*Before you read this, please go to www.ascitiesburn.net and buy tickets to our show. We have expensive as shit tickets that get you a t-shirt and poster and all that jazz. Or you can just wait until tomorrow morning (June 5th) and buy normal tickets. Links on the site.
Come on guys, it's a play on a Ricky Bobby quote. Remember in 'Talladega Nights' when Will Ferrell is doing the Big Red chewing gum commercials??
Seriously though, I don't care if people like the new As Cities Burn song. Really. I definitely don't name search our band to seek out negative tweets such as "Is As Cities Burn joking with this new song?" or "The new As Cities burn is making my ears hurt". Definitely haven't spent the past 4 nights drinking Budweiser till I pass out while I question everything I have ever believed about my abilities as a drummer (which is pretty much nothing to begin with).
I admit it, I'm pathetic when it comes to staying off the internet. I LOVE twitter. I think it's like the most fun place to hang out. I can't NOT search what people are saying about my band. Because I genuinely care. Everyone wants to be liked. I'm not different.*
*Based on the way I write and how rude I can be to people on social media, one might question the whole "I just wanna be liked" thing. Seems that I am working towards the opposite. Just my #BRAND dude.
Let's talk about the new As Cities Burn song, "Prince of Planet Earth".
First, no we aren't joking. I know people are being sarcastic when they say this (I think), but we actually did spend A LOT of time working on this song. Me and Cody holed up in a practice space in North Nashville a few months ago with the intention of creating new material for our tour announcement. We felt it was lame to continue to just play old shit and re hash the past. How fun would it be to release new tunes?! It's fun to release them, but I should be honest that I kind of hate the process.
For ACB the songwriting process can be excruciating. I don't even remember this first version of "P.O.P.E" or what it sounded like. I can assure you it was different. Just when we would think we were on to something, a new idea would come and change the entire direction of the song. What you end up with is something that only vaguely resembles what you started with.
We recorded this song with an awesome producer in Nashville, J Hall. We had never met him or even heard of him until our old buddy Ryan Rado recommended him. He had a hunch that he would good for our creative process. Ryan was right. J is a pretty hands on producer. He came to our practices to help with the vision of the song, encouraging us in the directions we were heading. Getting somebody to start making decisions on where a song is going is so crucial. It's never been Cody's strength to settle on what a song is gonna be. That's not a criticism. That dude just always wants to try and make something better. He is always hearing more ways for a song to work or different directions it could go. But eventually somebody has to tell him, "This is the song." Otherwise his body of work would just be one eternal song, every evolving.
We wanted to write something for the fans of the heavier version of As Cities Burn. There was always a feeling that fans of SILYAYD wanted something else with TJ. We put out this record that kind of blew up and became influential in our scene, and then we said "Fuck that, we are going to be an indie rock band." As Cities Burn literally lost HALF of our fan base (judging by record sales and show attendance.) The 'SILYAYD' version of As Cities Burn has ALWAYS been the most "valuable" version of As Cities Burn. Even though I am most proud of our work on 'Come Now Sleep' and 'Hell or High Water', I understand that there was something really special about 'SILYAYD'.
The irony is that it now seems we have disappointed CNS/HOHW fans with the new song. The criticism has been harsh. My wife tells me to stay out of the forums and to ignore mean comments, but I can't. She sends me texts with screen shots of the enthusiastic praise that our new music is receiving from the MAJORITY of our fans. Yes, I realize that for the most part people are stoked on the new song. But as always, in the age of social media and every person on earth having a platform to speak their mind, the negative comments are the loudest. In my ears anyway.
The most reasonable response I can come up with is kind of a "WTF did you expect?". Has As Cities Burn ever put out music that wasn't drastically different than a previous release? We change our band every time we get together. It's incredibly freeing. CNS was a product of wanting to break the chains of the HXC world and write music that could get us on tour with Jimmy Eat World. Going into HOHW, we pretty much knew we weren't going to be a band anymore so we said fuck it and LITERALLY wrote whatever we wanted. This included writing a song that we thought sounded like Tom Petty and then naming it "Petty", writing a song completely shit faced and hardly changing it at all when we went to record it (Pirate Blues). Or the last song on that record, "Capo", which literally said I'VE GOT NOTHING TO SAY TO YOU for most of the song. I set up the shittiest drums and made them sound as shitty as possible. It was almost a big middle finger to the fans/music industry in general. That sucks, but that's kind of where we were at the time. If anything, it was honest. But we liked the song a lot.
If you had expectations for what a new ACB song would be, I can't help you. We have proven that nothing is to be expected from us artistically. We are in a much better place this time around, and genuinely wanted to write something to reconnect with fans. We didn't like the way we left things 6 years ago. "P.O.P.E." was what we came up with. It's the best we can do. The other song we are going to release soon, in my opinion, is the best song we have every recorded. We are trying.
It's ok if you don't like the new song. I don't really mean fuck you. Sometimes I do have this fleeting emotion of "YOU CREATE SOMETHING ASSHOLE!!" (jack black anybody?). But everyone is entitled to like what they like. I just wanted to clear up any confusion over whether this rebirth of ACB is in anyway a massive troll on our fans. It's not. This is our art.
A GENUINE thanks to all of you who have supported by saying something nice about the new song, buying a pre sale package or just keeping your damn mouth shut if you think we are now the shittiest band on earth.