How does it feel to see the fans react and embrace this new album so openly, especially contrasting your first album so much?
Actually I don’t think our fans openly embraced this record at all. When we first started posting music for this record there was quite a bit of backlash over how different the sound was. Things have settled now, and everyone knows, and is used to the new sound, so you don’t hear the brutal comments so much anymore. If people want to hear more of the old record, they can just play it twice on their CD player.
All that being said, we’ve had an amazing reaction from the fans that have invested themselves into what we consider to be the most important, and long lasting elements of our music. Fans who have always embraced our lyrical content and the ideals of our band have hung in there with us, and it seems that they’re enjoying this record as much, if not more than the first.
How has the reception been on this tour with Emery compared to the last one when you had a harder sound?
On the last tour with Emery our stage show was much different, and we were a new band that had new artist buzz. This tour is so much more laid back for us, and we feel less pressure to impress everyone. We simply enjoy playing our music every night. Sometimes though, it is hard finding our niche with the audiences considering all the bands on the tour. We’re no longer a band that fits well on the Warped Tour, and we’re not getting 20,000 plays a day on myspace, so how we’re trying to pull in fans now is much different than two years ago. We hope that people will appreciate the music, and connect with something a little deeper than a myspace page or a musical trend.
What is the story behind the departure of TJ?
Honestly, I’ve answered this question too many times for my own good. We love TJ. TJ left the band to get married and spend time with his wife, a great decision.
How have the dynamics changed without TJ in the writing process?
TJ didn’t write a whole lot to be honest. Cody has always written the lyrics, and then he and TJ would then collaborate on melodies. TJ’s purpose in the band was unique; he was an all around sweet guy that always kept us laughing and in good spirits. I think that’s what we all miss about TJ the most.
Do you guys still keep in contact with him? How is he doing?
We’re always in touch with him, and we see each other whenever possible. TJ is in school, doing some management work, and loving being at home with his wife.
Is it hard going to a complete opposite sound?
I don’t really think it is a complete opposite sound. Turning techno, or writing an opera would have been opposite. If you had someone scream over our entire new record it wouldn’t sound that different than the last record, just 10 times worse.
Cody and Chris have such unique guitar playing styles? Where did they learn/get their influences from?
I think what I appreciate most about how Cody and Chris have developed their styles is their desire to always be learning and expanding on guitar. Chris is probably one of the most fanatic music lovers I know, from the Beatles to The Velvet Teen, Chris is always searching for new music and constantly expanding his musical horizons. As for Cody, he simply plays guitar more than anyone I know. When we get to venues Cody goes inside with his practice amp and plays, after shows he goes straight back to the van and plays. Cody’s dedication to playing has really helped him to mature his own playing style.
You guys write incredibly honest lyrics about your personal relationships with Jesus, as well as the hardships of being believers. Do think some of your lyrics might be hard for some "Christians" to fully understand the meaning behind them? Seeing how most band's, who's lyrics are inspired by their faith, are less personal and very much "praise and worship".
I do think many Christians have a hard time with our lyrics because we often encourage them to challenge, and question what they believe. Too many people believe a set of handed down beliefs and never really discover faith for themselves. We often have Christians who are angry with us over lyrics, or don’t understand where we’re coming from on a spiritual standpoint. We also often have non-Christians who will compliment the lyrics and say how they connect with them and understand them even though they don’t necessarily agree with what we believe. I think the main thing we hope to do is to encourage growth and thought, and maybe inspire someone in some way. Our message is not geared to a specific audience. Christian or not, we only hope that our lyrics with inspire something in anyone who listens to them.
Will you still play some old songs besides Bloodsucker, PT. 2?
We’re beginning to wean our live show off of the old stuff. We play Bloodsucker, Pt. 2 just cause we know some people want to hear it. We won’t even be playing that song for long. We want our fans to progress with us, and move in the direction we’re headed.
I love our old stuff, and those times were great, it’s time to move on though, we’re a different band now.
What's the full story behind the song "Timothy"?
We had a really great friend who took his own life a little over two years ago. I think our view of Heaven, Hell, God and the afterlife are all pretty hard to comprehend until we have someone we know that’s passed away. The death of a loved one makes all the questions we have become so much more real, and makes us face the things we’ve always believed with a much more discerning eye.
How did Cody get linked with The Receiving End Of Sirens? And did he think that he would fit the picture?
Cody was talking to the TREOS guys after Casey left the band and had already begun tossing around a few ideas with them. I think he liked the idea of such a talented band where no one is really the front man, and everyone contributes musically and vocally. Cody still thinks the idea of him being a front man is a little weird.
Do you miss playing guitar? What was the transition like to bass?
Sometimes I miss playing guitar, but to be honest my skill on the guitar doesn’t come within miles of what Cody and Chris are doing. The transition to the bass was a fairly simple one. I had been playing mostly rhythm stuff, so switching over to another rhythm instrument wasn’t that foreign of an idea.
Any plans for a headlining tour in the future?
We’ve been headlining way too much, so we’re hoping to get out on the road and support some great bands in the near future.
Any future touring and/or recording plans for 2008?
We’ve been hacking it out on the road for almost 5 years now, touring countless dates each year. I think we’re going to take it a little bit easier, start writing for a new record, and spend some much needed time with family and friends. We’ve found out you don’t have to be on the road 8 months a year to make a band work.
What's been the most rewarding experience about being in ACB?
I think from the beginning I’ve been humbled and amazed to see people really connect with what we’re doing. Whether we’re playing heavy music, or more melodic music, there are a handful of people that have truly attempted to understand and connect with where we’re coming from as a band. The most rewarding part of being in this band is knowing that people care about what we’re doing.
Is it true that your first tour was with Rookie of the Year?
Not really. On our first tour we met the guys of Rookie of the Year at our first show. The show was a bust, and we tagged along with each other for the next few days for a few more bust shows. It was great to meet a band that was in our same spot at the time, but we’re never legitimately toured together.
Best tour so far?
Probably with the Emery, or Dead Poetic guys. Maybe not the best musical fit, but we love each band for helping us out, and having some great times with us.
Favorite place to play?
Our favorite place to play is Vinos in Little Rock, Arkansas. There is about a hundred other cities that we get excited about when we roll into town as well. Any city that has a group of kids that want to have fun is always a great time.
What are some places you like to visit while on tour?
We have incredible friends all over from our long touring history, from Spokane, to Dallas, to Little Rock. There isn’t any best place to be on tour. From amazing friends to incredible places to see, the whole touring experience has been nothing short of amazing.
Prety much the day they said they were breaking up, about 2 hours later I was told by a friend of theirs that Cody was going to play with TREOS. That was clearly just a "maybe" though. Nothing more than that. Now, if ACB hadn't have gotten back together, then it's pretty likely he would have gone and played with them.
I think it sucks that their HOMETOWN crowds, of all people, were/are the least receptive of the new album. Everyone around here used to be so into ACB, every show would be packed (well, after they got signed that was the case), etc. But at the CD release show in August...there was probably half of the usual crowd. It sucks. But they're just missing out and need to get used to change. Ha
what i know from talking to all of the TREOS guys was that right after Casey left em they were gonna pick up Cody. The first time i asked em they wouldn't tell me who just that it was someone I should be psyched about. The second time I was told it was a member of ACB and they'd announce it in a few days... but before that happened I was on here and saw ACB was reforming and that was that.