Interview with Joshua Moore
American metalcore outfit WE CAME AS ROMANS are leading a whole new
flood of metalcore bands. They are one of the most popular bands in the
current US-scene and their most recent record Tracing Back Roots is
their highest charting release so far. It debuted on the US Billboard
at rank 8 with sales of more than 25.500. Singer Joshua Moore answers
some of my questions concerning the new record.
Your new record Tracing Back Roots was just released. What are your thoughts on this record? Do you think you achieved everything you wanted to achieve before you started to work on the new songs? Joshua Moore: I was so anxious to release it. Definitely my favorite music I've written so far, and my favorite CD that we've put out. I'm really attached to it. And there is always another goal and another level to reach, we have never achieved all that I've wanted to, hahaha, but maybe one day!
What was the songwriting and recording process like this time? It was much different! I wrote about 10-11 songs going into the studio, and then John and I wrote 4-5 together, and then I wrote another two while we were in the studio. It was awesome, we had a ton of songs to choose from, and started trimming down so only the best of the best made it on.
The biggest difference to your previous releases is that Dave started to sing clean vocals. How did that develop and when did Dave found out that he could actually sing? We always knew that Dave could sing, we were just waiting for the best time to start showcasing that in our band. Dave was always traditionally just the screamer, so we had to wait for the right moment so it would get all the right attention that it deserved. And working with John, we saw this as the right moment. There‘s one song on the record I‘d never expected to hear from you guys, "I Survive". I didn't expect to hear some electronic/Nine Inch Nails-like tunes on a We Came As Romans record. Where did you get the inspiration for that tune? Were there any concerns that this sound might be a little too far from what your fans might expect (and want)? We were just trying to write a little outside the box, and that song just happened. The song turned out so well, we were just like "I think anyone who likes music would like this, even our fans who traditionally only like heavy songs."
And what were your musical influences in general this time around? I might be wrong, but I think to hear a lot of nu metal riffs on Tracing Back Roots. I don't really feel like I'm super influenced by other bands. I don't really listen to any bands in our genre, when you're at shows 300 days a year, in your free time you need a change of pace, ya know? I was just really inspired to write the catchiest things we could.
Is there a specific lyrical topic? To me it seems like most of the lyrics are quite positive. That's the theme of our band, since the beginning. Lyrically, our band has always been about trying to live the most positive life you can, be as happy as you can, and make the best impact on the world you can.
In Europe you released your last record on Nuclear Blast, but released it on Equal Vision in the states, and reissued it with some bonus content recently. What are the advantages and maybe the disadvantages of working with two record labels? Well, NB has a big reach in Europe since they're based there, bigger than EVR does. And similarly in the US, EVR does so much for us that NB couldn't do here. I think it's great working with these two labels, as we get the best of both worlds. You‘re going to be on tour with PARKWAY DRIVE this fall. What can fans expect from these shows? Are you planning anything special since this is the first European tour in support of your new record? Fans can expect a high energy show, as always, but also new material! We're gonna play a bunch of songs that we've never played for a European audience before and I'm pretty stoked about it.
How hard is it to leave family and friends behind when you‘re leaving for a tour? Are they used to it by now or is it still hard to say goodbye? It's definitely hard, but it's something that we've all gotten used to over the years. It's never a "goodbye" and always "I'll see you soon."
It seems like there are a bunch of US-metalcore bands that are getting quite successful in Europe like you guys, BLESSTHEFALL, AUGUST BURNS RED or MISS MAY I. Can you think of any reasons why metalcore is still a quite vital genre? It just seems to be popular with teenagers and they are very supportive of it. And I think I speak for all bands when I say we're all grateful for the support.
Which albums are on heavy rotation on your iPod at the moment? Letters Home - DEFEATER and Know Hope - THE COLOR MORALE are on heavy rotation.