August Burns Red are a household name when it comes to modern metal. With eight albums under their belt, two Grammy nominations and a multitude of hugely successful tours, the Pennsylvania five piece are a force to be reckoned with.
The band are gearing up to embark on a ten year celebration tour of their seminal album Constellations. They will be taking the twelve iconic tracks form the 2009 record around the globe, hitting our shores in October for six intimate shows. Mixdown got to speak to guitarist Brent Rambler about the process of performing albums older than their children and what they’re trying to get out of these reflective and retrospective shows themselves.
“We were nervous doing it,” Rambler admits about the idea of doing a ten-year album tour. The Constellations tour will not be the first one they’ve done, with the band performing their sophomore record Messengers in full on a tour two years ago. “But it’s a thing a lot of bands do so we knew it was something fans like. You really just hope that the record still holds its weight and that people wanna come and see it,” the guitarist says through a nervous chuckle. “You have your core fanbase who want you to do it so badly; but you also want more than just your core fanbase to come out. What we learnt on the Messengers tour though is that oh yeah, people really want to see these albums!”
For a lot of people, these records were the soundtrack to their youth; they were the songs they fell in love to, had their hearts broken to, made and lost friends to and all in all, grew up with. As such, there is a personal attachment to these songs; especially when the band is writing emotive, inspirational and often life-affirming songs that August Burns Red do. “You always wanna do songs the way they were meant to be for the audience,” Rambler confirms.
With so much personal emotion from the fans at stake, the band are careful not to experiment too much and risk fans being disillusioned by alternative versions of songs from their formative. “I saw a band recently do a similar thing where they performed a record in full and the singer was just singing the songs whichever way he wanted and not like it was on the record,” he recalls. “Everyone was really frustrated trying to sing along to songs, but they couldn’t ‘cause it was so different. You want to avoid that; you don’t wanna do that!” he says with a laugh. He then outlines their plan of attack of this next tour. “So we’re gonna rip [Constellations] through and then, and some people don’t realise this, but we’re gonna play a second set after the record and that’s where we’ll go off and maybe do some different and fun things with the songs.”
August Burns Red have been absent from our shores for some time now due the vast ocean waters that separate our country from theirs but the band are eager to come back and fans can rest easy knowing that they will get a decent helping of other material from the band. “We’ve gotta come back to Australia and play songs for you that we haven’t had the chance to perform for you yet!” Rambler assures.
With all this talk of ten-year-tours, some fans might think that the band are living in the past and the hey-day but as Rambler points out, that ignores the fact that their two latest albums have been their biggest sellers, both having Grammy nominations and spawning even bigger tours then the ten year retrospectives. “We’re just trying to give the fans what they want and the anniversary tours really hit the old fans and the rest of the tours gets the new fans in!”
Catch August Burns Red on tour this October – tickets via Destroy All Lines.