You recently toured Europe with THURSDAY and played a few shows with RISE AGAINST. What are your impressions of that road trip?
Brad: It was a truly amazing time. THURSDAY and RISE AGAINST are great friends of ours and have been for a while, so it was awesome to share the road with them again. Shows were huge and incredible, we got to go to awesome places, and all with our great friends. Couldn’t be better.
With RISE AGAINST you played in front of huge audiences, which is not everyday business for you guys. Do you prefer the intimate atmosphere of small clubs?
Brad: They both have their appeal I suppose. It’s kind of a rush to play for thousands of people, but something about the intimate energy of a packed club show really can’t be beat.
Earlier in 2009 you supported 36 CRAZYFISTS on their way throughout Europe. What can you tell about that tour?
Brad: It was nuts. We shared a bus with them and got wild and went to a ton of cool countries. It was lovely to meet those husky Alaskan and play some sweet shows.
Do you have plans for another headlining tour in Europe?
Brad: No plans yet, but I know we’re incredibly overdue for a headline run over there. Fingers crossed.
With „Tropic Riot“ you recently released your fourth record. I had the impression you consequently followed the progressive path of „Versions“. What can you tell about the working process on this last record and the outcome of it?
Brad: „Tropic Riot“ was a return to the collective effort of 5 dudes in a room all writing a record. By the end of „Versions“, POISON THE WELL was a three piece, so that dynamic was different. This time it was just 5 dudes in a haunted bar that was being used as a storage space, all jamming. We talked a bit about what we liked about the music the band had written in the past, and new things we wanted to do, then wrapped it all into one. I’m pretty stoked on the outcome.
On „Tropic Riot“ there are more parts with clean vocals than on previous records. I feel this clarity is contradictorily underlining the chaotic harshness of the melodies. How do you feel about this?
Brad: I think it’s pretty even for the most part, there’s still a lot of screaming on the record, less of the yelling/shouting style of vocals if anything. We definitely wanted to bring back the hooks and chorusus that we felt „Versions“ lacked a bit, but still have it be very heavy and dynamic.
How would you describe the musical development over your last records?
Brad: Constant. POISON THE WELL has never been the kind of band to stay stagnant musically, we’re always hearing new music and new ideas and new insprations, so that all has its influence on our tastes. I suppose our tastes have become a bit more varied and refined or something with time, but we still like simple heavy hardcore too. It all has its affect.
What are the lyrics dealing with? Are there any main topics?
Brad: Jeff is a mystery for the most part. He’s pretty personal about the lyrical content and knowing him and what his life is like gives a bit of insight into them. He’s always been a fan of people assigning their own meaning to his lyrics and relating to it on a personal level. This record to me seems to deal a lot with loss and struggle to be what you want to be.
How have the reactions on the new material been so far?
Brad: Pretty good I think! A lot of people I never expected to like POISON THE WELL are into it, and it being a bit heavier than „Versions“ came as a surprise to some, but in a good way. We’re all pumped on this record and excited that others are too even though we don’t really care that much in the end.
What are your plans for the near future?
Brad: We just got back from the RISE/THURSDAY tour and now we’re taking a break and seeing hay else comes up. Hopefully rad shit.
Any last words you would like to spread?
Brad: Thank you so much for the interview and for reading this, we appreciate every moment of attention that anyone gives us sincerely. Hopefully we’ll see you soon!