Ok, this band needs no introduction. SENSES FAIL will release their fifth full-length, “Renacer”, on March 26, 2013 through Staple Records. It’s a perfect chance to chit-chat with the band’s vocalist Buddy Nielsen, so when a change came my way, I simply grabbed it.
SENSES FAIL will begin their US headline spring tour on April 3, 2013 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. After the trek wraps, the band heads for a series of UK dates. See the details plus a lot more information below.
Although Buddy wasn’t too talkative (I don’t blame him, they are right before the big premiere, kind of busy), I managed to get some information. Here’s my interview with SENSES FAIL a.d. 2013.
Hey, guys! Sooo good to have the opportunity to talk of your work [smiles].
Thanks for your interest.
My first association with you is your 2006 appearance in Berlin. I remember you doing really well right before ANTI-FLAG, TAKING BACK SUNDAY and UNDEROATH. You rocked, man! How do you remember that tour?
Awesome! That was a really fun tour. It was pretty crazy to travel the world with such great bands.
How many times have you toured the Old Continent?
I believe 6 times.
You’ll be releasing your new album “Renacer” in March! Can you tell me a bit about the concept behind this release?
Well, it is a little different then our other releases, it is much heavier. There is not so much a concept as there is a theme. The theme is rebirth through love and through positive action and self discovery.
It’s the first record without Garrett. How do you miss him on this outing? 2 years after his departure, what has changed for SENSES FAIL?
I miss him as a friend but I am happy with the direction we have take the music.
You’ve gone thru lots many line-up changes. Does that bother you in any way? [smiles]
No it doesn’t.
[smiles] Alright, the album isn’t out yet, but we can already see some Spanish references. Is there a deeper plot to it?
Not really. It was meant for one song and that is it.
Do you still remember your rookie years and the way you recorded your early records? How would you compare today’s process with the one you approached 10 years ago?
Yes absolutely. Everything I learned not to do, I learned back then. The process of recording our first record was a total mess. Our producer basically had to wrangle us in and explain that this is the most important thing we do. I would say we are now very professional and prepared, thanks to all of the experience.
He was great. He was very laid back and had great ideas. The time and effort he put into crafting the sound of the guitar is unmatched. We recorded it very quickly and work very hard but he was never stressed or negative. It was a great experience.
What brought upon the slight stylistic changes in your sound? How would you describe the transition since the 2002-2005 era?
This is basically a different band. Whatever your idea of SENSES FAIL is, this band is now different. I wanted to play music that I felt proud of and I wanted to make music that was positive.
What about the lyrics? What or who would you say is your biggest inspiration when writing lyrics these days? Does the ever-changing world encourage you to take a different approach?
I would say various myths, spiritual readings and personal reflection are the areas I draw my ideas from. Love, is always a very big topic of this record, the power of love.
Ok… back to the new album promotion. You’ll be touring in the US from April 3rd to May 11th and May 18th to June 1st in the UK. What about mainland Europe? How come you forgot about us!? [smiles]
I wish we could tour in Europe more, I really really wish we could. It is just so expensive for us to come over and we don’t do very well, so we end up going in debt because of it. We will be playing two shows in France and one show in Belgium in June.
Ok, let’s move back to your early days.
Ridgewood, New Jersey. Are you still close to your local music scene? How do you embrace it?
There was never a scene in Ridgewood, so I am not really close to it.
To the best of your recollection, what was the post hardcore scene in 2002? How has your perception of it changed over time, if at all?
It was awesome, exciting and a thrill to be apart of. There were so many great bands, doing very different innovative things. It was a really amazing time to be playing music and we were very lucky to be a part of it.
Oh, and do you still consider yourself a member of a post hardcore band? How do you feel about the label?
I don’t care what we are labeled.
What’s up with BAYONET? Are you still a band? [smiles] Any chance to hear some new tunes soon?
We aren’t really going to be doing anything new. In the process of writing the new SENSES FAIL record, we incorporated a lot of the ideas of BAYONET into SENSES FAIL and they are not sort of be considered one.
Thinking about your name, sometimes I wonder… Do you practice Buddhism? [smiles]
Not in practice but a lot of my spiritual identity I pull from Buddhism.
Thanks so much for your time! Any last words?
Thanks so much for the time and great questions!
05/18 Kingston – The Peel
05/19 Southampton – Talking Heads
05/20 Bristol – Thekla
05/21 Cardiff – Clwb Ifor Bach
05/22 Nottingham – Rescue Room
05/23 Glasgow – King Tuts
05/24 Newcastle – Academy 2
05/28 Manchester – NQ Live
05/29 Norwich – Waterfront Studio
05/30 London – Underworld
05/31 Exeter – Cavern
06/01 Oxford – 02 Academy 2