After the release of new album Grief yesterday, James caught up with Alteras bassist Zack Orr to get his side of the story as their successes start to rack up.
How has signing to the label changed your work dynamic?
I guess the best thing about being in Alteras while signed to Revival [Records] is that our work dynamic hasn’t changed too much because they’ve been so supportive with all of our artistic ideas we’ve had thus far. The only thing that’s changed is that they’ve given us more of a drive, they’ve given us a bunch of help and backing with merch ideas and stuff like that. It’s definitely given us that bit of fire under our belts.
Has the writing process changed from pre-Grief through the record to now?
Well, the writing process has changed a little bit. Jordan [Wooley, guitar] does a lot of the preproduction, he did a lot of the writing musically for Grief but typically it comes with a concept for a song or a guitar riff of some sort which is thrown onto the table and it grows from there. It becomes what the song is in its entirety everyone’s added their own individual flair.
In terms of the release itself and the reception you’ve got from it as a whole, how would you say that’s differed from the previously released material?
Honestly, we’re blown away by it and we’re humbled by the release that we’ve had so far. We’ve had some great feedback and it’s only been out for a couple of days so we’re extremely excited. We didn’t have any backing or promotion for anything we’ve released before, for Shapeshifter, so releasing Grief with revival and having that support from them makes a huge difference which has been incredible thus far.
Where did you see yourself and Alteras going before you made the step towards Grief and how’s it changed forging the era?
Before, me and Seth [Donchess, drummer] weren’t actually a part of the band. We were asked to join about a year and a half, maybe two years ago so we’ve been sitting on Grief a very long time. It’s been completed forever, it feels like to us (laughs). Now that it’s been released though, we just want to tour, we want to start writing new material and stuff like that.
How did you ‘click’ when you became a part of Alteras?
Me and Seth joined two days, it might have been a week, before a show and the first time we were all in the room together just playing the music. We’d both practiced it, and obviously the other three knew it from playing it before, but once we got in the room together something just clicked. We’re all brothers now, it’s nothing but love and something was always just so right about it all. It’s just clicked so much better than any other band I’ve been in, and it’s turned into this.
What happened with the van incident last week then?
Well this last tour we just got off, we knew that it was a hell of a ride from the start. The two bands we were going to tour with had to drop off somewhat last minute from the tour, so any logical group of guys would have seen we maybe shouldn’t do it but we decided we were going to do it anyway. The first date was in Akron, OH which is pretty close to our home in Youngstown and luckily the van broke down there and not hours away. That was the main van we have and the fuel pump, the fuel filter, the alternator and the battery all just took a shit on us at once (laughs). We took that into the [work]shop right after that to get fixed, then we also have our old van that we were trying to sell and get rid of but thankfully we didn’t so we still had a van (laughs). We took that to Buffalo and played the show, the show was awesome and Buffalo is wild. After we were done playing we were about to load up when we realised the window was smashed and Jake [Clasen, vocalist]’s laptop was gone and Seth’s bag that had some clothes, his toothbrush and retainer and a whole bunch of other stuff needed to be stolen items in it. That was gone as well. After Buffalo, we ended up getting our main van back and we just continued on and other than those two incidents it was a great tour. Other than that we enjoyed it, we had a blast.
What sort of size were the shows you were playing?
The only one that was small, that didn’t have too many people at it was Kittanning, PA just outside Pittsburgh and that’s because when we got there I guess the promoters didn’t fill them in with the fact we were still going to be playing even though the others dropped out but we showed up and we played anyway. I think Buffalo had 130 plus people, Nashville I think had 50, Georgia about 30 so pretty good turnout other than that one show. It was a good time.
Where do you see Alteras progressing from this release into the future?
We’re working on getting tours lined up back to back and getting out to play as many places as we can. We have a ton of new content I mean, we dropped the new record yesterday, a new lyric video yesterday and we have a couple more videos to release sometime soon, and then hopefully nothing but tours into the distant future, to be honest. Oh, and new content too: more videos and new music at some point in the future as well.
When are you coming over to the UK then? (laughs)
We’ve actually had a lot of feedback on our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter about coming over there, and I’m dying to come over there and play! (laughs) Hopefully soon we can get something going on.