Senses Fail

By paul

Backstage at the Islington Academy, Mike Golita sits with nervous anticipation about tonight’s show. It’s the last date that his band, Senses Fail will play in the UK before heading back to America to join the stateside leg of the Taste of Chaos Tour.

“The last few months have been really cool. When we played Taste of Chaos over here, it was definitely the biggest crowds we’ve played overseas. We had such a good time”. For those who weren’t fortunate enough to see the band on the TOC tour late last year, the greatest thing about the event was that you could tell that all of the bands genuinely loved playing with each other, and there was a real sense of camaraderie between them.

“It’s really important for us to play with bands that we love and respect. Especially when we’re headlining, we try to take out bands that we like, and bands that we dig musically too. More than anything, I don’t even care if I like a band’s music or not, so long as they’re cool people and are hardworking, then that’s the most important thing. Taste of Chaos was a real example of that.”

Supporting Senses Fail this time around is Long Island post-hardcore act The Sleeping who have been kicking up quite the fuss stateside. “I’ve known Doug, their singer for a long time. We used to play in local bands together. At first I didn’t even know he was in The Sleeping, we’d all just heard really good things about them, I only found out about a year ago because I saw a press picture and thought ‘I know that guy, don’t I?’ It’s all worked out pretty well.” One thing to note about Senses Fail, is that vocalist Buddy Nielson really is the main driving force behind almost everything the band do. That’s not to say he’s a dictator as such, but when it comes to what the band writes their songs about, or anything special that happens at their shows, it really is down to him. When asked if tonight’s show will have an extra special twist to it, what with it being the last date for the guys here in the UK, Mike replies with an abrupt but to-the-point answer. “I really do not know. That sort of thing is totally down to Buddy. Maybe he’ll go break something, or hang himself, who could say!”

Over the past four years, Senses Fail have been working hard, releasing a record at a rate of almost once a year. “We’re a band that plays all sorts of music. A little bit of pop, a little bit of rock, a little bit of metal and hardcore. Because of that, each of our albums is different in its own way. You get a little bit different Senses Fail on each one.” The latest of their releases is titled ‘Still Searching’. So what, if anything are the band still searching for?

“To be honest with you, I’ve been thinking about so many different places it may have come from, but I think if you asked Buddy, he’d say it’s because the last few years he’s been searching for a better place, a better state of mind. When he was writing the record, he was going through a lot of shit. He’s still hoping, still searching to find something better.” If you take a quick glance through the lyrics booklet enclosed with their latest record, it becomes quite apparent that it’s a very personal record for Nielson, and it’s not hard to see he’s been battling with a lot of demons throughout the process of getting ‘Still Searching’ out on the shelves. You could quite easily come to the assumption that secretly, even though they may not say, the rest of Senses Fail may be a bit uncomfortable playing behind lyrics so personal to their frontman.

“You know I think it’s totally awesome that we get to put the music to something so delicate. Buddy wasn’t trying to write a concept album, but it’s almost like every song is a chapter in the book, a different period of time from the last few years describing what he was going through. It all came together really well, and I couldn’t be happier with it. To me, an album should be as personal as whoever’s writing it wants it to be, and I think sometimes that’s what music needs. People can hopefully relate to him on a personal level, and it’s not just some random crap that doesn’t make sense. ”

As well as their own albums, Senses Fail have popped up on various compilations recently, most notably being their contribution to the Tony Hawk’s American Wasteland game soundtrack. They’re featured doing a cover of Suicidal Tendencies‘ ‘Institutionalized’. “All those kind of things have been a real added bonus. It was so cool to do the Tony Hawk thing, because we got to do a cover of a really cool band. We did it old-school style as well. We literally went into the studio and recorded it all in one take. It was completely different to the way we usually do things, which is always good fun.”

Andy R

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