There should be a warning label for the amount of feeling slammed into the first full-length record from groove-driven hardcore act, Turnstile, properly titled Nonstop Feeling, releasing Jan. 13 through Reaper Records. After cultivating a crew of die-hard followers from previous releases, 2011’s Pressure to Succeed EP and 2013’s Step 2 Rhythm EP, the guys have put together 12 melodic yet hard-hitting tracks that are sure to hit even harder in the pit. In the midst of back to back touring with good friends Take Offense, Madball, Death Before Dishonor and Downpressor, vocalist Brendan Yates finds time to chat with us about the new record and its theme of relentless emotion, what inspires the bands’ genuine, contagious energy and the making of the vibrantly explosive video for single “Drop,” produced and edited by the band itself.
Substream Magazine: When listening to your music, it doesn’t ever feel like you’re trying to follow some kind of formula, you just play the music that is true to you. Where some bands seem to carbon copy themselves off one another, where do you pull your musical influences from and what do you think it is that makes your sound and energy so original?
Brendan Yates: I think it’s really just a love for different styles or aspects of hardcore/punk/rock music that influences us musically. Fast and heavy or groovy and melodic–In the writing process we just let it all happen not trying to put a limit on anything musically or get trapped in a certain formula.
SM: What was the main inspiration for Nonstop Feeling? What does the title mean to you?
BY: The idea is about the way human emotion is unrelenting. It’s really easy to become overwhelmed with extreme ups and downs, even sometimes with the most petty problems that you create in your head. I think the record tackles that idea in the songs with expressions from different situations. With that as the theme – the songs are kind of reflective and are about ways of adjusting to emotion.
SM: I get a 90’s throwback vibe to this record, especially with the album art and the “Drop” music video. Is that kind of what you guys were going for?
BY: That’s cool – I think when people think of the 90’s they think of a lot of color and loud imagery. So in that sense – I think that’s definitely what we were going for for this record. It kind of reflects the idea of being filled with emotions and expressing yourself to stay alive. We wanted it to feel like an explosion of expression which couldn’t really be captured by just black and white or one solid color way.
SM: The music video for ‘Drop’ really showcases the fun energy that drives your music. What was the idea behind the video, with the little kid, the dog, the magic lights etc.?
BY: That was my favorite project I’ve ever been a part of. I think the whole concept fits in with the theme of the record. The idea was to film it all on black and white film, and then paint on it after. So we basically shot everything we wanted for the video on the film – got it developed – then spent long nights coloring on each individual frame so that when we finished and sent it back to be processed again, the colors would show up on the film and come to life with the movement. Sean, our [guitarist], is a video editing master.
SM: As the drummer from Trapped Under Ice and being a part of the pop/punk outfit DMND as well, do you ever feel like it’s a challenge shifting between all three projects? Or does each band offer a different kind of creative release?
BY: As of right now and the last six months- Turnstile has been the only band super active. In the past it’s definitely been difficult. The biggest challenge is working on a calendar for availability for each band. I haven’t played drums at a show in months though and it sucks! I chopped wood in my backyard yesterday and got blisters in about 30 seconds cause my hands got soft from not playing. I’ll always be busy with music till I die though, and it’s healthy for me to be involved in multiple bands because I think it helps keep my mind open.
SM: Are any of the other members in the band currently involved in other projects?
BY: Daniel our drummer is even busier than me. He also plays drums in Angel Du$t, Mindset, and Praise. All great active Maryland bands. Franz on bass has so much going on always – rap projects to skateboarding and traveling everywhere. It’s hard to keep up with him and I love that.
SM: You just finished up touring with Madball, Death Before Dishonor, Take Offense, and Downpressor, and will be kicking off the European Persistence Tour Jan. 15. How stoked are you for this and have you played with any of these bands before?
BY: We got a lot coming up for sure — the most busy we have ever been. Besides touring with one of my favorite bands of all time, every band rips. Take Offense is the best band in the world. Then Persistence in Europe with Sick Of it All is another awesome tour. Trapped Under Ice has toured with Madball in the past, and played festivals with Sick Of it All. Then we are doing some record release runs in February with Superheaven and a bunch of sick bands. Gonna be cool man.
SM: What are some bands you grew up listening to or bands that you follow today that have made a lasting impression on you?
BY: Terror – a band that falls into both categories. One of the best hardcore bands of all time to me, taught me a lot musically and personally. Bad Brains might be the best thing that ever happened to me. Inside Out as well. I love the Lemonheads. A lot of current bands doing such cool things (King 9, Criminal Instinct, Angel Du$t, Code Orange, Backtrack, etc. etc. etc.) Also, Hot Water Music taught me how to drum.
SM: What songs are you most excited to play live off the new record and why?
BY: I want to play all of them — Out of Rage, Addicted, Fazed Out, Bad Wave, Can’t Deny It— we already play Gravity and Drop and I love playing them. It’s always exciting playing new songs especially when they have been a part of you for over a year.
SM: For those who have yet to see you guys live, what are three words you could use to describe a Turnstile show?
BY: Vibrating Slammer Pit
Catch Turnstile on the following European tour dates:
January 15 Berlin, GER @ Astra w/ Persistence Tour
January 16 Hamburg, GER @ Grosse Ferilheit
January 17 Oberhausen, GER @ Turbinenhalle
January 18 Paris, FR @ Cabaret Sauvage
January 19 Utrecht, NL @ Tivoli
January 20 Wiesbaden, GER @ Schlachthof
January 21 Prattein, CH @ Z7
January 22 Munchen, GER @ Backstage
January 23 Ostrava, CZ @ Trojhall Karolina
January 24 Dresden, GER @ Event Werk
January 25 Deinze, BE @ Brielpoort