Blessthefall were feeling a bit down in the dumps after 2015’s ‘To Those Left Behind’ failed to get the push they’d hoped. Now signed to Rise Records, they’re back raring to go. Beau Bokan fills us in over cold brew coffee and oatmeal.
Hey Beau, how are you guys at the moment, are you enjoying your tour with Of Mice & Men?
The tour is off to a great start! We’re six shows in, and the crowds have been bonkers. The highlight for us is just being able to tour with such cool dudes. They’re very respectful, and we’ve known them for almost seven years now.
It feels like you spend an awful lot of time on the road, do you get much downtime?
We try to make sure we have some time off between tours. It can definitely wear down on you when you’re out on the road for too long. It’s important to have a steady balance.
What do you all get up to when you’re not going about band business?
Everyone has different hobbies like golf, working out. I personally am a huge ice hockey and basketball fan. I try to play both sports as much as possible. It gets the aggression out!
You’ve said you feel your new album ‘Hard Feelings’ is a fresh start, how so?
For a culmination of reasons. One being on a new record label that is genuinely excited to work together. I feel that partnership is hugely important. We had to make a change from the situation we were in. Things were stagnant, and it really wasn’t looking good.
What do you think sparked this rejuvenation?
Just being treated like you’re special. Like you’re a commodity to the music scene. It helped motivate us to write the best album we could possibly write because we know that it wouldn’t go unnoticed.
How did you come to sign with Rise Records?
We were speaking to a few different labels, and frankly, we really didn’t know what the future held for us as a band. Our last album was completely neglected. So we were in a scary position. Rise has a grassroots approach to the way they run their label. They don’t have 25 employees running around. They have their shit together, and they’re hard workers, just like we are.
Did you come up against any unexpected challenges during the album’s writing or recording process?
The only challenge was the challenge I put on myself to outdo anything I’d done before. The entire time I was focusing on making these songs, vocally and lyrically, something timeless.
What’s the story behind the album’s title?
Once all the songs started coming together, we realised how much raw emotion was put into every line. My wife was wearing a hoodie that said “No Hard Feelings” on it. As I was in the middle of writing, I saw that hoodie and said to myself, nah fuck that – hard feelings. It’s pretty random, but it all clicked.
Are any of the songs especially personal to you?
All of them are. They have to be. I’d say the one that hits me the hardest is ‘Welcome Home’.
What’s your favourite thing about the record?
Just the feeling I get when I listen back to it. It sounds fresh. It doesn’t sound like anything we’ve done before, but we’ve managed to keep our integrity. Fans will hear something familiar, but they will also be extremely surprised to hear what we created.
Did creating this record spark any new ideas you’d like to explore in the future?
Are you going to play any extra UK dates while you’re over here for Download?
I hope so! If not we’ll be planning on coming back very very soon.
Taken from the April issue of Upset – order a copy or subscribe below. blessthefall’s album ‘Hard Feelings’ is out now.