MEET THE BANDS of FACEDOWN FEST 2012

Facedown Fest 2012 is upon us once again, consisting of two big nights of spirited filled hardcore and metal and mosh pits galore! Coordinated by Facedown / Strikefirst Records owner Jason Dunn, there is a true sense of family and fellowship to found through the sheer intensity of the music and it’s powerful message.

The first ever Facedown Fest took place at the late great Showcase Theatre in Corona featuring sets by genre legends Overcome, Figure Four, and Point Of Recognition.   Now in 2o12, Night One will commence Friday, April 6th at The Stronghold in Chino where bands from their artist development Strike First label will be performing, featuring sets from Dynasty, Leaders, Letters To The Exiles, Nothing Til Blood, We The Gathered, Ark Of The Covenant, and Altars.

Then on Saturday April 7th, Facedown Records will showcase its heavy hitters at the Glasshouse in Pomona.  Band ready to celebrate as well as devastate will be War Of Ages, In The Midst Of Lions, XLooking ForwardX, Gideon, My Epic, Onward To Olympas, Hands, Your Memorial, Hope For The Dying, A Hope For Home, and The Burial.

So as a countdown to Facedown Fest 2012, here are interviews with several of the bands performing at the event.  We also spoke with Facedown / Strikefirst founder Jason Dunn to find out a bit more about the venerable record label and what to expect at this year’s much revered festival – as well as offers advice to bands wanting to join the Facedown Family.  Read on…

Jason Dunn – Owner of Facedown Records

For this year’s edition of Facedown Fest, what made you decide to go with two separate venues instead of just the Glasshouse?
While working on the line-up for this years fest we were looking at more smaller and mid size bands than any year in the past. A few of these bands will definitely be headliners in the next couple years for the Fest, but they are not quite at that level yet. So rather than stretching it a bit then with 2 nights at the Glasshouse, we decided to do a Strike First night at the Stronghold in Chino this year as our night 1 of the fest. This is a smaller room (300 capacity) that will be packed and will have a ton of energy. Small stage, and more of an intimate feel. Then Saturday will feature all of the Facedown bands for one big night at the Glasshouse. We think it shaped up pretty good and it mixes things up a little bit.

How was it to do Facedown Fest last year after skipping a year?
It was great. It seemed like the excitement level was very high from the fans and the bands and we were happy to be doing it again. We didn’t really want to take 2010 off, but a few of our larger bands had conflicting tours that would have made it impossible to get them all on the fest that year.

What can one expect to find at Facedown Fest 2012?
I think it will be like Facedown Fests in the past: lots of passion, a good time from the fans and bands and overall positive attitudes. As far as bands go, we’ve got 19 this year so I think that’s the most we’ve ever had for any 1 Facedown Fest. There might even be a special guest the first night!

Have you heard the new War Of Ages yet? And if so, what do you think?
Yes, it’s a great album. They get better with each release and this new album, “Return To Life” is no exception. We are very excited to be releasing this album on April 24.

With the emphasis being on family when it comes to Facedown Records, how do you feel when bands like Impending Doom and For Today go to different labels?
It’s bittersweet really. We are bummed that we no longer get to work side by side with them, but we are excited for them at the same time. Sometimes new labels bring new and bigger opportunities so that is always a good thing. A band like For Today is going to explode so we could not be happier for them. And we get to be involved in a small way with them on the vinyl release of their new album “Immortal“. Their new label, Razor And Tie, gave us an exclusive color of the vinyl for our online store, so that was very nice of them. We’re still friends with all of our bands and do what we can to support them even if they are on other labels now. And I think we’ll hopefully see some of those bands come back to play Facedown Fest in the years ahead.

What are you currently looking for when it comes to signing bands to Facedown and Strike First Records?
Passion and honesty are the two words that come to mind first. It’s our goal to only release albums by bands that are real in their music, their faith and their art. I’m not looking for bands that are going to be the next big thing, I want bands that are passionate about what they do, and that’s why they do it. There’s all this talk about the “next level” and there seems to be a lack of bands coming up that want to do this because they love it. That’s what I am looking for.

A sweet elderly church lady wants to come and worship at Facedown Fest this year. She looks like she’s fairly hip. What do you tell her?
She’s more than welcome and I think if she was open enough she would see that there’s definitely worship taking place at something like Facedown Fest. Some people might not like the music or the sound, but if they try to see the bands hearts and the crowds reaction to that, they can see that there’s something very cool taking place.

Would you ever want to be active in a band again, like you were with No Innocent Victim?
Not really. I actually don’t have the desire to play drums anymore. It’s a little strange actually, but I don’t want to force it. A couple of years ago I played drums with My Epic for 3 weeks one summer because they needed a last minute replacement, and that was one of the best times of my life. But I don’t think I would ever want to do that full time again. I had some great years of traveling around the world but I’m at the point now where I love being home with my family, enjoying California every day of the year, and working for the bands behind the scenes.

What’s up next in the coming months for Facedown and Strike Fest?
We don’t have any new releases for Strike First planned at the moment, although that can change at any moment. For Facedown we have new albums from Leaders and The Burial coming out on March 27, then the new War Of Ages on April 24. Then in the summer we’ll have new releases from xLooking Forwardx, Gideon, Altars, Your Memorial and Onward To Olympas. So it will definitely be a great year.

Altars

Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in your band, and how long you’ve been together.
My name is Mike Searle, I play bass in my band Altars, and we have been together for nearly two years now.

What are you looking forward to the most about Facedown Fest 2012?
Well being from Colorado, I’m excited to get some beach time in and to see all of my Cali friends.

What is your favorite Facedown Fest memory or is this your first time playing?
This will be our first Facedown Fest experience. We are all very excited!

What is the name of your latest (or upcoming) album and is there any story or concept behind the title?
Our full length album, “Conclusions“, will be coming out this summer on Facedown Records. The title of the record has to do with finding peace and redemption despite questions and struggles.

Pick two songs from your latest or upcoming album and tell me what inspired the lyrics?
Although I am the bassist of Altars, I wrote the lyrics for the first half of the record. Canaan, our singer, wrote the second half. The album lyrically pieces together in a way that makes it difficult to single out two songs that I wrote and discuss their meanings. The lyrics for the entire album are inspired by Canaan and I’s personal outlooks on faith, our generation, and an introspective view of our own lives.

What could one expect from your live performance at Facedown Fest 2012?
Songs off of our upcoming record, injuries, etc.

Any strange or interesting stories from the road you could share?
This is always a difficult question. I feel like every thing my band does turns into an interesting story. We were just reminiscing about when we were in Port Huron, MI, lighting plastic army men on fire in some parking lot. The cops were called and we ended up just hanging out talking about nu metal bands with them. Strange things like that seem to happen to us quite a bit.

After Facedown Fest, what are your band’s plans for the next couple of months?
Our new record releases early this summer, then it’s just touring and trying to sell CDs in a market where few people care about CDs anymore. Regardless of sales we just want to share our music with anyone who might appreciate it. So that is the plan.

Any messages for your fans out here in the Los Angeles / Orange County area?
Yes, make sure to check out go watch Seahaven if you haven’t yet! They are from Torrance, and are likely to be playing near you all soon.

Ark Of The Covenant

Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in your band, and how long you’ve been together.
Hi, my name is Mike and I drum for Ark Of The Covenant. The four of us have together since the fall of 2009.

What are you looking forward to the most about Facedown Fest 2012?
Pretty much everything about the fest is what we are excited for (especially the famous Facedown Feast). We’ve talked to several bands that have played it before and they all have had nothing but good to say about the entire weekend.

What is your favorite Facedown Fest memory or is this your first time playing?
This is going to be our first time playing and we’re honored to be a part of it this year.

What is the name of your latest (or upcoming) album and is there any story or concept behind the title?
Our latest release was our EP Separation which we put out in May last year. The main concept behind the album is how we, being Christians, are separated from this world.

Pick two songs from your latest or upcoming album and tell me what inspired the lyrics?
– Alex did a great job writing the lyrics for our EP ‘Separation‘, so I thought it’d be fitting if he answered this one.

Alex – “The book of life, I would have to say, was pretty much inspired by the basic gospel message. It’s pretty much your Christianity 101 and explains the relationship with God you gain through faith in his son. And Locusts look like horses was inspired by my view of the world as a believer. It speaks of the end days and tell believers to stand up against this world that tries to put us down and mock us for our faith.”

What could one expect from your live performance at Facedown Fest 2012?
Intense and passionate from each of us on the stage. Constant movement from both us and the crowd during our entire set. Even if you’re just standing there listening you’ll find yourself bobbing your head during our set. We do everything possible to make our live show as good as it can be and pour every bit of energy we have into each set we play.

Any strange or interesting stories from the road you could share?
There are so many to choose from…I would have to say last October, on our way home from tour, we were in Maryland and it was snowing. All of the sudden we heard a loud thud and Jake saw sparks coming from our trailer. We pull over and the wheel had broke off of our trailer. The funny thing is, the wheel ended up a few hundred feet ahead of us on the side of the road.

After Facedown Fest, what are your band’s plans for the next couple of months?
After Facedown Fest we have a 3-4 week tour heading back to the east coast with Onward To Olympus. Then we plan to finish writing our full length in May and tour as much as we can over the summer.

Any messages for your fans out here in the Los Angeles / Orange County area?
It’s been over six months since we’ve been to CA! Come hang with us and the rest of the bands April 6th at The Stronghold in Chino.

The Burial

Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in your band, and how long you’ve been together.
Todd Hatfield/Guitar:  Technically, the band started in summer of 2005, but we have went through a few line up changes since. Jake Neece (bass) and I are the only original members. With the addition of Kaleb (drums) and Elisha (Vocals/Guitar), we feel like a brand new band.

What are you looking forward to the most about Facedown Fest 2012?
Getting to see everyone and hanging out. I’m really looking forward to seeing Hands and My Epic play.

What is your favorite Facedown Fest memory or is this your first time playing?
Last year was our first year. What stands out the most is worshiping during My Epic.

What is the name of your latest (or upcoming) album and is there any story or concept behind the title?
Lights and Perfections” is the name of the new album.
The name comes from the meanings of “Urim” and “Thummim” in the Bible. They first show up in Exodus 28:30 and were some sort of oracles or stones that were placed on the breastplate that the priests would wear that had the twelve stones for the twelve tribes of Israel on it, and God would use them to answer the priests.

Some Theologians suggest they would glow because of the meaning of the words. Pretty much everything in the Old Testament was somehow a type and shadow of Jesus, so with a strange way that God chose to communicate with people then, and even now with the veil lifted between God and man through Jesus, we still see through a “darkened glass” but will see him face to face in the Resurrection, and that is the main, underlying theme of the album.

Pick two songs from your latest or upcoming album and tell me what inspired the lyrics?
(Answered by Elisha Mullins):  All of the songs on this album mean a lot to me personally, but “Salt and Wrath” and “Shackles and Embers” stand out as the most personal.

Salt and Wrath” talks about how destructive even a seemingly little anger problem can be to any Christian’s walk. I was a really angry person for a long time, and the only people I ever hurt with that anger were people I loved or people I should’ve been helping grow. Even if you’re not in a “ministry position” we’re all supposed to be the best examples of Christ we can, and letting yourself become completely immersed in rage is detrimental to your witness… The only way to get past it for me was laying my pride at the foot of the cross.

Shackles and Embers” deals with the struggle for purity of thought, and lust control. It’s a touchy subject to some people, and to me that just shows how deeply it effects so many people, whether or not they’re willing to admit it. Personally, I’ve dealt with it a lot, and the more I tried to get over it on my own, the more I failed. It’s a way of thinking that really ensnares you. You don’t bother repenting because you don’t think you deserve it, you avoid spending time in prayer and reading the Bible because you’re ashamed, and that only serves to keep you in that bondage. Turning your focus on God, and the hope that He brings is the only way to overcome ANY temptation that surrounds you.

What could one expect from your live performance at Facedown Fest 2012?
High octane heavy metal!

Any strange or interesting stories from the road you could share?
There are so many, haha. Ill name a few off the top of my head. We met a guy in Kansas who called himself “ferret” because he is “flexible and smells real bad”. We met a guy named Donkey in Arkansas…I don’t know how he got the name. There are so many more, I could spend all day typing them out.

After Facedown Fest, what are your band’s plans for the next couple of months?
Tour, tour, tour.

Any messages for your fans out here in the Los Angeles / Orange County area?
We can’t wait to get out there to play and hang out. Make sure to come say hey and give us a high-five.

Dynasty

Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in your band, and how long you’ve been together.
Joel Muniz, I’m the dude on the mic. We’ve been together for a while now. But doesn’t count cuz we took a long hiatus.

What are you looking forward to the most about Facedown Fest 2012?
I’m definitely looking forward to night one because that’s the night that will be filled with the dopest stagedives!

What is your favorite Facedown Fest memory or is this your first time playing?
My fondest would have to be Comeback Kid at showcase theatre! Best venue known to man! RIP.

What is the name of your latest (or upcoming) album and is there any story or concept behind the title?
The new album is untitled at the moment, but lyrically we’ve wanted to add more spiritual goods to this album and put lots of New York in it.

Pick two songs from your latest or upcoming album and tell me what inspired the lyrics?
We have a new song “Rise to Victory” which we’ll be playing at the Fest and that jam is inspired from the strength of the Lord that comes from Him alone.

Way of the Wolf” which is on our current album is a song standing against all the injustices “HOLLYWOOD” brings about, and the darkness that the music industry bring about.

What could one expect from your live performance at Facedown Fest 2012?
Mad stagedives!

Any strange or interesting stories from the road you could share?
Once got chased out of a house which slightly resembled the “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” house, but maybe we were paranoid. But they had dead animals and live rattle snakes roaming. It was too shady.

After Facedown Fest, what are your band’s plans for the next couple of months?
Praying, working out, skating and of course getting in the studio to bring the ruckus.

Any messages for your fans out here in the Los Angeles / Orange County area?
Crush the Demoniac!
ps. We’ll be very active as the next album goes platinum!

Gideon

Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in your band, and how long you’ve been together.
My name is Timmy. I play bass. Gideon has been around for about three and a half years.

What are you looking forward to the most about Facedown Fest 2012?
I think the thing we are looking forward to the most is going to be hanging out. Since all of the Facedown bands are in one place, the hang outs rule. There is truly a sense of family at Facedown Fest. You just feel comfortable and right at home. Also all the people who come to the fest who aren’t in bands rule. We met a ton of people last year who we can’t wait to catch up with, and can’t wait to meet a ton more.

What is your favorite Facedown Fest memory or is this your first time playing?
Last year was our first year to play. We got to play the second night when For Today headlined. If I remember correctly, it sold out before doors opened or right after. We ended up playing for close to a thousand people. It was by far the most kids we had ever played in front of. We all were super nervous. We ended up having a great crowd response and that helped calm our nerves. Our set was a ton of fun. I don’t think any of us wanted it to end. It was truly an experience I will never forget.

What is the name of your latest (or upcoming) album and is there any story or concept behind the title?
We are actually in the studio this very moment recording our 2nd full length. We do not have an album name settled on yet. But the main theme on the album is about people and experiences that we have encountered personally that have changed our lives and how we live it.  Some of those experiences were good and some were bad. So far everyone in the band has written lyrics for one of the songs. So this record is personal for everyone in the band, and not just one or 2 guys.

Pick two songs from your latest or upcoming album and tell me what inspired the lyrics?
We just released a single called “Gutter” not to long ago. The lyrics were written by our vocalist Dan. It is about a person who seemed to be very firm in his Christian beliefs and was influential on Dan. That person later renounced Christianity. A line of the lyrics says “If I walk away with one thing from all of this, It’s to never again put my faith in man.” That’s just saying that man is flawed and is going to mess up. Man will let you down, but we believe God will not let you down.

One of the songs on our upcoming album is called “Maternity.” It was written by our guitarist Blake. The song talks about the struggles he and his mother have been and are currently going through and how he feels helpless in attempting to help her. The chorus to the song says “Mother, I’ve done all I could to bring you back. We’re growing older as the years they pass. Just bring her home, God bring her home.”

What could one expect from your live performance at Facedown Fest 2012?
Lot’s of energy. Playing shows for us are so much fun. So we just go nuts. We love having a crowd that goes crazy as well. So we put lots of energy into getting a crowd riled up. So just an action packed set with lots of energy…and maybe a new song…just maybe though.

Any strange or interesting stories from the road you could share?
We opened for A Plea for Purging on their headliner not to long ago.  One day on our drive, they passed us on the interstate and threw an entire gallon of sweet tea at our van. It hit us right in the windshield and it exploded everywhere. The people who were driving thought that gallon jug was going to come straight through the glass.  The huge thud it made startled everyone in the back who wasn’t really paying attention. It was just crazy. Those dudes are the king of Van wars. Do not ever mess with them. But they are also some of the nicest dudes we’ve ever had the privilege to tour with.

After Facedown Fest, what are your band’s plans for the next couple of months?
We have a tour starting with Sleeping Giant, In The Midst of Lions, Betrayal, & First Blood just a few weeks after Facedown Fest. It tours to New England Metal & Hardcore Festival and back to California. As soon as that is done, we jump on a tour in Canada with Counterparts, Hundredth, and Your Demise. By then we should have a release date for our record and some summer tour announcements.

Any messages for your fans out here in the Los Angeles / Orange County area?
Can’t wait to see you Cali. See you in April at Facedown Fest and in early May on the Sleeping Giant tour. Let’s go grab some In-N-Out.

Hands

Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in your band, and how long you’ve been together.
My name is Shane Ochsner, and I sing and play guitar for Hands. We’ve been together since 2007.

What are you looking forward to the most about Facedown Fest 2012?
Being in sunny California. Hanging out with all of the other bands. Root Beer madness at the Facedown Records HQ. And reconnecting with our fans out west!

What is your favorite Facedown Fest memory or is this your first time playing?
My favorite memory, would have to be the first year we played. So many firsts on that weekend! That was the first time Jason Dunn of Facedown had ever seen us play live, my first In N Out Burger experience, first time being at The Glasshouse and witnessing the craziness that is Facedown Fest. That whole weekend was amazing!

What is the name of your latest (or upcoming) album and is there any story or concept behind the title?
We release an album in July 2011, titled “Give Me Rest“. The whole album is about my personal struggle of trying to seek God and understand Him. I’ve always considered myself to be a Christian, but it wasn’t until a few years ago that I realized my roots were in a foundation that I never had a hand in building.

Pick two songs from your latest or upcoming album and tell me what inspired the lyrics?
The Helix” is one of my favorites, mostly because I feel like it is the most cut and dry expression of my feelings in this album. The 2nd song would probably be “Jovian“. I wrote the lyrics shortly after the birth of my daughter Arbor. I had never in my life experienced a moment that powerful. I had to write about it, how could I not? It changed everything in my life, and it could not have happened at a better time.

What could one expect from your live performance at Facedown Fest 2012?
I think this will be one our best performances to date, to be honest! This will be the last time Hands plays Facedown Fest. Not to mention, this is our last year really doing anything as a band for a long, long time. So I’m sure the emotions between all 4 of us will be extremely high, and we hope that all of our fans out west can be there to experience that with us!

Any strange or interesting stories from the road you could share?
Anything involving our drummer Josh, is usually a strange or interesting story. During tours, the guy has suffered from 2 broken arms, 2 broken ribs, a tour ending stomach ulcer, food poisoning, and an addiction to drinking Nyquil, which he claimed was the only way he could sleep at night. Needless to say, this band has had more than a few fill in drummers.

After Facedown Fest, what are your band’s plans for the next couple of months?
We’ve got a few things in the works to finish out 2012, but other than that, we’ll go back to working our jobs and trying to find excuses to play shows.

Any messages for your fans out here in the Los Angeles / Orange County area?
If you are a fan of our band, this is the time to come and see us play! Plus, Facedown Fest is loaded with great bands this year, as usual. It’s an awesome night, in an awesome venue. Worth every penny!

Hope For The Dying

Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in your band, and how long you’ve been together.
Josh Ditto, I sing and play keys. We’ve been a band since late 2006.

What are you looking forward to the most about Facedown Fest 2012?
Just seeing everyone and hanging out! It’s also always great to see all of the great people behind the awesomeness that is Facedown Records!

What is your favorite Facedown Fest memory or is this your first time playing?
This will be our 3rd time playing. Our first year there we played a cover of “The Trooper” and some of the dudes from War of Ages joined us on stage. Probably my favorite memory of playing so far!

What is the name of your latest (or upcoming) album and is there any story or concept behind the title?
Our latest album is “Dissimulation.” The general concept of the album is to seek God and not to lean on entirely on the teachings of others. Not everything that glitters is gold…and not every word that is “preached” is from God.

Pick two songs from your latest or upcoming album and tell me what inspired the lyrics?
1. “Transcend” …this song was dedicated to a good friend of mine who lost his life serving in the military. The day of his funeral was protested by the Westboro Baptist Church (this was in 2005) when they were just “gaining ground” with their protest, before people were really prepared on how to deal with their presence. This song is about rising about those who try to dissolve true teachings from the Bible into watered down half truths. Organizations like this preach hate…based of of what I like to call “selective reading.” The God I serve hates sin, not people.

What could one expect from your live performance at Facedown Fest 2012?
This year we’ll be doing a sampling of “Dissimulation” as it is on the CD….we’ll do a few gapless songs. There is talk of a possible cover song this year….but I won’t say what song…or if it’s actually happening!

Any strange or interesting stories from the road you could share?
Plenty….we’ve had enough strange encounters and experience that I have trouble choosing one. Let’s just leave it like this…we sleep at a lot of Walmarts.

After Facedown Fest, what are your band’s plans for the next couple of months?
We will do a bit of the summer festival routes (Cornerstone, etc)…our main focus for the next several months is on writing though. We have a LOT of work to do!

Any messages for your fans out here in the Los Angeles / Orange County area?
I just want to say Facedown Fest is an awesome experience all around. It’s just “done right.” The venues are both great, the bands are great…if you like Facedown bands and live anywhere near the West coast….there is absolutely NO reason to miss this show!

Leaders

Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in your band, and how long you’ve been together.
My name is Lazarus & I am the vocalist. We have been together since March of 2007 and officially Leaders since the summer of last year.

What are you looking forward to the most about Facedown Fest 2012?
Meeting everyone this year from the Facedown Family & enjoying their sets and being able to chill with them! We all have listened to a lot of the Facedown bands prior to our signing so this is a blessing!

What is your favorite Facedown Fest memory or is this your first time playing?
This will be our first year playing the fest! We look forward to making some great memories though!

What is the name of your latest (or upcoming) album and is there any story or concept behind the title?
Now We Are Free” is the name of our album to be released on March, 27 2012! The main theme of the album I guess you could say is about leaving behind your past and choosing to walk forward with Christ, knowing that there will be hardships that we will endure but in the end with God we can overcome all of that.

Pick two songs from your latest or upcoming album and tell me what inspired the lyrics?
The song “Instance” was inspired from the point in your life where you feel things are always the same and never change yet you are running away from the only one who can help…God. Then you realize that God is never changing and never ending. The second song I would choose is “La Onda” this song to me meant a lot and was very personal when I wrote it. It’s about knowing that after you’ve been broken and have given everything to try and live right and do right by people we will always fall short but God’s love never takes count of that. His love and mercy never fails us, he will always love us.

What could one expect from your live performance at Facedown Fest 2012?
A live show with us giving it our all, we hope that you feel our energy!

Any strange or interesting stories from the road you could share?
3 of us drank a case of Rockstars in 3 days on the last tour haha

After Facedown Fest, what are your band’s plans for the next couple of months?
We leave for tour the weekend after Facedown Fest! Expect to see us on the road as much as possible this year!

Any messages for your fans out here in the Los Angeles / Orange County area?
We love you guys! Can’t wait to meet all of you and hang! Blessings!

Nothing Til Blood

Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in your band, and how long you’ve been together.
Hi! This is Matt on bass and Will on drums. We’ve been together since 2010.

What are you looking forward to the most about Facedown Fest 2012?
The experience as a whole. It’s something we’ve never done before and we love SoCal and Facedown so mixing them together sounds like the best thing ever!

What is your favorite Facedown Fest memory or is this your first time playing?
First time, ask us this next year. Haha

What is the name of your latest (or upcoming) album and is there any story or concept behind the title?
Our latest release was “When Lambs Become Lions” which dropped September 27th on Strike First. The album touches on many different points from worship to Christians and how we live. We’re stoked on it, give it a listen!

Pick two songs from your latest or upcoming album and tell me what inspired the lyrics?
In the track titled “Stands True” the lyrics have no hidden message, it’s simply about being strong and boldly says what will happen in the end times. The track “Depths of the Sea” is a slow instrumental song with clean vocals that closes the album. That’s basically a love song inspired by emotion and feeling.

What could one expect from your live performance at Facedown Fest 2012?
The same thing as always, haha. We go hard if it’s five people or five hundred people.

Any strange or interesting stories from the road you could share?
Yep, too many actually, I should probably write a book. We’ve hitch hiked in northwest Texas to buy a tedious part for our engine which got us a mile up the road before our radiator blew and we made camp at a truck stop to wake up the next morning being towed to a service stop to spend about 90% of our band money on repairs. Oh well, those things make you stronger.

After Facedown Fest, what are your band’s plans for the next couple of months?
To tour and write new music. We’re shooting for another album this year, we’ll see how that goes.

Any messages for your fans out here in the Los Angeles / Orange County area?
Yes, we love you and can’t wait to hang out and meet more people.

Onward To Olympas

Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in your band, and how long you’ve been together.
My name is Kramer Lowe and I am the vocalist in Onward To Olympas. We have been together about 4 years now.

What are you looking forward to the most about Facedown Fest 2012?
I am really excited to get back out on the west coast again and hang with all the Facedown Family. Also Facedown Feast is pretty awesome too.

What is your favorite Facedown Fest memory or is this your first time playing?
Last year was OTO’s first year. My favorite memory had to be when a random kid got up on stage during In The Midst of Lions’ set and messed up a part when he grabbed the mic and started screaming the wrong lyrics.

What is the name of your latest (or upcoming) album and is there any story or concept behind the title?
Our latest is called ‘The War Within Us.’ I probably can’t say anything about the upcoming album yet. The concept to TWWU is about the constant struggle we all face as Christians and always remembering that God is there to help you through these problems no matter how big they are.

Pick two songs from your latest or upcoming album and tell me what inspired the lyrics?
Rebuilt is about the struggles we went through as a band losing members and almost getting to the point of breaking up. And Structures is about the enemy doing everything possible to bring you down. One part is “I will not settle for failure” meaning no matter all the obstacles and trials we all face we will never be brought down and settle for the worst.

What could one expect from your live performance at Facedown Fest 2012?
A lot of energy, crowd participation and maybe some goofy times. Pretty much what every band tries to accomplish haha.

Any strange or interesting stories from the road you could share?
On tour with Becoming The Archetype in 2010, we were both pulled over and BTA was pulled out of their van at gun point because we were in traffic and BTA tried to take their guitarist Daniel, who was wrapped in a sleeping bag, and throw him in our van. Traffic started moving so they stumbled back to their van and threw him back in. I guess some people thought he was a girl and “she was trying to escape.” So that’s when they called the police. At the end of the day we were all laughing with the state troopers and definitely left one of the best life long memories.

After Facedown Fest, what are your band’s plans for the next couple of months?
We plan to release one of the best albums we have written and tour harder than before on it.  We are so excited to get this out and think it will surprise our fans and hope to gain a lot more.

Any messages for your fans out here in the Los Angeles / Orange County area?
We will see you all soon! And again we are super excited to get back out here play on the west coast. Thanks for always supporting us. It honestly means so much to us. It is still crazy to think people like our band all the way across the country!

We The Gathered

Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in your band, and how long you’ve been together.
Hello! My name is Kyle and my name is Lance. We are the drummer/vocalist and  handle a lot of business oriented stuff for the band. We have been together for just under a year and a half.

What are you looking forward to the most about Facedown Fest 2012?
Kyle: Facedown Fest has always been something that we have wanted to play. This year we are! Words cannot explain how pumped we are to see all of the other Strike First/Facedown bands and finally meet and play for label owner Jason Dunn for the first time.

What is your favorite Facedown Fest memory or is this your first time playing?
Kyle: First year playing, but hopefully not our last!

What is the name of your latest (or upcoming) album and is there any story or concept behind the title?
Lance: Well, Believer has been out for a good 6 months or so, and we have toured on that record extensively. Since the release, we have been tossing around ideas for new songs that would become our new record. We have a very good foundation for this new record, which will be called “This Dedication“. The story behind this new record is that with every thing we’re blessed with in this life, we always seem to take it for granted. So basically the record tells the story of how we dedicate everything we have achieved so far and may down the road, to God. It’s a story of hardships and trials, but overcoming all of that can bring you victory in the end.

Pick two songs from your latest or upcoming album and tell me what inspired the lyrics?
Lance: The first song is entitled “Daydreamers“. When you’re in a touring band, it seems like the list of critics is endless. Yet, something keeps you pushing through all of that. Something pushes you beyond your comfort zone, and beyond the limits of anything you ever thought you could achieve. Our band believes that God is the one pushing us through all of this. The road can be very lonely at times, but with God on your side, it is very bearable. This song is about how it’s alright to dream, to be what you want to be, and not let anyone tell you you can’t achieve something great.

The other song I’ll share is another new one entitled “The Realization“. I’d like to think of myself (Lance), as a very optimistic person. The world can be a cold place, however, and this is kind of my venting session about just that. I grew up in a broken home, with very little family to turn to. But I always knew that there was something better in this world than that. I see kids today going through the same things I did as a kid, and it sickens me. The song is basically about me being only one man, with a big heart, but without any help, the world will never change.

What could one expect from your live performance at Facedown Fest 2012?
Kyle: We move around, A LOT. Facedown Fest will be a big night for us, so I would expect to see us getting a lot wilder than most nights :]

After Facedown Fest, what are your band’s plans for the next couple of months?
Kyle: We have a personal goal of being out 250-300 days this year. After Facedown we will continue to tour the US as hard as we can, along with Canada in July!

Any messages for your fans out here in the Los Angeles / Orange County area?
-COME TO NIGHT 1 OF FACEDOWN FEST AT THE STRONGHOLD IN CHINO, CA!!! This will be our first time in California, show us a night to remember!

Your Memorial

Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in your band, and how long you’ve been together.
Willy Weigel of Your Memorial. I play guitar and backup vocals. We’ve been a band for a little more than 5 years.

What are you looking forward to the most about Facedown Fest 2012?
Spending time with the Facedown Family and fans.

What is your favorite Facedown Fest memory or is this your first time playing?
Last year was our first year as a band and I think we were all pretty stoked on those whole weekend. From the first night meeting up with the bands and sharing a meal to the last day on the beach. It was awesome!

What is the name of your latest (or upcoming) album and is there any story or concept behind the title?
Our new album is set to release this summer, and unfortunately I can’t say yet what the name of the album will be. We’ll be announcing details very soon though, so be on the lookout for that in the coming weeks.

What could one expect from your live performance at Facedown Fest 2012?
There’s a really cool lyric from a Phil Wickham song, “If You are the sun, then I want to be the moon. I want to reflect the light that shines from You.”  I’d of course hope everyone has a good time but also be able to see Christ alive in the music and the reflection of his light in our set. For anybody watching to be impacted in some way even if just for a moment, and to walk away with a positive experience would be awesome.

Any strange or interesting stories from the road you could share?
Last year we were touring back from Facedown Fest and up until that point in time had never been in any sort of serious trouble because of bad weather and had never blown a tire on the road. Somehow in a period of 48 hours we managed to get stuck going up the rocky mountains in a blizzard, we were then towed to the top, played a show that night, we’re stranded on the way to our next show because of straight line 60-70mph winds. The next day our tour mates As Hell Retreats went into the ditch because of 3 foot high snow drifts while driving right behind us, then we blew a tire, and our other tour mates Onward to Olympas’ axel broke, and we were the only band to make it to the next show. It was the craziest 2 days on the road. You never know what’s going to happen next!

After Facedown Fest, what are your band’s plans for the next couple of months?
Touring for the majority of April, and again in late May/early June. Followed by a big summer tour and the release of our new album. Some really exciting things up ahead that will be announced as soon as possible!

Any messages for your fans out here in the Los Angeles / Orange County area?
We’re really excited to spend some time in Southern California. Hope to see you at the Fest and upcoming shows!

(Interviews by Kenneth Morton)

Acknowledgements

Special thanks to Shannon Quiggle, publicist extraordinaire at Facedown Records for setting up these multiple interviews.  And many thanks to Jason Dunn for his continued support of truly passionate bands throughout the years. See you all at Facedown Fest 2011!

Linkage

Facedown Fest Official Home Page
Altars on Facebook
Ark Of The Covenant on Facebook
The Burial on Facebook
Dynasty on Facebook
Gideon on Facebook
Hands on Facebook
Hope For The Dying on Facebook
Leaders on Facebook
Nothing Til Blood on Facebook
Onward To Olympas on Facebook
We The Gathered on Facebook
Your Memorial on Facebook

1 Comment
  1. Ryan McGrath 6 years ago

    Is the special guest appearance a former Facedown Family member???? Will fans like myself be able to meet Jason D??

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