It has been one hell of a past 12 months for this month’s ‘Aussie Feature’ artist 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.
The first topic of discussion – the jet lagged elephant in the room: America.
“[The American tour] 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,” Bowles says.
“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.”
It’s uncommon for a band to headline their first outing to the US but, already in the their short time as a band, Prepared Like a Bride have shown a propensity to do their own thing. The group is creating a reputation for attempting to reach the highest goal.
“We’ve sort of always done things differently or tried to at least. Obviously, the Overcomer campaign, at the start of , 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. [In 2015] though, we’ll start from the bottom and jump on a support slot for the next American tour.”
It is an interesting way to do things but the band pulled it off in suitable form. Bowles shares a fair amount on how the shows went down and it is almost possible to feel his smile on the other end of the phone as he recalls the tour.
“On the first show, from setting up to playing we weren’t so sure how it was going to 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.”
One impression that nearly all who have had the pleasure to meet the band would say is that their humility and humbleness is refreshing. The group’s down to earth demeanour and personality is indicative of their early aspirations, namely the aforementioned international touring.
“[The response] 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,” Bowles states.
Overcomer’s strong message about hope and finding solace after loss is one many can relate and hold on to and, as Bowles tells us, it is no different in the States. Showing the power of the digital age and how music and emotion can travel across geographical barriers, Bowles’ message is reaching its target audience stateside too.
A photo posted by Prepared Like A Bride (@plabofficial) on
“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.”
As we become acquainted with 2015, Prepared Like a Bride will soon set about penning their new record. But, in terms of lyrics, it’s already underway for Bowles and his words.
“I tend to just write [lyrics] all in the moment as the ideas come to me and as I’m thinking. 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,” he laughs.
2am #preparedlikeabride @ryanbowles @jonnybowers @anthonywillis @dryden___ A photo posted by Prepared Like A Bride (@plabofficial) on
To close things off, we ask the ‘cliche’ but intriguing question, why the hell is it called Prepared Like a Bride?
Bowles laughes before answering the question, “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,” the singer says passionately.
“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, [which] will be a special moment.”
‘Overcomer’ is available now through Faction/Sony Music and purchasable at all good retailers.