Five & Five Special Edition: Senses Fail
Hello once again and welcome to a very special edition of EMURG’s Five & Five! This time around we feature a band that has carved a dramatic presence in the music industry. Since their emergence in 2002, Senses Fail has progressively shown why they are a band that is one of a kind and one that continues to push the threshold of their creativity. Through countless albums and line up changes, the Ridgewood, New Jersey band is set to release their newest album, Renacer, on March 26th. As a testament to the band’s efforts with progressively evolving their music, Renacer, captures the band at a musical crossroad in which the album not only redefines the band, but etches an entirely new chapter for the band known as Senses Fail. In an exclusive interview, I had the distinct honor to speak with the humble lead singer, Buddy Nielsen, about what the journey has been like for him and what the future holds for Senses Fail.
Kyle: What artist/bands/songs/albums influenced you as a musician?
Buddy: There are many but I will name a few: Bad Religion, NOFX, Thursday, Saves The Day
Kyle: What are you and the rest of the band listening to currently?
Buddy: Bad Religion “True North” and Nails “Obscene Humanity”.
Kyle: You have played many shows since you first hit the music scene. What has been your most memorable show/performance so far in you career?
Buddy: That is a very hard question. I would have to say the most memorable shows were when we played Skate and Surf Festival in 2003, when we headlined a tour for the first time in 2003, and the last Warped Tour. It is very difficult to get specific because I enjoy all the shows and luckily we have many more good shows than bad.
Kyle: If you want people to remember you for one song what would it be?
Buddy: I would probably say that the song has not been written yet….
Kyle: Senses Fail has come a long way since its humble beginnings in which you have experienced many twists and turns. What has the experience been like for you on a musical level and a personal level?
Buddy: It is really hard to answer the question because it has been 11 years of my life. I would need to go into much depth to explain all that we have been through as a band, as well as myself personally. I assume it is much more like anyone’s life, there are ups and downs, with good times and bad times. I think once you realize to enjoy the times that are good and learn from the times that are bad you can start to balance out your life.
Kyle: What is your current view of the music industry as a whole? Where do you see it heading and how will Senses Fail be a part of it?
Buddy: It really depends on how people decide to consume music. The consumers ultimately drive the market place. I can it going many different ways, but it really depends on how people choose to take in their music.
Kyle: Renacer is a dramatic change from Senses Fail’s previous efforts. What was your mindset with writing and recording the album? What made you decide to take a different approach to recording this album? Did your side project, “Bayonet”, influence the direction of the new Senses Fail album?
Buddy: We wanted to change everything. Basically, as a band we are not the same anymore. We do not have the same members or songwriters and we wanted the record to reflect that. We didn’t want to try and be what Senses Fail was, we wanted to create what Senses Fail would be. I believe Bayonet had some influence but it was not by any means the reason we went this direction. Dan and myself were working on some Bayonet stuff and decided to try and write Senses Fail stuff out of it. We wanted this to have a more complete feel than the Bayonet stuff.
Kyle: As a lyrical genius who takes pride in his lyrical content, where do you draw your inspiration from as a singer?
Buddy: Thanks for the kind words but I am not a genius when it comes to anything, let alone lyrics. I draw my ideas from the events of my own life.
Kyle: How has the addition of guitarist Zach Roach and Matt Smith affected the dynamics of Sense Fail?
Buddy: Absolutely, 100% in every way they have changed the band for the better.
Kyle: The newest single, “Mi Amor”, packs a powerful punch but the majority of the lyrics are sung in Spanish. Can you tell the story of how this song came to be and what drove you to sing this song in another language?
Buddy: I wanted to try something new and started messing around with doing the screaming parts in Spanish and ran with it! I thought it sounded cool and I was able to get across what I wanted to say, so we decided to keep it.
Kyle: The songs, “The Path”, and “Snake Bite”, show the band pushing their creative boundaries in a new direction on Renacer. Can you discuss how these songs came to be on the new album?
Buddy: The Path was written by our guitarist Zack but was reworked a couple times and had a couple of different arrangements. It was one of those songs that we wanted to feel a little wild. I wanted people to not expect what was going to happen next. Snake Bite was probably my least favorite song until it was actually recorded. It was sort of the runt of the record while we were recording the album. We left it in the corner and neglected it, but at the end it sort of just came to life.
Kyle: On one of your Facebook posts you posted a picture of a Pabst Blue Ribbon beer can microphone. Can you tell us the story about how this idea came to be and how it was used on the new album?
Buddy: Haha yeah, Shawn has all sorts of crazy stuff at his studio. One of them being different microphones. The Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer can is supposed to give a tinny, small room, distortion sound to the vocals.
Kyle: From start to finish, Renacer is less pop-driven, heavier, more exploratory, and wastes no time with grabbing the listener’s attention. How do you think your fans will react to this album?
Buddy: I have no idea to be honest. I think some people will like it and some people will hate it.
Kyle: What is the most important concept/aspect that you want listeners to take away from this album? What does this album mean to you personally as a musician?
Buddy: The idea that positive nature and love can overcome all things. I am more proud of this record than any we have done in the past. I would erase all the records we have put out to have this one because it was more fulfilling to make than all the others.
Kyle, Finally, what is on the horizon for you and the band in 2013?
Buddy: We have a new record coming out on March 26th and we will be touring the U.S. and then the UK and Europe.
Indeed, Buddy and the rest of Senses Fail have cultivated a euphoric presence with their new album, Renacer. This album does not only present a new catalog of songs for the musical masses, but captures a moment in time in which a band found new direction and in a sense, was reborn. Undeniably, Senses Fail has been reborn and the future has never seemed brighter for such a monumental band.