You have quite a mean trailer. There’s plenty of imagery to work with.
I didn’t get much of an anti-religious impression listening to the record, but it’s certainly there in the video. How much did that tie in with the lyrical context?
There’s a song on there called ‘Leeches.’ When we were recording the album, there was a case we saw on the news of a priest getting caught with pornographic images of young children, and it seems to be a recurring theme where members of the clergy are found with younger kids in not particularly wholesome circumstances. That’s what that song is pretty much based about. We’re not against anyone with their own religious views.
There’s certain aspects—I guess it’s with any profession—but if you’re going to enter religion and teach people what’s right and wrong, you shouldn’t be acting and engaging in that behavior.
I feel some of the best punk records come at times of serious cultural dissatisfaction and anger. Do you think this record would have revealed itself in boom times?
I think you’re totally right. When we were writing the album, it was before the lowest our country was at, but we kept seeing signs of things going drastically wrong and going downhill. It’s funny that the album came out in the middle of all the protests in London, all the politicians coming out with all their expenses of being paid to go on holiday and go buy mansions. They’d even give money to charity and claim that back [as an expense]. All these events seemed to happen just as our album dropped. We were pretty fortunate in that sense in the fact that the timing of the release has obviously helped us a lot.
But I totally agree. Had it been maybe the late ‘90s, where the record industry was literally throwing money all over the place, it probably would be a totally different story. I probably wouldn’t be in a punk band, I’d probably be playing pop rock or something like that (laughs).
Well, there’s plenty of pop rock going around. Most of the bands that you’re playing with on this Warped Tour, this is all pretty cheery music.
(laughs) True. That’s the one thing about Warped Tour, you go from great bands that we grew up with like NOFX, Bad Religion, Bouncing Souls, and then you have these younger screamo and crunk bands coming up which, you know, make no sense to me. Maybe I’m getting old now already.