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Burns both ways



Metalcore band August Burns
Red is rapidly approaching a decade together with relatively few lineup
changes and nothing but smooth seas in sight.

never blew up and exploded overnight,” guitarist JB Brubaker said. “We
grew at an organic pace and amassed a following that way. That’s the
difference between us and some of the bands that go away as quickly as
they come.”

Pennsylvania-based group — which got its name from a newspaper headline
detailing a founding member’s unstable ex burning his dog alive —
gradually garnered its devout following within secular and Christian
audiences starting in 2003 with a dense, vicious noise that, in
retrospect, didn’t carry much actual weight despite a spiritually
informed message pinned onto its underbelly.

we started out, we just wanted to be a heavy mosh band. We didn’t care
about anything but playing breakdowns,” Brubaker said. “At that point,
we really weren’t capable of doing much else than chugging on an open C.
It was fun, but it got boring.”

But 2007’s “Messengers” and
2009’s breakout “Constellations” found the band musically growing up to
a certain extent, and also gave it a unique identity among the
hard-core set.

we were playing weird time signatures, and it wasn’t as cookie-cutter as
a lot of what the other bands were doing. I think we kind of pioneered
that — not that we invented it — but it’s something more bands are doing
now,” Brubaker said. “We’ve always, especially now, been motivated to
write songs that are different from the other bands in this scene. We
don’t want to be the copycats; we want to be one step ahead.”

August Burns Red’s newest album, “Leveler,” has the group breaking new ground in that relative wilderness by
broadcasting a sound that strikes an unfamiliar line between metal and
hardcore. Crowds have responded by making the effort its
highest-charting to date.

a lot more experimentation than there’s ever been. We branched into
genres we’ve never explored before,” Brubaker said. “We actually sang on
this record. It’s a big step for us, and I hope we can use that to
build on.”

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