INTERVIEW: We Came As Romans (18/10/2017)

Michigan metalcore mob We Came As Romans are celebrating their milestone fifth record with the release of ‘Cold Like War’ and cementing their place as an elite band in their genre. The band have left their ever present home of Equal Vision for a new adventure at SharpTone Records and are sounding fresh yet brutal with a record about turmoil and struggles that follows on from previous conflict the band had with their self-titled album in 2015.

Just as ‘Cold Like War’ was about to be released, we managed to grab the band for a chat about their new record, metalcore tours coming to the UK, and how conflict can benefit a band in the long run.

DEAD PRESS!: Hi guys! Album number 5 is about to drop, how are you feeling going into the release of ‘Cold Like War’?
We Came As Romans: I’ve never felt so excited or as confident as I currently feel about this release! It’s amazing that every single we have dropped has been met with 99% positive feedback. Our fans have been patient with us creating this record, and they have been so supportive of it already.

DP!: It’s only been two years since the self-titled record came out. How would you say that ‘Cold Like War’ differs from your last album?
WCAR: We all learned a lot from our self-titled record. Everyone who worked on the record worked very hard on it, but it never came together the way we wished and the plans around it seemed to fall apart along the way as well. However, I wouldn’t take that back for anything because we learned so much. We learned a lot about writing throughout the writing and recording of our self-titled, which set up a lot of the melody throughout ‘Cold Like War’. We also learned that we don’t always need to listen to every word the people who work with the band suggest us doing. With that being said, we made this record exactly with what we wanted to play and exactly how we were feeling, and it came out as the best record that we’ve ever done.

DP!: After four records with Equal Vision you’ve moved onto SharpTone Records, which you’ve described as a home. How did the SharpTone relationship come about, and how has it become so important for We Came As Romans?
WCAR: We were at a point in our career where we had a lot on the line and a lot to prove. After meeting and talking with SharpTone, we realised they were in a very similar position and we loved that. They were willing to put their necks on the line and had so much faith in our band’s potential. Because of that, they were very encouraging and were a crucial part in creating this record. Not to mention, all the ideas that they’ve had around releasing this record have been very different and creative.

DP!: ‘Cold Like War’ is about turmoil and struggle. How did personal conflict within the band influence the tone of the album?
WCAR: During the course of our self-titled record, none of us were very happy. We had so many plans that never came together, so many people lost faith in us and wrote us off, and the record itself never came together the way we wished it would have. When so many things go wrong and hardly anything goes right, it’s hard to keep your head up and look at things positively. In the end, all of the negative energy helped us create ‘Cold Like War’, so it was all a vital part in the creative process.

DP!: ‘Lost In The Moment’ and the title-track for the record have been put out as singles with videos. How did you pick the tracks to do this with? Do you feel they represent the album best?
WCAR: These songs stick out, and we knew right away that they would be fan favourites. Although, there are a lot of songs we haven’t released yet that are also really awesome. There are a lot of great songs on the record, so I don’t want to say that they “represent” the album, but they are a good start.

DP!: ‘Encoder’ is extremely electronic heavy, and some parts of the record can even be symphonic. How much influence do non-metal music genres have on your writing?
WCAR: For me personally, I love heavy music. However, a lot of the other guys listen to a lot of different genres. This song in particular is a Kyle creation! He loves making dance music and electronic songs for his solo project, and it was cool to incorporate his passions into this record as much as we did.

DP!: You’re out on tour in North America with I Prevail, Escape The Fate, and The Word Alive for the rest of the year. How has it been so far?
WCAR: It has been a massive tour, and the crowds every night have been absolutely wild. It’s awesome to be on tour with bands that we’re such good friends with too! I workout every day with the dudes in I Prevail, we serve Zack from The Word Alive shots of tequila multiple times daily out the passenger side window of the bus, and every day we keep making new jokes with everyone on the tour. It’s always fun to be a part of a tour with this many awesome people.

DP!: America seems to get huge metalcore package tours like this, and we miss out! Do you think the same style of tour is possible over in Europe? What would be your ideal tour line-up?
WCAR: It would be awesome to do a tour of this size in America and take it straight to Europe. We’ve tried to do it in the past, but it’s difficult to co-ordinate every band’s schedule to make it work. I think it’s possible, but it would need to be planned very far in advance. We have a lot of friends, so it would have to be a festival tour with all of them; August Burns Red, I Prevail, The Word Alive, One OK Rock, The Color Morale, Memphis May Fire, Miss May I, Palisades, Beartooth… I’m sure that I’m forgetting a bunch of bands, but this is a start.

DP!: How do you think the metalcore scene in 2017 is compared to when you first starting touring as a band? How do you think the genre has adapted in that time?
WCAR: Bands have to rely on social media and their internet presence more than ever. It’s a great tool that makes it much easier to access your fan base. Bands that learn about it and how to take advantage of it often times have a much more dedicated fan base than those who don’t. It’s an interesting time to be in the music industry.

DP!: When can we next expect to see We Came As Romans back in the UK?
WCAR: Definitely at some point in 2018! It is very long overdue.

The band’s new album, ‘Cold Like War’, is out now through SharpTone Records.

You can purchase it online now via iTunes (here), Amazon (here), and Google Play (here).

You can keep up-to-date with the band online by following them on Facebook (here), Twitter (here), and Instagram (here).

Interview by Mike Heath (@MikeBeef)