At the end of last month I had the ultimate pleasure of chatting to Life Of Agony bassist Alan Robert prior to the band’s gig at Manchester Academy. We touched on various topics. Whilst enjoying an IPA, here’s (in a snap shot) what he had to say. The whole interview, which includes some very interesting facts about S.O.S amongst others, is available to listen to on the video link above.
On the thought process of writing ‘The Sound Of Scars’:
‘When Veronica (Bellino) first joined the band we played two sold out shows in our home town of Brooklyn to introduce her to the band. We decided as a group to listen to the whole Life Of Agony catalogue and pick the songs we wanted to play together. By doing that, we saw for ourselves, for the first time, the evolution of the band and how the song writing had changed from record to record. Each record marks a period of time. We never said we wanted to sound like River Runs Red or any other album. We try and live in the moment and it’s given us a lot of diversity in the music.
On the way the album has been received by fans and social media:
At the end of the day we set out to make a record that we were happy with, and a lot of people said it was a risky move to try and continue the story and we realise that too, and that’s why we put so much effort and energy into getting it right.
On recording the drum tracks in a converted church:
We flew across the country to a studio (the converted church) in Oregon. A beautiful place surrounded by mountains.
On what Veronica has brought to Life Of Agony:
Veronica has gave us new life in a lot of ways. She has given us the passion and energy again. The fire to have fun with it. Since Veronica has come on board we have become closer together than before we even started making records.
On the UK tour so far:
We have Doyle with us it can’t be bad, because he’s our brother.
On how the band cope with an extensive tour:
One of the hardest parts for Joey and I is that we have kids at home. Today I spoke to my daughter for the first time all week, and to hear her voice brought me a lot of joy. Sometimes our schedule is do hard and that’s the biggest challenge.
Scott Trottier (fan) asks: What is the band’s favourite Life Of Agony song?
You’ll get a different answer from every band member but my favourite is, and it’s not going to be the most popular one, but it’s ‘Wicked Ways’ off ‘Broken Valley’. Joey does such a dynamic solo in the middle of the track that still gives me chills.
Chucky Cock (fan) asks: How has Mina’s coming out help transform the band’s lyrical content? They were already empowering.
I’m not sure it has. I write a lot of the lyrics. I think if anything she can relate to them more. She said that even the older material, she can relate that now that she’s come out. It’s more in her blood. She definitely connects more to the older material now that she’s come out.