With Architects‘ fourth studio album, The Here And Now, splitting fan opinions before it’s even been released – and before anyone’s even heard it, we might add – we fired some questions over to the band’s drummer, Dan Searle, to clear up the confusion.
The only new track from the album we’ve heard so far is ‘Day In, Day Out’ – it’s a significant departure from what we heard on Hollow Crown. Is it indicative of the rest of the album?
“Yes, absolutely. We’ve definitely evolved a lot in the last two years and I think it’s already taken a lot people by surprise. We took a leap musically on this album.”
Why did you decide to preview the album with a track that seems to have dropped many of the tech elements you are known for?
“The truth is the track is actually one of the tracks more similar to Hollow Crown. I think a lot of people forget that there were simple and melodic songs on our last record. Songs like ‘In Elegance’ and the title track, ‘Hollow Crown’, have a lot of the same elements as the newer songs. I completely understand that we are “known” for being a technical band but it’s just not what we want to write anymore, I think if you look at the way we have evolved over the last few records you could see it coming. We started writing technical music when we were 16 and have spent the years since slowly moving away from it, it feels like different people wrote those songs.”
You’ve mentioned previously that one of the lyrical themes of the record is questioning whether or not life in a band is “worth it”. What other themes have you tried to convey with the new album?
“The record is actually really positive; in fact I’d say it’s our first positive record! We’ve obviously been on tour a lot in the last couple of years and there are times when its very difficult being away from friends and family but the record is really reminding ourselves that we are very lucky to be doing what we do and that we should always keep our chins up and enjoy doing this band, because a lot of people would trade places with us in a heartbeat. We’re not angry people, writing angry music now would just be fake.”
Listen to ‘Day In, Day Out, the first track released from The Here And Now:
What did having Steve Evetts on board as producer bring to the table?
“The record sounds real. We worked with him on pre production on various aspects of the songs but I think a big part of what he did was capturing what we have as a live band. We’ve played these songs in sound checks and in rehearsals since we left the studio and we can’t believe how good they sound! A lot of bands go for super fake sounding recordings that no band can recapture live and that’s exactly what we wanted to move away from. The record really captures the energy that we have as a live band.”
Was it an easy album to write and record? You seem to have been touring pretty hard over the last 12 months.
“It’s always a little bit stressful of course because you have deadlines and we’re always on the road but it actually all came together perfectly. Sometimes we questioned whether we had taken the change too far but we decided that to write anything else just wouldn’t be honest. This is the music we want to write and this is the band we want to be. Once you’ve written a record those are the songs you have to play for the next 2-3 years so we just decided to dive in and not hold back.”
Like Hollow Crown, you seem to be waiting a fair few months between completing the recording of the new album and releasing it – what’s the thinking behind that decision? Are you worried about it leaking?
“We’re not worried about leaking, like you said about Hollow Crown, it also and a huge gap but it only leaked a week before it was released. I think Hollow Crown has pretty much reached its life span here in the UK in regards to its touring cycle however we still need to tour it again in the States and Australia. It also means that we can go out and tour our arses off next yeah as soon as it is released.”
Watch Architects play ‘Hollow Crown’ and ‘Follow The Water’ live at KOKO:
The recent UK tour is sold out all over the shop – but it’s not just the UK that seems to have a huge appetite for Architects – why do you think you’ve done so well abroad?
“I think people appreciate that we do our own thing and we’re a genuinely good band. We have good songs and we play them well, I think that’s what it all boils down to. Managers, Agents and Labels can get involved but if there are shit songs behind it all then you’ll never get anywhere. We’ve spent a lot of money going abroad and making sure that it “happens” for us on a worldwide scale because what’s the point in just having popularity in one country? We’d spend 10 months of the year sat on our arses at home if that were the case.”
Conversely, why do you think so few British bands have been able to replicate similar levels of success?
“It’s a difficult question to answer, you really have to stand out from the pack to break out of England but you also have to get to a certain level here in the UK before you can even look at going abroad. More and more bands here seem to be touring overseas now compared to when we first started playing, you’ve got Enter Shikari, Bring Me The Horizon, You Me At Six all doing good things, especially in the States.”
Architects will be releasing their fourth album, The Here And Now, on Century Media at some point early next year. The band plan to tour the UK again next year, but right now they are currently balls-deep in a mammoth tour of the USA and Australia – check their MySpace page for dates.