Since releasing their debut full length, To Plant A Seed, in 2007, We Came As Romans have gone from opening small shows to headlining some of the biggest festivals around the world. As they gear up to release their second full length, Understanding What We Have Grown To Be, guitarist and lyricist Joshua Moore took some time out to chat with Kill Your Stereo about the album and of course their upcoming spot on The Devil Wears Prada’s Dead Throne tour.
Hi there, thanks for chatting with Kill Your Stereo.
You are welcome, my pleasure.
Let’s start with the easy stuff, could you introduce yourself and tell us what do you do in We Came As Romans?
I’m Joshua and I play guitar.
Your new album, “Understanding What We’ve Grown To Be” is set to drop in a few weeks. What will the final build up be like?
We have had the masters to the CD for months so we have just been waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting to release it. Everyone is kind of nervous and anxious to see how it is going to do, but I have a lot of faith in it, I think that it’s the best music we have ever put out as a band and the best lyrics I have ever written and so I think it is going to do really well.
How was the writing and recording process different when creating the second full length?
Well, when I was writing To Plant A Seed, I wrote a lot of it on the off time we had at home and maybe 15 percent of the whole CD was written when I was on the road. But with Understanding What We’ve Grown To Be, I’d say maybe 15 percent was written at home. So the majority was done on the road, which is really, really hard to do and almost all the lyrics were written on the road as well which had a big influence on them. And then when we recorded it we did a 3 and a half week long session in which we did a bunch of pre production, all the drums and then the second session we did all the guitars and then all the vocals and everything. And that was a little bit different too, because in between those two sessions there was two months where we had back to back tours and so I mean it was a little different…and by a little different I mean it was completely different in every way when recording the final CD, but I think that it came out really well regardless.
Had you always planned to go back into the studio with Joey Sturgis and what impacted that decision?
Well when we recorded out first EP with Joey in 2008, when we got done with it we were like “Oh well we will see you when we have to record our first full length” so we had planned a year in advance to record our first full length and then when we were getting done with To Plant A Seed in the studio with Joey we were like “Oh well we will see you again for our second CD” and then in the meantime we had to record a single for Punk Goes Pop and then a single that we released with our bonus edition of To Plant A Seed and so we went into the studio with Joey again to record those and we were like “It is good to be back even though we weren’t recording a CD but we will see you next year to record the actual CD” It was always a part of the plan, we love working with Joey, he has the best gear for out sound and what we want to do with the band, how we want to sound and what we want to accomplish.
What are some of the influences, both personally and musically, that went into creating the album?
Honestly, more than any other band or anything, I think this album was influenced a ton just by our band being on the road so much. We have been non-stop touring. Right now is our longest off time that we have had in like 10 months. So I think that that was a huge influence lyrically was just being on a bad experience and being distant from our family and friends and all the normal life at home.
As the lyricist of the band, is there a song on the album that you hold the closest to you?
I’d say the last track, Understanding What We’ve Grown To Be, which is the title track, is really, really important to me. And it’s definitely like a little singalong at the end as well.
The album artwork is again quite interesting and intricate; it features the same character as ‘To Plant A Seed’ is there a reason behind that?
We went with the same artist, Paul Romano. We always kind of view our band as just a big continuation of what is going on in our lives musically, as well as lyrically as well as the artwork and the illustration and everything. I mean, it is the same little boyish figure but he is a lot more mature, because I think as a band and as people we have really matured over the past two years. And on the artwork for Understanding What We’ve Grown To Be he is being torn between what he knows is right and wrong and that is always a constant struggle.
‘To Plant A Seed’ met an amazing reception, personally how do you feel ‘Understanding’ compares to it?
I think that Understanding What We’ve Grown To Be is the best music that we have ever put out as a band.
The first three tracks that were released from ‘Understanding’ sound a lot darker than your previous material. Is this a thematic constant throughout the album?
Out of the three tracks that we have released, number wise it is track number 1, number 3 and number 12, and tracks 1 and 3 are definitely on the darker half of the album and I think that is just the way that the CD is. It does have a sort of darker to light feel lyrically and musically and that is what we wanted to do on this CD and I’m hoping that kids will understand that, I hope that they don’t just take it song by song and that they take it as a whole CD.
Earlier in the year you had a health scare and ended up in hospital. It is probably something you have spoken about a lot but can you talk us through that? And what was recovery like?
It was really scary and honestly I didn’t realize what had happened until four days later waking up in a hospital with my parents there and everyone telling me what exactly had happened. And recovering from that took just over three weeks and luckily, I think it was a five and a half week tour that we were on, so luckily I was able to rejoin for the last 6 shows of the tour. It was our first real headliner and it was amazing and it was really hard for the dudes to go on and to play not complete, not as a full band, as it was something that we had never had to do before but it was definitely an experience. I’m not regretful about it, I’m happy that it happened, I think I learned a good deal about myself and my family and my priorities and it was definitely a tough time for my band and I think that we have grown since then. Actually there are two songs off the new CD that I wrote while recovering from that at home, so I mean it’s not always bad.
We Came As Romans will be heading back to Australia in a few months for the Dead Throne tour, how are you guys feeling about it?
It is going to be awesome. We were in Australia in December on No Sleep Til and that was an amazing tour for us and so we are really stoked to go back and see how many of those fans come back to see us again
For anyone who didn’t catch WCAR on the No Sleep Til tour last year what can they expect from a live WCAR show?
We just try and put as much energy as we can into it and I think that is really important when you have kids who are paying to see a performance. Generally, people come to the show and they already know how your band sounds and so they really want to see what you do on stage and how you perform.
After the album drops, what does the rest of 2011 hold for WCAR?
We are just going to stay on the road, nothing that I can officially announce yet but we will pretty much be on the road for the next year to come just like we did with To Plant A Seed. We are always staying busy.
Before we go, is there anything else you wanted to say to the fans?
Just thank you for the support thus far. It has been awesome and we try to come back to Australia as often as we can.
See you then, thanks for having a chat.
No problem, thank you.