ATP! Interview: Issues

After the recent release of their stunning new EP, "Black Diamonds", we couldn't think of a better time to speak to Atlanta, GA's own Issues.

ATP! spoke to members Tyler Carter and Case Snedecor about the band's new EP, touring plans, when fans can expect Issues' debut full-length and much more.

Alter The Press: "Black Diamonds" has been out for a few weeks already. How has the response been? Does it exceed your expectations?
Tyler Carter (vocals): The response has been great. We’ve got great sales for our debut. The social media is blowing up and it’s doing really well. The kids are loving it, we’re loving it. You always hope for the best and this is the best we could have done and we’re really, really proud. I think everybody sees that and so everybody’s loving it the same.

ATP: How is the creative process different in Issues from when you were in Woe, Is Me or when writing solo material?
Tyler: We actually take the time to work with different writers and different producers to get the best perspective and best possible product. Then we all give our little input and make changes to make it the best it can be. It goes through a number of different processes until it’s literally the best possible song or record or whatever, you know? And then we go in and rerecord it all like one producer for one sound and it just comes together really cool. It takes a lot of time and preparation and a lot of rewrites. We add a little bit, do things a little different. It goes through a lot of different processes.

ATP: Are the new songs off the EP relatively new, or have they been sitting around for a while?
Tyler: Some of them were pre-written as pop songs and just as ideas. Just because it’s always easier to start off with a demo or an electronic track and then transpose it into a heavier one. So some of the things we’ve written have been around and some of them were done on the spot. There are a lot more songs on the back burner that we have to choose from, so you keep adding to the pile until you’ve got enough songs and then you pick the best. That way you’re getting your best possible product.

ATP: Where did you look for inspiration for “Black Diamonds”?
Tyler: All over. We kind of just put a lot of different styles into it to test the waters a little bit. You know me, coming from a pop perspective and our DJ and our inside producer, Ty, he’s a pop producer - the rest of the guys are just as metal as they can be, you know, hardcore, metal, metalcore, whatever…I’m not good with subgenres, but it’s like we put it all together in a bowl and make some fucking dirty brownies.

ATP: You’re notable for being very connected to your fans. For instance, you and the band even called fans when the EP came out to get their opinion on it.
Tyler: The whole band does things like that, and we’re all completely devoted to our fans because one day it won’t be that easy. We’re getting the most out of it that we can, while there are fans to really get intimate and personal with. Every band grows and rises and we’re not trying to ever let go of what’s real and all but we definitely understand that it’s going to be harder to be as personal one day.

ATP: You just released a solo song this weekend called “Lucy At Midnight.” Is this a hint at an upcoming solo album?
Tyler: It’s actually not going to be on my album, just because of the rights to some of the lyrics. It’s written by the Beatles. It was just something because I know some people are still waiting for the record. It’s in the process of being mixed and we’re gonna be announcing a release date soon with a pre-order and everything. It was just that I didn’t want people to keep on asking and waiting so I just thought I’d put something together pretty cool, you know, with visuals. Kind of build it up a little bit.

ATP: What would you say makes the unity of a band falter?
Tyler: I don’t know. I would say a lot of things. People lose sight of ambitions and lose sight of dedication and start to get under each other’s’ skin.

Case Snedecor (drums): I’d say unity of a band…a lot of times with tour, and having personal space is a big deal and so, if you’re asking what can ruin a band, then I would say… I don’t know how to put it, I don’t wanna say not hanging out too much but when you’re on the road you’re with each other in close 24/7 and then a lot of times it’s a good idea when you go home to take a couple weeks off from seeing each other. Actually, I just got home two and a half weeks ago, I guess, and today is the first time I’ve seen Tyler since we got home. And that’s something that’s kind of important - to make sure you have personal space and keep up with your friends and stuff like that and other relationships besides what’s on the road. Also, bands that don’t communicate with each other in how one person runs everything usually don’t work quite as well. When everybody has a say in everything then usually bands get along a lot better.

ATP: When can we expect Issues’ debut album?
Case: Altogether, we have a couple guys from California and then a couple guys from here in Atlanta. They fly out early in January to start writing some stuff before we leave on a tour that we just announced with…well, we haven’t completely announced it, but I believe the dates just went out and, so we’ll start writing some stuff then. And then we have a big break, I believe, in May and June is when we should hopefully start recording something.

ATP: So are we looking at a fall 2013 release?
Case: Yeah probably. I’m thinking hopefully a year from when we just put out this record, maybe a little before then. Hopefully next October will be perfect for a full-length.

ATP: Issues just finished a mini-tour with Attila, Make Me Famous, and Ice Nine Kills. How was that?
Case: Yep, It was great. We went out with Attila, who headlined, and we’re actually from Atlanta so they brought it out around us which was great. We got to go out and we were comfortable with all the bands and stuff. We’ve known them personally for years. I used to play in local bands actually and I would open for Attila when they played hometown shows. So it’s cool to go on tour with them, and a little nostalgic as well. The crowds were great and everything so every night would be really cool. And it was a smaller, different market for us, so we got to go meet new fans that we wouldn’t meet otherwise because Attila is on a tour right now. We actually got to play smaller cities, which was actually really cool and not a lot of bands get to play a lot of those cities.

ATP: What is lined up for Issues in 2013?
Case: Touring! Lots of touring! We’ve only announced that one with Silverstein coming up, but we actually have another one right after that and then we also have a couple more things lined up that we’re not allowed to talk about, but we’re going to be on the road a lot. Also, there’s nothing booked yet, but we just opened up with our UK booking agent so hopefully we’ll see something with that in later 2013, which would be incredible.

Melissa Jones

"Black Diamonds" EP is out now through Rise/Velocity Records. You can read our 4/5 review of the record here.

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