Interview || The One with Matt Greiner of August Burns Red

August Burns Red are set to release their ninth full length album, titled "Guardians". We had a very interesting chat with drummer Matt Greiner, who detailed its creation.

© Sara Velez Herrero

U: Greetings from Greece and welcome to Unraveled! August Burns Red are about to release your ninth full length album, "Guardians". How are you feeling about that? Nervous? Excited?

Matt Greiner: I am looking forward to the release! There is always an element of nerves but the primary emotion is excitement!  We've released 3 singles to this point and the reaction has been positive so it's helpful to know how our fans will generally react to the sound of the album. Having our finger on the pulse helps alleviate some of the nerves.

U: This was your most collaborative effort to date. How did you come to change your approach and how did the dynamic inside the band shift, in terms of songwriting and recording? Would you adopt this process in your future material? What did this experience teach you?

M.G.: Yes! Just as it's evident when a band has fun together on stage in a live setting it is also clear when a band is running on all cylinders and our relationship with one another is really the foundation for all of that. We've grown up together and have a mutual respect for one another that helps us enjoy, understand, and helps us stay motivated in working towards the same goals as band. When we put together this record it became obvious early on that we'd have an easy time working together in an unprecedented way to write "Guardians". If Dustin [Davidson, bass] had a drum part in mind that was better than the drum part I'd come up with then we'd go with his idea. When Brent [Rambler, guitaw, vocals] had a vocal pattern that fit the song better than Jake's [Luhrs, vocals] original idea we'd go with Brent's idea. This is how things looked in the creative process on "Guardians" and it was very effective!

© Ashley Kalinoski
U: Do you believe this is your most integral work so far?

M.G.: Though it's a difficult question to answer since this is our 9th album I would have to say it's a record that seems most fitting considering the current state of the world. With so much uncertainty, struggle, and difficulty I'm proud to be putting out a record encouraging all of us to look around and find ways to help others who may be in need. At a time when so many are in need I think it's hard to rank anything we do as the most valuable or fundamental unless it helps others who need it most.

U: Why did you choose "Guardians" as the album title and what does it represent to you?

M.G.: The song "Defender" talks about us needing 'someone who bends so we don't break.' It's a song about how love looks when it stands up for the defenseless, when love gets mad because someone innocent is charged as guilty and are unable to defend themselves.  When we were picking a name for the album the title, "Defender" was thrown around a lot and we decided that it did a good job of summarizing several of the common themes on the album. We picked "Guardians" as a synonym of "Defender"!

U: Is there a connection between the album theme and the cover?

M.G.: Yes there is. We had several artistic themes in mind to best represent the idea of a guardian or a defender, someone who stands up for the ones it loves most. We found the wolf defending it's pack as a brewing storm looms in the distance and thought it captured the emotion and intent of the name quite well. 

© Ashley Kalinoski
U: Over the last few years, you've celebrated the ten-year anniversaries of "Messengers" and "Constellations" with massive tours, playing the respective album front to back. Do you have any favorite memories from those tours?

M.G.: Yes, it's been a fun 4 years of touring on nostalgia! I really enjoyed getting to see the crowd sing along to words we wrote over a decade ago when we were a band playing in my parent's barn on the farm.  It was fun to play a record from start to finish and have an older crowd come out every night to enjoy the nostalgia and a break from their routine life and kids at home!

U: What is passion for you? How would you define it?

M.G.: I'd describe passion as an overwhelming desire for something or someone that cannot be contained and cannot be quantified. 

U: If you could cast each member of the band as a superhero, who would each member be?

M.G.: JB [Brubacher, guitars] would be Spiderman. Brent would be Batman. Jake would be Thor. Dustin would be Iron Man.

© Sara Velez Herrero
U: If you could have a one-minute phone conversation with a younger you, what age would you call and what would you tell yourself?

M.G.: Don't look to others for affirmation. Do what you love because you love to do it, and respect the decisions of others along the way.

U: What do you want the band's legacy to be?

M.G.: August Burns Red made my life just a little bit better.

U: Thank you for your time. Do you have any final words?

M.G.: Thanks for having me!

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