North Carolina metalcore group, To Speak of Wolves are coming in hot with their latest record, “Dead in the Shadow” releasing on July 21st, 2017 via Solid State Records. “Dead in the Shadow” is a follow up to the band’s previous EP release in 2016, “New Bones” and will be the groups first full-length record in five years. To celebrate the release of “Dead in the Shadow” we got to sit down and talk with the band about the record, reuniting the band after a 4 year hiatus, the return to Solid State & more!
We always try to start out by creating a connection or relationship between readers and the people we interview, showing off the more common side of people. With that said, what’s something that people may or may not know about you?
My name is Phil and I play drums for To Speak of Wolves. Some people may not know I grew up playing music most of my life. My family is pretty musical with 3/4 of my brothers playing music at least somewhat professionally.
Delving right into it, last September saw you guys return, first with a brand-new song and quickly after the comeback EP, New Bones. What drove the decision to return after a 4-year hiatus? Was there ever really a perfect time to try to line up a return or was it more of a “fuck it, let’s just go for it now” type of mentality?
Man it was kinda crazy. We were all hanging out in Nashville to see the Underoath Rebirth tour and we had always talked about the possibility of doing another album at some point. That night a podcast was at the show and interviewed us and we had literally that day decided we were gong to do another one haha. We did a couple runs with Oh, Sleeper to get back in the swing of things and wrote and recorded New Bones in 4 days. It released about a week later. It was a very quick process one of those things where it felt like we blinked and its been a year and all of this has happened.
It’s been mentioned that New Bones had an incredibly tight window to becoming a fully realized release due to timelines for jumping on a tour. Due to that, did it feel like the proper reintroduction for the band to make their comeback on or does the new album serve that purpose better?
I think New Bones worked for exactly what we needed it to do. We wanted to release something quickly and get the word out there that we were back. It was kinda nice to release it so quickly it was definitely a different approach that seemed to work at the time. This new album is much more thought out and has a longer window to market etc. which is great as well. I do think that if you weren’t aware of the band before you may not have heard New Bones yet. This new album seems to be getting the name out there to potential new fans where the EP was something we relied on the people that knew us already to help get the word out more.
Staying in the realm of the hiatus, when you were working on the plans to essentially reintroduce yourselves and become active once again, was it always planned to return with a lot of new music in a relatively quick timeframe and what’s it like being back in the groove of the music life?
That was more something that happened along the way. We did decided after the EP came out that we wanted to release something else sooner rather than later. We felt like a lot of bands come back with an EP and sometimes disappear again. We wanted people to know we were back and in it for the long haul again.
Moving onward into the new album Dead In The Shadow (out 7/21), I heard in a recent interview that you guys had around 30 ideas for songs when it came to the record. Were those all brand new ideas or were some left over from New Bones and even before then? How did you dwindle it down from those 30 ideas to the 11 songs that make up the record?
Yeah it was pretty crazy. Our guitarist Andrew is a machine. He sat down and was cranking out riffs left and right. They were all new ideas nothing that we wrote for New Bones because we used all of those ideas at the time. We wanted to be as prepared as possible for this album so we took the 30 ideas and started narrowing them down in pre production a few months before the studio time. I think we ended up tracking 12 and then cut one to put our 11 favorites on the album.
Keeping on the new album, how do you yourselves connect with this album emotionally and what were some of the key influences that went into the songs? Expanding on that, do the songs fit together with an overall theme or are they meant to be more standalone?
We all connect with this album more than anything we’ve ever written. I know its cliche to say that but its honestly true. I think every band should feel like their most recent album is their best work and I’d be surprised if they didn’t feel that way. This one for us though has something different about it. It’s hard to put my finger on what that is exactly. It’s a combination of being over prepared and excited to get these songs down and the months of planning that goes into something like recording and releasing an album. As far as a central theme I think every song stands on its own but that’d be a question for Gage since he wrote all the lyrics.
One of the other announcements that came along with the unveiling of Dead In The Shadow was the return of you guys to Solid State Records, which has been home to both of your previous albums. What made you decide to go back to the label and what’s it like working with them again?
Solid State has always felt like home to us. We love the team there and they’ve made some great moves in the time we were away. It felt like the right fit and has been great getting back into it with some familiar faces behind the scenes.
You guys have been doing some extensive touring since your return late last year, but more so throughout 2017. How is it being back on the road again and are there any shows/tour moments that really stick out to you?
We have been fortunate to be asked to play some great festivals since our return and our buddies in Oh, Sleeper and The Color Morale have helped us get our names back out there with letting us open for them. This upcoming run with He is Legend, Islander and bad seed rising is also something we’ve been looking forward to a great deal. Every show is special we love playing and we’re happy to be out here doing it again and having people show up.
A lot of people don’t understand the hard work that goes into being in a band. Explain to us some of the setbacks that comes with being in a band that you wish others understood better.
Being on the road can be hard. Its not easy being away from everything at home and still having to deal with real life issues. The rent’s still due and the landlord doesn’t care if you drove through the night with 2 hours of sleep haha. But honestly its great and I wouldn’t change it for anything. There’s something special about being able to get in a van and travel the world with your best friends. It’s tough but so is anything worthwhile.
You guys are always so appreciative of your fans. What would you say is the best thing about your guy’s fan-base?
We love talking with our fans after the shows. I think the best part of playing is being able to connect with them and actually make friends with the people that come out to see us. We’re always around the march table or hanging out watching the other bands. If you’re at a show come say hi!
Before we call this a day, is there anything else you’d like to share? This is a completely open platform for the world to know what’s on your mind.
Thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview and to anyone out there reading it. Make sure you keep supporting music and let the bands know that you care. If you have the time please preorder our album “Dead in the Shadow” at this link -> bit.ly/deadintheshadow it means the world to us!
You can listen to the band’s latest single, “Haunt Me” below:
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