Being in a hardcore band for 25 years can make it pretty darn tough when …
For Brett Campbell, innovation is the only form of creation.
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Being set for the release of his stoner-rock group, Pallbearer to release their fourth studio album, singer and guitarist Brett Campbell caught up with Hysteria to speak about his mentality and inspirations behind the creativity of Forgotten Days.
“Heartless [the groups previous release] is extremely layered with guitar leads constantly and vocals and so many melodies cascading against each other, it is a very dense record.”
“All of our records are fun to play live but after touring that album for two years we were wanting to play some different stuff. In general, we try not to repeat ourselves from record to record so we wanted to do something completely different.”
“We have done a lot of expansive, progressive and non-linear songs before and for this album we tried to make some more regular songs. We wanted to see if we can make a regular song structure interesting and if we can make those songs fit into the feel of Pallbearer. It was a challenge,” he laughs.
“I admire bands that aren’t afraid to experiment and try different things within their sound. I feel like if you aren’t being slightly challenged you’ll start repeating yourself.
“Plus, we are a very live focused band and these songs were written to intentionally translate that, songs that would be really killer live. So, us not being able to play them live is really strange.”
Speaking further of the inspiration used to help assist the stylistic changes Pallbearer adopted for writing Forgotten Days, Campbell cited Candian prog-rock figureheads Rush.
“Rush has always been a big inspiration. Not even just musically but how they evolved as a band. Over the course of their career from the 70s, 80s and 90s there is some pretty different sonic territory that they cover but it is always immediately recognisable as Rush. I love how malleable and open they are in being fearlessly creative whilst still having a distinct sonic identity.”
I admire bands that aren’t afraid to experiment and try different things within their sound. I feel like if you aren’t being slightly challenged you’ll start repeating yourself.
[ Brett Campbell ]
“That is something that we have tried to do since album number one.”
The desire to cover “different sonic territory” even led Campbell to adopt a custom nine-string guitar, with many of the songs written on it appearing on Forgotten Years.
“It’s actually made by this dude from Maine who makes guitars,” he says, “when we were there on tour I stopped by his shop and played a few of his guitars, one of which is the nine-string.
“It’s pretty much a six-string but the high strings are doubled like a 12-string but they aren’t octave like a 12-string, so it makes the chords sound really big and shimmery.”
“Eventually that dude just sent me that guitar to have indefinitely, it’s not technically mine, he will probably ask for it back one day. But until then I use it a lot for writing.
“There are some other songs that haven’t even been recorded yet that I wrote on that guitar as well.”
When questioned if the new material was an indication of Campbell starting a side project he excitedly corrected me, saying, “more Pallbearer stuff!”
“We already have more than an album’s worth of material. The writing period of Forgotten Days was extremely fruitful and we ended up with a huge bank of songs. We actually had to pick songs to go on the album, leaving a lot of songs in that bank.”
“It’s entirely possible that we record another album before we have even played any songs off Forgotten Years live.”