EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH THE ACACIA STRAIN’S VINCENT BENNETT
I reviewed The Acacia Strain’s latest album, Continent, a couple months back and I remember being suitably impressed by its seamless integration of death metal intensity and hardcore attitude (both flavors of breakdowns, too). It might still be the only record I’ve heard that really makes sense to be called “deathcore” in a descriptive, non-pejorative way. After having said that, however, I am just glad that vocalist Vincent Bennett was on a different continent (hah) at the time of our interview, or he might have just terminated me. Read more from Vincent’s emailed responses about the dirty d-word and touring in Oz after the jump.
How has the touring been since the release of Continent? How have the fans reacted to it?
Touring has been awesome. We have done a couple tours that I think opened us up to a bunch of new kids. People who already knew who we were have been reacting better to this album than to any other. When we play the songs live everyone sings along, and we have been getting a multitude of requests for new songs live. It’s awesome.
How’s Australia? Have you toured Australia before?
Australia is amazing. I just want to thank Graham at Resist Records and Parkway Drive for giving us a chance to come over here. People are reacting really well. I get literally 50 to a 100 kids coming up to me every night telling me that they have never heard of us before, but now we are one of their favorite bands. I’m trying to change lives over here. Haha! This is the best thing we could have done for our first time over here. Parkway Drive is bigger than Jesus.
It’s pretty laid back. We have been doing it long enough where each of us have our own routine and we know how to stay out of each others way. Band arguments from tour induced stress are one of the major reasons for bands breaking up. Some people just cant take being around the same people in such an enclosed area for such a long time. We got through that and we get along really well. We always come away from a tour with a bunch of new friends. We love touring with new bands, but we won’t turn down a tour if it is with old friends. This is really the only life we know anymore.
Now that you’ve had a few months to tour behind it, what do you think about the album? Are you still excited or were there thing you wanted to do differently?
I still feel that this is the only record we have done that I actually like. We have only played a select handful of songs off the new record and I’m still looking forward to playing the rest of the songs. Like I said, kids are requesting a lot of songs off Continent, so I’m excited to be able to play them for kids who actually want to hear them. I don’t know what I could have done differently, everything is going pretty smoothly.
There’s a lot of pop culture references in your music. For instance, on the newest album, there song titles that make references to comic book characters, The Terminator, mythical beasts, etc. How do these titles reflect the lyrics of the songs?
The album titles are merely a reflection of the album concept.They are all names of fictitious beings that have had a hand in the destruction of the human race and the planet earth.
What was going through your head when you wrote the lyrics “Four funerals….no fucking weddings?”
That is my version of a “tour” song. It’s about us dying on the road. There are four of us… I’m sure you can put together the rest of that yourself.
Well, we are having a DVD shoot on December 28th at the Palladium in Worcester, Massachusetts. It’s 10 bucks to get in. There was a golden ticket for 50 bucks but they are all sold out so I won’t even get into it. The Red Chord, Shipwreck, Whitechapel, Cruel Hand and Thy Will Be Done are all playing, as well as us obviously. We are going to be playing for a really long time and we are going to be playing a lot of songs that we haven’t played in forever or have NEVER played. I’m hoping a lot of people are coming or its going to be a pretty shitty DVD. HA! But seriously, it’s going to be a fucking party. So if you can get there, get there. I don’t care if you live in California. Buy a plane ticket! It’s only 10 bucks to get in and be forever immortalized.
What do you think is most important to capture for a concert DVD? Is there a lot more pressure on the performance from the cameras?
Capturing the band as they were meant to be captured is the most important. Every band has a certain something they put forth in every show. Sometimes you have off nights though. And that’s the only thing that worries me. We are going to be doing the same shit we do for a show normally, but what if its an off night? I don’t think there is camera pressure. When we step out on stage normally there are a bunch of faces looking at you, that’s no different than a camera. We give 110% every time we step on the stage, and that’s what you will (hopefully) see on this DVD.
What do you think about the “deathcore” label? Do you think it describes The Acacia Strain? Do you embrace the term or is it a “dirty word?”
I have said it a couple of times: deathcore is the new nu-metal. You see the same kids and the same ethic. It sucks. And if anyone calls us “deathcore” then I might do something very bad to them. We aren’t deathcore. We are heavy. Any band that calls THEMSELVES deathcore should not be writing music. It just goes to show you that the weak minded need to label things.
Now I don’t mean to shit stir but there was some dead buzzing on the internet about beef between The Acacia Strain and Emmure – any truth behind that?
I don’t want to talk about it. The internet is stupid and full of lies most of the time. I don’t like that band. Bottom line.