The Further Deathcore Adventures of In Dying Arms
The Further Deathcore Adventures of In Dying Arms
In Dying Arms remain one of the very best bands on the underground deathcore scene, having returned from a self-imposed hiatus with two absolutely astounding singles. Deathwish and Cold & Empty are the comeback recordings, representing the next tremendous chapter for this supremely intensive collective. Known for their past standout albums such as Boundaries (Artery Recordings) and Original Sin (Tragic Hero Records), In Dying Arms is now fully reactivated, working on an EP and making plans to tour all across the nation once more. Highwire Daze recently caught up with founding member/lead vocalist Orion Stephens to discuss the further deathcore adventures of the almighty In Dying Arms. Read on…
First of all, let’s talk about the new single Deathwish and what was the inspiration behind that song.
Deathwish is a track that we started early on – when IDA broke up, I started working on music immediately afterwards. It was actually going to be a whole new band – I was finding all new people and we went through the grapevine. We tried out over a dozen people – and then as songs were being made, it just sounded more like IDA. So, it just became IDA. We kept going back to it and revising it as time went on – it kept getting perfected. This is the most time we’ve spent on the music ever. These songs have been touched a lot more than the older ones – it’s going to sound very polished. But Deathwish is a very angry track for people who want to get out frustration – very open to interpretation as well, so it can apply to what a lot of people can go through. It’s like a “let it out” type of song. It’s heavy man! You’re gonna love it!
Cold & Empty was basically your official comeback song. Tell me a little about that one…
Cold & Empty – same deal with this other song – we already had Deathwish done when Cold & Empty came out – just Covid hit. Cold & Empty we picked because it bridged the gap between new and old, because the stuff coming out is very much different then the old stuff and a little bit different than Cold & Empty. Cold & Empty had more things that more people would be used to. There’s a lot more stuff to get used to from this other stuff.
What has it been like to record and release new music in the middle of a pandemic and all this social unrest in the world?
Man, it’s been so different, but it’s also a blessing in disguise for bands like us to capitalize on time since there was no demand for a band to play shows. There’s always a demand for bands to play shows, so they make their songs, and they want to keep their fans happy and keep consistent and everything. But given a year-plus of time to revive what you’re working on before you drop it during Covid when you can’t even support it – we’re going to wait a little bit and make the songs as polished as possible. That’s really the biggest gain from it – not rushing the music, not settling. It’s a very polished sound that we have and it’s thanks to Covid that we’ve had more time. For us, it’s been good coming back from a breakup, so we want the stuff to be really impactful. For us, we used it to our benefit.
Will there be an EP or album on the way, and will Tragic Hero be involved?
There will be an EP coming out – because we had over 15 songs – but before and as time went on and we went back to revise – having so much time, we kind of trimmed the fat and we narrowed it down to the best of the best. If we’re going to come back with something that leaves a stamp, we just want it to be like bang, there’s no filler! Let’s give them the best that we have within that time frame. And we’re not signed anymore at all – we’re doing this all DIY. But their merch team Merch Bucket – we’re working with them for our merchandise, so that will be dropping as well with Deathwish. The Deathwish collection will be several designs, and you’ll be able to pick designs on what fabric you want – whether it be a long sleeve, a sweatshirt, a hoodie, or just a regular shirt. But as far as label, no. But some of the team members work with Merch Bucket, so they’re helping out with merch and doing all that cool stuff.
Would you like to start touring again with In Dying Arms?
Yes, absolutely. And you can expect that to happen. I’ve already gotten offers that I’ve had to turn down because we’re not ready yet. It’s gonna happen…
Let’s go back in time. Your first two albums on Matchless Records came out 10 years ago – Deprivation and the Self-Titled album. When you look back on those two albums, what do you think of them now in retrospect?
Awesome time period. A lot of fun making those songs. I think about the dudes I was with when we were making it, and different shows and tours and stuff. All fond memories – all good stuff. It’s just steps along the path. For every album – for every time frame – there’s a story there. But for those two albums, that was kind of like when we were started catching a buzz and started getting out there more – and with Self-Titled we started getting signed to bigger labels after that – so it was just exciting times. I always think about excitement when I think about those times.
You worked with Fronz of Attila on one of your songs Bathed In Salt from your next album Boundaries on Artery Recordings. Looking back, what was it like working with Fronz on that song?
It was really easy and really cool. We got flown out to Oregon to do the album. And that was the only song I didn’t have lyrics for cuz it was a short, really heavy song so I thought I would just do something there because I was writing all the lyrics leading up. Because we were kind of like, I don’t want to be say rushed – I think we rushed ourselves because the opportunity was there. It was our first album on a bigger label, and we had these crazy songs, and I was just being picky on my lyrics. And that one in particular, I didn’t know what to do. So, when we got to Oregon – we were only there for two weeks and then that whole bath salts thing happened with some dude eating somebody in Florida or something on the news. And then we had the idea let’s just make the song about that – like fuck it – it’s a heavy track – it would be cool. We already had Fronz lined up because we were with Artery and our manager had him living at his house. We met him; he came down to the studio. I gave him the lyrics I wrote at the studio beforehand via email and he came prepared. He had two guest spots for two other artists and made a bunch of money I wish I had – and then he did ours and we just hung out. It was just cool. It was easy! It was simple! It was just like a breeze. He’s a cool dude. I know he gets a lot of shit, but he was cool to us.
When you look back on Original Sin, your final studio album to date on Tragic Hero Records – what are your thoughts on that album and what was going on at the time with the band?
It’s a whole different time. We were touring heavy on Boundaries for two years till like 2014. It was a different album. It was cool. It was a much heavier album. It was the album where I got to write a lot more too and get my feet wet with it, because I play guitar as well. It was the first time I got to write more, which leads to now, because on the new stuff coming out, I write the most. So, me becoming a songwriter picked up around then too.
When you did break up, did you even dream you would be doing In Dying Arms again a few years later?
Yup! I mean, I didn’t want the band to break up. The band had to break up mainly because I think at that point in time all the dudes that were in it were kind of burnt out. We were doing it for so long and the had neglected parts of their lives cuz we were doing IDA since we were teenagers – like some of the dudes didn’t have their adulting down – didn’t have their driver’s license and stuff like that since we were so heavily doing that. So, then it kind of weighed down the drive for the band as people wanted to try and get themselves back up with some type of normalcy in the real world. And some of those guys don’t do music anymore. It think they had their time and that’s totally okay. It’s just one of those things.
What do you hope the rest of 2021 brings for you, for your band, and for the music scene in general?
For one, more fans would be cool. For music in general, it’s time for a new wave – all those post Covid times and it’s time for a new sound to come up. You’ll hear – we’re trying a lot of new stuff. That’s mainly it. It’s time for something new to happen. Before Covid, everything was kind of the same for a while there for a few years. And we need something exciting. We need a new movement to happen, and I think we’re overdue for it. I’m hearing all the same stuff over and over again. I need something new now. I’m bored! Let’s go!
And do you have any messages for In Dying Arms’ fans who are reading this right now?
Yes, we love you guys. Thank you for sticking around through our entire hiatus/break up time. That is a long time – 3 slash 4 years – and the fact that they’ve stuck around is great. It’s nothing without the fans. If we didn’t have fans, we probably wouldn’t even be doing it.
Interview by Ken Morton
In Dying Arms on Facebook