Convictions: If You Don’t Know, It’s Time You Do (Interview)

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If you haven’t heard of Convictions, a five piece metalcore band that spews raw emotion, positivity, and an inspiring yet non-imposing message reflecting their Christianity, it’s about time you do. While the Fremont, Ohio natives have been on the scene since 2012, having already self-released a full-length album, I am Nothing, featuring Matty Mullins of Memphis May Fire, and just recently their latest four-track EP Unworthy, they have remained unsigned, waiting for the right label to become a full-time touring band with.

Since the release of Unworthy, they have gained the attention of mega-producer Joey Sturgis, who will be working with the band soon on new tracks. There is a lot for Convictions to look forward to in the upcoming months with the newfound attention they’ve been receiving, but they aren’t the type of band to turn their back on what got them started.

“We were really drawn to being in a Christian band because we feel there is a message that isn’t being portrayed in the scene. Lots of Christian bands give a message that kind of just preaches to the choir,” says guitarist Josh Canode. “Not that there is anything wrong with that, but we wanted to do something different that everyone can relate to; talk about touchy subjects that Christian bands don’t talk about and show people that they aren’t the only ones who go through really rough issues in life. We are imperfect people, and we want that to show in our music. As a band, we want to be as real and honest as possible, and never fake.”

Influenced by bands ranging from as As Cities Burn and Underoath, to Bring Me the Horizon and Oceana, the down-to-Earth, honest tone found in their lyrics, such as “I am the flaw, I am the fake, I’m not afraid to admit I was wrong,” makes for a relatable listen for all audiences, not just fellow Christians.

“Through our lyrics you can see it’s not easy. We’re just like everyone else, living in the same kind of world everyone else is but we know through our convictions we can find hope in Jesus,” says drummer Zach Schwochow.

Eager to release new music yet not wanting to overwhelm their audiences after the 2012 release of I am Nothing, the brevity of an EP appealed to them. While each track of Unworthy features a distinctly different energy, they each tie into the message of being unworthy of the love of God.

“The EP is themed around the four elements wind, water, fire & earth,” says vocalist Mike Felker.  “I hope our listeners understand as Christians we feel we are no better than anyone.  We feel we are ‘Unworthy’ of our gift of forgiveness and salvation so we dug into that during that writing process.”

Reaching out to affect more listeners with their positive message by utilizing their social media sites, they have discovered ways to effectively stay connected with their fans and have been receiving positive feedback on the EP via Facebook and Twitter.

“Youtube, though, I feel is the place we’ve gotten the most response regarding the EP. It’s been overwhelming. I know everyone says this but our fans are the best!” says Schwochow. “And speaking of Youtube, we want to reach out and be more transparent so we will be filming various videos for our fans to see.  Gear walk run downs, ‘Convictions Cribs’, and funny stuff.  We’ve already posted our first Q & A. The response went better than expected and we plan on doing more episodes.  We want our fans to get to know us and our personalities.”

Of course, in their live shows the band has discovered how intimately their music has been able to connect with fans on an emotional and inspirational level.

“We have had a fan that fought over seas in Afghanistan, he mentioned how we encouraged him to overcome his struggles and persevere through the war,” says Felker. “Another story is from a fan I recently became friends with named Kevin. Weeks leading up to our show he mentioned how excited he was to take his girlfriend to her first show ever, and that he was going to sing every song with us. About a week before the show, his life was hit with a huge family tragedy. His mother unexceptionally passed away. I told Kevin not to worry about coming to the show and I did my best to lend supporting words and be there for him. Somehow his family and girlfriend encouraged him to come to our show to take a step back from the loss and enjoy himself. We dedicated our performance that night to him and his family and it was one of our strongest and most meaningful performances to date.”

Convictions will be staying busy the next several months, anticipating the release of a lyric video for “Heart of Fire,” upcoming summer tour dates as well as a new summer merch line, and of course, their plans to work in the studio with mega producer, Joey Sturgis, who has produced for bands like The Devil Wears Prada, Of Mice and Men, We Came as Romans, and many others.

“It is definitely the greatest thing this band has ever been a part of,” says Canode. “Joey Sturgis is amazing at what he does, and it’s really going to bring us to the next level. Keep a look out and follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, etc. A ton of news will be announced in the coming months.”

 

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Interview by Jen Schwartz