Monday, September 30, 2019

Blessthefall & Escape The Fate Islander, One Life To Lead

Doors | 6:00 pm // Show | 6:45 pm


Our actions ripple over time. It can take months or even years to feel the impact of the choices we make. These days, the aftershocks of blessthefall’s music reverberate louder than ever before. Following a decade-plus highlighted by fan favorite albums and countless sold out shows, the Arizona quartet— Beau Bokan [vocals], Eric Lambert [guitar], Jared Warth [bass], and Elliott Gruenberg [guitar]—have only fortified an unbreakable connection with audiences worldwide. 

Returning from a four-year period of dormancy, they strengthen this bond like never before with a series of singles for Rise Records and their forthcoming seventh full-length LP.

“On social media, I don’t post anything about the band, but I will see fans talking about us,” notes Beau. “It’s been years, and it blows me away that they’re still interested and they’ve been influenced by our music in a positive way. So, our comeback is for them.”

blessthefall’s music has continued to resonate. The group notched back-to-back Top 25 debuts on the Billboard 200 with Hollow Bodies [2013] and To Those Left Behind [2015], while 2018’s Hard Feelings marked their third straight Top 5 bow on the Top Alternative Albums Chart. With the latter, Unclear claimed the band “may have struck serious gold, while Alternative Press applauded how “blessthefall blend old-school vibes and a fresh new sound. Speaking to their enduring legacy, they’ve racked up hundreds of millions of streams with “Hey Baby, Here’s That Song You Wanted” at 33.8 million Spotify streams followed by “Hollow Bodies” at 26.2 million Spotify streams in addition to landing syncs in franchises such as Splinter Cell. 

In the wake of a successful 10-year anniversary tour to celebrate Witness in 2019, blessthefall went quiet for the next two years. Between the Global Pandemic and various other gigs, the members still kept the lines of communication open.

“We had just burnt out to a degree,” admits Beau. “We took some time off, stepped away, and started chatting. We’d always kept in touch, but it got to a point where we really missed what we had. We were watching the younger generation take an interest in our band and other groups we came up with, which was cool to see. If you’re passionate about anything, you can’t totally give it up—you’ve got to do it in some fashion. There were multiple things at play, and we finally began writing again.”

As the musicians kicked around ideas, the first single “Wake The Dead” materialized. It steamrolls out of the gate with a pummeling riff, battering ram drums, and ominous electronics. Beau’s screams bleed into a bold refrain, “What will you do when your world stops turning? Do you really want to wake the dead?”

“I love how it kicks in and melts your face off from the get-go,” he smiles. “It’s the general mood of our comeback. There’s no fucking around and we’re having a good time. We’ve been sleeping for five years since we put out new music. ‘Wake The Dead’ conveys the message, ‘Hey, we’re back with a vengeance’. We recaptured the energy of the band, and it reflects how we are on stage—all energy.”

In the end, blessthefall’s energy will never relent as they ignite this chapter.

“We’ve seen life after the band, and we’re coming back to it because we miss it and love it,” he leaves off. “I never took this for granted. The band gave me an opportunity to live my dream. Making music is something special. You can’t get that feeling doing anything else.”


Islander understands that complacency is the deadly enemy of progress. The South Carolina band — Mikey Carvajal, Chris Carvajal, and Erik Shea — refuses to grow stagnant with time by challenging themselves to evolve continually. No two singles are alike, yet the group finds a way to make the combination of their vast influences work together in a manner unlike anyone else. You cannot call what Islander does rock or rap or even nu-metal. They make music that moves people, plain and simple, and that’s all they want to do.

“We’re a very intimate band in that I want to be there and hear people’s stories,” says Mikey Carvajal. I’m not in this to be a rockstar. If that were ever the case, and it were about money or fame, I just wouldn’t do it. I’m only here because I genuinely love people, and I want to see them do good in their lives. I want us to continue to spread love, hopefully on a higher level than before.”

Now, almost a decade into a career built with that mission in mind, Islander continues to grow a global fanbase while touring with the likes of Korn, Stone Sour, Babymetal, Papa Roach, P.O.D., I Prevail, and many others. The band writes from a place of love and empathy channeled into raucous music that can incite mosh pits and comfort those who feel alone. It’s a delicate balance between chaos and focused effort that only Islander can perfect, and it’s because of that combination that the group remains one of the most versatile names in entertainment today.

“If you speak about real things, they will remain relevant,” says Carvajal. “We all have skin and bones and blood. We’re all human beings trying to make it in this world. The most important thing is being there for people, and our music allows us to do that.”

Islander is creating a space for listeners to process the madness of today and find hope for a better tomorrow.