August Burns Red interview

Progressive Metal juggernauts August Burns Red recently released their 4th full length record, Leveler, which has lead to a headlining slot on the main stage at Warped Tour next year. Now heading out for their first headlining tour with support from Silverstein and others, the boys from Pennsylvania are setting their sites on conquering the US. Thrillcall got the chance to speak with the main songwriter and lead guitarist JB Brubaker about recording their new album and what they have in store for everyone with this tour, which stops at The Regency Ballroom in San Francisco on on February 5th, 2012.

THRILCALL: What was the recording process like for Leveler?

BRUBAKER: The recording process was pretty similar to our past records. I write out all the songs and I tab them out. Once we’re at home and getting on a writing schedule, we’ll try to get two songs knocked out a week. Then Jake writes his vocal patterns to them, but he does most of that in the studio. It’s pretty standard, we track drums, then guitars, bass, then vocals. We tracked with Jason Suecof, who is a great producer but he is a complete lunatic, we butted heads but I think that’s kind of where a lot of his genius comes from. It was trying at times, but were really happy with the final product.

THRILLCALL: What was it like headlining the main stage on Warped Tour last year?

BRUBAKER: That was a very surreal thing, Warped is something we used to go to all the time as kids, so it was one of those goals we also wanted to attain. We’ve had dates on the smartpunk stage but that was much smaller. That was one thing we wanted right out of the gates with Leveler was to be main stage that year for Warped, thinking about the release of the record coinciding with it. It was a really good experience and probably one of the best tours we’ve done.

THRILLCALL: What’s one of your favorite songs to play live?

BRUBAKER: I really enjoy playing “Poor Millionaire,” it’s not terribly difficult to play so we can run around and have fun to it. Most of our songs I have to stand in place and focus on not fucking up, so I like it when I can just let loose and not have to focus on playing technically proficient.

THRILLCALL: What are you most looking forward to on your upcoming tour with Silverstein?

BRUBAKER: One of the things that we’re stoked about is that we get to play as long as we want. It’s a headlining tour, as opposed to a 40-minute set on Warped, and before that we did a co-headlining spot with Bring Me The Horizon on the AP tour so we only got to play about 45-minutes. This will easily be the longest set of our career. We have 4 albums and there are songs we kinda have to do every night, so it’ll be nice to play songs that we don’t usually get to play.

THRILLCALL: Where did the idea for August Burns Red baseball cards come from?

BRUKBAKER: We’ve always been sports fans, especially baseball and that’s something that hasn’t really been a secret. I talk about baseball a lot on twitter, but our label totally gets that, so they suggested doing baseball cards for the bonus pack for Leveler and I think they came out great.

Watch the video for “Empire” off 2011’s Leveler below:

Tickets are available for the 2012 August Burns Red tour – dates below:

01/13 – Sayreville, NJ – Starland Ballroom *
01/14 – Baltimore, MD – Sonar *
01/15 – Charlotte, NC – Amos Southend *
01/17 – Charleston, SC – Music Farm *
01/18 – Nashville, TN – Rocketown *
01/19 – Atlanta, GA – The Masquerade *
01/20 – Orlando, FL – House Of Blues *
01/21 – Ft. Lauderdale, FL – Revolution *
01/22 – Tampa, FL – The Ritz Ybor *
01/23 – Jacksonville, FL – Free Bird Live *
01/25 – Houston, TX – House Of Blues *
01/26 – Oklahoma City, OK – Diamond Ballroom *
01/27 – Dallas, TX – House Of Blues *
01/28 – Austin, TX – Emo’s East *
01/29 – San Antonio, TX – White Rabbit *
01/31 – Tucson, AZ – Rialto Theater ^
02/01 – Las Vegas, NV – House Of Blues ^
02/02 – Anaheim, CA – House Of Blues ^
02/03 – San Diego, CA – House Of Blues ^
02/04 – Hollywood, CA – House Of Blues ^
02/05 – San Francisco, CA – Regency Ballroom ^
02/07 – Denver, CO – Summit Music Hall ^
02/08 – Salt Lake City, UT – The Complex ^
02/09 – Boise, ID – Knitting Factory ^
02/10 – Portland, OR – Hawthorne Theater ^
02/11 – Seattle, WA – El Corazon ^
02/13 – Calgary, AB – MacEwan Ballroom ^
02/14 – Edmonton, AB – Starlite Ballroom ^
02/16 – Winnipeg, MB – Garrick Centre ^
02/17 – Minneapolis, MN – Caboose ^
02/18 – Chicago, IL – House Of Blues ^
02/21 – Cincinnati, OH – Bogart’s ^
02/22 – Cleveland, OH – House Of Blues ^
02/23 – Detroit, MI – St. Andrews Hall ^
02/24 – Guelph, ON – Gueplh Concert Theater ^
02/25 – Toronto, ON – The Sound Academy ^
02/26 – Montreal, QC – Metropolis ^
02/27 – Clifton Park, NY – Northern Lights ^
02/29 – Boston, MA – House Of Blues ^
03/01 – New York, NY – Irving Plaza ^
03/03 – Philadelphia, PA – TLA ^

* w/ Silverstein, Texas In July, Letlive
^ w/ Silverstein, Texas In July, I, The Breather