Even though it’s been exactly three years, UK-based metalcore group Architects is still in the process of grieving from the untimely passing of the band’s songwriter, Tom Searle, guitarist and twin brother of drummer Dan Searle. The band, whose sound incorporates a mix of math rock, metalcore, and post-metal, was formed in the early 2000s by the twin brothers, and rose to the top of the international metal scene within a decade, touring the world with such bands as Suicide Silence, Comeback Kid, Parkway Drive, Whitechapel and many more.
Unfortunately, after the band’s seventh full-length release, <em>All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us</em>(2016) it was announced via social media that founding member Tom Searle passed away at age 28, after a 3 year battle with skin cancer. Dan, along with vocalist Sam Carter, and guitarists Josh Middleton, Adam Christianson, and bassist Alex Dean still move on with the band, keeping their fallen musical brother Tom’s spirit and legacy alive. With the band’s latest album, <em>Holy Hell</em>(2018), Architects is embarking on a major North American tour, which hits the House of Blues Anaheim tonight on April 26.
Bassist Alex Dean took time to speak with the OC Weekly about the difference between crowds in various cities the band has toured it, problems certain European bands might have while trying to secure visas to the US, and how playing music has helped the band deal with the never-ending grief of losing a friend/loved one.
OC Weekly(Alex Distefano): Architects has toured the world, playing across the globe. When the band tours in North America, as opposed to Europe, is there a difference in crowds?
Alex Dean: The crowds in the US do tend to get a bit more excited but every area and every show is different, and that can vary from tour to tour. We tend to see more action in the pit for sure though in certain cities which we notice, places like New York, Texas, and of course in California. We have the mentality and mindset that as a touring band, we have more of a crowd to win over, so we bring our A game for every show we have to bring that energy whether we are playing smaller shows or bigger shows, it is all about the energy.
Do you think people have any preconceived expectations from a band from the UK?
Not so much more so it’s mostly from what people read on the internet but I will say a hometown headlining show is different for us in terms of tours overseas when we tour, and that’s because the budgets are different we have a lot more constraints but still we just give it our best every show. There are tons of bands from the US coming over here and we play with them and then when we go over to the states, and there are tons of bands from all over the UK and Europe playing with all these American bands and they sort of rub off on each other.
What is the process of applying for the proper paperwork to travel to North America like?
Well, it’s tricky it costs a lot of money, takes planning and time. For the most part, bands really need a label to back you. It can be tough, and we are all aware of other bands having to pretend they are on holiday to get into the country to tour. Luckily we have a label backing us, so it has made it so much easier. It feels like when you apply for visas and are a traveler you have to be on your best behavior, and fortunately, we don’t have any issues though we know lots of bands who have had problems coming into North America and other places.
How has music helped you and the rest of the band deal with the grief of losing Tom 3 years ago?
Music has been there for us to help us heal, definitely. At the end of the day, this is Tom’s band and it always will be. As much as we love playing music in this band we just enjoy being able to continue to play these songs, they meant so much to him and mean so much to us and to all of our fans. Back in 2016, when we lost tom we had to regroup and think about this all. We decided to keep moving on as a group and keep playing music because we loved playing together so being able to continue on after this huge loss is special. That sense of loss goes on to this day, it never goes away, but it is one more thing we share together. We appreciate all these experience with our fans and each other we are all grateful to be still making music in this band.
Do you have any tips or advice for others dealing with grief/loss of a loved one?
Well it’s not an easy thing to deal with. The main thing is that you have to keep in mind there is no right way to deal with it, everyone deals with it differently, and process grief in their own way. So don’t feel you’re doing anything wrong. Just talk about it with others, don’t shut down. Having an outlet is really important we have been lucky to experience this sad time and feelings of loss together but people should try to not be too hard on themselves death loss and grief ain’t easy.
Architects perform tonight at House of Blue Anaheim (sold out). For full info, click here.
Alex Distefano is an established freelance writer and music blogger from the Los Angeles area. With over a dozen years under his belt as a published Journalist, he covers the worlds of heavy metal music, punk rock, current events, cannabis culture, comedy, radio, food, tattoos, the paranormal, and ‘conspiracy theories.’ He graduated from California State University Long Beach in 2012 with a Bachelor’s Degree in both Journalism and Ancient History. Aside from his professional writing endeavors, Distefano works as an Educator, and delivery/rideshare driver.