Fear Before Interview

Source: Highbeamreview.com

Turning about new tricks while sifting through old habits

High school can be a pain. It’s a four year experience where kids must discover who they are, try things and prepare themselves a personal and social image before embarking out into adulthood.

Fear Before have spent six years in high school, and their new self-titled disc may be the graduation ceremony filled with a new beginning and a reflection of all the positive actions, events and friendships they have been a part of over those years.

“This one has a lot to do with who we are as people and growing up and learning from the past,” says Dave Marion, Fear Before vocalist, over the phone, two weeks before the release of the band’s new record on Equal Vision. “It’s about knowing that when things get bad, things have been worse.”

“Posi” is a term Marion has been throwing around throughout the talk on the phone.

“We’re giving back to everyone who has given to us,” he says. “Whether it has been fans coming up to us at shows or Equal Vision letting us do whatever we wanted with this record. It’s giving back a little piece of what we have. It’s just crazy that people can do that. I just wanted to be more posi, and welcome the people who are down.”

Marion, guitarists Adam Fisher and Zach Hutchings, bassist Mike Madruga and drummer Clayton Holyoak are breathing, yet again, through a different set of lungs. In fact, shedding the tail end of the once drawn out Fear Before the March of Flames was both a fluke, and an irony.

Marion says he wanted to name the new record Fear Before from the start, but didn’t want new listeners to get confused as to which title was the band’s name and which was the album’s title. “Over the past six years, people have given us the abbreviation for themselves,” he says.

Though Marion says he’s beginning to feel like a new band, Fisher took the writing process in a reverse direction, to move forward.

“I’m always my biggest critic,” Fisher says. “I’ll find things wrong, but I’ll always love our albums for what they are and how they were representative of where we were.”

Though having a new name, the band were ironically pulling accomplishments from their “freshman” antics.

Fisher sat back down, before writing the new record, and took a listen to Art Damage again. To him, it was like listening to it for the first time, and trying to figure out his thought process behind what he had written.

“This record is not [The Always Open] Mouth part two,” he firmly says. ” I think we just found our strengths. I was able to go back and pull strengths from our past.”

By that thought, Fisher and company are the plant on the front of the self-titled record’s cover, blooming from the roots that were already cemented.

“Treeman” is a grand departure for the band, while Fisher’s backing vocals on “I’m Fine Today,” are reminiscent of Odd How People Shake. “Stay Weird” has cathartic elements of Art Damage and the band’s reveal track before the record’s release, aptly titled “Fear Before Doesn’t Listen to People Who Don’t Like Them,” vamps like Damage, but spirals in harmony, like a Mouth b-side.

The band entered the studio once again with Casey Bates (The Always Open Mouth). Marion says the comfort level with Bates helped to evolve even more. “My comfort level made him get the best out of me. For me, I knew what I wanted to do, and I was hoping to pull it off. It was about doing new song writing again, and we’ve tried to do that with every album.”

Marion says this was a fun album to do. “It’s never a bad idea until you try it and it doesn’t work. I was proud of myself. The excitement kept me going. It was a lot more posi, and good vibes. You do one thing for so long, and it’s just fun to try new things.”

Being able to “try new things” in a five piece can be hard. Hutchings says it’s about being open and having respect for others’ ideas. “[It’s about] feeling where they’re coming from and finding that common ground. Be giving and cut slack. Try not to step on anyone’s toes either.”

This was a big step for the band. Fisher has been the primary songwriter for most of the band’s career, but growth marches in a new writing process, especially with another guitarist starting from the ground up.

“With [Mouth], I had more of the upper hand,” he says. “The idea of this record was to have everyone come in with their ideas. This record was about giving everybody their say.”

That say included an equal guitar share between Fisher and his counterpart Hutchings.

“Adam had 60 to 65 percent of [Mouth] skeletoned out,” says Hutchings on joining the band. “I just kind of came in and did my own thing, and added my own two cents. There were a few tracks where we kind of collaborated and worked together [on that record]. He wasn’t used to working with another guitarist at that point. On this record, we would just sit in the house and jam together.”

Hutchings’ thought process was to counter Fisher’s parts, while at the same time, complimenting them. “I play with a lot of ambiance and flares and try and create a floating atmosphere of sounds. It worked out here to add that sort of element into the music. You know, go with how you’re feeling.”

By departing from normalcy yet again, leaves Fear Before as happy outcast, something Fisher is content with. “It’s really hard to me, and always has been, to picture us within a scene, because to me, our scene is us and the people who support us. We’ve always had a hard time finding a niche.”

Marion says his band might have something lacking outside his clique of band members, touring bands and fans. “The soul in music is kind of hard to find these days. It gets really hard to see where people are coming from.”

Making the grade and applying themselves at this level in the band’s personal education is all for their own self worth. “We’re pushing ourselves for ourselves,” says Fisher. “It’s just going back and finding the things that inspired me at the time, and bring that back into Fear Before. As for the new songs and pushing things forward, we’re trying to bring something new and try things ‘we’ haven’t done before.

“It’s not about forcing others to be more creative and to push themselves, but us dong it because it’s fun. If it inspires anyone else, that’s great.”


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