The beautiful thing about music is that no matter what rock you crawled out from under or silver spoon you were fed, there’s always going to be a genre out there that suits desire. The past twenty or so years have seen insane amounts of sub-genres popping out of the depths of creativity, and it generally breeds loyal followings regardless of mainstream success.
One of those is the metalcore scene. It’s a genre rife with extreme metal and hardcore punk fusion – which makes it one of those tastes that many don’t get. But the steadfast and unwavering fans do; and they’re highly devoted to it. One of the bands that continually see itself at the top of the list in the category is August Burns Red – a decade-old outfit from the east coast that contrasts the heavy vibe with enacting and positive vocals.
JB Brubaker, the band’s lead guitarist – who has been there since the outfit’s beginning – gave us a few words to send to his fans before the guys’ November 19th appearance at The Summit Music Hall. Bands Blessthefall, Defeater and Beartooth will join them.
Per the band’s bio, “The Lancaster, PA rock outfit will be out in support of their fifth studio LP, ‘Rescue & Restore’ (Solid State), which debuted at #9 on the Billboard Top 200 last month. This impressive feat improves upon the #11 debut of the album’s predecessor, 2011’s ‘Leveler.’”
What does it mean to you personally to be such a popular musician?
It's a gift we must never take for granted. It's easy to lose people's interest as quickly as you gained it so we must remember that every show and every person in attendance is important. We can't force anyone to come see us play or listen to our music. It's awesome that people actually care.
Did you ever think of yourself, or of your band mates, as being role models to the youth?
We realize that some young people will look up to us. This is something we've been aware of for years now and we make a conscious effort to try and demonstrate how to live a positive lifestyle. We aren't into promoting the whole 'sex, drugs, rock n roll' lifestyle. There's enough garbage out there influencing impressionable minds. We wouldn't be able to sleep at night knowing we were steering people down a destructive path.
How does tour affect your personal life, and how do you cope?
It can be tough at times. We certainly miss family and friends when we're away, and they miss us too. At this point everyone involved knows the drill, but that doesn't necessarily make it easier. Our guitarist Brent and his wife just had their first baby and we're leaving for a six-week tour just weeks after his son arrived. That stuff is hard. Touring comes with sacrifices and everyone knows that. Fortunately while we are on the road we are surrounded by our best friends and everyone is very supportive of one another. Same things goes for our families at home.
What’s the best way to stay sane on the road?
Watch sports, eat good food, and try to find some alone time every one and a while. Personal space and alone time on the road are almost non-existent so when you get the opportunity to take a walk by yourself or to watch a tv show alone in the back lounge, it's wise to take advantage of that. Our guitar tech Kevin is the king of finding alone time, especially on off days.
Any favorite places to play?
We are very fond of touring in America. It's our favorite place to play simply because it's home. Some favorite cities (are) Philly, Denver, Dallas, Atlanta, Montreal, Toronto, Chicago, and Nashville.
Harder rock doesn’t get as much media exposure as, say, pop music, but still manages to thrive in an almost underground like setting. Why do you think this is?
When I was a kid and got into punk and hardcore it was like I was a part of this big exclusive club that most people didn't understand. I made close friends with other people that felt the same way as me and it became a lifestyle. Tons of shows, tons of CDs to buy, tons of band t's, etc. I think punk/hardcore/metal thrive in the underground because of the bond the listener feels to the music. You are a part of the scene and have a role in making it what it is. That's a cool feeling.
Who in the band is the best Guitar Hero player?
I don't know if anyone plays. I'm going to say Dustin Davidson, our bass player, because he probably used to play. We are too busy playing real guitar! (laughs)
What can fans expect out of August Burns Red in the future?
More touring, a DVD tour documentary, a new Christmas song, and more touring. We'll be busy as always!