Exclusive Interview: As We Suffer talk “The Fallen Pillars”!
Canadians As We Suffer may have begun life as a cover band but as they evolved into writing their own music, they focused on a more metal-infused skate punk vibe with major influence stemming from Pennywise, Strung Out, and NOFX before shapeshifting even further with a Metalcore leaning along the lines of early Killswitch Engage and Bullet For My Valentine. 2018 finally saw them settle into their style of choice as they established their name despite having known each other for many years prior and while all of the lyrics are written by vocalist Matt Caldwell, they write their music organically with no single primary song writer. So having given us something to sink our teeth into with “The Fallen Pillars” which we reviewed earlier this week, we spoke to vocalist Matt Caldwell about their World…
How did you come to choose the concept of the pillars of truth for “The Fallen Pillars“? Did you find it easier or more difficult to write to a theme lyrically than you might have otherwise? “A friend of mine, Nadav Avni, discussed the concept of the Pillars of Truth at one point with me years ago. The concept stuck with me and I thought, what if I wrote an album lyrically that was about all of the pillars that had fallen. The individual song concepts came from that initial thought and every track represents a different concept that has become largely outmoded in our society that we still very much hold onto. Mainly destructive patterns and the broken structures we cling to”
As much as “The Fallen Pillars” is a fun record, it’s also a thinking man’s album with plenty of lyrical weight; how did you find creating the balance between the two elements? “First, thank you. I appreciate that. The balance was achieved with the energy, I think. The music that was written inspired a more energetic and lively feel both for the entire band and for me writing lyrics. I like to be playful with metaphors, expletives and even drop homages to other bands I love”
You can really hear the punk influences on songs like “Caustic Paradigm” so what was it that pushed your sound into more of a Metalcore direction? “Oh, for sure. I think it was a natural progression of sound. As we continue to write tracks, we’re becoming heavier and heavier and we’ve found our sound in a more Metalcore arena as of late. Bringing Derik on board in 2018 also helped in that regard. Our newest member, Rob Bell, also comes from a very Metal background so our new material is really pushing that envelope while maintaining that original energy”
There is a real “The End Of Heartache” era Killswitch Engage, Howard Jones vocal styling on some of the songs, especially “An Open Letter (to the Bleeding Hearts)“, which is an absolute gem. Who are your vocal heroes and why? “Huge compliment! Thank you! One of my vocal heroes is indeed, Howard Jones. I’ve always loved Maynard James Keenan’s vocals as well. In terms of the dirty vocals exclusively, definitely Dez Fafara of Devildriver and Randy Blythe from Lamb of God”
As you [vocalist Matt Caldwell] and bassist Ryan Caldwell are cousins, what’s it like having family members in the band? Does it lead to more fights and scraps or has it made things more organic musically? “Haha! Good question. It’s definitely made things more organic. We work incredibly well together. I’ve admired my cousin’s Bass skills since we were teenagers. The dude would always come up with these riffs that no one else could think of. He has a natural gift.”
If you had the opportunity to come over to Europe in support of a band like Counterparts for example, what would it do for you as a band at this point in your careers? “It would definitely be a game-changer and we would absolutely do it. That’s something we all want to do when the opportunity arises”
“The Fallen Pillars” by As We Suffer is out now! What are you waiting for?!