PRAISE by Farrah Skeiky
Interviews

In conversation with PRAISE (Revelation Records) – new album “All In A Dream” out now!

PRAISE by Farrah Skeiky
Baltimore-area band PRAISE recently returned to release their third album, All In A Dream, out now on Revelation Records. All In A Dream is a burst of positive energy through nine songs of springy, Melodic Hardcore. The album darts and dashes through scenes, decades, and genres, united by the core tenets of a catchy song and the impulse to deliver an impactful message.

Exploring the themes of introspective struggle, imagining a better world outside of our own, and the evolution of grief throughout the years, the tracks are relatable and hopeful. To achieve the sound found across the record, the band worked with producer and engineer Kevin Bernsten at Developing Nations in Baltimore, Maryland and Brian McTernan (BE WELL, Battery) stepped in as a second producer, as well, focusing on song structure and vocal performances.

To celebrate the album, Praise has shared a video for “Life Unknown” blending a captivating performance with imagery from the colorful world they’ve created with All In A Dream.

Formed as a five-piece group in 2010, Praise’s mission statement has always been to work within the box of traditional Hardcore while exploring the bounds of melody in every possible sense. From the opening note of the title track, b puts forth that direction with an urgency.

The aptly catchy “Return to Life,” featuring guest vocals from Grady Allen (ANXIOUS, One Step Closer) focuses on living in the moment, while “Suddenly Human” follows this notion by looking for joy in the present. The band’s knack for guitar work shines on “Limited Sense of Possibility,” accompanied by back-up vocals from McTernan himself.

The album rounds out with the formidable “Life Unknown” and an astounding cover of Hüsker Dü’s “Keep Hanging On,” bringing the band’s influences into the forefront.

The end result is an album that reflects Praise’s most actualized self: a filterless expression of coming to terms with loss, an overwhelmingly difficult world, and how these struggles change who we are and the choices that we make. Backing these lyrical themes are instrumentals that bridge, bend, and bind the seemingly disparate influences of five distinct individuals united by sound, structure, and the pursuit of melody.

An opportunity recently arose to interview Praise guitarist Anthony Dye; I jumped at the chance and you can read the results of our interview conducted via email below. It has been lightly edited for general clarity.

Who’s part of the current line-up of Praise and what is each member’s role within the band?

Praise is Andy Norton (vocals,) Austin Stemper (guitar,) Chris Bavaria (bass,) Daniel Fang (drums,) [and] I’m Anthony Dye and I play guitar.

How did all of you meet and when did Praise initially start?

Praise started in, like, 2009. In one way or another, most of us met through the band Mindset (R.I.P.) I met Daniel outside of The Glen Dining Hall at Towson University.

How would you say Praise’s overall sound and style has changed and evolved since your last album, 2016’s Leave It All Behind?

I think that we’re always trying to do our own style of Melodic Hardcore better than we did it before. This time, we, also, tried to embrace some influences from a little outside of our comfort zone, too. Big shout-out to Brian McTernan for helping us dial-in our vision for the record.

What made you guys decide to sign with Revelation Records to release and help roll-out All In A Dream? Honestly, it seems like a perfect fit from our perspective!

We are, of course, huge fans of Revelation’s catalog. We had been in touch with them a little through the years and when the record was done, we got to talking with Sam [Sammy Siegler] & Adam [Lentz]. It just felt right!

What would you cite as some of your greatest sources of inspiration and influence while creating All In A Dream?

To name just a few of my own: Rites of Spring, Leatherface, U2, Ursula K. Le Guin, and Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Would you mind telling us a bit about the concepts for your recently released music videos for both “Hotline to Memory” & “All In A Dream?”

I don’t wanna speak too much for the people we worked with on the videos (big thanks to Robin Zeijlon & Alex Ledon Thomas,) but I think we were interested in expanding on the “visual language” that we had already developed with album art, etc. while exploring some lyrical themes, too.

What can you tell us about the vibrant yellow/red/green/blue color palette seen across the album cover, singles, and promotional materials for All In A Dream?

Huge thank you to Jerrod Stith; this is all his work that you’re talking about. When we saw the photo that became the cover, it was a done deal. The rest came naturally after that.

What did the writing, recording, production, creation, etc. processes behind All In A Dream typically entail? How, if at all, were they affected by COVID-19 related restrictions?

Yeah, we were, like, 85% done with the record in March of 2020. We hit some serious delays with getting back into the studio and with pressing/production.

What is the significance behind the album title All In A Dream and how does it relate or tie into the themes heard across the album?

I think the way I think about it has changed since we wrote the song. To me, it’s about utopia and how the worlds we create in our minds affect the world we live in day-to-day.

What compelled you guys to record and release a cover of Egg Hunt’s “We All Fall Down” (Dischord Records, 1986) on your 2016 self-titled cassette tape for Moshers Delight Records?

That was on Leave It All Behind (2016,) too. No surprise here, but we are endlessly inspired by mid-80’s era Dischord. We wanted to share some of that spirit with the Hardcore world of 2016.

Do any of you have any active projects in addition to Praise? If so, when can we expect to hear some new music?

Chris is in NO-HEADS; they have a record that is coming out any day now. Daniel is in TURNSTILE & Angel Du$t; both of those bands released some heavy-hitters last year that should keep people occupied for a little while longer.

Following the impending release of All In A Dream what’s planned next for Praise?

We’re hoping to play some shows; though, everyone’s schedules can be a hurdle. Our record release gig was May 28th and we have a few other shows this summer, which aren’t announced yet.

 

In conversation with PRAISE (Revelation Records) – new album “All In A Dream” out now!
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