Featuring B-sides, covers, and re-imagined tracks, August Burns Red's new EP 'Guardian Sessions' is a fun one. The band's JB Brubaker tells all.
Guardians Sessions EP consists of six tracks. The songs 'Standing in the Storm' and 'Icarus' are proper b-side tracks taken from the original Guardians recording session. We had more than enough material to finish a full length, and while we liked both tracks, they were the oddballs that got chopped. The other four songs were recorded during a separate session in a temporary studio location that we had never used before. That temporary studio is now defunct as shortly after we finished, a neighbour moved in next door and repeatedly called the police with noise complaints. So it goes.
This was our first in-person project we did together after the pandemic began. We locked things down in March 2020, and my bandmates and I didn't see each other again until June when we started working on the Guardians Sessions EP. Even when we were "together", the vast majority of the time was just Dustin and I working together in separate rooms with separate producers. The whole thing was very strange, but it was also exciting to be out of the house and working on something in person with other human beings.
The studio we recorded in didn't have air conditioning. Well, that's not entirely true. It had window units that were so loud that we had to either turn them off so we could focus on what we were doing, or turn them on to keep the temperature from being too unbearable. It was especially challenging when we recorded drums as our drummer Matt had to play without any cold air because the noise of the window unit would bleed into the drum mics. Good times!
The Westworld theme song cover was the first track I worked on after the pandemic lockdown started. I had begun working on an ABR version of that song back in 2018, but it got put on the back burner for a long time. When we got sent home from tour due to COVID, I found myself with an abundance of time and the need for projects to keep my sanity. I quickly wrapped up the Westworld theme and moved on to the "Chop Suey" cover next.
We chose to cover 'Chop Suey' because it's a song that has been a longtime staple in our live show changeover setlist. Every night on tour before a headline show, the last song played over the PA before we started our show has been 'Chop Suey'. It has a way of uniting a crowd and building anticipation. We always enjoyed listening to the crowd belt out the words as we stood side stage, ready to play. COVID gave us the opportunity to tackle some things we wouldn't normally have had time to do, and this cover was born as a result. We're really stoked on how it came out, and I'm especially proud of our singer, Jake Luhrs, and his singing performance.
Taken from the May issue of Upset. August Burns Red's EP' Guardians Sessions' is out 16th April.
Featuring Lilhuddy, The Offspring, All Time Low, While She Sleeps, Evanescence, Manchester Orchestra, Gojira and more.