Jeremy: I don't think we ever set out to be so eclectic with our sound, it was and has always been a natural progression for us. We just believe that we shift ideas, thoughts, moods from day to day, and that's just the way we approach our music, its always interesting to see how a song we start to cultivate together turns out completley different from the initial "intent". Of course, we love the aspect of heavy music and the endearing feeling of hearing a powerful song that moves you, whether It'd be through intense guitar work, or down tempo shifts. But sometimes you just have to yell at someone to get their attention nowadays, hence the screaming in our songs. Haha. Also with the "mathcore" term, its funny because I'm the only member in the band that's pretty decent at math. Haha.
2. Which bands do you like the most? Did these ones inspire you?
Jeremy: We've always admired and respected the work ethic of bands from the late 60's early 70's. Bands like Led Zeppelin and Yes, they were so ahead of their time for what they did. They could have a complete metamorphosis of their songs live and turn a 6 minute song into a 30 minute opus because they felt it was a natural thing to do. Also the idea of that time period was to tour until you're almost dead. Led Zeppelin never had a myspace, the accessibility to the world was only through shows, or if your friend played you the record. Definitely an admirable work ethic.
3. What do you like more? The quiet or the aggressive parts of your songs?
Jeremy: Honestly, I don't want this to be a cop out, but I'm pretty proud and love most of the material that we come up with. We rarely repeat or reprise anything in our songs, so our songs become these movements or constantly shifting parts that move so fluidly, you'd almost have to rewind a part to fully grasp what's happening. I can say though, I'm a big fan of parts of our songs that feel so powerful (not necessarily "heavy") that make you want to grab your chest as if someone punched you. For example the end of our song "Charmer" or the end of "Your Sun Machine, Your Space Embracer". Those are a couple of segments in those particular songs that I always enjoy hearing and playing.
4. How important is a good performance to you during a concert?
Jeremy: We're very proud of the music we create, but our live show is our bread and butter, our tour de force. It's a natural setting for our songs to translate to our audience and let them get the full "experience". I'm starting to sound like pretentious hippy haha, but really, we never hold back at our shows, and we expect our audience to do the same.
5. Name means "New Approach To Martyr's Expressions". What does this band name exactly mean and how did you get this idea?
Jeremy: Wes had the "new approach" title for years, I think he had it written on his notebook for grade school and it was floating around for a while. It wasn't until our childhood band had dissolved (which still consisted of me, Wes and Bobby) about 7 years ago. We reformed with a more aggressive work ethic and we came back to "the new approach to martyr's expressions" title. In hindsight it is a bit self explanatory, but overall it was meant for us to be a representation of our ideals and how we would constantly challenge ourselves and have this band as an amorphous group that always needs to look ahead and grow and change so our ideas as a band would never grow stagnant. We wanted to show that with enough conviction, and honesty you can make something work. Also going by "name", it leaves the title with a bit of anonymity that intrigues someone. With band names like Cannibal Corpse, or Dying Fetus, you'll pretty much assume it'll be a death metal band. "Name" is a bit more shapeless, blurring the lines of titles and genres. We understand its a bit harder to find online or for curious people to investigate us, but we know if they do find us, it was because they REALLY wanted to haha.
6. How do you spend your time apart from making music? What are your favorite activities?
Jeremy: Most of us like to stay pretty healthy while not on tour, working out, getting outdoors, eating decently. But honestly besides not constantly writing music, we usually go to shows all the time, to not only support the music scene, but to be inspired to find new ideas, hear new sounds. Wes works at a couple of venues in San Francisco when not on the road, so he's always hearing new music. San Francisco has such an amazing array of music, so much to choose from, so much to discover, its easy to find inspiration in the city. We apply a lot of these different ideals into our music. Besides that, I know Wes writes screenplays, free writings, lyrics, and is always trying to plan ahead.
7. Which bands do you like to have on tour with you?
Jeremy: We always like to be on the road with diverse bands. It keeps the show interesting and special, also lets the fan base crossover and connect to other genres, and creates dynamic. We've toured with death metal bands, punk bands, jazz groups, alternative bands, hardcore bands, and even noise artists. I really enjoy going to shows with eclectic line ups, so we like to give that same feeling to our fans.
8. What meaning has the saxophone due to your artwork? Why did you choose that?
Jeremy: The instrument is actually a French Horn and we thought of it as an interesting representation to the album as a complete entity. It shows a slightly unconventional instrument with a vertebrae which plays on the theme of "Internet Killed The Audio Star". Its kind of an obsolete instrument outside of the realm of classical music, and its a symbol for an end of an era and the start of a new. Just like the music industry and the way we hear it is completely different now then it was 10 years ago. Its a bit tongue-in-cheek.
9. Where do you take all that creativity according to your complex songs from? Who is doing what while you write songs?
Jeremy: Well our writing process is interesting. My brother, Wes (the singer/guitarist of name) and I are constantly writing, and we usually send each other files of some riffs we have, and it gives me time to put my thoughts and ideas into fruition and challenge myself to add my take on it. Eventually we'll get together and play our parts and share our ideas with each other. Its been that way since we were kids. But as far as the complexity of the songs go, we never purposely go out of our way to try and make a song complex for the sake of just doing it. I grew up playing jazz, and retained some general ideas and core movements and applied them to my style of writing. I've always enjoyed interpreting my influences from movies, literature and life to creating my parts. Also, I love odd meters like Dave Brubeck used to do in his songs, and had these constantly shifting parts that never really repeated themselves. Most people don't know that I played guitar on half the album, but if you listen carefully, you can depict a lot of changing styles. My brother and I write all of the music so we combine our different backgrounds of influence and create something, in my opinion, that is unique. Wes is more of the dark, polyrhythmic, ethereal, bluesy, "just-got-out-of-the-70's" style writing. Where as I'm more of the mechanical, riffy, jazzy, "does-this-time-signature-even-exist?" type player. That's why we sound a bit all over the place.
10. Are there any other things you wish to tell your fans out there?
Jeremy: Our album was just released in Europe on April 19th so please go and listen to it, we put a lot of hard work into it. Thank all of you for your support, a lot of bands say this type of shit, but really, we thank you so much. Its so amazing when other people actually enjoy and understand what we're doing. Your support only keeps us going. We hope to see all of you this year in the States as well as all of you in Europe, we'll be touring for the rest of our days and coming to a town near you to melt your faces off. Till then, thank all of you guys, and thank you for this interview.
Interviewer: Gruï¿œ, Philipp
Conducted with Jeremy Fareas (bass)