Artist Q&A

August Burns Red bass player on Vancouver, creativity in metal music, and brewing beer

Dustin Davidson plays bass guitar and sings backup vocals for August Burns Red, an American Christian metalcore band which stopped in Vancouver on Sunday night as part of their North American tour.

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By Shea Wind (The Cascade) – Email

Print Edition: April 9, 2014

August Burns Red returned to Vancouver this month for their first tour following the drop of their new album. (Image: iamLHORD / Flickr )

Dustin Davidson plays bass guitar and sings backup vocals for August Burns Red, an American Christian metalcore band which stopped in Vancouver on Sunday night as part of their North American tour. Their sixth studio album, Rescue & Restore, was released in 2013 and peaked at number nine on the Billboard Top 200. Davidson talked to contributing writer Shea Wind about how the album has been received, how the tour is going, and what fans can expect from the band next.

How has the Break Down the Walls tour been?

It has been great so far. I feel like we are getting a lot of new exposure to kids that may have heard of us but have never seen us play live before. [It’s great] going out to the merch table every now and then, and just talking with new kids who are wearing other bands’ t-shirts, [like] Asking Alexandria, and saying that is their first time seeing us and they loved us and so it’s awesome.

How many times have you been to Vancouver before?

Two or three times, I believe.

I love it. It’s beautiful up there. Last time we played there, it wasn’t the nicest venue, so I’m excited to play at a different place this time. We got to walk around downtown and check out a couple cool places. I remember this cool beer bar we went to in this really nice part of town, I really enjoyed myself. I look forward to checking it out again.

Why did you first start coming to play in Vancouver?

I feel like it is one of those places that takes a while to get to, being where it is, because we have been touring since 2004 and Vancouver is not the first place on your mind when you are a small local band. But it is one of those places that we knew we were going to get to eventually, and now that we’re a well-established band … We’re really excited to come back, we really are. We’re really looking forward to the show.

Does August Burns Red have anything planned after this summer of touring?

I would say that this summer is actually pretty light. We’re not doing Warped Tour or any big festival tours like that. We just got a couple weeks going through June and July. I think June is one week and July is maybe nine days or something like that. It’s pretty light. We go to Europe in August and after that we’re going to be taking off the rest of the year to write and record a new record.

Any dates set for recording yet?

No dates set yet. Hopefully at the end of the year, I would say. November or December is what we’re looking for so that we can use September and October to write the record and bring it together and then hopefully record. That’s the tentative plan, but nothing is set in stone just yet.

How happy have you and the rest of the band been with your latest album, Rescue and Restore?

I have been extremely pleased with the album. “Creative Captivity” is a standout song to me on the record … it’s different from most of the songs and I wasn’t really sure how it was going to go over. [But] when we started to play it live, and shortly after the record came out when we were doing the headlining tour in the fall, it went over really well. We were really surprised. People were actually calling for it, it’s … a song that people wanted to hear.

How is this album different from previous August Burns Red albums?

It shows a lot of growth. There is some really technical stuff. I feel that JB [Brubaker] really did a good job writing the record and bringing new sounds to the table.

Brubaker has said that Rescue and Restore is a challenge to the genre and to yourselves. Have you noticed any response from other bands of the genre?

No, not yet, but it’s funny. Obviously we are a metal band … but we wanted to push the genre to its limits and bring in new sounds and new scenes, and just not do your typical first chorus, bridge structure, as well as not trying to do the same old breakdown after breakdown. So, we do challenge bands to … think outside the box. I want to hear a song that is different like that, you know? Maybe there is and I just haven’t heard it yet.

Is there any chance that August Burns Red will do another Christmas album?

Oh, I don’t know. That is tough to say. That was hard … trying to write a Christmas record and trying to write another new record, it was a lot to take on at one time. I will say that I am pretty sure that we will do Christmas songs, but I don’t know if we will ever pull together another Christmas record just because it is a lot … to pull together, but … in the future we will definitely be doing more Christmas songs.

It says that you’re starting your own brewery in your bio on your April Fools website. Is this true?

Yes, I am, actually. I’m in the process of doing that. There is a lot to do yet, but we’re trying to bring it together. Me and my best friend from back home, we’ve been working on that for quite some time now, just trying to get different beers ready. Now we’re trying to look as to where we want to start and when we want to start.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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