We spoke to: Spencer Charnas (vocals)
EXPECT IT: Winter 2017
WHAT'S DIFFERENT: Seeing so many of our fans [with] our lyrics tattooed on them, it made me strive to become a better lyricist, and I want to continue that with the new album. I’ve sort of made a rule that every line has to be “tattooable.”
BIGGEST CHALLENGE IN MAKING THE RECORD: I think that we want to continue to be unpredictable. We did some stuff on the last album that was risky. I’m not sure exactly which risks I want to take [this time], but I want to take them. I want to do everything in our power to separate ourselves from the clichés in our genre. I want to find new ways to do that so when someone puts our record on or hears it coming from another room, they know it’s Ice Nine Kills, not just another heavy band. I want to be a definitive part of the genre.

IS IT MORE THE PREDATOR BECOMES THE PREY OR EVERY TRICK IN THE BOOKI’m certain that I want to continue to have a clearly defined theme for the next record. I think to follow up this last one—which was based all on literature—with just a collection of unrelated songs would seem a bit crass to me. I want to continue to try and push the boundaries, take risks and delve further into the world of incorporating theater into our music. I would love to include passages of dialogue, and the idea of a real reprise throughout the next album intrigues me. I think the ultimate goal for me would be to eventually make a proper musical out of one of our records, complete with actors and stage design and a live orchestra. —Taylor Markarian


We spoke to: Cory Lockwood (vocals)
EXPECT IT: Spring 2017
WHAT'S DIFFERENT: Probably the biggest change is vocally, because musically it’s very hard for us to do something that doesn’t sound like A Lot Like Birds, especially with [guitarist] Michael Franzino as the creative force behind a lot of the writing. If you’ve listened to our old records, you’ll know we try to never duplicate what we’ve done before, but the vocals have taken a very different route. There’s minimal screaming—maybe two to three lines—so it’s a lot more mellow sonically, but we’re trying to keep the emotional heaviness and the darkness of our past two albums intact.
BIGGEST CHALLENGE IN MAKING THE RECORD: For me, it was definitely exploring new territory with singing. It wasn’t something I’d ever done. I’d sung a couple lines on former records, but never an entire song, so adjusting to writing lyrics to fit melody was a challenge, and just exploring what my voice was capable of. But it’s also what we were looking forward to going into the album, and we all kind of surprised ourselves with what we created.

IS IT MORE CONVERSATION PIECE OR NO PLACEI would say more No Place. With that record, we tapped into darker, more emotional songs, and we explored that a little more with this album. There are a couple of songs on Conversation Piece that were in that vein too, so I think going forward we’re probably going to be playing older songs live that fit this new material. —Mischa Pearlman