Words by Yvonne Villasenor
For over a decade, post-hardcore band Hail The Sun have been wowing fans with their genre-bending capabilities and desire to continuously push their creative boundaries.
They take it up several notches with their most sublime screams, impressive instrumentals and moving motifs in their upcoming album, ‘New Age Filth,’ set to release on April 16 via Equal Vision Records.
Hail The Sun consists of lead vocalist and drummer Donovan Melero, rhythm guitarist Aric Garcia, bassist John Stirrat and lead guitarist Shane Gann. ‘New Age Filth’ is the band’s fifth full-length that is their most collaborative and diverse yet. It is a refined progression from their previous work with influences from bands like Coheed and Cambria, At The Drive-In and even Yes.
‘New Age Filth’ features 10 songs centered around the theme of reflection. With topics such as love, cynicism and how awful humans can be to one another, Hail The Sun illustrate the emotion associated with each experience through vulnerable songwriting and dynamic musical compositions. This is evident in their singles including “Made Your Mark,” “Domino,” and “Parasitic Cleanse.”
Vocalist and drummer Donovan Melero says he and the band “cut away at all the fat and left just what’s super potent” to create an album with absolutely zero filler.
For Melero, every single word said on the album has intent. ‘New Age Filth’ contains songwriting in its rawest form covering relationships, society and introspection.
“With this album in particular, I was looking for new channels of a thought; maybe exploring things I haven’t said before with the exact same way as I felt them on prior albums,” Melero tells Knotfest. “Whereas this one, I did feel a lot more like just hitting the nail on the head, not really dancing around a topic
‘New Age Filth’ represents a work of reflection for Melero, whether it be on a personal experience, perspective or observation. Melero considers himself and the band to be “huge proponents of critical thinking,” which clearly translates on the album.
“For ‘New Age Filth,’ I felt it was really just about what I was feeling in that moment and thinking about a lot of what was at stake,” he says. “A lot of it was on the line in my personal life. A lot of things I had done that I had regretted doing; a lot of the same traps I’d fallen into during past times where my behavior has — unfortunately at times — remained the same as it did before I got sober, and that was many, many years ago. So repeating some of those same behaviors is disappointing to myself, and I definitely sing more about that on this record.”
Melero, who says he typically doesn’t second guess what he’ll say on an album, questioned whether he wanted to put certain things in writing on several accounts.
The album that was written for Melero to reflect has now become a means of reflection as he listens to it. He admits some of the songs have become hard to listen to because of the stories attached, but they have also helped him reminisce on meaningful events in his life.
“They put me right where I was when writing them, and they can be a reminder of how I was feeling in that time, either good or bad. There's definitely both sides,” Melero says. “I can remember the good times. I can remember also writing things out of having to learn difficult lessons — repeatedly it seems like — but it's a nice way to put a timestamp or a little bookmark on parts of my life that have meant a lot to me or are always going to resonate certain, very strong emotions.”
Hail The Sun began writing ‘New Age Filth’ in fall 2019 and finished recording by March 2020. They spent a month living in an apartment attached to the studio of producer Kris Crummett (A Lot Like Birds, Nova Charisma, Dance Gavin Dance), which helped them create their most polished material to date.
Crummett’s involvement and investment in the band’s music was that of a game-changer. “His production is what pushed it to the next level; his ideas, his effects, the way he recorded guitars, the way he panned everything, the way he is painstakingly meticulous of drum hits down to the single snare hit,” Melero says.
He continues on how Crummett shared the same vision as the band and was there every step of the way to help them make an album they’d all be proud of.
“He went above and beyond to make sure that we really made a big impact with everything that we did,” Melero says. “We already had what I felt was some of our best songwriting. The songs were already good; some of them were great. All we had to do at that point was explore different avenues to make them undeniable. And I feel like with Kris, we were able to stay in the same lane together in order to get that done.”
Just as the band is looking forward to releasing new music, it’s apparent their fanbase is just as ready to hear it. ‘New Age Filth’ is their most highly anticipated album that is set to mark a milestone release, as the band has sold through nine limited edition vinyl variants.
In the past, Melero has always been excited to play previous singles live. However, he has sometimes looked forward to playing the band’s older songs, favorite songs and more popular songs over newer ones during their set.
He explains that is anything but the case for the songs off ‘New Age Filth’ considering how much they mean to him and his fellow bandmates.
“This is the first time where I am so much more excited to play these new ones. We wrote shit that we like, and it's resonating so, so much further with the people that support us. Knowing that that's how the reaction has been
Hail The Sun’s ‘New Age Filth’ arrives April 16th via Equal Vision Records. Pre-order the album – HERE
Check out Donovan Melero’s music magazine, kill iconic: https://killiconic.com/