Rise to Remain: Building Bridges
Words: Cameron Edney
Latest Release: Bridges Will Burn (Riot!)
He may be the son of one of heavy metal's greatest ever front men but Rise to Remain vocalist Austin Dickinson is determined not to live in his father’s shadow. With his own unique vocal style, Dickinson and his London-based metalcore band released their second EP, ‘Bridges Will Burn’ last year and are set to issue their full length debut in coming months. The band’s last offering was well praised both in the UK and around the globe and has certainly raised their profile as one of London’s finest. Having toured extensively across the UK and performing on festivals such as Download and Sonisphere, next month Rise to Remain are heading to Australia to delight Aussie fans attending the Soundwave Festivals.
The band recently came off very successful tours with Korn, Suicide Silence and As I Lay Dying and they can’t wait to bring their energetic brand of metal down under. I had the pleasure of catching up with Austin recently to discuss Rise to Remains' ‘Bridges will Burn’ as well as growing up in a rock n’ roll environment, their upcoming Soundwave festival appearances and much more.
Q: Hey Austin, thanks for putting some time aside to chat with me tonight, how is everything going?
A: Everything’s been great. We will be doing some vocals in about an hour’s time, so everything’s on track! We’re doing great!
Q: Fantastic; let’s talk firstly about the new EP ‘Bridges Will Burn. You guys must be really happy with the outcome.
A: Yeah were insanely happy with it. The reaction's been great!
Q: You wrote the lyrics for the six tracks featured… tell us the stories behind the songs. Where did you draw your inspiration from?
A: Bridges really came about after hearing a lot of people in the grind of daily life preaching intolerance and dislike. It’s a message saying that we’re all the same, we’re all human, it’s about respect or your bridges will burn. Existence is about trying to keep a hold on to you. There are a lot of different messages behind 'Bridges.' Each song is individually different but the overall message is a positive one!
Q: How much time did you spend in the studio?
A: We spent about a month recording this one. Our current album we’ve been recording now for about five months. We like to work [laughs]
Q: [Laughs] With the EP out and getting such a great response and the new full length album already in recording stages, is it safe to say that we can see it out soon?
A: It’s due to be released early this year. It’s going to be the most brutal and melodic thing you’ve ever heard! It’s got heavy bits, fast bits, and insane solos, big choruses. Two songs off it we’ve been playing live recently and we’ve been getting a lot of positive reactions from it. People attending Soundwave can expect to hear at least three new songs!
Q: Austin, it’s awesome to hear that you will be heading here in February for a run of appearances at the Soundwave festivals. You guys must be excited to be playing some shows here!
A: Yeah we’re so stoked. It’s our first opportunity to tour somewhere else outside of the UK so we’re jumpin'!
Q: There are many great bands playing at this year’s festival. Will you be putting time aside to catch many of the other artists billed?
A: Absolutely. I think every night will be spent looking watching other bands and speaking with other artists. It’s going to be a whole week of nothing but music!
Q: For those people attending the Soundwave festivals that may be interested in checking out Rise to Remain, how would you best describe the band live?
A: Energy and precision! It’s all about delivering your music to the best of your ability but also giving the people something to watch and rock out to!
Q: Since forming, Rise To Remain have had a fair share of playing both festival bills as well as the smaller club style shows… which do you prefer to do? Is it even possible to compare the experience as both are different and certainly have advantages.
A: Yeah it’s like light and dark, they’re both really different and they both have their charm! Download [festival] you can’t quite see all the people in front of you, but you can see a twenty foot wide circle pit going on! You know you can’t get that in the club but you can see everyone’s faces and get everyone to sing, they’ve both got their advantages for sure!
Q: Whilst we’re on the subject of touring, can you recall the hardest time you’ve had as an opening act?
A: We’ve always had a good reception to be honest with you. The recent Korn dates we did, we thought might be hard but they turned out to be absolute insanity! We’re yet to have a really bad experience which is quite cool! We’re very happy about that! Korn treated us great the fans treated us even better. They were among the biggest indoor venues that we’ve ever played it was absolutely insane, it was great, really good fun! We had an amazing time!
Q: Being a vocalist, obviously when you’re on the road you have to keep your voice in the best form possible, do you do anything specific to warm up and prepare for shows?
A: Oh god you’ve got to warm up, especially with the screaming and the singing! Shut up when you’re not singing!
Q: Austin, considering your dad is arguably one of the greatest front-men of all time, what’s the best touring advice your dad’s given you?
A: None really! [laughs] He’s got his band. I’ve got mine! I think it’s what every dad wants for his kid… to go out make his trade and learn the ropes on his own! He gets more feet up time, so it’s all good!
Q: [Laughs] We’ve hit the part of the interview where our readers get to find out more about the real you and Rise To Remain… Growing up in a rock n’ roll environment, did you know you were always destined to follow in your dad’s footsteps and front your own band or were your goals completely different? Was music the furthest thing from your mind?
A: Growing up, I never ever really thought about the future, I was always about the now, my friends, and my immediate surroundings. Pretty much, when I was in an exam, I had a gig booked with Soulfly, and I walked out of the exam to go and play with Soulfly. I think that’s the moment I decided that I wanted to be a singer!
Q: Can you recall the first song you ever wrote and what is was about?
A: I can’t quite recall it… I remember my friend and I stayed up one night when we were about fourteen, drinking vodka and we wrote some shitty metal song about zombies on a low model Jackson [guitar]! That’s all I can really recall [laughs].
Q: You joined Rise to Remain in 2007 I believe, tell us how you became involved with the band initially?
A: My band at the time called The Oath was playing a show at this pub and the opening band had Will Homer and Ben Tovey in it. They were playing in a couple of bands and I was playing in a couple of bands. They finished up, and then I went on stage, did my thing and started screaming. They heard me screaming and said, "You should try out for our band…" Turns out I was the only person trying out for the band, so I got the position by default [laughs]. Ever since then we did [do it yourself] tours and became Rise to Remain.
Q: Looking back on those first few band meetings, what comes to mind?
A: We were just playing music, digging it, it was so much fun, and it was the early days. We always knew in the early days that we wanted it. In an ideal situation to turn into a career but when you’re in the back of a van with another band, watching Pantera home videos you just think to yourself… we’re on our way to another pub, this is great fun, let’s keep going!
Q: Tell us a little about the other guys in Rise to Remain… share something with us that not many people know about the guys…
A: Well, there’s not a shit load to us, we’re pretty normal guys… Ben practices like a machine, we all do really. Pat’s got a lot of tattoos; actually Joe and Pat are the only members of the band that have tattoos. Come to Soundwave, check us out and you will probably find out all you need to know about us.
Q: What have your parent thought about the band you’ve chosen to front and the EPs you’ve released thus far, I would imagine you’ve had tremendous support from them?
A: Yeah, my mum likes it…
Q: How about dad?
A: Yeah he digs it. To be honest, I try to keep Iron Maiden and Rise to Remain as separate as possible cause I don’t want to be that guy! That’s not the kind of guy I am!
Q: I did notice reading the inlay for the latest EP that you all thanked family and friends as a general statement and didn’t really push that Iron Maiden issue, which I thought was great. From the beginning was it always an important issue for you to keep the two as separate as possible? Was that something you discussed and knew you wanted to do right away?
A: This band is not about me, it’s not about my dad, it’s about the music and this band's collective thoughts. We never really strived to do it any other way except this way and that’s focusing on presenting who we are and what we’re about; not riding on the tails of family and other bands.
Q: You guys are certainly doing great things right now, where would you like to see the band in five years time from now? Are you guys even planning that far ahead or just enjoying living in the moment?
A: Oh, we just love it at the moment. We’re in the studio at the moment we’re recording the best material that we’ve ever done and we’re stoked to show it to people. In a year’s time, I’m just going to go right ahead and say that I want to be headlining Wembley Stadium, if that doesn’t happen I’m so cool with that, but there’s nothing wrong with dreaming [laughs].
Q: Austin thanks so much once again for the chat this evening. I look forward to seeing Rise to Remain next month. Do you have any last words for our readers?
A: See you all in February!