[Pictured L-R: Brendon Urie, Twenty One Pilots, Tonight Alive, Waterparks, State Champs; photos by: Douglas Sonders, Neal Walters, Jawn Rocha, Elliott Ingham]

We can’t predict the future, but we can assure you that 2018 will bring plenty of awesome new music. We talked to some of your favorite artists, from Marmozets to State Champs, who are in various stages of the recording process, to get the scoop on what’s to come next year.

Check out our most anticipated heavy albums!

Read more: Our staff picks the 28 best songs of 2017


Against The Current 2017
[Photo by: Andrew Lipovsky]

LABEL: Fueled By Ramen
WE SPOKE TO: Chrissy Costanza (vocals)

WHAT’S DIFFERENT: I think from a lyrical standpoint, since that’s really where I do most of my work, there’s definitely way more maturity in this record in terms of how I handle certain situations. I wrote about a lot of things that I didn’t want to write about in the past. I’ve been at war with love songs in general. I never want to write a happy love song. I think it’s always been hard for me, and I think there are a couple in there that finally hit the right spot with me. They don’t sound like, “Oh, everything’s so wonderful and great all the time,” but they do get that point across that you’re with someone that makes you happy, which I think is cool. I’ve always had a hard time writing those kind of songs without being cheesy in a not-so-great way. “Runaway” on In Our Bones was our first attempt at that, and these are, I think, even better than that.

On this record, I tried to make it so each song was a little bit more complex. It’s how we actually start to feel when we’re in our 20s where you’re kind of happy, but kind of sad. There’s this Lorde quote that I really love: “It’s OK to dance and cry at the same time to a song.” And I love that. That’s what I want to capture. For some reason, as soon as you turn 20, that just makes sense to you. I tried to incorporate that way more into the songs. So instead of this song being an angry breakup song or a happy love song, there’s always this “but” in there. I think with this record, we have a clearer image of what Against The Current sounds like, or what we want to sound like.

BIGGEST CHALLENGE: Staying true to ourselves. As we’ve seen other artists and bands become successful, you, as an artist yourself, dissect those things: “Oh, this thing is really in right now.” It’s like any trend. You listen to it and you’re like, “Yeah, this sounds really cool,” but then you listen back a day later and you’re like, “But wait—this isn’t Against The Current.” It’s cool, but it’s cool for someone else. And I think that was the hardest thing: finding that balance between taking from what’s popular now and what people really like in music with things that we like and actually makes sense for us.

And also writing about some things that were harder to talk about. I have a song about my friend who overdosed on heroin last year, and that was a really hard thing to find the right way to talk about. I think the most important thing for me was capturing the fact that there were so many emotions involved. This isn’t a sad song. When you listen to the song, it’s not a sad song. It’s not a ballad. I just wanted to capture the fact that losing someone, especially losing someone in that way, is a very complex feeling. He was a musician, and he’s what inspired me to be in a band, so that song’s all about that.

IS IT MORE IN OUR BONES OR GRAVITY? I think in a way, there’s both in there. The song “Gravity” is still the cornerstone of our identity as a band. It’s always been the best of combining that “we are a band” feel, but it still has that pop sound to it. But In Our Bones had a lot of things that were very different than Gravity—it was more polished than Gravity. There was a lot more time spent on it, and I think that shows through when you listen to the two side-by-side. We’ve just grown up so much since we wrote Gravity, so it’s kind of a continuation of the same storyline that’s been flowing through both that record and that EP. —Maggie Dickman


Boston Manor

LABEL: Pure Noise Records
WE SPOKE TO: Henry Cox (vocalist)

WHAT’S DIFFERENT: I think with the first record, you’re still figuring out who you are as a band. You don’t really know what it is you’re really working with, and I don’t think it’s until you write the songs and play them long enough to recognize what’s good and bad about them that you start to develop your craft and become what you’re supposed to be. I think we’re still working—everyone should always be working—but we’ve figured out who we are as a band, what we want to say and what we want to do. We’ve written it in a slightly different way. We’ve taken longer, written more songs and revised a lot more. I think it’s been a lot more fluid and a lot more adventurous as a writing process.

BIGGEST CHALLENGE: I think the second record as a whole is a challenge because there are really no expectations with the first record. Everyone says you’re only as good as your first record, but I think that’s bullshit. I can name any number of bands that released a shy first album and then really start to create their career with album two onward. People like the songs on Be Nothing., so they’re always going to be judging the new music [against] songs that they already like, which immediately puts you at a disadvantage. So I think that as a whole is a challenge. But you definitely shouldn’t worry too much about how it’s going to be received because the best art polarizes people. So if some people don’t like it, and some people love it, that’s probably a good thing. But either way, if you think too much about it, you’re probably going to write stuff that isn’t really you. Then what’s the point?

IS IT MORE BE NOTHING. OR DRIFTWOOD? I’ve been thinking about this a little bit. In my head, it’s a big step forward, but if you liked the last record, you’re not going to hate this record. It’s hard for me to answer because I’m still working on it right now, but I like to think it’s definitely a big step in a different direction, but it’s not a 180. Maggie Dickman


Dance Gavin Dance 2017
[Photo by: Lindsey Byrnes]

LABEL: Rise Records
WE SPOKE TO: Will Swan (guitarist)

WHAT’S DIFFERENT: It’s always a progression. When I sit down to write, I try to go where I haven't been before. Everybody’s always growing and listening to new stuff. When we come together, I feel like we’re always in a different place, and that’s reflected in the music. And this time’s no different: I feel like it’s a much different album than the last three. It’s more all over the place. It’s got a lot of different-styled songs. Instead of keeping its backbone, it’ll kind of veer off into completely different genres. I think it’ll be cool for fans because it’s not just more of the same. From heavy to poppy to funky, all different decades—I like music from pretty much any time and all different styles. We write music first then vocals, so everything right now is just putting together an album that is going to be awesome to listen to even when there aren’t vocals. Then when the vocals are added, it takes it to another dimension.

BIGGEST CHALLENGE: This album we’ve recorded different than the last few. Pretty much every record we’ve done we’ve gone with one producer. And on this record, we’re jumping around recording drums with Kris Crummett, bass with Dryw Owens, who did our “Summertime Gladness” single, then guitar with Kris Crummett, so it’s all over the place. And then we’re gonna get someone else to mix it. We’ve never done a record like this before. I have to take more of a producer approach, and I’ve been there for all of the stages of the recording to make sure everything lines up. It’s more like we get to self-produce it, and I get to be there to guide it along and everybody put their stamp on. I’m really stoked on the way it’s turned out so far.  —Kristine Cannon


Good Charlotte 2017
[Photo by: Alexandra Snow]

When Good Charlotte dropped their sixth album Youth Authority in 2016, we saw nearly all eras of the iconic pop punks’ storied career represented in the nostalgic, yet enlightened comeback. Their following headline tour united generations of fans (some so young it was their first opportunity to see the band live) to sing along to tracks both classic and new. We don’t know what 2018 will bring, but the Madden bros have been alluding to new music at recent shows. One thing we do know: If the new year does brings a new Good Charlotte album, it’s sure to be full of the heart and authenticity members of the GC fam have come to know and love. —Rabab Al-Sharif