JB Brubaker from AUGUST BURNS RED talks ‘Death Below’ and 20-year anniversary

Grammy-nominated Lancaster five-piece AUGUST BURNS RED have recently released their new album Death Below via SharpTone Records.

The Everblack Podcast spoke to guitarist John Benjamin “JB” Brubaker from AUGUST BURNS RED about their latest album ‘Death Below’, current tour with The Devil Wears Prada and Bleed from Within, celebrating their 20th anniversary and memories of their first ever show, possible Australian tour in the future and more!

Watch/listen to the interview here: 

“It’s no secret that the past few years have been extremely dark and challenging,” Brubaker says. “Death Below is here as a result of that time in each our lives and the emotions that came with it. We were motivated by uncertainty, fear, outrage, and triumph. I feel this is the darkest, most personal album we’ve ever written, and I couldn’t be more proud of what the five of us made together.”

The writing process began during the onset of the worldwide pandemic. “It was a dark time, and I didn’t feel like writing uplifting melodies,” Brubaker explains. “The material I wrote came out darker, more ‘metal,’ so to speak, and Dustin, who writes a lot of stuff with me, was on the same page.” 

That isn’t to say Death Below isn’t catchy, memorable, or enchanting. Recorded off-and-on over two years with longtime producers Carson Slovak and Grant McFarlandDeath Below encompasses the varied strengths of the band’s past with an unapologetic density and overwhelming dramatic power.

Death Below also features additional guest spots from guitarist Jason Richardson, as well as JT Cavey of ERRA, Jesse Leach of Killswitch Engage and Spencer Chamberlain of Underoath.

August Burns Red is likely the only metal act ever described as “thrillingly empathetic” (Kerrang!). It’s a testament to the ferocious band’s ability to recognize and connect with the mixture of brokenness and hope found in their audience and within themselves. A hard-working collective with a shockingly stable lineup for the vast majority of their career, August Burns Red pour every ounce of themselves into their music. Atmospheric, riff-laden, aggressive bursts of controlled chaos, filled with shifting time signatures and tempos, deliver confessional, self-reflective, and authentic emotion.

Tour stops with Lamb of God, Killswitch Engage, Parkway Drive, and Bring Me the Horizon; several major international hard rock festivals (Rock Am Ring, Download, and Aftershock, to name a few); and the Vans Warped Tour are among the destinations around the world to witness ABR’s live prowess. Massive headlining treks celebrating 10-year anniversaries for Constellations and Leveler demonstrated the enduring relevance of the band’s catalog, nearly 20 years into ABR’s storied career. 2020’s Guardians debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Hard Music, Rock Albums, and Vinyl Albums charts.

Revolver, who put the band on their cover the same year, observed August Burns Red “embrace the pain so well.” It’s a truth never more evident than on Death Below, their stunning ninth studio album. Recorded with longtime producers Carson Slovak and Grant McFarland, Death Below encompasses all of the pissed-off strength of the band’s past without sacrificing an ounce of catchy, melodic might. Death Below boasts guest appearances from ABR allies Jesse Leach (Killswitch Engage), Spencer Chamberlain (Underoath), Jason Richardson (All That Remains), and JT Cavey (ERRA). “It’s getting difficult for the members of August Burns Red to keep one-upping themselves,” marveled Billboard shortly before Guardians arrived. With Death Below, they emerge victorious again.

August Burns Red – ‘Death Below’ is out now via Sharptone Records

Order it here.