The Final Chapter's Jake Barnes Talks New EP isn't Just an Illusion

UK metallers The Final Chapter are hard at work writing for their follow-up release to their EP "Illusions" with a whole lot more in-store along the way. Frontman vocalist Jake Barnes discusses the process of the EP and the future.

1. What type of band are you?

Jake: We’re a Modern Metal band. We take influence from all over the place, and the music we write reflects that.

2. Tell us the brief history of your band.

Jake: We started off in June 2010 with a completely different line up and awful music. Line up changes happened and so did our music. The most recent change to the lineup has reinvented our sound, making it heavier but still having the catchy edge we always had. I am the only founding member left, but I feel like this is TFC at it’s strongest now.

3. What are your songs about? (What specific themes do they cover?)

Jake: Our songs cover a lot of different topics, but I like to write lyrics about whatever is going on in my head. I have a lot of darkness that I generally push to the back of my mind, and this band is a great way to get my emotions and thoughts out there. Our songs cover depression and mental illness, finding solace in something you care about and rants about people and things in this world that piss me off aha. Lyrically though it’s more of a place for me to vent the things I need to get off my chest, and when it’s not I am often writing about someone close to me and their problems.

4. Do you write your own songs? (Discuss the songwriting process in detail.)

Jake: Yeah we do, and it is mainly myself and Harvey who do the writing at this point. When I write a song, I track some riff ideas in Logic with some programmed drums and try and get a solid instrumental track down before doing vocals. The band then take my basic instrumental and improve the drums and riffs to make it sound as cool as it can.

Harvey has a similar work flow to me, and he will send a fully written instrumental to the band to see what they think. Alex plays around with the drums, and I write vocals on top of it. Joey also adds some nice leads and things onto the track which really make the track shine, like the leads in our single Sins.

5. Who are your musical influences?

Jake: Personally my influences are Papa Roach, Periphery, Slipknot, The Used, Lamb Of God… the list goes on. Everyone in the band has massively different influences and it seems to work in our case!

6. Tell me about the song and video for "Sins".

Jake: The song is about my struggle with a choice I had to make a couple of years ago that has massively impacted me today. It’s an incredibly personal song, which is why I really like to perform it.
The original demo was pretty cool, but when we were in the studio it changed quite a bit. Justin Hill, our producer, helped us make the instrumentation sound huge.

The video was shot by our friend Jay Hillyer and was shot next to his bands rehearsal space aha. We used Josh’s smoke machine and went crazy with it which was good fun. We just wanted a video that showed the aggression of the song and we think we got that result!

7. Where are you in the process of the new EP?

Jake: At moment we are still writing and demoing songs. We have maybe 5/6 songs that we are really happy with, but we are still writing because we might come up with even better material. Towards the end of the year we are going to start seeing what options we have for recording and releasing the EP. Hopefully we will find a record label to help us fund it and release it, but we will see when the time comes! We would love to go back to record with Justin Hill again because he helped us pull something out of the single we wouldn't have got if we were recording with someone else.

8. How would you say this EP compares and differs to your previous "Illusions" EP?

Jake: It is definitely heavier, but weirdly I am probably singing more than I did on the previous material. We seem to have found a really nice balance of really heavy instrumentation and melodic vocals. I still scream a lot, which in itself is much more varied than our older stuff.

9. Did the band have any definitive goals they were shooting for before the recording process began for this new EP?

Jake: Every band says the same thing to this sort of question, and that is to outdo themselves. Really though for us it is just about writing the best, most interesting music we can at the time. We seriously think the songs we have been writing recently destroy anything we have done before and we are incredibly excited to get them out into the public.

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

Jake: We are experimenting with industrial style electronics and strings in our music which has added a really nice dynamic to our sound. It is still primarily drums, guitars, bass and vocals, but we are really enjoying experimenting with electronics on this new stuff.

11. When will this new EP be released?

Jake: Not sure. We still don’t know where we are recording it, if it is being released through a label or if it will be self-released again. We would like to put something out by the end of the year though.

12. What should labels/zines/promoters know about your band? Why should they be interested in it?

Jake: We are really heavy but we are also really catchy. I love writing infective choruses. We are trying to bring the art of the riff back into the scene, where we see a lot of bands either go down the super technical route or, at the opposite end of the spectrum, focus on really heavy chugging. We think we have found a nice balance of heavy music while making it relatively accessible.

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

Jake: We have some material on BandCamp, but our new single is currently on YouTube and you can purchase it from iTunes and Amazon. On June 1 it will be available on Spotify and Google Play as well!

14. What plans do you have for the near future as a band?

Jake: Keep writing, keep playing shows, hopefully get label backing. Pretty standard stuff for an unsigned band aha!

15. Any final words of wisdom?

Jake: Be nice to people and people will be nice to you! Also buy our music… aha!

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