As I Lay Dying: Far From It

Wow, There Were A Lot of Sacrifices Made....

We interrupted Jordan Mancino whilst inventorying 120 boxes of merch. We discussed the use of minions to complete his bidding, however a very humble Jordan replied “we still put the work in, if I can do it, i'll dot it, we’ve always been that way”. The band, now in their twelfth year is becoming the household name every band aspires to be and with the latest release Awakened, the band see no limits. Tune in with Metal As Fuck as we chat to Jordan on chameleons, Bill Stevenson and the latest album Awakened.

2007 saw a hell of a lot of breakthroughs for the band; the release of An Ocean Between Us, weighing in as the bands highest charting release and bombarded with brilliant reviews, however I want to get some dirt on the six years leading up to that point, how difficult was it, what sacrifices were made? “Well, I mean, we try not to think about it, we like to think forward and yeah, wow, there were a lot of sacrifices made but I mean if you can know in yourself that the sacrifices were worth it, it makes it all better in the end. The reality is, I love touring, I love playing music to the crowds and other bands, it’s all I think about, it keeps me going, so at least our sacrifices were good for something’. [Laughs]

What challenges are faced when writing inside your style of music? “We don’t feel we need to write to a particular genre, the music is genuine to us and we don’t focus on writing inside much, in fact we try to take it outside the box as much as we can. We do the usual – pull our music from our influences and other styles of music, I mean whether it gets put to a genre is totally up to the fan. The challenges I guess for our style of the music is creating the ‘outside the box’ element, keeping it fresh yet still sticking to our guns, sometimes it is quite challenging but once we get on a roll it’s all good”.

So the 2012 release of Awakened, to me there is a lot behind that title. What can you tell us about the new album? “It has definitely done justice to capturing an element of remembrance and appeal to our fans. Lyrically it is a very personal album, dealing with a lot of personal issues, we trust the band to reflect exactly where we are in life and I mean even the word awakened – you can interpret that in so many different ways. In our career, we’ve survived this long with the support from fans and for us it’s what we do, were passionate about a lot of topics, in whatever format you know, you can hear it in the record and it’s the first time, we have managed to capture all five members essence into the music, it’s phenomenal”.  I had read that the band had taken a new direction with the music this time around, how so? “Well, I guess you could call it, all over the shop basically [Laughs] I mean it’s the same old case; it hasn’t changed, but evolved – and this is where we are in the stage of our career and creativity at the moment. If anything, it’s only gotten heavier and sicker [Laughs] we have more melodies in the new album, and definitely concentrated on the diversity of the song structure”.

And working with Bill Stevenson [Black Flag] how was that experience? “Great! So awesome, I can’t explain how good! It was his ‘outside the box’ thinking that attracted us to Bill in the first place. There was a similar foundation to work with a producer and both Bill and the band shared the same foundations. We were able to use that and create something special. Having Bill on board was a great way to get a new perspective and bounce some really great ideas around”. Helped you tap into your creativity in a word? “He did, he really did, as a band in a studio we like to be prepared. So once we were ready for pre-production, we knew exactly what we wanted. Go in prepared and hearing his perspective and take on things; he was really genuine and spontaneous and harnessed our original intent for the album, it was brilliant”.

Do you find that the Metalcore genre has to be somewhat of a chameleon these days? In a way that it as to adapt to certain trends and growths (compared to thrash which is very straight down the line definitive) “Yeah, I would say yes, I mean by themselves there are so many types of musicians and styles of music, be it intentional or not and all music has an effect; whather its honest is another thing. So many dare to be different and have the latest trend or style but I mean at the end of the day, the music of As I Lay Dying is genuine to us”.

What are plans to promote the album for the remainder of 2012 and even in to 2013? What tours are on the horizon? “Well nothing has been announced as yet, a lot cooking though. Australia in the next year and a lot of other great places, it’s going to be busy. Europe is also on the cards, it will be a great year for the band.”