"We were inspired by nature and how that connects us on a human level, we are all Evergreen" - In Conversation with After The Burial
Regardless of how successful you are in any given industry, we all breath the same air, we all have to take out the weekly rubbish to be collected and we are all affected by mental health, that of our own and the loved ones around us. Just because an artist is in your ear pods or a film star on the big screen doesn't mean they are invincible, they are in fact just like you, simply human. We speak to vocalist Anthony Notarmaso, the Minnesota based Metalcore band about their recent history and latest album Evergreen out now.
What's the mood like in the After The Burial camp so close to the album coming out?
I think when you are leading up to everything, there's always a concern when you are about to head into the studio. "Is it going to live up to the last one, are people going to like it?" and you can worry your life away but the mind set is let what happens happen. If people are going to like it, they will like it, if they don't they don't. We didn't have any concepts going in, we didn't try to make a song sound a certain way or style. We just wrote what we like.
Do you ever get nervous before an album or new material starts getting released?
In terms of nervousness, I honestly haven't really thought about it. I live in Florida but I'm in Minnesota right now because that's where the band is based. I'm up here making sure I'm focused and have all of my parts down.
What was the experience like in the recording studio this time around?
We played around a little bit this time. We had clips of songs Trent had already brought to the table. The longest song segment we had going in was maybe 2 minutes 30 seconds. I think I had one song which I had a written the chorus for. I was sitting there with my wife and she was like "oh I really like that but what would you put there". My wife is a musician too and she was curious about my work process. So I listened to it and put down some lyrics that I thought could be good as a guide, kind of messing around for the most part and they ended up being the lyrics to the actual song! Going in I didn't have a lot when Trent is making the music sometime the lyrics don't fit, music changes etc, so it's always good to have the tracks done first before laying down the lyrics. We stayed up in New Jersey and recorded for about a month.
Did you try anything different when you were recording?
I have more range in my voice at this point. On the Rare Form reissue or even on Dig Deep my voice has changed a lot if you compare it to something like something off of Evergreen like 'Behold The Crown'. You are always changing and adapting. Will Putney had me doing some stuff on this record that I have never done before. There's a song on the record called 'Quicksand' and it's almost a yelling style of vocal towards the end. It almost has a punk rock vibe to it.
In terms of an overall experimentation, we have a slow song on the record, which we have never done anything like that before. We never thought about it, it just ended up happening. Adrian was in the studio with us and he was stoked to get his parts laid down. The overall experience was great, we all were at the top of our game.
The last album had themes dealing with grief and mental health issues. Has that continued with this record or have other themes entered your work?
Evergreen is a continuation of Dig Deep and its all connected from Rareform, In Dreams and into Wolves Within, then Dig Deep into the new one, they are all connected. When you look at Rare Form, its a half human half roots person, and on Dig Deep, there is a lantern under a tree. We had been through so much and we were saying that there's light there, don't give up, you have to dig down deep and when you find that light you have to hold onto that light and grow from it. All that digging you went through as a person is a struggle but you come out of it a stronger person. You've gone through that path, have that light and can sign it for other people.
The theme of Evergreen was a continuation of that. We go around and play music and we see a lot of countrysides. When you see an evergreen tree like a Pine or a giant Redwood, they are always near other trees and those things are connected. They talk to each other and signal to each other, and that's where the artwork concept came from. We go around with our music we plant a seed at all our shows, we shine a light for them and we all become one through our music. We play Metal music for a living and we don't know how long we as humans will be around for but we do know our music will be around for far longer than us and that's the Evergreen concept.
What input did you have on the artwork?
Well even before we got in the studio I had the title about 18 months out and I wanted to make sure it worked so I didn't tell the band until we had gotten into the studio and I hoped the title stood up to the material. We sent it to the label, they liked it. Daniel McBride who has helped us out in the past collaborated with us on it. I had a slightly different concept and we brought it together. The artwork feels alot more mature, we're all older and have been doing this for over ten years so we wanted something to reflect us right now in 2019.
A US tour beckons shortly with Australia afterwards. What other plans do you have for 2019?
We are going to be overseas alot, we haven't been able to announce anything just yet. We will be popping over to the UK, doing some countries we have never done before. We are spending a lot of time on airplanes.
In day jobs success can be seen with promotions and climbing a corporate ladder. How does a band in the music industry class success?
In this industry its sales, the first week number although it's changed a lot even as close as Dig Deep and that was 2016 only three years ago. Record sales for all bands are dropping and everything is focused on streaming which is still weird to me but I don't really know how that works in terms of what is a good number or not. We have something like 12 million streams on Spotify, we get pennies for that which is crazy! In 2019 its all on tour, if you are doing a headline tour and selling out venues then that is seen as a success.
What do you hope fans of your band get from this record?
I hope they like it on a base level but when they continue to listen to it they hear the layers within each song. Also, I hope they get inspired by the lyrics I write, my thoughts and efforts go into them a lot. When people come up to me and tell me that my lyrics meant so much to them, that means the world, if that inspires a 16-year-old teenager in their house to pick up a guitar and create a band that's amazing and that's the Evergreen concept, we are all in this together and its a continual cycle of change.