Metalshop TV conducted an interview with vocalist Tim Lambesis and guitarist Phil Sgrosso of California metallers AS I LAY DYING prior to the band's October 4 show at Forum Karlín in Prague, Czech Republic. You can watch the entire chat below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On the writing and recording process for their "comeback" studio album, "Shaped By Fire":
Phil: "We started with 'My Own Grave' first, just working on one song and seeing where that takes us next. Over the years, we've all become more Pro Tools savvy, being able to work on a computer together to shape a song, then we get in a room to start jamming it out. From there, it was keep working, work towards an album, but we were also doing tours in between it. So, it was this back-and-forth mentality. But I think it took about a year. It was actually a very positive experience for all of us."
On how "Shaped By Fire" compares to previous AS I LAY DYING studio albums:
Phil: "I think we definitely wanted to hone in on what makes our band what it is — the melodic elements, the big, anthemic choruses and stuff like that. But it's been six years since our last record, so a lot has kind of changed with the metal genre, so we also wanted to stay relevant with a new modern approach. So, kind of mixing it a little bit from the past with where we think the genre should be evolving."
On whether AS I LAY DYING pays attention to what other bands are doing:
Phil: "Yeah, I think everyone should be doing their homework in a way of just seeing what's going on out there, what bands do we want to bring on tour with us that our fans will like. What tours can we potentially be on? Or festivals. It's just good to know the climate of the metal genre at all times."
On where the "Shaped By Fire" album title originated:
Tim: "It was a songtitle originally and I had sent three or four options for album titles based off of lyrics to the guys. We all, pretty quickly, within a day, agreed that 'Shaped By Fire' stood out the most. It really sums up a theme within the record. We're shaped by our experiences. The five of us have had different experiences and they all have been painful at times over the last six years, but even though they're different experiences, they've all shaped us and helped us grow as people. I think we can go through a painful experience, we can either be crushed by it or kind of rise from it and let it refine us in a way."
On what the ultimate message from "Shaped By Fire" would be:
Tim: "It's hard to sum up lyrically what I want to say in one sentence, but I would say that regardless of what somebody has gone through, if they choose to turn those experiences into something positive, it's a lot of work and it could take some time and healing, but eventually our most painful processes can become very positive in the end."
On how AS I LAY DYING is approaching their comeback and "Shaped By Fire" album cycle:
Phil: "I think we have a lot of fans that have missed us and we have missed them, so we are getting offers from other countries coming up. It's like, 'Yeah, we want to go there. It's been years since we've been back.' There's definitely no stopping for us, but we are taking everything a day at a time to make sure the environment is healthy and positive for everyone."
"Shaped By Fire" was released on September 20 via Nuclear Blast. The album was produced by the band and was mixed by Joseph McQueen at Sparrow Sound in Los Angeles, California, while mastering was completed by Ted Jensen at Sterling Sound in Nashville, Tennessee. The only exception was for the track "My Own Grave", which was produced by AS I LAY DYING, co-produced by Drew Fulk and mixed by Adam "Nolly" Getgood.