Life of Agony – Interview mit Alan Robert über „The Sound of Scars“
Life of Agony sind Kult und in den letzten Jahren deutlich aktiver unterwegs. So veröffentlicht die Band bereits am 11. Oktober 2019 „The Sound of Scars“ das nächste Album nach der Reunion. Wir sprachen mit Basser Robert über die neuen Silberling
Moshpit Passion im Gespräch mit Alan Robert von Life of Agony
When did you decide „River Runs Red“ needs a follow up record?
Alan Robert: Just like “River Runs Red”, “The Sound of Scars” came together very organically. The “Rivers” record didn’t start out as a concept album either, it became one over the course of the writing process. The same thing happened here with “S.O.S.” – there was a common underlying theme in the songs that tied them all together to tell this story. And being huge Pink Floyd fans since the very beginning of forming the band, the idea to include audio scenes as part of the journey of the record was extremely appealing to us and we felt it was coming full-circle. Like “Rivers”, the songs on “The Sound of Scars” stand powerfully on their own, but having them included in this bigger story elevates the whole project that much more.
Will the „RRR“ topic a three piece? Did you plan anything like that?
AR: We’re really just focusing on “The Sound of Scars” at the moment. We put a lot of heart and soul into it and it’s an exciting time for us. We’re working on a lot of cool stuff behind the scenes around its release in October. LOA fans will have a lot to be excited about…
Your were in your early 20´s when you released your debut record which became a 90´s classic. Do you remeber the time and the personal stage you were from a musical view if you compare it now?
AR: Looking back at that time, everything felt brand new and exciting. With this record, that excitement is back in a big way. I definitely feel like the two periods of time are cosmically connected. We regained the passion and fire for this band over the last year and a half, and it shows in every way…the live shows, the new music, how we operate as a family, you name it. Even the release date that was given to us by Napalm Records for The Sound of Scars, October 11th, is literally 26 years (plus 1 day) from the release of River Runs Red (October 12, 1993). The universe gave us that gift. It happened randomly and was not planned.
I guess you put some personal topics in „River Runs Red“. I mean, you left the teenager years when you wrote that record and some things were „fresh“ at this point. How does is look like when in comes to „TSOS“. How much LOA is „TSOS“ or how much „TSOS“ is LOA?
AR: It’s all very personal. That’s the way we write and it’s a cathartic artistic expression. There are a lot of similarities in approach between RRR and SOS, but like I said, it’s more of a continuation rather than a repeat. The character on SOS has grown, as we all have and it’s a more layered narrative. Where as on RRR, it seemed that the world was crashing all around the troubled teenager, and on SOS, it’s more about how do you live with the scars of your past that still haunt you? A lot of LOA fans can relate to that idea, because in the end, we’re all survivors. We’ve all been through something in our lives that has broken us down to the point of no return, only to find the strength to try again. That is exactly what we’ve bonded over with our audience for about 3 decades now, and it’s all right there in the songs. They’re like anthems for broken generations.
Wie schaffen Life of Agony es den Mythos wiederzubeleben?
How did you manage to went back to the roots and also re-create the „RRR“ feeling? I mean, the line up changed, you were older now, the technology changed and also how people consume music.
When Veronica Bellino (drums) joined the band last January we began listening to the older material again in order to re-learn it for the “Rise of the Underground” tour. It had been ages since we played some of that stuff and it turned out to be a lot of fun. By listening, and looking back, we realized that along the way, from record to record, we kind of abandoned a certain writing style and songwriting elements that those RRR and Ugly songs had and we made a conscious decision to get back to that mindset on The Sound of Scars. We brought back the gang vocals and the breakdown parts. We purposely used vintage gear and mastered the record analog as opposed to digital. A lot of care and precision went into the making of this album.
How long did it take to write and record the new one. What kind of impact had your producer?
AR: We started jamming on the songs in November 2018 and were recording drums at producer Sylvia Massy’s studio in Oregon in February 2019. Sylvia is best known for her work with bands like Tool and System of A Down. Our guitarist Joey Z co-produced the album with Sylvia in different studios in New York, and it took several months. Joey really was amazing to work with and that also helped the whole process. No one was going to put more love and care into these tracks than Joey…he literally lives and breathes this band. After all the bass, guitars and vocals were done, Sylvia mixed the record back in Oregon and it was mastered in California by Howie Weinberg (Nirvana, Metallica).
Do you plan to release both records into one box or vinyl bundle?
AR: That’s actually a fun idea, but not really sure how that would work being that RRR was released by a different record label.
How does it looks like to bring your music and concept on a different layer? I mean to do a movie or at least to create a music video to each songs of the record which fits to the topic?
AR: We have filmed 2 videos already for this record and they’ve been exciting to work on. In the first one, SCARS, we included fans LOA tattoos and the second one that’s on the way was filmed in a historic haunted mansion. We’re definitely adding extra layers to the visuals these days. It’s so important to us.
Our magazine is called Moshpit Passion and as the last thing, our interview partner should tell his or her first or last moshpit experience. Can you tell us a nice story?
AR: We literally filmed our Scars video with the band performing inside the mosh pit! That was my last mosh pit experience and in the video, you can see me get an elbow to the jaw by a fan!
Cover & Tracklist zur neuen Platte von den Life of Agony
3. Black Heart
4. Lay Down
6. Empty Hole
7. My Way Out
10. Once Below
12. Weight of the World
14. I Surrender
Life of Agony European Dates:
10/22: London, UK @ Islington Academy
10/23: Southampton, UK @ Engine Rooms
10/25: Birmingham, UK @ 02 Institute2
10/26: Manchester, UK @ Club Academy
10/27: Leeds, UK @ Brudenell Social Club
10/29: Milton Keynes, UK @ Craufurd Arms
10/30: Bristol, UK @ Fleece
11/1: Torhout, BEL @ De Mast
11/2: Düsseldorf, DE @ Zakk
11/4: Copenhagen, Denmark @ Amager Bio
11/6: Hannover, DE @ Musikzentrum
11/8: Luxembourg @ Kulturfabrik
11/9: Stuttgart, DE @ Juz Hallschlag
11/10: Zurich, CH @ Dynamo
11/12: Graz, AU @ PPC
11/13: Vienna, AU @ Flex
11/15: Leuven, BEL @ Depot
11/16: Hengelo, NL @ Metropool
11/17: Munster, DE @ Sputnikhalle