Writing We Came As Romans‘ first new songs since the death of vocalist Kyle Pavone 13 months ago was “really challenging” for guitarist Joshua Moore. And rest assured, that’s an understatement.
The Detroit quintet has just released a pair of tracks “Carry the Weight” and “From the First Note,” both of which were inspired by Pavone’s passing. “It was kind of hard taking all of that grief and depression, that sadness dealing with losing Kyle and trying to turn it into something that is poetic and artistic and that people want to listen to,” Moore tells Billboard. “A lot of comments online will say, ‘Oh, I’m glad the band is moving on,’ and I always try to correct them and say ‘we’re moving forward, there’s never going to be a moving on.’
“We’re never going to forget that this happened and we’ll never forget that a huge reason we’re here and the entire journey to get here was with Kyle. But I think there’s a bit of acknowledgement that we can move forward.”
The two new WCAR tracks, also the band’s first new material in two years, come from different ends of the mourning spectrum, according to Moore. “Carry the Weight” came from the experience of going back on the road, opening for Bullet For My Valentine, just a month after Pavone’s death. “That was one of the worst months of my life,” Moor says. “(Touring) was just as bad as being at home, ’cause we’re on stage doing the same thing we did with him every night, and it’s all different. None of it was fun for me. I was on stage crying in front of a bunch of fans who knew what I was going through but…it wasn’t therapeutic or anything. All those feelings and what that song in general is about is not something I ever want to revisit or dwell on.”
“From the First Note,” meanwhile, is somewhat more upbeat. Moore came up with some of the music during July of 2018 and stashed it away. Bringing it out during late winter he sought out Drew Fulk, whom Moore had worked with before, and Ryan Leitru of For Today to help finish the track as a more straightforward memorial for Pavone. “A lot of that song, to me at least, is just, like, in his memory, trying to honor him,” Moore explains.
Produced by regular collaborator Nick Sampson, the two new tracks are the first step towards WCAR’s sixth studio album, though Moore acknowledges that writing them “was just so draining to me I kinda put music writing on pause.” He plans to resume after WCAR’s upcoming tour — with Motionless in White, After the Burial and Twiztid — wraps during late October, and the guitarist promises that, “There’s definitely progress on the next record. We actually have, musically, a good handful of other songs written. I could’ve probably kept on writing music, but why force it? It’s not like we’re in a rush to put a CD out at this point. We know that we’re gonna do it and it’ll get done and we’ll make it the best we can. But there’s no need to write it as fast as we can just to do it.” And while Pavone will remain top of mind Moore is looking forward to bringing other topics into the mix.
“We don’t want to write an entire CD dwelling in the sadness and depression of losing your best friend or your brother,” Moore notes. “There’s a lot of great things that are happening as well. Our singer Dave (Stephens) just got married. Our other guitar player Louie (Cotton) is about to get married. So the grief and sadness isn’t the only thing in our life, or in anyone’s life. It’s just about, for me, how to talk about it. In the end it’ll be the same as any other We Came As Romans album, where we just kind of write about our lives and what we went through and how we made it through.”
We Came As Romans’ upcoming tour dates include:
10/2 — Birmingham, AL — Iron City
10/3 — Destin, FL — Club LA
10/5 — Tyler, TX — Clicks
10/6 — Oklahoma City, OK — Diamond Ballroom
10/7 – Lubbock, TX – Jakes (Headlining)
10/8 — Albuquerque, NM — El Rey
10/9 — Las Vegas, NV — House of Blues
10/10 – Anaheim, CA – Chain Reaction*
10/11 — Fresno, CA – Strummers*
10/13 — Tucson, AZ — Encore
10/15 — San Antonio, TX — Vibes Event Center
10/16 – Fort Worth, TX – Tomcats West
10/17 — Columbia, MO — Blue Note
10/18 — Belvidere, IL — The Apollo Theater
10/20 — Indianapolis, IN — Egyptian Room at Old National Centre
11/9 – Lake Park, FL — The Kelsey Theatre**