Letís start off by stating your name and what you play in the band, Emery.
My name is Toby Morrell. I shred vocals and walk all over the bass
You guys recently re-signed with Tooth and Nail, what was the reason behind this? Did you get any offers from other labels?
We had always wanted to stay with T&N. There was other interest but we thought it would be a lateral move at best and majors are just crazy. T&N has always treated so well and been there for us every step of the way. Also they pay you to say stuff like that so itís kind of a supplemental income doing interviews. Seriously they rock.
What direction, musically, will the next album be in? Will it be more The Question-esque, or I'm Only A Man-esque, and have seen a trend in the success of your past releases in relation to your more recent releases.
The new album is going to be heavy like all of our albums but I think a good ďesqueĒ would be our recent EP While Broken Hearts Prevail. The new record, In Shallow Seas We Sail, is going to be tied into that record so it will have a similar vibe. I donít know about trendsÖ ummÖ I hope people just appreciate our music and it mans something to them.
Whatís the current status of the album? And when can we expect to see it in stores?
We are trying to finish it up by February and have it out by May or June.
On "While Broken Hearts Prevail" you had lyrics that talked about how you don't want to just write the things we want to hear, and even in the booklet you said that we shouldn't just make fun of your album hiding behind stupid names on forums, and yet WBHP was so much more like the old Emery we loved, and not like IAOAM which was received poorly. Aren't that EP and the statements on it a little contradictory?
Good question. First off we always write music we want to hear. Itís not like we are in a laboratory creating these songs for the masses. If so we are terrible scientists. We should be doing rap or country or total pop Blink 182 songs. WBHP came about because we hadnít resigned and didnít know when that would happen so we had some song ideas and just DIYíED it. We wrote some serious stuff on IAOAM and just wanted to write some songs instead heavier epic stuff. The stuff we said, however, we believe. We get so tired of people smashing bands after downloading one song for free from a record or listening to a bad sounding MySpace page. Come on. If people donít buy records then they have nothing, zero, invested in the band so itís so easy just to say ignorant things because it means nothing to you. I remember saving my money and going to the record store and looking for an hour to buy one CD. That band got my money in my mind. And I listened to that CD. The whole thing! What a crazy idea I know. But that makes you really care about a band and what they are about. We are turning into a generation of one hit listeners only. Everyone listens to one song from the band, and then we expect these listeners to eventually write great music in the future. Itís scary to think about a 10 year old right now that will listen to one song a band for the next 8 years and then will start his/her own band. Thatís gonna be really legit and honest!?! Itís not about illegal downloading itís about actually having a real scene instead of internet posers who could or would never take a chance and put there soul out for everyone to see. That said I love emery fans. Our true fans are our heart and they get it. You guys should take notes from them.
How do you guys deal with some of the criticisms about your IAOAM?
Most of the time we laugh. One kid said some junk and said he thought he had just grown out of us and he was 14. HAHAHA! We always try to be honest too. Some of this stuff hurts. You work on something for months and are away from you family and then someone can so callously throw you off and question your motives. Itís tough to swallow but you realize that you actually did something on your own and put it out there. That is an accomplishment no matter what. People always have something to say so itís best to just turn down there volume. Plus they are probably ugly so you canít really stay mad at a really ugly person, they are worse off than you.
Process of song writing? Also, it seems like sometimes the songs are a little cryptic or are written in a way that could be interpreted in two totally opposing directions. Comments on the meanings?
Usually Devin and I will write basic songs and then bring it to the band to make it a complete song. Matt also writes a lot of music and we will put lyrics over that. Josh and Dave usually help us not to make mistakes in direction and bring some funk to it. We always try to have a meaning behind every song but try to allow some room for the listener to put in there two cents on what the song means. I love hearing fans interpretations of certain songs. Many times they are totally different than what we intended and it makes the song so much more.
You seem to really like doing acoustic stripped down versions of your songs, ever consider an acoustic album?
If we get the chance and time we will definitely do an acoustic album. Itís so nice to tone everything down and really enjoy the songs in a different way.
Any major plans for 2009? Warped Tour?
We would love to do Warped. So everyone thatís going, email Kevin Lyman and tell him to put us on it. We might even pull out some costumes if we do get on. We are also going to Australia in February and hopefully Europe in April/May. Then put out In Shallow Sea We Sail and do a headliner.
You guys have been in a band for a while now, what changes to the scene have you guys noticed? Anything you like or wished never happened?
So many more bands now. The internet has erupted the music biz which is awesome and scary. We still havenít toured with Weezer but hopefully soon.
What do you guys individually do outside of playing music? How else do you make money?
We are starting to record some other bands. We think we have done the music thing for a while and want to help some bands out and make them better. Devin substitute teaches in Illinois so be careful if youíre in school there. He will eat you for breakfast.
What is your ideal number of fans at an Emery show and what is the realistic average number at a headlining show? Do you feel like you are growing as a band and, if so, does the fan turnout reflect that?
The ideal number is hard to say. We would love to play in front of a million people but it is really fun to play in front of a 300-500 crowd that is ready to be apart of the show. Those are always the best and most fun. Average attendance is hard to say because it depends on if you are headlining or not. Us headlining is usually anywhere from 600-1200. But it gets bigger and smaller depending on the tour. Itís funny because our last headlining tour was our biggest headliner ever. We didnít expect it, but we respect it.
What's the worst experience you've ever had at a venue?
Our live show is pretty crazy so I will just list injuries:
I threw my guitar in the air. It landed on my head gashing me and giving me a concussion.
Matt sliced Devinís Ear in two with the head stock of his guitar
I smashed Mattís hand while swinging my mic and it hit him so hard he could barely feel the guitar
Josh has been hit and bloodied in the head more times than I can count
And Dave plays the drums so hard he usually busts opens skin all over his hands.
Will you ever do an all The Weak's End tour, again?
I know some people Iíll see if I can get that done.
I hope some people read this and take into account what they say about a band and how it affects them. He's so absolutely right about how the mass public will listen to one song and base judgment on an entire record or even the entire band., With that said, this band in one of my all time favs and I'm really looking forward to the new release