Published Feb 19, 2013Among other things, Vancouver metal/hardcore act Baptists' 2011 7-inch revealed a deep love for Converge, so it perhaps came as no surprise that the band jumped at the chance to work with that group's Kurt Ballou to record their debut LP Bushcraft, which Southern Lord drops today (February 19). If you're itching to hear what the record has in store, you can now stream it here on Exclaim.ca.
Speaking to Exclaim!, Baptists guitarist Danny Marshall explains, "I think that Kurt's production and playing on many of our favourite records has shaped much of the overall feel of our band, not just this record. In past recording sessions, we found ourselves giving Ballou-engineered albums as overall production/mixing references, so to me we're now hearing our band the way we had always wanted it to sound."
The group tracked the LP last fall at Ballou's GodCity Studio in Salem, MA, and the results are monstrous. While the doom-and-gloom guitars run thick throughout the album and vocalist Andrew Drury jumps into a number of seething screaming sessions, Marshall credits drummer Nick Yacyshyn's punishing percussive pound as being the band's secret weapon.
"Playing with an amazingly skilled drummer like Nick lets us focus on the structure of a song rather than trying to come up with some fancy guitar line that I can't play to make try to keep things interesting," the humbled six-stringer says. "He keeps our band interesting. It's always a bummer listening to some fast band and picturing the drummer huffing and puffing away and trying to keep up, and I don't think we have that problem."
Marshall also shed light on the album's lyrical themes, which home in on the emptiness of the 9-to-5 life ("Think Tank Breed") and an extreme love for the outdoors ("Bushcraft").
"A lot of the lyrical content lashes out at jobs and workplace woe — contentment in things we're convinced we want by media, society, whatever — and how suffocating it can feel at times living amongst the rest of the general population. Getting out into the wilderness away from everything is a reoccurring theme, as much to take a look at our lives and how shitty we are to ourselves and others as it is to escape from our daily routines."
With a new album to promote, the band won't be hightailing it to the woods anytime soon, and Marshall says that tour plans are in the works. For now, if you're in Vancouver, Baptists play the Biltmore Cabaret on February 28.