You’ve always referenced other songs in your lyrics, and you’ve done the same thing in From The First Note, haven’t you?
“Yes. It’s a reference to our song To Plant A Seed [the title track from their debut album]. It’s what started our entire career. We were just kids, playing shows to 70 people, getting paid $70 a night. That song and that record propelled us into this world we’re in now. In that song, Kyle sang the words, ‘My future started with the first note I ever played / The first note that was ever sang’, which was our way of saying it was meant to be, because we always wanted to be in a band, connecting with people through music.
“In From The First Note, we go back to that. We have Dave [Stephens, vocals] sing, ‘All the words you sang / We sing the back to you / From the first note’. We actually took Kyle’s vocal stem from the first song and put it into the song, so Kyle’s voice is in there. Even though he’s not here with us now, we’re still all in it together, pushing forward. And then, in the second verse, Dave sings, ‘I wanna go back, just to say, to tell you / That your home is in my heart and you’ll always live in us’, which is a throwback to Tracing Back Roots, our third record. The title track on that album was about how we connect with fans and how they make all of the sacrifice worthwhile. I wanted to throw as many references in as possible, to connect everything together.”
From The First Note also features the lyric ‘I can’t replace you’. Did you ever discuss having another vocalist step in?
“There was just no way it was going to happen. Not only could we not consider it because of all the pain we were going through, but in order to celebrate Kyle’s memory and legacy with our music, we had to have the rest of the band pulling together to go forward. It was about making the best of our situation.”
Carry The Weight is a much heavier proposition, lyrically speaking…
“Carry The Weight is about being on that tour with Bullet For My Valentine, and how much we were going through at the time. It’s evident in the lyrics: ‘Carry the weight, broken and chained / All of my suffering on display’. It was no secret what we were going through, and everyone was seeing us going through it, right up on stage. I don’t think I could have written those lyrics the way I did if it wasn’t for that experience, of not being able to get out of my bed until 6pm every day. It felt like the most vulnerable time. That’s why Dave screams, ‘Grief, an open wound never healing’.”
And there’s a connection between the two songs, isn’t there?
“At the end of Carry The Weight, Dave sings, ‘In our darkest days, we will find your light’, which is about trying to find happiness in our memories of Kyle. In the chorus of From The First Note, Dave sings, ‘Every way you changed me still shines through / You’re the light that I follow home’, so that’s acknowledging that light is in the memory of Kyle, and this thing we created together.”