining tour, we caught up with frontman Toby Morrell to talk about touring and their new record "We Do What We Want".
Hey man, please start out my telling us your name, what you do in Emery and your favourite video game of all time?
Toby Morrell, I sing. The Legend of Zelda.
What would you say are Emery’s primary influences, musically or otherwise?
We have always liked Queen. The melodies and guitar work have always been so amazing. Also they always seem to pull off darker or sadder lyrics put to energetic almost happy music. It’s a perfect mix.
You guys recently released your fifth studio album “We Do What We Want”. What was the writing and recording process like for the record?
It took a while actually. We started back in April ’10 and got it done around December. We started making an acoustic album but our other singer Devin left during the process so we started over and wrote a really heavy record instead.
How do you think the album compares to past efforts? What can fans expect from the new material?
I really love the way this record turned out. We wanted to try some things we had never done and I think we accomplished that. It was a little strange singing lead on every song but it was also kind of fun to try new things. Matt and I did all the writing and we wanted to really push ourselves. I think in the end people will consider this one of our best records.
“We Do What We Want” seems quite introspective and conceptual. What would you say are the underlying themes of the record?
I think the main theme is who you are in public and who you are alone. It’s tough to figure that out sometimes. I also wanted to delve into the ideas of total submission to God. It seems like everyone has at least one thing they won’t give up, and we are quick to point that problem out in others, but not so much with ourselves.
Emery have repeatedly come in extremely highly on the US Christian charts. Do you think that your religious message is an important element of your appeal to fans?
Well our message is to just be real. We talk about God because He is in every aspect of our lives and it wouldn’t be real to leave that out. We aren’t pushing a religion we are just telling you about us.
You’ve graced our shores quite a few times before. Do you have any good memories from past tours?
Oh too many! We always have fun down under. The people are amazing and the shows never disappoint! The best thing is probably just walking through the cities and finding all the cool things to see and do.
Your fourth Australian tour commences very soon. What are you expecting from the upcoming dates?
The same as always. Fun! Fun! Fun! And some very rocking shows.
You’re also lucky enough to be playing Easterfest alongside other massive names like Switchfoot, The Chariot and Oh Sleeper. Have you had the pleasure of playing with any of those dudes before?
Yes. They are all great bands and even nicer people. It will be really fun to see their sets and get to be a fan for a while.
How do you guys handle being on the road? Do you have any weird tour rituals we should know about?
It’s tough being away from home but it’s also a great job so I never really can complain. The main rituals we have are stretching, warming up our voices, and we love candy so we eat it up and get a sugar rush before we head out.
Other than your upcoming Aussie tour, what does 2011 hold for Emery?
Touring, festivals, recording, and Dave and I are having our second kids!
Thanks man, any last thoughts or comments?
Aussie, Aussie, Aussie! Oi! Oi! Oi!
Cheers dude, see you at a show very soon!