Beloved

Silent Uproar: So, after all the hard work and anticipation the album was finally released today. How does it feel to sort of let it go and give it to the public?

Joe: It's kind of weird, because I've never really seen our CD in stores sitting amongst other bands. But, it's really awesome to finally have it out and be done with the whole process.

Dusty: It's kind of like a bummer too though. It was like a year and a half and we were working on our CD, working on our CD, and then now it's done. It's like there's nothing else to look forward to. But, I guess we'll see how it sells…

Joe: That's the most nerve racking part; waiting to see how it sells.

SU: Do you think there are some expectations for it to do well?

Joe: Well, I've been online and have read various posts on different sites. Some people are excited for it and some people flat out hate us.

SU: Well, you'll always have that…

Dusty: Yeah, oh well. Commercial is commercial, good or bad.

SU: I think you're attempt at infusing melody with hardcore music is more realized with Failure On. The first thing you are presented with on the album is this major melody, and that's definitely a standout in the sense of hardcore music. Do you feel you have achieved what you set out to do with this album?

Dusty: Wow that's good question… yeah it's definitely not a straight up hardcore record, or a straight up rock record. I like keeping it exciting and not sticking to one boring style. I'm not saying that hardcore is boring, but 10 songs of anything can get boring.

Joe: I think, to me, as far as the whole CD, fusing two different genres is just a more mature version on what we've been doing for the past two years, and on our past two albums. I think we've just done a better job on this CD to do what we've been trying to accomplish and what we've been hearing in our heads.

Dusty: For a while, we were touring off our EP and we had written all these songs for the record, which all represented where we currently were. But, the only thing we had to play was stuff on the EP, stuff we had written two and half years ago. This [album] is totally where we're at now and where we've been for the past year or so.

SU: Do any of the songs seem old already, since you've been working on them so long?

Dusty: Well, there are a couple tracks, "Death To Traitors" and "Inner Pattern." But, we put "Death To Traitors" up on MP3.com and kids are starting to learn it now, which is refreshing. Before we'd be like "let's play some newer stuff", but now it's really cool to see the kids know the songs.

SU: Ok, so the one question I've really wanted to ask the band is how do you say GGGarth Richardson's name?

Joe: I think it looks better in print…

SU: I thought it was always like a stutter…

Dusty: Yeah, that's it. He's got a stutter. I think the Red Hot Chili Peppers named him that or something. He's a cool dude.

SU: How was it jumping to a producer like Richardson?

Dusty: Originally, we were supposed to record with Brian McTernan and he's done like Cave In and Frotus. So, of course, we were nervous with that. But, then there were all these scheduling conflicts and the whole recording process was pushed back a month. It was like we'd be up and down, up and down. Then, Tooth & Nail said we could probably get you guys GGGarth [Richardson]. We were like, "holy crap, that guy did the first Rage Against The Machine record!" At first we were really nervous, but once we met the guy it was really cool and felt very comfortable. It was a totally stress free recording. We'd have water balloon fights with the staff. It all was just really cool.

SU: Did the recording crew seem into the music?

Dusty: Garth was… but he's done such big stuff…

SU: Yeah, well that's why I ask, because he's done such big projects…

Dusty: Yeah. But, Garth has also done stuff that we totally don't get into. Like, before he worked with us he finished up the new Spineshank record, which is totally not our flavor. For a second we were like, "man, this guy's going to have us sounding like Korn." But he respected how we sounded and what we were going for with the record. I really felt comfortable. There were a couple guys that didn't get into it, but you can't expect everyone to like it. But, they were all these really, really cool guys.

SU: Well, I think the album sounds incredible overall, especially the drums. Do you think the little bit of polish and production might make some fans react negatively?

Dusty: Yeah, it probably will, because that's the problem I have with the new Boy Sets Fire record. It's almost too nice for Boy Sets Fire. So, I guess some people will react the same. But, then again, we're relatively new, so some people will just think we started out sounding this way.

Joe: Glad you think drums sound so good…

(Bassist Johnny Smrdel enters the room to grab something and instead jumps in on the interview)

Dusty: Johnny's our resident straight edge bass player…

SU: The song "Aimless Endeavor" is definitely a standout. Maybe it's because you posted it on MP3.com a while back and I'm just more familiar with it, but, in my opinion, it seems like the closest thing to a "single" from the album. What was feeling like when writing and recording that particular song?

Dusty: That's our hit of the summer!

When we were writing songs and we found out the date we were going to record, we were like, "crap, we have three more songs to write!"

Joe: I think that song was the one we struggled with for so long…

Dusty: Yeah, it took us so long to write. There were so many parts in that song and it changed around so much…

Joe: It's a totally different song from when we were first writing it. We probably went through five or six beginning parts for the song, but it ended up coming out really cool. It is our catchiest song, because it's got more of a chorus. Even though it doesn't have a chorus at all, it's just the structure that's more verse-chorus-verse. I really like the song. And it's nice to see more and more kids signing along to it…

Dusty: We're shooting a video for that in a couple weeks. Or, like, next week I guess. So, I guess that's our summer jam.

SU: A lot of the album is very brutal, but the song, "Allure," was also a surprise. Since there's only vocals the entire song and it's somewhat subdued, it does stand out from the rest…

Dusty: That was the last song we wrote for the record…

SU: Did you want to include a song that was somewhat un-hardcore on the album?

Dusty: I don't want to say, "Yeah, we were listening to a lot of Pink Floyd." But, we were definitely listening to the new Snapcase record, and a lot of stuff on that album is mellower and has these dramatic build-ups. So, when we started writing that song we were all so stoked, and we wanted it to hit hard at some point. It's probably one of my favorite songs on the album.

Anytime we write a song we don't really know what we're going for, just because we're five different people with different musical tastes. It's just weird how it all comes together.

Johnny: It was like here's this part and here's this other part… Josh basically started strumming the beginning part and I don't know if Joe was goofing around…

Dusty: We were just jamming, man… (laughs)

Johnny: And then I just let the bass follow the bass drum… and it was just magical.

SU: Have you felt any positive feedback from the album yet? And how does it feel to know that there are already others that feel as strongly about the album as you do?

Dusty: I'm not really noticing it all right now. I think after I see the first week sales, then I'll have a legitimate thing to look at. But right now, it's just hanging in the balance.

SU: So, how did you get hooked up with Solid State Records?

Dusty: Chad Johnson from Takehold Records came to us and was really, really into the band. We were all Tooth & Nail kids growing up and really wanted to be on Tooth & Nail. So, when Chad started talking to us, we figured we could totally get on Takehold. Then, one day we were talking to Chad and he was like, "Man, something big is about to happen, but I can't tell you right now." Basically, it was that Tooth & Nail was buying out Takehold and we were going to be one of the bands that switched over. We were like "thank you God!" It was like killing two birds with one stone. Solid State is a good deal for us. It's a great label. They're so financial set and are such good people. The sent us these balloons for the CD release show!

Johnny: I wasn't in the band when they signed to Solid State, but from my experience it is such a personal label. Chad will just be like "what's up guys?" I don't think you'll find many labels that are that personal and on the same level as a friend. He periodically sends out emails and says, "I'm here praying for you guys." And I guess some bands don't get into that, but having people like that support us and work their butts off to get our record in stores… I don't think anyone could ask for a better label.

SU: And I think their established presence will help you guys out a lot too…

Dusty: Yeah, it's like a given that you'll sell 1,000 records just being associated with Solid State.

SU: Just because NC doesn't give off the impression it would host bands like Between The Buried And Me, Swift, or Beloved -- especially when you release an album like this -- has anyone ever reacted weirdly or acted surprised when finding out you're NC natives?

Joe: Some people think it's cool. I don't think people have ever gotten weird or crazy. But, a lot of people do agree with us when we say that North Carolina is the best as far as bands go.

Dusty: Yeah! Code Seven, Hopesfall…

Joe: Even like the classic bands: Undying and Prayer for Cleansing… bands that paved the way for a lot of stuff.

Johnny: Kids everywhere in the hardcore scene know Undying, Prayer for Cleansing, and Day of Suffering. It just shows the impact North Carolina bands have had on hardcore. A lot of those bands have stuck with what they started with. With Between The Buried And Me, I don't think there's a band out there right now that are like them music-wise. There are very few bands in the hardcore scene that can touch them. Also, North Carolina is rich with kids that want to go to hardcore shows and have bands play their hearts out. We've been all up and down the East Coast and there's nothing I've found that's like North Carolina.

SU: Do you think it'll be hard to be away from home and out on tour promoting this new album?

Dusty: Actually, we're on tour for two weeks. Then, Joe's going on a vacation and Josh has an anniversary with his girlfriend. Then we'll pretty much be gone all of August, and then parts of September, October and November.

SU: I would assume it'd be the most you've been out so far…

Dusty: Well, we're not going to the do the two and half months at a time thing. Something like that just drains you out and makes you hate what you're doing. It really does, because I hated life a few months ago… (laughs)

I know we're all really excited to go and play since kids can actually buy something good now. I mean we want to get out and promote the album, but we don't want to burn ourselves out.

Johnny: Or burn the kids out…

SU: Just because I don't really get to ask many hardcore bands this question, I'll ask you. What is it about the musical form that attracted you to make music in the same way? What makes you get out there and do it every night?

Joe: Red bull… Red bull gives you wings (laughs)

Dusty: I don't know man. I'm not going to lie; I don't get excited every night. But, lately I've been really excited. I get really excited; I'm doing something I want to do. 'Cause when I sit back and look that I don't have a job right now, because this band is my job, that freaking rules! So, if I can just think about that, it gets me hyped up to play every night. I get down a lot and then I get up a whole lot… I guess I'm bi-polar maybe. (laughs)

Johnny: Actually Dusty's been tested for that and he's totally bi-polar…

Dusty: I hate you Johnny… no, I love you! (laughs)

Johnny: What we stand for as a band is what drives us. Luckily, we don't argue that much, but when we're together for months at a time home it's so awesome. But, what we have inside and what we do this for is the driving force. Maybe there's one kid at the show that likes what you're doing and they haven't heard what you're saying said that way before. So, you just have to give it your all, because it's just something you've got to do. Kids can sense if you're not giving it all you have and they'll just blow you off.

SU: Aside from touring heavily on the new album, is there anything extra in the works for fans to look forward to from Beloved?

Joe: Well, tonight is a very special occasion and something special will happen…

Dusty: Well, it's not like we're shooting fireworks off, so don't get your hopes up… (laughs)

Johnny: We don't want another Great White…

Dusty: I don't know. I've had the idea of a cover EP in the back of my mind. Put it out on another label and just have fun. Do like five cover songs…

SU: Do something quick and not spend so much time on it…

Dusty: Yeah, exactly.

SU: Well, that's all we've got guys. Thanks.

Joe: You are welcome…

Jun 24 2003