Phoenix post-hardcore warriors Blessthefall formed in 2003 by Mike Frisby. Their debut album, His Last Walk (the only release to feature Craig Mabbit, ex-vocalist, now of Escape the Fate fame), came out in 2007. Mabbit’s departure followed, during the tour supporting the album, citing personal reasons. Bassist and unclean vocalist Jared Warth took vocals on full-time for the remainder of the tour.
September 26th 2008, and the band announced they had recruited a replacement for Mabbit, despite his intentions to re-join the band; he had just recorded with ETF. The replacement was to be Beau Bokan. With a new and once again complete line-up they signed to Fearless Records and headed into the studio to release their second full-length effort Witness. However, this line-up was again destined to run into problems. Founding member Mike Frisby left in February 2011 to “pursue a different path”, they revealed Elliot Grunenberg as new rhythm guitarist and focused on recording instead. Awakening, the bands third album, and second under Fearless came out in October. They’re now touring pretty heavily in support of it, and tonight we catch them at the HMV Forum in London out on the road with British metalcore band, Asking Alexandria. We were invited into the bands dressing room to have a chat with Eric Lambert (lead guitars), and Jared Warth (bassist, unclean vocals) the pair grab themselves a couple of beers, and we get down to business…
So, Awakening came out last October, how do you think that went? What were you trying to do with it?
Eric: It’s doing pretty well, and selling pretty consistently every single week. I think as more tours go on, more kids are singing along to a lot new stuff, they prefer hearing new songs which is a rare thing. Usually they only wanna hear the old stuff, and they’re asking for a lot of new stuff which is good.
Obviously line-up changes are quite common with bands, something which is no different for Blessthefall. How do you think it went with Elliot stepping into the band?
Jared: I think the writing process was a lot better…
Eric: It’s a lot easier, I mean I love Mike to death and he’s a good guitar player, but Elliot definitely stepped up the guitar game. It’s a lot more fun for me to play guitar with Elliot, I’ll be like “Man I’m stuck on this riff” or something, and Elliot will just shred something real fast, and like “Oh… ok, that’s cool! Yeah we’ll work with that!”
So he challenges you more?
Eric: Yeah, we definitely both challenge each other a bit more. We’re both very serious about playing guitar, and we both like riffing a lot so it’s cool working together. Letting him shred more sometimes, and let me and it makes things more interesting for Jared too, ‘cause we make more complex patterns.
So, what’s it like touring with Asking Alexandria then?
Jared: It’s fun every night, they’re our boys so you know… big party!
Eric: We’re still waiting for them to break out their shell a little bit. They have this reputation for being “bad boys” They not living up to it then? Eric: Not yet, not yet. They’re gonna see all these interviews because we’ve just been saying the same thing “Yeah, they’re just not doing it yet…” but, no, they’re really good friends of ours. We met them about a year ago in Japan and we just clicked with those dudes instantly. They’re a lot of fun to be around; they’re normal guys like us. They’re completely down to earth… for the most part!
What’s been your favourite tour to date? Why?
Eric: In the UK? Probably this one, being on the road with friends and getting drunk every night.
How about back home?
Eric: Probably the Cool Tour we did with As I Lay Dying, Underoath and Architects, they’re pretty cool guys! It was a real band’s band tour you know? We all watched each others sets and enjoyed it.
Jared: Taste of Chaos was pretty cool, with Avenged Sevenfold, Bullet for My Valentine and Atreyu. We were like “Fuck you, we’re playing arenas!”
All of those bands are also known for their reputation for partying! Do they live it up to it?
Eric: Haha! Yeah, definitely! They sure know how to party!
Got any tour stories to share with us?
Jared: Well, uhh… Atreyu actually got us into drinking! They have this guy on the road with them who’s their “personal assistant”, but we call him their party assistant! We’re sitting in the bar at like 10AM, and he asks what we want to drink, you know we can have anything. So we asked if we could get chocolate milkshakes, they bring them over and they’re all getting whiskey-waters! They’re all looking down the table at us like what are these guys doing? So he brings us these whiskey-waters and says “You’d better drink these!”, so it’s 10 in the morning and we’re drinking whiskey-water!
What are your plans for 2012? Any new albums or festivals?
Eric: We’re writing at the moment, and we’ll probably start writing after this tour and get ready to go into the studio.
What’s your vision for the band in about 5 years’ time? Do you reckon you’ll be headlining your own arena shows?
Jared: Arenas? We wish!
Eric: In five years’ time, we’ll definitely still be a band I think, I mean we’ve come through a lot already. What more can happen? Unless Beau leaves, then I’ll start a new band! Ha!
Blessthefall’s album Awakening is available to buy on iTunes and all other good media sources and music shops on Fearless Records.