Architects Debut In India
The British metalcore band’s drummer Dan Searle on breaking through in America and crowdfunding a live documentary
At one point, India might have made it on to 100 Days, British metalcore band Architects’ crowdfunded documentar y about their world tour last year. The film, which follows the band across 25 countries in [you guessed it] in a 100 days, included footage from shows in Canada, UK, Sweden, China, Malaysia and Indonesia, among others. Drummer Dan Searle says India was intended as a stop some time in October last year, but the show fell through. Says Searle, “We were super disappointed because it would have made for an amazing chapter of the film. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out, but we’re delighted to have been given the opportunity to come back.”
Architects perform at IIT Madras’s annual festival Saarang on January 11th, which has previously hosted British progressive metal band Anathema, Swedish djent band Vildhjarta and Swedish progressive metal band Opeth in the last four years. Searle confirms that it is Architects’ last show promoting their fifth full-length album, Daybreaker, which released in 2012. Says Searle, “We have a new album that is all recorded and ready to go, so the f irst two months of 2014 are just resting up and preparing ourselves for a busy year. We love to release new records.”
Rest is important for Architects, who complained of burning out during their US tour with Canadian eclectic metal band Protest the Hero in November last year and called it off midway. While Searle says the Daybreaker tour cycle was one of their most successful in terms of quality, he adds, “It was just too much going from Warped Tour [in March], to festivals in Europe, to the studio, to America again. We ran out of gas and felt we were headed to a bad place. Leaving [during writing and recording the album] to tour felt like a massive deal to us and we felt extremely guilty, but it was 100 percent the right thing for us to do.” Even then, vocalist Sam Carter mentioned earlier this year that they were “ready to give up on [touring] in America” and were “fed up of losing money.”
Formed in 2004 in Brighton, UK, by Searle and his twin brother Tom, who is the band’s guitarist, Architects broke through with their 2009 album Hollow Crown. Searle says that while his band has won some acceptance in the U.S, it is rarely the case where an American band finds it difficult to break through in the UK or Europe. Says Searle, “American bands are often held on a pedestal in the UK because they seem special. I suppose a lot of European/English media worships this ‘idea’ of American culture because of television and film. The other thing is that America has a lot of its own bands, so it’s very hard to break through and make your mark, whilst in the UK and, even more so, Europe, there are less bands and fans are more excited for new music.”
It also doesn’t help that metalcore and modern metal is quickly becoming a saturated scene in the U.S and Europe. The only way out, according to Searle, is to learn new tricks. Says the drummer, “I suppose it helps that we’re largely disillusioned with the genre [of modern metal]. Most of the music coming out of this genre at the moment is awful, so we naturally want to distance ourselves from it.”
Calling off tours, finding a new sound to face accusations of selling out on Daybreaker and lineup changes [guitarist Tim Hillier-Brook left the band in 2012] maybe part of their past, but there’s no question of stopping. By the time they pulled out of their US tour in November last year, a month-long tour across Europe and UK was already in place for this year in March and April. After supporting bands and playing festival slots in Europe, Architects play a headline set in India. Says Searle, “We get to play to our own crowd. We’re hungry to get back to that because we’ve spent all year winning over other bands’ fans. That can get tiring.”
Architects perform at the Open Air Theater, IIT Madras on January 11th at Saarang Rock Show. Entry: Rs 1,000. Tickets available here.
This article appeared in the January 2014 issue of ROLLING STONE India.