For over a decade now, Metalcore pioneers Born From Pain have been touring the globe and assaulting their listeners and fans with their unique brand of musical brutality. Born From Pain is the cure for the apathy that has crept into the Metal music scene in recent years. Carefully sculpted songs that set no boundaries move between Metal and Hardcore effortlessly and seamlessly. The band cemented themselves firmly on the scene back in 1997 and their newest release Survival State Of Mind is a testament to their staying power. Their passion and capabilities for writing fantastic music has just improved over the years. Vocalist Rob Franssen took a moment out of his busy touring schedule to answer a few questions.
Playing such visceral music in a recording studio must be vastly different than at one of your chaotic live shows. How did the recording process go for Survival State Of Mind?
Rob: The recording process was very smooth and went very well. We are all extremely happy with individual performances and how everything sounds together. It is obviously quite different to playing live, but it is also a lot of fun and very exciting to see the songs you write in a practice room really come to life in the studio. It is great to see the different layers and textures of a song once it is recorded. I guess it is almost like raising a child, seeing it start out as a small idea and watching it transform and grow into a finished song. It is very fulfilling and for me personally, it is an exciting and adventurous process.
Give us some insight into the album lyrically. This is a super pissed off sounding record.
Rob: Yeah, definitely…. Well, we are really pissed. The situation of the world is not the best there could be to say the least… We have a power elite that is doing everything to get more control over everything that happens. You can see their clamp down on the world happening right now, where due to a staged financial crisis their puppets in politics are giving them even more control over the world monetary system. This is just one of the many ways in which we are slowly getting lead to the slaughter if we do not look beyond their subjective media coverage of things happening in the world and the reasons why they do things the way they do. It is just crazy when you think about what is happening behind the scenes and the way we are lied to, robbed and cheated. They are doing so many things against the people on so many levels, there is a lot to be pissed off about.
What is the hardest part about being in a touring metal band and what is the biggest obstacle your band faces?
Rob: You know, there is not too much that is hard about touring, other than the obvious things, which is sometimes not getting enough sleep, or getting injured and worn down on the road. All of us in the band have been touring hard for a good number of years now and we love it. It is exciting and enjoyable. We get to do something we love, affect people in a positive way, meet new people, see the world and have fun doing it. So, the few things that are hard, do not really affect us that much. Sometimes, you would rather be elsewhere, like anything in life, but once you hit stage, that is it, it makes all the hard and shitty things disappear. I am not really sure what the biggest obstacle we face is. I think it differs constantly and changes depending on certain situations. We have overcome a lot of obstacles in the past year and a half, but everything is looking very good and positive for us right now.
What can fans expect when they pick up a copy of Survival State Of Mind?
Rob: They can expect a typical Born From Pain album, that is uncompromising, in your face and easy to get into. It has everything we think a hardcore/metal record should have, massive grooves, crushing riffs and strong choruses. Also, it has a message and is very important lyrically and therefore challenges people to research and educate themselves and hopefully brings certain topics to the forefront of their minds.
If someone came to me and said they had .99 cents and wanted a new Born From Pain tune, I would have a hard time picking one favorite. This is an album that is packed with intense songs. What song would you recommend?
Rob: You’re not the only one that would have a hard time picking one. I would be happy with letting people listen to any of them. That is the easy answer. Ok, I would say take a listen to “Sound Of Survival,” the first song on the album as it really sets the course for what the album is about and paves the way for the rest of the songs. It sets the tone musically and lyrically.
You guys have been around for over a decade now. When you compare the early days of the Metalcore to the scene today what do you feel has changed for the better? What do you feel has become worse?
Rob: Hmmm, this is quite a tough question. Obviously, the thing that has become a little worse is that the scene as a whole has become over saturated with bands, but that is gonna happen to any sub-genre of a music scene when there is some popularity, so it’s hard to tell if that is something that really is worse. I think one of the positive things is that a lot of the bands that were pioneers of the whole Metalcore scene are still around today and are still popular, still respected and still doing their thing. One of the things that is worse is the whole fashion aspect of things where style has overtaken substance and to me, the substance within Hardcore or Metalcore was one of the most important things about the music. It used to be important for bands to have something to say and that seems to have become somewhat dissolved in this day and age.
Along those same lines, can you offer any advice to any of the younger readers who may be reading this out there and are trying to etch out a career in the music business?
Rob: Sure, do not jump on the next bandwagon that comes along, just because it is big. Always make sure to retain your integrity, because without that you might as well just be a prostitute to the next big thing and people will recognize that and you’ll lose respect because of it. People know when you are real and true about something and so having integrity is vital.
When you are on the road for a while, I am sure you see and experience many different things you might not even have known existed. Are there any stories that stand out in your mind as being exceptionally strange or odd?
Rob: Hmmm, well, we’ve toured all over the world, we’ve pretty much been to every country in Europe, with the exception of one or two eastern European countries. We have toured in the States, Japan, Russia and Brazil too so there are plenty of interesting stories and experiences. I think the most interesting place I have been to though would be Auschwitz. That was a very odd experience, because everything is how it was 60+ years ago and so it is like you are walking around history itself. It is a strangely fascinating, yet obviously depressing place and leaves you with a very somber, morbid feeling after you’ve been there.
When you are out on the road, anything can happen and often does. Can you think of any disastrous events that happened while out on tour? How did you solve the problem?
Rob: We have been lucky actually. We have not really had any disastrous events thankfully. We have not been in any kind of van accident or had any horrible injuries or massive problems on stage. I guess that makes us quite unique as a constantly touring band. Touch wood it doesn’t change.
How do you maintain that level of energy and exuberance? You sound like you are ready to go full bore every time you hit the stage.
Rob: That is because we are ready to destroy everybody when we hit stage. We love what we do and we are very passionate about it. We are not about doing things half-assed and playing live is such a rush. Maintaining the energy and exuberance is not something we need to really maintain because every time we give it our all.
Are you playing a good mix of new and old on tour?
Rob: We sure are. We’re at a point where we have five albums to choose from right now and so obviously we’re gonna be playing a fair few songs from Survival, but then we’re still playing songs from right across the spectrum of releases that we have. It is very important to play everything we have and the best thing is that old songs and new songs sit very well together. I think people will be into it at the shows for sure. We definitely are. [ END ]