The new album is covers a lot of bases – there’s something here for everyone into any facet of metal or hardcore. Were you going for a more inclusive approach, or is it a result of your own diverse musical interests? (Do you get this question enough to be sick of it?)
[Brian Fair] I think it is definitely a result of the various styles of music that we have all listened to growing up. It is impossible to avoid personal influences on your music shining through. All of us listen to so many different types of music that we just end up covering a lot of ground within our sound. We also never limit ourselves based on style. If a part of a song works than that is all that matters. We never question if it is to this or to that. If only matters if it works and fits the song. We definitely get this question often but we were hoping for that reaction so I guess it worked.
This album took a bit over two years to come together – were there any difficulties or obstacles during the songwriting process? Is it true you guys were drunk out of your minds in the studio?
The thing that slowed us down the most was the fact that we toured in support of “Of One Blood” for nearly two years straight. We were writing music the whole time but we were never able to rehearse and work on it while we were on the road. After Dave left the band that slowed things down further. I was actually playing drums for a good portion of the songwriting for “The Art Of Balance”. Once Jason joined the band things picked up quickly and we got in the studio and nailed it all down. Zeus, the producer, was cool about letting us take time to get everything right. The scene in the studio was very laid back but productive. We did drink excessively during most of the recording. My routine with Zeus for vocals was to wake up around eleven, pound a Red Bull, go to the liquor store to pick up a thirty-pack of Busch, crack the first brew at noon and start tracking vocals. By the third or fourth hour we were good and loaded but getting great tracks. I think we could have paid for half of the recording with the redemption from returning empty cans.
Shadows Fall and Hot Topic sounds like a match made in hell, but apparently you guys are selling a line of clothes or something?
Hahahaha. No, there isn’t a Shadows Fall clothing line, they are just selling our shirts and CDs. We did a photo shoot for their website but that was about it. It was us wearing what we always do, Down and Slayer shirts and Dickies. They have been a huge supporter of a lot of underground bands and it is one of the only places that younger kids that have no local metal music store can pick up this type of music.
Speaking of fashion, I noticed on your web site one of the band members wearing a Yankees jersey. Aren’t you from Massachusetts? Isn’t that sacrilege?
That is a touchy subject!! Jason, our drummer and the Yankees fan, lives in Albany. Paul and I are huge Red Sox fans, I used to live a block from Fenway Park, and we have battled with Jason about this constantly. It has caused many a drunken argument.
What do you think about today’s metal scene? About nu-metal?
The metal scene in the states is great right now. You have lots of US bands making amazing music. Bands like Lamb Of God, Killswitch Engage, Darkest Hour, Unearth etc. have really been expanding the definitions of metal and influencing new generations of bands. Even the European bands have been able to tour here more often because kids are really supporting metal shows. As far as nu-metal, I think that a lot of the original bands associated with it helped to break down some doors and make heavier music more acceptable in the commercial music world. I am not much of a fan of the music itself but I think that it has definitely benefited bands in the underground. Especially when some of the bigger bands bring out smaller metal bands on tour.
What do you think of the new Rush album?
It is a pretty good album. I was stoked that Neil decided to open the album with some ragin drum work. I haven’t had a chance to really pick it apart and get to know it yet. Our drummer Jason is the Rush fanatic. He could have fielded this one better.
Would you have sex with Courtney Love if she paid you?
How much $$ are we talking about?
Your thoughts on world events?
I have been fairly uninformed about most world events. I used to obsess over the news and try to remain politically informed until I realized that I was spending too much time sifting through mis-information and bullshit. I have decided to focus my energy on improving myself and remaining focused on the moment and how I am affecting the world personally.
What’s in the future for Shadows Fall? You guys should totally put out either a straight-up punk album or cover Rush’s “Hemispheres”. Your thoughts?
The immediate future is to tour like crazy to support the new album. We are heading back to Japan with Killswitch Engage at the end of February then hopefully to Europe after that. As far as a straight up punk album or a cover of “Hemispheres”… anything is possible. But I think if we cover an entire album it would have to be either Iron Maiden “Killers” (Paul Dianno rules!!!) or Boston’s self titled debut. That Boston record was the original blue print for melodic death metal.