ARCHITECTS – “We Were Going Through Some Of The Most Challenging Times In Our Lives”
November 13, 2018, a month ago
Whenever a member of a band passes away, the group is question is left at an all-important career crossroads - do they carry on...or pack it in? British metallists Architects found themselves in this very predicament, when co-founder/guitarist Tom Searle died on August 20th, 2016 at the age of 28, from melanoma skin cancer. The group - which is comprised of singer Sam Carter, guitarists Adam Christianson and Josh Middleton, bassist Ali Dean, and drummer (and Tom’s twin brother) Dan Searle - opted for the former, especially due to the fact that Tom had left behind demos of song ideas, that the band wanted to complete in tribute to their late bandmate. The result is their eighth studio effort overall, the hard-hitting Holy Hell. Dean spoke with BraveWords correspondent Greg Prato shortly after the album’s release.
BraveWords: This is the first Architects album since the passing of Tom. Was writing/recording Holy Hell therapeutic for the band?
Alex Dean: “Absolutely. It gave us something to focus our attention on whilst we were going through some of the most challenging times in our lives. I think when you're dealing with a loss, you need something to give yourself a break from what can often be difficult thoughts and feelings and this album provided that for us. We love making music together, so creating Holy Hell was something that was a lot of fun to be a part of as well. Tom wrote a lot of the material that ended up on the album, so it was really important for us to make sure his art was shared with the world.”
BraveWords: At what point did the band decide they were going to carry on?
Alex Dean: “We knew that we were at least going to see out the touring cycle for All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us. We lost Tom not too long after the album came out and we all wanted to go out and perform the album for him. Much like writing the album, touring has helped us with the grieving process in many ways. Dan and Josh began writing together towards the end of 2016 and they created some material that we were all really excited about. We also had a number of demos and ideas that Tom had written that we wanted to work with as well. I think it was around that point that we knew it would be possible to write an album.”
BraveWords: What does Josh bring to the band?
Alex Dean: “Josh has contributed a massive amount to the band, without him the album wouldn't have happened. He's been a close friend of the band for years and has always been a musician that we all really respect, so him joining the band was something we were all very happy about. When Tom was unwell and wasn't sure that he'd be able to perform on a tour we had booked, Josh was the only person that he wanted to fill in for him. He's an absurdly talented guitarist and his contributions to other areas of writing have been really important as well. He had massive shoes to fill when he joined Architects and he's done an amazing job, we're all very grateful to have him in the band.”
BraveWords: What are some memories of filming the “Hereafter” video?
Alex Dean: “We shot the narrative parts for the video around Brighton on a really beautiful day in the summer. The video needed to have a dark and somewhat cold aesthetic to it though, so we had to dress up in coats and try and not look like we were overheating too much. The shot of Josh, Adam and I staring out at the rapture over the houses was actually us just staring directly at the sun for what felt like an eternity. I think we did a good job of not squinting too much. The performance side of the shoot was all done with green screens in a studio, so the real work was done by our friend, Jeb Hardwick, who filmed us and then then spent weeks in front of a computer creating the amazing scenery that you see in the video.”
BraveWords: And what about the “Modern Misery” video?
Alex Dean: “We shot this video and also the video for ‘Royal Beggars’ in a weekend. They were co-directed by Lewis Cater and Dan, who had his first go at writing music video treatments, which I think went pretty well! It was a really fun shoot for us as it was the first time that all of us have had a more significant part to play in the narrative sections. I think Dan's favorite part of the whole experience was spitting fake blood in my face though.”
BraveWords: What are the touring plans behind the album?
Alex Dean: “We're starting out the album cycle with a show in our hometown followed by a few dates in Russia and Ukraine. Then at the start of next year we'll on our biggest ever headline tour of Europe. We're really excited to get back out on the road as we're just coming to the end of a six-month break, which is the longest we've ever been at home for. We've got plans for everywhere else which'll be announced soon.”
BraveWords: Future plans beyond this album and tour?
Alex Dean: “We're obviously going to be really focused on touring this album for now, but we'll continue writing and working towards the next one very soon, I'm sure. We've always been a band that has new material in the works, as we love creating music together.”
(Photo by: Ed Mason)