INTERVIEW: Boy Becomes Hero

Pic by Antonio Ivans

Hi Andrew, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

-I’ve been doing really well, thanks! There’s some really exciting stuff happening right now.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Delectation”?

-Absolutely! “Delectation” is sort of the wrap up song of the Album. It features Garret Rapp and Kurt Travis, who were both awesome to work with. This song really branches out from the rest of the album and is heavily influenced by Dance Gavin Dance and Tides of Man. Working with Kurt was a no brainer for this song. Garret and I were having a lot of fun working on stuff so we just went for more and more.

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

-No event inspired me to write this song more then any other on the album. The whole album was inspired by a few different things – my sobriety, my interest in comics, and wanting to share something with people struggling with… well anything really.

Any plans to release a video for the single?

-There is currently a lyric video for the song on youtube. It includes some of the art from the album. As far as a music video, we’ll see where things go!

The single comes off your new album Reverie – how did you come up with the idea for a conceptual album?

-The concept really just all fell into place. When writing the melody line for “Exordium”, the first track on the album, I was really just trying to find the right notes and feeling. When I write melody lines, I’m typically just spewing out whatever words can fall out of my mouth in key and timing. When I listened back to the first take for this song the lyrics just stuck and the concept evolved from there.

Was this always meant to be a conceptual record?

-I have always wanted to do a concept album… eventually, but my initial intention was really just to write one song, honestly. After the lyrics for “Exordium” stuck, my mind really just exploded into creating the story. As I worked with Vladyslav on the art work for the album things just continued to snowball. I really couldn’t get enough of continuing to add more and more to the story… which made me write more and more songs. Initially this was going to be an EP, but as you can see, that didn’t stick haha!

What’s the story behind the title?

-The story behind the title and each song title on the album are the same really. They are synonymous to what’s actually happening in the song. So, the title “Reverie” literally means an “instrumental piece suggesting a dreamy or musing state” and “a fanciful or impractical idea or theory”. That’s exactly what this album is.

How was the recording and writing process?

-Both were ridiculous! Each song was approached completely differently. That helped me stay on track though. Writing, Performing, and Recording every instrument and vocals on the record helped to continue to mix things up. I did a lot of partial writing of songs, but as the story/concept evolved it became easier to visualize how a song should sound dependent on what was happening with the characters. i.e A fight may be depicted with heavy breakdowns and lots of screaming

You brought some special guests – did you handpick them or how did they come on board?

-These guests are definitely special! Each person was handpicked for specific reasons. All of these people have been huge inspirations to me in one way or another. With the overall message of the album and the partnership with TWLOHA; Garret Rapp and Aaron Gillespie were no brainers. Garret couldn’t be more fun to work with and our message of positivity couldn’t have aligned better. I look forward to working with him moving forward. Aaron Gillespie, being a founding member of Underoath, the sole band that got me into the post-hardcore scene, was also a pretty easy choice. Kurt Travis was the only person who came to mind when writing the funky bridge in “Delectation”, I think that shows. Sam Kohl was a blast too. His positivity and excitement kept me going through this and his work on Sea In The Sky was something I was listening to a lot at the time of writing the record. Darina Kayukova absolutely killed it on this album. She’s a good friend of my old bandmate and friend Maxwell Koopsen. He plays on “Abeyance” and lives in Russia currently, so he connected Darina and I. The beats for “Expatiate” were done by my wife’s cousin, Ryan Novar (Rvar) and my good friend Mac Hultmark played our outro song.

What did they bring to the table?

-This album could never have been the same if it wasn’t for these guys. The biggest element that they brought was their personality in their vocals. It helps to bring their characters to life in the story and keep it rolling.

Do you tend to take a different approach when you are collaborating with someone else rather than in your own?

-My approach for this entire album was pretty sporadic haha. I worked with everyone completely differently. I did this because the goal was to make sure they were able to put their own process and as much soul as they could into each part. You can really tell when listening that this album has a little bit of everyone’s personality in it. It wasn’t written or torn apart by a label head or huge producer and turned into something it wasn’t meant to be.

How Kyle Pavone and Mac Miller did influence the writing on this record?

-These guys are both heavily influential people in their own music scenes. I actually used to play shows with We Came As Romans back in High School, so I knew Kyle for a long time. Their passing didn’t influence the writing on the album as much as they influenced how important my message is and of why I created this. Addiction, Depression, Anxiety, Self-harm, and Suicide are all real problems in our world. People we know are struggling with some of these things daily and we may not even be aware. In a lot of my experience with addiction, I see people’s sobriety slowly fade the longer it takes them to get their inspiration back or to begin doing the things the enjoy again. When you begin a journey of sobriety you have to give up, temporarily, a lot of things that you really love because they are associated in your mind with your substance of choice. It took me a full year into my sobriety to even pick up an instrument again without my body feeling like it was about to take a drink. Its hard, but we can get our inspiration back, but when we do, I believe it’s our job to share it with other people. Putting that addictive personality into something that can benefit others and help them heal is a beautiful thing. That was the goal of this entire record. Fix myself so I can help fix the world.

How much did Anime and Manga influence this album?

-Haha I should have expected this one! Not at all actually. I am a huge Marvel fan and my love for comics definitely helped influence the direction of the story, but as far as the art work it was really just a collaboration between the artist and myself.

Where else did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?

-The characters in the album actually strongly relate to my own life, family, and relationships. It wasn’t difficult to write the lyrics/dialog for the concept as they are similar to events and feelings in my own life. Because of this it really allows the album able to be something that listeners can find their own favorite songs and still have them be relatable in the lyrics or something that they can sit down and escape into the world we created and take a break from their own by listening all the way through.

Any plans to hit the road?

-It would be a blast to do that. I don’t think it’s in the cards at the moment. Creating, right now, is where the passion is. Creating a different experience for listeners.

What else is happening next in Boy Becomes Hero’s world?

-I am currently writing for the second album already, which will be a prelude album to “Reverie”. It will cover some back story for the Characters. Music Videos or Comics to go with the current album are options that are being tossed around right now too!

Watch here

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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