Whether you’re a fan or not, Architects is a band whose tremendous hard work and dedication can only be lauded by anyone familiar with their career. The bands’ career roughly started around the time I started going to shows and have been relentlessly touring and releasing records ever since. With over a solid decades’ worth of shows under their belt, the band seems to know no stopping, growing stronger than ever, as demonstrated by their crowning achievement that was the crushing Lost Forever // Lost Together as well as their upcoming, highly anticipated follow-up titled All Our Gods have Abandoned Us. On this release, the Brighton-based act hold nothing back and yet again expand their sound to new unexplored territories. The stakes are heightened and Sam Carters’ ecological, political and ethical messages are loud and spelled out as clear as ever. Here to give us an insight on the album before its release at the end of this month is the man himself.
On May 27th you’re going to be releasing your 7th album, titled All our Gods Have Abandonned Us. First off, could you describe this album in comparison to its predecessor?
I think it’s definitely a lot darker than anything we’ve ever done before. That was something that was conceived just after we had done Lost Forever // Lost Together, we were talking about how we wanted to make it even heavier and bring it one step above what we’ve ever done. I didn’t we realised that it was going to get quite so heavy. Lyrically and musically it’s quite out there compared to everything we’ve done before. It’s sort of carrying on from the same themes and around the same areas as Lost Forever but it’s going for a bit more of a punch in the stomach. We wanted to make it heavy but at the same time we wanted to make it intelligent and classy. We wanted to do a classy heavy record.
Could you explain the concept behind the album cover?
The album cover is a reversed eclipse. The album is quite heavy and the artwork is very similar in the sense that it can be reversed, there are two ways to look at it. You can have the positivity, which I guess is the white light, which can be on the outside or it can be on the inside. You can listen to the album and hear all of these dark things that run throughout it and see it as a nasty, downbeat sort of record or you can see it with hints of light and positivity. On the inside it’s dark but on the outside it’s white. There are two ways to look at the record as well as the artwork.
The light, ethereal guitar contrasting with the very heavy rhythm guitar also seems to mirror this idea of duality between dark and light. I’ve also picked up a lot of very dark lyrics while listening to the record. Do you see the album as being pessimistic in its lyrical content?
I think there’s a bit of both. There’s still a bit of optimism in there as well, but I do think you have to look for it. It’s quite downbeat but the subject matter that we are talking about is heavy stuff. We’re not pessimistic people though, we’re quite positive and we do love what we do, it’s just that the world that we live in at the moment isn’t in a very good way. We love the world that we live, we write about things that we care about. Because we’ve been writing about politics and things that mean a lot to us for the last few years, it’s hard when after a few years of really caring to not be a bit down about everything. This record is kind of where we’re at in the sense that we’ve been trying and talking about it for so long. We’re still waiting for big moves to be made about climate change or any big moves to help to stop these people that are just obsessed with oil and drilling. Will we ever start to use renewable energy or are just just going to keep drilling and drilling until there is nothing left for the world and we’re all in a shitstorm. At the same time we’re also talking about where we’re all at as human beings. We’re all obsessed with money and fame, and human beings aren’t meant for that. Human beings are meant for so much more than this. We’ve really lost touch with the world and caring about it.
In recent years, the bands’ lyrics have become increasingly potent in their environnemental, political and moral messages. Do you feel that this is due to a heightened sense of urgency?
Yeah, I think it’s been the cause of the last few years like I’ve said before. I feel like it’s important to talk about it because I feel people think of politics and environmentalism as boring things that don’t matter. But politics involves everything and everyone, everyday. The same goes for environmentalism, the stuff that is talked about is important, we need to talk about it before it’s too late. I don’t think people realize how close we are to completely fucking it all up. So yeah, we feel like it’s an urgent matter that needs to be discussed.
I came across this description of the album by Blabbermouth, who says it’s the “heaviest and darkest work to which [Architects] have ever put their name to” and “an album that challenges and progresses a genre long thought to have stagnated, and embraces its inspirations at a time when many rock and metal bands seek to hide them in search of mainstream acceptance” Do you agree with this description of todays’ metal/rock scene?
I think that there are a lot of bands that are going a bit softer and I think we kind of did that a few years ago. We had a little dip where we weren’t really sure what we wanted to do musically. I think that for us, this record and the last one are kind of us doing what we’re good at doing. We’re good at being a heavy band and we’re not so good at being a poppier band (smile). It’s more fun for us being a heavy band and thats’ what people seem to like us doing as well, so it works both ways. Yes, there are a lot of bands that are going on that mainstream kind of route. I think that when it’s done well, it’s done really well. I think Bring Me the Horizon do it amazingly, they’re a really good example of it being done in a very classy and dark way, but I think there’s a lot of other bands that don’t do it as well and kind of make a bit more “obvious” what their intentions are. We enjoy being heavy, so there’s no worry about us.
Lately you’ve been dipping back into some melodic vocals though with a different approach with the semi-clean pitched yells on this latest record. Is this from being more comfortable diving back into “cleaner” vocals with a better idea in mind?
I think we’ve kind of touched on it on the last record with Naysayer and Dead Man Talking. I think we just really enjoyed that part of it. We thought it was cool because it added another element to it but it didn’t really turn us into a pop band. I think that if all of those parts were just clean singing, people would get a bit bored of it, but we’ve always liked the pitching and through touring for Lost Forever it really helped me figure out a bit more and strengthen that kind of style of vocals. It was fun to push myself in the studio and see what I can do with a melodic voice and how far we could take it.
On your video for “A match made in Heaven” I read upon a comment of a somewhat disappointed fan who stated “An Architects song without a “Bleh!” is not an Architects song.” Based on this criteria alone, do you think this fan will enjoy the new record?
I think he’s going to be pretty happy with the record (Laugh). For a while I wasn’t sure whether I was going to any on this record because it had become such a big part of the last one, but then I thought “Whatever, they’re always going to be there.”. It happened by complete accident, it was just a noise really that I did years ago in 2007 when we did a cover of Stamping Ground. I did one on there and from there it got carried away and now it’s a big part of Architects and our sets. But yeah, there are some big “blehs” on the new record, that’s for sure.
I’m my own worst critic on them as well (laugh). On Lost Forever they were easy, they were just coming out fine and on this one I would be like “No, this one is not good enough, I’m going to make this one better”, so they had to be the best “blehs” possible.
Name one of your favorite albums, movies and books.
My favorite book is The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. It’s a really great book, it’s fantastic. It’s a very empowering book to help you understand your mind and be aware of it and how powerful it can be.
My favorite film is Interstellar, I love that film so much. I’ve watched it so many times and it’s still amazing.
One of my favorite CDs is Define the Great Line by Underoath.
Thanks for the interview. Any closing words?
Thanks for reading this article and thanks for liking our band.