With a lengthy North American tour set to kick off on May 17th, Ohio-based heavy rock/metalcore group, Convictions is going to be trekking in support of their upcoming album, Hope For The Broken (dates for which may be found below). The group’s second full-length, which carries a strong underlying message of maintaining hope in such a dark world, is due out on June 1st, via In Vogue Records and can be pre-ordered from various outlets here. We were already stoked after hearing the band’s last studio recording, but with the lead single “Voices” we wanted a deeper understanding, so we hit up vocalist Michael Felker for his take on the new tracks and meaning thereof.
01.“Exodus, The End of Us”
- This song was really fun to write. Continuations of themes, lyrics, song titles and even past members have been an ongoing Easter egg hunt we’ve been doing for years now. This opening track is basically a sequel to our first album’s intro track “The Void Remains”. Biblically, it picks up right where “The Void Remains” does and builds on the chapter of Genesis. This album revolves mainly around events that have plagued us since our previous record and we thought the dark atmosphere, building tension and plague themed lyrics was the perfect start.
- Full of anger and heart-ache, love lost is the theme here. I feel Zach “Our Drummer” really got to shine on this track. His double kick, full attack drum style is a new progression for us and really carries the song. I also remember Josh sending me guitar demos over the phone. First time I heard the weird guitar delay effect he does before the chorus, I smiled so big and knew he was on to something really special. We also got to explore new chorus melodies which we felt was single-worthy and overall this has been one of our favorite songs on this album.
03.“Voices (They Want Me Dead)”
- The first single we released off the album. We hoped this would get our fans talking about us opening up musically. Musically we thought this was a unique direction for us. Playing almost an homage to the bands that inspired us growing up This almost has an older Underoath/Anberlin guitar work here. This is also this first mention of mental health we make on the album, which plays a major theme through-out. I also want to point out our producer Nick Ingram contributed to the chorus melody. During the demo process we almost considered this song a B-side track! Funny how much can change in the studio.
- Lyrically, I wanted to focus on the negative emotions that come with fighting the people you love. Often when we fight amongst family and friends and become almost different people entirely. I thought it would be interesting to show an honest perspective on the thoughts and anger from that. We also thought it would be cool for the resolution of the song to quote scripture from “JOHN” in the bible.
05.“We Are Violence”
- This was another song the surprised us in the studio. Originally one of the first songs we wrote for the album. We had a lot of growing pains putting this song together, ironic for the lyrical content. After the demo process we thought this song might end up as a B-side track, but became one of our strongest songs yet. Vocally, I knew I wanted to write something I thought non-metal fans would find easy to grasp onto while offering a fresh spin to our sound and lyrical direction.
- “Feel Alive” will be a song difficult emotionally to perform, if ever played live. Dealing with the loss of a close friend, or in this case a family member, can be one of the hardest things to endure in life. To add on top of that is knowing they struggled and failed from an addiction. Lyrically, we wanted this to be a raw and real perspective from the person who experienced this firsthand. We meet so many people on the road who are going through the loss of a loved one. We hope we can connect with them through our personal experience.
- Claiming Christianity in this music scene has come with a lot of mixed energy. Both Good and Bad, but unfortunately the bad can be downright heartbreaking. We are completely confident in our mission and faith, but a lot of the time we feel like we have to intervene in our scene. Speak to people like we believe Jesus would. At eye level, with dignity and respect. For a lot of people the “Christian community” has hurt, Judged and banished them. To be blunt, this hasn’t sat well with us. This song is our response to this group of “False Witnesses”.
08.“The Storm Will Pass (feat. Chris Roetter)”
- Chris Roetter of Like Moths To Flames is our freaking dude! Seriously, we owe them so much gratitude for bringing us out on tour back when no one really knew about us. We knew he would complement this song well. The lyrical-content dealing with mental struggles with depression and suicide, but having a positive resolution we thought would have a powerful impact.
Watch the band’s video for the single “Voices” here.
- Spiritually, we wanted to write about our honest struggle with sin. So many Christian artists strictly write about the how great life is and how perfect everything is. We want to bring something new, show the real struggle going back and forth from old ways to anew. Funny tidbit we called this song our “Limp Bizkit” demo because we wanted to give it a bouncy nu-metal vibe.
10.“To Sleep Is To Feel (feat. Jt Woodruff)”
- This is by far our most upbeat song to-date. A lot of older musical influences came into the writing. Inspired by the not so distant emo-rock era. JT from Hawthorne Heights was the strongest choice for us. While on tour we like to sponge up literally as much information on the industry and growing as a band as we can. For whatever reason, while touring with Hawthorne, JT began to take interest in us after our constant questioning. We’ve since developed a strong friendship over the past year. Even though he loves to give us a hard time constantly we love him and this song. We also got inspired by the scripture “Matthew 11:28”.
- The instrumental that almost never happened! One night in the studio, we had a surprise visit from our former rhythm guitarist Justin McGough. I had gotten the idea to have him do some type of feature on the new record since we had our ex-vocalist on our last record. Thought it would be cool to start some type of tradition. Nearly the whole record had been laid out already, so we decided to give him the reigns to do whatever he wants on a standalone instrumental. This guy seriously has so much talent and understands the DNA, if you will, of this band. I feel the song has almost a sad but beautiful energy to it. The word REVERIE by definition means: an instrumental piece suggesting a dreamy or musing state. Also “reverie” is ironically the name of Justin’s new band. Slightly eerie how everything lined up for this one.
12.“Never Wanted it this Way”
- This was another one of the first songs we wrote for the album. Mid-2016 Josh would be tracking guitar on his phone huddled over in the back of our van. This song also took a few different routes along the way but the content stayed the same. A desperate and venerable heartbreak.
13.“Hope for the Broken”
- Our final track for the album is strictly worship. Looking over the album and all the struggles we’ve faced, we still lay our woes on him. The lyric “Even when I feel my furthest, In the Darkness I will still worship” is, in my opinion, what we want to portray through these songs. The strength in being venerable and the faith we’ve found along the way.
Convictions Tour Dates:
05/17 - Corpus Christi, TX @ House of Rock
05/18 - Mcallen, TX @ Yerberia Cultura
05/19 - Tyler, TX @ Clicks Live
05/20 - Sean Leon, TX @ 18th St Pier, Bar & Grill San Leon, Texas
05/23 - New Orleans, LA @ Southport Hall Live Music & Party Hall
05/24 - Spartanburg, SC @ GroundZero
05/25 - Virginia Beach, VA @ Shaka's Live
05/26 - Reading, PA @ Kohl Fest @ Reverb
05/27 - Stanhope, NJ @ The Stanhope House
05/29 - Amityville, NY @ Revolution Bar & Music Hall
05/30 - Providence, RI @ Alchemy
05/31 - Syracuse, NY @ THE LOST HORIZON
06/01 - Toronto, ON @ Hard Luck Bar
06/02 - Cincinnati, OH @ The Venue
06/03 - Toledo, OH @ Civic Music Hall
06/05 - Iowa City, IA @ Gabe's Iowa City
06/06 - Omaha, NE @ The Waiting Room Lounge
06/08 - Merriam, KS @ Aftershocklive Musicvenue
06/09 - Wichita, KS @ Rock Island Live
06/10 - Denver, CO @ The Bluebird Theater
06/12 - Salt Lake City, UT @ The Complex
06/15 - Vancouver, BC @ Fortune Sound Club
06/16 - Portland, OR @ Hawthorne Theatre
06/17 - Seattle, WA @ El Corazon
06/19 - Sacramento, CA @ Holy Diver
06/20 - Fresno, CA @ Strummer's
06/21 - Bakersfield, CA @ B Ryders Bar
06/22 - Anaheim, CA @ Chain Reaction