If you’ve been following Senses Fail over the course of its seven full length albums, you don’t need reminding what frontman James "Buddy" Nielsen has been through. If you remember the New Jersey-bred post-hardcore band from the early 2000s emo boom and nothing since, you’re in for some catching up, as well as a come-to-Jesus-moment on what went on in those formative years.
As Senses Fail readies its seventh studio album and subsequent tour, Nielsen is well aware plenty of kids will be coming to those shows just to sing along to tracks from 2004’s Let It Enfold You and 2006’s Can’t Be Saved -- the hooky hardcore records that pushed the band to the brink of mainstream exposure and contain cringe-worthy lyrics he refuses to sing today, "overtly misogynistic things," he says. “Those two records were written when I was 18 and 19, so I was extremely young, but that’s not an excuse.” Nielsen’s struggle is twofold: get post-college fans to connect with new songs the same way they did as teens, while carrying with him the gut-wrenching memories of a blur of years he’d do anything to avoid reliving.
In Nov. 2014, Nielsen opened up about the prior decade. He'd struggled with panic attacks since early childhood, stemming from a traumatic experience he can't fully remember. Once Senses Fail began touring constantly, the attacks (alongside general anxiety and depression) pushed him towards a lifestyle of constant drinking, band management pushing him onward.