Metalcore heavy-hitters Emmure released their new album, titled “Look At Yourself”, on March 3rd 2017. The band’s follow up to the 2014 full-length “Eternal Enemies” is their first with SharpTone Records and will see them touring throughout North America building up to the release. We speak to vocalist Frankie Palmeri about the new songs and how the album came together.
Steve: Good morning Frankie, it’s Steve calling from The Rockpit in Western Australia. How’s thing in the Emmure camp?
Frankie: Hey man good to hear from you, things are really amazing. I’ve been on the phone most of the day so I don’t know, this is maybe like my 8th or 9th interview and pretty much as reported before everything is excellent. I’m really exited about the new year and the new album, new label, everything is just fucking new, new, new. I’m super pumped on getting this thing out.
Steve: Yeah it seems that way and I’ve had the pleasure of listening to the new album and pardon the pun, it’s a real beast!
Frankie: Thank You!
Steve: It’s amazing as a fan and listener, it kind of takes me back to the album
“Speaker Of The Dead”. Would that be a fair analogy as it feels kind of stripped back?
Frankie: I don’t know about stripped back but if you get some vibes from previous records that would make sense, I mean I don’t think this record strays from what Emmure’s sound is at it’s core which is a tenacious aggressive band. We are not trying to be any type of certain band, we are just writing songs that we like so maybe if people are digging it and it brings them back to a certain album that’s cool. It doesn’t really change how I feel about the record, I personally think this is the best Emmure record to date.
Steve: Sure understood. So I guess it would have been fairly tumultuous cleaning out and starting a fresh slate, how was it for you finding new members and stuff like that?
Frankie: Well you know when everyone had quit the band that was in September of 2015, the rest of the world didn’t hear about it until about December 22nd or something like that. September 9th is when everyone quit so I had a few months where I was racking my brain as to what the future is going to be and what I should do and when they decided they were done with the band that’s when I enlisted Josh Travis (guitarist) immediately being that me and him had a rapport for a long time. We’ve been friends for over a decade, to me he was the only one that I thought could fit the bill to continue this band and really bring something special. So I mean yeah it all just fell together like that, I got Josh in the band and he was like, ‘I’ve got a drummer and bass player’, and I was like, ‘Ok cool”’. So here we are.
Steve: Yeah and as you said before it feels brand new and fresh?
Steve: Do you guys have a theme going into this record? Had this been a long term plan with this one and how did that come together for you guys?
Frankie: Well when Josh and I would sit and write for the record we would have conversations about what the record would be like and what an Emmure record is and I basically drilled it into his head, ‘Look dude there is no definitive sound to Emmure, as far as I’m concerned we just need to write tasteful stuff. We’re just going to keep on writing shit that we enjoy and pick the best out of it and bring it to the studio and make an album.’ So that’s pretty much what we did, Josh was sitting on previous material because Josh Travis is the kind of person that will literally sit and write music day in day out so he’s always doing something new [and] so he’s always bringing something to the table. I had some ideas I wanted to flush out and he was also bringing us to life so it was definitely a meeting of the minds really, it wasn’t as premeditated as people might think. Me and him just kind of meshed together, we took the album to California with us and recorded it with our buddy Drew Fulk who produced it and he’s a fucking genius. We have all these fucking great minds on this project you get “Look At Yourself”.
Steve: Sure and it’s great when you can find that mix, someone you can really connect with and I think that shines on the new record.
Frankie: Absolutely. I mean at the end of the day it’s me and him saying let’s put that out, let’s do a riff like this or let’s take a song in this direction and as long as we were keeping each other excited we knew we were in a good place.
Steve: Sure, so for yourself where were you drawing inspiration from? Anywhere in particular or just the world around you basically?
Frankie: Yeah as far as the lyrics go just the experiences I’d been going through in the past year and every Emmure album is kind of like a trip inside my personal dairy. It shows you everything I’ve been going through in the past 12 to 24 months every time a new record comes out so your getting another piece of my diary here but in general the theme comes together as the record happens. I’m writing the record, I’m writing the lyrics, we’re making the songs happen then out of nowhere a few weeks before in the studio I’ll come up with song names, an album title and theme and that whole thing so I think that the record what it really shows is how far the spectrum of human emotion goes. There’s songs where I’m very self deprecating and there’s songs where I’m very boastful and really confident and I think that’s a really honest approach, take the music and try and figure out how it makes you feel. Base your words around that. I like to let the music trigger something in me weather a riff makes me sad or angry or upbeat in some way, I kind of go with that vibe and start writing from there. That’s really how the record comes together.
Steve: Cool it’s always interesting to get your perspective on it because everyone has a certain way of doing things. So the title of the album, was that in light of events given that you basically had to build from the ground up or was the title conceived long before the mass exodus?
Frankie: No it was actually conceived during the writing of the album. We were actually sitting in my drummers grandparents house using it as a fucking make shift studio for a little while while we worked on some material and while we were there we were smoking a fucking ton of weed and I was like, ‘I think I got a name for the new album’, and I was telling Josh the scheme for the art work and he was just like, ‘Dude that’s fucking sick!’ So I was like, ‘Alright that’s a start.’ I took that home, that’s just one of many names I had. It’s not even the first one I thought of, it’s just the one that my business partners and band were like, ‘That’s the one!’ And I think it fits most appropriately with the album and everything that has happened to me in my life up until now and I think it definitely calculates what the record is about.
Steve: Sure and at the moment do you have a favourite track or is it to early to call or do you just like the whole damn thing?
Frankie: I like the whole damn thing, I’m really bad picking favourites. I’m really stoked on tracks like “Smokey” and “Major Key Alert”, I like that track. I mean there are lots of exciting tracks on the record but all in all I’m really proud of what we did, I think that it’s super tasteful. I think any Emmure fan whether you’re here from the beginning or you just caught on a few years ago, we have something for everyone on this record. The evolution is present and it’s done well.
Steve: Absolutely! So in terms of touring I’m guessing it will be extensive through the US and Europe, any chance that Australia will get to see Emmure at some point in 2017?
Frankie: You’re like the fucking fifth person to ask me that tonight, the answer is yes! I’d definitely like it to happen, actually I haven’t spoken to anyone in Australia for a while. This is the first set of interviews with anyone from that territory in a long time, getting to hear that people are excited to see the band has reinstilled my interest to go there. I’d like to make a trip back there at some point, hopefully this year [but] I mean we haven’t really mapped out any world touring plans but it would be good to do that.
Steve: I was lucky enough to catch you guys the last time you were here and the place was going off it’s head!!
Frankie: [laughs] well I don’t have much memory of the show but if that’s how it was then great!
Steve: So what is the best and worst part about being on tour aside from missing your family and friends?
Frankie: I don’t know, I fucking love touring. I hate being home, to me being home is a waste of time. I’d rather be on the road playing music, meeting with the fans. The worst part I really couldn’t tell you man, I wish we got more free drugs!
Steve: [laughs] Fair enough! So is there anyone you’d like to collaborate with at this point?
Frankie: I definitely have a bucket list. Number one would be Aphex Twin, that is one person I’d fucking love to make an album with. I can only imagine what he’d do with a metal band, that is a dream for me to work with him in some capacity. I think there is lots of good stuff out there, I’d love to collaborate with Teamsesh Bones or someone like my idols Jonathan Davis and Fred Durst. I’d love to make that super sick, I don’t know. Shit like that is cool to think about but then real world applications that happen with everything so who knows?
Steve: Yeah absolutely and when you go and have a look on Wikipedia it says that you take some of your style and inspiration from guys like Jonathan Davis and Fred Durst so that would be awesome to see that hopefully come together one day
Frankie: For sure, it may never happen but I always keep those bands in very high esteem as they affected me the most as a kid getting into music, they laid the ground work for me. I feel I studied them just like footballers watch old tapes, I watched them for hours and hours, they really made an impression on me.
Steve: Excellent! Well thank you very much for your time today, I really appreciate it. Good luck with the new album and we hope to catch Emmure at some point in Australia.
Frankie: Thanks brother take care!