Beartooth have announced the release of their new album Aggressive, and they've teamed up with AP to bring you the premiere of the title track.
Check out the politically charged video with a twist ending below.
Read more: Beartooth announce big headlining tour
To preorder their new album, which is due out June 3 via Red Bull Records, visit beartoothband.com.
Head below for the first listen of “Aggressive” as well as the first look at the tracklist, album artwork and an excusive Q&A with frontman Caleb Shomo about the new album!
You’ve said the writing process for this album is similar to 2014’s Disgusting, but you’ve definitely been branching out. Can you explain how you’ve branched out?
The record has ended up a lot more diverse than I originally thought it was going to. I never go into writing Beartooth songs with a goal in mind: I want it to be very in the moment, I want it to be very raw in what’s happening in my head at that point in time. The thing that really changes is the first record, I was in a terribly dark place, so the record is very self-deprecating and messed up. I’ve just been in a really good place in my life and mentally I’ve been feeling really good about a whole lot of stuff. There’s a lot more optimism on this record, but it’s weird because the first record was a lot more dark and self-deprecating, this album is a lot more pissed off, but optimistic.
“These are by far my favorite songs that I’ve written. The thing about being in such a good place mentally is that it frees me up to write about different stuff other than just, 'Oh here’s another song about how I fuckin’ hate myself.'”
Do you ever feel any pressure, like, “Oh, now I’m happy and people don’t care what I have to say”?
I’m totally fine with where I am in my life right now and I think it shows on the music, and I think it shows in a positive way. These are by far my favorite songs that I’ve written. The thing about being in such a good place mentally is that it frees me up to write about different stuff other than just, “Oh here’s another song about how I fuckin’ hate myself.”
Can you talk about some of the topics you’ve written about?
The record is called Aggressive. To sum that all up, what that means is kind of what I was just talking about. I’m very tired of being in the place that I was when I wrote Disgusting. I’m just sick of that. I’m kind of at the point in my life when I’m very avidly trying to move in the other direction and just fucking put it all behind me and go in swinging with this album instead of having any questions about it. I guess topically, there are songs about looking back on my childhood and what got me to the place that made me write the first record.
The first album, the only person I wrote with was John Feldmann. [For this album] I did one song with David Bendeth (We Came As Romans, Of Mice & Men) who is unbelievable. I actually went to his studio in New Jersey to mix it there with him, because I think he is really the man to capture the sound. It’s a big thing for me. This project is so personal, even down to the mix. On the first record, we sent it to a bunch of different people [but] we ended up using my mix of it, so for me to hand that off to someone else is a big step. I wanted to give that up. I don’t care about it just being me, and it being like, “I did everything, I’m the man”—I don’t give a shit about that. I care about these songs so much that I want to take them as far as they can go. And I want to get the topics across in a way that is the best possible way.
It’s almost like you have more control by giving up some control.
Yeah, I have more of a headspace, honestly. It’s a big thing for me… I’m in love with these songs so much, and I’m so proud of what I’ve done, that yeah, it wouldn’t be as good as it could possibly be if I tried to take over complete control, so it’s nice to branch out a little bit.
So can you tell me some of the song titles and what they’re about?
The song I wrote with Bendeth is called “Fairweather Friend,” and that’s exactly what it’s about. There are so many people in our lives who are only there when it’s convenient for them. That’s just what fairweather friends means—when shit’s going good, they’re gonna be around. Those people suck. What is the point of having those friends that only care about the good, and they just want to dump all their shit on you. Also, this isn’t a political song at all, but it’s funny because we had CNN on, and the elections are going on and I said what is the point of these people getting up there and spouting absolute nonsense. I mean, I’m not huge into politics, but some of this shit I’ve heard people say is mind-boggling. It’s unbelievable that somehow that person is allowed to run. There’s some influence of that, like how people can use their words in a sly way to try to get what they want and not actually care about anybody.
I have a song called “Hated,” that I actually—this is a big thing for me personally—but I really wanted to try and push myself to sing more, instead of yelling stuff. I mean there’s some songs that are straight thrash metal, screaming, no melody whatsoever, pissed off, in-your-face tracks, but I love singing and I love melody, and I wanted to push myself a little further. I’m very happy with it. I think it’s cool to have a song with heavy riffs but pushing me more as a singer. The song is about how people are insecure and that’s the majority of what being hated is. Being hated by somebody most of the time is their own problem. They have shit they need to deal with that they haven’t, so they pawn it off on giving you a hard time for just being the person you want to be, and jealousy and whatnot. Yeah, that song’s very near and dear to my heart.
“I’ve spent countless hours sweating my ass off trying to get it right.”
Any firsts while recording this album?
I got some new stuff in my studio. With me recording all the instruments, engineering it all and doing all that, I tried to push myself a lot further. I spent a lot of time on drums, which I didn’t really do on the last record. I spent a lot of time getting the sound of the drums right, just trying to push myself to get the best drum track I could possibly get. I’ve spent countless hours sweating my ass off trying to get it right.
How excited are you for fans to hear this?
I absolutely can’t wait. I think for people that have been following Beartooth for a while, it’s gonna be a very cool record for them. I love growing with people who have been there from the beginning. That’s one of the big things I wanted to do with this album. I hate when bands gain success on one album and then completely alienate their original fanbase just to try and gain commercial success. I have some songs specifically for fans of the first record, like referencing the old album. [We’ve written a part 2] of the song “Dead,” which is a two-minute thrashy punk song on the first record. I made like a part two to that which is on the album, which is really fun, very much so the first record vibe. Then for the people who know— just as much as you can—about me as a person, they’ll be really excited to hear the growth and how much it’s pressed into something new. ALT
4. Fair Weather Friend
6. Sick Of Me
8. Always Dead
9. However You Want It Said
10. Find A Way
11. Rock Is Dead
12. King Of Anything