Ignite, the burning match that comprises their older logo sums it all up: volatile hardcore punk delivered at a scorching pace. With their previous release some years ago, the Orange County outfit set out to release their latest album “A War Against You” in the beginning of 2016. And the responsibility of releasing a new album means touring the hell out of it for these guys. Luckily Europe was graced with The Persistence Tour passing by some time ago and Ignite was headlining it. Time to find out some more about the revived Ignite and their new album with bass player Brett Rasmussen.
- Congratulations with the new album called “A War Against You”. It was released last week and you just started the Persistence Tour in Europe. How are the first reactions from the fans?
So far it has been really good! A lot of the reviews in magazines and online have been really positive and the emails and messages that we have received from our fans have been really good as well. It is nice to get such positive feedback from fans and critics early on.
- “A War Against You” is the follow up to “Our Darkest Days” and almost took a decade (9 years). Zoli played in Pennywise in between the two records and the other band members also ventured off into other projects. How did you experience this slowed down process of writing and recording?
Well, to be honest the writing and recording experience was very similar to the previous album. But yes, there were a few extra years of us playing in other bands or projects that prolonged the time in between albums, but when we actually started working on the songs it was very similar. The team that we had (producer Cameron and Sergio), the same recording studio here in Orange County, the basic same line-up of the band gave the whole recording process a very comfortable feel.
- The new album is 'classic' Ignite material if I may say so, but with a touch of evolution. An even more melodic and mature sound. How did you experience this album?
I think that you really have to somewhat re-create yourself each album. I think bands sometimes make the mistake of trying to emulate a previous album exactly, instead of taking the basic DNA of who your band is and expanding on it. I think you need to surprise your listeners in a good way, instead of re-hashing something that you recorded years ago. I always love when I put a new cd on from a band that I know and hear unexpected great things in the style or flavour of what made the band great! It’s a delicate balance, but when done right it makes for great albums!
- The new album was released on Century Media, how did you end up with them?
We put out our last two releases on Century Media (“Our Darkest Days” in 2006 and “Our Darkest Days Live DVD” in 2012), so we were very familiar with the CM team and we trust them and how they work.
- One of the songs that is quite emotional is “Nothing Can Stop Me”, regarding a friend lost from cancer. Writing such personal and emotional song must be hard to perform live sometimes?
Actually the girl the song is written about is recovering. She has shown a lot of strength and determination to beat cancer and we wish her all of the best of luck in her continued fight! You can check out some details here.
- Ignite has been tied up with The Sea Shepherds since long time, since the mid-90's or so. Now the movement of Paul Watson has become quite popular with touring bands and in the hardcore scene. How do you feel about this evolution?
It’s great. Zoli was the one who brought this environmental aspect to the band back in 1994. Zoli was involved with all of these environmental organizations like Sea Shepherds, Earth First and Pacific Wildlife Project long before Ignite started. When we started working together, Zoli asked all of us in the band if it was cool that he addressed these issues on stage and with lyrics. He didn’t want to push a cause that the entire band didn’t believe in. Zoli educated us on a lot of these issues. This is something he would be involved in and supporting today even if Ignite never became a band. Pelican Rescue Team, Zoli’s non-profit organization, is the only organization in Southern California dedicated solely to the rescue of pelicans and other seabirds in distress. Zoli serves as board president, executive director, and primary rescuer.
- Machine Head covered “Our Darkest Days/Bleeding” some time ago. Must have been weird to hear them play one of your songs?
We were pleasantly surprised when we heard that Machine Head was going to cover two of our songs. I read the blog that the singer wrote about what our album meant to him and it was a really cool thing to hear them play those songs on a record and to hear them play the songs live too. I think one of the biggest compliments somebody can give you is to cover one of your songs. Then we heard the 10” from them and we were blown away. Very cool!
- Dee Snider of Twisted Sister is supportive to the new album. He gave it much praise on YouTube. Was Twisted Sister and Dee an influence to you?
Dee Snider has been a big supporter of Ignite for years now and we are humbled that he likes our music so much, it’s very cool. We grew up in the 80’s so we watched Twisted Sister on MTV like most other kids did at that time. But the coolest thing that Dee has done, in our eyes, is when he went in front of a Senate hearing in 1985 to stand up for the first amendment and our right to free speech in America. That was awesome!
- The vinyl release of “A War Against You” holds like ten colours or so. Are you aiming on the collectors or just loved to have so many options?
We had a bunch of the distributors asking for exclusive vinyl colours, that’s the main reason why there are so many colours. We picked one colour (green) that we sell on the road and the rest of them are done at the request of different distribution places. Good luck!
- Any last words?
Thanks for all the support, hopefully we will be getting out and touring a lot of different and new places on the album!