Close Your Eyes: Hardcore with a Heart as big as Texas

Close Your Eyes is a hardcore influenced pop-punk band who has recently unleashed their debut album on Victory Records entitled We Will Overcome. Based on the spiritual side of the spectrum, their disc is filled with dynamic anthems that are not only pit-worthy, but they make you think as well.  Here is an interview we recently conducted with one of the members…

Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Close Your Eyes, and how long the band has been together.
My name is Brett Callaway, and I play guitar in Close Your Eyes. We have been together for almost 5 years now.

Where is the band based out of and what is your local music scene like there?
We are from Abilene, Texas . It is not a big city, so our scene is not huge, but hometown shows are a ton of fun. It has an old school hardcore feel with lots of pile ons and sing alongs. It is so much fun and we appreciate the support our hometown scene has given us!

How did you wind up getting signed to Victory Records?
Well, they actually e-mailed us and asked us to come play a showcase for them. Turns out they liked what they heard, and they sent us a contract.

What is it with the robots on the cover and what is the overall concept of the CD title We Will Overcome?
Well the album art kind of goes along with the idea of the album in one sense. If you look at the art in the inside of the album liner it starts with a lifeless robot, then an old “wise man” looking character walks by with a lantern and lights the heart of the robot. In the last image, the robot has a heart that is on fire; it is something of a satire on the apathy of society and how so many are lifeless and devoid of passion. The concept of the album was really just overcoming struggles and driving home the fact that there is always hope!

Where did you get the ideas for some of the lyrics? Please cite 2 song examples and what the lyrics are about.
Well, as far as lyrics that I wrote, the first thing that comes to mind is the bridge of “Song for the Broken”. It says, “This is my worship. This is my life. To bring hope into this broken world.” That was really something that just came out when I was meditating on my purpose in life and in this band. Our desire is really to bring hope to the hopeless and broken.

The second thing that comes to mind is the bridge of “Something Needs to Change.” It says, “It’s wrong to say our hearts won’t change, as long as You are here.” and then the second half says, “It’s wrong to say our hearts won’t change as long as You are.” Basically, it means just what it says. It is impossible to have a real encounter with the Living God and our hearts not to be effected and changed. We should never say that things are hopeless or impossible. Everything is possible in God.

Would you consider Close Your Eyes to be a Christian or ministry band in any way? Why or why not?
Haha, I think that the answer to the last question makes the answer to this one pretty obvious. We do not really “advertise” the fact that we are a Christian band. We have seen bands that do that just to try and gain fans, and it really bothers us. Our faith is a huge part of our lives, so obviously it comes out in our music. But we will never try to capitalize on our faith for monetary gain.

How did Mattie of For Today become involved with The Body song and has he ever joined up live onstage to sing that song?
We have been friends with the guys in For Today for a few years now, and they just happened to be coming through Houston where we were recording around the time we were doing vocals. We had a part in that song, “The Body“, that we really felt Mattie would be perfect for, so we asked him to do it. He actually joined up with us live on stage and did his guest vocals last night. It was the first time that things have worked out so that could happen. Haha, ironically we actually have stayed at Ryan’s house from For Today the last two nights.

What could one expect from a live Close Your Eyes show?
Energy, energy, and more energy. We try to give everything we have to our show every single night! We feel that is the best way for us to be authentic and convey the passion we write these songs with in a live situation.

Have you ever played in the Los Angeles area or plan to do so in the future?
We will be coming through there the first week of June with It Prevails. All the dates are on our MySpace. www.myspace.com/closeyoureyesmusic

Who are some of the bands that initially got you into hardcore and what was the first hardcore and/or metal record you bought?
I listened to punk for a long, long time. And you know, hardcore (in its true form) is just kinda heavy punk. I would say the first hardcore band that I really got into was Stretch Armstrong.

What kind of touring have you done so far, and what is the best and worst part about being on the road?
The worst part of being on the road is that sometimes, it is hard to get enough sleep and therefore not get sick. But that is a very small price to pay. The best part is just getting to connect with all the kids that come out to our shows and support us. It is incredible. We would not trade it for anything in the world.

Have you ever played Cornerstone? If so, what was the experience like?
We have played the last two years and will be playing again this year. The first year we played it, we were actually on the main stage because we won the new band showcase. As awesome as that sounds, it was actually quite awkward. The stage was huge, and we are used to being a lot closer to the crowd. Last year we played the Encore 2 stage and it was incredible! We had so much fun and a ton of kids came out and were jumping around the whole time! Haha, there was even a guy with a big Texas flag running around a circle pit in one of our songs.

If you could be a donut, what kind would you be and why?
Haha, I have no idea. I guess a bear claw because I am a big guy, but I am still sweet. (Haha, that is by far the lamest answer I have ever given in an interview.)

What’s up next for Close Your Eyes?
We have 3 more days of the tour we are on right now with Kid Liberty and The Overseer. And we start another tour with It Prevails in about 2 weeks.

Any final words of wisdom?
Seek and you will find. Ask for wisdom and it will be granted. There is always hope and even when there are sorrows, joy comes in the morning.

Thank you!!
–Brett Callaway

(Interview by Kenneth Morton)

Close Your Eyes on Myspace

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