It was only last year that Floridian metalcore prospects Afterlife released for their full length debut on Hopeless Records. Breaking Point proved a breakthrough effort, thrusting the band into the conversation of standouts within an ever-evolving genre.
The band's ability to weave their collection of influences cohesively while maintaining their own sound, commanded the attention of the audience.
The record would result in Afterlife hustling their brand of heavy music on the road, touching down in 13 different countries and converting believers with every tour date. Afterlife was riding the momentum of having a promising record that was only amplified with the energy of their live translation.
Given the pandemic and the forced halt to life as everyone once knew it, Afterlife could've easily milked more out their 2019 release, but that just isn't consistent with the kind of work ethic that got the band to this point in the first place. Afterlife don't have the ability to remain idle and considering the quality of music the band churns out, it's no wonder why they are eager get back to work.
"Wasting Time" is the band's follow up single and a slice of irony given it's what the band doesn't do. Building on the momentum of their previous work and striving to perfect their craft, the track is testament to the band's enthusiasm as much as their artistry.
Frontman Tyler Levenson checked in to discuss Breaking Point, the band's productivity during the pandemic, and how thinking in terms of one genre is a little too one-dimensional for Afterlife.
Breaking Point definitely had some heft but ‘Wasting Time’ really feels like the band is moving in a much heavier direction. Is the band moving away from the rap element? Levenson - Absolutely not! I love the rap element of our music and it’s something that will always be a part of us. We have some songs on the record that are strictly rapping and singing so I believe we have found the perfect balance and “Wasting Time” just felt like the perfect bridge track between the two records.
Afterlife has been lumped in with a resurgence of nu-metal, likely because of your hip hop influence. Are you into that kind of labeling or do you feel like it’s lazy?
Levenson - We’ve never been a band that was overly concerned with a “Sonic Label” and obviously we live within the Rock/Rap/Metal world so I think it just comes with the territory and as long as people are listening, enjoying the music they can call it whatever they want haha you know? Just happy people are listening.
There seems to be an emerging generation of heavy bands that rope in a diverse collection of influences (you guys do everything from metal to industrial to hip hop) - do you feel like being a purist within a genre is an old way of thinking?
Levenson- 100% because there are no rules when creating music, it’s all about expressing yourself. We love bringing in different elements, we love experimenting on how to bring the music to the next level and I think it’s awesome that more and more artists are doing that.
Take Slipknot for example, adding turntables, breakbeat drum loops to metal/rock music in the late 90’s…it was genius.
Wasting Time is a very cathartic song. It feels very personal. What was the genesis of the song and how indicative is it of the rest of the material the band is working on now? Levenson - “Wasting Time” was one of the first songs we wrote when we entered the studio back in March and at that time the world was just a complete mess and quite frankly still is you know? We were all fed up with things and wanted to write something that encapsulated those feelings we were going through at that time. I think “Wasting Time” is a mood in its own cause we touch on a lot within the album, it’s going to be a great listen when it’s released.
Your last studio record dropped just a year ago and already you guys are back at it. It sounds like the time away from touring has been productive for you… Levenson - it’s been very productive. It’s allowed us to sit back and think about what can we do better. How can we make this larger than life? Going into the last album we wanted to hit the pavement hard and we ended up touring 13 different countries on our first album so I think the follow up is very anticipated and I am very excited to see how people receive the new music as it comes.
Given the kind of momentum “Wasting Time” will generate, is the plan to parlay that as a single for the next album or just release standalone singles? Levenson - Given the current climate we just don’t know at the moment. “Wasting Time” is 100% on the new album but we are going to take this one thing at a time to make sure every song gets the right attention.
Watch the visualizer for "Wasting Time" from Hopeless Records' artists Afterlife