Can you tell us about your new record Guardians?
‘Guardians’ is August Burns Red’s 8th full length album (9th if you count our Christmas album, ‘Sleddin’ Hill’). It was recorded over two different sessions. We did the first batch of songs in April of 2019, and the second in August and September of the same year. I feel like Guardians is the heaviest thing we’ve done in about a decade and possibly ever. We set out to create a record that encapsulated the intensity and energy of our first four records, with the nuance and creativity of our past three. Guardians is like if the two eras of ABR’s sound had a baby.
You’ve been a band for 17 years now and each album has been a fresh take on ABR’s signature sound, constantly improving and evolving. How do you approach a new album?
We’ve been approaching our album writing the same way forever. We never discuss a specific direction or new sound we want to introduce. We simply start writing songs and make each song the best we can. When we have enough material for a full-length we hit the studio and make a record. It’s always been about the songs.
What is your stand-out single from the record?
My favourite track is ‘Extinct by Instinct’. This song was written by our bass player, Dustin Davidson, and is the most progressive track on the record. Dustin is an incredible guitar player and is responsible for writing half the songs on ‘Guardians’. My favourite section in ‘Extinct by Instinct’ is the clear interlude. I love how the section builds and the odd meter time signature is really interesting.
What is the one message (if any) you want fans to take from Guardians?
Be there for those who need you. We all go through difficult times. People need to know that they have someone who will be their “defender.” This is a common theme that is woven across these eleven songs.
We always end with some random questions: What was the first record you bought?
The first album I ever bought was ‘Rock and Roll Part 3’ by Ozma. It was a self-released album that was later picked up by and re-released by Kung Fu Records. I thought it was really cool, because a member the band included a personal message with the album when it was shipped to me. I loved Ozma because they sounded like Weezer, who was my favourite band at the time. I listened to my older sister’s Weezer CDs.
You can pick one Pokemon as your real-life ‘buddy’, which would it be and why?
I can only name two Pokemon. I’ve never watched the show or played the games but I’ve heard of Pikachu and also Squirtle. Sorry for the boring answer!
Where would you spend your last 24 hours on Earth and what would you do?
I’d spend it in Hawaii on the island of Oahu with my wife. We’d spend the morning relaxing on the beach. In the afternoon we’d drive around the island exploring, and at night we’d find a cool beach side restaurant to eat and watch the sunset one last time while weeping endlessly all over ourselves.