Exclusive Interview: We Came As Romans’ Joshua Moore on how being sick influenced their new album

June 23, 2011
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Yesterday, We Came As Romans debuted “Mis//Understandings,” the first song on their forthcoming album, Understanding What We’ve Grown To Be. Today, the band reveal the title track, the final song on the album, slated for release September 13. “[It’s] hands-down my favorite song we’ve ever done,” says guitarist Joshua Moore. “Ever. Something about that song is really, really, emotional and hard-hitting. The first time we got to listen to it all mastered and everything, I seriously started to tear up.”

Below, Moore talks about the effort that went into Understanding What We’ve Grown To Be—and how his bout with bacterial meningitis earlier this year has influenced the album. Don't forget: The band is on the cover of AP #277, which streets July 5!

What else do you want people to know about the record?
I put pretty much everything I’ve had into this CD, trying to make it just the best that it could be. I’ve been home for two days, since February [and] four days total this entire year, if you don’t count [when] I got really sick earlier this year. I had bacterial meningitis and I had to drop off a tour. When I was really sick, when I was home, my dad brought over my acoustic guitar, and I wrote two songs for the album. I couldn’t tour; I was hooked up to an IV and stuff. I had to go through all these transfusions every day and until that was over, I couldn’t leave to rejoin the tour and ended up writing songs for the CD. [I] put everything that I’ve had into this CD, and I hope that it shows.

Bacterial meningitis is no joke. What do those two songs you wrote when you were sick sound like?
Let’s see… One of those songs we don’t know yet, because I actually think we might be tracking vocals for it today. But the other song, we tracked vocals for it yesterday. It’s going to be the second or third track on the CD, and it is awesome. It came out really, really, good. We’ve been trying to put a little more clean guitar sounds on this CD, because we had, like, one part on all of To Plant A Seed that was a clean guitar. I really, really, like clean guitar, so we’re really trying to throw it in.

How do you think having meningitis has affected you? Has it in any major way?
One day I thought I was really sick, I was throwing up a lot. And the next thing I know I’m in the hospital in a whole bunch of pain three days later. I never even heard of bacterial meningitis until I had it. I didn’t know anything about it—or I didn’t know how serious it was. The doctor told me I had I think, a thirty-five percent chance of not making it. They said that they had seen kids my age come in with less-advanced cases of bacterial meningitis and die in the hospital.

That’s frightening.
Because I wasn’t conscious for so long, when my parents flew out, [the doctors] had told them I was probably going to have brain damage and there was the possibility that I wasn’t going to be able to play guitar anymore. That when I woke up, I wouldn’t be able to process that. I wouldn’t be able to do that, and would have to look for something else to do. It was wild. I still have a very hard time believing that it actually happened to me.

The amount of support I got from our fans during that [time] was like, crazy. There was this girl that started a Tumblr post and that ended up getting posted twelve thousand times. It was just like everywhere, like everyone knew about [me being sick] somehow. The news just spread. Which I was just amazed about because, not to sound dumb about it, but being a guitar player in a band, you’re not the most popular guy. So for that to happen for me, it was crazy. I still have a hard time processing all the support and just the way that the news spread.

Written by AltPress