TB: We’re doing well, thanks for having us! We are just busy promoting our new album so things are good.
Can you talk to us more about your latest single “No Stone Left Unturned”?
TB: Sure. The song in question was actually the second or third one written for the new album. We chose this song in particular as the first single because the chorus happens quickly and is very catchy, so we wanted people to be able to latch onto it right away. I also think it displays that we are all very competent in our individual roles as a band.
Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?
TB: No one event was the inspiration, but a number of them were. I tend to write lyrics from a very personal and introspective point of view and “No Stone Left Unturned” isn’t any different. This song is ultimately about realizing you’ve made mistakes and instead of learning from them, you’ve kind of lost who you were. So, in essence, you have to look within yourself at the “why” the mistakes were made and connect who you ARE with who you’ve lost in the process. With this tune, there’s a sense of reconciliation in that you have to make now better instead of repeating the past.
How was the filming process and experience behind the video?
TB: As mundane as this might sound there really wasn’t much of a process as its just a lyric video. We had our friend Carlos Avila of the band Shadow Virus do it. I told him what kind of imagery we were looking for and that it should coincide thematically with the promotion of the new album. He worked very quickly on it and had the finished product to me in about three days, so it was all very seamless.
The single comes off your new album One Last Grasp At Hope – what made you want to do a sort of conceptual record?
TB: The fact that One Last Grasp At Hope is sort of a concept album happened by complete accident, but with perfect symmetry at the same time if that makes sense. In the preproduction/demo stage, we all kind of realized that each song was dealing with the idea of hoping for certain things. There are some heavy lyrics and all of them are celebrating the idea of hope in some way. You hope for things to change personally for the better, you hope that certain joys or happiness will last, you hope that hard times, anger, self loathing and bad situations won’t. The constant theme of having any hope is something we all have to hold on to as human beings. That became the basis for the album title, because sometimes, it is all you can reach for.
What’s the story behind the title?
TB: I kind of answered this in the last question huh? Haha! If I had to sum it up, it means that there are always times in the trials and tribulations of life that hope is all we have.
How was the recording and writing process?
TB: The writing process began almost immediately after our last full length “Nothing Left to Lose”. I would demo songs here at home and then send the rest of the band these songs and we would all expand on the meat and potatoes and add our own ideas. With us being a five piece since 2016, the writing was refreshingly collaborative and we each brought ideas to the table for every song making them better as a result. All of us get along great and there is a real sense of comradery so it made things very easy, which isn’t the case in a lot of bands. The recording process was a bit different than what we were all used to. Our bassist Ken has a home studio in his house, and our guitarist Justin is a sound engineer and records bands, so they combined gear and we did the album entirely on our own at Ken’s while Justin mixed, engineered, mixed and produced. There was no worry of having enough time or money, so that was refreshing but also made for 16 hour days over the course of a week. That part was very grueling, but all of us knew the material so well that we completed basic tracking in something crazy like four days. Everyone brought their best performances and I think you can hear it. I also can’t say enough about the outstanding job Justin did in making the album sound amazing. He worked tirelessly to make us sound organic, real and very clean but super heavy at the same time . The production for our album can be stacked next to anything that is considered “industry standard” in my opinion. Justin can proudly hang his hat on that. There are no triggers or studio tricks, what you hear on this album is all real and all us, that’s a rarity in today’s musical landscape.
How do you get to balance all your different influences together into one?
TB: You know, that’s a good question because the five of us collectively like so many different things. On paper it shouldn’t make sense for us to be in a band together. However, I think that all of us meet on a common ground stylistically with the sounds and influences we have as a group, that it just works. That is what makes A Gathering of None sound cohesive and makes our vision unified.
What aspect of hope did you get to explore on this record?
TB: The hope for change, embracing the positives while recognizing the negatives and the want or hope to be happy.
Any plans to hit the road?
TB: Yes! We have a small tour in July across the northeast and midwest United States. After that, we will try to do more shows down the line as our schedules see fit. A lot of people may not realize that we are scattered across the southwest, northeast and southeast parts of the US. We all have jobs, families and other obligations so it’s definitely not the typical model for a band and we do everything remotely. All five of us are involved in other musical projects too to varying degrees, so we want to play live more, but at the same time I think the fact that we only do handfuls of shows each year make them more special and we aren’t exhausting certain areas by touring all of the time. I wouldn’t want to anyway, personally. I did that for fifteen years in my previous band and I am very happy with how we handle live shows now. Touring year round is awesome but also very easy to get burned out on. I will say that I’d like for there to be a dedicated number of weeks we could all commit to throughout the year at various points, though. We do plan on west coast and European dates in the future. For now? We are doing the best we can with the limitations we have.
What else is happening next in A Gathering Of None’s world?
TB: The tour in July. Once that is in the rearview, the next shows and the next album. We already have ideas stockpiled, so we’re going to let them marinate for a while as we promote the latest album. When the time is right, more music is sure to come. As a band we don’t force anything, so I guess what happens next is what we all feel right doing.