August Burns Red are ready to release their upcoming seventh studio record FOUND IN FAR AWAY PLACES. We took the chance and spoke with guitarist JB Brubaker about the development process, what has changed since back in the day and of course: Baseball! Read the full interview here:
How does it feel to finally have finished your latest record FOUND IN FAR AWAY PLACES?
It’s so great to have another album under our belt. There is a lot of work that goes into the process, just from the raw skeletons of the songs to making them what they are when they come out.
We put out a lot of records, so we are no strangers to this feeling but we always feel very accomplished and satisfied when we finish a new record. And right now i’m just feeling anxious and excited to get it into people’s hands because it’s been done for a while and i want our fans to hear it. So i’m just playing the waiting game at this point.
Can you tell us something about the title and the cover artwork? What is the story behind it?
The title ‘Found In Far Away Places’ was pulled from track six from the album, which is a song called ‘Majoring In The Minors’. And that line to me speaks about August Burns Red as a whole and where we’ve come from as a band and as a group of guys and as friends. We have been around the world many times together and we’ve been through a lot of ups and downs just as friends and as brothers. And basically where we are now, who we are as a group of guys and as individuals is a result of all the places we’ve been together, and the things we’ve done and our accomplishments and our shortcomings together. And that is basically how we have found ourselves, where we are, based on what we’ve been through together.
Since our first record THRILLSEEKER (2005) Ryan Clark (graphic designer & lead vocalist in Demon Hunter) has handled all the artwork for us and he has done all of our records. And while we are no longer with Solid State Records, we still wanted Ryan to do the art. Simply because of our history and how much we like his work. So he got the title and came up with the concept of doing sort of a place that’s not earth but it’s not unlike earth. There is a natural landscape but there are many moons and suns in the sky. Basically implying that it’s a place that’s not here but a place far away.
Ryan is the mastermind behind our artworks and we have to thank him for that.
Has there been any difference in the recording process between this record and the former ones?
This record was done in a very similar process as RESCUE & RESTORE was done. It was with the same producers in the same studio. And as a result we have a very calculated process that we go about recording. So, we know what works for us and we have a great relationship with our producers Carson Slovak and Grant McFarland. And we treated the album as our 9 to 5 job. We got to the studio at the same time every day and we left at the same time every day. We took the weekends off and went home. Every night we were having dinner with our families, we slept in our own beds. We were having a very stress-free environment to work in. Which is great. Because making an album can certainly be stressful and frustrating at times. But we were able to focus on making the album during those eight hours that we were in the studio every day, and then knowing that we got to go home to completely decompress afterwards.
How has the environment for a Musician changed since you began playing music?
From my perspective as a guitar player, from when i started to where things are now, digital things are just taking over. Even for myself. I used to tour with this huge road case. I had two amps and tons of spaces of rack gear and ten different effect pedals. And now i can fly to Europe with an FX effect and nothing else and have the same or very similar sound coming out of my guitar cabinet. It’s like things have gotten a lot simpler through technology and that’s certainly helpful for me as a guitar player.
And for me as an individual, one thing that is different now from when i started is, that it’s not just about me and what i want. I now have a wife and she is certainly very important to me and my decision making even in regards to the touring schedule and things like that. So when touring plans come up and we have ideas for different places we want to travel to, i don’t just think: “Oh yeah, cool! i wanna go there, i have nothing else going on“ it’s now like: “Ok, how does this time away affect my marriage? And my home? Which is more important now than it ever was before” And that’s simply a product of growing up and getting into a different phase in my life i guess. I don’t have any kids yet, so that would complicate things further. But we certainly don’t hit the road for three straight months without coming home, like we would have in some of the earlier years that we were touring. Simply because of the obligations you have to handle when you’re traveling.
What can your fans expect from your new record?
I think they can expect a heavier record than we put out in a little while. FOUND IN FAR AWAY PLACES feels just a litte darker and heavier in general than the last couple we put out. But there’s also probably more “outside the box“ moments and there’s more sorts of surprises than we’ve ever had before. You’re gonna have the best from both worlds of August Burns Red. If you like our heavy stuff, you’re gonna really like the album, and if hate when we do non-metal stuff, you might be bummed at some parts. But i think overall the songs are really good, and i think every song has it’s own identity. There’s a lot of variation and variety on the album. And i think that overall it’s a little bit easier to process than RESCUE & RESTORE was. You don’t have to spend maybe as much time to get it than some of our other albums and i think that’s nice.
Is there something you still want to achieve with August Burns Red?
My goals for the band at this point are, i wanna be a Metal band that sticks around for a really long time and people from multiple generations are listening to. We play a lot of festivals over in Europe. Every couple of years we go over during the Summer, and there’s a lot of bands that have been around for twenty years and longer and they are still at it. They are attracting big crowds and people are really excited about them. And i think it would be awesome to take August Burns Red to that level where we are just that metal band, that has been around for as long as people can remember, and we have so many albums out, and there’s that level of consistency. FOUND IN FAR AWAY PLACES will be our seventh full length, and we’ve been everywhere. It feels like we’ve toured everywhere and we toured with so many bands. And the goal for me personally is just to reach that next level, where everybody in the metal genre knows the name August Burns Red, and knows what we’ve done. I wanna have that legacy, i guess.
You are a pretty big fan of the Philadelphia Phillies and baseball. Why is baseball better than football?
(laughs) i mean, i love football, too. Don’t get me wrong. But i prefer baseball. And here is why. Baseball is a game that you have to really respect and earn almost, because the season is so long. There’s 162 games. They play nearly every day for six months. And it is ruling and it is not a fast pace game. You have to really understand the nuances to really appreciate baseball. And i’m so into it that i get down until the super nerdy stats and details. And i can just put on any baseball game, it doesn’t matter who is playing and i just can get really into it. The difference with football is, it’s like i kind of relate baseball and football to post rock music and pop music. With baseball you have to spend the time and have patience, and really be able to appreciate the details and the slow parts if you will. And then with football, it’s like with pop music. It’s super catchy and self serving and instantly familiar. The play once a week and they’re done in three hours and everybody likes it. Like pop music. There’s lots of a pay off i feel. Baseball is more of a rewarding sport to enjoy, in my personal opinion.
Thanks a lot!