Christian metal band As Cities Burn is back for a reunion tour of their groundbreaking album, Son, I Loved You At Your Darkest, and former lead singer T.J. Bonnette is back behind the microphone to scream his lungs out. BREATHEcast had the opportunity to speak to bass player Colin Kimble about the tour, their new single, and the nostalgia of his best years.
As Cities Burn has been in and out of the scope of music for the last several years, but their album in 2005 remains as relevant as ever. Most fans of the band cite Son, I Loved You At Your Darkest as their favorite album, and the band does not necessarily disagree.
"We had this dream at the very beginning...we put so much time and effort into playing shows for nobody and writing tons of music. We put out tons of EP's. Just to try to do this thing we were passionate about and believed in," Kimble said.
As they were recording those early EP's they finally caught the eye of Tooth & Nail Records and signed a deal, and from there is where the story really begins. Their popularity took off, and they began touring all over.
"To have people still care is just this huge payoff to this crazy amount of work...missing relatives, missing weddings, missing all the stuff at home just to ride around in a van with no air conditioning to just grind it out," said Kimble. "It all just seems to remain worth it that people care."
He continued, "There's just this tremendous satisfaction that people cared about what we just tried to produce."
Kimble thinks that the first record has such lasting power because it was by far the most successful, and that was "the fruition of all the work that we did." It was well received and the high point for the band. "It was this moment where we were able to release what we had been working for, for so long."
As Cities Burn has two other records under their belt after lead vocalist T.J. left and his brother Cody took over. Those records, while great, seem to be overshadowed by their first. Interestingly enough, Kimble is not frustrated by this, and is rather grateful just to have that chance because it gave them opportunities they would never have had otherwise.
He noted that no one forced them to come together and play their first album on this tour. It was their idea to get together and do this. "I don't think anyone resents the idea of the heavy record being at the forefront. We get it," he revealed.
With the tour kicking up soon, As Cities Burn decided to appease their hungry for music fans with a new track, "Prince of Planet Earth." The special part about the song is it features original vocalist T.J.
Kimble said the new song was written by Aaron Lundsford (drums) and Cody because they are still active musicians. They have a practice place in Nashville where they fleshed out the song, and T.J. is pretty close by in Mississippi so he was able to do the vocals.
"We wanted something fresh, you go out and play the same old songs, we still love those songs, but it's also very cool to be able to create again and have something new that people haven't heard."
He said the best part of the band is that they always put out music that doesn't sound like the rest of their work so fans get confused. Kimble admitted that while some don't get it, others understand what new things they are trying to do. "If you set out with an expectation of what we're going to put out, nine times out of ten, you're going to be let down because it's not going to be what you expect," he said with a laugh.
As far as new songs for the band, releases will probably be far and few between. It won't be a regular thing, but as stated, Lundsford and Cody are full time musicians and are always putting out music.
"Under the banner of As Cities Burn, we're pretty picky on what's gonna be released...Musically we do whatever, but when you put something out, you're putting it under what the five of us created," said the bassist. "So you gotta be careful on how you represent each member."
As Cities Burn's tour starts on July 31, and hits nine stops in 10 days mostly on the west coast. It kicks off in New Orleans, moves through Texas, and then finishes in California. The tour is short and sweet and it's not because they don't want to keep playing, it is because their personal lives now have limitations.
For Kimble and T.J. it is tough to get away because they work in "corporate America" and Colin has his fourth child on the way. Their priorities have shifted, and the role of being family men has come to the forefront.
The reason the tour is limited to mostly the west coast is because they have played many shows on the east coast in the past as well as a few reunion shows already. They had not been out that way in a longtime and were trying to think of ways to use their nine days the wisest especially since they'll be driving. Also, the trip is not necessarily birthed out of financial purposes but they are aiming to get the most bang for their buck as far as covering the cost of tour bus, travel, equipment, missed work, and so on.
As Cities Burn will be doing the mini tour with the guys in Emery, Listener, and Foreign Sons. Emery and ACB are long time friends for almost the entirety of their careers. Kimble said they have always connected well together, "It's so fun to go out with someone familiar and you go out on these 60 day runs...there's always this buffer time where you get to meet a band, and you get used to them and you're best friends by the end...Like a big family reunion."
Be sure to check back in with BREATHEcast tomorrow to read part of our interview with Colin Kimble of As Cities Burn where he discusses the band's faith, technology, and touring.
For tickets, and added tour dates, check out the band's latest post.
NEW SHOWS! We will be performing songs from 'Come Now Sleep' and 'Hell or High Water' for the following tour dates:
"8/11 - Salt Lake City, UT @ In The Venue
8/12 - Denver, CO @ The Marquis Theater
8/13 - Lawrence, KS @ Jackpot
8/14 - Little Rock, AR @ Revolution Music Room
Tickets on sale 7/10. Ascitiesburn.net will have links for tickets.