Most people who throw shade have no insight to what it takes to make a band successful. Hang on: Forget about “successful.” Let’s change that to functional. And nobody knows that truth more than the members of the Word Alive.

“It’s funny how close a lot of bands have been to breaking up that their fans would never know,” TWA frontman Telle Smith boldly states in front of APTV director Bobby Makar’s cameras. “We’ve had multiple [situations] that if the conversation on the phone didn’t go a certain way, we would have broken up.”

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In this APTV exclusive, Smith and drummer Matt Horn track the Word Alive’s career from album to album. The interview is revealing in all of the triumphs and the trials. It’s all here: from being metalcore prodigies to the seasoned band who just released one of 2020’s hardest-hitting records in the form of MONOMANIA.

“We deserve this record,” Smith states unapologetically. “We went through the wringer and we came out with this. [Considering] some of the things we’ve endured or put each other through even… To come out on the other side and write this record, all I can be is proud of it and be proud of my bandmates for everything they’ve endured and put up with from me.”

This complete oral history of the Word Alive is a candid must-watch. It’s for anyone who has the lyrics to “Life Cycles” tattooed on their ribs or those who simply can’t get enough MONOMANIA.

“To go from [being] the small band who didn’t know who we were in 2009 to being in 2020,” Smith opines, “it feels pretty good to be here.”