Saturday, March 19, 2011

Interview with Matt Carter of Emery

One of the keys to being in a successful band is longevity, and that's exactly what Emery has managed to do over their last ten years or so on Tooth & Nail Records.

Throughout this time they have recorded four hit albums, and have played countless shows. Now, it's that time again; a new album and a new tour.

The name of the new album is, We Do What We Want, and in promotion of the album, began a headlining tour March 1st with: To Speak of Wolves and Hawkboy. Describing every tour as being different, Matt goes on to say "It's intense when there's a new record. You ask yourself 'Did you practice enough? Are you playing well?' It's more intense, nervous, and exciting."

On January 31st, long time lead singer, guitarist, and bassist, Devin Shelton, announced he would be taking an indefinite hiatus from the band. He did not rule out a possible return, but for now seems to need the time off. Replacing Devin on bass for the immediate future, is Andy Nichols. "He learned all the bass parts himself, and we organized all the singing parts together. He's done a tremendous job, and makes this transition not a big deal."

This is a perfect way for Emery to find out what the fans think of their new sound. For this record, Emery signed a joint deal with Solid State Records (Tooth & Nail's sister company). Solid State focuses more on metal/hardcore and screamo bands. This musical turn is one of the main reasons why the album is We Do What We Want. "Originally the album was supposed to be half acoustic and half heavy. We aren't scared, so we'll do what we want, and there you have it," Matt said.

"Looks like a Bible. It can be seen in different ways, gets people talking."
Matt describes how the crowd is reacting to the new album as a learning process,"Most people want old songs to sing along to. Now we see people more stone faced, but it's because they don't know the new material yet. We see the physical reaction and the verbal response has been good. We just have to be brave on stage."

We Do What We Want, is Emery's heaviest album to date, especially the first half. "The content is the same, the band is the same; it's just more metal," he said. "Don't worry, the next project will probably be acoustic," he joked, but then again, Emery does what they want.

Perhaps most important to Emery is the inspiration for their music. Emery, though not labeled a "Christian" band, are in fact Christians in a band. "We don't want to be looked at as an example or an outlet. We want everything we do to come out through our music. This is just our job. We don't really get to interact too often with the fans to share our beliefs. It's more so with the relationships we build on the road, said Matt. "We try to let Jesus be saturated in everything we do."

Before the interview ended, Matt was kind enough to answer some questions fans on Facebook had asked prior to the interview.

Why are you so good?
"Our music is incredible. We pursue it professionally because we thought we could. All the credit goes to God for the gifts He's given us. Every time we are in the studio, we don't write music, we discover it. Even though it doesn't physically exist yet, I believe God has it in our minds all ready."

What's the story behind "The Party Song?"
"I didn't personally write this song, but I think it's from the perspective of exploring what to turn to. Everybody wrestles with the identity of who they are."

What was the influence for the album, I Am Only a Man?
"That album should have been called We Do What We Want. It was a post hardcore/screamo album. We kind of came into the album with the attitude of 'What are we listening to now?' It didn't matter if it was quiet, country, or even classical. It was something different at the time, whatever felt good."

Lastly, Matt wanted to let everyone know the future for Emery is looking good. "We are going to continue to work hard on this record by touring. We'll also have some new material- some a little darker, a little more intense."

First single off of the new album. It really showcases the new more heavier side of Emery.

Pre-order the new album here

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