For anyone who is a fan of the metal/hardcore scene, Every Time I Die will appear as a household name for you. Selling hundreds of thousands of records, touring the world, and pretty much having their band name on a t-shirt I see at least once a week, I think it’s safe to say these guys are veterans of their genre.
About to hit the road on the Vans Warped Tour, I recently had the chance to chat with Keith Buckley, lead vocalist of Every Time I Die, about their new record, From Parts Unknown, the tour and so much more. Check it out below:
Thanks so much for taking the time to chat with me. I am a big fan of the band and have been for a while. First and foremost, I know you guys are embarking on the Vans Warped Tour, and the lineup is pretty stacked. How excited are you to be a part of it?
It’s always a great tour for us. Anyone that complains isn’t doing it right. You’re surrounded by friends and there are literally thousands of people that are excited about hearing new music each day. The food is good and the community is strong. Oh, you have to get up at 9:30 sometimes to load gear? Whaaa!
What would you say the biggest difference is between festivals like this and your own headlining tours? Is there anything you like better or worse?
I enjoy the venue shows because they’re a lot more intimate, but considering we’ve been doing this so long, festivals are nice every once in a while because you get spoiled. The sets are short, the staff usually treats you well and you get a chance to play to new people.
Are there any bands in particular you are looking forward to seeing? Do you even have time to watch other acts?
(Laughs) I’ll be watching Bad Rabbits and Terror every single day.
Your new single, “Decayin’ With The Boys,” is fierce, and is really getting me excited for the new album! What made you guys choose this track for a single?
Thank you! I think we chose this one because it was the most fun. It has a bit of a hook and the vibe is really upbeat and positive overall. It gives you a good idea of what you can expect from the rest of the record.
Can you tell us a little bit about the writing and recording process for the new record, From Parts Unknown?
It was written while we were on tour with A Day To Remember in Europe. That was new for us as a band, trying to get new riffs and ideas on the table and be able to sort them while you’re abiding a daily tour schedule. It was really hectic. Recording it was no different. 14 out of the 16 songs I recorded I had never done out loud until I got in the booth. No time to second-guess yourself.
I’ve read that you pull a lot of lyrical inspiration from movies. Is that a trend that we will see here, or is that just more of a hobby?
It’s just because I watch a lot of movies. It’s not like I sit down with them looking for inspiration. I’m just open to new ideas all the time and if my time is mostly filled with TV or movies or books or friends, then that’s what the lyrics will reflect.
Would you say that it’s familiar territory for hardcore Every Time I Die fans?
Absolutely. Even non-hardcore ETID “fans.” The first song we put out [“Thirst”] had people saying it sounded like Hot Damn. The second one reminded people of Gutter Phenomenon. I think if you like us, you’ll love this record.
I also love the video to coincide with the single. It’s a big party and believe it or not, that is how all of my friends describe your shows: one big party. Who came up with the concept?
It was a group effort. We realized we had never done a house party video where we actually played live, and seeing as how most of our shows do tend to feel like a celebration, it seemed only natural!
After the Warped Tour, do you guys plan on touring the record?
Yes, of course. That’s the only way bands like us stay afloat. We can’t kick back and let royalty money or record sales money roll in because there is none.
Well, I am glad to hear that. Hailing from Buffalo, would you say there was a strong metal scene there when you were first starting out?
Honestly, I know nothing about the Buffalo metal scene. I grew up a hardcore kid, but that was strong as hell. Still is.
Are homecoming shows always the favorite?
Yes, but they’re also the most stressful, for me at least. I feel like I have to be a politician, catching up with the people I haven’t seen in months. After that, though, once on stage, there is no better feeling in the world than playing in Buffalo.
What would you say has changed the most in the music scene since you all first started?
I don’t see as many JNCO jeans anymore
Great answer. While I hope this day never comes, what would you be doing if you weren’t making music?
Listening to Every Time I Die and going to all their shows.
Any advice to metal/hardcore bands that are trying to “make it?”
Stop trying to do what you think you have to do to “make it.” If you love it, play it. If you don’t love it, people will sense that and your “career” is done before it started.
You can catch Every Time I Die on the Vans Warped Tour at PNC Bank Arts Center on July 6, Susquehanna Bank Center on July 11 and Nikon At Jones Beach Theater on July 12. Their new album, From Parts Unknown, is available now through Epitaph. For more information, go to everytimeidie.net.