The break of day: an Architects interview

'People are always be going to be judgmental when you bring out a new record'

Photographer: Sara BowreyJack Gunner on 21 November 2020

“Sorry about the smell of beer in here.”
It’s a bleak Tuesday afternoon, and VF is sat with Architects bassist Ali Dean in their giant purple tour bus, filling the dingy alley behind the Leeds Cockpit, one of the last few venues on the boy’s four-continent 'Daybreaker Almost World Tour'.
It's been an intense few months for Brighton’s metal-core quartet. "We’ve been to Canada, Europe, New Zealand, China, South-East Asia," recounts Dean "so its been a long old run for sure, but its been great. Its been such a wild experience, and the shows have been different in each tour. We’ve been to a bunch of places we’ve never been before,”
Architects fifth effort, ‘Daybreaker’, is a definite new direction for the band, after a lukewarm reaction to 2010’s more melodic outing, ‘The Here and Now’.

I just feel it was something we all needed to get out our system, maybe" Dean offers, "with Daybreaker we’ve gone back more to our original sound, its something we do better as a band.”

Whether or not the criticism for ‘The Here and Now’ was warranted, it can often seem that metal bands are particularly susceptible to genre pigeonholing, and a fierce response to any attempt at diversion. By the fifth album, is there a certain musical expectation to an act like Architects?
Dean shrugs, "People are always be going to be judgmental when you bring out a new record. It doesn’t affect us though – we’re going to do what we want to do rather than fulfil what a ‘metal band’ requires."
The album is more than a reversion to their earlier musical style, however. The promotional material for the UK leg of the Daybreaker tour – plastered all over Leeds - depicts the band in grimy clothes, bound and gagged with black tape, reminiscent of the imagery previously used by Rage Against the Machine and Anti-Flag. There’s no doubt, especially from Architects themselves, that this is the most political, socially conscious album to date.
So why the change in tone now? "Well, Tom wrote the lyrics on this record rather than Sam, so there was gonna be a big change regardless.

“We’re all atheists, and that’s been running throughout the album. The lyrics are against capitalism, and governments being run by corporation, and money running the world, and how its destroying the world. And that’s something that’s an important issue, and something we all care about. It's important for it to be discussed rather than just ignored.”

With British youth considered increasingly apathetic, does this mean there is a gap in the metal scene today for politically bolder acts?

"There’s a few bands doing it," Dean states, "Gojira, who talk about the environment, Rise Against, that do talk about it. Maybe not enough, but there are a section of metal bands that are willing to discuss it, and have their lyrics mean more."
Will this be a continued theme? "Definitely. It’s gone down really well, and it’s definitely something we’re going to build on in the future."

Now that the tour is coming to an end, what does 2013 bring for Architects?

"A new album" confirms Dean. "As soon as we’re done with the tour we’re going start writing again. We’ve got some tours, that I can’t really say much again, but we’re going be touring as much as we have this year, we’ll be getting out there a lot".


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