For musicians, inspiration can strike at any moment and can come from a variety of sources. For Indianapolis metalcore act Haste the DayHaste the Day, past efforts have been inspired, in large part, by the band members' faith. They're Christian men and make no apologies for it — nor should they. The band's latest LP, Dreamer — which hit store shelves this week — was provoked by a number of themes ... and a notebook they'd found in their studio, which had been left behind by some nameless aspiring rapper.
"We recorded the record in Indianapolis, in this studio, and all the other studios were always occupied by hip-hop acts and rappers," bassist Mike Murphy recalled. "There were a lot of rappers in Indianapolis, trying to get their thing on, and Brennan [Chaulk], our guitar player, found a notebook from months ago that had been left in our studio. It had all these really funny hip-hop lyrics, and our singer [Stephen Keech] took one of our songs, called 'An Adult Tree,' and sang the lyrics over the music.
"The lyrics were about hanging at the club and having breakfast in bed — it was pretty sweet," Murphy continued. "We recorded the song with those lyrics, but it didn't make the final version of the album. Maybe we'll release it as a special edition or on a re-release. Maybe we'll just put it on our MySpace page. The lyrics, especially the breakfast-in-bed part, just sounded really, really funny over our music. No offense to the mystery lyricist — he was just trying to do his thing."
The final version of Dreamer tackles a handful of themes, including the fall of man. "One lyric I really like is, 'I am my own disease/ I am the one you will call the destroyer.' The album talks about how we sometimes sabotage our own lives with the way we are, and we try to blame it on other things, but you have to realize a lot of these things are internal and they're personal and they're you — that emotional side of one's self. And some songs deal with redemption, through the fall of man."
Haste the Day, who will be touring with Sky Eats Airplane, Emarosa and Inhale Exhale starting December 9 in Joplin, Missouri, consider Dreamer their most experimental offering to date — and believe it's also their darkest.
"It's a super-honest record, and I'm obviously biased, but I haven't really felt this way about our other records," Murphy said. "I listen to it, and I get a vibe from the whole thing. It makes you feel something. It gives you all these weird emotions. I think it's our most creative, and it definitely blends our melodic side really well with our heavier side. That's something we've has always loved doing, because we love both types of music. The idea is to get better at it every time, and I think we've accomplished that. It's a very personal record that I think a lot of people can identify with."
One track, called "Labyrinth," is a song that truly sticks out on the record. It's a real departure for Haste the Day — very slow, dark and rather creepy. "It's definitely the most different song we've written," the bassist commented. "It never gets heavy. We've done songs where it's quiet and creepy and, all of sudden, it's heavy. But this song's the same vibe the whole way through. It's just slow and really different.
"This whole record is experimental for us," Murphy added. "It still has that hardcore vibe, but the melodic stuff is heavy too. We've done it a little bit in the past, but a lot of times, with hardcore bands, it's super-heavy and then really light and pretty, and there isn't a very good mesh between the two. These songs, when they're melodic, they're still very heavy. It's definitely a different record for us, and it's a very dynamic record. I don't get bored listening to it. But I have gotten bored listening to our other records. It's dark and epic and emotional and just feels like something."
Earlier this month, Haste the Day ventured out to New York City to shoot a video for the album's first single, "Mad Man." Fittingly, the concept behind the clip involves a boy who thinks he's losing his marbles.
"Think Van Gogh meets the movie 'What Dreams May Come,' with some dark twists and some sweet special effects," Murphy said of the clip, which was shot entirely in front of a green screen. "It's like a kid goes to an art museum with his parents, and all of a sudden the paintings start coming to life as he looks at them, and he thinks he's going crazy."
The rest of the week's metal news:
A four-CD/ single-DVD White ZombieWhite Zombie box set called Let Sleeping Corpses Lie is being eyed for a November 25 release. The collection will feature — get this — 63 tracks, including "Future Shock," "God of Thunder," "Thunder Kiss," "Super Charger Heaven," "Grease Paint and Monkey Brains," "More Human Than Human" and "Ratfinks, Suicide Tanks and Cannibal Girls." ...
On November 14, Mötley CrüeMötley Crüe will be taking the stage at the newly renovated Hollywood Palladium. The show will be part of the venue's monthlong celebration of the Palladium's reopening, which kicked off Wednesday with a performance by Jay-Z. ...
According to Blabbermouth.net, Opeth's Mikael Åkerfeldt has contributed vocals to a song called "Stockholm" for OSI's upcoming, yet-untitled LP. OSI (an acronym for Office of Strategic Influence) feature Fates Warning guitarist Jim Matheos and former Dream Theater keyboardist Kevin Moore. The record should land in stores sometime next year. The disc will also feature Porcupine Tree drummer Gavin Harrison. ...
A Life Once Lost, Arsonists Get All the Girls and the Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza will be hitting the road together next month. They'll kick off their tour November 4 in Manchester, Connecticut, and dates are booked through November 18 in Reading, Pennsylvania. ...
At the Throne of Judgment have reunited, if only for a short while. The band called it quits late last year, after just a single release. "We are not going to be a full-time band (full-time meaning we drop everything just to tour the country)," the band said in a statement. "However, we will go back to being a part-time band. As you know, we are spread out all over the place because all of us attend different colleges in different cities and states. So this isn't going to be easy, and it's definitely going to take a little bit of time. What we plan on doing is writing a new album (which we have already started on). We have decided to do a concept album. We are in the beginning process of all this, but [we] can assure you there will be another ATTOJ album." ...
The rumors were true: New Jersey's own E. Town Concrete will be reuniting for a single show next year. Set for February 21, the gig will go down inside the Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, New Jersey. Tickets will go on sale Friday (October 17) for $25.