Florida hardcore / metal band STRENGTHEN WHAT REMAINS caught up with IDIOTEQ to tell you more about the touring experience, comment on their Christian nature and a new EP, to be released later this year through Blood & Ink Records. Read the full interview with drummer David Ball and guitarist Devin Stroud below.
STRENGTHEN WHAT REMAINS released their debut EP “Restoration”, debut full length “Humanity” in late 2010 via On The Attack Records, and “Turning A Blind Eye” album on Blood & Ink.
Few bands embody the notion of hard work like Tampa, Florida’s Strengthen What Remains. Since first hitting the road in 2008, not only have they continually pushed themselves to improve musically and lyrically, but they’ve also used their passion as fuel through the best and worst of times. Anyone would be hard pressed to find a more heartfelt and genuine band in hardcore today. / Blood & Ink Records
Hey guys! So, you’ve just announced another live trek, this time with your pals from ULTIMHATE! Glad to see you are starting the year off right :) Tell us a bit more about the cities you want to hit this time.
David: We wanted to try to hit a couple newer places this run, It was super fun. We played a lot of northern states so it was freezing cold!
2014 was a busy year packed with a lot of touring! A huge tour with COLD HEARTED, REMEMBERING NEVER, WITH INCREASE, COLOSSUS, CONVEYER, a bunch of cool festivals, and a French/German/British trek with ULTIMHATE. What were some of the highlights of these adventures?
Devin: Our summer tour last year was amazing. It’s hard to pick out highlights because the whole tour was awesome. The guys in all the bands are great. I guess visiting new states was one of the coolest things. We also met some really amazing people who are like family to us now. Europe is always fun. We played on a ship in Germany. That was probably the biggest highlight of any tour. Not many people can say they have done that.
What are your thoughts on the last 12 months? What have you learned?
Devin: The past year has had its rough points, but also some amazing points. I wouldn’t say it’s something I’ve learned just in this past year, but you always need to be prepared for something to go wrong. A lot of new bands who want to tour are never prepared and they give up after the first tour because it was literally hell.
Are there already more tours in works for later this year? It’s been more than a year since the premiere of your Blood And Ink Records debut album “Turning A Blind Eye”. Are you already composing material for the new effort?
Devin: We just recorded an EP that we will be touring on when it is released later this year. We’ve been working on this EP for a while now. So we’re pretty excited to finally have it finished. More details will be announced soon but keep an eye out for early this summer
What would be your plan with your next release in regard to the fact that you try to bring something new to the table and expand your wings a bit more with every record?
David: Well we just finished recording our next release and we put a lot of effort into making every song really feel like a song by using a more structured approach when we were writing. We really tried to change our song rather then evolve it. Super excited for it to come out!
Which attribute of your musical character would you sell to the devil? Metal or hardcore? What style would you choose if you had to become a straight up metal or pure hardcore punk act? How did these genres shape your identity?
David: I think this question may have a different answer depending on who you ask in the band haha personally id probably sell hardcore to the devil. A lot of our biggest influences from hardcore are heavily influenced by metal so its natural for us to try to emulate that sound. I think listening to a lot of it growing up helps too.
“Spirit-filled hardcore” is a term that is used often wrongly and derogatively and there is a lot of reviewers, hardcore kids, and enthusiasts of your music that don’t want to comment on Christian-themed lyrics and so on. What is the significance of this factor for the band?
David: Even though we consider ourselves a spirit-filled hardcore band we push to be a band for everyone, so even if you aren’t a Christian you can still relate to the lyrics in our songs. All we can do is hope who ever is reading our lyrics or checking out our band really picks up on that.
What was the purpose of STRENGTHEN WHAT REMAINS at its early stage? What’s changed since then?
Ok guys. Thanks a lot for the interview! Feel free to finish up with your plans or the future and shout outs for the bands we should check this year!