SHADOWS FALL frontman Brian Fair spoke to Derek Carey of Rock Is Life recently about all things SHADOWS FALL. A few excerpts from the chat follow:
Rock Is Life: What does the future of touring look like for SHADOWS FALL?
Brian Fair: Right after this, I think this tour we get home like May 9th from this tour, we're going to head to Europe to do some festivals including the Download festival in the U.K. and a few other ones, we'll be there for about two weeks I think, two or three weeks. And then this summer we're going to be doing a big full-on tour [rumored to be Sounds of the Underground — Ed.] that we can't quite announce yet but it's getting worked out right now. But it's going to be the whole U.S. and we'll be able to play a longer set which is cool. And then after that it's either do another U.S. tour or go to Europe for a full tour. We're not sure yet, we're actually making that decision now. And I think around Christmas we're trying to get around Japan and Australia.
Rock Is Life: The tour you just mentioned, would it be a solid tour or more like a festival-type tour?
Brian Fair: Yeah, more of a package type of thing but we'll be able to play a longer set, so it's cool. But all the business side shit is still getting figured out.
Rock Is Life: Recording the new album, how was it? Was it difficult or did everything seem to just flow smoothly?
Brian Fair: It flowed pretty smoothly. For us, this time we spent a lot of time at home, usually we would tour, take a few weeks off and then go right in the studio and then go right back on the road, but this time we were just like, “Let's clear the whole year,” and we really wrote, and re-wrote, and re-wrote, and re-wrote and that's where the most time was spent. And by the time we hit the studio we were really well rehearsed, we had written everything, we worked everything out, so once we got there it was real smooth. But leading up to it was a lot of work. And I was glad we did it that way. Because also with studios costing what they do, you don't want to be wasting time there. So we went in really well prepared. And working with Nick Raskulinecz was awesome. He's the kind of guy who, even though your there for 12 hours a day you don't feel like your killing yourself. He keeps the vibe real loose and fun, and he's like, “Dude, we're playing heavy metal, it's fun,” you know?
Rock Is Life: Do you feel as though you have progressed since “War Within”?
Brian Fair: Definitely. I think this album is a pretty big step forward, and just not even necessarily forward but just in a new direction. We never want to kind of repeat ourselves and there was a pretty big step between “Of One Blood” [and] “The Art of Balance”, then “The Art of Balance” [and] “War Within”, so this one I think we just focused more on the songwriting and on really making every part make sense, and trying not necessarily to leave things out but make sure everything was there for a reason not just like, “Alright, we got this great riff, let's shove it in the middle.” It had to really make sense. And that's usually the hardest part because you can have like a million riffs but that doesn't mean you have a good song. And that's where I think we stepped up the most on this one. And also we tried some new stuff vocally; I and Matt did a lot of playing off each others voices and things like that. We used Matt's voice to its full potential I think finally too, and Matt's a great singer so we really wanted to have moments where we could use that.
Rock Is Life: Would you say “Threads of Life” is more technical than “War Within”?
Brian Fair: You know, it probably depends on the song. There are some crazy technical moments, say like the song “Final Call”; it's seven minutes long, has a 32-bar solo and is probably one of the more crazier straight up shredding that we have done in a while. But then you have a song like “Venomous” that is just straight up rock n' roll and is real, not simple but just straight forward. For us, the technical side is always going to be there but we always want it to be within a frame work that makes sense, you know? We're definitely not like a prog band, we're definitely more of a straight forward metal band but there's always going to be those crazy off time parts and shit. Even the first single “Redemption” has that whole weird off time breakdown, so it's always going to be there. I don't know if it would be more or less.
Rock Is Life: You guys have played both big and small stages, which do you prefer?
Brian Fair: Clubs are great for energy and the excitement, you know like your right there and the kids can sing along and feel more part of the show, and that's really what I grew up more on was going to hardcore shows or punk rock shows and sometimes there wasn't even stages and shit, so that's more what I'm used to. But the arena shows you can't replace that energy when there are fifteen, twenty thousand people, its nuts. But it is weird because you do something like Ozzfest on the main stage and there are seats. So it's not going to be as crazy as it is when you do second stage because people can't physically move around as much. So it definitely takes away some of the energy, but when you finish a song and you hear the crowd roar your like, “Wow, that's pretty awesome.” I really like both, but I'm more used to the clubs.
Read the entire interview at www.rock-is-life.com.
The brand new SHADOWS FALL album 'Threads of Life' is out in the shops now – so go get a copy!