Interview with Battleship! – Part 1

I used to work a small radio station where I hosted a weekly rock show.  I did a few band interviews and just recently remembered the chat I had with a  metal band from Edmonton called Battleship!It’s from probably at least a year and a half ago, but I thought I would share a written transcript of that radio interview.

I mostly spoke with the vocalist, Addison, but other band members took the lead on questions here and there.

Rumble: So Battleship! Was formed in 2009, can you share with me a bit of the band history?

Battleship!: Yeah sure, it was actually like late 2009, that was kind of when we were still just playing in a basement and whatnot. We played our first show in April of 2010 and we played shows pretty steadily for about a year, right up until last May. Then in May we actually ended up going on a year-long hiatus and this has kind of been our come back from that, just this last tour. We kinda fell off the map last summer, and now we’re back. We’ve got a new album we’re recording.Battleship!  quote 1

R: Alright, awesome. Why the year off? Are you guys in school, or..?

B!: Um, no, we actually – as you know – we’re a Christian band, and for a long time we felt as though we were living a real kind of double lifestyle. Like we’d say one thing on stage, and then go off stage and act completely different. So, eventually it took a toll on ourselves personally, and we weren’t happy with who we were, just as people in general or how our faith walk was going. So we all moved into a house together and kinda just got into the Word of God and whatnot – just kind of refining ourselves into who we wanted to be and who God called us to be. And that’s basically the whole concept behind this album Resurrection, just kind of the journey that we’ve gone through to be where we are now, and just sharing the story of when people say like “oh, I’ve been here” or, “This is what I’ve done.. how could anyone ever love me like this?” and we’re there to say, you know, we’ve been through it too, this is how we got through it, and relate with them like that.

R: That’s awesome! Wow, you actually answered a couple of my questions all in one there. That’s really cool though, I really respect that, just taking the time to really get serious and put your faith first. One of my questions was going to be: playing the style of music that you do and touring with these other bands, what kind of challenges do you face boldly living a Christian lifestyle in the metal world?

B!: We’ve definitely had our ups and downs. Like last year, before we went on our hiatus, we were definitely falling into the partying every night with the other bands that didn’t have Christian-based values, so that took a toll on us. But this last tour we were able to tour with a band from Ontario called Behold! the City and they’re just an awesome group of dudes. They’re pretty much brothers to us and it sucks that we had to part ways after six weeks of touring together. But they’ve been super good impact on our lives and they’ve got the same goals as us. I don’t know if they’ve gone through the same kind of stuff that we have, but, with their goal and their calling and their mission for God – it’s been super comforting to be able to tour, to relate with people like that.

R: That’s so cool. Such a solid band. I wanted to ask a little more about the song “Resurrection.” So that’s the title track for the new album, is that right?Battleship!  quote 2

B!: Yes

R: Can you tell me a little about the writing behind this song/album and it’s themes?

B!: Basically, “Resurrection”, the lyrics behind it just talk about: you’re feeling at rock bottom, and kind of reaching out to God to renew your soul, basically, and that kind of enlightenment that you get from it and kind of going into life with that attitude.

Then like, the whole album, each song has a different concept. Like we have a song called “Via Dolorosa” that specifically touches on the crucifixion of Jesus. Another song called “Immortals”… people find it kind of unorthodox, but we kind of call it the “fake believers” – the people  that just kind of go to church on Sunday and whatnot  and say they’re a Christian, and then do what we did and kind of abandon their faith the second they walk out of that church.

There’s a whole bunch of different concepts, but it’s basically just about our journey, I guess, if that’s they way you could put it.

R: Okay, nice. As far as writing the songs, who contributes? Are you primary lyricist as well? How does the band work together in the writing process?

B!: Like I said, we all live together, so it’s really easy to jam. For the most part Paul writes. He and Josh will come up with music together. If they have ideas for like little parts or lyrics, they’ll throw them my way and then I do most of the lyric writing. For the most part we each do most of our own instrument writing, but we definitely don’t hold back any opinions; we definitely work together as a team. Like, “this will sound cool if we do it like this” or, “hey, I think we should scream this this way.” So, it’s a good team atmosphere.

R: That’s awesome. Like a brotherhood. So what are some musicians, or bands that really inspire you guys? Give me some of your influences.

B!: Musically we’ve really been listening to, in the past few months, a lot of Impending Doom, which is really like heavy, Christian band, which is really faith based, but they have such a, like, devastating sound almost. We really listen to that, to influence our music, and just the way that they go about it, is so respectful. I really love the fact that they hold their faith strong, even in such awesome, brutal sounding, like, death metal really. Christ is totally present in that.

R: I love that. Like, the Message, you know, can still come through in that kind of sound as well, and so many people don’t really believe that a deathcore band can show Jesus, but I think that’s totally false. Impending Doom is a great choice.. any other bands, musically?

(another band mate chimes in) That’s really, really tough, ‘cause I think all of us have kind of different draws, different influences. For this album, especially because the album was written over the whole year, I think our musical tastes manage to alter in that time quite a bit,. We’d change from one band to another, so I find there’s lots of musical influence, like one song will not have the same musical influence as another. So because it was written over such a long period, when we release the album I think you’ll find different things going on. Like one song we have on our set and we recorded, that song was written before we went on hiatus, whereas we have songs that were written two, three months before we even came back, so the difference between writing styles I think are greatly different. But, I think we’ve stayed with a groovy, heavy… kind of like Impending Doom, like a lot of …

(new voice) we’ve managed to keep a pretty consistent sound – what we like to think of as the Battleship! sound.

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