As I'm sure you can probably guess, I have to start out by asking you about Jimmy Ryan and his departure from the band. Can you describe to UnRated readers some of the reasons why he left Haste The Day?
Well, first of all, I must say Jimmy left haste the day on very good terms. Jimmy left Haste The Day mainly to get married. He felt that he needed to be with his new wife. Myself and the rest of the guys completely understand and respect that. He was ready to move on.
Are we going to see a DVD of Jimmy Ryan's last show any time in the future?
We had a production team called Fulllock Productions come to Jimmy's last show and film it. They do a great job with this kind of stuff. So it is in the process of being edited right now, I hope it will be done soon. So yes there will be a DVD, I just don't know when.
Has his departure disrupted the band chemistry at all?
Actually, that was my biggest fear when he left. Jimmy had a great way of communicating with the crowd and just having a good time with the fans making them really feel like they were part of the show. That was something that we really wanted to make sure we had in whoever was going to replace Jimmy. So, when we asked Steven [Keech] to come to Europe with us, we were hoping and praying he had the same kind of energy and presence. I guess you will just have to come see us with Steven and see for yourself. I must say we couldn't be happier with what Steven has brought to Haste The Day.
What changes have you personally noticed with Steven Keech at the wheel?
A whole lot has changed. Jimmy was the oldest member at 27 years and Steven is the youngest at 19 years. So, that in itself has been a lot different. Steven is pretty new to the touring life and he is very excited to be doing it and that has made me really excited again. His faith and joy is contagious to me and I think to everyone around him.
What does he bring to the band that Jimmy Ryan didn't?
Wow. Well, not to discredit Jimmy, but Steven has quite an impressive range. Great highs, lows, and his singing has made the vocals even more diverse.
Going to Europe in January with a new lead singer must have been quite an experience. How was your January European tour and how was the reception from fans overseas?
Europe was the best place for us to bring a new vocalist in. It was our first time there so for the most part it was the first time they have ever seen us. So, it was great for Steven to get used to us and for us to get used to him. We are very comfortable with him. The crowds in Europe were better than I thought they would be. Great responses every night. I loved Europe so much. I got to see things I only saw in history books and on TV.
Happy to be back?
I really had the time of my life, but I am so glad to be back. Speaking English is where I am comfortable. I will look forward to going back soon.
You guys have always been known as a band that tours constantly. How did you end up on the road in Europe with The Juliana Theory?
Well Abacus Records in Germany released both ours and the Juliana Thoery's albums over in Europe. We have been trying to tour with as many different kinds of bands to play our music to a broader group of people.
Any other bands you're hoping to tour with?
We would love to tour with so many different bands. I think we would be pretty excited to go out with Slipknot or Elton John.
How has this current tour with Every Time I Die been going?
We had the pleasure of touring with Every Time I Die last year and really love and respect them. The shows have been amazing. Bleeding Through is heading this tour and they have been very kind. I am looking forward to getting to know them.
Playing off of that, how do you feel fans have received When Everything Falls?
I am amazed how well it has been received. I love that there are kids that appreciate the music we write. Obviously not everyone likes us, but that's to be expected.
In your opinion, describe the major differences between Burning Bridges and When Everything Falls.
Maturity. We matured as musicians and as vocalists. There is a lot more meaning behind the songs and there is more of a structure to the songs so you can follow them better and sing along. It will get stuck in your head.
Metalcore is hot right now and there are so many bands out there. Tell me what sets Haste the Day apart.
Our songs have diversity to them with lots of singing and beautiful choruses but still very heavy. Our influences range from classic rock bands to modern metal and it shows. Pick up our CD and check it out for yourself.
Being that we are at the House of Blues, this seems like a great question to end with. What song do you and/or the rest of the band enjoy playing most live?
I think as a band our favorite song to play is "When Everything Falls." It has the most meaning to me. It is a song about standing strong when it is the hardest thing to do. For me it is standing for my faith. It is a powerful song.
Interview by Tim Hargesheimer