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Volumes’ Michel Barr Explains Why He Quit, Then Rejoined Band, Offers New Album Update

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Volumes vocalist Michael Barr joined The MetalSucks Podcast this week to discuss why he quit and subsequently rejoined the band, to offer an update on the band’s next album, and to share a memory of the band’s late guitarist Diego Farias, who died earlier this year, among other topics.

On why he quit, what he did during his time away, why he felt compelled to rejoin and how it came to pass, he said:

“I was like, 24 or 25 when I was at that junction and I spent seven years, maybe seven and a half years with the guys in the band as a whole. I just felt like I needed to go my separate way at that time so I did, I pulled that trigger, and it was tough. It was a really big decision for me to make, it wasn’t easy, it was something I thought about for a really long time and it was scary.

“I went through a lot of years where I kind of didn’t know if I was going to make music again. Then I kinda picked up my solo side of things. That was a huge outlet for me and that was kind of what saved my creativity, was getting into the studio and making my own music, a completely different style of music. That was so good for my soul, for my mind, just for my workflow and that turned into three EPs and a couple standalone singles and three or four tours that I went on.

“During that process, towards the tail end of me being really tired of going on these DIY self-funded tours where I’m playing in front of 10-15 people a night, maybe less, I got approached by Raad and Nick and they’re asking me to help creatively in the studio. That segued into me kind of jumping back in, at their crossroads of being a band and continuing on without me. Kind of crazy how it happened.

“I’m so glad to be back, it feels super comfortable, and we’re in the middle of making this album right now. It’s really cathartic and just a fun process. I missed hanging out with Raad and being in a creative zone with him and he’s since blossomed as this insane creative artist. Linking back up with him, five, six years later after me leaving the band is just so special. This time around I’m truly trying not to take for granted. I’m just so glad to be back, and for the fans to connect with them. It’s kind of like I’m dreaming sometimes cause I don’t think this happens for a lot of people and I know that and I’m just really trying to keep my head down when it comes to that. 

An update on the band’s next record:

“We love talking about the record. We don’t keep the walls that high when it comes to those things.

“It kind of got toppled because of the pandemic situation and us not being able to properly be in a room with our producers and run the sessions like we would like to. We had to resort to doing Zoom sessions and everyone’s schedules got kind of whack (and I’m sure yours did as well), so we are in the midst of doing Zoom sessions three or four times a week with our producers. But their schedules got backed up so they had to take time off, and it was just kind of a whacky four to six weeks where nothing was really being done because of this situation.

“[But] now, as of a week ago, we’re back on and we’re back on the sessions. We’ve already knocked out probably half the album and we have maybe three or four more songs to go. We’re in a really good spot, things are sounding really, really good. Better than I thought they would. I’m just really excited to share this with everybody, the album is something really nostalgic for us. We’re trying to take it back to an era of the band we felt like was lost for a little bit and we’re kind of making an album that’s more heavy and a true representation of what the band wants to do moving forward.

“So it’s been a lot of fun, we’ve linked up with some old producers that helped us in the past so it feels like full circle, and that’s really shining and telling through the music right now. I couldn’t be prouder of the guys, Nick, Raad and Mike, just how they’ve approached this process with me. It’s been very unifying and something I think the band really needs right now. 

“I know its probably a given just based on the COVID-19 situation, everyone’s situation got pushed back, ours definitely did. I do probably see a winter 2021 situation for us.”

On his memories of Diego Farias:

“He was such a good guy and truly an innovator and a prodigy, a genius I would say. The thing that stuck in my head when all that went down was one of the first times I met him was at our local venue. He was this little short kid with this huge curly long haircut and there was some band playing and some people were moshing and doing a dog pile, this hardcore band. He just ran up and was so enthusiastic and was trying to jump on everybody and be a part of it. That was kind of like, almost like a political issue, when you get close to another person’s set or you’re moshing with kids that don’t know you and he was like, ‘Nope, I’m gonna do this.’

“That was truly his vibe, where he was just happy to be there and always trying to make the best of the situation. That’s something that would always run in my head when I was like, dude, I’ve known this kid for so long, back to the days at our local venue where he had just a long shaggy curly haircut and stuff, running around, trying to mosh.

“There’s so many memories, there’s almost too many over that period of time that we toured together. We were in bands before Volumes together, I was in a band with him for a couple years before that. So even just playing in our band with our local homies and friends and our neighbors, that was a trip too. Playing local shows and yeah, it is sad, but his music lives on and his vibe truly lives on through Volumes forever, I think that’s safe to say.”

Listen to the full chat with Barr here or below.

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