On the latest episode of The Downbeat Podcast, Craig Reynolds welcomed Architects frontman Sam Carter for a conversation that ran the gamut of personal wellness to the band's forthcoming new record, For Those That Wish to Exist.
As for what it's like making an album during a pandemic, Carter shared some of the details in adjusting to a work routine that included being socially-distant. While there wasn't too much of a departure from what typically happens during the recording process, Carter did confide that he missed being in the room when drums were tracking. Being able to share ideas for fills on the fly just wasn't an option this time around, but the band managed to come through in fine style.
In fact, the album's recording sessions fruited an especially hefty amount of material. Carter said that their was some thought to making this a double LP considering the band ended up with 22-tracks. After some careful consideration however, the end result was whittled down to 15 cuts - a focused collection that is already being discussed by some as their best to date.
Adjusting to a new way of working during a pandemic is one thing, but adjusting to a new way of life is something else entirely. Carter shared a fact that really put things into perspective when it comes to just how significant the change has been. In 2020, Carter had only played two shows - he explained that it was the least amount of shows he has played in a year since he was 13 years old.
Growing accustomed to the routine of touring, the rhythm of being on the road, and then suddenly stopping for an extended amount of time creates a bit of a void. For Carter, it's not only the break in his regimen that took some adjustment, but the absence of adrenaline that has left him looking to find some kind of healthy substitute.
What has since helped in supplementing that charge that Carter gets from performing has been hitting the pavement and running. The frontman mentioned how therapeutic the runner's high has been for him and shared that there is a sense of accomplishment that comes with logging a healthy amount of kilometers throughout the week.
Carter also confided how he has invested in self care and really found value in regularly visiting with a therapist. He shared how most people would buy a round of pints at a pub but for some reason balk at spending on a gym membership or a counseling session. Getting over that mental hurdle, Carter has made therapy an important part of his routine and the results have been a kind of mental health and clarity that has been especially important.
Carter detailed how the Holy Hell album cycle was such an emotional undertaking given the passing of the band's guitarist Tom Searle. From writing and recording the record to touring it relentlessly, each night involved reopening an unhealed wound and bearing it for the audience to see. In addition to the emotional weight of the album, Carter confessed that the trajectory of the band was on such a sharp incline that adjusting to bigger crowds and more fans was an adjustment in of itself.
Sam shared that during that time he never said the same thing twice when it came to addressing the loss of Tom. Explaining that repeating himself would feel disingenuous, that kind of soul-bearing would eventually take a toll on Carter and force him to eventually deal with the trauma of that loss head on.
As for the band's new album, Carter speaks about every facet with enthusiasm. From the timeless cover art that took inspirational cues from the likes of Pink Floyd, to the directorial debut of Dan Searle in the compelling visual for the video for "Animals" - Carter explained that the album is something the entire band is incredibly proud of.
He would go onto explain how the likes of Simon Neil of Biffy Clyro, Mike Kerr of Royal Blood, and Winston McCall of Parkway Drive made the kind of contributions to the album that make the LP particularly memorable. In the case of McCall, Carter recalled the history that Architects have with Parkway Drive, citing a tour camaraderie that dates back to the days prior to Hollow Crown.
As with every episode of The Downbeat, the humor, the candor, and the fluidity of the conversation make the episode a unique fan experience. Stream the entire conversation with Sam Carter and Craig Reynolds on the latest episode of The Downbeat below.