Connecticut metal crew, Boundaries are set to drop their crushing new album, Your Receding Warmth, through Unbeaten Records on November 13th. Inspired by subjects of escapism, insecurities, and battling to move forward in the face of life’s continual setbacks and armed with a wealth of experience touring with extreme metal heavy-hitters like Code Orange, The Acacia Strain, and Hatebreed, the band has recorded an album that is a bruising lesson in emotion venting. We grabbed frontman Matt McDougal to find out more about the band and their “stories of a bleak existence.”
Thanks for your time. Just for our readers who may not have heard of Boundaries, can you give us a quick history?
Matt McDougal: “Sure thing, Boundaries is a metalcore band that was formed by our bassist Zadak Brooks back in 2013/2014. He is the only original member and as the years passed and people left the band, the people currently in it started to join and we’ve had this current lineup for about the last two years. We all met each other through shows and other bands we were in at the time and eventually all ended up together as those other projects disbanded.”
Tell us about the upcoming debut album, an album born from “stories of a bleak existence.” Are these subjects written from personal experience?
“Yes every Boundaries song new or old and especially on this latest record, is written from personal experience. They are all born from thoughts, feelings, or events that I felt had resonated with my life in a way that I carry them with me at all times. These songs serve as a way to express and release them.”
Is Boundaries your outlet away from that existence then and, if so, what kind of release is it performing these songs?
“Absolutely. Music, and more so performing, is the single most cathartic experience I have ever found. It’s better than any late-night walk, any talk with a therapist, any exercise physical or otherwise, that I have ever done. It is the emotional release from which the rest of my life hinges.”
Stories of a bleak existence couldn’t be a more fitting description for life in these challenging times. How has life changed for you on a personal level given the current worldwide pandemic?
“The pandemic has put so much of life on pause or just removed it from existence that it’s really required me to look at what I consider important and has been a vehicle through which I have further tested my discipline and resolve. Let’s just say that it’s hard to not think about and face the negative aspects of your life and mentality when you’re alone with it locked inside your apartment 24/7 for over six months. I don’t think I’m wrong in saying that everyone is different after living through the state of today’s world.”
Is this likely to inspire your future material?
“Perhaps… I almost exclusively write through the lens of personal experience because writing is how I have always dealt with situations or emotions I felt I couldn’t otherwise express. Even before I was in bands and before I wrote them like ‘songs,’ I still wrote and had journals of thoughts, some of which have since been adapted to become lyrics and so on. These times have been no different, I still don’t know how to feel heard and understood by my peers, so I’m still writing.”
The new video for “Carve” is particularly harsh, can you talk us through the story behind that track and the accompanying video?
“The story behind ‘Carve’ is one of personal experience and one of observation. I noticed that with myself and a few of my closer friends at the time, that as our long-term relationships were coming to an end and we were trying to process that transition, seemingly all of us couldn’t handle it at face value. As a result, I watched my friends and myself become associated with people we wouldn’t have otherwise if we were functioning normally. Which is to say we all quickly rebounded into new ‘relationships’ that were destructive and abusive.
I won’t speak for everyone because I don’t know their specifics but I know that in my case I was hurting so much I looked past a lot of things I would have otherwise not, parts of me they wanted to change and were vocally negative about, bouts of physical abuse and destroying things in my home while I wasn’t home. When good things leave your life sometimes you can hurt so bad you clutch the closest nearby thing to replace them and when you do that you can let in some very negative people and not realize until it’s too late.”
What about a song like “I’d Rather Not Say?” What inspired that track?
“That track is especially close to me. The song is one of me forcing myself to accept that certain people have left my life permanently and even though I don’t know what to do to ease that pain, I still have to continue. Talking things through gets redundant at a certain point and eventually you have to call something done and carry all of those leftover thoughts with you.”
Collectively, what brought you together to form a band? What was life like before Boundaries?
“Before we were all in this band together, we knew each other from playing shows with our old bands. Boundaries is just the latest project we have all found ourselves in, but we’ve all been playing music since at least early high school days. Once all of our own individual bands broke up, practically in one motion four of us joined Boundaries because at the time the band was down to just being a single guitarist, Zadak.”
What about the Connecticut metal and hardcore scene, how healthy is that at the moment and are there any other bands we should be looking out for?
“The scene certainly ebbs and flows. Connecticut either has 30 bands all playing shows every weekend or it has five bands trying to play anywhere at all. Without shows for most of the year it’s hard to have my finger on the pulse of it all but one band you should for sure check out is Steel Grave.”
You’ve toured with some bands like The Acacia Strain who are at the peak of their game at the moment. What do you learn from bands like that?
“I think the most surprising thing that we took away from touring with The Acacia Strain is how, before every set, they all do vocal warm ups together. But not in the way that you think. They close off the greenroom for an hour and sit across from each other cross legged and do this thing called ‘Mongolian throat singing.’ They do it uninterrupted for the entire hour and will restart if you interrupt them at all, they will also be very angry with you and to this day Vincent still won’t speak to certain members of our band because of it.”
With their last album, Code Orange moved away from pure rage into something more experimental. Where do you see Boundaries sound going?
“I truly have no idea. We wear our influences on our sleeves so to speak so it will really just depend on where we are with our mindset when it’s time to write again. It will always be fast, loud, and heavy because that’s the best type of music to play, but anything could work its way into the cracks and seams of our music.”
What about heavy music in 2021? Do you think we’ll see an upturn in bands inspired by the frustration of the COVID-19 pandemic writing heavier, more vicious music?
“Absolutely. Maybe not so much more vicious and angry, but the world is in a state of unprecedented melancholy for most of its inhabitants. The past six months have been a disappointment, dread, and death for millions of people and I think it’d be silly to assume that all of this negativity isn’t going to bleed into the creative works of a lot of artists.”
Thanks for your time. Good luck with the album in November. Looking forward to 2021, what are your hopes for the band?
“Thanks for your interest and more than anything in the entire world, I just want to play a show.”
Your Receding Warmth will be released on November 13th through Unbeaten Records. You can pre-order your copy here.