Burn Halo Singer on Drowning Pool, New Single ‘Tear it Down’ [Interview]

Interview by Anne Erickson

Burn Halo’s James Hart says new album ‘is much heavier and much more aggressive’

When Burn Halo sat down to flesh out the video for their latest single, “Tear it Down,” the guys knew, confidently, they wanted a plot that would match the message of the song: Be yourself.

“I wanted to bring in a storyline that would tie in with the lyrics, so I came up with idea of being held captive and being pushed around and bullied around, with the band-mates being the characters and me breaking free,” lead singer James Hart told Audio Ink Radio.

The video represents the band breaking free from any forced expectations on their new album, Up from the Ashes, and taking a heavier, thicker hard rock and metal approach.

En route to a show with rock comrades Drowning Pool and Kyng in Dayton, Ohio, Hart spoke with Audio Ink Radio about the new musical focus of Burn Halo (it’s “pure rock and metal-influenced music,” he said) and how they’re digging the road.

Burn Halo just kicked off a tour with Drowning Pool. What are you most enjoying about the gigs?

Just really being able to showcase our new album to what we feel is the heavier side of the active rock genre, with the radio markets that we’ve been doing. We’re just starting to appeal to the heavier side of that audience, so I think this tour is the right timing.

Do you think Burn Halo’s sound fits well alongside the guys of Drowning Pool?

So far, it’s been great. I think if we were out touring the first album, it wouldn’t have been quite as appropriate and maybe we wouldn’t be gaining a fan base with this new audience. The new album is much heavier and much more aggressive, and I think it’s starting to appeal to their fans.

Before Burn Halo, you fronted Eighteen Visions. How did you make the move to form Burn Halo?

As soon as Eighteen Visions broke up, I went out to Tulsa, Okla., and I started writing an album with a songwriter out there. I ended up recording an album and meeting our bass player [Aaron Boehler], and he’s been with the band since day one… We’ve gone through some member changes since then, but now, we have a bunch of great musicians who are really working well together.

We feel like we’ve found our niche. Everybody played, wrote and contributed on this new album, and it has a much more musical feel to it, whereas the last album was more melodic-driven and felt like singer-songwriter songs turned into rock songs. This is pure rock and metal-influenced music, and it’s really great having guitar players [Joey Roxx and Brandon Lynn] in the band who are writing riffs and performing on the album and a solid drummer [Dillon Ray].

You mentioned a heavier feel on the new album, Up from the Ashes. Did that evolve, or was it more purposeful?

It just kind of happened that way. The earlier stuff we were writing was really standard, lighter rock, and we were trying to force those songs, and they weren’t coming at a natural pace. We found ourselves throwing around riffs and saying, “That’s too metal.” But, that’s how we are as individuals and that’s the music that inspires us. We didn’t want to force an album, and we wanted the music to speak to who we are as a band. So, as far as the songwriting goes, it’s heavier.

The album’s first single, “Tear it Down,” has a solid showing on rock radio. Tell me about the track.

That was one of the last songs we wrote. The musical introduction is something Brandon had written for an old song that we had scrapped. The opening piece for that song was amazing, and we felt that was a great way to open an album. Lyrically, the song is about being yourself, being your own artist and not being held back by the expectations and desires of the music industry and the people who are in charge. It’s about being a creative artist and a creative person and breaking free.

Any final words?

Yeah, check us out on online. We try to be interactive with fans, and they can reach out on there. We feel like fan interaction is an important part of band growth, and we try to connect.

 

Watch Burn Halo’s Video for, ‘Tear It Down’: