Since the release of its 2008 national debut disc Hello, After Edmund has scored mounds of critical kudos, toured from coast to coast multiple times over and amassed a continuously swelling fan base from the ground up. Amidst those adventures, the group scored a highly coveted Grammy nomination (subsequently strutting down the red carpet in style while hanging with members of Death Cab For Cutie, Metallica and the Blind Boys of Alabama to name a few), opening up for Linkin Park’s famed Projekt Revolution (alongside the likes of Chris Cornell, The Bravery and Hawthorne Heights), while also scoring a trio of radio singles “Like a Dream,” “Fighting for Your Heart (Let It Go)” and “Clouds.”
“When we get done playing a show, we’ve given all we have to the point that we’re barely able to catch our breath,” explains Mitch, describing a potential catalyst for the group’s groundswell. “After two years of touring, we’re mobbed by people telling us they loved the show or that we’re their favorite band, which is very encouraging. But no matter how big or small the audience, we’ve always given everything we have and it feels great to see it grow to the point where fans sing the words louder than we do these days.”
Anyone who has caught After Edmund in concert can attest to the band’s visual and sonic precision - one that’s matched with unparalleled infectiousness and brilliant songcraft that comes from members’ musical education. In fact, band members are known to switch instruments throughout each set, proving to be equally proficient at anything attempted.
And for the first time in After Edmund’s celebrated career thus far, faithful can score an up close and remarkably intimate view of the foursome in action thanks to the DVD/EP set Spaceships and Submarines: The Lively Sessions. No matter the visual or audio format, the live studio performance is loaded with five brand new and engagingly explosive new cuts, along with electrifying re-arrangements of past favorites.
“Being on the road is a totally different creative atmosphere than being on studio and most bands don’t have the same kind of energy in the studio,” Ben observes. “After putting the tunes to the test live, you can watch people’s reaction, which is why our material is always evolving. That’s basically what inspired the DVD. We wanted to give fans something different than just a straight up concert recording. It still shows us performing live, but we thought it would give fans a more personal look to see us in the studio, especially because many of them have already seen our show.”
Besides the nine songs performed, Spaceships and Submarines: The Lively Sessions also includes mounds of behind the scenes footage, interviews with band members and even an audio commentary from the band. As for the new tunes packed therein, longtime listeners will notice the band incorporating a dance-inspired alternative pop sound into the project, perhaps akin to Mute Math, Shiny Toy Guns or Carpark North. In that regard, Spaceships and Submarines: The Lively Sessions could be considered an accurate bridge builder between Hello and the group’s forthcoming sophomore CD (hitting streets sometime in 2010).
“Subtitles are revealing, and the word ‘Lively’ has to do with the band’s stage presence, but it’s also meant to imply a live studio recording,” Yates says of the title’s impetus, before commenting on the band’s current direction. “'In the last year we’ve downsized to a four piece, moving Matt from bass to drums and Mitch from guitar to bass, which really changed the way we write since we now have only Ben on guitar player. It has pushed us musically and creatively while moving us in a new direction. And as for the feel good nature of the new tunes, well, life’s just too short to be Emo”
As is After Edmund’s tradition, the ongoing road trip will continue mixing up tunes from Hello, Spaceships and Submarines: The Lively Sessions and the upcoming album, all primed with plenty of towering guitar riffs, synthesized dance grooves, relentless percussion and monstrous melodies. And if the group’s history thus far is any indication, the gang’s stage antics, production and overall excitement is sure to mount with each future mile logged in its tour bus.
“We’re going for world domination,” Matt asserts with a laugh (though it’s quite possible given the band’s brilliant build-up thus far). “We’re looking to really pick up the momentum on all accounts. We’re actually starting to like pop music more than ever before, and while Hello is a record we’re all really proud of, it took listeners a little while to get to know. Our next chapter is going to be filled with more instantaneous familiarity, and while there will still be many of the musical elements we’re known for, our goal is to hook you in from the very first second you press ‘play.’”