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IGNITE We wanted to have the record sound as good as Foo Fighters or Rise Against or the new Metallica. We didn’t want a drop in production. We wanted to have that major label-quality recording. I think we nailed it.” Brett adds: “I just think we spent more time on the details and the particulars of actually recording. I think we all went in with a more focused mindset of the sounds we wanted to get and what we wanted it to sound like.” Cameron has said that the band is in a different place now compared to when Ignite made their previous album. Brett explains what was meant by that particular comment. “We’re friends with him in the studio as a producer but then also outside of the studio. We play basketball. It’s a friendship as well as a working relationship. So he knows the ins and the outs of the band. Basically when he’s saying that, ten years ago a couple of us were going through some heavy stuff. We’re ten years older first of all and some guys have had children, some guys are just in a different place in their relationships and stuff so it’s like a lighter, better-spirited band as individuals. That’s what he kind of means by that.”

Would you say that it’s a more positive album than ‘Our Darkest Days’? Brett: “Feels like it. ‘Our Darkest Days’ was pretty angry.”

You’ve said that you feel like this is more of a punk record than a hardcore record. Brett: “You know what, we wrote so many songs and it’s so funny because musically we wrote 40 or so songs and then not all of those got vocals on them. We kind of figured out which ones sounded the best when we were jamming, which ones were translated really easy from a demo to a live version in the room and that’s important because it’s got to feel good when you get together and play it as a band. Then it just seemed like kind of a little of the bit more punk rock sounding songs tended to made the cut. They were just stronger musically and Zoli started putting vocals on those. We whittled it down to probably about 18 songs and then when we went into the studio we landed on 15 songs. Some songs that you’re really psyched on never really materialise into anything amazing and some of the songs where you’re like, ‘I don’t know if this song is going to be awesome’ and then all of a sudden there’s vocals on it and

it makes the whole thing really pop. The song writing formula is crazy. You never know what you’re going to get.”

You’ve been touring on ‘Our Darkest Days’ since 2006. How do you feel now the new album has been released and you can play the new songs? Brett: “Thinking about getting on stage and having finally people know these words to the songs and the parts is really exciting for all of us. At the end of the day, you just trust your instincts on the songs and you hope that the material you write is going to be well received but getting out there and playing the songs in front of people is the true test. But since the record came out basically the day before the tour started, or a couple of days before, you wonder how many people have had the chance to really sink their teeth into it and learn the whole thing. I think we’ll get a better feedback on really everything as the year progresses and as we come back more and people are really familiar with the album. There’s a good amount of people singing along the words to new stuff but give it a few months and it’ll be a lot more well heard.”

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iven that it’s been ten years between albums, it’s only inevitable that there would be some concerns in the band about losing some of their fanbase. However, the strength of their last album and regular touring seems to have eroded those fears. “Well, it’s weird because you put out a record in 2006 and then you don’t put one out until 2016 and you assume that the band is going to lose part of its fanbase or something but that record was weird,” Brett says philosophically. “People really gravitated towards our last record and it was like, ‘oh my God, it was the best record in the last so many years’. People would be constantly turning other people onto the record so it was weird because we continued to sell the record through the whole ten years. I mean sales obviously fell off after the initial push but we played Groezrock two years ago and we did an autograph signing session. There was a couple of hundred of people in line, which is always nice to see. Most of them had never seen us and they’d just been turned onto the band. Like, ‘oh, my friend turned me onto this band two years ago. I’ve never seen you guys. This is the first album I…’ A lot people don’t even know we have too many records before ‘Our Darkest Days’ because the first records we put out are 20 years old and it almost seemed like a different band at that point. It’s been interesting to see the band grow but also at the same time I think heavy music continues to grow so we kind of grow with it. It seems like heavy music is becoming more and more mainstream and with that said, we just have more people interested in punk rock and metal and hardcore in general. So I think the fanbase is just growing

in general across the board.” Brett believes that growth can’t be attributed to any one thing but notes that the mainstream musical environment has improved in the past couple of decades. “You’ve got to think that this version of punk rock didn’t really hit the mainstream and major labels until that mid-‘90s push so you think that’s 20 years only of people being exposed to harder and heavier music. I think it was ‘91 or ‘92 when the ‘Black’ album by Metallica really went mainstream mainstream and so all these people that maybe just listened to classic rock, their parents’ music, were now being exposed to heavier music. I just think all those bands from the punk rock and the metal side of it just getting onto a way more mainstream level is the reason why the scene keeps on growing. You have like Hatebreed and AFI and all these bands that started out playing basement shows, all those bands went on to sign major label deals with Universal and DreamWorks and marketed as like major label rock bands and all those bands had hardcore roots. It’s been interesting to see all these bands start on small labels and move onto bigger labels.” Another explanation could be the increase in levels of file-sharing and people having the ability to listen to music for free. It’s something that Ignite have undoubtedly benefited from. “100%. It’s crazy,” Brett notes. “We did a festival in Indonesia in March [2015] with Lamb of God and I think on all the royalty statements I’ve ever got from the label, sometimes it breaks down where you record sales are, I don’t know if we’ve sold more than 100 records in Indonesia but we went to a 25,000 person festival and there was Ignite stuff bootlegged all over the street and thousands of kids were singing the lyrics to our songs and that’s obviously a direct result of file-sharing and MP3s being online and being passed to people. If it enables us to go to new territories and play and build a new fanbase, I mean at the end of the day record sales are dwindling anyway. Artists aren’t making as much money anymore selling records so if we can grow our fanbase around the world and go to new countries and play in these cities where before there was no chance people would have heard our music, I’m all for it.” ‘A WAR AGAINST YOU’ IS OUT NOW ON CENTURY MEDIA

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