Exclusive Interview: Enquire Within talk writing and recording “Rebirth”!
Having formed in 2016 an spend two years writing and recording their 2019 debut “Bloodlines“, Metalcore quintet Enquire Within have arguably since been the most active band on Planet Metal. Not only have they unleashed a live in the studio record based around their live set lists and a covers album but also a sophomore full length in “Rebirth“, putting them very much on par with the likes of Trivium as being nothing short of prolific. After reviewing that new record a couple of weeks back we chatted to them about how all the pieces of the puzzle fell into place…
What did you learn from your studio time for “Bloodlines” that you took into “Rebirth“? “We recorded Bloodlines track by track completing each one before moving on to the next. As such it came out with small differences between songs that stopped it from fully gelling together as a single unit. ReBirth was tracked differently with each instrument getting their own time to be finished. We booked 2 weeks solid in the studio to keep mic placements the same on amps and all that technical stuff. We feel like it’s really created a consistency that keeps the album feeling like it’s all done together”
How does the writing process of a new EnquireWithin track start? Melody, riff or rhythm first? “Typically it’s riff first. There are exceptions, of course, Watch it Burn started with the drums being written first to change it up. We also have a habit of tweaking things quite a lot throughout the writing process. With Amelia on board now, we have another writer in the group. Previously it was just Dan and Henry writing the music with Jacob giving us some feedback to adjust stuff. Her stylistic flairs have been really important for us in the writing for ReBirth. Despite Henry and Dan producing most (not all) of the ideas for riffs and melodies, everyone gets the chance to chip in and put their stamp on things. It’s really important to us that we collaborate as that’s when the best ideas come forward”
“Rebirth” was recorded with Erim Ahmet who also mixed; how did you go about finding a new bassist with the studio skills? How did you find working with him? “It was actually the other way around which was a fun turn of fate. Erim recorded Bloodlines for us and we’d learnt so much along the way that it was a no-brainer to go back to him for ReBirth. We had found our sound and worked out exactly how to get the best out of ourselves at the time. Working with Erim is always a dream, he knows where we’re at and what we want to achieve. We’ve put countless hours in with him across the 2 albums he recorded, mixing and adjusting trying to get the most out of the tracks. He’s extremely easy to get on with and very professional, having a vast amount of knowledge in his field. Amelia then found Chris Pavey to master the album and he’s done a brilliant job with Erim’s mixes”
You’ve got two instrumentals of the album in “Tainted” and “Cocoon“, both of which are outstanding in their own right but also have a certain nostalgic quality to the instrumentals of Thrash legends in the 80’s. How did you go about ensuring that the instrumentals would shine on the album? “Ah, the classic instrumental. We think this harkens back to bands like Metallica, even just with their preference for clean intros before the main riff kicks in. For us, the instrumentals were as important as the other 9 tracks. The most important thing with any song is to tell a story. The instrumentals offered us a chance to write songs that had more complex harmonies and to give listeners a sense of what they were in for. Really setting the scene for them. This album is heavily inspired by Thrash and is our take on Melodic Thrash, so writing these pieces came naturally to us”
For us gear nerds out there, can you tell us what you’re using gear wise (pedals, strings, drums etc) to get your sound? “We use Ernie Ball strings typically, they have an attack to them which cut through the mix better for us than other strings. Henry uses his trusty Odery Jazz Fusion drum kit live, we tried a few different kits up in London and the fusion was the one that he felt responded best. Amelia and Dan use Schecter guitars for their main instruments (Dan has exclusively used Schecter for a number of years now), they produce fine quality instruments that play well and sound amazing. They’re fast to play but provide a really nice rich sound. Dan uses Boss pedals and Amelia has a tendency to use TC electronics. Dan’s rocking his Laney Ironheart currently with Amelia using the cool blue Hughes and Kettner Tubemeister. Together they create a full sound with a high gain edge”
What difference would it make to you as a band if you could land an endorsement from a gear manufacturer? “While there is truth to music being in the hands of the artists, we think that the gear we use is a conduit with which we get that music to the fans. Dan’s played with other guitar brands for example and none have been as fit for him as Schecter. Having a relationship, like an endorsement with a manufacturer, and opening that dialogue to get something custom-made to our needs, would only further our ability to move that music from our heads and onto the stage. Good gear doesn’t cover up bad musicianship, but it sure does make life easier when you have the gear you need to support what you’re doing. Particularly when it removes barriers”