Interview: As I Lay Dying

As I Lay Dying have been a pillar in the metalcore scene since the early 2000’s, and their latest album, Awakened, has shown listeners once again why the act has experienced so much success over the years. Their relentless worldwide touring and steady stream of new music has always kept eager fans on their toes, with each release continuing to hone and refine a sound that As I Lay Dying helped pioneer. was fortunate enough to chat with bassist/vocalist Josh Gilbert about what it was like reaching the milestone of putting out a sixth record, and what is getting the band fired up for their next leg of tours.

You guys dropped your sixth studio album in September, entitled Awakened. How did you enjoy working with Bill Stevenson, and what excited you the most about the way it turned out? 

Working with Bill was great, and felt really natural. The most exciting thing about the process was how quickly we recorded it. We’re used to having about six weeks to complete the tracking, but time schedules wouldn’t really allow for it this time around. This forced us to rely on our first instincts and to not overthink the details.

In a recent studio vlog, vocalist Tim Lambesis said that this album was more introspective lyrically, producing a darker tone overall. What was something that you wanted listeners to take away after hearing your album? 

Well, not being the lyricist, I focused on writing songs and my vocal melodies/delivery more than lyrical content. That being said, I began to catch on to the direction Tim was taking lyrically early on, and I think that definitely influenced the type of riffs I may have written around then. Since the album is more introspective, I think it comes across as less optimistic than previous records, but I think it’s the nature of that type of writing.

How has the band’s faith/spirituality shaped the influence that you look to have with your large fan base? 

I think in general, our band has consistently defied the norm when it comes to our message……less about violence, dragons, castles or whatever, and focused on real life. The lyrical content is usually not specifically centered around any certain faith, or even spirituality, which in my opinion, makes the message universal.

Tell us a little about Metal Blade Records and how they have helped you shape your long and successful career. More generally, how relevant do you think major labels are in the music industry today?

Metal Blade has always been extremely supportive of us, and the artistic direction we’ve wanted to go in. I think being a smaller label, it’s easy for them to keep their ear to the ground, and without the bureaucracy of a major label, they can adapt quickly to the ever-changing music business. I think major labels can still do great for certain bands. We’ve been approached several times to move up to a major, but the odds of it paying off in the long run don’t seem very much in our favor. Selling 100,000 records on an indie label is amazing and would be considered a huge success. At a major, that number may be disappointing. We’ve seen too many of our peers head to the next level, only to be quickly dropped when sales didn’t meet expectations.

You have some upcoming dates in Canada and the US alongside Asking Alexandria and Atilla. As hardened veterans of the touring life and all that goes with it, what is getting you guys excited for these shows? 

We actually haven’t been on a proper US club tour since last December! We did the Mayhem Festival this summer, which was amazing, but outdoor festival tours definitely aren’t as comfortable. We’re excited to play packed out indoor venues where the excitement is more palpable, and the crowd isn’t twenty feet away.

What is the most unexpected thing that has ever happened to you guys on tour? 

Getting stranded in Sri Lanka right before Christmas 2009 was definitely up there. The other one that comes to mind would be when a political protest shut down all of the civilian airports in Thailand while we were on the way to Indonesia for a show. We ended [up] making the show 3 days later and using local bands’ gear!

 You guys recently released a new music video for “A Greater Foundation”, and have released a plethora of other videos over the years. If you had to choose a favourite, or one that stands out as being particularly memorable, which would it be and why?

I would definitely say “A Greater Foundation”.  It was really cool hanging out with fans of the band all day, and I think Drew Russ did an incredible job making the video seem as frantic as an actual live AILD show.

Can we expect any more music videos or live DVD’s from As I Lay Dying in the near future? 

Possibly! Some stuff is in the works, but nothing solid yet.

And for our last (and likely most important) question: What is the As I Lay Dying Hidden Secret to Being Buff?

Eat 6 meals a day and 1.5 grams of protein for every pound you weigh. Lift heavy things.



As I Lay Dying are coming to Canada! Catch them at these upcoming dates:

11.16 Edmonton, AB @ Edmonton Events Centre

11.18 Calgary, AB @ MacEwan Hall

11.19 Vancouver, BC @ Vogue Theatre

12.04 London, ON @ London Music Hall

12.05 Montreal, QC @ Olympia



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