BoySetsFire has been back together for a while now and are playing shows again. A new album was something that I was hoping for but wasn’t sure about whether or not it would happen. And now there’s “While A Nation Sleeps” and it comes with all the goodies we’ve come to expect from these guys. Here’s what bassist Robert Ehrenbrand had to tell us…
PRT: While a nation sleeps, BoySetsFire is...?
Robert:…busy doing exactly what we love to do: creating music within our tight-knit-unit. We are very happy with this record (our first full length in 7 years) and we are just as excited about playing these new songs live.
PRT: What’s the main reason that got you to breathe new life into BoySetsFire?
Robert: Well, we really did set up everything (finally) the way it is supposed to be…we founded our own label (for Europe) with our manager/friend Oise, we found a great labelpartner in BRIDGE 9 for outside of Europe, we recorded ourselves in our own studio, one of our closest friends became our manager and the list goes on…I do feel a new appreciation for making music within BSF and I am not ashamed to say that I missed my brothers in BSF while we were taking our “break”…I think all of us just really enjoy being in this band right now…a lot.
PRT: You started playing shows again in 2011 yet it took you until now to release a new album. Was it the idea from the start to put out a new album?
Robert: Not really, after we returned playing we wanted to see how it feels to play together again and tour again…but we always knew that if we wanted to continue longterm we wouldn’t do it without new music. We love playing our old songs, but we are not nostalgic musicians…we feel creating is as much part of this band as playing older material, so both ingredients have to be there for us to make this worthwhile.
PRT: “While A Nation Sleeps” is your first release in years yet it fits in perfectly with your other albums. Is this just what comes pouring out naturally when you get together or do you keep in mind that you are writing for BoySetsFire?
Robert: First of all thank you for your kind words about our new record…we appreciate it. I agree that the new record fits in perfectly with our other records, but yet still explores enough new ground to be suprising and unique as well,,,it really has to do with the chemistry of us getting together and writing. Single members may come up with riffs to even a whole song, but when the other guys lay their hands on it, it pretty soon gets that distinct sound…that being said, we again came up with a whole record of songs that shouldn’t be on one record together, haha…I guess we as personalities and musicians are pretty wild and all over the place, that definitely bleeds over into our songs.
PRT: Songs like “Everything Went Black” and “Far From Over” are some of the fiercest songs you’ve written to date. Is there a difference between the things that get you pissed off now compared to when you were in your twenties?
Robert: Yes, now most of us have children and you take the pollution of our day and age even more personal…think about what kind of world my kids have to grow up in…sure, I try whatever I can to provide them with a loving home and a loving relationship, but if you open any given newspaper the world is a pretty disgusting place (or can be at least)…so yeah, we are far from finished screaming about things that obviously go wrong in this world. Which doesn’t mean that it is not as interesting to explore the other side as well and write songs that are more personal and even positive as well…it is a balance that we are looking for. We are not a product, but rather a real band and hence whatever comes out, comes out…period.
PRT: You’ve been around for almost two decades… looking back what is the one thing you would like to have handled differently?
Robert: Honestly, I could potentially name so many little or not so little things, that were pretty stupid, but you know what…it was all part of the process and one way or another enabled us to do this beautiful new record. We are in a great place with our little band from Delaware right now and so we are indepted to the process even though some of it was hard to deal with or might have appeared wrong at the time…it was all part of it and it is all good (now).
What I can tell you though, is that I emotionally would not survive another recording period like we had for THE MISERY INDEX…but as for this record: I am willing to record 3 per year, hahaha
PRT: You played in both the smallest clubs and on the biggest stages and you’re an institution in the hardcore scene, what is something you would still love to achieve now that you’re back at it?
Robert: It is really about the music…we have so much ideas floating around at the moment and I can’t wait to continue writing. So the challenge is to keep this cool and supportive structure we have built and let the music come out however it comes out…
PRT: What’s up next for you guys? Touring all over the place for the rest of the year?
Robert: Touring as much as we can for this year and enjoying this record together with everyone who cares enough to come out and sing along…that’s about it. Basically a year-long celebration, hahaha