Architects’ distinct brand of harsh yet emotive metalcore has been winning them fans for almost nine years now, ever since the release of their debut album Nightmares. As prolific as they are talented, the band has released six studio albums, and although each of the records share a sense of tonal integrity, the band are well-known for relentlessly re-imagining their own sound. One need only compare the emo shades of The Here And Now, their well-loved 2011 release, with the post-rock feel of the amazing Lost Forever//Lost Together, their most recent studio album.
Lost Forever//Lost Together has recently been re-issued in a luxurious deluxe edition, that includes a DVD of the band’s world tour, and a collection of B-sides. It’s an incredible tribute to an incredible album, and already a guaranteed addition to any Architects fan’s collection.
We spoke to drummer Dan Searle about the deluxe release of Lost Forever//Lost Together, the band’s upcoming Australian tour, and his dream festival line-up.
Joseph Earp: Hey Dan, how are you doing and where in the world does our Q&A find you?
Dan Searle: I can’t speak for everyone, but I’m doing just fine thanks. I’m at home in my bedroom. For once.
JE: Last year saw the release of your brand new album Lost Forever//Lost Together and you are getting ready to release a deluxe edition of the LP. What can you tell us about the repackaging in terms of additions to the collection and any other surprises?
DS: Well, we obviously didn’t want to release some garbage that was thrown together to push sales (although pushing sales is essentially what all re releases are for, to be honest). We finally gave the B Sides we recorded with the rest of the album and platform as well as our world tour DVD from 2012. I think there’s some live stuff on there too. I reckon it’s a pretty sweet package. Our DVD especially had fallen by the way side a little since the initial push after it’s crowdfunded release. It’s cool that we got to put that on there.
JE: Some of the songs off Lost Forever//Lost Together are directly personal, whereas others deal with much broader issues. When you write, do the lyrics come first or do you start with the music?
DS: They happen side by side these days. I’m writing the music for our next record right now and simultaneously starting to jot down some lyric ideas. On Lost Forever myself and Sam got together at the demoing stage and basically picked a set of lyrics and had a run at the song with them. If they felt good and fit nicely we ran with it, if not we’d try something else.
JE: You’ve said you believe each of your albums should have a distinct feel. Do you have the overall feel in mind for an album like Lost Forever//Lost Together before you start recording it or does it evolve more naturally?
DS: I’d say that we had a good idea of the vibe we wanted. That hasn’t always been the case. I’m a control freak so I don’t like leaving things to chance. It’s not very romantic but everything is pretty calculated to assure we get the result we want. In my experience going in with a clear vision of the vibe we’re trying to create results in a better, more focused record.
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JE: How would you describe the experience of writing and then performing songs that are grounded in your own life and experiences?
DS: It’s interesting. I think a lot of the time I don’t register it. I suppose a lot of the more personal songs in our back catalogue are related to Sam’s experience. I will always remember playing our song C.A.N.C.E.R at The Koko in London. When I wrote those lyrics, I thought I was going to die. So standing on stage and playing it live was a surreal and emotional moment for me.
JE: Lost Forever//Lost Together’s Red Hypergiant includes a sound bite from Carl Sagan. When and how did your interest in Sagan and astrology begin?
DS: The cosmos, space, the universe is exciting for the imagination. In a funny way it does influence our music. The way it makes you feel so small, the infinite possibilities, the unimaginable scope of it all. It’s inspiring. Carl Sagan was just a great man. I’d heard the quote, maybe in one of the Zeitgeist movies and it stuck with me so we put it in there.
JE: You recorded Lost Forever//Lost Together in Sweden. What’s your favourite thing about the country that people tend not to talk about?
DS: Tzay mock chicken. It’s the fucking best.
JE: You’re due out in Australia in April. How would characterize Australian audiences compared to others around the world?
DS: Dunno to be honest. Australia has always been sick for us, other places it’s harder for us but that doesn’t mean the crowd is fundamentally different, they just don’t like us. Maybe I can answer that question better after this tour. I feel like you only know what a crowd it truly like once you’ve headlined there.
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JE: You are associated with the Sea Shepard Conservation Society. How did your interest in the group and their work begin?
DS: I’m not 100% sure actually. Sam is the driving force behind that, so it’s probably a question for him. I think the first time I had heard of them was when they came out the the Parkway Drive shows we did over there in 2010. We’ll always support their work. I don’t think people realise how important what they’re fighting for is. Everyone should get behind them in whatever way they can.
JE: Your songs are often very dense, but I’m interested to know how they start off. Do they begin with just a simple riff and grow from there, or do you often have the complete sound of the song in your head before you start?
DS: They normally start with one riff/idea. Then from their I expand on it, come up with other ideas in the same/similar tempo. All our songs are like little projects that grow and evolve, it’s super time consuming for me, but very gratifying when it all comes together.
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JE: What’s the weirdest reaction you’ve ever had when meeting a fan?
DS: We have a fan, who is actually more of a friend now. She’s from Japan. She travels all over to see us. When we met her in Japan she was so freaked out, just losing it. We don’t normally get that because most of us look like we work in accounting or something. She came to some shows on our last UK run and we gave her a pass so she could hang out every day. At the end of the tour she came to Brighton and joined us for our end of tour meal with the band, friends and my mum! That was unusual, we’ve befriended fans before, but not like that. It was really nice actually.
JE: Say your albums are people. Which is the one you’re going to take out for a drink and why?
DS: The Here and Now. I’d get drunk enough to ask what the fuck their problem is. They’d probably say ‘You’. I’d leave embarrassed.
JE: If you couldn’t be a musician, what would you be?
DS: I spent the first 18 years of my life wondering that and I never worked it out. I still don’t know.
JE: Say you’re running a festival. What is your dream line up?
DS: Jeez. I dunno! How big is the festival? How many bands? I’ll just spew a few bands. Sigur Ros, Nordic Giants, Hammock, This Will Destroy You, Hans Zimmer, Bjork. It’d be outdoors, no booze, only weed available. That sounds nice, doesn’t it?
JE: You guys are documented vegans. What’s your favourite vegan dish?
DS: I made some sick Seitan tacos with mango and avocado salsa a couple of months ago. Maybe that. I dunno.
JE: Tell me something you’ve never told an interviewer.
The deluxe edition of Lost Forever//Lost Together is out now.