2014 is Architects’ year. With the release of their killer record ‘Lost Forever//Lost Together’, and an Australian visit that saw two headlining shows sell out in less than two days, the British metalcore lads well and truly cemented their place as one of the most important bands in alternative music. With that in mind, it comes as no surprise they’re returning to our shores once again in 2015. We caught up with the band’s always personable vocalist Sam Carter ahead of their tour to chat about Tony Abbott, SeaWorld and his album of the year.
Hey Sam, thanks so much for doing the interview today.
How are you doing?
I’m good, how are you?
I’m alright too, pretty good. Hanging in California, so chilling.
I was just about to ask that. How’s your US tour going?
Yeah, really good actually. We’re like four days in now, we have two days in Pomona. It’s fucking great. We’re on tour with Every Time I Die and The Ghost Inside, we’re friends with both of them, so it’s great. So yeah, a lot of friends, and the shows have been really cool so far as well. I can’t complain.
Speaking of touring, you guys are coming back to Australia. You were here in September, which wasn’t that long ago…what made you decide to come back so soon?
Well, we just really love Australia. We haven’t ever done a proper headline tour really, we’ve just always been asked to do it. You know, everyone in Australia has always been so supportive of our band. It just felt like the right time to get out there. We’ve managed to get Stick to Your Guns on the bill and it just all sort of fell into place. It seemed like the right time to do it, and to actually be able to go back and do a convincing tour. It’s great. It’s a great feeling.
Like you said, you guys do have a huge following here, as indicated by your sold out sideshows when you came with The Amity Affliction. Is there anything distinguishable about Australia that I guess, you don’t get anywhere else?
As soon as we first went there it just felt great. Every show we’ve ever played in Australia has been awesome. And there aren’t any other countries in the world where you can say that. I literally remember the first show we ever played there was sick. And just, there has always been so much love for our band there. We’ve always felt really appreciated because everyone is so nice. And fucking…Australia’s paradise. I wish we could fucking tour there all year. It’s the best place in the world. Easy.
Thanks! We’re happy to have you again. With touring, your recent records have been extremely politically focused. Is it taxing to get up on stage and sing about such heavy subjects every night?
It can be… it’s pretty fun really because it’s always on my mind anyway, like everything that we talk about. It’s kind of like a bit of a relief really, to kind of go up there and [know] you’re actually doing something, talking about important things. Even in Australia, you’re having problems with Abbott, you’re having your own difficulties out there. So it’s nice to kind of go out there and feel like the place is very politically aware. It’s a fucking great place to be angry and political as well, Australia. People are waking up worldwide, but I feel like in Australia there’s a real community of people that really fucking hate Tony Abbott, he’s a fucking loser. So it’s an important time to be political, I think you can make a real difference with it, so it’s fun.
I know that you guys get a lot of questions about subjects like animal welfare – sorry to perpetuate that. But how does it feel to transfer your passion and awareness to your fan base?
It’s really cool! I think that anyone that’s in a band or anyone that has any kind of platform has a responsibility to talk about things that they feel are important to them, you know. Animal rights is a really big thing for us, we’re all vegans. It’s just cool to think that maybe one out of however many people at the show might go home that night and think like, okay, I’m gonna change the way I eat, or I’m gonna change the way I view things. We’re definitely not expecting that we’re gonna go onstage and tell people about this stuff and the whole room’s gonna agree with us because that doesn’t happen. But you know, small waves that eventually make a big difference. That kid that changes how he eats will go home and maybe someone in his family will change as well, and then someone in their workplace will make a difference, it’s cool to kind of think that we can make a difference to a few people’s lives that way as well.
You’ve spoken quite a bit about SeaWorld and we have one here in Australia. For the people who don’t know that much about it, can you elaborate on your view on it?
Well, it’s quite hard to talk about it without getting really angry, actually. But the place is just disgusting. They take wild orcas and dolphins, just incredible creatures, from their natural habitat, and they make them stay in tiny, tiny, little tanks. These animals swim up to 50 to 60 miles a day and they’re stuck in these little tanks, making them go crazy. It’s the equivalent of us being in a bathtub for our lives. That’s gonna make you go pretty crazy. It cuts their lives literally, not even in half; literally some orcas can live up to 120 years old. That’s like the oldest one that’s been recorded. Some of these animals don’t make it past 10 years. So it’s crazy to think that it’s legal, let alone that it’s happening. So yeah, fuck SeaWorld, boycott it and don’t go there.
You tweeted about Blackfish the other day, which was an amazing documentary about it. Do you find that social media helps with raising awareness about these issues?
I think that it’s the best place for it, really. It’s what got me into the animal rights, it’s the best way to see stuff without the news filtering it. Everything is corrupt – the news is corrupt. Everyone’s getting money from somewhere to not talk about the important things, and the one good thing is that you can’t censor social media. So that’s the best way, that’s where I find out about all the news, everything that I care about is all from there, you know.
‘Lost Forever//Lost Together’ touched on a lot of those sorts of subjects, and you guys are a very opinionated band. Have you thought of anything that you’d want to bring up on your next record that’s happening in the world right now?
There are a lot of things that are getting to us at the moment. The situation in Gaza was a particularly heartbreaking one for all of us. Me and Tom [Searle, guitarist] went down to a few protests on that. And in general, I think we’re just going to continue with the themes that we have. Nothing has really been fixed yet, everyone’s still annoyed. There’s so much to talk about. Even in Australia. Who knows, maybe on the next record we’ll have a song about what Abbott’s doing to your beautiful country. You never know. There’s always something going on that needs to be spoken about, and it’s so easy to not talk about it that I feel like it’s so important to talk about it, if you know what I mean. It’s so easy to just…there’s so many bands just writing songs about nothing, which is fine if that’s your thing, but I just feel like we have the responsibility to do the right thing.
That’s so true, with things like animal cruelty videos – it’s always easier to look away. For bands starting up who want to use music as a platform to speak about real subjects, what are your tips on learning to scream? I know it’s pretty hard to get information from the get go.
Well, yeah! The thing is, I always try and teach, when I do lessons on tour and stuff for people that want to learn, it’s more about the warm ups that you do before, [and] making sure your voice is ready for what you’re about to do to it. And then you can put it through hell (laughs.) There aren’t really many techniques that I have for my voice, I just make sure that my voice is ready to go. It’s hard to say to someone ‘this is how you scream’, because every time I scream I just scream because I’m angry or I’m passionate about something. So I guess the best thing to do is just to be pissed off, really (laughs.)
Just on touring, you tweeted your endorsement of Rou Reynolds from Enter Shikari’s statement on paid meet and greets. Can you expand on your view on that a bit?
I just think it’s crazy, like I think that no one is any better than anybody else. Just because you’re standing on a stage, it doesn’t mean you’re worth anything more than the kid that’s bought a ticket. In fact, I’d probably rather hang out with a kid that’s bought a ticket than the dude that stands on stage and thinks that he deserves someone to pay to meet him. It’s crazy, I don’t back it, I think it’s nonsense. You should want to talk to kids, and people that like your band, because they go to work every day, and they save up their money to buy your records and buy your merch because they like your music. So why should they pay to meet you? You should want to meet them. It’s just really simple to me, it’s a no-brainer. If people want to buy our albums, I want to meet the person that wants to give me money for making music. It’s simple. It should be a no brainer. You should just have respect for the people that care about you, because if it wasn’t for the people who buy our records, buy our merch and buy our CD’s, I wouldn’t be able to be in a band. So I’m not going to charge someone to come and shake my hand. It’s fucking ridiculous.
The worst one that I’ve seen is fucking Avril Lavigne. She’s a fucking dickhead. You pay like $300 or something and you can’t even put your arm around her, you have to stay like a foot away from her. It’s mental. Absolutely mental (laughs.)
It is, it’s so sad! But sincerity, I guess, is why people turn to bands like Architects. Just to wrap up, Killyourstereo have just kicked off our album of the year poll. What’s your album of the year?
This year? Um…oh, God it’s hard.
It’s hard. It’s a hard one. Fuck, so many good records have come out this year. Let me have a look at my phone. This will be the best way to work it out. Um… let’s go…oh, fuck. I’m gonna say…the Xcerts. ‘There is Only You.’ That’s my jam.
That was actually a really good record. Thank you so much for doing the interview today.
No worries, thank you very much for talking to me. It’s been a great interview. Thank you.
Best of luck with the tour, see you next year.
Thank you very much, see you next year.
* Main Photo by James Hartley
You can catch Architects on tour this April. Full tour details here.