Dynamic, progressive, varied – these are just some of the words you can use to describe Californian band Volumes, who have taken the heavy music world by storm over the past few years. The combination of their first two LPs VIA and No Sleep have demonstrated the deep passion of the band’s musicianship, and their desire to cross-over experimentation with what the market wants.
Contributing to Volumes’ success over their early years, has been a unique structure of having two un-clean vocalists in the band, contributing distinctly different sounds, and creating a defining edge. To many fans’ dismay, one of these two vocalists departed the band after their last album’s touring cycle. Michael Barr was succeeded by Myke Terry after the band undertook a significant auditioning process, with big shoes to fill. Terry is no stranger to the scene, having emerged from Boston metalcore band Bury Your Dead.
Volumes have recently signed to Fearless Records after having some dramas with their old label, and are set to release their third record Different Animals on June 9th, the first album with Terry, who holds nothing back whatsoever.
In terms of what the djent influenced group were hoping to achieve with this new album, it seems like an organic continuation from where they left off. “We just want fans to go crazy, we all [both personally] and as a band have gone through some shit and we just wanted this record to show it” Terry says honestly. “We just wanted to give the most aggressive and beautiful album that we could come up with.”
The newly recruited vocalist goes on to say that they all had a strong preconceived idea of what the next album was going to be like, and they resembled this in the varied singles they’ve released thus far. “We just wanted to shake it up, put out what feels good, and we thought let’s go from one extreme to the other extreme, just to test the waters.”
The band initially released a music video for ‘Feels Good‘ last year, followed by ‘On Her Mind’ which delivered bits of everything, surprising some fans who were curious about the direction the band may have been taking. Rest assured, Volumes followed this up with a live music video for ‘Left for Dead’, delivering a few minutes of sheer heaviness, with everything tuned down for a genuine head-bang.
“We wanted to be able to showcase everything, and show our fan-base stuff from the old, so they could take a look in the future, you know?”
Typically, lead guitarist and keyboardist Diego Farias is the brain-child for a lot of the band’s riffs and other material. Different Animals had a lot of collaboration across the band though, and even gave Terry free reign to create and provide input to the entire aesthetic.
“They were actually really stoked that I was a writer (he laughs) so I wrote a shit tonne on this album, it was a really cool experience, they let me really just go in and write.”
Writing and recording is not all Volumes have been up to lately though, there’s also been a lot of touring for the excitable dudes, and things don’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. “It’s been pretty much non-stop since I joined the band. First tour I did was Warped Tour, then we went to Europe, came back did the states and then pretty much been on tour all of this year.” They will continue touring for the rest of 2017, with most of the year already booked up. “So far [I’ve] done like thirty countries [with the band], making up over one hundred days already, so it’s been pretty busy.”
For Terry, he’s had to manage the pressure of filling in for an important piece of Volumes, but he’s found it a seamless experience, and has filled that void without much effort. “It’s awesome, I feel like I understand what he was trying to do and what he was doing in the band.”
“I understand his self and I identify with the lyrics that he wrote. I can express the lyrics in the same way as if I wrote them so it hasn’t really been a challenge. He wasn’t written about something that I don’t believe in, so the [transition] just came naturally.”
Reflecting on the difference in experience between Bury Your Dead and Volumes, the vocalist sees things rather distinctively. “The two bands are so different, I mean Bury Your Dead was [simply] brutal” in comparison to Volumes’ variation, it appears. “I have way more of a part in Volumes [compared] to what I had in Bury Your Dead.”
“I can say that one million percent, I feel more accepted, more at home. It feels like just the way it should be – I feel very comfortable” – guess it was meant to be.
Before things got peachy for Terry and his fellow musicians, Volumes were a little stuck between a rock and a hard place, relating to disagreements with their prior label (Mediaskare Records) over having their music available to stream on platforms like Spotify and Google Play Music. “It’s over and done with, thank god. I have had my own dealings with the prior label so I can imagine how that felt for the guys but I came in on the tail-end of that.” In summary, all Terry had to say about it was “it’s like leaving a shitty girlfriend and finding a hotter one that really cares about you (he giggles) – it’s been really cool” referring to signing with Fearless Records.
The band are stoked with Fearless and how the relationship has been growing over the past little while. Speaking about the label urged Terry to speak up about how important that relationship really is. “If you’re a label, these are your investments, so why wouldn’t you want to put your time into us. If you give us more work to with work, then we’ll work harder.”
And working hard is what they plan on doing. As tour dates are continually growing, Terry isn’t too sure yet when Volumes will be returning to Australian shores, but indicates that he hopes to in 2018. “We’ve been talking about it, we want to do Australia, Japan, and New Zealand – that whole area you know. We really want to go now but (he laughs) timing is everything, I can guarantee that we’ll be out there on this record cycle for sure.”
Interview by @rickyaarons
Volumes – Different Animals tracklisting
1. Waves Control
3. Feels Good
4. Disaster Vehicle
8. Tide’s Change
9. On My Mind (feat. Pouya)
10. Heavy Silence
11. Pullin’ Shades
12. Left For Dead
Pre-Order Different Animals on Apple Music here and on Google Play Music here