We Interviewed Toby from Emery!

Emery is a band that has made a niche for themselves in the Christian rock and mainstream rock world. Through three albums and the new EP, While Broken Hearts Prevail, Emery has built a sturdy career on solid musicianship and an electric live show. Yesterday James spent a few minute on the phone with the band and what was discussed can be found below:

UTG: Toby, how are you doing today?

Toby: I’m doing really well, hanging out on the bus with Halo.

UTG: While Broken Hearts Prevail, your new ep, what can you tell us about it?

Toby: Our last record was our last with Tooth and Nail and we didn’t know what would happen next. So we wrote some stuff regardless of what would happen and we decided to put it out with some cool artwork and give our fans something to tithe them over.

UTG: It’s an interesting title and contains intriguing art to match, any story behind either?
Toby: The title comes from a song on our very first EP. Since we did this ourselves [recording, etc], we decided to reference something from when we were alone last timer around. It brings it all around full circle that way. We are back with Tooth and Nail now, but then it was just us.
UTG: I heard there’s another album due out in the relative future, is this true? 

Toby: Yes. It’ll be tied in with the EP. The album will be called, “In Shallow Seas We Sail.”
The new full length will have a vibe similar to the EP and we just wanted to tie it all together. The artwork will be similar as well.

UTG: I know for the last album, you took up shelter in a home and took a whole new, more organic approach to the recording process, do you think you’ll do that again?

Toby: Our guitar player Matt is engineering and somewhat producing the album with Aaron Sprinkle and we are pumped to work with him again. He lives in Seattle and that works great with us and it just feels good to have that place to settle in and try new things and new sounds.

UTG: Without giving to much away, can you tell us anything about where the sound of Emery is going?
Toby: In doing this EP we got back to our roots a bit. It kind of feels lie it’ll be like a sample from all the albums, but maybe a bit more towards our older stuff. There’s a lot of heavy stuff and tons of screaming. It’s rock and roll.
UTG: You’re songs have always carried a very honest and poignant look at life, how much of what you talk about is based on actual events vs. simply storytelling? 

Toby: I’d say most of it. It’s all about stuff we’ve gone through or experienced. Probably 90% or maybe a bit less. We come up with a topic or subject and then expand on that. We write a lot about our relationships and that’s something anyone can relate to regardless of if the story is fact or fiction.

UTG: Now, I know you’ve got some lofty fall tour plans, care to share?

Toby: We’re out with Hawthorne Heights and it’s a blast. We’re splitting a bus and it’s fun because we have a ton of new friends. It’s also eco friendly. People are enjoying the shows and we’re enjoying playing them. People are really getting into the new material and loving the sound, we’re stoked and surprised. 

UTG: With three albums down and the EP about to come out, how do you pick a set list for tour that pleases everyone?

Toby: It’s always tough. We have 40 minutes and we always try to play fan favorites. You definitely want to give them what they want because they spent the money to see you for a reason. We love all our songs, but you got to keep the people happy. we try to hit two songs from each album and more if possible. We want to play stuff we like, but we try to find even ground.
UTG: You recently played your first show ever in South America, what was that experience like? 

Toby: It was awesome. We went to Mexico for about 5 days and then went down to Brazil. The kids there are so cool and excited to see a show. Promoters there are some of the kindest in the whole world and we’d rec it for anyone. Also, Brazil is so much different than South Carolina where I’m from, but it’s amazing to see the world and the different cultures. It should be required of everyone to get out and explore the world.

UTG: You’ve often taken a turn to the acoustic world, is this something we’ll hear more of, even if just acoustic rendition?

Toby: I hope so, we love doing it. It’s really neat to try it out. The best part is that its simply a different energy. When we play live acoustically we can really sing and you can hear all our parts.

Personally, I’d love to release the new record and then do the entire record acoustically. Just to show people more of the songs and the expression we had in it. 

We also want to do another acoustic tour soon.
UTG: A full band version of, “Thoughtlife [demo from The Question Expanded Edition]” appears on the EP, but still sounds a bit rough, is this the last time this track will be around?
Toby: Probably, there’s two versions [one on Itunes that’s piano wise].  It never really fit anywhere else so we thought the EP would be the best home.
UTG: We don’t believe in final questions, just closing statements. The floor is yours: 

Toby: As a band we always encourage people to find out what you believe in. Whether it’s sports, music, politics, or whatever. Find out what it is and research it. Learn what you love and know what you claim to believe. 

*Written By: James Shotwell*
James Shotwell
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4 Responses to “We Interviewed Toby from Emery!”

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  4. […] Under The Gun Review has a good interview with Emery […]