Metalcore group Like Moths To Flames have been on the scene for just about a decade, and in that time have released four studio albums, and are about to drop their next – P.S. it might just be their best one yet.
Heavy as hell and out now is No Eternity in Gold (our review here), and with a little help from UNFD, the band might just continue topping their stream numbers with this bad boy.
We grabbed frontman Chris Roetter aside, the only band member who’s truly been there since day-dot, and lived the band’s journey and evolution.
With the upcoming release of the band’s new album, you could say the Moths camp is ready to rock. “The vibes are good, everybody’s really excited to share the rest of the record. It’s been done since February” the vocalist tells us, alluding to that feeling of ‘let’s just do this already!’
Like Moths To Flames get a lot of hype and they market their new material carefully, as to ensure it doesn’t leak ahead of schedule. “We’re the kind of band that has to keep things under wraps because there’s a lot of means for people to obtain records early now.”
“I wear the band on my sleeve – it’s a lot of my identity. I’m the only original member so I try not to look too deep into the perception from an analytics standpoint, but the songs are doing really well on Spotify for us.”
A common theme lately is the shift towards ‘stream numbers’ and away from record sales, which for many bands, particularly in the heavy music industry, is not only challenging – but a dynamic that requires strong adaptability.
“It’s cool that we have the advancements of streaming” the singer admits, “but it kind of sucks because record sales were so prevalent within the community, and now streams are the base of your level of success and growth as a band, which is kind of a double-edged sword” he tells us earnestly.
Despite these challenges, Roetter is genuinely stoked at how the singles from the new album have performed. “They’re getting more coverage than any of the old catalogue, and I think a part of that is people rediscovering us.”
Of course, the digital world isn’t the only challenge the American metalcore musos are facing with the release of No Eternity in Gold, but also living in different cities whilst COVID rips across the world. “I’m the only dude that lives in Columbus, everybody else is across the country. There’s been talks of doing livestreams and stuff like that” – but it does beg questions with travelling, due to the current state of the virus.
The front-man specifically outlines some of the precautions he’s been taking to stay safe. “There’s people not even wanting to acknowledge the fact that [COVID] is actually a real thing – me and my wife wear masks, we’re aware of hygiene and we’re constantly washing our hands; and that’s how it should be” Roetter says frustratingly to the rest of the country – a situation that’s perpetuated the touring disaster prominent to his workplace.
One of the tracks on the new band’s release is ‘YOTM’ and it stands for ‘year of the moth’, which has become quite a marketing campaign for the band, which you might’ve seen if you’ve been following them on their socials.
“A few people have actually referenced the Chinese calendar so I got really curious one day and was just like looking up the [Chinese] chart for the animals each year and I didn’t expect there to be a moth, and when I saw that there wasn’t, I thought that was kind of cool.”
Chris perceived the absence of a moth to represent the triumphant return of the band. “The metaphor for us is just like being in your own quarter and gassing yourself up” he says, referencing the ‘YOTM’ tagline and quotes online. “If I post something, [other band members] comment ‘YOTM’ or if they post something, I’ll comment – it’s just kind of a mentality of taking the reins of our career back.”
Roetter elaborates on his explanation, and ensures not to convey the band with a perspective of arrogance. “I think over the course of releasing records, we got a bit standoff-ish with actually taking ownership of our career, we left it in the hands of a lot of other people, so for us it’s time to take over” – the vocalist says, setting some context.
“It’s not about getting dethroned or beating top tier metalcore bands or anything like that. For us, it’s just about being the best, most, fine-tuned version of ourselves.”
The front-man of Like Moths to Flames laughs at his statement, as he reflects on the lyrics of ‘YOTM’ and confirms that the track is nothing about how the band have marketed it recently. “For us, that song actually felt like a tribute to the old catalogue, it’s very breakdown oriented and it’s heavy from start to finish.”
To embody this sense of achievement and ownership of the band’s trajectory, their writing and recording process was far more proactive, as compared to previous releases, according to Roetter.
“I think the thing that’s been the biggest hindrance for the band over the course of our career, and that we don’t talk too much about is the loss of members.” Previously, Moths had a guitarist that wrote many tracks for the band, but after he left, the dynamic shifted. “So it began this challenge of figuring out how to progress while also maintaining our sound without having those key elements that made the band [what it was].”
This time the band went into it all guns blazed with more material than they’d ever need. “The last couple records felt like us just chasing content, we would go in with the intent to write five or six songs, but this time we came with like thirty songs, so there was a lot of dissecting and even scrapping entire songs completely.”
Part of this rebirth of the band has been bringing in the emotive elements from a really heavy perspective. “To a certain extent we went into the [particular] studio that we went to because we knew that it would really help bring out the metal side of the band, and help us shine.”
The focus was to intensify their music, and that’s exactly what they did. “We need to make the drops fit more linear with the aggression of the riffs. The singing was a little tough because it’s kind of all at the peak of my range, but I think it definitely showcases an emotional side of the band that hasn’t really been focused on in the past.”
As mentally challenging as the recording process was, it seems like that desired outcome was definitely achieved. Get ready for a heavy album from Like Moths to Flames.
Interview by Ricky Aarons @rickysaul90
Like Moths to Flames’ No Eternity in Gold is out now through UNFD. Purchase here.
Like Moths to Flames – No Eternity in Gold track-listing
1. The Anatomy of Evil
2. Habitual Decline
3. Burn in Water, Drown in Flame
4. Fluorescent White
5. God Complex
7. Killing What’s Underneath
8. A Servant of Plague
9. Demon Of My Own
10. Selective Sacrifice
11. Spiritual Eclipse