There are bands like these that you don’t know what to expect and you discover with surprise. One of them was Four Year Strong. From the first songs I told myself that I had to present them to you but also their new album! Alan Day, singer and guitarist of the band answers some of our questions about their new album and the band.

Good morning, how are you ? Your new album Brain Pain came out February 28th, how do you feel about that? How was the first reactions from your fans?

I’m really excited about the release of Brain Pain. Its my favorite album we’ve ever made, but obviously I’m biased. The reaction from fans has been better than we even hoped it would be.

A small question about your past, what were the influences that inspired you to create the band that you are today?

When we first started the band, I came from a pretty punk/alternative background and Dan was in a hardcore band. When we met I was just starting to get into hardcore/metal and Dan was starting to get into emo/punk stuff, so we thought of starting a band that kind of smashed the two together. It definitely started more on the emo side of things with a little bit of heavy, but as time progressed and we wrote more and more songs, the heavy side of it just worked its way in and started to play a huge role in the sound. At first people really hated it, people at the local shows didn’t really seem to get it. But it felt right to us so we kept going with it, always trying to hone it in and have it make more sense to the listener. I’m glad we stuck with our gut and it finally started to catch on 6 years later.

How do you create your songs ? Do you start with the music itself or with the lyrics ? For the lyrics, do you find a theme and do you create around this theme or do you work around a catch sentence?

We always start with the music. It usually starts with a guitar riff, and we’ll base a song around a musical “theme.” Once the vibe of the song starts to take shape, we try and write vocals that fit the feel of the song, usually starting with a basic melody. The lyrical content will usually come around by happenstance when we’re ad-libbing around a vocal melody idea, and then things start coming together. But thats just the most common scenario, we’ve written songs in a lot of different ways over the years.

I’ve seen that you didn’t want any deadline for this album and that you wanted to take your time to do it right? When and why did you say “OK that’s the moment to release it” ?

Yeah that is true, we were in NO rush to put out an album. We just wanted to make sure we were putting out the RIGHT album, no matter how long it took. I think we ended up booking studio time with Will Putney when we had a handful of songs that we knew were going to be on the album. At that point I believe we had written get out of my head, talking myself in circles, learn to love the lie, worst part about me, and a few others, so we felt like we were in a good place to start moving forward.

Except for that, did you change your way of working for this album compared to the previous one ? If yes, how ?

The biggest difference between this album and any others is how many songs we wrote. We probably had 40-50 song ideas floating around. I’ve always known the advantage of writing more songs – the more you write, the better chances of writing something great. But until brain pain we never practiced that method. On our self-titled album, we only wrote the 10 songs that are on the album, and once we finished recording them it didn’t feel like enough and we just added go down in history from our EP we put out before it on the end so it was longer. It just didn’t feel like we had put our hearts into it the way we used to, so we wanted to remedy that and work harder than we had in YEARS to write songs that felt right to us.

I’ve also seen the music video “Lean To Love The Lie” where you explained :

“It’s about being stuck in a mutually miserable relationship, but you’re both too much of a coward to leave. If you’re going to lie to yourself about being happy, you might as well learn to love it. Lets not kid ourselves…We’ve all been there”

So have you learned to love the lie in your life or were you brave enough to leave ?

That song was loosely based on real life events, but was more of a  narrative written about situations we’ve seen our friends and family in. Its such a common occurrence, and it just felt like a great theme for a song that we thought people could connect with.

You’ve announced 6 shows / festivals in Europe. Do you know if you’ll have more dates in Europe or maybe in Belgium for our readers ?

We will definitely be doing more shows in Europe on the brain pain cycle, but theres no plans currently because of the covid-19 situation. Hopefully things will get back to normal soon and everyone can safely go to shows again!

In which country (ies) do you dream to play and why ?

We’ve been fortunate to play a lot of amazing countries, and we hope to keep expanding on the territories we’re able to play. I know its not a country, but a place we’ve always wanted to play that we have not yet is Hawaii.

We leave you the last words of the interview to tell everything you want to your fans or/and to our readers.

We just want everyone to check out our new record and keep your ear to the ground for when shows start happening again. We can’t wait to be playing music for you all again!

Photo: Gavin Smith

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