We got the chance to speak to Telle Smith from the American metalcore band, The Word Alive at Hit The Deck Festival in Bristol, where he spoke to us about who his favourite band’s to tour with are, the thing he loves most about working in the music industry and the band’s latest album release ‘Real’.
Hi, how’re you today?
I’m alright, a little tired but i’m alright.
So are you looking forward to your set later on?
of course! We’re stoked to play Hit The Deck for the first time. I’m not gonna lie I’m probably more excited to see Brand New. I wish I could see Saves The Day but our sets clash, but yeah I’m super excited for it.
Who are you most excited to be sharing a stage with today?
Well, I don’t actually know any of the bands that are on our stage. I’ve heard Neck Deep, the band which is playing right before us, is the band to watch, so I’ll definitely watch them.
Your new album is out in June, are you looking forward to releasing new material?
Of course! I think that there’s gonna be stuff that fans who bought future realeases will like and then I think there’s also progressiveness that will gain new fans, hopefully. That’s the goal, please the old, gain the new. But I think this record is the most cohesive record that we’ve put out, it has a lot of different styles in it, a couple songs are pretty much all singing, some are really really heavy, some which are technical and songs which aren’t as much so, so hopefully people like it.
We try to make it diverse, we don’t want to be that band who writes the same song twelve times, so hopefully when people are listening to our record it can almost feel like they’re listening to a band they like on shuffle, only it’s one record, that was kind of our goal.
You’ve said in the past that being genuine with your music is really important to you guys. How do you ensure you do that?
We just don’t write songs to try to sound like anything, we write what we like and if we feel like it’s better than something we’ve done in the past or if we feel like it’s something we really connect with or showcases a new side of the band that we really enjoy, then we’ll put it out. But if we don’t feel that it’s something that we’re gonna love playing every night and that our fans are gonna love hearing, then we scrap it and we don’t use it, but hopefully people like it all.
Out of all of the band’s you’ve been on tour with, who’s your favourite band to tour with?
So many bands! When you tour, not that we’ve been touring forever, but 5 years is a good time to tour, especially when we play like 200+ shows a year. I mean we toured so many times with Memphis May Fire, we’re on tour with them now, We Came As Romans, A Day To Remember guys, Of Mice & Men, Sleeping With Sirens, just a ton of the bands that we’ve been touring with since most of us were small bands and we’ve all been growing together so just seeing that is really great. I’m really happy for a lot of my friends that are doing well.
So do you see a lot of familiar faces when you play shows like this?
Not so much at HTD, more like Slam Dunk, cause it’s a little bit heavier band based. This one I don’t know probably 60% of the bands but that’s cool, I think it’s good to play with diverse stuff. We’ve played with The Blackout before, they’re a great live band and The Maine are really good friends of ours, who we normally don’t get to play with cause they’re in a whole other world from us, so it is cool. We do get to see certain friends of ours but for the most part it’s a lot of introduction to new bands, so that’s cool too.
Who would you really like to tour with in the future, that you haven’t already toured with?
I mean honestly one of only bands we haven’t toured with that I want to is probably Bring Me The Horizon. We’ve always enjoyed that band and I was on Warped Tour in 2008 & 2010 when they were on and they killed it and I was like I really wanna tour with that band, it would be sick. Then they bring out this new record, I think it’s one of the best heavy music records since ‘Define The Great Line’ by Underoath which is my other top record so I think it’s great, I think what they’re doing is awesome, so it would be cool to tour with them.
Have you found with touring in the UK that your crowds are different over here compared to America?
Yeah, definitely. I mean one, we’re a smaller band over here, we’ve been touring and are established in the states,we’ve done massive tours. Over here we’re still growing, we’re still trying to get our name out there,so the shows are smaller but we’ve had some amazing shows over here so it is building and it just takes time. Hopefully people recognise that we give a shit about our live show and then hopefully we go away from shows with a few more fans every time.
What’s the best thing about working in the music industry?
I love recording, I think it’s like that first time when you get to try out new things and experiment and then the second half of that is getting to perform new songs live and then having those songs have a good reaction with the fans. That’s what it’s all about, your playing music not just for yourself but with the hope that all these people are going to enjoy it as well, so it’s probably that combination.
What can fans expect from your live set today, anything special?
Hopefully we’ll just put on a really energetic show, all of us are super tired today cause our bass player was in the hospital last night til like 5am, so none of us really slept, we all got like 3-4 hours of sleep. He’s gonna be okay, he almost died! He’s like deathly allergic to peanuts and he always tells every place he orders food from, “I’m allergic and I could die”, but the place just blew it off and then didn’t relay that to the cook and he just assumed that there wasn’t peanuts in something and some dumb waitress said to him that she didn’t know what he was talking about and he literally had to have like two shots and they had to work on him for 35-40mins before they could even take him to the hospital, so it was a long night.
Normally, The Word Alive is really energetic and crazy, maybe we all need to do some shots of espresso or something before, but we’ll try our best to put on the show that everyone knows that we do.
Anything else you want to say to your fans?
Just pick up our new album ‘Real’ and hopefully you’ll enjoy it.
For further information on The Word Alive, check out…
Interview by Natasha Bird.