MEB staffer Rebecca Kravetz recently caught up on tour with lead vocalist Landon Tewers and guitarists Josh Childress and Derrick Sechrist of the metalcore group The Plot In You. They discussed the release of their most recent album Could You Watch Your Children Burn, Landon’s religious developments since last working with Christian band Before Their Eyes, a controversial tweet about Of Mice & Men frontman Austin Carlile, and much more.
So your most recent album, Could You Watch Your Children Burn, was released this past January. How do you think it has been received?
Josh: It’s going pretty good, we can’t complain. We’re gaining a lot more fans than we had before it.
Landon: It seems to be catching on slowly. Every tour we notice kids are getting into the newer songs as opposed to the older songs. I’m definitely happy about that.
Your previous album First Born was based around the concept of a child abuse victim. Does Could You Watch Your Children Burn contain any sort of theme?
Landon: I wouldn’t say there is a theme, but there are a few songs that revolve around the same idea. Like “Bible Butcher,” “Fiction Religion” and there’s one other that talks about religion. That was like the theme with the artwork, the burning Bible obviously. But overall every song has its own meaning. A lot of them were written months apart at different time periods of my life, so I just decided to write about what I was going through at that current time.
What are your favorite songs off the album and your favorite to play live?
Landon: My favorite recorded is population control but my favorite to play live is probably “Shyann [Weeps].”
Derrick: I like “Troll.” “Troll” is fast.
Josh: Yeah “Troll” is my favorite to play, it’s different from all the other songs we play live and then “The Devil’s Contract” is my favorite overall.
You use sound effects throughout the album, such as at the end of “Digging Your Grave.” Can you tell me a little bit about their purpose and how you feel they are effective?
Landon: Like you said, they’re there throughout the entire record. Like there’s that one of the woman – she’s talking about religion and stuff – that I took from some satanic preacher that I found on the Internet. She said some really crazy shit that went with what I was trying to say. And then for the song “Digging Your Grave,” it’s obviously about hating someone and wanting to do bad things to them, so it [the sound effect] just felt right I guess. But it was fun to record the different sounds. I spent a couple days just recording different weird sounds to put in the record, like throwing trash cans against walls to get boom sounds. I have a studio back home so it was just easy to experiment with that kind of stuff as much as I wanted to.
Landon, before forming The Plot In You, you were originally a part of Before Their Eyes which was identifiably a Christian band. You now have songs such as “Fiction Religion” that contain nearly anti-theistic lyrics. If you don’t mind me asking, what brought about this change?
Landon: To be completely honest, I joined Before Their Eyes not even knowing they were a Christian band. It was just kind of a stepping stone for me in a way. I guess back at that time, I would have said that I was a Christian to certain people, as shitty as that may sound, just to uphold the image that they [Before Their Eyes] started. But as we went on, we really became just a band rather than a Christian band. Like if you listen to our last two records, a lot of the songs have nothing to do with religion at all. They were about girls and dumb shit like that. They were really pointless and meaningless and put a bad taste in my mouth as far as the whole Christian image went. I saw a lot of people from Christian bands do things that like, I mean if I were to be going out and calling myself that, I would have… you know what I mean? It just shed a lot of light on shitty people. That’s something I felt very strongly against. I didn’t want to be fake so I was like, “I’m going to start my own thing, write the music that I want to write.” Through that time and obviously over the years, I’ve dug deep into religion and analyzed it for myself, because I have always just been in the middle somewhere, and I realized that it’s not for me at all. So yeah, that came through in my lyrics.
Landon, around the time your album was released, you tweeted that the song “Digging Your Grave” is about Of Mice & Men frontman Austin Carlile. Any coincidence that you’re on tour with Attack Attack, another band that is not a big fan of his?
Landon: That is kind of weird. I honestly haven’t even thought about that. But yeah, I forgot he was even in this band. Whenever we first got the tour, I was hoping that Caleb [Shomo] was on it actually because I’m a big fan of his vocals. But yeah, that is kind of weird now that I think about it.
I know you said in your tweet that he’s never going to know why the song is about him, but would you be willing to briefly touch upon the conflict?
Landon: We grew up in similar areas. We were friends for a period of time and I saw things and witnessed things through being friends with him that I think are awful. Anyone that knows him pretty closely knows that he is not that person that he tries to present himself as and I’m just not about fake people. That’s pretty much it.
I also saw on your twitter that you guys were hosting a competition for the fans. Whose idea was that, how do you feel it went, and will you be doing more of this in the future?
Landon: That was his idea (points at Josh).
Josh: Yeah, we were just trying to get more publicity to the twitter and stuff. Just to hype up our band name more on the Internet. Just to help us out and do something for the fans. We’re going to try to be more interactive with our fans online.
Attack Attack’s “Fuck it We’re Done Tour” will be over soon. Do you have anything in store yet for after it ends?
Landon: We’re going to Europe in September and then possibly Australia after that. We’re still waiting to find out. We actually just got news on a Fall tour that we’re really stoked about. We can’t say what it is yet, but it will be really sick.
Can you tell me anything about it?
Landon: I don’t think we can because we literally just found out about it. I don’t want to say something and get in trouble. There are a couple of bands on it though that I personally like so it should be cool for sure.
What have the highlights of this been tour so far?
Landon: We have a lot actually.
Derrick: Every night has been really awesome.
Josh: The weather has been nice.
Derrick: The weather, yes!
Landon: When the weather is good, the whole tour just seems to be happier and brighter, you know what I mean?
Derrick: Yeah, when it’s not raining and snowing and fucking cold every day.
How do you feel about all of these chickens out here?
Landon: It’s pretty sweet.
Landon: There are certain areas that I’ve noticed in the country that are like infested with cats and wherever we were last night, there were dogs, stray dogs everywhere.
Derrick: Today is chickens.
Landon: And I’ve seen rats in like New York and shit so yeah, it’s cool to see a different kind of infestation everywhere you go (laughs).
You released your latest music video (for “Fiction Religion”) about two months ago. Should we be expecting anything new from you in the near future?
Landon: As far as music videos go, I’m not sure. We’ve tossed around ideas for different songs, like stuff we want to do, but nothing is set in stone. We’re pretty much just going to start writing as soon as we get home, plan out the rest of the tour season until next year and hopefully have another record out later next year.
Thank you so much for your time! Is there anything else you would like to add or say to the fans?
Landon: Check out our new record. That’s it pretty much.