"A Place Where There's No Pain", the first new album from LIFE OF AGONY in over a decade, will be released on April 28, 2017 via Napalm Records. The band's fifth studio LP will mark LIFE OF AGONY's first release since singer Mina Caputo (formerly known as Keith Caputo) came out as transgender in 2011.
LIFE OF AGONY bassist Alan Robert previously stated about the upcoming effort: "I think our fans know that our music comes from a very real place of suffering, from all of us in the band.
"Many of our fans have told us over the years that sharing our personal struggles has been cathartic for them in healing the pain in their own lives. That uplifting energy we share at the shows gives us hope that there's light at the end of the tunnel. And for us and hopefully our fans, that short time when we're all together is a place where there's no more pain."
LIFE OF AGONY returned to the stage and performed on multiple festival dates in Europe over the summer of 2014. The band's famed "River Runs Red" lineup, consisting of vocalist Mina Caputo, guitarist Joseph Zampella (a.k.a. Joey Z), bassist Alan Robert and drummer Sal Abruscato, was excited to take the stage together once again after a three-year hiatus.
Asked in a December 2015 interview with The Aquarian Weekly how LIFE OF AGONY's music is still relatable and influential to the hardcore the scene today, Alan said: "Well, I think there is something to be said about the message and the music. When a lot of those songs were written, especially lyrically — you know, 'River Runs Red'… I was probably in my late teens writing those songs. It was all about dealing with depression and struggles growing up, and you know… just taking in everything that we were all going through in our families, and also dealing with troubles socializing things. And these are all common themes even now. Kids today, I think, are still going through these problems — maybe even more so, because you know, now that technology is in everyone's hands, it almost isolates you even more in a way. And these are common themes in all of our records, especially on the 'Ugly' record. Themes like feeling out of place and feeling like the ugly duckling, basically, and, 'We are the black sheep.' These are just common issues with growing up, and I think that some of these personalities gravitate towards hardcore music and metal music because it's still kind of on the outskirts of mainstream, and it's kind of going against the grain of what's expected, and I think they find community there. I know I did growing up, and going to shows to let out some angst, and anger, and turn it into positivity — I think that's been the whole message of LIFE OF AGONY from the start."
He continued: "Whether we realize it or not, we started out as these angry, depressed [laughs] kids, and by venting through our music, we created a community we're accepted in, and we can bond with people who were going through the same emotions. That is the 'hardcore' aspect of the music. There's a lot of 'metal' type of sounds and guitar riffs, but as far as the 'hardcore elements' in LIFE OF AGONY, the honesty and the purity of the message that we were trying to communicate was trying to basically lift someone up when they're feeling down, and let them know that you're not alone out there."
Alan added: "Time and time again, we have fans coming up to us from all over the world thanking us for making the music that we do because it saved their lives, and that means the world to us because we knew how it felt to be alone when no one was listening. Here are these kids listening to our music, knowing that they're not alone, and that no one else feels the same way that they do."
Regarding LIFE OF AGONY's future plans, Alan said: "I think ever since the summer of 2014 when we kicked this back up again, it's been so much fun and the energy has been so good between us and the people everywhere we go that we want to keep it going; we absolutely do. We're having a great time. And I think now that Mina has come out, she is free as a bird, and there is no holding back. It's just so great to see, not just as a bandmember, but as a longtime friend, to see her really comfortable in her own skin. I'm just really proud of her for her bravery, and everyone's been so accepting and so positive that it's really encouraging to see."
Photo by Jeremy Saffer