Miami metal quintet Letters of the Lost delivered back in June their debut EP Walk With Us (review here). We talked with the band about it. Check the interview below.
Your new EP titled “Walk With Us” draws influences from many different music styles. How would you describe your music to someone who didn’t hear your music before? What artists do you think have inspired you most directly?
If we had to describe “Walk With Us” to a complete stranger, it would be lead off by saying the album is an eclectic arrangement of melodies, harmonies, and pretty-diddy sections. But, on the other hand, you have a counter-balance that’s consisted of brutality and sheer destruction, contained within the chugs, kicks and screams that are dished out with each track. We’ve really been inspired the most by Periphery, Killswitch Engage, Lamb of God, and small dashes of Meshuggah and Night Verses.
Letters of the Lost is a quintet. What in particular have each one of you brought to the table while working on the songs from “Walk With Us”?
Well, most of the material was drafted before we became a quintet. Sebass and Andrew had a lot of the songs on this EP written in a technical manner, but still leaving breathing room for vocals to be added later on. The initial process became one of compromising, while still keeping the essence of those songs. Miggs and Joan came in and added their own flavor to the songs, and in many instances, tweaked the original structures to give way for a fuller sound. Vocals were a different story, since Danny was the last one to step into the ring for writing. There were moments though, where a vocal melody or line came through that forced the dynamics to change, but again, we wanted to keep the spirit of the songs alive.
Did you map out any of the elements before starting to write “Walk With Us”?
There was no initial mapping out for the elements; Sebass and Andrew wrote the core structures for 5 of the 8 songs on the EP. “Machines” is what Miggs, Danny and Joan wrote in their old project, All Things Fall, before we revamped it. “Kenopsia” was our first song that we wrote as a collective. It’s pretty much what came out of us.
Breaking down the EP’s structure, it’s easy to notice that each one of you have parts where your instrumental work is really good. What is your way of putting these instrumentations in an entity called song?
It’s been a long way for that to happen. Everyone in the band is talented in their own unique way, and that allows us to spill out millions of alternatives for each song. It’s not rare for us to have several riffs, licks, or drum fills for a certain part, and try them all out several times before deciding what pushes the song further. And that includes vocals; if it doesn’t fit, then it doesn’t belong there.
How does the album title effect the material presented on the album? Give me a snapshot of the topics you explore on these songs?
Walk With Us is a spiritual continuation of the band’s first effort as a two-piece, which you can listen to on their “Merkio” demo. The name was decided early on, and the topics it deals with are varied. As a songwriter, you don’t want to force-feed a concept down the listener’s throat, instead we chose to throw some social, and other times intimate, concepts out there, but with a certain quality that allows the listener to visualize himself/herself inside that song. Some songs are about relationships, conscience, and a couple are actually our critique on daily observations.
So, what is with the name of the band?
Metaphorically speaking, the “letters” are our music, and “of the lost” is for people out there that need something to guide, or connect with, in order to get through their struggles in life.
You had quite a few opportunities to present your work in front of live audiences. What is the general response you guys receive?
It was interesting when we were just a two-piece band for the first year. People were shocked to see a duo doing, what we would later call, Hybrid Metal. Once we became a full line up, the feedback has been wild and we are loving every moment of it.
How do you sense the future?
In the foreseeable future, we feel that we will be back in the studio by 2018 to record and release our full-length album, with subsequent tours following suit. But anything is possible in this industry; we could either end up halfway across the world, touring with Soilwork, or we could end up peddling money in a NYC subway. It could go either way, really.