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As Cities Burn (Reunion Interview) - 12.15.11

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As Cities Burn (Reunion Interview) - 12.15.11I've know the guys in As Cities Burn for some years now, knowing Colin Kimble even before they were a band. This past weekend they got together one more time to perform their first album, Son, I Loved You At Your Darkest, again for a reunion set and possibly, but not hopefully the final time the guys will ever get back together. We all piled in TJ Bonnette's car and talked about the days leading up to the show and a little bit of looking back on the record.

How many days ago did you guys start practicing?

Everyone: Tuesday.

How did it feel?

Colin Kimble: Technically Wednesday. Aaron and Cody did a short Tuesday practice…

Cody Bonnette: And Aaron sucked at the drums. [Laughs] You said that.

Aaron Lunsford: Yeah. We were playing the first song…

Cody Bonnette:
It was like you were in a pool of molasses.

Lunsford:
Yeah, it was really weird.

Cody Bonnette: Wednesday, whenever we were a full band with Colin and Chris, when we started playing I was like, "Holy crap! This sounds awesome." Then we messed up a minute into the song. But the first minute sounded awesome.

Kimble: Everyone thought I was going to suck because I was the least talented musician. I proved them wrong.

How natural did it feel to be in that room and play those songs again?

Lunsford: It didn't feel natural at all. That was the problem. It didn't feel natural. It was also 15 degrees in that room.

Cody Bonnette: I thought it was going to feel different because it had been so long since we played those songs. It feels better, because Aaron is so much better at playing the drums.

Lunsford: I play a lot different now, and that's why it felt unnatural too. [On] that record I wasn't any good at drums. Now that I'm better at drums, it's hard to go back and play bad drums. [Laughs]

Kimble: To me it was totally natural [Everyone laughs] I've never played with any other dudes. I was worried I wasn't going to be good or it was going to be difficult, but it felt like band practice again. Overall, I think we hopped back into it pretty well. We had some things to iron out, but we're all pretty excited.

Why now? Why this record?

Lunsford: I think Colin said it well earlier to a kid who asked that same question.

Kimble: I said money. Because we're all still good friends. The whole thing has been, "Is the time right? Is the venue right?" Meaning the city. "Is it a city we've had fun in before?" Finance is huge. We all live in different cites now. It's a huge logistical nightmare to get us all in one place. TJ has a kid. I have two kids. We're all married, except for Chris. It would involve flights, hotels, food, shuttle. We all have real jobs now. TJ and I have real jobs. Cody is in school. Aaron is working for a record label. Chris is also in school and a teacher. Financially for me to take a week off work and fly my family in and do that whole thing - the guy Mike Ziemer, flew us out….

[now there's an argument and laughter over how real Aaron's job is.]

Kimble: I think logistically, the money was right. Equipment was a big thing. That kind of came together.

Cody Bonnette: I like that we didn't plan this ourselves. Someone else put this together. It would be hard to try to get everyone together on our own. I like how it was just an opportunity just presented to us and we said "Yes."

TJ Bonnette: I'm sure all of us, at least myself, has had it in the back of our heads to get together and play again. Like Cody said, whenever Aaron called me and said [Ziemer} had an opportunity for us and we had well enough time to prepare for it.

As a fan, a writer, critic, I see that stigmatism of the first record, that nostalgia - though now I hear people rave equally on Come Now Sleep and Hell or High Water - and some people say, "Oh, they'll never do a heavy record again." What are your thoughts on having a record like that, and especially you Cody, from my perspective, doing something even better toward the end. Now you're doing Hawkboy with Aaron and continuing writing.

Cody Bonnette: I don't really like Hawkboy that much. [Laughs] It's like the most naked music. It's like hanging out with that one friend, instead of hanging out with a bunch of friends. That one friend is good, but there's no other friends to talk to really. Hawkboy aside, I think it was really cool that we don't have a constant sound. Every CD has a different sound. It was just an effect of us hanging out with a certain crowd. We had friends in hardcore bands. We played shows with hardcore bands. We went on tour with these heavy bands. It kind of influenced us. We listened to punk rock and Further Seems Forever and stuff like that. We listened to hardcore some, but it wasn't our favorite kind of music. It was kind of weird that we played heavy music. It's a certain kind of energy that we channeled at the time that came out really cool.

What do you think about the record and how well its stood up at this point? What about it do you think resonates still now?


Cody Bonnette: The lyrics are so dramatic. They're meaningful and heartfelt and I meant them at the time. It's just [pause] I don't know. Is it begging for someone to like it?

Chris Lott: As a fan, it was my favorite CD before joining the band. It was abrasive but also sensitive. It had [that marriage] that I hadn't heard before. I could understand it and decode. I was into more aggressive music. No one was talking about the things that I felt, that I believed in. It was good to hear that and it really resonated with me.

Kimble: I think it's cool, especially a day like today where you're listening to a lot of heavy music. I think we went about heavy our own way. It was heavy, but it was also melodic. We didn't ever do a proper open D breakdown. We mixed it up with stuff and did other things. We got pigeonholed in the heavy scene for a while, which is why we ended up changing our sound.

What do you think about where this music has kind of shifted since that record? For some of us, it seems stagnant.


Lunsford: I mean with heavy music, we don't even know. Like Cody was saying, we don't even follow it. We didn't really follow it back then too much, except that we toured with those bands.

TJ Bonnette: The only one I sort of followed was I would hear something about Underoath every once and a while. I would hear something about Norma Jean. I just listen to Kanye West. [Laughs]

Lunsford: I don't know if we have a lot to say about the scene or whatever. I know a lot of what I heard is really bad. I don't know if that's us being old and saying it was better back in 2005. I know Solid State was better back in 2005.

Kimble: I think too many people are just doing what other people think is cool. Especially in hardcore where it's just testosterone based. Seeing people in the pit today. There's a couple of guys who think what they're doing is cool and people around thinking what they are doing is cool. Heavy music kind of follows that. Who can chug? Who can headbang? There's not a lot of room for originality. When it does happen, those bands tend to stand out for better or for worse. The Chariot, God bless them that they're still doing their thing.

Working for a site like Absolutepunk, when this record is brought up, people talk about how important of a record it is for them.


Cody Bonnette: People say some nice stuff about us on Absolutepunk. That's awesome

Lunsford:
Yeah, [you guys] have always been kind to us.

We all like records like Further Seems Forever's The Moon is Down and the older Tooth and Nail albums. One of the things I've been harboring on lately is "What is longevity?" What do you think if this record sort of went down as something like that?


TJ Bonnette: That'd be cool.

Kimble: I live in Salt Lake City now. I don't normally go to shows. Every once and a while I'll go to a show. I went and saw Maylene and Oh Sleeper. It's cool to have kids come up. I'm not from there. I don't have friends from there. When kids come up and say, "Are you in As Cities Burn? That record changed my life." It's cool to have kids come up and say that. It's cool to be a little pin dot in people's history. That's cool.

2010-2011 has seen its share of big reunions and what-not…


Cody Bonnette: Break-ups man! Thursday!

We don't need to bring up horrible news here Cody. [Laughs] It's great to see bands we grew up with do new material. Further Seems Forever are writing a new record with Chris. Do you think we could see a new record ever from As Cities Burn?

Cody Bonnette: Definitely not.

Do you feel the moment has been lived?

Cody Bonnette: I would love to say, "Yeah, let's do it." I don't want anybody to know that we're even thinking about it until we have five awesome songs. We have nothing. We have a good line-up, but we have nothing. It's just a matter of planning.

Kimble: Yeah, it would have to work out perfectly.

Cody Bonnette: I would have to just sit at home like I used to and work with a four track and make guitar parts up and show the guys later. It's not out of the question.

TJ Bonnette: I want to do another record.

Lott: I mean, as far as touring, I don't think that'll happen right now.

Lunsford:
It would be fun.

[Silence]

Kimble: We'll do it Adam! You convinced us! [Everyone laughs] I think, like this show, we've tossed around ideas and nothing has been set in stone. We talked about it well after TJ was out of the band. We talked about stuff like that, we're finally doing it today. It's not out of the question.

Cody Bonnette: It would be cool because we're so far removed from that style of music again. We could go into it and say, "Well, we could do our first CD better, you know? What if we did it better?" That fascinates me to make me want to try. If you have the platform, why not use it?

What are your final thoughts approaching the stage in a couple of hours?

Cody Bonnette: I want to remember it.

Kimble: That's it.

TJ Bonnette: I just don't want to throw up.

Lunsford: TJ hasn't eaten today.

Kimble: You get jaded being on the road. You just want to play a show and get to the next town. Cody said it perfectly, I just want to cherish every moment of this. Unfortunately there's a barricade 10 ft deep out. Ideally I'd like kids to be on the stage and close up to the stage, so I'll be fighting that gap.
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 23
11:42 AM on 12/15/11
#2
pleasedontpanic
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Please ACB, for the love of God, play Come Now Sleep from front to back and put out another record.
11:55 AM on 12/15/11
#3
Calvin Lauber
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Just put out another record. I don't even care what it sounds like.. just please do it.
11:58 AM on 12/15/11
#4
Facemelter42
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Please ACB, for the love of God, play Come Now Sleep from front to back and put out another record.
this. And I wouldn't be opposed to a Hell or High Water reunion show either.
11:58 AM on 12/15/11
#5
kemichels
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I second the above opinion about CNS. One of my favorite albums of all time.
12:06 PM on 12/15/11
#6
ParkwayTom
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Please ACB, for the love of God, play Come Now Sleep from front to back and put out another record.

This.
12:40 PM on 12/15/11
#7
Samprattsap
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Is it just me or did they all really seem to like the idea of making another record? That would be so cool, even if they didn't tour.
01:47 PM on 12/15/11
#8
D' Evils
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ending surprised me.. they should screw with people like that lol..
02:13 PM on 12/15/11
#9
Tele72
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Kind of surprised to hear Cody doesn't like Hawkboy. I personally love it but would be completely open to new ACB:)
02:14 PM on 12/15/11
Tele72
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Oh, and again, Come Now Sleep tour.
02:17 PM on 12/15/11
Sheluligans
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Cody Bonnette: It would be cool because we're so far removed from that style of music again. We could go into it and say, "Well, we could do our first CD better, you know? What if we did it better?" That fascinates me to make me want to try. If you have the platform, why not use it?

That sounds so awesome. MAKE IT HAPPEN.
02:36 PM on 12/15/11
awakeohsleeper
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What a great interview. Would love a new album. Each of their three full lengths are incredible.
03:10 PM on 12/15/11
drudo182
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These guys are awesome. Hawkboy is awesome. Anything they put out is probably going to be great.
04:26 PM on 12/15/11
inthemidst
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Oh man, a new record would make my year. Love this band. Wasn't a big fan of Hell or Highwater, but their first two full-lengths captivated my soul.
05:46 PM on 12/15/11
dan sings
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Do you think we could see a new record ever from As Cities Burn?

Cody Bonnette:
Definitely not.
I would love to say, "Yeah, let's do it."
I don't want blah blah blah blah etc negativity blah blah blah blahhh.

TJ Bonnette:
I want to do another record.

[me]
YES. THANK YOU TJ !

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