Touring not only brings fans and friends out of the woodwork to come together and enjoy the music that they love, but can do the same for bandmates. For metalcore band Mychildren Mybride they too find themselves having to regroup from their various hometowns when it comes to making new music and hitting the road. Living in different area codes can be an obstacle itself and even with a recent member departure this past spring, MCMB are still pressing forward to the future.
For singer Matthew Hasting, guitarist Robert Bloomfield, bassist Joe Lengson and drummer Mathis Arnell, new music has been in the works as follow-up to their 2010 release, Lost Boy. Next up for MCMB are a couple of side projects and a summer co-headlining tour with Impending Doom. En route to California to start the Nocturnal Alliance Tour, Hasting took time while driving through the roads of Alabama to talk about new music, changing the world and making a mark on fashion.
How did the co-headlining situation come about?
We’ve been friends with [Impending Doom] for a long time and I think we took them out on one of their first tours ever across the United States. They approached us with the idea when it was finally coming into reality and we were so stoked and jumped on. We got all our sponsors and all our friends involved because we want to make this a tour to remember.
Being out on the road, do problems still arise between bandmates from being stuck in the van for too long?
I mean on top of already living with people 24/7 and never really getting a break from them, it can definitely create some ridiculous situations where people just fight over the smallest, littlest things. Everyone tries to lighten the mood with joking.
When you say living together, do you all live together or just when you’re recording?
No, we actually live in different parts of the country, which makes it really hard to practice and write everything. So we’ve learned to deal and come together right before tour. Two of our members live in the L.A. area and then I live in Alabama and our drummer lives in Switzerland. We’re a four-piece right now, but we’re actually searching for a new guitarist and we have a friend filling in on tour.
How do you go about finding a new member that you know clicks with the band and meshes well with your music?
The thing is that talent is about five percent of finding a new member. There’s a million kids out there that can play guitar extremely well and guitarists are a dime a dozen. The thing that’s hard is finding personality, morals and everything else that can line up. It’s five percent talent and 95 percent just the ability to adapt, keep cool and live on the road because it’s not for everyone. Everyone has the assumption that bands have the life and they get to tour and travel for free. A lot of the times we’re driving all night long and we’re sleeping in the venue’s parking lot and we’re trapped there all day. Sure, we get lucky and have a day off every now and then, but rarely do we get time to sleep and do everything else (laughs).
You mention sleeping in parking lots and that’s the title of the book your bassist recently put out. Have you read it yet?
I actually have not had a chance to read it. I don’t have the online reader to buy the online version, so I have to wait for the hard copies to buy one. I think it’s really cool that he’s always had a passion for literature and you always see him reading books and studying and I’m proud that he has the time to publish and write a book. He’s so young and able to do that alongside the band and college.
I read a quick snippet online and do you think a lot of young bands can learn about life on the road from it or what advice can you give?
I know that Joe does talk about the band and the journeys that we’ve had, but a lot of it is his personal life and struggles that he’s learned from. Like when we first started, we got discouraged when certain people didn’t like our music. Starting out is so hard because no one knows who you are and you just got to keep playing in front of people who never even heard your music before. Yeah, there are bands out there who are very blessed where things happen at the right time and blow up overnight, but the other 99 percent of the bands out there struggled and it’s definitely a hard life. But if you make it about the music and your passion for the music, you can survive out here with the rest of us.
You’re working on new record, so how is the writing process going?
Actually the writing process has been extremely fickle. We share our progress over the Internet and when we come together finally, we jam it out. But it’s been difficult because when someone will spend a lot of time writing something on their own, they might fall in love with a part of the song and then everybody else hates it. So you have to learn that even if you love something, it might not be something for the band or right for a song. You are learning patience and the diligence to work with other people. We’re really stoked on the new material for the album.
How does the upcoming album vary from past work?
It’s going to definitely be MCMB, but every record so far has had a different main writer to be honest. Robert’s writing a lot more and our new drummer, Mathis, is writing the drum work. We want to be a lot heavier, so we’re focusing on that aspect of things, but we don’t just want to be a band that plays breakdown after breakdown. So we have some different catchier stuff that we haven’t done before. We’re not scared of trying something that we’ve never done before because we want to try new things and branch off, but not change as a band.
Has anything happened since Lost Boy that you feel will influence the mood or lyrical content on the album?
The way I write is that I wait for a song to be completely done and then I’ll attack it and get a feel for the song and that’s how I write lyrics. But as far as ideas, I think I’m going to focus on one of the songs from Lost Boy called “Redeemer.” It has a line in it, “We’re the cure,” and I’m going to focus on that for a lot of the songs and just talk about how people have so many complaints about what’s going on around the world. I think people can sit here and complain all day, but until they have actually gone there and changed things for themselves, I don’t think the world’s going to get any better. I don’t know, I think that people are just so comfortable in their daily lives that if they have voice, then they should use it.
What complaint do people have that really bothers you?
Well for me, we’re a Christian band and we’re not one of those that get on stage and preach the whole entire set. Not that that’s a bad thing, but I feel like Christians aren’t really doing their job these days. They sit there and call people out all the time and point fingers and they’re the ones that need to get the finger pointed at them. I think that as a Christian we can do so much more to reach and love people so much more. Basically love is the main thing. I think we’ve got a lot of work to do in this world to get better and I think that definitely it can start with love and focusing on that.
You and Robert have your clothing line, Vicious World. How did that come about?
Well, me and Robert have always been obsessed with clothes and we do find ourselves wasting a lot of money on expensive clothes. That being said, we got the idea to start a clothing company together. We started a clothing company called Lizard Guts and it was just like a funny idea and we sold it on a summer tour. It was basically us creating funny designs for the fans, but it wasn’t something that we could see ourselves wearing. So we trashed that idea altogether. Then we had the idea that we need to make something that we want to wear. Robert had that name written down in his journal and he told me, “Let’s make that our clothing name.” I design every design that is made for the clothes and he does most of the business side of things. For the tour that we’re on, we have some giveaways and there’s some special edition shirts just for the tour. There’s a lot more from Vicious World in the future, we’re just waiting to say it all.
Mychildren Mybride will play The Aquifer in Clinton on July 18 and The Gramercy Theatre on July 19. For more information, go to myspace.com/mychildrenmybride.