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ORTHODOX Talk Aggressive Album Let It Take Its Course

Cam Smith Photo
Cam Smith Photo

Nashville metal masters Orthodox are giving fans yet another reason to mosh ahead of the release of their sophomore album Let It Take Its Course, out via Unbeaten Records on February 7, 2020.

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The band released the third single "Look At Me", days before the start of a lengthy U.S. tour alongside Spite, Varials, Unity-TX, Dealer and I AM.

Frontman Adam Easterling caught up with Metal Injection, diving deep into the re-tooled recording process, albums' heavy themes, punishing new single and more!

On Revamped Recording Process

It was a completely different process. All of Sounds of Loss was written by me and Tyler Williams, who has since left Orthodox to play with Counterparts. And that entire record was written between me and him, just kind of butting heads figuring out what worked. And it took us a little over a year and a half to write it, and then it was just he and I that recorded it. So that was a very different process from this one, where it was me and Daniel Colombo, who was the guy that actually mixed, mastered and recorded Sounds of Loss as well as this coming record. We would sit down in front of his computer and I would hum riffs to him and he's such a guitar genius that he was able to play what was doable from what I had as my idea on the guitar. We would write that and write drums based off of it. Austin Evans would come in, who's our guitarist currently, and help us write a couple songs here and there as well. So it was a much more relaxed and quick process.

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As for the recording process, it was just like Sounds of Loss. We did all the instrumentals in a week, which is always stressful. But we knocked it out and I'm really excited about how everything turned out. I actually wasn't sure how I'd feel with Mike White coming in and recording drums. He's our current drummer, but everything beforehand has been me recording the drums. So I've always been very particular about how things sounded. And he came in and just absolutely smashed it. So it was a bit easier to get this one done than it was the last one.

ORTHODOX Talk Aggressive Album Let It Take Its Course

On Weighty Album Themes

I knew honestly before we even had all the record done, even before we had most of the record done, that I wanted the record to be called Let it Take its Course, just because that's a lyric off of one of our songs, "Panic" from Sounds of Loss. It's one that a lot of people sing along to. And I was like, OK, given that Sounds of Loss has so many of the themes, lyrics, and even down to the riffs kind of repeating themselves, I thought it would be cool to try to carry over a slight theme from that record while sharing a new context to the lyrics that are used. From there the first song that we actually finished was the title track. It was originally just based around what can make this song the climax of the record? And from there it was mainly going off of what was on my mind. The things I was going through when I wrote the last record are not prevalent enough for me to just write more about it anymore. I feel like I got enough of it out to where I don't need to hound on the same topic. I was kind of like 'what is on your mind, what has been keeping your mind busy in ways that you don't necessarily want it to?'

One thing that's kind of always stuck out to me, and this is what the overall theme of the record is, is the knowing that someone has deeply hurt someone you love, whether any sort of abuse from verbal to physical or sexual, anything along those lines. It's just the feeling of obsession that takes over when you want to hurt that person back. But also the fear of knowing that the person you love will probably see you differently if they know that you're capable of doing what was done to them. That's kind of what the overall theme of the record is. The start of the record is the initial birth of the thought where you're like, OK, this is what's going on in my head. By the end of it it's you giving into the obsession and carrying out the act.

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On New Single 'Look At Me'

The song is one of my favorite songs off the record. That to me is one of my favorite songs that we've ever done, just because it really combines just about every influence that the band takes heavily from. It really showcases all of those. It opens up with a really cool, bouncy Gojira type breakdown and it goes into a almost metallic hardcore like verse that leads to a Slipknot riff that feels like a System of a Down groove that then goes into weird System of a Down type build that has a singing line in it from me that is like Korn and System of a Down and has a really cool bass groove throughout it that sounds almost like a Deftones type thing and then ends it with the Gojira break down (laughs). It all incases all the big influences that we grew up listening to in a really tasteful way.

In terms of where the song is in the place of the record, for me it's the realization of the feeling that you've obsessed over has actually changed you and you can't really hide it anymore. The opening line is "this is not a truth that I can hide." In line with the record that's what it's talking about. But if you were just listening to the song on its own, it's kind of about anytime that you've got something that you are afraid people will see. Eventually you'll have a tell and someone will catch on. And it's kind of like whatever is in the dark will find a way to shine. Whatever you're afraid of someone knowing eventually will become known. Like nothing stays hidden forever.

On Songwriting Catharsis
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Anytime I actually finished a song, I'm like, OK, this is fucking done. That's a huge sign of relief in itself. But there are definitely certain songs that I've written that kind of took a weight off my chest that I didn't really know was there. So it's definitely cathartic in a sense, for sure. And there's even been songs that I didn't realize how much emotion I put into certain things until we actually play them and I'm actually yelling the words out loud for the first time. And you're like, oh, wow, this is actually hitting you in a certain way.

On Nashville as a Metal City

The cool thing about Nashville is that everyone casually knows at least one musician that's better than ninety nine percent of the musicians in the world for their craft. It's pretty unreal the amount of talent that's here. You think of country music because all the huge labels are based out of here. A lot of the big publishing companies are based out of here. But I mean, musicians are rampant out here. It's ridiculous. I mean, even to show how the industry's clash. Chris Condon, it's actually his studio that we recorded this record at with Daniel at the wheel as well. He was the main engineer and he plays guitar for Billy Ray Cyrus full time. So like the roads definitely intertwine here and there, a lot more than you might think.

What's kind of cool about the Nashville metal scene is even with bands like Chamber, there are still other bands that are nowhere near as known that are absolute heavyweights. There are certain bands that we have in Nashville that are, by the terrible term of it,  just local bands. They don't tour, but I don't want to follow them. Like if Orthodox plays a show, I'm like, OK, yeah, we're after this band… That is gonna suck. There's a band called Cove from here that Taylor from Chamber actually plays drums for as well, and they're an absolute powerhouse of a band. There's a band called Thirty Nights of Violence that's starting to get out here and there. They're actually signed to Unbeaten Records as well, and they are absolutely incredible. I see sets of these bands sometimes and I'm like, do I really need to keep playing music? Am I ever going to get to this level? It's ridiculous. So that's the cool thing about Nashville, is that our local scene gives touring acts a hard time to follow. But the actual scene itself, in terms of the people who attend and the energy of the room, there's no better show than a Nashville hardcore or metal show. It's so much fun. It's so chaotic. It's very violent, but not in a malicious way. Everyone's just beating the hell out of each other, jumping off the stage left and right. But there's no hate in the room. Everyone is there for each other, for the music. And it's exactly how it's supposed to be.

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On Broadening Styles and Influences

Sounds of Loss was written almost like… this is it. If this doesn't work, the band's done. We had been grinding a lot and it wasn't really paying off. We started dabbling into weird new metal type influences. And on this record it was kind of like the only way to go from there is just to go deeper. So instead of dipping our toes in we just dove head first into the influences that we were starting to pull from. And honestly it's made the writing process that much more enjoyable because it just opens up this whole new world that we weren't able to explore before because we were a little too nervous.

Tour dates:
2/6 – Indianapolis, IN @ Hoosier Dome
2/7 – Springfield, MO @ FOH Lounge
2/8 – Kansas City, MO – Davey’s Uptown
2/13 – Sacramento, CA @ Holy Diver
2/14 – Fresno, CA @ Full Circle Brewery Co.
2/15 – Anaheim, CA @ Chain Reaction
2/16 – Mesa, AZ @ Club Red
2/19 – Oklahoma City, OK @ 89th Street
2/20 – Fort Worth, TX @ Tomcats West
2/21 – Austin, TX @ Come And Take It Live
2/22 – Houston, TX @ The Secret Group
2/25 – Orlando, FL @ Soundbar
2/26 – Margate, FL @ O'Malley's
2/27 – Tampa, FL @ Crowbar
2/28 – Jacksonville, FL @ 1904 Music Hall
2/29 – Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade (Hell)
3/1 – Greensboro, NC @ Blind Tiger
3/3 – Richmond, VA @ Canal Club
3/4 – Fredrick, MD @ Café 611
3/5 – Philadelphia, PA @ Voltage Lounge
3/6 – Asbury Park, NJ @ House of Independents
3/7 – Amityville, NY @ Revolution Music Hall
3/8 – Hartford, CT @ Webster Underground
3/10 – Cleveland, OH @ The Foundry
3/11 – Pontiac, MI @ Pike Room
3/12 – Chicago, IL @ Beat Kitchen
3/13 – Minneapolis, MN @ Amsterdam Bar & Hall
3/14 – Des Moines, IA @ Vaudeville Mews
3/15 – Omaha, NE @ Lookout Lounge
3/17 – Denver, CO @ Marquis Theater
3/18 – Salt Lake City, UT @ The Complex
3/20 – Spokane, WA @ The Pin!
3/21 – Seattle, WA @ Vera Project
3/22 – Portland, OR @ Hawthorne Theater

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