When any band calls it a day, fans of music should indeed mourn; even if said band was one that they found irrelevant, didn’t know or didn’t like. See, bands breaking up is nothing uncommon. It’s often the rule, not the exception. Spouts occur, friendships fall apart, creativity hits a fork in the road or sometimes events and loss get in the way. Yet if there is one thing that can be said about group’s disbanding and separating it is that when it happens upon a mutual agreement between members, a level of respect must be given. To end an arrangement of friends creating music together is one not taken lightly, and one that requires humility. As is the case with Gold Coast metalcore outfit Prepared like A Bride.
Killyourstereo.com spoke with vocalist Ryan Bowles one last time as the band begins to wind things up. Bowles spoke very honestly and openly as we talked on topics such as the band’s split and their new and final single ‘Soul of the World’.
On Monday, May 11, Prepared like A Bride announced they would be calling it a day. In a sincere post, the band stated:
“It’s been an incredible ride that’s taken us all over the world and now after nearly 6 years we, Prepared Like A Bride have decided to call it a day.
The opportunities that have come our way over the course of this journey have truly blessed us and we want to thank you for the love and support you’ve shown us. Thank you to our families, friends, previous members, our team and of course you guys, our fans.
We’ve seen the world, made lifelong friends and released honest music and for all of this we’re so grateful. It’s time to move on however and we’re excited about what the future holds for each of us. We only have a few more shows left this month starting in Brisbane this Thursday (Brightside 18+), then onto Sydney (MMRS 18+) and Melbourne (Bang! 18+ & Wrangler AA) on the following weekends, so please come party with us.
We wanted to leave the game on a high and present you with one final tale… so thank you for listening and to everyone who’s spoken so highly of our single we released a week ago, ‘Soul of the World’. (Which is now available on iTunes http://bitly.com/1Jx2xqs)
Finally, we hope you continue dreaming and achieving on your journey, wherever you are in the world and wherever you are in life right now. You’re a treasure, you’re an overcomer and you are the Soul of the World!
Ryan, Jonny, Anthony and Dryden.”
The inevitable and immediate question is the reason for the decision. Well, for the guys in Prepared like A Bride, life simply got in the way.
“The guys got some incredible opportunities thrown their way in terms of University and job promotions and what not,” Bowles tells us over the phone. “So we had to sit back and look at what we could do and see what was possible and doable for us as a band. Obviously it wasn’t an easy decision to make. There were a lot of group chats and Skype calls about it until someone just had to bite the bullet and say: ‘Is this going to be one-hundred percent or not at all?’”
A difficult question to ask and one that the band was hoping to avoid. But, as it turns out, for Ryan, there wasn’t much holding him back from the band.
“For me there wasn’t any of that sort of thing like jobs or university. I mean we were all in this band one-hundred percent and we had so many ideas about marketing and promotion and what not. So for me it was one-hundred percent but it’s not always what you want, you know?” the vocalist says.
“We’ve had a few member changes in the past but I found that this was our strongest team yet and I wasn’t into the idea of finding new members again. We thought maybe we could let it settle down then come back to it but we realised that you’ve got to either do it one-hundred percent or not at all.”
It’s a valuable lesson for all involved in the music scene. If your heart and soul aren’t burning alight with the passion and drive to create this art and sacrifice for it then it’s best to not continue down that path. But, when speaking with Bowles, it is easy to hear that his passion for music is still evident and, with that, we can expect to see him active within the scene.
“I like having the path open. There’s always things you might see and things that’ll pop up where I can decide if I want to or not,” the musician assures.
Though primarily known for his vocals, Bowles was born a “natural drummer” but is also equipped to play both guitar and bass; leaving him open to explore music further in the future.
“I don’t think I’ll ever stop writing lyrics or songs or anything. I love all kinds of music and there’s still so many other types of music and genres I’d love to explore!”
“I wasn’t worried about changing and losing that [direction], it was just more so that this was our strongest line up yet and I love those guys heaps. So it was more about ‘Will I ever find that connection and that vibe with other people again?’ if anything else.”
With the new and powerful direction that ‘Soul of the World’ has taken, one would think that there were fears of losing that direction with new members as his reasoning for not sourcing new members. However, as Bowles explains, you wouldn’t replace your family or friends if one moved away from you. As is the same principle in the Prepared like A Bride family.
‘Soul of the World’ is a track that boasts the band’s best writing to date. With a huge chorus to accompany the ambient and beautiful verses, coupled with the underlying melodies and dynamics, the song becomes an anthem for fans. It cuts deep at the realisation that the boys will no longer be able to create tracks like this anymore.
An album was in the planning stages during the time of the song’s recording. The band had ideas moving around in their heads for what they wanted to do this time around. They tracked the song in January before moving onto their Japan tour in February before coming back, “with a bunch of plans to do things in regards to the band and the album”. It was then, at the beginning of March, that the members received their respective offers and opportunities.
In terms of influence and the reasoning behind recording the song, Bowles offers key insights.
“I was getting influences from a bunch of books and other things I was learning at the time. We were busting to get into the studio at this time and record the track. It wasn’t going to be released as a one off single as it was probably going to be on the album but that’s not happening at this stage,” he says with a mixture of solemn and slight humour.
“We just wanted to test the waters and experiment with a bunch of stuff with the team we had with guitars and drums and my vocals and what not.”
Lyrically, the song contrasts the main theme of loss and mourning of the band’s successful debut ‘Overcomer’. The song focuses on inspiring and encouraging the dreamers of this world to seize the life they have.
“It’s definitely in a different state to ‘Overcomer’. It’s obviously not coming out of a depressed state or a mourning state. It’s coming out of a high-on-life sort of state where I wanted to encourage people to dream and to live and enjoy themselves and make the most out of life I guess. So it came from a place in myself where I wanted those things and had set myself goals and kicked those goals, and I wanted to encourage other people to do the same.
“The line in the chorus where it goes: ‘I feel alive when I’m dreaming’ was just about that kind of state you’re in when you’re falling asleep and you’re dreaming and aspiring to all these things in your life and you’re just on another level entirely from everything else,” the vocalist says.
Despite the band’s lack of future tours or albums, the experience they have had on this journey will be forever held dear to them. Over the course of nearly six years, Prepared like A Bride have seen more countries than they thought possible. They’ve met incredible people and done amazing things all thanks to their music.
“I’ve made lifelong friends and we’ve been so blessed to go other places like Canada and New Zealand as well,” Bowles offers.
“There are people over there that we talk to on a weekly basis whether through messaging or Skype or even just a single comment on Instagram you know? I was just talking with a mate from New Zealand I know purely from being in a band. Things like that we will always treasure.”
Prepared like A Bride will play their final shows on The Hold On We’re Going Home’ Tour with friends Hand of Mercy co-headlining the dates.
Equally, the band will play their final show on July 5th in their home state of Queensland in Brisbane. If you haven’t had the chance to capture this band live, now is your last time to do so.
And so wraps up our farewell feature to Prepared like A Bride. Whether in CD players, record collections, iPod, or the memories they helped cultivate, Prepared Like A Bride have created their own humble mark for their ardent listeners.