With being on a new label, with having just dropped a new album, with recruiting a new vocalist last year, and in moving further away from their heavier, more technical roots, Volumes have gone through a lot in the past 12 months. Having ditched Mediaskare Records due to that label not paying them for their album sales for ‘Via’ and ‘No Sleep’ and moving over to Fearless Records, with dropping ‘Different Animals’ just last Friday, and with recruiting new co-vocalist Myke Terry (of Bury Your Dead fame) to replace Michael Barr, Volumes are pushing onwards.
Talking to me from Nebraska, AKA “the middle of nowhere in America”, Myke Terry and myself had a little chat about maintaining relationships with past members, the audition process for Volumes, their new label, his impact on ‘Different Animals’, and a freak tour bus accident that sent him off to hospital…
So, first off Myke, how has your eye been since that tour bus accident back in March?
Oh, it’s doing okay! I went to the hospital, they fixed up the cut at the top of my eye. Was in there for a couple days but I’m all good now.
That’s great to hear! So what was it, a sheet of glass fell off something?
It was a freak accident! I was minding my own business at the back of our tour bus. There was this shelf or stand with a glass door on it, and I was sitting under it. It came off its track and smashed down onto the laptop that I was working on and shattered. Glass just went everywhere. I thought I had some in my eye, so I was rubbing it to try and get it out but as it turns out, I was just cutting it into my eyeball even more. Was kinda gross [laughs]. I was very fortunate though.
Well, I’m glad that you haven’t lost an eye as yes, you’re very lucky. I did love the post you made about it on Instagram that it wouldn’t have been a Volumes tour unless one of you went to the hospital.
Well, it’s the truth, my man! did you hear about what happened to Nick [Ursich, drums]?
No! What happened with Nick?
So as we’re on tour right now, Nick’s meant to be here playing with us. But at the last big festival that we played, he was crowd surfing to Soundgarden and he fell or the crowd dropped him, but either way, he broke his collarbone.
Oh man, that is one of the injuries that you don’t want to have happen to your drummer.
[Laughs] Yeah! He’s done for a while and we’re not sure when he’ll come back. But we do have baby Josh [Middleton] from Emmure filling in for us right now. He’s so good.
He sure is! Now, when you were announced as Michael Barr’s replacement in the band, I personally was very stoked as I love what you did in Bury Your Dead. Yet Volumes is a different beast to that band so did you initially feel up to the challenge?
…Yes and no. It was smooth in the sense that I had been playing music outside of metal and was still performing, so it was an easy transition stylistically. But it did take me a while to get back into the screaming as I hadn’t done so in a while. It took me a good month to get into the groove of Volumes, as this band has a very distinct way of playing. Same thing with Bury Your Dead; these two bands are quite different and the way that Diego [Farias, Volumes guitarist/songwriter] writes but I’ve got the hang of it now.
And with you joining, I’ve heard that it was via an audition and that you performed a couple for the band. What actual Volumes songs were those?
Oh, I did ‘Erased’, but my real audition for the band was in the middle of them tracking ‘Different Animals’. They had a vocal melody that they wanted sung, from the song ‘Finite’. Once they saw that I had that down, we then tracked ‘Erased’. It was all in the studio. It was pretty nerve-wracking as they were all crammed into the studio just watching me scream.
So was it nerve-wracking because you’d just met the band and now you had to start screaming Volumes songs? Did it get easy for you quickly?
It was just because it was so up in the air. Like, they really wanted me to do it but it wasn’t official yet, and even though everyone was so hyped on it, no one had made a decision. So I felt like I was… in limbo for a little bit there.
Well, obviously, you made an impression on them! Now, had you ever met Michael [Barr, ex-vocalist] prior to replacing him?
Yeah! He and I still hang out. I knew of him and the band before I joined obviously, and we were cool then and we’re still cool now. We still smoke weed together so it’s all good!
[Laughs] Good to hear. You know, not every vocalist gets to be on good terms with the one they replaced…
Well, it was a little weird at first. I hadn’t seen him a couple years, and the first time we hung out in ages was the night before ‘Feels Good’ came out and when they announced me as the new singer. We were at this party together, and we were both like… “Yo, what’s up man?”. It was a little awkward but we talked and hugged it out, drank some shots together and it was all good.
Sick! You mentioned earlier that much of ‘Different Animals’ was being tracked when you auditioned for the band. So how much of it was written prior to you fully joining the band?
Musically, most of it was written already, or at least the structures of songs. We changed a lot of things, though, as Diego is real pshyco – he’s just a massive perfectionist. But most of it was written when I walked into that situation.
Cool! Was just curious to see how much impact you had on the record overall.
Oh, a lot of the record was written by me. Brandon Paddock [produer] and I, we wrote a lot of it together. Some of the songs, I wrote a majority of them too.
So, is that where this record went musically because you wrote a lot of it or because that’s just where Volumes were already heading after ‘No Sleep’?
Honestly, man, I really just went into this process, thinking that whatever the guys wanted to do was all cool with me. I didn’t have any reservations about what this album should sound like. It was more about what can we do to make the songs sound their best; whatever the recipe called for, I was down for it.
Right on. With ‘On Her Mind‘ and having Pouya feature on it, who called whom first for that guest spot?
They had that already worked on that well before I was even in the band. Gus [Farias, rapper/screamer] and Pouya have been friends for a long time. So they already had talked about doing a track together, but it wasn’t done yet. We just fucked around with ‘On Her Mind’ and Pouya fitted it really well.
Well, I gotta say, while I didn’t mind Left For Dead’ and ‘Feels Good’, I really wasn’t a fan of ‘On Her Mind’ at all, but the remainder of the album is solid!
Aw, thank you. That means a lot!
No worries at all. Was it at all tricky coming into this band with all of the bullshit they had with Mediaskare and that label not paying the band?
Nah, not really. I’ve come from bands who have never gotten paid so I was just used to it [laughs]. I was aware of Mediaskare already as Bury Your Dead had dealings with them before and I knew what I was getting myself into. I knew what to expect from them and what kind of people they were so I didn’t trip. It wasn’t holding us back from doing anything but it was just a pain in the ass.
Well, I imagine things are better for you guys on Fearless now?
Oh, dude, it’s a night and day difference. Their team really cares about us getting this album out and being the best artists we can be. They’ve been nothing but supportive. I’ve personally never had this experience with the label being so motivated for us to succeed.
Good to hear that. Finally, do you still speak with any of the BYD guys?
Yeah yeah, I actually just spoke to Matt (Bruso, vocals] the other day. I spoke with Mark [Costillo, drums] today actually. We’re all pretty cool, there are no hard feelings. It is what it is. I will say that I wouldn’t be here without Bury Your Dead, that’s for sure. I want peace and I don’t hate anybody, and I want everyone to win. You can’t do that if you’re harbouring hate.
Man, that’s genuinely sweet to hear you’ve maintained those relationships over the years as well. And with that Myke, we’ll leave it there and I’ll let you get back to getting ready for your set. I hope the rest of your tour goes well my dude!
Thank you so much man, take care!
‘Different Animals’ is out now via Fearless Records.