August Burns Red has had a busy schedule the last few years. This year, they’re working just as hard. With a new full-length album due out in June and tons of touring scheduled, which includes a full summer playing the main stage at Warped Tour, the metalcore giants are proving to be a well-oiled machine. The only thing they’re trying to discover is how far they can go.
Substream Magazine: You guys just finished up your new album, which is now titled Rescue & Restore. What’s the writing and recording process been like?
J.B. Brubaker: The process was very similar to how our past few albums have gone. We kind of do our songs in a mini-format, and then as a band everyone learns them. Then we rehearse them together, make any changes we feel like making, and then we record them and Jake does his vocal thing, and that’s about it. It’s been that way for the past three or four albums now. We have a good system down that’s working for us.
SM: As far as the new album goes, the band says it’s their “most ambitious yet.” What should fans expect with it?
JB: Well, they should definitely expect an August Burns Red album. While it is our most ambitious album, it’s not an enormous departure from anything we’ve done in the past. It’s a progression, and there’s simply a little bit more flux beyond your typical blast beats and breakdowns and all that jazz, and we just kind of continued to expand on that and experiment with some different instruments and some more clean interlude-type stuff. It’s just a more varied album than any of our previous ones.
SM: August Burns Red is playing main stage at Warped Tour this year. What particularly excites you about being on this year’s lineup?
JB: Warped Tour is an absolute blast to be on. It’s going to be our first U.S. tour in almost a year, so that’s going to be sweet. And Warped Tour is just a really fun tour because it’s like a traveling summer camp for bands. We have a lot of close friends on it – Silverstein, Blessthefall, Architects. There’s just a handful of bands that we’re really tight with and it’s going to fun getting to hang out with them all summer. Obviously the shows are really big and everyone is pretty excited. The people who come out are big music enthusiasts and they’re eager to see bands, and it’s going to be a great place for us to debut this new album. So we’re definitely excited for Warped.
SM: You’ve played Warped Tour before. How have your experiences been in the past, and how do they affect your expectations for this year?
JB: 2011 was our first time doing the whole tour, and we were on the main stage, which is what we’ll be doing this year as well. We certainly have a really good experience – like I was saying, the shows are really big and we’re playing for lots of people and good crowds. We seem to be received very warmly, and I’m hoping it’s more of the same. Obviously we’ll play our new record and if people hate that maybe the reception won’t be as positive. But I think they’ll like it, and as a result, our shows will be really fun – just like they were in 2011.
SM: Both musically and physically, how prepared do you guys feel for this tour? I mean, Warped requires quite a bit of stamina.
JB: The thing that’s grueling about Warped is the heat. Now, bands don’t have to play super-long sets. I don’t know how long our sets are going to be, but I can’t imagine them being over 40 minutes. So it’s grueling in that it’s really long and there’s a ton of traveling. But at the same time, there’s a lot of downtime because your set is only like 40 minutes long. So there’s a lot of time to chill out and relax. It’s just a matter of finding some cover from the sun if it’s like 100 degrees out. It’s not necessarily fun to be outside all day long. That’s definitely the most grueling part about it. But as far as being physically prepared, I don’t think that’s going to be a problem. We all try to take good care of ourselves, so we should be ready to roll when that comes around.
SM: Warped Tour is really big on band-fan interaction. What do you hope to accomplish as far as that goes?
JB: I’m sure we will be doing a lot of signings. We did one every day in 2011, and that’s definitely a great opportunity for us to chat with people and meet those who are the most excited about our band, which is awesome. So I think that we’ll be doing that stuff again; we’ll try to do a signing every day. And of course, we’re all hanging out, walking around, watching other bands and stuff, so we’re happy to talk to whoever. If people see us walking around the place, feel free to come say hello. I think that we’re all pretty friendly (laughs). So we’re definitely looking forward to meeting some new people and hanging out.
SM: With the Christmas album, the recording of the new album, and the band’s upcoming spot on Warped Tour, you guys have been pretty busy. What keeps you motivated to do so much, and how are you able to balance all of your time?
JB: At this point, all that we do – as far as things like Warped go – is the band. When we’re off tour there’s a lot of time to be put into doing other things, like the Christmas album and stuff like that. So at home, it’s not difficult at all to balance that stuff. It can be kind of tricky on tour to accomplish a lot of productive writing and stuff when we’re on the road. When we’re on tour, that’s kind of like all we’re doing – playing shows and preparing for shows and stuff. It can be difficult then to accomplish a lot. But we’ve just been off the road for four months, so we were able to accomplish a lot in that amount of time. We definitely take advantage of all of our downtime at home and try to make the most of it, as far as things like writing material and working on future tours go.
August Burns Red
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By Tim Dodderidge