We Came As Romans

author AP date 11/11/11

We were recently offered the opportunity to interview the fast-growing metalcore/post-hardcore sensation We Came As Romans via e-mail as a preamble to their first ever Danish show, in support of Alesana, on the 1st of February. Our questions were answered by the band's lead guitarist, Joshua Moore, with short but concise responses, which you can read in the interview transcript below.

RF.net: What as your motivation for forming the band as This Emergency in 2005? We understand there was quite a bit of turmoil with regard to establishing a stable line-up during those initial years?
Josh: In 2005, I was 16, and I just wanted to play music in a band. All the member changes were simply us figuring things out and trying to find dedicated members for the band.

RF.net: What factors affected your decision to change the band's name to We Came As Romans? Is there a deeper meaning behind the moniker?
Josh: Not at all. It was a year after forming; we were all 16 or 17 at the time and we just thought the name sounded cool. We never thought the band would gain any success, really.

RF.net: How do you feel the sound and style of We Came As Romans has evolved since your formation and the two EPs, "Demonstrations" and "Dreams"?
Josh: The "Demonstrations" EP we don't talk about. It wasn't very good at all; we were still very local and writing very mediocre music. Not to say that the music after that was spectacular, but it was definitely better. The "Dreams" EP was very important for us as it really helped us start to establish ourselves.

RF.net: Has your existence as a band been smooth sailing all the way, or have there been significant difficulties along the way?
Josh: There is rarely anything in life that will always be smooth sailing. There are always ups and downs to everything, and this band has been no exception. But at the end of the day, I definitely think that it has all been worth it.

RF.net: Given the saturation of the metalcore and post-hardcore scenes today, what do you feel We Came As Romans contributes to the genres that separates you from the rest?
Josh: I think the positive meaning behind our songs is something our fans really latch onto as something different. People want to be inspired and lifted up, not brought down.

RF.net: Would you say that it is difficult for a band of your style to make a name for itself in the current climate?
Josh: I think it's difficult for a band of any style to make a name for themselves. It's easier and easier to get instruments and recording gear and put out music, but it's definitely harder to get noticed.

RF.net: To what extent was the inclusion of keyboards in your sound a byproduct of the surge in the popularity of electronic elements in metalcore and post-hardcore that we have witnessed over the past five years or so?
Josh: It's something that has always been a part of the band. We have had a keyboard in the band ever since we started in '05, and it was just something that we stuck with through the years.

RF.net: What precipitated your switch from Equal Vision to Nuclear Blast for your latest album, "Understanding What We've Grown to Be"? Was the move a game changer?
Josh: Well, we didn't switch from Equal Vision. They are still our home for releasing CDs in the States. We work with both Equal Vision Records and Nuclear Blast (as well as with We Are Unified in Australia/New Zealand and Triple Vision in Japan). We had previously released "To Plant a Seed" on another European label, too, Redfield Records. We're excited to continue growing internationally and to have so much support around the world. We can't wait to see the growth and progress of the band when we come back to Europe in January 2012 [ed. in support of Alesana]! Our new CD will have been released there through Nuclear Blast for a good four months at that point.

RF.net: Once again you opted to work with producer Joey Sturgis. What do you feel he contributes to your sound that has made a lasting impression on you?
Josh: We're just really comfortable with him. We've been recording everything with Joey since our "Dreams" EP, and everything we do with him continues to come out really, really well.

RF.net: Despite his obvious talent, a lot of people criticize Sturgis for being a one trick pony when it comes to production, as his albums tend to consistently feature an almost identical sound. Have you ever been concerned that working with him you might not be able to distinguish yourselves, in terms of sound, from the host of other bands he produces?
Josh: Anyone that wants to criticize Joey is most likely jealous. He is extremely talented at everything he does, and I've never been concerned or had any doubt about his abilities as an engineer or a producer.

RF.net: Some critics have expressed concern that the new album is little more than "To Plant a Seed" revisited. What would you say in defense of the album in order to silence the naysayers? What do you feel are the key differences between the two albums?
Josh: I don't need to defend anything we've done as a band. We're proud of everything that we've released and done. Critics are critics, and they will always exist. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. People give album reviews after listening to the CD once or twice. If you gave "Understanding What We've Grown to Be" a close listen for longer than that, you would hear distinct differences in continuity, as well as programming sounds and different vocals. There is a lot to the CD that you won't hear the first few times listening through.

RF.net: What can we expect from future material? What direction are you planning to take the band's sound in?
Josh: I'm not sure yet. We're just going to keep writing music we like playing.

RF.net: What are your ambitions as a band from here on, both short-term and long-term?
Josh: To be able to keep releasing CDs and touring the world! Always moving forward!

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