Few bands stand out more in the modern metal world today than August Burns Red. They have released six genre-defining albums, with their most recent release being Rescue and Restore, and gone on some of the biggest tours in metal in both the U.S.A. and Europe. Recently we got to sit down with J.B. Brubaker, lead guitarist of the band, to discuss all things ABR including Rescue and Restore, Warped Tour, and what’s to come with the legendary band.
August Burns Red started in 2003 in Manheim, Pennsylvania. Original vocalist Josh McManness and bassist Jordan Tuscan both ended up leaving the band by 2006 after their first full length release Thrill Seeker, and were replaced by current members Jake Lurhs and Dustin Davidson respectfully. The band released their breakthrough album Messengers in 2007, and their third release Constellations in 2009. The band released their fourth album entitled Leveler in 2011, and received the highest sale value the band had ever seen, 29,000 in the first week in the U.S. alone. The group has released two albums since Leveler. The group made an interesting decision and released a Christmas album in 2012 called August Burns Red Presents: Sleddin’ Hill and in June of this year they released their Rescue and Restore album. The album achieved the number 9 spot on the Billboard 100, the highest the band has ever achieved.
One of the things ABR has always been known for is their usage of incredibly unique elements into their music, such as the Latin inspired pieces in Internal Cannon off of Leveler. When asked about why the group uses such unique styles, Brubaker had this to say, “Well, we as a band we are starting to lose our love for the genre [metalcore], and are starting to branch out, especially in what we listen to, and those things kind of creep into our music. We use those to try and make our sound fresh.”
With five full lengths already released, it’d be hard for any band to come up with new material. When asked about the writing phase on this album Brubaker talked about how the band had a “time crunch”, and how “(he) was way behind on this record, but it did end up giving me a different approach to writing.” One of the things ABR is also known for is the use of pre-visualization programs like MiDi. The band has almost always used the program, and this album was no exception.
No one likes to choose between their babies off of any albums. When asked though, Brubaker said “Creative Captivity posed the most issues”, but that he really enjoyed it by the end. Collaborations are becoming more and more popular in the metal realm, and when asked who he’d like to collaborate Brubaker said, “I really like John Simmons from Balance and Composure… that’d be rad.”
August Burns Red has been on Warped Tour several times now, each time climbing higher and higher up the “stage ladder”. This year the band played the main stage as the closer for the event, the highest honor you can get on Warped Tour. When asked about the tour, Brubaker said, “I couldn’t have imagined a better tour for us to be on. It does get a little redundant; it’s hot and can get grueling. I was certainly ready to go home by the end, and to do some club shows this fall.”
So there you have it. With a new album, a huge performance during Warped Tour, and a smaller venue tour for this fall August Burns Red have certainly been busy, and will keep that ball rolling throughout the rest of 2013.
To learn more about August Burns Red, check out them out on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/augustburnsred?ref=br_tf), Twitter (https://twitter.com/abrband), or their official website (http://www.augustburnsred.com/).