Texan metalcore giants Invent Animate have shown no signs of slowing down whatsoever through the COVID pandemic with the release of their album Greyview last year. As we now prepare ourselves for the group’s next release, The Sun Sleeps, As If It Never Was (our review here), I sat down with Trey Celaya (drums) to discuss the forthcoming EP’s interesting concept surrounding drug addiction, their recent signing to UNFD and more…
Trigger Warning: The following interview contains discussions surrounding addiction and mental health
Hi Trey, thanks for taking the time to chat today! The concept of addiction is such an interesting idea for a release, what drew you to release music surrounding this topic?
No problem. The EP is based on a real-life scenario that occurred inside of my close family last summer. At the time where we were working on putting these songs together, it seemed like such a pressing issue that need to be talked out. It felt quite urgent and felt like an important story to tell. Even if it is just for me personally, it felt like something that I needed to process because unfortunately, addiction has been a reoccurring theme in my family.
Did the songwriting process feel emotionally heavy at times because of the content that inspired it being such a pressing issue within your personal life?
I don’t think so. I think any time that would happen is because of the urgency of it. I think that it is almost cathartic when it does come out because the alternative scenario to that would be that I would just be holding it in. Lyric writing has become one of the best forms of expression for me. By the time it comes out, it will have become part of a healing and growth process for me.
With so much stigma surrounding the nature of addiction, was it important for you to use your platform to share the realities of the disease?
Definitely! These lyrics are pretty raw, they don’t hold back on those harsh realities or sugar coat anything. The ending of the story is open-ended, it doesn’t end on a happy note, I did that purposely because addiction becomes an everyday process if you get to the recovery stage. It isn’t like you magically beat it one day. There becomes a point where it is manageable, where you have learnt how to cope and ultimately move forward with your life. From my understanding, every day is a fight and nothing is guaranteed. It is common for people to fall back into relapse. It can usually take people checking into rehab numerous times to overcome it. Due to the story being based upon my family members, I didn’t want to write their story for them. I wish for a full recovery for anyone that is dealing with addiction but it can take hitting rock bottom multiple times to get there, I wanted to be realistic about this process and the expectations involved.
What lessons have you taken away from writing this album on a personal level?
I think my big takeaway is that it is challenging to be vulnerable to write about things as gritty and dark, especially when it relates to my immediate family. I think it is important and that you have to be vulnerable if anyone is going to have an in-depth connection with you. It is just like a relationship with a person, I wouldn’t be open with someone, or trust them unless you know that they are willing to be real and vulnerable with you, even if that means sharing really ugly things. This creates a more tangible connection with others and in this case, our fans.
How will Invent Animate express the dark themes surrounding this release when it is performed in a live setting?
That is a good question. With the pandemic going on we have shifted our focus toward songwriting. We aren’t the type of band that would usually give a speech on stage, I think we would leave that storytelling to the music itself. Pretty soon the full story will be out in a holistic, visual expression and we aim for it to give the concept more depth. The goal from the start was always for the music to speak for itself. We have put a lot of thought and work into saying what we want to say inside of our art so we would keep it short and sweet when we are on stage.
congratulations on your signing with UNFD. How did this come about?
Thank you! We are best bandmates with ERRA. They are on UNFD so just being close to them and through having chats with them we learnt all about their positive experiences with the label, they seemed to have a great team behind them at UNFD. When we got around to having a meeting with UNFD, the entire process felt warm and fuzzy. We had multiple offers from some great labels and there wasn’t a wrong choice per se, they all would have been great but UNFD just felt as if they believe in bands, they care about you on many different levels, they are on our side, which gave us hope for record labels in general. These qualities were super important for us, coming out of the situation we were in with our previous record label.
Does signing with UNFD mean that we can expect to see Invent Animate on Australian stages in future years?
Absolutely! There is no doubt that we will be planning for that. We have been wanting to go there forever. We have toured with quite a few Australian bands such as Northlane and Ocean Grove. We have been wanting to make it over there for a long time so we are fully anticipating touring down under.
If you or anyone you know is suffering from the disease of addiction we at Wall of Sound urge you to call the following organisations:
Interview by Adam Rice
The Sun Sleeps, As If It Never Was is out this Thursday via UNFD.
Invent Animate – The Sun Sleeps, As It Never Was tracklisting
1. The Sun Sleeps
3. As If It Never Was