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Interview: Like Moths To Flames -- 02.15.12
 

Like Moths To Flames -- 02.15.12

Interviewed by
Like Moths To Flames -- 02.15.12Chris Roetter has definitely been in his fair share of bands; originally the lead singer of Emarosa, then moving onto Agraceful, which released The Great I Am in 2008 and toured around the U.S. a few times -- most notably the first edition of the "Scream The Prayer" tour featuring Sleeping Giant and Impending Doom.

Fast forward to now, and Chris is now with a new band -- Like Moths To Flames, signed to Rise Records, who have put out their debut album,
When We Don't Exist. What struck me the most about this band is that Rise Records founder Craig Ericson backed them so hard and promoted them heavily; and with that fact, I was super curious. As someone who was a fan of Agraceful, I was definitely excited to talk to Chris about Like Moths To Flames, and the time inbetween these bands, among other things.

You can now watch their brand new live video for "GNF" here.

First off, welcome back to Portland. How are you today, Chris?

Great man, just been hanging out. Like I said, we're about 4 weeks into tour, got about a week to go. Playing Portland tonight, we'll see how it goes.

In this music scene, there's alot of awful band names, lots of unoriginality. That being said, what's the significance behind Like Moths To Flames?

I mean, at the time when our band started, we had no idea what we wanted to call our band. We were sitting around, listening to Thrice's album Vheissu, and there's a song on that album called "Like Moths To Flame"; we were like "that's awesome", because it relates to us in that like a moth is drawn to a flame...we're 5 guys drawn to playing music, as cheesy as it sounds.

Last time we saw you specifically, it was back in the summer of 2008 on the "Scream The Prayer" tour, an all-christian tour. That being said, what happened since The Great I Am came out to now, where you're screaming lyrics like "I've lost my faith, something has changed"?

I mean, everyone goes through some stuff. I feel that just because you were raised a certain way, doesn't mean you can grow away from it I guess. I obviously still believe in what I believe in, but it came to the point where I believe in it because of me and not because of anyone else. I don't have a relationship with God for you or for anywhere else in this room, it's for me and God knows where I stand and that's just how I feel. I believe in God, but I don't really like the whole labeling myself as a Christian and stuff like that, because I grew up and grew out of it; As bad as it sounds, I woke up one morning and I just felt different, you know?

Is it sortof like that famous Ghandi line, "I like your Christ, but I don't like your Christians; your Christians are so unlike your Christ"?

I mean, yeah in a sense. It's moreso like "Oh yeah, you claim to be a Christian, but you don't live this kindof lifestyle". There were certain things that I didn't feel convicted about that other people wouldn't dream of doing. Just because you see things a certain way, doesn't mean I see things a certain way.

You're currently signed to Rise Records and just put out your first record. How's your time on the label been thus far?

Honestly man, a dream; we couldn't be happier. The guys at the label support and back the band, and that's something that we like; they give us the freedom to let us do what we want as a band, and they still support us regardless. They're always there if we need something; there's some things we need to take in our own hands as a band, but the label is usually there when we need them.

Your first album, When We Don't Exist is out on Rise right now. Lyrically, what is this album all about?

Changing as a person, losing relationships with certain people; one of my best friends I sunk in alot of time to being his friend and being there for him, and he turned his back on alot of his friends -- it was really bitter, and it just so happened to be in the time frame that we were doing the album. The album also has to do with me struggling with faith and growing into the person I am today.

"You Won't Be Missed" is the first single of the album, and the first song to be made into a video. What led to the decision to shoot a video for this song?

I mean it's the song on the album that's the stand-out. It's got the poppier feel in the chorus, as opposed to the dark poppy feel the rest of the album was going for. I think when you listen to the song, it's the obvious single from the record; I think that's how everybody thought when they listened to it.

Are there plans to put out another video for another single on the record?

Yeah, we filmed a live video for our song "GNF", just to release a new video. We're doing another video for a single in which we're still in the 'tossing ideas around' stage. I think we're looking to film and release another video after this tour; i'm not entirely sure, we have a month or so off.

Who would you like to work with for that video? I know Robby Starbuck did a good job for the lone video you did with Agraceful...

I mean, we had talks about doing it with the same company who did the video for "You Won't Be Missed" -- Thunderdome; they did an excellent job on the first video we did. I think we're just waiting around to see what kind of treatments people send us for the song ideas that we have; we have ideas visually for a few songs, and we're just waiting to see who can portray those ideas in a video.

You have Danny from Upon A Burning Body on "GNF"; how did that situation come together?

We did Upon A Burning Body's headliner in March or April of last year, and we just became good friends with those guys; and it happened that they were recording their album right after we were recording ours. It just worked out; we wanted a guest vocal, but we wanted a friend of ours to do it, as opposed to some super standout vocalist. We wanted it to mean more to us, and we asked Danny if he was down, and he laid the track down, and that was that.

I understand you're currently writing for another album already; what kind of things do you want to touch on lyrically that you didn't this time around?

I don't know, I honestly haven't thought about it. We're thinking about what we want to do musically, and obviously i'm always thinking about what I want to write. I also want to see how the music feels out; we want to go darker, but still have those "single-esque" tracks. I kindof just want to see how the music plays out before I do anything, that's how I do things as a writer -- to feel the vibe out and stuff.

Ideally, when would you like to have this next album out?

I mean, we've talked in doing a record in 5 or 6 months, but it still sortof has to do with how this process of this record continues to grow. Obviously we want to get it in as soon as possible, but we don't want to rush it; we don't want to overflow people with music from our band, but we don't want to give them 'this much music' and only give them 'that much'. We're kindof just playing it by ear on what's a good time for the band.

Texas In July was just here last Friday, and they mentioned that you guys would be joining on them on their headliner; what are your thoughts on that tour?


Yeah, it's actually or next tour after this one. It's actually them, us as direct support, The Air I Breathe, Hundredth, For All I Am, and a band called One Year Later. I'm excited man, Texas In July are some of our good friends, we've had the pleasure of touring with them twice before, so we mesh well. I'm anxious to see how this tour does, obviously this tour we're on now is on the opposite side of our music -- it's going to be nice to play to a heavier crowd, kids who are going to come out to see our type of music, as opposed to trying to reach a bunch of newer people with a different musical inclination.

How's this tour been as far as drawing new people to your band?

Honestly man, this tour has exceeded my expectations; this tour has benefited the band alot. Obviously there's nights where the kids are like "ehhhhh...", but that's going to happen, we're not going to win over every crowd. But for the most part, it's been awesome and surreal; the kids are alot of really fun, and we like to go out and have fun as well, it's a release for us...and I think the kids see that and vibe it out with us.

What's one book and one band that you'd recommend to anyone that listens to your band?

Well, anyone that knows me would know that i'm a huge Harry Potter buff; I just started re-reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows again, so I'd definitely recommend that book.

As for a band, Transit; they're one of my all time favorites, i'd highly suggest listening to them.

They just announced they're on Warped Tour this summer; what do you think about that?

I'm stoked. We just talked with Rise, and they have A Loss For Words, and Make Do and Mend, etc. Alot of their good pop-punk bands are on Warped this summer. I really like that side of the label, they really have some of my favorite pop-punk bands and it's awesome.

Do you think you'll have time in your schedule to check out a day of Warped this summer?

I hope so; I know we're planning on taking the first month of summer off, so I definitely hope I can make it out.

What's next for Like Moths To Flames in 2012? I know you're doing the Texas In July tour, but after that...


I mean like I said, with the record, we're still sortof waiting to confirm opportunities for the rest of the year. Obviously we're not doing Warped Tour or anything, but we have some plans for summer that we're hoping to confirm soon.

Anything else to say?

Well, keep an eye out for our video for "GNF", we're looking to drop it next week or relatively soon.
 
Displaying posts 1 - 12 of 12
05:53 PM on 02/22/12
#2
Peerless
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Bring back Agraceful.
06:02 PM on 02/22/12
#3
Rob McWilliams
Eat your salad, no dessert
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Rejoin Emarosa.
11:01 PM on 02/22/12
#4
TorontoMatt
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Agraceful was amazing. Last three songs keep me sane. You let me down Chris. Wish you followed Aaron's example more than Spencers.
06:32 AM on 02/23/12
#5
Niko John
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Nice interview with good questions and answers. But if he said "I mean" one more time I was about to throw my keyboard across the room. Anyway everyone seems to love Agraceful so maybe I'll check them out.
08:57 AM on 02/23/12
#6
holybatmon
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Agraceful was amazing. Last three songs keep me sane. You let me down Chris. Wish you followed Aaron's example more than Spencers.
You're rather self-entitled, aren't you? Amazes me how selfish you people can be when it comes to religion. Let the man do whatever he wants and stop being, frankly, a little bitch.
12:12 PM on 02/23/12
#7
sosayweall
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You're rather self-entitled, aren't you? Amazes me how selfish you people can be when it comes to religion. Let the man do whatever he wants and stop being, frankly, a little bitch.
Amen.
12:28 PM on 02/23/12
#8
icynova
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You're rather self-entitled, aren't you? Amazes me how selfish you people can be when it comes to religion. Let the man do whatever he wants and stop being, frankly, a little bitch.
I see nothing wrong with someone expressing that a person they looked up to has disappointed them. That's what you should expect as a member of a christian band when you put your life and faith up on display on stage and in your lyrics for everyone else to see and judge. I know I would feel the same way if someone from Sleeping Giant decided to say "fuck it, I don't believe in any of this junk anymore" after the impact that that band has had on my moral outlook, even if they haven't impacted my particular faith at all.

As opposed to telling him to "quit being a little bitch," why don't you quit so jaded and remember what it was like for you when one of your role-models disappointed you? *shrug*
03:51 PM on 02/23/12
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TorontoMatt
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I see nothing wrong with someone expressing that a person they looked up to has disappointed them. That's what you should expect as a member of a christian band when you put your life and faith up on display on stage and in your lyrics for everyone else to see and judge. I know I would feel the same way if someone from Sleeping Giant decided to say "fuck it, I don't believe in any of this junk anymore" after the impact that that band has had on my moral outlook, even if they haven't impacted my particular faith at all.

As opposed to telling him to "quit being a little bitch," why don't you quit so jaded and remember what it was like for you when one of your role-models disappointed you? *shrug*
You are good with getting your point across kindly, but I just ignore those guys. I've been in debates before on AP and it's seriously like a mouse surrounded by mousetraps. You can't win with those guys. They want to put others down and so I just stay clear.

I'm not sure if Chris has given up on faith, I really just think he's not preaching anymore because he's realized that he can't survive when the majority wants to hear about sex, drugs, and bad behavior.
04:04 PM on 02/23/12
Naenia
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Big fan of Chris from when Emarosa were still Corsets Are Cages (sweet brag, right?) so I loved reading this.

I like what he said about wanting to keep going with that "dark poppy" sound, that's the real draw for me to When We Don't Exist. To me it feels like an evolution from Birth.Eater by Oceana (but obiously with a substantially stronger Metalcore influence), and there's no downside to that, hah.

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