Interview with Josh of Hope Before The Fall

Old video, but a classic.

Josh1. Hope Before The Fall have been working on a new album. How is it going and where is it in the process?

We finished tracking our new 5 song EP in December with Chris Piquette at No Boundaries Studios. Everything is done and awaiting release. The EP is titled “Tabula Rasa” and it will be released digitally via iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, and all major online stores on March 17th. Physical copies will also be available at our merch table and through our merch store online.
2. Why Tabula Rasa as the title of the EP?
It’s a Latin phrase meaning “clean slate”. It refers to the belief that we’re all created equal (a clean slate) and it is our experiences that shape us into who we are. Even at our age, we were still growing and learning new things and expanding musically, so it was relevant to us
It’s also a bit of a lyrical theme on the album. That we are all one people and we have to take responsibility for letting this world go to hell and that if we stopped focusing on each other’s differences, we could focus on more important things
3. What can people expects from this album compared to the last album?
Not that I wasn’t proud of the content of our previous albums, but I’m really super excited about this one. I think we really hit our stride on this one and hopefully the listeners will feel the same. It’s definitely heavier than our previous releases, but still holds on to the melodic elements that we’ve always had. The good thing is that it wasn’t something that we feel we forced. Like we didn’t have a big sit down and say, “Kids like breakdowns, we need more breakdowns”. It was a natural progression for us as I wanted to explore more vocal options and because the landscape of metal is changing and so were our tastes and influences.
4. When will be your CD party?
Our release party will be Sunday March 29th at Dusk in Providence. The scene in Providence is very active right now, which is great! But we didn’t want to just be another Friday or Saturday night on someone’s already busy calendar. We wanted to do something a little different this time around, so we decided to go old school. We’re doing more of a Sunday matinee type deal with the doors opening at 4.
And while we frequently work with promoters, we opted to book this one completely ourselves and invite some friends and musicians that we really love and respect but just don’t normally get to play with. So we are excited to be sharing the stage that night with our friends in Promise of Fire, Red Equals Meltdown, Overwith, and Fortune Favors the Brave.
5. HBTF has kept the line up together where a lot of bands are not lasting long, what keeps you guys together?
We set our expectations from the very start that we would all commit to working hard and playing hard, but this would never be life and death. We are lucky enough to be able to get up on stage, blow off some steam for 30-40 minutes, and then hang out, drink beers, and talk to similarly minded people. How can you let an opportunity like that go to waste by letting silly drama get in the way? It’s crazy to me.
We have always approached this as something that was fun. We agreed to take it seriously and act like professionals, as this is still a business, afterall. But family and life comes first, and we support each other in that way.
We’re also very humble and don’t let the little things chip away at us. Yes, there are arguments, and yes there are disappointments with shows, venues, turnout, scheduling, the list goes on and on. But at the end of the day, we just shake it off and look forward to the next one.
6. What are you hoping for 2015?
We are really looking forward to seeing what the release of this disc brings. Hopefully it will get us out in front of some new fans and let us continue to grow. We love what we do and we look forward to being able to introduce a whole new group of people to HBTF.
Obviously, we hope to be fortunate enough to get some of the great support opportunities we have had in the past, opening for some just absolutely unbelievable tours. We also are going to try to spread out our regional shows more and do a bit more travelling this year.
 
7. Are you working on a website? If so, est of when it is going love?
Yes, we are actually. While we still will remain active on social media sites like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, we wanted to have a more professional site that people could access as well. Never really knowing the reach that social media provides, as the rules are constantly changing, we don’t want to rely as heavily on that for traffic. So the site will contain all show information, mailing list, a merch store, photos and videos, and everything you would need to know about us. We’re just consolidating everything in one location.
www.hopebeforethefall.com will go live this month. Currently that address redirects to our FB page, but it will soon go to our actual website.
8. What can people expect on the website?
(see above)
9. Any other shows you can talk about coming up besides CD release?
We’ve got a couple more local area gigs scheduled. April 24th, we will be at the C-Note in Hull and May 30th, we will be back in Providence for the annual FreakFest.
10. Matt (The Bunny) in The Bunny and The Bear gave suggestion for touring the important item is body wipes. Would you agree?
HA! Yeah, that’s a pretty solid call! Seriously, anything personal hygiene related that takes up minimal space is key. Powder, deodorant, wipes, maybe even some Febreeze or something. The only thing more repulsive than an unwashed metal kid after a show, is 5 of them stuffed in a van.
10. With a new CD coming out, will there be new merch items?
Definitely. We will be grabbing some more tank tops for the ladies as we’ve been sold out of our previous ones for a while. We will also likely add a new shirt design and either hoodies or windbreakers. We’re still kicking around exactly what we want to do. The weather here in New England has thrown us a bit of a curveball as to what is going to be in season at the moment. haha
11. Are there singers you look up to for your vocal style?
There are tons of vocalists who I’m a total fangirl for hahaha. There was a thread going around for a while online about how vocalists are barely even necessary in modern metal any more because they all sound the same and are virtually interchangeable. Sadly, that came from a pretty well read site in the metal world, and perhaps it was a bit of trolling, but it is a realistic view that some people have. Honestly, a vocalist can make or break a band for me as well, so I totally get it from that perspective. But at the same time, how many tours have you seen, where you can’t tell where one band’s set ends and another begins, because their guitar sound and style is so similar? 
So to answer your question, I honestly don’t have anyone who I have tried to model my sound after, personally. Over the years I’ve learned to expand my range and figure out what I sound good doing and what just isn’t me. For instance, I love Phil Bozeman’s (Whitechapel) guttural lows, but that just isn’t going to ever work in an HBTF song, so I wouldn’t do it in our stuff, nor could I do it well enough to do anything but be a mockery. But I do totally get hung up and obsess over hearing killer, catchy vocal melody. Some examples are Mike Semesky (Intervals, Raunchy, and others), Rody Walker (Protest The Hero), and Daniel Tompkins (Tesseract and SkyHarbor). Those guys just have such creative use of phrasing and notes, as well as unbelievable range.
Also anyone who delivers their performance with such energy and sincerity that it just hits you right in the chest, I’ll be a fan for life. Guys like Sam Carter of Architects, Jonathan Vigil or The Ghost Inside, Jason Butler of Letlive, and Winston McCall of Parkway Drive all fit that category for me.
 
12. Any words to HBTF (I’ll spell on-line out) and where can they find you guys on-line.
We just want to thank everyone for their continued support and letting us do what we do. If it weren’t for you guys, we wouldn’t have this opportunity.
Also, we absolutely love getting to hear feedback from folks and meeting new people at shows, so please do come over and say “Hi”. We’re all their as fans first and musicians second, so we’re all about meeting new people who share that same love for music, in general.
You can find us online via Facebook. On Instagram we are hopebeforethefall. You can check us out on Spotify, iTunes, etc. and of course at www.hopebeforethefall.com when it goes live later this month.
HBTF CD Release Event Page: Click Here

HBTF

 Members: Josh Schmitt, Aaron Bumpus, Kyle Burkert, Mike Lewis, Bill Mackinnon

 

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