When exactly did you decide that you wanted to make FFTL music again? Walk me through the process of putting the band back together.
I’m working with this band right now, and they’re huge fans of Ross Robinson. I showed them these videos we made with Ross when we were in the studio recording Heroine. I hadn’t seen them in years, and when I watched them, I started getting that reminiscent, emotional thing going on. [Laughs.] I got a little watery-eyed, and I was like, “Man, that was a really cool experience.” To this day, [recording Heroine with Robinson] was probably one of the coolest things I’ve ever done, and when I saw it, it just brought back all of these feelings—like, super-hard. So, I started thinking about that, and it kind of didn’t leave me. I was just hanging out, my iTunes was on shuffle, and one of the songs from Heroine came on. I saw some people online talking about FFTL, and I was talking to Travis. I was just like, “Man, I think I wanna do a new EP.” And he was like, “Yeah! I think that’s a great idea!” [Laughs.] That’s kind of how it started. Then I talked to Matt Manning, and he was like, “Yeah, we should do that!” And then I talked to Derek [Bloom], and he was like, “Yeah dude, I’m down.” That’s like the basic member lineup right now. I have reached out to Sonny; I actually hit him up this morning, so we’ll see what happens. Obviously there’s all this debate about the band with Sonny and the band without Sonny, and it’s really unfortunate because it kind of pulls fans away from what the music’s all about. We all loved having Sonny in the band, and he was an awesome singer. If he would do a song with us on the EP, it would be absolutely awesome, and it would make a ton of people happy. But if he doesn’t, I still want to make a great record and show people that we’re a band, and we just like making music.
Even today, are you still seeing that “Sonny vs. no Sonny” debate among fans?
Honestly, yeah. As soon as I started posting about FFTL, I saw that instantly. It was the first thing people started talking about. You have to look at it from two points of view: Obviously, people are talking about it because they care, and I appreciate that. But on the other hand, it’s like, man, let go of that for a second and maybe just think, “Oh man, it’s a band that I grew up loving, and they’re making music. That’s awesome.” In a perfect world, that's what I wish people would see it as. If [Sonny] wants to get down on it, I would be more than happy to have him for sure. He's a cool dude, and he can sing like a motherfucker, so if he wants to get in, obviously, we're going to be more than okay with that. But if not, I don't wanna harbor on it and let it get people down.
And Matt Manning is back. That’s really the most important thing.
Yeah. [Laughs.] His beard. Full force.
So, we have Travis, Manning, Derek and yourself. It’s kind of the self-titled lineup. Will Chris Lent not be playing keys this time?
For now, we’re just going to keep it simple. I love Chris to death, but I don't even know what he's doing right now. I’m just trying to let this thing grow. I wanna start with the core and then just see what happens because it’s kind of weird to say we’re coming back when we have all of these people who have contributed to the band at different times. I don’t know who else wants to be involved and who doesn’t. I reached out to people, and they seemed interested. So, I just want to let it play itself out.
Throne To The Wolves was the first record you made without Travis in the band. Did you and Travis have to reconcile anything before this new effort could begin?
It was a long time ago. We were just going through a lot of weird personal things with people. That whole era was a rough time for us. Nothing was easy, and we were going through all of these management transitions, and none of them were working out well. We started getting that feeling of “Man, I don’t know, maybe we should just stop.” Once you start getting that underlying feeling in the group, it starts to unravel things, and it changes the way people perceive things. I talk to Travis every day, so, obviously, there are no hard feelings. At the time, a lot of decisions we made were because of the stresses that were on us every day.
Did leaving D.R.U.G.S. open you up a little more to the idea of bringing back From First To Last?
Actually, at first, it didn’t. When we all left D.R.U.G.S., I really didn’t have any plans on playing music anymore after that. It just made me feel like I was tired. I was tired of trying to make something work and working so hard. I was really worn out from the grind, and I didn’t foresee myself doing anything in a band after that. But it’s been, like, two years since then, and I’ve had a lot of time to kick back, reflect, work and be around music every day—it’s obviously not my music, but I still work on it, and I still have a very deep love for it. Doing that kind of kept me attached, and I couldn’t contain it anymore. >>>