Currently on tour with The Amity Affliction, Issues, Stray From The Path, and Deez Nuts, Architects have been destroying venues across the country, with both their Sydney and Melbourne headline sideshows selling out within 48 hours. Killyourstereo.com had the opportunity to chat with Sam Carter before the band’s Melbourne sideshow; having an in depth discussion about their new album, touring and the current state of global politics.
First up, I just wanted to ask you about Lost Forever//Lost Together; obviously it’s got a very pessimistic view on the world, how would you go about fixing it?
I think really it does have a good kind of optimistic vibe about it, you know, throughout the pessimism. I think the only way anything is going to actually get done is through positive thinking, and that sort of thing, positive actions. I think another thing is that the record, in general, talks about discussing things and provoking emotions in people so that people will bring it up in conversations like this. That’s another thing that’s come out of the record is that. I think if kids have it and they talk about it, and they get talking about this and this, then they’ll go and talk to their friends about it and it’s just a way of showing a more open minded view on the world, we can sort stuff out. I think the best way is talking, and spreading a positive message really.
Yeah, like on stage last night you were talking about Sea Shepherd and that sort of stuff.
What actually got you into Sea Shepherd, what was the catalyst?
Sea Shepherd for me… I was already a vegan and we were looking into activist groups that cared about animals, and I watched this documentary called ‘Shark Water’, which talked about the illegal finning of sharks. It was an amazing documentary, Phil Watson was in it, and there was a little part of Sea Shepherd in it and I asked him because I was really intrigued, as the way they approached it was so cool in that documentary. Then yeah, I started watching a few documentaries, met a couple of people who worked for them and then just sort of fell in love with everything they did.
So with Lost Forever//Lost Together, Tom did absolutely everything on the record, I watched the documentary on YouTube; for the next record are you thinking more of spacing it out between yourselves, or he’ll continue on doing that?
He’ll continue on, he’s written things always. That’s how Architects is; he’s essentially the brains of it all. But we work very closely on the vocals together and we’ll probably carry on the way we do it, and it’s working so if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
For the lyrical themes, have you started thinking about the next album at all or are you still focused on the latest one?
Ah yeah… yes and no. We take note of things obviously that affect us really, but I think it will be around the time again with things that are going on in the world that we feel need to be discussed; you ever know until then. We’ll probably talk about what’s going on in Gaza and I think that’s one thing that Tom and I have already discussed that we want go down that route and discuss. We just basically discuss things that are important really. We’ve written enough songs about fucking girls… oh, not fucking girls! But enough songs about girls (laughs). There’s only so many you can do, we’re all very content in our lives at the moment so I think it’s more about talking about the bigger picture, I think it’ll be that for a long time.
Cool, so on Gaza, what were your views on that, what do you think we should be doing in that situation?
I think the way it’s not really been discussed, well not in English media really; there’s kids dying every single day, whole families being wiped out, buildings being wiped out. The people in Gaza and in Palestine are just trapped in this tiny hole and Hamas is not a big threat to the outside world. They are a terrorist organisation, but they’re not fucking people up; I think the last I saw was that 95% of people that have been killed by Hamas have been soldiers and 85% of the people in Gaza have been families that have nothing to do with this whole thing. It’s crazy, these people can’t go anywhere, they’re trapped like Egypt and Israel; they’re stuck in there. It’s just really horrible to think that just because it’s not going on in Western civilisation it shouldn’t be discussed. If 200 people died in Australia today, it would be the biggest news. If 200 people die in America it would be massive, it just bums me out it’s not talked about more because they’re people like you and me who have families. It’s crazy, imagine if one of your friend’s houses was blown up; fuck that. More needs to be done.
Well it’s with your records you’re getting that across and you’re spreading awareness.
Well it’s like the protests, Tom and I went to a couple of Palestine protests and we try and do what we can to spread the message. I guess our music is sort of a protest where we’re talking about what we care about in song form; we’re making a noise much like a protest.
Yeah, exactly. Just more on the live aspect, you said Sunday night that it’s amazing this whole tour’s sold out and heavy music is doing so well; where’s a place you’ve said “I didn’t know I have a fanbase here, this is crazy”?
Australia’s one that’s fucking crazy for us. The Melbourne sideshow and the Sydney one sold out in two days, it’s fucking mental. Really amazing, really amazing. I didn’t think we’d ever do this well here, like the tour’s been amazing. Heaps of people have been buying merch, singing along, it’s mental. So much fun though, I love Australia, we’ve always loved Australia, always loved being here and Melbourne in particular is one of my favourite places in the world so it’s lovely to do well here.
It’s good to know, even from other interviews, that you actually do mean that; especially when there’s people that go “I love [x] city”
We’ve always sucked off Australia (laughs). We’ve always loved it since the first time we came out here with Parkway; we loved it and the thing is that we’ve always been treated so nicely by people that like our band, and people who work for the band, and people in the whole music industry have just been so cool and nice. The whole country’s just got such a nice vibe to it. We’re pissed this tour’s like five fucking days, it’s like “fuck man!”.
That leads onto my next question: are you going to come back on this album cycle?
Yep. 100%. We’ve tried to come back so many times and just one way or another, shit just never works. Like we didn’t even do a headline tour on Daybreaker, which is ridiculous, and I don’t think we’ve done a headline tour out here since our first headline tour,, which is mental. We’ve had it booked in, then it was booked in at the same time as Australian Warped tour so we were like “no way can we go up against that!” Always doesn’t work out, but this time we were like “fuck it, this is our main priority, get out there and get it sorted.” We’ll be back for sure, we’re already discussing the bill and trying.
Excellent, that’s what we all want to hear. Obivously you just played Reading and Leeds; would you say that’s your career highlight at this point?
Reading and Leeds were both amazing, but Reading in particular was fucking ape shit. Pretty much closing out a tent, and there were so many people there and our friends and family and our manager, everyone that we’re really good friends with for years were there. It did feel like a defining moment for sure, which is amazing to have those after 10 years, those moments where you do feel quite in awe of what’s going on. So yeah, Reading was fucking sick; Leeds was amazing as well, but Reading was just way better.
On that 10 years sort of thing, since it’s been nearly 10 years since ‘Nightmares’ was released and you came in during 2007; are you thinking about doing anything for that?
I feel like we’re not in a band that has to do something like that to sort of stay relevant; not that bands doing that is a bad thing, Comeback Kid did it for Turn It Around and Wake The Dead, and that’s sick since they’re both massive records but Nightmares isn’t exactly an influential record for people. It would be a bit weird if I was to do a tour for it as well, but it’s nice to think about it. Maybe we’ll do a show for Hollow Crown’s anniversary if it comes to that, but we’re still writing records, I’d rather put more time into a new record than that sort of stuff. It’s amazing there’s still people thar want to hear those songs, not that we play anything off Nightmares anymore, but it’s still amazing to me to think that songs we did when they were like 15 years old are still relevant.
Are we going to be receiving songs like ‘Early Grave’ later on this tour?
Oh fuck yeah, tonight there’s going to be a lot of songs we play tonight that we didn’t play last night at Festival Hall. Early Grave wasn’t in the set yesterday but we didn’t have time; basically on the support shows we do as much new stuff as we can just because it’s more suited to the people that are there you know? It’s just more fun to play when you’re playing songs to people that don’t really know you, to play songs that are more fresh for you because we’ve probably played ‘Follow the Water’ and ‘Early Grave’ and all those other songs… well we’ve been a band for 10 years so you know! They’ve been played quite a lot and we’re never really at home that much so I don’t even want to think about how many times we’ve played ‘Early Grave’! In a headline environment it’s still sick because people are excited and are there to hear it, but at some of the support shows it can be like flogging a dead horse.
Well some guy yelled out “These Colours Don’t Run” and you went “mate we’re gonna play it”, have you gotten sick of people yelling that out and you’re going “we’re obviously going to play that.”?
Yeah, we’ve been talking about it recently, we’ve been finishing with it for so long, we’ve been thinking about mixing it up ’cause the new records done so well you know? We could finish with like ‘Gravedigger’, or ‘Naysayer’ or ‘Broken Cross’; maybe we’ll chuck out a curveball some day and we’ll play it second or something and people will be like “what?!”. It’d be sick though, I went to see Queens of the Stone Age the other day and they played the first song off of Songs for the Deaf and obviously it goes straight into ‘No One Knows’, and I was like “there’s no way they’re going to do ‘No One Knows’ second” and it went straight into it and the fucking place went mental, and I thought maybe we could do that cause it’d be quite cool for the intro to ‘These Colours’ to start and people will be like “fuuuuck, I wasn’t expecting this!”.
Yeah, fair enough. You obviously collaborated with JJ on ‘Band of Brothers’, have you been talking with any other bands about doing collaborations?
I did loads for a while and then kind of didn’t want to do any for ages, and I did ‘Band of Brothers’; it just felt like I was doing so many records. But recently there were a few that haven’t really worked out, but there’s a couple that are quite exciting if they pull through. It’s always difficult since there are such small windows and I’m never really at home so I can’t just go “oh I’ll go and track there”. But yeah there’s some cool stuff going on.
And you’re always trying to fit in a tour of Australia so you’ve got to figure that in as well.
Exactly, exactly. We don’t like hanging out at home too much; well, we do, but we prefer touring.
You’re pretty much at a stage where you can tour with anyone you want really, who do you want to tour with next, or is it this tour?
This tour’s really great for it really. Taking Every Time I Dieon tour in the UK’s going to be dope, I’ve wanted to tour with Counterparts again because they’re a really good band. I really want to tour with Stick To Your Guns again because they’re fucking great. We’re very lucky that we’ve got so many good friends that we like their bands and so there’s always someone on tour we want to see.
Well you’re obviously pretty onto issues, for piracy, what is your views on that?
Yeah, illegal downloading, all that sort of stuff. What is your view on what we should do with that?
I don’t really care. I mean, obviously it’s an important thing but I don’t really care if people download our record. It doesn’t make any difference to me, as long as people are coming to the shows. Unfortunately, we’re in a world now where people don’t really buy records and that’s what happens, but we’ve still done really well on this record and we know it’s our biggest record because of people coming to shows, buying t-shirts and singing along, like that’s how you know you’re doing well nowadays. I think it can be hard for some younger bands coming through, but downloading’s fine. Especially with movies and stuff like that where those people have enough fucking money, they don’t need your eight dollars to go and watch it in the cinema.
When you’ve got 10 million dollars it doesn’t really matter.
Exactly! We don’t make a lot of money; we’ve never made any fucking money off of a record we’ve sold. It doesn’t matter; to me it’s fine. I think things like Spotify are a good thing for sure; I think the fact that you pay money, I know it’s not a lot of money, but it’s still money that goes to the band and it’s still a way to avoid that legal side of things. I buy records, like I care and because I’m a musician I want to support bands but I understand it’s hard for kids, it’s not easy. Especially with the price of CD’s now, it’s so much fucking money!
Especially here as well, it’s crazy.
Yeah, so much money for records. I don’t know if my label would want me to talk about this sort of stuff and telling people to download our records…
(UNFD rep laughs: “I’m listening back here!”)
(laughs) it’s just unavoidable. I’m not going to get Metallica on it, and obviously it means a lot to us if people do buy it, but we understand it’s hard for people, money is tight. I buy a record a month, I treat myself to a record a month.
What was the last record you bought?
I bought Every Time I Die’s Ex Lives, even though, I might add, I got sent it for free.
You still bought it?
Our label sent it to me and I thought it was such a good record and I wanted to support them.
Well you’re a saint obviously.
It’s the best, best record.
Just to finish up, obviously religion features heavily in all of your albums, have you had people come up to you and say “I’ve now dropped my faith” or “Nope, you’ve talked about it too much, we don’t want to be fans of your band anymore”?
I think a lot of people have. We kind of discussed it a lot in Daybreaker; but I don’t mind what people do, I know what I feel and I don’t expect everyone to feel the same way as me. I’m not a very strict atheist, saying there’s fucking nothing, like I think we live in a massive universe where the universe has your back. If you do good, you put good in, you get good out of it. I don’t think there’s a man in the sky that’s controlling that, I just genuinely think if you’re a good person and you’re focused and you don’t exploit people around you, I think good things come to you. I think some of the Christian values are quite nice, the Ten Commandments aren’t exactly really bad things. It’s not like I haven’t done my research and gone “fuck religion!” without thinking about it. But I do think religion is a very dangerous thing; there’s wars breaking out everywhere and a lot of these people are probably thinking about the same god that they believe in but just because it’s under a different name they want to fight over land for it. But the only place I think we’ve ever really had it is America where we’ve had people say stuff to us about it before, in Singapore there was a group that was going to protest the show because we were atheists. It never happened, but I genuinely just think now we’re a lot more positive and we don’t want to drone on about the negative side of things, but I just think you get what you give in this life. There’s not a man with a beard making it happen, it’s down to you and yourself to go out and make a difference in whatever you do, and whatever you want to do, just do it for the right reasons and good things will happen to you.
Awesome, well unfortunately we’ve run out of time but thanks for talking with me today Sam.
Sure man, great interview.
‘Lost Forever // Lost Together’ is out now via UNFD. Read our review here.
Catch Architects in Sydney (September 4) and Brisbane (September 5) with The Amity Affliction, Issues, Stray From the Path and Deez Nuts.