The Relapse Symphony's Bret and JC Makes Their Move!


Metal rock n' rollers The Relapse Symphony stand in opposition to trends, to taking the easy path to success. They aren't trying to be part of any “scene” or subgenre. They don’t want to be known as something they are not. The Relapse Symphony represents controlled chaos, indeed: the combination of determined force of will and unbridled passionate energy. To support The Relapse Symphony is to support an exuberance for life, to join in a movement of sorts about expression and fresh ideas. In other words, The Relapse Symphony is what rock is all about! Vocalist Bret Von Dehl and guitarist JC Charles both discuss the band's connection with the fans and the music they make and the process of their upcoming full-length debut and touring plans for the rest of this year!


1. The Relapse Symphony has been a band for 1 year now and has since gotten signed, released an EP, played some shows with more activity underway, what runs through your heart, mind, and soul right now?

JC: When you put it that way it does sound pretty exciting! More than anything I think we are all just really proud of what we've been able to accomplish in such a short amount of time, but we also have so much we still want to do. We are a very goal oriented band. I would say determination runs through our hearts, minds, and souls.

Bret: I agree with JC, for me and I feel like I speak for the rest of the guys as well, we're extremely happy about the things we've been able to accomplish but, we're always thinking: "what's next". We know that as a band we still have a lot to do and a long way to go to get to where we want to be as far as success goes and we're always working on the next step to getting there.

2. You of course have a video for "Panic (Time's Running Out!)" but do you have plans for a follow-up video?

JC: We've actually already filmed another music video. We aren't sure on the release date yet, but we are coordinating that now. It should be out this Summer.

3. That song comes off your debut EP "Time's Running Out", how has this release been received by the public/media?

JC: Being a fairly unknown band when we released our EP "Time's Running Out", and watching things grow since its release has been really exciting. It's been amazing to hear how many people have discovered us and are able to relate to the songs on the EP.

Bret: I see a lot of "Oh my god! This is my new favorite band!" which is amazing. Honestly, other than the typical and ignorant insults to our appearance which, we couldn't care less about, I haven't see a bad word about the video or song which is really gratifying!

4. Where are you in the process of the new album?

JC: As we speak we have drums and bass done for everything, I'm about halfway through recording my guitar tracks. Soon Bret will go in and do his parts, and then we will finish up with Alex. Everything is written, now it's just a matter of getting everything on tape.

5. Who is producing the album? How has the producer aided the recording process?

JC: We are working with JK Royston and Dan Mineart of Echodog Productions. They are former members of a band we all love called The Bigger Lights. We got some pretty huge offers before recording our full length. We could have gone anywhere, honestly. We decided to stick to our guns and work with who we knew would give us the sound we are chasing artistically.

Bret: Yeah, JK and Dan also did our EP and we went through a lot of growth as musicians and songwriters at that time. JK and Dan saw that growth and they really understand what this band is and who we are as musicians, songwriters and personally as well so, we didn't want to work with someone else who didn't get it quite as well and run the risk of tampering with our natural growth.

6. Where are you recording the album?

JC: The album is being recorded in Richmond, VA.

7. How would you describe the overall sound of the new album? How does it compare to Time's Running Out?

JC: It's still fairly early in the process, so it's hard to say exactly. What I can tell you is that, because we had more time, we were able to really fine tune everything. The drums sound much bigger, the guitars are more aggressive and technical, the bass tone Brandon got is my favorite I've ever heard. Everything is just sounding much more impressive.

Bret: I like to call it "Relapse Symphony on Steroids" it's very "us" so to speak but, every little detail has definitely taken a step up. Sounds bigger and more impressive, the songs are better and we got into a little bit of new territory as well.

8. Did the band have any definitive goals they were shooting for before the recording process began for this album?

JC: We did, actually. We know that one of the strengths of this band is our ability to write catchy songs, but we didn't want that to hold us back from getting more aggressive or dark. On the EP, sometimes it felt like we had to choose between these darker sections, or something catchy. We've grown as songwriters in the last year and now we are much better at combining the both worlds. For fans of our poppier songs, they will be happy, for fans of our heavier songs, this record is much heavier.

9. Are you using any new instrumentation you've never used in the recording process before?

JC: We might! It's hard to say at this point. All of the additional instrumentation will come when all of the 5 main band members are finished recording.

Bret: We're definitely trying new things here and there on the record though, which is really exciting!

10. When did you start writing for this album? How was the songwriting process different/similar to your previous release?

JC: We are a band that never stops writing. I was writing songs that are on this record the week we finished our EP. I think the main difference was, we all went through a lot this year. We all suffered some pretty heavy personal losses. Some of us are still struggling through some very difficult times. We were able to come together as a band over these last few months and really be there for each other. A lot of those hardships are portrayed in these songs.

Bret: Yes, this record does get very personal at times which has always been an aspect of this band, we've always worn our hearts, as well as our demons on our sleeves.

11. Time's Running Out was quite a success. Did you feel any pressure to follow it up?

JC: The only pressure we put on ourselves is to outdo ourselves. I love our EP, but I can safely say our full-length record is going to blow our fans away.

Bret: Yes, I don't think we felt much pressure at all. We were really inspired from personal issues and determined to outdo the EP and I think we have definitely done that, without a doubt.

12. How is the vibe in the studio?

JC: It's the best possible recording environment I could imagine. We are all busy gearing up for tour and trying to take care of everything that goes with that, so I am able to head in early on a Monday and track a few songs, and then Bret can go in late at night if he wants. It's all been very laid back.

Bret: It's very fun as well, as I said our producers have been with us from the beginning as well so, it's like hanging with your best friends and making some great Rock songs.

13. Can you go into one or two tracks on the new album? If so, can you give us the track title and brief description of how the track sounds and how it came about?

JC: I can't give away too much just yet. There is one song that really means the world to me, though. An ex-girlfriend of mine who I had always remained extremely close to passed away this year, and I wrote a song in dedication to her. It's something I am very proud of and I think a lot of people will be able to relate to the lyrics.

Bret: Yea, it's too early to give away too much just yet but, I can't wait for everyone to see the concept of the new record and the artwork and all that stuff.

14. Are there any surprises or any collaborations on the album?

JC: We can't give away any surprises, that would ruin the fun!

15. When can we expect the new album to be released?

JC: An exact date hasn't been determined yet, but definitely in 2013.

16. What plans do you have for the future as a band

JC: We are going out on tour with Blood on the Dance Floor starting in September. That tour will take us through December, then we plan to continue touring until it's time to record another record. I also plan to grow this band as much as possible. As I said before, we are a goal oriented band. Music is all we want to do or know how to do, and we are going to take this band as far as we can.

Bret: Yep, as I said before it's all about what the next step is to growing this band and reaching our goal.

17. Where can we listen to your band and where can we buy your stuff?

JC: Everyone can check us out at https://www.facebook.com/TheRelapseSymphony
www.youtube.com/TheRelapseSymphony. The best place to buy our merch is from our merch table at a show, but if they want to get it online, I would check out HotTopic.com.

18. Anything else to say to wrap this all up?

JC: I just want to thank all of the TRS fans out there. You have given us more than you will ever know. Also, thank you so much for this interview!

Bret: Yes, to all of our fans: thank you so much, you mean everything to us!

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