JB Brubaker of August Burns Red gives you the rundown of the process and stories behind the songs on the band's latest album, Rescue & Restore, out tomorrow on Solid State Records. You can preorder the album via iTunes, and check out more from the recording in our In The Studio interview with ABR from March.
“Provision” is the big album opener. It’s pretty crushing right off the bat and shows that while we are branching out with our sound, we are still a heavy band. This is the first song we ever wrote in drop B tuning which gives it a little meaner sound. The song tells the story of a man who was taken advantage of, but tried to find the positive in the situation.
This is the longest and most progressive song on the album. It features a classical interlude that happens to be one of my favorite moments on the album. I really like this song because of its complete lack of structure and how it just rambles on. Lyrically, this song talks about keeping an open mind and not judging other people who are different from you.
“Spirit Breaker” is one of the more melodic songs on Rescue & Restore. It’s not as heavy as most of the album, but it still packs a pretty good punch. Dustin [Davidson, bassist] and Jake [Luhrs, frontman] go back and forth vocally during the chorus, and the song features a clean interlude with Jake reading a letter. The lyrics are about being stuck in a depressing time/place in your life but trying to remember there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
“Count It All As Lost”
When it comes to technical musicianship, this is about as technical as we get. This song is freaking hard to play and is all over the place musically. Like “Treatment,” “Count It All As Lost” is structured in an extremely linear fashion and is a roller coaster from start to finish. There’s a neat little Latin-esque clean section thrown in, and the song ends with the hardest guitar lick on the album. Please don’t ask me to play this live.
“Sincerity” is a chaotic number, one of the most intense tracks on the album. This is the only song on the album that doesn’t contain any clean guitars, and Jake is a madman vocally. There’s a neat little singing thing Jake does a few times in this song, which is a new element for us. Dustin Davidson wrote a lot of this song. Kid’s got skills beyond the bass strings.
Every once and a while, we like to write songs that are completely off the wall. “Creative Captivity” is an example of this. I have a feeling this will be either a “love it or hate it” track for a lot of people. It’s mostly instrumental until the end and features a lot of extra instruments including the violin, cello, marimba, Chinese harp, bongos and trumpet. This song is basically the title track for the album with a different title. It is about how boring our genre has become and how we all need to try hard to break out of the slump that is currently plaguing metalcore.
“Fault Line” is the most standard-sounding ABR song on the album. Longtime fans of the band should hear this song and say, “Yeah, that sounds like August Burns Red.” I think this is a really solid track with an especially memorable middle section featuring a cool quiet moment that goes into one of the biggest breakdowns on the album with Jake shouting, “Don’t call me your hero.” I think it’s pretty cool.
“Beauty In Tragedy”
This is another one of our “softer,” more melodic songs. It’s not your typical metalcore chug-a-thon, and I like that about it. “Beauty In Tragedy” talks about the passing of a loved one. Rumor has it Jake may have shed a tear while doing the vocals over the clean section in the middle. I wasn’t there so I can neither confirm nor deny. The song ends with an uplifting thrashy riff.
“Animals” is our Egyptian-sounding song. This song is one of the heaviest tracks on the album and features a odd-metered breakdown with a guitar lead that reminds me of a snake charmer trying to keep a striking cobra at bay. I have a feeling this will be a song that pleases the fans who keep asking us to write another Messengers. We won’t be doing that, but we’ll continue to write some heavy jams.
“Echoes” is a pretty song that opens with a soft introduction. The first minute or so is in 7/8 timing which is always fun, and the song concludes with a touring band’s anthem of sorts with Jake singing “The open road is what I need to breathe freely. Free me.” Adam Gray from Texas In July is featured in the middle of the song with a guest drumming spot. He and Matt Greiner both played full kits at the same time. Groovy!
“The First Step”
Typically we have ended our albums with long, epic songs, but that is not the case on this album. “The First Step” is a dark and intense track: It might be the darkest song on the album. It ends with a really noisy and chaotic climax where producer Carson Slovak and I got weird in the studio with some cool guitar pedals.