Shortly before Christmas AS I LAY DYING's fronter Tim Lambesis used a few quiet minutes he stole somewhere else to answer some of my questions that had been waiting since June. Yet the long time waiting for it has its upsides: The singer is looking back on a very successful - though exhausting - year with his band. Read by yourself... |
It's been about two years since the last interview and the band's last album "Frail Words Collapse".
Could you give our readers a short summary about what happend in the past months? From all I know, it's been a pretty wild and successful time? There must at least have been some line-up changes as Chris and Evan, who answered my questions last time, seem to be no longer part of the band?
Tim: Since “Frail Words Collapse” we were only home the two months it took to write for our new CD. Chris and Evan left because touring was too difficult for their relationships back home. They both wanted to pursue something that enabled them to be with their loved ones. That didn’t change the band as much as the new guys joining did. Until this CD I wrote almost all of the music myself. Now Phil helps me write.
"Shadows are Security" is the title of your new album. Could you please explain that title if it has a deeper meaning?
Tim: Shadows are here one minute and gone the next. They are always changing and fading away. The title is a reference to the false sense of security that so many of us have.
Is "Shadows are Security" in a way a concept album, beyond the very basic concept of "darkness" I mean? "Shadows" could be a metaphor for deception maybe, as people in dark places tend to believe having seen things which weren't there actually, and song titles like 'Illusions' or 'The Truth of my Perception' or 'Losing Sight' seem to express something similar. Or am I just interpreting too much in there?
Tim: Yes, “Shadows are Security” is a concept album. It tells a story from start to finish and much of that story deals with the deception of our emotions. Many people learn to love based on their emotions and feeling but fail to understand commitment and sacrifice.
Would you please describe the new album in a few words? What about the creative process, the writing, the recording, the ideas... where did they come from etc.? And of course: What does the new album sound like? Would you say it's the natural successor to "Frail Words Collapse"?
Tim: The new CD has somewhat of a similar sound throughout that fits with the lyrical concept. The writing process all occurred within a two month time period which I think actually helped keep things together. Even though it was a short time we didn’t feel rushed because I had more song writing help than I had ever had before. The new members really balance out the band well. Our goal was to write a CD that the five of us enjoy and ignore anyone else’s expectation. The outcome was a more technical but more melodic approach to the guitars. The drumming sounds more natural but equally as aggressive. It was the natural successor to “Frail Words Collapse.” The new album is very focused to fit the concept and I think future As I Lay Dying albums will branch out more.
It's an unwritten rule that a band's third album is likely to decide whether a band will make it or not. Did you think about that when you started writing and recording? I know that there has been a split-CD with AMERICAN TRAGEDY who are also from San Diego, but "Shadows are Security" is the band's own third regular studio album.
Tim: Some people consider this our third but a lot of people know this CD as our second because the CD’s before Metal Blade are very difficult to find. I’ve never really thought about the pressure because I’ve been pretty confident that we are always getting better. I’ll worry about that more when we are old and running out of passion for our music.
Some months have passed since the recording. Are you still 100% satisfied with the album or are you maybe even the kind of musicians which is never really satisfied with their creations?
Tim: I realize that each recording is just like a photo or snap shot of where the band was at that time. “Shadows are Security” is a good representation of where were at in January of 2005. Six months went by before the CD was even released so we knew it would have to stand the test of time.
On your website I read that you've been touring certain parts of Europe recently and had some... well, "difficulties" with your driver. Could you tell us about that?
Tim: Our driver was from England and he was one of the most angry people i had ever met. We dropped him off at the airport and drove our own bus through Germany. I’d never driven a bus and I’d never driven in Europe. Also, the English cars have the stearing wheel on the opposite side. Any sort of discomfort was better than having to spend another day with that crazy dude.
Which countries have you been touring over here? Would you give us a short summary about your impressions from this tour?
Tim: We’ve toured Germany, Italy, UK, Switzerland, Netherlands, Czech Republic, Sweden, Denmark. All of the European cities feel much more similar than the UK. We have a good time wherever we are but I wish we had more time to see the cities. Most days we get in a few hours before the show and leave shortly after. With a schedule like that tour is pretty much the same no matter where we go.
You'll be touring the US for another few weeks. How would you compare your experiences in the US and Europe? What about the reactions of the crowd, the numbers of visitors at your shows etc.?
Tim: The European crowds are less affected by trends and are more appreciative overall. The crowds are bigger in the US but that is the only main difference once the show starts. The crowds are also louder between songs in the US but that is probably because it is easier for them to understand my comments.
A very general question: What are the band's influences and did you guys start to play music because of these influences maybe?
Tim: Everyone in the band listens to different music. I personally like the energy of punk and hardcore but the riffing and brutality of metal. Iron Maiden has a great sense of guitar melody and they’ve challenged me since I’ve learned guitar.
These were my questions. I thank you very much for taking the time to answer them and wish you the well-deserved success for "Shadows are Security"! The last words of this interview belong to you. Feel free to tell our readers whatever you feel like.
Tim: We always appreciate the support of our fans and we look forward to another live show!