This Or The Apocalypse: The Haunting Devastation

Ever since the release of their Lifeforce debut entitled Monuments, This Or The Apocalypse from Lancaster, PA has been touring consistently across the country, making new fans all along the way.  One such fan was Chris Adler, the drummer from Lamb Of God, who was so impressed with the band that he wound up c0-producing This Or The Apocalypse’s brand new record.  The co-producer is Josh Wilbur, who has worked with bands such as Atreyu and Avenged Sevenfold.  The result is the mighty Haunt What’s Left.  Absolutely devastating in scope, it’s definitely a stab at the big time for this hard working collective.    Here is a recent interview we conducted with one of the TOTA members while they were out on the road with Texas In July…

Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in This Or The Apocalypse and how long the band has been together.
My name is Rick; I do vocals for This or the Apocalypse and I’ve done so for the 4 or 5 years that the group has been together.

Where is the band based out of and what is your local music scene like there?
We’re based out of Lancaster, it’s got a great music and arts scene. It’s a small town but it’s close enough to a lot of the big cities that we have the benefit of being able to catch a lot more bands, exhibits, conferences, etc.

How does Haunt What’s Left compare to your previous Monuments release?
It’s definitely a much different CD. The songs each had a different writing style, recording style, and performance style. I feel like it’s a huge step forward for the band and it’s been received really well.

Is there any story or concept behind the CD title Haunt What’s Left?
Haunt What’s Left is about being withstanding, remaining, staying. It’s about staying relentless even when there’s not much left for you, for better or worse. It’s about being stubborn and true to your word.

Pick two songs from the new album and tell me what the lyrics are about.
Backlit was a story that I initially wanted to base the whole album on. In reality, we all came inches from absolute devastation during the cold war. I wanted to paint a story about a group of children who died in a nuclear blast and in their reliving the moment over and over, they play a game placing bets on the timing of the explosion. I was always particularly interested in that period of time in the world; all of the doubt, mistrust, fear, etc.
Deadringer talks about a few frustrations I reserve with myself and a lengthy period of time in my life that I remained overly apathetic towards the world around me. I feel like we should all do our part as human beings for others. Not for religion, not for pride, not for honor, but just as human beings.

How has the tour with Texas In July been going and what have been some of the highlights so far?
Well, we got those kids in our van right now because they blew their engine. It’s been pretty entertaining. I love those guys and this tour has been a lot of fun. I’m trying to blog as much of it as I can but I often have so much fun I forget to pull out the video camera.

Who did the cover art for Haunt What’s Left and how much input did you have on it?
My best friend Sol did it with our bassist Sean. I had a lot of input on it, they were constantly sending updates.

What was the experience like working with Chris Adler of Lamb Of God and did he offer you any advice while in the studio? How did he become involved with the recording process?
Working with us was his idea. He had established a friendship with Grant after our show with them in CT. He was awesome, he gave a lot of input during the preproduction stages and during the recording stages.

Do you think it will take another three years before we see a new This Or The Apocalypse CD?
I hope not. I’ve been thinking about it a lot. I’ve been writing some lyrics pretty consistently during this tour.

What could one expect from a live This Or The Apocalypse show?
We play our asses off.

What is the “This” referring to in This Or The Apocalypse?
The world around you, I guess.

Any chance of seeing This Or The Apocalypse back here in the Los Angeles area?
We should be back in Nov/Dec

Any final words of wisdom?
Stage dive more and punch invisible ninjas less. Come hang.

The members of This Or The Apocalypse are Rick Armellino on vocals, Jack Esbenshade on guitar, Sean Hennessey on bass/vocals, Grant McFarland on drums, and Rodney Phillips on guitar/vocals.  Haunt What’s Left by This Or The Apocalypse is now available from Good Fight Records.

(Interview by Kenneth Morton)

This Or The Apocalypse on Myspace

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