With their sixth album, Rescue & Restore, cracking the US Top 10 and a slot on next year’s Soundwave Festival at Claremont Showgrounds (Monday, March 3), singer, Jake Luhrs, tells SHANE PINNEGAR that August Burns Red have finally found their sound.
August Burns Red’s new LP, Rescue & Restore, infuses elements of punk, indie and heads down rock into their metalcore framework, and it’s also probably the band’s heaviest record to date.
“I definitely think that it is a heavy, heavy record,” Luhrs agrees, “I think at first when August Burns Red started out, we figured out what we wanted to play, or what we wanted to sound like, but now I think it’s not so much what we want to sound like, but ‘who are August Burns Red now?’”
It makes a lot of sense – being true to yourselves as people and as artists, and discovering the music you’re meant to be making, as opposed to trying to direct your sound in a certain way. The results, of course, speak for themselves, with a Top 10 album.
“Yeah, and that’s funny because that doesn’t always happen,” he concurs. “There’s a lot of bands out there who stick to who they are and take their music in a direction which is them. I applaud that because there’s a lot of bands that don’t, that are just replicas of other bands, or are nothing new and just sound generic, or they don’t push themselves hard enough.”
The band’s Christian faith doesn’t see them preaching through their music, but their lyrics are none-the-less full of positive messages. It’s an approach that has won them a lot of respect.
“I don’t think that everyone likes that our music is positive,” Luhrs counters, “but no-one’s saying you have to listen to us, you know? I think the thing is, that we try to write our lyrics in an honest way and in a very relatable way to our fans, so they can cling on to them and go, ‘that’s exactly how I felt’ or ‘this is exactly what I’m going through’, or some sort of positive message.
“If you look at metalcore,” he continues, “there isn’t really a ton of positive messages out there. The kids, yeah they wanna hear something aggressive, but maybe they don’t wanna hear a message full of hate – they wanna hear hope. So having an aggressive message of something positive, I think, is interesting to our listeners.
“We never have lyrics that are extremely negative,” he insists, going on to explain “or if we do, then later in the song we will have something which shows why, in that moment, there was so much anger, so you have to consider that. I’ve never actually heard of our lyrics being something that someone took and used in a negative way, thank God.”
Have a look at any photo of Luhrs playing live and he looks like he’s about to pop a blood vessel in his head. He laughs easily at the observation and readily admits that the show takes it out of him a fair bit.
“When I get up on that stage, for me it’s kind of all or nothing,” he says. “It’s a very passionate moment for me that I get to share with our fans. Yeah man – I’m living my dream – I have nothing to scream or be upset about!”
August Burns Red play Soundwave Festival at Claremont Showgrounds on Monday, March 3.
Get your tickets here.