Tooth & Nail Records rock band Project 86 has never wanted to be boxed into a specific genre or sound. Because of this, fans whose hearts grow fond of a specific moment in the band's versatile stylistic career have found it difficult to accept their growth or changes. Frontman Andrew Schwab decided it was time to directly address this issue...
"We receive emails and messages often where many of you ask why one record does not sound like another, why one record is more melodic, etc. So I thought it would be approriate to comment a bit on our thought processes, approach to writing music, and how things have changed (stayed the same) over the past six albums and one EP.
One very important thing that we have learned about music itself, is that a song is a very mysterious thing. You cannot force a good song. A good song has to come naturally from within you, or within the people who are working together to wrtie it. The best music always comes from a very spontaneous place. If you try to force one type of song (i.e. a radio "hit" or a recreation of something you did well in the past) the end result wil most likely be disappointing. Honesty, both in lyricism and emotion, is the virtue that makes music connect with the listener. When you try to fabricate it, it will always come off as contrived.
We have never wanted to be contrived in anything we do.
With that thought in mind, each album we have created has been an accurate representation of where we were at that moment in time--a snapshot of the culmination of feelings, emotions, experiences, and thoughts of the band itself. At certain points in our history this meant we wrote heavy songs without melody. At other times it meant we would explore new instruments and textures. And still, at other times it meant we were trying things that we had never tried before. This is why each Project 86 record is unique. They are meant to be listened to together...our entire catalogue is like a slideshow. And this is why we have been able to remain viable as a band over the course of many different chapters.
Does this mean that we are incapable of writing songs like Drawing Black Lines or Songs to Burn Your Bridges By? No. But what made our previous material unique is that it was the first time we had tried that particular take on our sound. If we were to try to repeat ourselves we would become a poor carbon copy of ourselves. For example, of the 40 or so songs that we demoed for Rival Factions, we picked the songs that we thought came out the best. We didnít intentionally choose the heaviest songs just because they were heavy or the melodic ones just because they were melodic.
We chose the songs that came out the best, and the good majority of these songs were surprises.
Now donít get me wrong. I love heavy music. I love brutal music, so long as it isnít boring and repetitive. And I want to push my band (and myself) to write heavy songs in the future. But maybe, if we let go of our expectations, we can create something different, something we never thought we would do, something that shatters the mold. Though we have done some things we are proud of musically in the past we want to keep pushing ourselves to try new things, to keep making interesting, unpredictable music that will surprise you.
I think, if we could challenge you to come along with us further on this journey, we would like you to try to let go of expectations and just enjoy what comes out, even if it shocks you. Did you ever think we would do a Christmas song? I didnít. Yet, when we tried it, the song came out great (even though it sounded nothing like anything we had ever done before).
With that in mind, I hope what comes out is some brutal mayhem that will make me shred my vocal chords. But if it turns out to be moody, melodic, and thought-provoking that is just fine by me too."
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