It has been one hell of a past 12 months for Prepared Like a Bride. The band released an assertive record in the form of 2014’s ‘Overcomer’, which Killyourstereo.com called, “an honest, powerful and at time heart-wrenching post-hardcore release” (#7 Australian release in our 2014 Album of the Year Poll). Apart from a well-received record, the group embarked on a national tour that saw punters show their support for the local upstarts before the Gold Coast boys hit the States. We caught up with vocalist Ryan Bowles to chat about 2014, America and the band’s future.
How was the American tour?
It was incredible! It was something where we weren’t sure what to expect over there and then it just exceeded our expectations in every way.
How did it feel announcing the tour, seeing as this was a headline and not just a support slot?
Booking it was one thing, but I think announcing it, even if it was at like four thirty in the morning Australian time, was one of the proudest, greatest moments we’ve had as a band.
Did you think they were successful shows?
Definitely. On the first show, from setting up to playing, we weren’t so sure how it was gonna go down. It looked like no one was really there for us but from the time we played to every other date we had kids coming along and just screaming the words, which was amazing.
It was unexpected. We knew we had fans in the States as you get people messaging you and you get YouTube comments and you can kinda tell where you’ve got fans but we really had no clue what would happen. We travelled pretty much the whole country and to see kids on like every date singing the words was completely unexpected.
What was the culture like, compared to ours, did it surprise you?
Well, if you’ve seen the movies Home Alone, it is basically that in a nutshell. (Laughs) And on a much larger scale everything we’ve seen in the movies is pretty much what we experienced. But people were really nice to us. We had heard negative and positive things and one of the positive things we experienced was just how well we got treated.
What was the decision to do a headline tour and not try and jump on another bands bill? I know we spoke before about doing a few shows with Silent Planet but the majority were the headline.
We’ve sort of always done things differently or tried to at least. Obviously, the Overcomer campaign, at the start of the year, was different from a lot of bands releasing music nowadays and we decided to try being different on a touring aspect as well. So, through our agents in the States we organised to headline the first tour and got good supports and had a really great time. Next year though, we’ll start from the bottom and jump on a support slot for the next American tour.
So you’ve got a fair new connections and friends I assume now?
Oh, heaps man! We’ve always had friends over there with the bands we’ve toured with here and so we would stop by and meet up along our tour and hang out. And obviously now we’ve got the support bands as friends and it’s awesome, it feels like another family over there.
The message on ‘Overcomer’ is very relatable and a very common struggle that a lot of people go through, did you find that people in the States came up to you and told you how they could relate like they do in Australia?
One hundred percent! It was really quite transparent actually between the two scenes. Obviously, the kids over there have heard the songs and know the message and so I had stacks and stacks of people coming up to me and talking to me about stuff. We also had the bands we were touring with relate the message as well. It was very similar to over here actually, very similar.
With the next release are you going to try and follow on from Overcomer and talk about how you feel now or is it going to be more of an in the moment thing you write about?
I’ve tried thinking about that but the way I write lyrics is it’s hard to think ahead of time about it. I tend to just write it all in the moment as the ideas come to me and as I’m thinking. I can’t give you a yes or no on that one, sorry. We’re writing again now so just as this album cycle ends we’re gonna start the new one and get back into it. But I think it was last night or the night before I saw something pop up on my phone just as I was about to go to sleep that sparked me to write some lyrics. I was desperately wanting to sleep but I forced myself to write and fell asleep halfway through. So let’s just say the process has begun. (Laughs)
Correct me, if I’m wrong, but you haven’t done Europe yet?
No [we haven’t], but we’d love to. But it is quite scary actually as the language barrier is different to America. Like none of us speak German or Russian or any kind of those languages so it’s something we want to do but we’re not sure when.
Just as a wrap up question and I know it’s a shitty interviewer thing to ask, but I’ve got to know: Why Prepared Like a Bride?
(Laughs) Oh, that’s easy! That comes straight from the book of Revelations, the final book of the Bible. Basically in that book, it speaks about the end of times and things to come. A lot of Christians and non-Christians I know have read it as its pretty crazy, a lot of cool stuff in there. And in that book, God talks about a new Heaven and a new Earth in the future and he considers those on Earth in relationships with him to be like his bride. Not in a sexual sense but in that we are as beautiful as a bride is on her wedding day so he talks about us being Prepared Like a Bride and that in the final days he will marry us to go to heaven with him will be a special moment.
So I guess you’re prominent about your religion within your music?
Yes and no. I speak from a personal perspective in the music and I think people from that can gather what I stand for and what I believe in. But I think music is a vocal point for people. People don’t preach about this or that in music but what would music be without some form of message? Whether it’s talking about religion, politics, taking care of the world, humanity or what not I think music is a vocal point for that. It’s one of the best ways I think.
And the flip-side to that, I guess, is this phase of trying to demean things like religion. Especially with the whole inverted crosses that bands love to chuck on their shirts like Chris Fronz’s lovely Suck My Fuck t-shirts. Does that offend you or do you take it for what it is as a bit of a joke?
Not at all. It definitely doesn’t offend me. I don’t know half the time if those people who promote that idea or pay money to put that on their shirts really know what it means. The history of it actually develops from the idea of Peter who didn’t feel like he deserved to be crucified in the same way as Jesus so he asked to be crucified upside down. It’s just kind of funny when you think about the whole thing. (Laughs)
Well Ryan, thanks so much for your time, all the best for 2015.
My pleasure Matty, thank you.
Read our AUSSIE FEATURE with the band here.