Post-hardcore fans haven’t heard much from As Cities Burn since their last album, Hell Or High Water, in 2009. Aside from a brief reunion tour and some spotty speculation, many thought the band had smoldered to ashes.
But 14 years after their debut, the band have come full circle. Boasting their original lineup with the return of guitarist/vocalist Cody Bonnette’s brother, TJ, they look to call back to their debut album with the release of Scream Through The Walls.
Despite losing a founding member soon after Son I Loved You At Your Darkest’s release in 2005, As Cities Burn continued on while TJ took a step back, looking to focus on family and a more traditional lifestyle.
However, fate brought him back to Nashville and to the band. He finally had the chance to answer the “What if?” question that had been burning in the back of his mind.
“I always thought to myself, I’d love to get back in the studio with all the guys for one more record,” he says.
Although he took time away from music, there was no bad blood between the band and their former scream vocalist. The Bonnettes have always been close, and TJ was rooting for his brother all along.
“Even though he’s my younger brother, musically I really look up to him,” TJ says. “I’m so stoked on what he does as a musician, and while I was out of the band for two records, I can honestly say I was a top fan.”
Despite the new album being a spiritual successor to the band’s 2005 debut, the new record takes a hard look at modern issues. Scream Through The Walls puts a spotlight on social media and the effect it has on day-to-day life.
Throughout the album, especially in certain tracks such as “Hollowed Out,” these societal changes are recognized. Cody says people should be closer than ever before, but technology can sometimes have an adverse effect.
“We have all the tools around us to keep in touch with each other better, but for whatever reason, we seem to be more isolated,” Cody explains.
TJ echoed his brother’s sentiment and hopes listeners can connect better to those around them after hearing the album.
“You just see it on socials, people telling you what to do and giving their strong opinions,” he says. “It’s an easy place to hide behind that. It creates a challenge for people to find out who they are and what they believe. We hope that people will listen to what we say and we can be a voice for being yourself and understanding that everyone has struggles, regardless of what they are.”
Reuniting in the studio after 14 years is no easy feat, but being related to a bandmate can make things a little more comfortable. While Cody handles most of the songwriting duties, the brotherly relationship helps constructive criticism flow during the creative process.
“There’s a deeper level of comfort with each other where we can say the most brutally honest thing, and it’s coming from a place of love,” Cody says. “It’s like when we come at each other with different opinions. It isn’t an attack on the other’s beliefs or anything like that. Since we’re family, we can really listen to each other’s ideas and open our own minds a little more because we trust each other.”
The Bonnettes may be the only band members who are blood relatives, but family ties tend to blur while recording or on the road.
“Sometimes it doesn’t even feel like we’re family members,” he says. “We’re just a super-tight group of guys playing music together.”
06/11 – Little Rock, AR @ The Rev Room
06/13 – Houston, TX @ The Secret Group
06/14 – San Antonio, TX @ Jack’s Bar
06/15 – Dallas, TX @ Three Links
06/16 – Oklahoma City, OK @ 89th Street
06/17 – Lubbock, TX @ Jake’s Sports Cafe
06/18 – El Paso, TX @ Lowbrow Palace
06/19 – Scottsdale, AZ @ Pub Rock
06/20 – Anaheim, CA @ Chain Reaction
06/21 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Hi Hat
06/22 – San Diego, CA @ Brick By Brick
06/23 – Santa Cruz, CA @ The Catalyst Atrium
06/25 – San Francisco, CA @ DNA Lounge
06/26 – Sacramento, CA @ Holy Diver
06/27 – Bend, OR @ Domino Room
06/28 – Portland, OR @ Paris Theatre
06/29 – Seattle, WA @ Funhouse @ El Corazon
06/30 – Spokane, WA @ The Big Dipper
07/02 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Metro Music Hall
07/03 – Denver, CO @ The Walnut Room
07/05 – Omaha, NE @ The Lookout Lounge
07/06 – Des Moines, IA @ Lefty’s
07/07 – Minneapolis, MN @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge
07/08 – Milwaukee, WI @ The X-Ray Arcade
07/09 – Chicago, IL @ Beat Kitchen
07/10 – Lansing, MI @ Mac’s Bar
07/11 – Pontiac, MI @ Pike Room @The Crofoot
07/12 – Cincinnati, OH @ Legends Bar
07/13 – Louisville, KY @ Tiger Room
07/14 – Nashville, TN @ The Basement