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Into The Realm of Against The Sun

Into The Realm of Against The Sun

Into The Realm of Against The Sun

Against The Sun is an up-and-coming band from Southern California, whose dynamic amalgamation of hard rock and metalcore is sure to set the imagination in flight.  Their latest Silhouette EP features five absolutely spiraling songs that are destined to make music fans take notice well above and beyond the vast confines of the Golden State.  From the impassioned vocals and compelling lyrical contents to the absolutely inspired musicianship, the Silhouette EP will leave an indelible impression on all who give a listen.  Highwire Daze recently caught up with lead vocalist / guitarist Brad West to find out more about the amazing Against The Sun, his other band Dusk, some of the songs found within the epic grooves of the Silhouette EP, and more!

Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Against The Sun, and how long the band has been together.
This is Brad West and I sing and play guitar in Against The Sun.

Where is the band based out of and what is the local music scene like there?
We’re an Orange County band but we play all over Southern California, all the way from San Diego up to the high desert. There are countless bands in this region, from world famous bands to the most local DIY artists. It’s a great melting pot to be a part of and we feel really lucky to be so close to so many talented people.

Is there any overall story or concept behind the Silhouette EP title?
The Silhouette EP is a culmination of the work we’ve done in 2023. The artwork follows the story of Icarus, the rise and the fall. Lyrically, the EP covers everything from heart break to politics to existentialism. Musically, it’s definitely our heaviest work yet. We really embraced the Metalcore sound on this record, in no small part to the excellent work done by our producer Brad Berry. He really helped modernize our sound.

What is the inspiration behind the song Icarus? And give us a little background on Tiaday, who also participates on Icarus?
Icarus was written from the perspective of someone who’s fed up with being told how to live their life. It’s a statement that they’re going to take control and not listen to those around them. I wrote it in a way where, if you wanted to, this could be your rebellious anthem. At the same time, it’s sort of ironic because the song is, of course, called Icarus. I always try to add complexity and nuance to my songs. In this one, I included that irony because I’ve seen people in my life that have taken the mindset of “screw you I’m going to do what I want” to an extreme where it becomes self-destructive.

I met Tiaday through another great LA rock band, Dusk. Tiaday features on their cover of Kingdom Hearts’sFace My Fears” and we performed that song live together. I think we found there was some musical chemistry in the practice room and on stage and I’m a fan of Tiaday’s band The World Over. When it came time to find a feature singer/screamer, Tiaday felt like such a natural fit.

What is the story behind the JAD lyrics and how did Chasing Desolation become involved with the song?
JAD stands for ‘just another day’ and it’s written about gun violence, specifically mass shootings. I wrote it after the Uvalde shooting in Texas when I felt so overwhelmed with the tragedy. Mass shootings had become so common by that point that I felt we, as a society, were almost getting desensitized to it and I thought that was, in itself, such a tragedy. So the song is a plea to people to not let these tragedies become normal, to not let them become ‘just another day.’

We met Chasing Desolation through the LA Rock Collective and I knew right away that we had to work with these guys. Their songwriting and musicianship is on another level, not to mention Seth’s amazing voice. JAD has a super classic Metalcore sound and I’ve always wanted to hear Seth’s voice over one of our riffs. He’s got the grit but also the powerful melodic voice, he’s just perfect for that song.

What is the story behind Happy, and how did Hoity-Toity become involved?
Happy is a song written by our drummer, Conner Eddy. It’s a breakup song through and through. It has this wistfulness to it that felt really sad but also very bittersweet, and then it really explodes emotionally during the bridge. We knew we wanted a female singer as a featured vocalist on this track and Hoity-Toity was a band Conner had filled in on drums for. We honestly didn’t think Shelby was going to think we were cool enough but she agreed right away, which we were stoked on. The way all our voices blend on that song is really good and she has this husky tone that really makes that first verse so memorable.

Why is there No Exit?
No Exit is my pet project on this record. It’s named after a play by the same name by Jean-Paul Sartre, one of my favorite philosophers. I’m a big believer in existentialism, but more specifically absurdism. No Exit is one of my favorite plays and I’ve always wanted to translate the ideas in there into a song. The story is just three people trapped in a hotel room together but the twist is that the hotel room is Hell. They think they’re waiting to get into Hell until they realize being trapped together is hell itself. The famous line to come from this play is “Hell is other people.” That sounds very cynical, and it kind of is, but it’s more complicated than that. The play focuses on this idea of The Other, that I mention in the song’s lyrics, and how we can never be free from the gaze of The Other, I.e., other people. It’s in this constant state of being watched, perceived, and judged by other people, The Other, that creates Hell for us. If you know me, you know that I’m a very communitarian person who’s a huge extrovert, I love being around people. So it might come off as weird that I wanted to write a song like this. I wrote it on a night where I felt so alone and I’m truly terrible being alone and I hate that about myself. I’m a firm believer that we’re all connected and that we need to be invested in this joint endeavor we’re all in called Humanity, but I think I lean too far into wanting to be around other people all the time that I haven’t made peace with being alone. So this song was a song for me to show the limits of that way of thinking and making a case for needing to be alone sometimes.

What could one expect from a live Against The Sun show?
Against The Sun shows are full of energy, loud guitars, and drum solos. We love to bring it every time we play. You better be ready to head bang with us and start that mosh pit.

How does your other band Dusk compare to Against The Sun?
I love being in Dusk. Not only is the music fantastic, but the band members are deeply genuine lovely people. The music is much more dynamic and less heavy. There are parts where it drops out to almost nothing but explodes into a super intense part. The melodies are also noticeably higher than Against The Sun songs and they have more parts for me to “show off” vocally, so it’s really fun from a singers’ perspective. Look out for Dusk material in the future, we’re working on some great songs.

What has it been like to be involved with the L.A. Rock Collective with both Against The Sun and Dusk?
The LA Rock Collective has been the most enjoyable community that I’ve been a part of in the local scene. I’ve met some really close friends through it and we’ve developed relationships with some seriously talented bands. Also, getting to play in LA without doing a ticket pre-sale is so nice. It’s been fun to sing in two bands in the collective, to show that range to folks. I hope me doing that and us featuring Seth from Chasing Desolation can encourage people to cross-pollinate more because I think that’s what we need more in Rock music.

What’s up next for both Against The Sun and Dusk?
Against The Sun just released an electronic remix of JAD that we’re really proud of so go listen to that. I take the vocals down a whole octave so it’s the first time I’ve been able to showcase my lower range, which is really nice. It’s a somber track that highlights the lyrics and sinks you into this melancholic mood. After that, new stuff is being recorded right now so stay tuned.

We’re working on new Dusk material right now and it’s some really excellent songs. Not only is the guitar work intricate, but the melodies are so catchy. Seriously, I sing them around the house all the time.

Any final words of wisdom?
Do what makes you happy and keep going.

Against The Sun is Brad West on lead vocals and guitar, Brad Mitchell on guitar, Alex Galusha on bass and Conner Eddy on drums.

(Interview by Ken Morton – Photo by Vivian Ortega of So Finch Photography)

Against The Sun on Instagram
Dusk on Instagram

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