Alternative metal act, THE SHAPE have released a new song and video called "The Devil In Your Eyes" the leading track off their new album "The World Away". Frontman vocalist/guitarist/song writer and co-founder Brian discusses this track, it's accompanying video, and further input about the band's influences, style, and more!
1. What role do you play in the band?
Brian: Singer, guitarist, songwriter, co-founder.
2. Does your band name THE SHAPE a reference to the classic horror flick Halloween or does it have a different representation?
Brain: Yes! You are actually the first interviewer to point that connection out -- extra awesome points! We've always been huge horror fans (I've actually got Michael tattooed on me) and the original 1979 Halloween film is a brilliant, unsettling depiction of living, breathing, faceless evil that doesn't stop moving. "The Shape" we felt to be the perfect name to represent the lyrical content, which mainly deals with the silent evils and destruction of the world around us daily.
3. What has influenced your sound and style?
Brian: The music is never a standard formula for us. We all have a wide variety of influences in metal as well as rock, alternative, pop, prog, funk; you name it. Our influences are an ever growing ball of, I'd say 60% metal from its inception with bands like Sabbath and Priest through to Death, Mastodon, Opeth, Gojira, and a lot of Swedish Melodic Death Metal and Thrash. The other 40% would be a schizophrenic mixture of artists like The Police, Guns N' Roses, Prince, Living Colour, Radiohead. We never try to write in a specific style or limit what we can do to just one or two things, and we do spend a lot of time tweaking and playing melodies in many different ways. Good music is good music no matter what it is.
4.What are your songs about? (What specific themes do they cover?)
Brian: This changes from record to record but the content is always from a darker perspective. One record, for example, every single song is about a different horror film or character. For "The World Away", it was the second half of a larger set of tunes that was half hopeful; looking at the bright side and majesty of life, whereas these songs are much more disparate, aggressive and from a painful place. These songs come mostly from the insider/first person perspective as it seemed more relatable, with a few being told from a third person/outsider point of view. Pain and distress, anger, hatred, sorrow from particular situations like depression, suicide, drug addiction, mental issues, violence and trauma, fear of death and the unknown, anxiety, betrayal of trust -- all are major themes on this record and are rooted in personal events that we feel people could relate to and it's open for their own interpretation. It's quite the emotional journey.
5. Do you write your own songs? (Discuss the songwriting process in detail.)
Brian: Yup! Usually myself or Pete bring something in and the other makes their suggestions, building and refining continually till it feels right. Other times we go off a riff and keep playing until we find the next logical step and over time pare it down and mold it till we are all satisfied and excited about it.
6. How do you describe your music to people?
Brian: Simply as a metal band with other flavors. We're a band first and foremost. Primarily we play our own mix of metal. If I had a gun to the head, I'd call it Schizophrenic Metal.
7. What image do you think your music conveys?
Brian: Chaos. Darkness. Realistic horror rooted in real life.
8. "The Devil In Your Eyes", is your latest single turned video, what can be said about it?
Brian: "Devil..." is about seeing something negative coming (don't have your blinders on!) and bracing for the impact -- it's going to suck, but don't let it tear you or what you've built up down. It has a lot of allusions to the fall of the Roman Empire in the lyrics, but I'd rather leave that a mystery open for interpretation.
9. What is the concept behind "The World Away" and how did the idea come about?
Brian: The concept of "The World Away" is simple. In the past 3 years, we've played a couple hundred shows, had some member changes and life shakeups personally and from the inside point of view, each song means something personal to us -- throughout everything, music was and is our therapy; our "world away". For anyone listening to the record, the phraseology and messaging of each song is topical and left open for their interpretation purposely as everyday people can relate to these exact situations in their own way. We try to ride the line between detailed enough and still a bit vague so the audience can make their own connection out of it for the same reason -- musical therapy. On the topical end -- there's a lot of dark, ugly things in the world that we speak about very openly.
10. What is your favorite track off "The World Away" and why?
Brian: "Where The Sun Sleeps". It details a harrowing, real battle with severe depression that perfectly describes that feeling both lyrically and musically. The melodies are also quite beautiful and epic throughout.
11. What was the writing and recording process like for the album?
Brian: Very long! Haha. We wrote and demoed a lot of the songs on this record at the same time as our last album, 2014's "Masque of the Red Death". We actually wrote the basis for this first but went and recorded "Masque" first because it was slightly more upbeat and had a lot of lead guitar flavor. We put the songs we had on the back burner and were approached by Corey Nash at DME Management about working with Charlie from a production standpoint on the songs to help us make our best record yet as they thought something was there but not quite realized, and Charlie could pull something awesome out. We then began working together with Charlie and Nick (Toxic Holocaust, Kingdom of Sorrow, Jasta, Kings and Liars), Nick for the second time actually, and Charlie helped us really tighten our song structures. It became a very tight batch of songs that we took and banged out over a month, and had Chris "Zeuss" Harris (Rob Zombie, Queensryche) master it. He did an amazing job and we are super stoked from top to bottom. It continues our growth as a band with our best record to date. Hands down.
12. Why do you think people should check out your new album?
Brian: It's a roller coaster ride of a record with intense music that breathes and feels like a living being. There are ultra catchy songs that don't pander, and relentless shredding. From an 11 minute epic to bold leaps to gnarly shreddage - we got you. Also, if you dig horror, you'll love us.
13. What can the fans expect with this new album?
Brian: 54 minutes of madness. From the highs of heaven, to the depths of hell.
14. How would you say you differ from other bands and artists on the scene?
Brian: Our sound is definitely unique. I honestly can't pinpoint any singular band we sound a lot like. Our song structures, the vocals, and the mix of influences and feels are definitely different than what's largely around today, while not being a throwback either.
15. What do you want to achieve as a band?
Brian: Getting our music out to as many people as possible both live and recorded. We were all those kids that became adults where albums helped us vent and get through things, so if we can do that same thing for anyone else, that's all worthwhile because we love what we do.
16. What does next year hold for THE SHAPE?
Brian: Touring! More videos. Hopefully writing some more to begin collecting for the following year. Seeing as many folks on the road as possible. Cheers!