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Exclusive Studio Q&A With A Plea for Purging Vocalist Andy Atkins

Taylor Foiles

Nashville-based Christian metal monsters A Plea for Purging are gearing up for a trip to the studio to record their next album for Facedown Records, so vocalist Andy Atkins checked in with Noisecreep to give us the scoop on the writing process, which saw the band taking their first summer off the road in ages.

In addition to writing, the band are revving up motorcycles, cruising the streets of Music City for inspiration and getting to work on their band as a business.

How deep are you into the writing process?

We have been in the writing process for this record for a few months now. After five years of touring relentlessly, we decided to take our first summer off the road since we were a band. With that extra time at home, we took the opportunity to get a head start on writing the record. Later today after I finish this interview, I will be heading over to our drummer Aaron’s to track vocals for what is most likely the final two songs written for the record. As we normally write just enough songs needed to fill an album, we have written and demoed out more than enough songs to possibly pick and choose the best of the lot.

When do you think you will record?
On July 31st, we will hop in our van, which just hit over 300,000 miles, and head to Bay City, Michigan to record with Josh Schroeder at Random Awesome! Studios. We will be there for about five weeks tracking the record.

What’s your headspace like? Do you hole up from the rest of the world and write your faces off or…?
Writing this record has been unlike any previous writing ventures in our band. For the last three records, we left home and found a secluded place to be away from friends, family, and society. We felt in the past that doing so would keep our minds “on the prize” and keep us from slacking. It really did help.

Our last two records were written with a breeze and felt like the songs came out strong but in all honesty, those three month long “getaways” from the outside world are just so very boring. We didn’t want to go lock ourselves up in a basement all summer and not get to spend time with our friends and family.

With all that being said, we have been spending the summer hanging, BBQing, and riding motorcycles. The music is coming along nicely and isn’t a constant nagging “job” that we have to do but a fulfilling pass time during our downtime from massive summer parties! I spend most of my days cruising the highways and streets of Nashville. It’s a great time for reflection and I get much inspiration from it.

Watch ‘Retribution’ from A Plea for Purging’

At this point in A Plea for Purging’s career, how are you approaching this record?
Though we are a very small band and some of your readers may have never heard of us before, we are not new to all of this. We have been touring and putting out records as Plea for five years and some of us have been touring for up to 10 years. We are old men in a game of teenagers. When we first started out as individual musicians, we all wanted one thing, to tour the world with our best friends, meeting new people, and seeing new places.

Once you accomplish all that, your goals start to change and grow larger with every album released. You are always hoping for better numbers, more scans, more fans and more MONEY. You may have heard the “We don’t care about money speech” from stage a number of times but in the end the fact is every band wants to succeed financially.

With every record you write, you have the mindset that maybe this is the one, the one that breaks us out to a larger audience. You pay attention to your song writing as if it were a product instead of art and there lies the corruption. We have been full circle in the path I just mentioned. At this point in our career we are right back where we started. We want to write songs we enjoy and that have passion and we hope that people connect to those songs at some level.

Any overarching themes or concepts informing the music or the album?
With the last two records we set out to write about specific topics formulating what came to be “concept albums.” This record is not so much a concise thought as the last two were. I have been pretty free to write about any and everything I please which is a bit freeing really. I have no mold to fit lyrically. It is a proverbial roller coaster of the human gamut.

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