With the release of their highly-anticipated third full-length album right on the horizon (it was just released today online), we took the time to interview Fort Worth, Texas-based Oh, Sleeper. James Erwin, guitarist of the hard-rock/post-hardcore quintet, took some time in order to answer our questions about Children of Fire, the factors that influenced the record, what is to come for the band, and more.
What are some major influences behind the music on the new record, and how would you compare them to your old material?
The range of influence on all of us is huge because we listen to so many different things, but a few are constant between all of us. NIN, Deftones, Meshuggah, Dillinger. These are all bands we all agree on and love… so I think a few different elements of all of those definitely show through. Also when we started writing this record I think our past material was an influence too. We knew what worked and what didn’t, and we wanted to expand our sound even more from what is was. We are always trying to push the limits of what we can do with this band.
What messages are contained within the album, and what are you trying to pass along to listeners?
The message in this album is pretty consistent to what we’ve always been about: conveying our faith and even questions we have about it. The way we bring it to everyone on this album is the most complex way we’ve ever done it. It’s one complete story from start to finish that we have even weaved in real world current events. I’m interested to see how people dive into it, and what people take from it.
What inspired the name of the album?
Children Of Fire is the rally cry at the end of this album when all the questions from the album have been answered. It brings closure to the story when at the end all the terrible things have come to an end… so when we went to name the album, it just seemed appropriate.
How does being from Texas influence your music? Do you ever find that you have more of a southern-rock sound than other bands throughout the scene that come from different parts of the country?
I would say growing up in Texas had a pretty big influence on us. We’ve had a really strong music scene here for years that we all grew up in. I remember going to shows 10+ years ago with Shane and we’d just be nerding out over bands like Embodyment, Living Sacrifice and other older Solidstate bands that would come through our hometown venue. Without that scene I don’t know if I’d even be doing this interview. As far as a “southern sound”, we try to steer clear of that.. don’t wanna walk all over what Pantera already did and perfected.
What do you have coming up as a band following the release of the record?
After the record comes out we have a CD release show in Dallas we are doing for with $1.00 tickets we are pretty stoked about, and then this fall we are doing a headliner with some pretty sweet bands. We should be officially announcing dates and a line up pretty soon!
Anything else you’d like your fans to know?
I’d like our fans to know we love ‘em and the reason we are able to keep doing this is because of their continued support over the years. Thanks to everyone who backs this band we are able to keep moving forward.