INTERVIEW: “We were very angry and full of angst”—Come And Rest on creating their new EP, ‘Blacklist’

The future appears bright for four-piece metalcore outfit Come And Rest as they have their heads set on touring and more touring in support of their new EP Blacklist. Substream Magazine had the opportunity to speak with vocalist Noel Alejandro to shed some light on the creation of Blacklist, the quartet’s influences and the future of Come And Rest moving forward.

Blacklist was released on May 12. How are you feeling in regards to how the EP turned out?
I’m super-happy with it. We worked really hard, we tried our best to portray what we’ve been feeling. We were going through a very difficult time when we were recording; very angry and full of angst. We really wanted to portray that in the music and in the overall production.

Is there a particular track on Blacklist that you gravitate toward in particular?
It would probably be “Slowburn,” it’s the single that we released with a music video, the first thing that people heard about the record. It’s a very perfect interpretation of where we’re at now and where we actually want to go after Blacklist; musically, vocally, everything.

What inspired you to the name the EP Blacklist?
Blacklist came from James Spader—just kidding. [Laughs.] Everyone thinks that I’m copying the TV show. It was actually supposed to be a concept record, there were supposed to be a three-EPs-in-one kind of thing. But it didn’t end up working out, we didn’t have the money to do it. We still ended up calling it Blacklist. What [Blacklist] is, is a list of feelings and problems we’re going through and we felt we needed to write it down and let it go after we’ve said what we needed to say. I kind of liked the concept of Kill Bill, when she was writing down the people she wanted to kill and crossed it off after she was done, and she would feel better. That’s pretty much the same idea, but with music. [Laughs.]

I’ll be honest, the first thing that popped in my head was the TV show, too. So how would you describe the sound of Come And Rest to someone who has never heard your music?
I would describe it as ambient anger. It’s probably the best way to portray it: ambient angry music in black and white.

I read recently that dark pop bands such as the Neighborhood, the 1975 and Lorde inspire you.
100 percent.

How would you say that they inspire the music you write with Come And Rest?
Well, the way that they visually intertwine the music with the visual in one entity. They’re very in tune with the music span. A lot of people are reached with needing to see what they’re hearing at the same time. It’s just the way that technology has molded their frame, it’s just the reality of it. We want to fit the mold of what we’ve been given. I feel like these bands have kind of molded their style visually with the music and I think that’s super important. That’s what we’re trying to bring to the table as well. It’s just whatever the song is, we’re trying to paint one solid picture, one solid theme. People might not like it, but it is what it is, that’s what we feel the song represents. That, and their honesty with lyrics. A lot of pop music, there was that bubble pop phase with stuff like ‘oops I did it again,’ which is obviously crap. I mean, the actual percussion is pretty good, but the lyrics are crap. But now, you have that dark pop. Like, Lorde talks about not being rich and not living in the city and not having expensive stuff. And they talk about sex and what men actually think of woman, it’s just stuff like that is very interesting to me, and also being honest and catchy at the same time.

Has anything changed in regards to the creative process of songwriting from writing material for Royal Blood compared to Blacklist?
We wrote Blacklist over the course of a year. The difference between what happened with Blacklist and Royal Blood was that Royal Blood was written by just two people. We were not very molded or versed into heavy music. Before we did Royal Blood we were all separate bands that weren’t very heavy. The reason why we came together is we wanted to write heavy music or just experiment with that type of stuff. We came up with that and I still believe that our best work is on Blacklist. We had more time to write and figure ourselves out. Vocally, I was completely different from Royal Blood. I feel like I’ve more or less found what I’m trying to do. And with Blacklist, it was three or four of us at that time and we did a lot of pre-production on Blacklist. We wrote the whole EP in Mitchells [Garrett’s] studio, our drummer, and we just spent a lot of time there fine tuning and picking apart each song to make sure we had what we wanted, and we didn’t have that with Royal Blood.

So the difference was getting more studio time and just being able to structure things a little differently and add more creative elements to the table?
Exactly, and there was just more time to do it. And when you’re writing full band and not in a computer, and you don’t prepare yourself in the studio, you just end up not liking a lot of the things. We made sure that it didn’t happen this time, which is one of the reasons why we liked everything. I think we did that for sure.

If you could collaborate with any band or artist, who would it be and why?
Me personally, probably the Neighborhood or someone in the dark-pop realm. Just because it’s different to write something weird, my idea is it would be good. Anyone in that kind of realm I would love to collaborate with.

What’s your favorite venue to play a show in and why?
We’ve played plenty of venues, but to be honest, it doesn’t really matter where as long as there’s a really good sound system I would be ecstatic. Because if people hear us correctly, and we can hear ourselves, we can guarantee a solid show. And to me that’s what matters the most, quality sound. If you can hear me, I can hear you, and then we’re both having fun. You can understand what I’m doing sort of, that makes sense to me. The Masquerade that we have is awesome, we have great sound. I would probably pick Masquerade.

In the past, members of Come And Rest have been in other bands and had other projects and backgrounds. Are you or any of the members of the band currently involved in any side projects or do you work any interesting jobs in addition to playing in Come And Rest?
We have a couple things we play around with. Josh [Harmon] is actually doing a country thing with his friends, he’s super into country music. He’s actually pretty good. Me and Mitchell [Garrett] like to fool around with dark-pop stuff, I eventually want to release something of that caliber sometime in the future, I don’t know when I’ll find time, I’ve been busy doing stuff in the band. I’ve definitely always wanted to do stuff like that; dark pop and even more to the hip-hop kind of scene or alternative stuff. But it’s a lot harder, you’re very naked. I could try hiding behind the band, I could hide behind the music and screaming. But if you’re playing live and you’re not singing well, you can’t hide that at all.

What do you see for the future of Come And Rest after the release of Blacklist aside from touring?
Staying busy and just making sure our work gets out there. We’re a very young band to people and we’ve been doing it for three years. We’ve definitely worked real hard on making sure that people get the music and also pick up the album or have someone show it to them. Any way that we can make new friends with our music is a good day.

I guess that’s the dream of any band at the end of the day, getting more exposure.
Doing it up man, doing work. That’s the only way you can do it.