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  • We Came As Romans Talks "Mis/Understanding", "The Count of Monte Cristo", and "Understanding What We've Grown To Be"

    Fri, 11 Nov 2011 07:16:46

    We Came As Romans Talks "Mis/Understanding", "The Count of Monte Cristo", and "Understanding What We've Grown To Be" - In this exclusive ARTISTdirect.com interview...

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    We Came as Romans are about to conquer heavy music.

    The Detroit six-piece sound fierce, fiery, and focused on their latest offering Understanding What We've Grown To Be. It's a juggernaut of an album built on towering riffs, ethereal keys, and a dual vocal assault that could rattle the dead back to life. In other words, it's perfectly pummeling. However, beneath that wall of aural destruction, We Came As Romans tells tales of struggle and overcoming adversity, inspiring a closer listen and deeper look. That's exactly why their empire will only grow…

    In this exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor and Dolor author Rick Florino, We Came As Romans discusses Understanding What We've Grown To Be, "The Count of Monte Cristo", and so much more.

    Watch our exclusive premiere of We Came As Romans' new music video for "Mis/Understanding" here!

    Did you have one vision for Understanding What We've Grown To Be from the outset?

    Yeah! From the time I started writing it, I told our A&R at Equal Vision that I wanted to focus on making a complete CD rather than just a collection of songs. It was important that it would be considered one piece of music rather than 12 pieces of music on one disc. I really wanted everybody to be able to listen to the CD front to back without skipping a track.

    Is there a guitar element that ties everything together?

    Tuning-wise, this CD was in drop B, C, and D. A lot of the first half, even two-thirds of the CD was in B—the lowest tuning presumably to the average ear. I don't necessarily agree that if you lower your tuning, then the songs will be heavy, but that's the way the songs are sculpted to be. Towards the end of the CD, there are a lot of songs in drop D and C. The tuning is a little higher to really illustrate the darker to lighter flow of the CD.

    What's the story behind "Mis/Understanding"?

    As far as the music goes, when we went into the studio to record the single we released before Understanding What We've Grown to Be, "To Move On Is To Grow", I had what was the music for "Mis/Understanding" written. We only had time to record one single so we decided to record "To Move On Is To Grow" instead. I'm really glad because that song eventually evolved into what "Mis/Understanding" is now. I didn't have the same lyrics for it or anything back then. It's funny to see how that worked out. If we would've released it last year, it could've been a completely different song. We didn't, and I kept writing for this CD. After more and more songs were coming together, it was apparent "Mis/Understanding" would be the CD's opening track. I wanted to start off with a really dark tone compared to what our songs are normally about. I think the final version is really how the song should've been, and I'm glad that we chose not to record it as a single and went the way we did. It came out exactly as it needed to.

    Is there a certain concept at the heart of it?

    Our first CD, To Plant a Seed, was super positive. There wasn't one song on it that had any really negative aspects. I wrote the lyrics to that album when we were really young. I was 18-years-old or maybe 19. I think I was a bit naïve to how being on the road is and how this lifestyle truly is. We didn't know anything about what we were getting into. Ever since To Plant A Seed came out, we've been touring nonstop. It's more about acknowledging the dark sides of life, the things you don't want to deal with, and what you don't want to happen. It's about acknowledging they're going to happen, figuring out how to move past them, and finding out how to stay positive and happy in the end. You can't go through life just turning a blind eye to everything that's going to happen.

    How did you come up with the music video concept?

    We actually filmed three music videos. The story you see is actually part one of three. As time goes, we'll release another video and then follow it with the final video. You see this guy running through the woods. There are scenes of him covered in mud, dirt, and grime. He's even running from himself. That's all going on in his mind. He's running away from the darkness that he sees. He's trying to break away and break out from that. It goes along with the lyrics of the song—not understanding a lot of the things that happen and the negativity that seems mindless. There's no reason for it. Towards the end of the song, Dave says, "Don't give up on. Take comfort in me". The song is ultimately about figuring out how to fix things within yourself and be happy. That's where it all starts. More or less, the video is the artistic way of expressing that.

    If Understanding What We've Grown to Be were a movie or a combination of movies, what would it be?

    Ultimately, any movie about someone who goes through a struggle, has their ups and downs, has their battles, and eventually ends up on top, happy, and all of that. That's really what Understanding What We've Grown to Be is about. Every person who listens to it is going to be enduring different things, so it could be any move where someone has to go through the struggle of daily life.

    What are some of your favorite movies?

    Growing up, I think my favorite movie was The Count of Monte Cristo with Jim Cavaziel and Guy Pearce. I've seen that movie many times. It's a definitely a movie where a guy goes through some intense struggles and comes out of it. It's funny that you mention it. All of my favorite movies in high school were about that [Laughs]. The Patriot was about that. It's still really good! Also, Gladiator is a classic.

    Rick Florino

    Have you heard We Came As Romans yet?

    Watch our exclusive premiere of the music video for "Mis/Understanding" here!

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