“This record is a bit more of a hopeless rally for help. Two years has passed since ‘Lost Forever’ and nothing has changed,” starts Architects vocalist Sam Carter, before bassist Alex Dean questions, “Maybe things have got worse?” ‘All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us’ is a record forged from “sheer desperation. Wake the fuck up,” points Sam. “We need to do something.”
Ignoring the temptation to repeat ‘Lost Forever’, the band’s seventh record sees them listen to their own demands. “It would have been so easy to repeat ourselves, but it wouldn’t have been a challenge. We’ve been doing this for so long that part of the fun is challenging yourself. It was nice to drive ourselves mental and create something that’s better.”
Sketched out since the release of their last record and then coloured in, in a dedicated space of a few months ‘All Our Gods…’ has been constantly on the go: “Basically what happens is we finish one album and Tom [Sear, guitar] starts writing another one the day we get home,” explains Alex. “It just starts, doesn’t it,” continues Sam. “It’s not like he says what it’s going to be… I don’t think even he knows ‘cos he always says, ‘I can’t wait to hear what the next record sounds like’.”
Turns out he’s not the only one. From the release of ‘A Match Made In Heaven’, there’s been an excitement around Architects and what they’ve built this time around. The five-piece have been asking themselves, “How is this reaching so many people,” in disbelief. “It’s a testament to how much ‘Lost Forever’ had made us grow as a band to see that start there. This start is next level,” offers Sam.
“We’ve never had this platform to release new music on before,” adds drummer Dan Searle. “It’s odd. When we released ‘Lost Forever’, we’d just come off the back of two averagely received albums, if we’re being honest. Going into ‘All Our Gods…’, we knew there was a lot more interest and that was really exciting. We knew there was a lot of people waiting to hear what we’d gotten up to and it does feel like it’s gone to a whole new level now. We’re at a point well beyond what we ever thought possible. We did six albums as a much smaller band and you get comfortable. When you get taken out of that, you have to pinch yourself occasionally and remind yourself how great it is to be in this situation.”
It’s not just their own history the band are reacting to though. ‘All Our Gods…’ is about, “whatever’s happening at the time. Whatever feels relevant, important and whatever we want to get off our chests at that point in time, whether that’s personal things, environmental stuff or the state of the world and other ways of describing it and viewing it. It’s just challenging life,” explains Sam, before Alex summarises: “The overall theme that the world’s in a very bad place tends to sit with the group all the time but there’s different issues that come up and they’ll be addressed.”
Instead of pointing fingers and picking targets, ‘All Our Gods…’ is the grand equaliser. The state of the world “is everyone’s fault,” according to Alex. “More people are conscious, but that’s not nearly enough. They’re aware of the problems but they’re not willing to change because it’s not convenient or they don’t realise how serious it is. People won’t change until it’s too late. Problems get illustrated by various groups all the time and people look at it and go, ‘Oh, it’s not at the breaking point yet’ – but when it does get to the breaking point, you can’t do anything about it. That’s where this feeling of hopelessness comes from on our end.” “We’re judging ourselves as much as everyone else,” adds Sam.
“We were in the studio and it was a pretty dark time,” starts Dan. “The Paris shootings happened and however much you don’t want to eat into the spoon-fed fear you’re given by the media, it’s an unpleasant and scary scenario and of course, in our selfish self-centred world view, we play in a band and we could have been playing that show. Obviously that enters your mind. Then our friends The Ghost Inside were in a bus crash. We were excited to be recording but it felt like a lot of bad things were happening, so I think that further drove the album down a slightly darker path. It’s not all dark but I still listen to it and go, ‘Oh, we went in pretty hard on this’.”
That darkness grows into a sense of mortality that creeps throughout the record, but that helps towards a “healthier attitude towards death. There’s an element of acceptance, eventually we all die,” offers Dan. “We all forget that, I think. Everyone behaves like they’re immortal in a sense and because of that, humans act like they’re blind or they can’t see beyond their own reach. We’re destroying the planet but we still want children. Well, they’re not going to have much of a life and their kids certainly won’t if we carry on like we are. Humans can be pretty silly like that.”
No matter how dark things get, there’s a light to ‘All Our Gods’. “You don’t want it to be too full on the whole time. The important thing about this record is how you take it. From the artwork and the record’s title, to the words that are being sung, this album is about perspective. “Once you find out about all the stuff that what we’re talking about, all these dark moments, it’s not like we’re making this stuff up. It’s all true but at the same time, it’s very empowering once you realise that this is life and this is what’s going on. You’re not walking around blindfolded anymore and you really appreciate what you have and how much time you have on the planet. You can’t walk around knowing all this stuff and being bummed out by it, ‘cause then you’re defeated by it.”
As blissful as ignorance is, the record’s power comes from accepting what’s going on and sharing hard truths. “I think it’s important that people aren’t afraid to be honest with themselves about the state of the world,” explains Dan. “As bleak as the world is you have to just get on with your life. You shouldn’t live your life blindfolded with your fingers in your ears. It’s more liberating to be honest with yourself about what’s going on around you and if there are changes you can make to have a positive influence on the world, even in a small way, I think you should do it. A lot of people feel like they’re voiceless and they can’t do anything, and there is an element of truth to that, but you do what you can. If you feel like you’re contributing to the world in a positive way, whatever small way that is, then great.”
The heavy subject matter of ‘All Our Gods…’ is presented as a discussion. It’s a record that asks questions rather than demanding compliance and, “that is what makes it a subjective record. That’s why people can take what they want from it rather than feel like they’re being told off,” explains Sam, before Dan adds that preaching “is not the way to go about it. If people want to have that conversation with you, they’ll have the conversation with you. You can’t force it down their throats and if you do, they’ll resent you for it.” And anyway, “throughout the whole recording, there were discussions where we realised we’re all fucking guilty. We’re not excluding everyone else, we’re all part of the mess that we’re in.”
As the band – and the people following them – grow, their message and desire to discuss is in no danger of being diluted. “It’ll always be there and we’ll always make sure it can be heard,” promises Sam, and as important as that avenue of Architects is, it’s not their everything. “We all listened to Rage Against The Machine when we were kids and to be quite frank, I didn’t give a fuck about the message behind the music. It went completely over my head,” grins Dan, with Sam sharing his smile. ”I just thought that those songs were cool.”
“When you’re a teenager and you hear ‘Fuck you I won’t do what you tell me’, you don’t think oh this guy’s raging against the system, you think he’s a teenager who doesn’t want to do what his parents are telling him. People can take away whatever they want from it. Some people will enjoy the message and some people, I’m sure we’ve got thousands of fans right now where the message goes over their head, which is fine.”
Instead the band are just enjoy having an impact on someone’s energy. “It’s cool to be responsible for some sort of emotion in somebody. I love the idea that there are people out there who have an emotional attachment to songs we’ve written. You can’t fully understand or appreciate the scope of that,” Dan says, but it’s not just their fanbase that get something from the band. “There are songs that even I listen to, having not written the lyrics, that I relate to in a different way to what they’re even about,” explains Sam. “It’s nice to be in a band where someone else’s lyrics can help me and it’s great.
“Music in general is completely subjective. That escapism is what music’s all about, being able to completely detach yourself from whatever stress or worries you have at that moment in time. Personally I want people to take away the feeling of needing to have more empathy for their fellow brothers and sisters of the world ‘cause we’re all in this together. And to just care more. Love more. I think we really need to realise that change isn’t going to happen until we love the planet more but we also need to love and respect ourselves and other people in the world.”
“It all starts with us,” continues Dan. “The first thing we can do to make this world a better place is to start with ourselves. Ask what are the things I don’t like about myself and let’s change them. Let’s live life in a way that’s more in harmony with the planet.”
With every record, Architects get more comfortable and more vocal about their beliefs. “It’s knowing how to approach it and it’s just growing up and observing world events,” but as Tom points out “our ideas and beliefs are always evolving.” “People are rigid and I think what sets us apart, is our willingness not to be rigid in our beliefs,” adds Dan. “Our willingness to be open,” which includes being open to new outlooks and ideas. “I think people need to readjust where the bar is. Our generation is sold this idea that it’s going to be so hard, the economy is bad, houses are so expensive, there are no jobs out there and a degree is worth nothing. We need to ignore that and ask, ‘What do I want to do?’ and aim as high as they want.
“We wrote this album, and our objective was to write the best metalcore album in the world. I think anyone, no matter what they’re doing with their life, should aim as high as possible. If they don’t get there first time or second time, then don’t worry. Keep trying. You can achieve all sorts of stuff, regardless of what people tell you. In some ways, we’re proof of that. We’ve created this job for ourselves. We’re very, very lucky but we have always believed in it and stuck at it. There was no careers adviser at school telling us to join a metalcore band. There was no one saying, ‘You can do that’. It wasn’t on the list but we wanted to do it, we stuck at it and we made it work. We’ve made something of it and I think people need to aim outside the box.”
“Trust me, coming from someone who failed every single one of his GCSEs, if you set your mind to something and you want it bad enough, you’ll find a way,” promises Sam. “Do what makes you happy.”
If after listening to Architects you feel inspired to make a difference, to do something to make the world a better place, well, it’s less daunting than it seems. “Try and invite new experiences into your life rather than doing the same things you did yesterday. A lot of people expect their lives to just change without them changing anything. They’re not happy with their circumstances but they keep going on with the same actions,” says Tom, with Sam echoing, “just make a change. If you’re not happy, don’t sit and moan about it. Get up and do something. Change your routine. Just do something that will make you change. Embrace the unknown. Do something different.”
“And if you don’t take any of that from the record, just come to the show and start a mosh pit,” laughs Tom, with Adam smirking: “Worst case scenario, we’ll see you in the pit.”
Taken from the June issue of Upset, out now – order your copy here. Architects’ album ‘All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us’ is out now.