Thursday, April 5, 2012
I The Breather Look Ahead To A Summer Of Metal
I The Breather came out of the gates with all guns a blazing back in 2010. Their debut album These Are My Sins blew away critics and audiences alike. The band sounded more like seasoned veterans than a band putting out its debut album. That can put a lot of pressure on a young band when it comes time to work on the follow-up album. That sophomore album came out recently and we caught up with drummer Morgan Wright to discuss the release as well as the zombie apocalypse and the fact that the band has no Wikipedia page.
Music Is My Drug Of Choice: Hey Morgan, how’s it going man? So, is this a day off for you?
I The Breather: Hey man, things are going great. We got home on March 3 after our tour with August Burns Red wrapped up. I’m just at home today trying to occupy my time. It’s great seeing family and friends and everybody, but it does get a little boring sometimes. I tend to do a lot of drum practicing when that happens!
Let’s dive right in and talk about your awesome new album Truth and Purpose. What’s the initial feedback that you are hearing from everyone about it?
I tell you what, it’s been really great. We just got the first weeks numbers and they were awesome. We debuted at number 179 on the Billboard Top 200 and at number 11on the Billboard New Artist Chart. The fans have been awesome and the feedback on our Face Book page has been overwhelming. We’re pumped about it all and so is our label. There was a lot of hype around the album going into release week and we weren’t sure what to expect. It’s just a really good feeling for everyone to be so receptive to what you’re doing.
You worked with two producers on this album in Paul Leavitt and Taylor Larson. What’s the story behind that?
Well, when we started talking about who we wanted to produce the album, we all knew that we wanted to work with Taylor, but he wasn’t sure if he would be free. There were some time conflicts to work around. So, we decided to book Paul instead. We would work with Paul in Baltimore, which means we could record closer to our own home and we liked that. Well, then we found out that Taylor was going to have some free time on his hands and we couldn’t turn him down. It was really awesome to work with both of them because I think they both influenced us structurally and in our sound. That’s a good sign for longevity and we definitely plan on being around a long time.
Can you tell us how the song “Mentalist” with Micah Kinard from Oh, Sleeper came about? By the way, I have to say that is one killer song!
Thanks man! You know, I actually filled in on drums for Oh, Sleeper when they were touring a while back and became really good friends with all of them. I wrote the song lyrically and I knew I wanted to add a guest vocal on it. We were on tour with After The Burial and we were going to be making a stop in Texas. I called Micah up and we lined up the time to do it and we layed it down. It’s definitely one of my favorite tracks on the album. I also think that their voices, Micah’s and Shawn’s really complement each other.
I would have to agree with you on that point. They are similar in style, but yet unique at the same time. Speaking of favorite tracks on the album, you may have just accidentally answered my next question. I wanted to ask if there was any one song on the album that you were exceptionally proud of?
Yeah, I’m proud of that one, but track 5 (“Meaning”) on the album also means a lot to me. I like it when I listen to a song and it makes me feel something, any kind of emotion whether it’s happy, sad or anger. It never fails, every time that I listen to this track, I can feel the anger in Shawn’s voice. When he screams ‘you call yourself a man of God, but can you defend it’, it just really hits home for me. It’s all about calling people out.
There’s such a big difference between this album and your debut album, even on the very first listen. Can you compare and contrast the two?
I’m very proud of These Are My Sins, but I think it’s one dimensional. I mean, we were together for about a year when we made that one and we were really young. On Truth and Purpose, we’re a lot more mature. It captures elements from Sins, but it also adds a lot more to it. I think this CD really has a lot more to offer and we’re all so very proud of it.
So, we just read the news release about the Sumerian Stage being added to this year’s Mayhem Festival and you guys were be performing. How awesome is that?
Dude, we were completely blown away when they told us. I mean, we were speechless and thought they were joking with us! This is going to be huge! We are on the entire tour and we couldn’t be more excited. I mean, you have all the heavy hitters in the metal genre, Slipknot and Motorhead and so many other amazing bands. This will definitely be the biggest tour we have done here in the states. The August Burns Red tour was big, this one is way bigger.
That’s an awesome opportunity for you guys this summer. What a great chance to expose so many people to your music who may not already know you. I think it’s awesome and much deserved for you guys. So, what are you guys up to until Mayhem starts?
We’re home for about a month and then we leave on April 4 for the Sumerian Records Tour. It’s a tour that will focus on some smaller markets and the underground scene. Sumerian has a great name in the metal core genre and we’re looking forward to doing this tour. We’re also hoping to add some revenue to our CD sales while out on the road.
Ok, now it’s time for the really tough questions. I hope you’re ready.
(Laughs) Ok, let’s go. What do you have?
First off, you guys are a bit of a mystery because there’s not a lot of info on the band on the internet. You guys are like ninja rockers.
(Laughs)You’re right, there’s not a lot out there. I mean, we don’t even have our own Wikipedia page yet! I mean, everyone has a Wikipedia page.
Maybe we can talk to George (Vallee) at your label and see what he can do about that for you guys. Ok, now back to the hard questions for the fans. Do you have any pre-show rituals that you do before going out on stage?
I actually do! I stretch for about ten minutes, then I take two aspirin and chug a bottle of water. Then, my blood is flowing and I am really pumped. I say a little prayer by myself and then we say one as a band. Then we crank some Set Your Goals, which is a punk band, to get everyone fired up.
Do you have any guilty pleasures that may surprise even your most hardcore fans?
(Laughs) I love cheesy pop songs and Disney soundtracks! I usually get stuck driving our van while we’re out on tour and I love cranking Katy Perry or Hanson. I also love The Lion King soundtrack because it helps me to escape from all the metal that we hear each and every night.
That’s awesome! There’s nothing like pulling up to a stop light with “Hakuna Matada” blasting from the speakers!
I know, right?
The Zombie Apocalypse is tonight. What three things are on your survival checklist?
This is great because my best friend and I are always talking about this. We decided that we would bunker down in Wal-Mart because they have everything that you could need! They have guns and ammo, food and anything else you could need. That would be our home base! If I had to pick three things, I would say my cell phone, a toothbrush and clean underwear.
Wal-Mart as command central; that’s awesome! You never see that in the movies, do you? Well Morgan, I guess it’s time to wrap this up. It’s been a blast talking with you and I am sure we will run into you at Mayhem this summer. Is there anything that you want to say to wrap this interview up?
Thanks man, it’s definitely been fun! I do want to tell all of our fans to come out next month and see us on the Sumerian Tour that runs from April 5th through the 25th. Come over to our merch table and say hi because we would love to meet all of you. After that, we hope to see all of you on the Mayhem tour this summer!