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“A completely unexpected journey,” is how Architects drummer Dan Searle describes the British metalcore band’s career so far. After a long journey fraught with ups and downs, and songwriting founded on personal tragedies and victories, the quintet – consisting of vocalist Sam Carter, drummer Dan Searle, bassist Ali Dean and guitarists Josh Middleton and Adam Christianson - step out into a wider world on their newest album For Those That Wish To Exist, tackling questions about the future that our planet.
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On the theme behind the album, Searle says: "it's broadly about the kind of crisis we’re facing on this planet, questioning why we're not doing anything. It’s about the strange sense of apathy that we seem to have towards what is really a potentially life or death situation for our kids or grandkids,” he continues. “This is a slow-motion disaster and we can’t continue to be bystanders by not participating in the solution. We need to start thinking beyond our own lives and what we know, and start asking why we’re not doing as much as we can.”
The deeply personal and vulnerable messaging of the band’s work is often a by-product of their melancholic post-metalcore sound. But on their new 15-track record, they break down boundaries, moving towards a body of work imbued with self-belief and self-confidence in creating something good. Searle admits to being challenged by the move: "I had to keep reminding myself that people want good songs, the challenge is to be discerning enough to make sure that what you're creating is good.”
Despite the tone of the album befitting the world we currently live in, it was completed long before the pandemic descended upon us, and is largely not inspired by it. Searle explains: "the writing for the album pretty much all predates the pandemic, there maybe a little crossover where I have a rewritten a chorus melody or two but 99% of the album was done by the time this crazy situation fell upon us. One of the songs uses the word quarantine and obviously people would assume it’s because of the pandemic but the word arrived in my mind before [that].”
He doesn’t deny the likelihood of the world event influencing future work, and stresses his hopes that Architects' music will encourage people to be honest with themselves and question what they can bring to the world. "All of our actions see us constantly straying further and further from what you would call harmony," he says, "there is a real parallel between what we've seen on the fringes of the media for years and what’s been happening. We’ve always heard ‘it could be worse next time’ but we don’t really take any of these things seriously because it seems unlikely. We're being told all the time, [but] we're just really not paying attention to it.”
Searle understands that, so often, apathy is the easier option, but through their music, Architects hope to connect to their listeners. Of his lyrical style, Searle says that "a lot of my songwriting comes from [within] me. For the last album that I wrote, the lyrics were about my brother dying (Dan's brother and original Architects frontman Tom passed away from cancer in 2016) because it was what was relevant in my life at the time. You want to write things that are personal and authentic but you don't want to write about things beyond other people's comprehension; it needs to make sense, be relevant to them and connect with them.”
And that’s exactly what Architects have achieved with For Those That Wish To Exist: fifteen tracks hang between energising positivity and paralysing negativity as the band reflect on the human condition and challenge us to do better through an immersive soundscape of electronics and orchestral choirs. "People need to find their own path, take self-care seriously and accept themselves as they are," Searle finishes earnestly, "we all need to take responsibility and hold ourselves accountable for participating in the betterment of ourselves and world in a more positive way.”
For Those That Wish To Exist arrives 26 February via Epitaph Records.
More about: Architects