Beartooth‘s ‘Aggressive Tour’ has been a monstrous beast, keeping the band away from home for months and months, and the UK and Europe wound up a few nights ago in Belfast. We caught the band in Cardiff for a momentous gig (read our review here), but earlier that evening we sat down for a chat with the band’s guitarist Kam Bradbury. We talked about how the tour came about, the success of their sophomore album and the more conscientious side of Beartooth. Without further ado…
How is the tour going so far?
It’s been awesome, and very very long. This is day seventy-eight, and my brain is broken.
How has it been touring with Vanna and Trash Boat, did you know them well before?
We knew Vanna very well, we have done three tours with them now. We became really good friends on the first Warped Tour we did, and now Trash Boat has been great. I enjoy their band a lot.
What made you decide to mix up the genres a bit instead of running a straight metalcore/hardcore tour?
I’ve always wanted to do a pop punk split because I’m a huge pop punk fan, and a metalcore dropped off the tour so we booked a pop punk band.
Are there any other pop punk bands you’d really like to tour with but haven’t yet?
We’re really good friends with State Champs and Real Friends… and Seaway, Seaway are one of my top favourite bands right now. Actually I have a Seaway tattoo. And, my good friends in Blink-182! No, but obviously I’d love to tour with Blink, that would be a dream come true for sure.
You titled your second album Aggressive. Was that a mission statement? What lead to that title?
I think it was a way to sum up the album as a whole. Disgusting was kind of self-deprecating and stuff like that, so this was more “I’m pissed off but I’m gonna do everything to get through it and do everything to be happy.”
How do you feel the album has been received, were you happy?
Yeah, it’s been great. We play a bunch of new songs; the crowd is reacting very well to the new songs. We’re very happy.
Are there any particular songs that fans really seem to connect with?
Hated is probably the big one, also Sick of Me and Aggressive are kind of the top ones that the crowd really gets into.
How has it been working with Red Bull Records for the album cycle?
They’re the best. When they come out to shows it’s not like “Oh, we’re in charge”, they just hang out and we’re friends. It’s really cool to work with them.
At what stage did you start working with them? Did the partnership shape the album much, or was that very much in place?
Caleb writes and records everything. He basically signed to the record label before I was in the band. We’re all kind of just… kind of hired guys? Not really, we’re treated like a band but Caleb is the one that is signed to the record label, he made the partnership through John Feldmanm and wrote with him. Feldmann is on Red Bull Records as a producer.
Perhaps a better question for Caleb then, but is there a stand-out song from your discography that means a lot to you as an individual or as a band?
From my point of view, my favourite song is Rock is Dead. It’s really fun to play, it has a cool message and is a more light-hearted song than most.
What are some of your favourite things about touring around the UK and Europe?
Nothing. No! I love coming over here, I really like seeing old stuff. Nothing in America is as old as stuff over here. The crowds are also a little crazier over here than in the states.
So what is the reaction like compared to the States?
I guess in the states the people in the front row and the pit are all going crazy, but the people in the back are just like *Crosses arms and nods head*, which happens sometimes here but more often than not the whole crowd is into it. The balcony, everywhere.
What would be your dream tour to be a part of?
I’d really like Motorhead. Dead or alive? Motorhead, Michael Jackson, Johnny Cash, and we’re headlining. We’ve kind of already done one of my dream tours, we toured with Slipknot for a couple weeks and that was kind of mind-blowing. They were the first heavy band I every heard in my entire life.
As a band you’ve been openly supportive to fans about issues of domestic abuse, mental health, and charities like Hope For The Day. Is that something you think it is really important for bands to be vocal about?
I think so because whether we like it or not, people look up to us. Especially with the message of our music, it’s very heavy and it talks about that stuff. So, to be involved in Hope For The day and talking to kids through social media it really means a lot to a lot of people.
Some people feel like music and topics like politics should be kept quite separate. What are your opinions on that?
I don’t like politics at all. I don’t like talking about them, I just don’t care that much.
In terms of future projects, what is your goal as Beartooth currently?
To rock till we’re dead.
Would you have any specific goals going into writing your next release?
I know Caleb is going to work with a couple different people that he’s not worked with before for his next cycle. I mean it’s pretty far off as we just finished this one but yeah, I don’t think he’s actually figured out what the whole theme of the album is going to be yet.
If you had to be an inanimate object what would it be? Here, the band’s tour manager Bobby kindly stepped in to assist a very tired Kam.
What does unanimate mean?
TM: You don’t know what that means?
TM: Yeah, like a couch is an inanimate object, a can of coke is an inanimate object…
Not alive? Okay.
TM: Edit that whole part out!
You don’t have to edit it out I’m dumb. Um… I don’t fucking know! A jet-ski, because you never see someone that’s having a bad time on a jet-ski. And I get to go fast.
In fairness, who wouldn’t fancy trying out being a jet-ski? Despite remaining rather coy on the side of Beartooth‘s future plans, it was great to sit down with Kam, and we wish the band the best of luck for the near future!