Interview: Christian McAlhaney of Acceptance


In part two of our two-part interview, guitarist Christian McAlhaney gives an inside look into the surreal return of Acceptance, what it was like writing the band’s first album back, how Phantoms holds up 10 years later, and why they have no plans of leaving again any time soon.

So how have you been? What’s new?

Good. I moved to Florida. I bought a house. I got engaged. Doing a bunch of adult things.

What happened to your face? I saw you posted that picture with you all bloody.

I tend to somehow wound myself. That was just shenanigans after the show. I landed on my face. It looks like I got in a brawl. I had to go to urgent care and get five stitches under my eye in Nashville, but that was in Atlanta. I had to convince the doctor that I didn’t get in a fight, and then I also had to convince my mom I didn’t get in a fight. I was like, “No, I don’t get in fights, mom.”

Yeah, it was dumb, kind of like Jackass-ery. I’m kind of clumsy that way. I always somehow hurt myself. This one was not stage related, though. I’ve head-butted the microphone so many times, it’s not even funny.

You just played a handful of shows in Florida and the Midwest. How did those go?

They went great. It’s very surreal to be doing that, first of all, this many years later. It was something that was always a big question mark, I think for everybody, but more so for myself because I was hearing it a lot touring with Anberlin. People would ask me constantly about Acceptance and if that was ever going to take shape.

It’s really cool that it has taken shape and we’re doing a thing. It’s not just reunion shows. We’ve reformed as much as five guys in their 30s, who have careers and families and kids and all that kind of stuff, can reform. It’s good.

I think what we’re seeing with a lot of these shows, depending on the markets, like California, there’s just a ton of people there. There’s a tenth of the U.S. population just in Southern California, so those shows were phenomenal. The New York shows were sold out in like a week.

Some of these other markets, I think what we’re going to find until there’s someone else blowing in our sails besides just ourselves, is getting that awareness out. Any time someone posts a picture from a show, I’ll see it tagged on Instagram or whatever, and usually the comments will be like, “What? I didn’t know they were back together.” So that’s going to take a minute.

But that being said, we weren’t a big band by any stretch of the word when we were active 10 years ago. We’re going back to these markets and doing better than we did, even considering the fact that people don’t know we’re back together. It’s been awesome.

Yeah, I saw you twice last year, once in L.A. and then I actually was able to go to your first show back at the Gramercy in New York, which were both really rad. Where do you think that first show back ranks in the shows that you’ve played?

I mean, that’s up there for sure. Going into it, I had a little different perspective, like I said, because I had all those years of touring with Anberlin and talking to other bands and Anberlin fans. So I had to sell the rest of the Acceptance dudes on, yeah, this is going to be good.

Back 10 years ago, or however many years ago, when we played New York, we probably played in front of 200 people, 300 people. So going to the Gramercy, which I think is 600 people, everyone was like, “Yeah, are you sure we should be going there?”

So to have it turn out the way it did, and I felt like we were just as good as we had ever been, I thought that was impressive. For a first show back, a fly out show, everything considered, the fact that we pulled that off I thought was pretty good. I thought that was awesome.

How have you liked playing Phantoms live? Typically you’ve been playing that front-to-back, with a couple other songs in there. How do you like revisiting that album 10 years later?

I love it. Yeah, this record is old, but it’s not like we’ve been playing it for 10 years. Even touring in Anberlin, there were some songs I probably played a couple thousand times, but that was never really in my thought process. Like, oh man, I’m so bored of playing this song.

The thing about Phantoms, or probably any music you write, is it’s very fulfilling to perform that in front of people and see people’s reactions and hear people sing along. Phantoms to me is a great record, even still to this day. I listen back to it and I’m not embarrassed, like I really wouldn’t write that kind of a song now. So it’s been awesome. I love it.

I’m excited definitely to play new songs when that time comes, but I also don’t want to overwhelm people too early if people just want to hear Phantoms, which I think a lot of people do. So we’ll probably slowly start incorporating more songs into the set, but if anything we’ll make the sets longer and keep playing most of Phantoms.

Since you were so busy with Anberlin in the interim between Acceptance, does it feel like 10 years has passed, or does it feel like it’s happened pretty quickly?

I mean, it definitely feels like it’s been 10 years. We’re definitely adults. Jason’s got a kid. Kaylan’s got two kids, and their old-ish. For some of the friendships, it feels like getting right back to where we left off for sure.

As far as the way we look and the circumstances of life, it definitely feels like we’re adults now. Back to when we were a band, we were kids. I was an idiot back then. I feel a little bit wiser. I’m not such an idiot, but I’m still an idiot.

So I have to ask briefly about Anberlin. I finally was able to watch Don’t Try to Wake Me Up a couple months ago, which is about your final show, and I really liked the different perspective that provided. Now that there’s some time in between when that all came to a close, what stands out in your mind about that final period? What was it like moving on from the band?

This far removed, I still feel like we made the right decision, based upon everybody’s life circumstances at the time and just upon everything going on in the band and personal lives. I really do feel like that was the time for us to call it. Now, that’s because I don’t have the same life circumstances. I might have felt differently if I had had kids at the time and had different pulls at the time.

Could we have kept being a band? Probably. I just don’t look at life in those terms. It comes and it goes always, with everything. It can be good sometimes and it can be bad sometimes. It’s up and it’s down. It’s life, you know?

Could we have kept plugging away? Probably. Would we have grown? Maybe. Would we have gotten smaller? We might of. That happens for a lot of bands. I think a lot of bands find themselves at that crossroads of like, OK, we’re older now. And you know the thing that’s made it tough in the music industry is, not to make it about money, but you have to make money when it’s your profession.

In this day and age, in order to make enough money to support a family and whatnot, if you’re not a massive band you have to be on the road all the time. So it’s kind of a catch 22. You have to be on the road to support your family, but then that takes you away from your family for the majority of the year.

Looking back at it, I think that was the right decision for everybody at the time. Do I miss those dudes? Absolutely, but even on this last Acceptance run it was like three-fifths of Anberlin. I live in St. Petersburg, Florida. Deon lives here. I’m in another band with him. He actually tour manages for Acceptance when we play shows. Nate’s band, Carrollhood, was out on this last run.

So I still see a lot of the dudes, but I definitely miss that kind of family. It’s weird not having someone you used to see every day for most of the year, and now just call every once in a while and text to check in. Yeah, I guess that’s my perspective.

As you were saying, being in Anberlin you were asked the most Acceptance questions than probably all the other guys combined. Whenever I asked you about it, you were always pretty optimistic that Acceptance would come back in some form or another at some point in the future. What was the catalyst to that actually happening, and now that it is actually here and you’re active and doing stuff again, is this what you hoped it would be like?

It’s actually way better than I could have imagined. I think one of the biggest question marks, from basically when Acceptance broke up until we started talking again last year, or whenever that was, Jason and I had kind of fallen out of touch for that whole time. Not that there was any bad blood, but we just went on in separate lives.

I kept up with Kaylan, and I’d see Ryan every once in a while. I’d see Nick when I would go through the Midwest. The biggest question mark was whether Jason would be interested in doing it, because I know he had separated himself from the music industry for the most part. He would peek his head out here and there and sing on random records, and I’d get super excited. But as far as it came to Acceptance, that was a big question mark.

Now that we’re back together, I think it’s surreal for everybody how well we get along. There’s just a maturity that comes with life as well, you know what I mean? Getting older and wiser. I don’t know if that could have happened at any other time. Now that it’s happening, I think it’s great.

When it came time to do another record and start to put that together, you now live all over the country, whereas before you all lived in Seattle. The technology has changed so much since you made Phantoms. This time you don’t have any deadlines or commitments to fulfill. What was the whole process like of writing, getting together and coming up with some new tunes?

The process was basically like baby steps. It was first talking. Hey, here’s a show that we have offered and it’s a decent guarantee. It was something to kind of get a conversation started and if this was something people wanted to do.

Doing that and having that go as well as it did, rehearsing for it and flying out to New York and having a great time, and the kind of time that those guys hadn’t done for a while, being on the road and being able to play in front of people, we kept on asking questions.

So what is this? What do we want this to be? Do we want it just to be a reunion thing and let it run its course, or do we want to maybe talk about writing songs and possibly doing a record? How are we going to do that?

Slowly trying to answer those questions, we realized very quickly that, yeah, doing a 10-year anniversary thing, which a lot of bands do, which is neither here nor there, that would only last for so long. It was like, well, if we try and do another record, then this could be a little more long term. It wouldn’t lose its luster of, OK, yeah, cool. I saw the Acceptance reunion when it came through.

That got us onto the topic of writing music and figuring out what that would sound like. We decided to pay for the initial recordings, and all that kind of stuff, ourselves. We didn’t really pay ourselves from any of the shows. We just reinvested it in the band.

It was continually asking questions and figuring out how we were going to answer them, doing things on our own terms and because we want to do them, and why we want to do them and that kind thing. It’s definitely been a very healthy process. It’s a different level of pressure when you’re just doing what you want to do, when you want to do it, because you want to do it. You know what I’m saying?

So I’ve been able to hear four songs of the new stuff and it definitely has a different feel than Phantoms, which makes sense because you’re all at very different points in your lives now. What was it like finding that musical direction and what you wanted to accomplish on these new songs?

It was definitely a process, I will tell you that [laughs]. This has been probably the toughest record I’ve ever made for a multitude of reasons, one being that we don’t live in the same city. Another being people’s availability. It’s not like we can just write a batch of songs and then go into the studio for a month, hash them out and record them. It was a slow, piecing together process.

I think the initial, what do we want this to sound like? Now, however many years later, what kind of music do people even like in the band? Not even like Acceptance fans, because obviously we wanted to keep that in mind. You didn’t want to come out and all of a sudden release a hardcore record or something like that, but we also didn’t want to write Phantoms 2 or put ourselves in the mindset of what would 25-year-old me be writing after Phantoms.

It was more trying to take the overall impact that we felt like Phantoms did have on people that we were seeing 10 years after the fact. People still really latched onto it. They really loved it. It really meant something to them. So we were trying to recreate that kind of a feeling more than an actual genre or style of music.

It was a lot of back and forth, like, oh, it needs to be more rock. So we would write some rock songs. And then it was like, oh no, I’m not really feeling that. There was a definite battle, a push and pull, which I think is good in a creative process. Honestly, nothing good comes easy.

There was a lot of head-butting of what people wanted, versus taking into account what we felt like fans would want. I think we found a good middle ground of mature rock, which is what we were always trying to write, which was good pop-rock.

I definitely get some Anberlin vibes on some of these songs, almost like a continuation of some of the Lowborn stuff in places. You were in Anberlin for eight or nine years, and during that period you could tell how much you grew as a musician and as a songwriter. What was it like for you, taking everything you learned while you were in Anberlin, and applying that then back to Acceptance?

Writing for Anberlin for all those years basically honed a skill. I feel like being creative and writing music is almost like exercising a muscle. You get better at it with time. It’s not an equation to me. I don’t just try to throw in ingredients and then that’s a song.

Back when we were writing for Acceptance, no one had any recording equipment. I had an 8-track that was really difficult to understand and to record with, so I would basically just write guitar parts with it.

When I was in Anberlin, I started using GarageBand, and then I moved onto Pro Tools. I started learning to construct songs, adding drums and synths, and all those aspects that I didn’t used to do when I was in Acceptance, that I didn’t even have the ability or know how to do. So I learned those tools and expanded the tools in my toolbox for songwriting. Even with Anberlin, we were tying to write a lot of different kinds of music and push ourselves artistically and musically.

It got me to a point of when Acceptance did get back together, and we were tying to suss out what the vibe would be and what kinds of songs we wanted to write, if someone was like, “I think we really want a rock song,” I’d be like, “OK, cool. Here’s a little more rocking song.” Or “I want more synth sounds,” I’d be like, “OK, cool. I know how to do that.” Whereas when I was in my 20s, I would have been like, “Ah, well, I can give you a guitar part, and we can try and go from there.”

At this point I can pretty much present a full song with a drum part, a bass line, synth parts. I can record melodies. I can do whatever, you know?

The four songs I heard were “Feels New,” “Roll Tide,” “Come Closer” and “Goodbye.” Can you say anything about what it was like coming up with that group?

That batch I feel like encompasses one aspect of the record. There’s some songs missing from those four that I think are a little closer to what Acceptance was in Phantoms, a little more just rock songs. If you’re referencing Anberlin’s Lowborn, I think we covered a lot of ground on that record. There were songs that still sounded like Anberlin, but there was also more experimental stuff.

“Goodbye” is pretty traditional Acceptance pop. That’s probably the poppiest song on the record. I think those are all strong songs, but there’s definitely some other rock songs. Not rock like “Permanent” or something like that. I don’t think you’ll be hearing that from Acceptance, but yeah, a little more upbeat. More organic rock and roll.

The whole record is not just a vibe-y, synth record, but we are definitely incorporating a lot more synths than we did when we did Phantoms. But a lot of guys in the band are super into that kind of stuff.

Do you have a favorite moment on the record?

There’s a song that we should probably send you soon called “Still Water.” That song was an idea I had actually been toying around with since Acceptance broke up. I just never could get it to where I wanted it to be. I don’t know that I ever submitted it for Anberlin. You know, the funny thing is when you’re writing a song, those songs don’t go anywhere.

Let’s say I wrote 30 songs for Anberlin and we only used five of them for a record. It’s not because the other 25 were not good. There’s just so much music to write to, who knew what was going to strike Stephen melodically? So there were a lot of good songs leftover, but I’m not sure “Still Water” I ever submitted for Anberlin, because I don’t know if I ever had it sorted out in my head.

In one of the first recording processes we did with Acceptance, we had a ton of songs that everybody had written and we were making a board, writing out a sheet and listing through however many demos, 30 or 40 demos, and writing out what we thought the strongest ones were and what we thought they needed. All that kind of stuff.

During that process, I was like, “Hey, I got this riff that I really like. It’s got this delay thing.” We just kind of went in the room and started jamming it out. Garrett started playing this drumbeat and Jason came up with this really strong chorus melody to me.

So let’s jump to probably six months later, that one’s not even in the running of the songs that we have finished and whatnot. It was just there. I remember talking to Garrett about how the whole vibe of it felt really good to me. Like, man, this song feels good. It’s not there. It’s not complete yet, but I was like, “Man, we really got to work on this song.”

So I pushed Jason pretty tough, like you really got to take more stabs at it. I think I sent him a couple different melody ideas for the verses, because I think he was struggling with that vibe. I rewrote the verse drum part and all that kind of stuff. Then he came back with a complete song, and I was like, “Whoa, this is amazing.”

Now here we are, however many months later, it’s finished in its final form and everyone in the band is like, “Whoa, that’s probably the best song we have.” That, to me, is a great example of being in a band and writing songs collectively over years. That was an idea that had been simmering for a long time that we formulated in the studio together and slowly pushed each other to get it to a point.

Now that it’s finished, everyone is like, “Oh my gosh. That’s the song.” I’m not saying singles-wise. I’m just saying it’s a really good song. When you listen to it, you’re like, “Oh wow, that’s pretty epic.” That was a cool moment for me.

One other thing from those four songs is I could definitely sense a big Sprinkle influence on them, and even some moments sounded kind of similar to his last solo record, Water & Guns. What kind of a role did he take on and what was it like reconnecting with him again?

I love Sprinkle. I’ve worked with Sprinkle multiple times since we did Phantoms. Anberlin worked with him a handful of times afterwards. Even on Phantoms, those things I was talking about before, at the time we just didn’t have the ability. Someone hears like, “Oh, that’s a guitar part. That’d be cool to play on a Rhodes.” No one knew how to do that. No one had the recording ability.

Going into Phantoms, Aaron really pushed the band and pushed our comfort and music level in taking each part and being like, is this the most interesting thing we can do here? Is this the most interesting instrument we can do it on? So we wanted him to do that again on this record.

There were no boundaries. If he heard cooler melodies or if he thought a different chord progression was cool, we were all for that. He definitely was key in making every sound interesting, every part the most interesting it can be, and pushing ourselves. Like, whatever we would normally go to here, whether it’s like, oh, let’s just put in some palm mutes, or let’s go to the drums. Let’s not do any of that.

We started from that point, but then if a song was calling for that, we would put it in. He was pushing us to not just go with whatever comes the easiest. I will definitely say about Phantoms that some of the coolest aspects and coolest moments on that record came from Sprinkle, for sure.

How does “Take You Away” fit in with all this? Is that going to be on the final album as well?

I don’t think it will be. That was in the process of us trying to figure out what we wanted to do next. We thought it’d be cool and maybe get a little bit of attention to release a song, and to even just put us in that position to see if we can even write together again.

I think initially that was an idea of mine that I had, and we just slowly sorted it out. I think it’s a fantastic song for the first song from a band that hasn’t written together in a decade and just comes together and writes.

Yeah, I don’t think it will be on the record. We definitely are more excited about the newer stuff we’ve written since then. That was kind of like testing the waters of, can we still write together? What will it sound like and what do we think it will sound like? But I’m super proud of that song.

Did you ever toy around with finishing up some of your old demos from before you broke up, like “Not Afraid” or “Desperate?”

We did release a remix of “Desperate.” We’ve been toying around with that one, trying to bring it back into the fold. Same with “Not Afraid.” I thought those two were probably the strongest out of the batch of songs we were working on right before we broke up.

I think we’ve been too focused on new songs and new vibes and all that kind of stuff. But those are definitely in our back pocket to either rerecord, or rethink and then rerecord. I still think both those songs are really strong.

Were you able to sing at all on the album?

I don’t think I sang on the record, no. Not that I can remember. This process has been seriously a year-and-a-half. We’ve gone to two different studios in Seattle. I’ve gone to Nashville a handful of times and recorded at Sprinkle’s house in his home studio. I’ve recorded stuff at my home “studio” in quotes, which is just my computer [laughs].

I think Sprinkle sings a ton of harmonies, just for time’s sake. I don’t know. I can’t even keep track. I do know Sprinkle sang a lot. I don’t think I sang anything.

So how far along are you on the record? Are you in the mixing phase now?

Yeah, the record’s done in my opinion, and the actual songs. So at this point, five or six songs are mixed. We’re basically going through every song and making sure every T is crossed and every I is dotted.

Sprinkle is mixing them as much as he can, or to an extent on his own. We’re all listening through, saying, “Hey, let’s try to add in this part. I don’t like that part. Can you turn this part up?” And then sending it off to the mixer and moving from there. It’s halfway done and I think we’ve just been waiting on the mixer. He’s been on vacation for a little bit.

How many songs did you end up with?

There are 12 new songs. I had to come home, because I had to go to the doctor because I smashed my face, but some of the dudes stayed in Nashville after the show on Sunday and started working on another song with Sprinkle. So we’ll kind of see how that takes shape.

The end goal for this band, because we won’t really be able to tour like a normal band tours, and I don’t see the guys quitting their jobs and us going on the road for months, and an aspect we can do is just continually write music and release music. So even when the record’s done and out, I don’t think it’s going to be the normal kind of cycle where you’re not going to hear anything for two years because we’re going to be touring for two years.

It’s more like we’ll tour as much as we can, do a lot of the weekend fly out stuff, but everybody has the ability to still record at home, and that can move very quickly. Having someone like Sprinkle basically on call, when he’s not super busy recording other records, we can say, “Hey, we got another song. Let’s try and get that sorted out.”

Everyone can record things on their own. We needed some drums rerecorded, and Garrett did that on his own in Seattle. If Sprinkle needs a certain guitar part, I can record that on my own here and send him the files. Jason can record vocals at home. We have that ability now to constantly release music. I don’t think this batch of 12 songs is just what you’re going to get. We’re going to try to keep firing out music.

How far along are you coming up with the release strategy and promo and all that kind of stuff?

Like I said before, we didn’t really know what we were doing or how we were going to do it. I think in life you just kind of make those decisions and figure them out while you walk and chew gum. We paid for the record on our own. Basically, the Pledge campaign that we launched helped us pay for the mixer.

So now we’re in talks with labels, trying to figure out if we can find a home that makes sense for us and someone who gets what the band is. That aspect of us not touring can’t be that exciting for an indie label, you know what I mean? In this day and age, that’s how bands do their end of the bargain and promote their end of the bargain, is being on tour.

So trying to find someone who gets that and what we’re able to do and not do, we’re in that process. I think we’re getting pretty close to figuring out who we’re going to partner with for a release, getting that out and figuring out what’s next.

And you’re still hoping to have it out by the end of this year, right?

I mean, I was doubtful, but we just hung out over the weekend and it still sounds like that’s a probability.

Is there a consensus on what you want the single to be?

That’s so tough to me in this day and age, because I don’t even know what that means. I think there’s close to a consensus on what we want the first song that we release out of this new batch of songs to the public will be. I don’t know if that’s necessarily a single in the radio sense of the word. I don’t know if that’s going to be a part of our game plan, but it might be. I mean, I don’t know. That’s still a question that hasn’t been answered yet.

What’s the song that you really like?

That song is called “Fire and Rain.” I think Jason really likes “Goodbye.” He’s trying to argue for that one to be the first song we release. “Fire and Rain,” in my opinion, is a little bit closer to a Phantoms kind of vibe. It’s a little more upbeat of a straight up rock song.

There’s synths in it, but it sounds more like the Cure. It kind of sounds to me like Acceptance meets the War on Drugs, if you’re familiar with that band, with Jason singing and really poppy melodies. I think that song’s really strong.

It sounds like you want to be back for a while, and keep releasing music and all that. Do you think you’ll stick around for a bit now, or are you just taking things step by step?

That’s the goal. Everyone’s having a blast and it seems like anywhere we go people are pumped to see us. That’s very encouraging. That goes into what we talked about earlier. Sometimes when bands find themselves at points in their careers when you start doubting yourself, it’s because you’re starting to doubt whether people are still into it, you know what I mean? It starts to really make you question if the sacrifice is worth the reward. You start to feel like, well, what’s the point?

Right now, it feels great. The response we get in any city we’ve gone to, whether it’s been multiple sold out shows in California to just a few hundred people in Atlanta, it still felt like minds were blown and people were very excited. I could see people crying in the audience [laughs].

As long as we’re still having fun, I think that’s the goal. We’re going to Australia next year with Taking Back Sunday. We’re trying to fill as much time as we can with as many weekend shows, and figure out how much time guys can get off from work and what that picture’s going to look like. I can see for the foreseeable future this being a great side job. If we can’t do it full time, we’re going to do it as much as we can.

Real quick before we go, Loose Talk is the other band you have going with Deon, which you sing leads on. How has that been going so far and how do you like playing with that one?

It’s been good. It’s interesting kind of starting over from scratch, even though we’re not. Deon and I have both been in the music industry for a long time, so we have connections and maybe exposure that a brand new band doesn’t have. But in the sense of, hey, here’s a new band with new music and a new sound, I haven’t felt that since the late ‘90s. So it’s been interesting, but it’s also been exciting.

Deon and I have been working on that project since before we knew Anberlin was breaking up. That was just going to be a side project. He and I are both into dirty, blues-based rock, a lot of stoner metal and stuff like that. We just decided to start writing those kinds of songs. Then when Anberlin had that talk, we were like, “Oh crap. Well, I guess this is going to be the main project.” And that was before I knew anything about Acceptance.

It’s been going good. We’ve been doing everything on our own at this point. We’re playing our second show this Saturday. The first show went great. The four songs that we put out there, we paid for ourselves once again. I think that’s a great start. It’s exciting, but it’s also terrifying and interesting about how do we get more exposure.

His wife is pregnant right now. We got a couple shows with Taking Back Sunday in October. I think they initially offered us more shows, but that’s when his wife is due. We’re trying to find that balancing act that I think the Acceptance guys do of trying to have a normal life. Both Deon and I work jobs, so we’re trying to figure out how do you grow a band, support a family, work a job, play shows, and all that kind of thing.

But it’s been a blast and we’ll just kind of see what happens. People keep asking us to play shows, so that’s a good thing.

As you’re probably well aware of, not every band gets a second opportunity and second chance that Acceptance has now with this whole rebirth thing. What would you like to see Acceptance accomplish with this second go-around and what do you hope people will be able to get out of it?

For me, the whole time, even when we were first having these conversations, was I think the other guys in the band would have a multitude of reasons for wanting do it, whether it be we felt like we quit too early. Some of the guys that had decided, yeah, we should stop doing this, I don’t think they realized that might be the only time in your life you’re going to do it.

To also then discovering that you have this fan base that all of a sudden found you so many years after the band. You almost feel like you owe it to them for that experience and for that support that you now have.

I want everyone to get whatever they want out of it, whether it’s to be able to live and play shows, and be able to travel and experience the things we’ve experienced. Like I said, Acceptance is going to Australia with Taking Back Sunday. Acceptance never left the country when we were a band. We went to Canada a couple times.

This last weekend we got a bus, because it made the most sense for flying in and traveling around the South. Acceptance was never in a bus. We never had any crew. It was just us in a van forever, and then we had bought an RV, which broke down all the time. We still didn’t have any crew, and then we broke up.

It’s been kind of cool to experience these things that a lot of the guys didn’t get to experience when we were a band, and it’s been cool to play for a bunch of people that have expressed over many years, “Oh man, I never got to see this band, and this record is so great.”

I don’t really have any goals other than that. Of course, you would want to be the biggest band on the planet, but do I expect it? Absolutely not. We’ll just kind of see what happens.

Part one with lead singer Jason Vena can be found here. Also, pre-orders for the new album are up on Pledge Music.