AGNOSTIC FRONT Frontman: New Album Is ‘Definitely Catchier Than Our Past Few Offerings’
Loud: [The new AGNOSTIC FRONT album] “My Life My Way” was recorded with Erik Rutan — who is obviously best known for operating within the extreme metal world — while you also enlisted Freddy (Cricien, MADBALL vocalist and Miret‘s half-brother) to produce it. How was the experience of working with Erik?
Roger: As you know, Erik you could say is considered more of a “metal guy,” but he definitely delivered a fantastic hardcore record. I mean, Erik‘s diverse; Erik heard the band and wanted to keep the band to its true style. He heard all the demos and he wanted to keep it, if I can use the word organic, and natural hardcore, ’cause that’s what the band is best at. So it doesn’t make any sense to try to tweak stuff too much. I think Erik did a great production job considering we gave him some pretty true, classic, anthem type of hardcore songs.
Loud: Was it the band’s crossover sensibilities that encouraged you to work with someone like that, without fear of backlash from purists?
Roger: Well, we went to Erik… Freddy from MADBALL was the producer and he had just finished doing (MADBALL‘s) “Empire” and he got really good vibes from Erik. He thought Erik was just the right man for a change-up for our band and to deliver the sound that was necessary. We’re not afraid to work with anybody. But if you’re not that familiar with what we do, it takes a lot to make a band sound completely over-produced or wrong. There’s no such word as “over-produced” — it’s just production done wrong. We’re not afraid to work with anybody, but we’ll be clear to let them know how we feel and the direction of how it should be.
Loud: Aside from the production values, in what other respects do you feel the new album is a step up from recent releases?
Roger: As a step up, I think the songs are definitely catchier than our past few offerings. They’re more sing-a-long, more anthem-y. From all the reviews I’ve got and all the people I’ve been talking to, they don’t really feel like there’s a bad song on the record. People after they hear it just sing along, it’s got that feeling, that really true hardcore type of edge to it. It’s nothing that’s new. I mean, nothing that’s new, but what I’m trying to say is it’s a little refreshing, it’s really cool to sing along to.
Loud: Do you feel that the “true hardcore edge” you referred to is missing in a lot of music that gets dubbed ‘hardcore’ these days?
Roger: Well, hardcore to me is more of the lyrical aspect of the band. The music, of course, has the angst to it, or whatever element it needs to have to bring the song across. But lyrics, to me, is what hardcore has really always been about. I mean, even in the old days everybody had their own distinctive sounds. A lot of the stuff that happens today… It’s easier to start a band, say you’re hardcore and have an instant audience, you know? Then, eventually, most of these guys that aren’t really hardcore, they’re something else, then they change their sound to what they really want to be. But that’s the easiest way to get an instant audience. But if there’s a lyrical message, something really important to say then it’ll be true and real forever.
Read the entire interview from Loud magazine.