I know I’ve given out my best album of 2012 several times this year. I’m really struggling right now. There are a lot of bands in contention: Adrenaline Mob, Flying Colors, Halestorm, Rush, Van Halen, hopefully Aerosmith. At this moment in time I can’t seem to stray away from In This Moment’s “Blood.” Beginning to end that thing is amazing. It’s accessible to a wider audience then they’re use to, but at the same time it’s completely original and true to the In This Moment sound. Recently I got the chance to interview Chris Howorth of In This Moment, we talked about the new album, the Uproar tour and Maria Brink singing with Shinedown. If you’d like to listen to the extended interview, check it out here:
Zoiks!: First I want to say congratulations on the new album “Blood.” For how good it is and second for how well it’s doing. At what point in the process did you know you were onto something special?
Chris Howorth: Well thank you for that, we feel the same way about it. Honestly it was kind of weird, because I don’t know how much you know, but right before we went in to do the album…three months before, our manager dropped us and then a month later two of the guys in the band quit. We were like what are we going to do? Really questioning ourselves, Maria and I. But we rallied; we were trying to find new management while we were writing songs in my bedroom, trying to write some stuff that would be awesome. At a certain point our friend Kevin (Churko), who did the album with us, said…and this was like three or four months before we went in to do the record, he was like, ‘come into the studio for a week, we’re going to do a couple songs and this will help us show everybody what we’re doing,’ because he believed in the band. Pretty much after we did “Blood” we were like what the hell is this, we’d never done anything like it. We thought that it was something special. Once we sent it out all these managers that we’d been talking to…they didn’t necessarily want to manage us they were just like, ‘we’ll see how it goes.’ Once they heard the song they were like, ‘we want to manage you guys.’ We finally picked our manager that way. Once that happened we realized that this was special. Everything that happened to us with the management leaving us and the guys leaving was meant to be, because it opened us up to make the album that was made and to be where we are now. From that point on it was like this is going to be our best album ever.
Z!: That was going to be my next question, when the two guys left, did you know you had it in you? How close to not continuing on where you?
CH: I remember when I was on the phone with Jeff (Fabb) I had a moment where I was like, ‘I can’t do this anymore.’ I’ve been that guy in the band since I was the kid, finding people and firing people and trying to make it. No matter what band I was in, I was that guy. It was a serious roller coaster of emotions. One minute you’re on top of the world, the next minute you’re depressed. It was maybe like forty minutes of tears and what are we gonna do, then it was like 'Fuck This.' I’m not going to lie and say that we felt 100% from that moment on, because we definitely had our ups and downs. Once we heard the songs going and got the new management we started to realize that this is the best thing that could have happened to us and we have to forge forward.
CH: I think we were a little bit going for that. Basically our drummer and our other guitar player were the ones that we lost. When we did the album it was me, Maria and Kevin…and Travis (Johnson) went with us kind of in an advisory role. It was the three of us deciding on everything. Kevin’s a drummer, so he played all of the drums on the record, a lot of people don’t know that. Basically with those guys being gone, we love them, but it opened us up to a more simplistic approach with the drums and the music and everything. There wasn’t any of the, ‘this guy needs to get his part in and this guy needs to get his part in, he wants to show that he’s awesome so we have to do this kind of beat that’s fancier.’ On this we simplified it to the essence of what it was and didn’t worry about how many licks are in it. It lent itself to becoming more easily digestible to people while still maintaining what the band is. Kevin is a master producer, musician and everything, and he knew what to do to get this band to the next level.
Z!: The first time I saw you was on the Mayhem tour a few years ago. During that show Maria went to the sound board and created this pretty neat circle pit thing that really stood out as one of the highlights of that show. I saw you a couple weeks ago in Tinley Park, IL on Uproar and you did the same thing, where did that idea come from?
CH: We’ve been touring for awhile and we’ve seen some pretty awesome bands. When we were on Warped Tour, Gallows’ guy he pretty much spent the entire set in the crowd with everything going around him (laughs). DevilDriver are our friends and they’ve had some epic pits. Maria…even if the show is great or it’s just kind of average, she gets a hair up her butt and wants to make the show memorable, she wants people to leave the show talking about us. A lot of times its not even planned, I can just see the look in her eye and she starts taking her boots off. It was planned to do it on Uproar at all because it doesn’t seem to be the same kind of crowd as the Mayhem crowd, but on a few of the shows she’s pulled it out and it’s like what you said, it’s to make people remember us. We try to keep ourselves original, but there are only so many tricks in the band of tricks, so we’re looking at everybody and trying to make our show the best we can make it. If we can borrow an idea here and there, so what?
Z!: Maria had been joining Shinedown on stage, how did that come about?
CH: Dude, Shinedown…we’d never toured with them before. They’re on our same management. Before this tour even started we did a month long tour with them headlining and Adelitas Way and we were opening the show. The first day Brent (Smith) found us and was the most gracious man in the world. Anything you need, come to me, I’m a huge fan of the record. We started noticing they were watching us everyday. Barry (Kerch) the drummer came up and was like, ‘I’m a huge fan, I love you guys.’ All this stuff and we were just blown away. We couldn’t believe these guys were being so cool and helpful to us. Brent had the idea, ‘hey I think it’d be cool if you came up and sang with us.’ Maria obviously said, ‘Hell yes’ as fast as she could. Those guys being who they are, which is completely awesome people, plus they’re fans of the band and they like us as people too and they’re trying to help us and it’s humbling and awesome.
BYLINE: Bob Zerull is the Managing Editor of Zoiks! Online. He writes pop culture commentary, does interviews with bands, and reviews music and stand-up concerts. He also administers Zoiks! Online's Facebook page. Follow Bob on twitter at bzerull. Email Bob at email@example.com.