As Everything Unfolds – Committed to ArtTuesday, 16th March 2021
Generating a fair bit of buzz for themselves across two smaller releases in the past few years, As Everything Unfolds partnered up with Long Branch Records for the release of their upcoming full-length debut, Within Each Lies the Other. Merging a wide swath of influences from metal and hardcore, as well as even pop music, their sound is a unique and catchy one – being able to swing into exceptionally heavy moments and then twist into something more melodic and emotive in a heartbeat. We spoke with vocalist Charlie Rolfe to get her thoughts about the release in question, as well as the work that goes into the cinematic aspects of their videos, what the band has to offer the scene, band goals, and more.
Dead Rhetoric: What can you say about Within Each Lies the Other as your latest release?
Charlie Rolfe: I think it’s probably our most mature effort. It’s a more refined version of what we have been doing for a while. It’s really nice to be able to show people how we have matured, changed, and grown as a band.
Dead Rhetoric: What do you feel that you learned from Collide and Closure that you have worked into this release?
Rolfe: I feel like as people we have grown as a group. As we have grown up together, we have changed as people, and the situations around us have changed. It’s all come together into this sort of album that we are all really proud of. Situations change and there’s a lot of anger – there was a lot of anger in Closure, whereas the new album is a lot more frustration and sadness, but hopefulness as well. So there’s a development from that sort of teenage angst.
Dead Rhetoric: You have been releasing singles for this for a while – do you feel it has helped get the word out in a saturated market?
Rolfe: To be honest, we had been away for like two years. Closure was out like two years ago now and we hadn’t done anything apart from touring. We hadn’t done anything that was particularly interesting to people. So for us, we needed to get some music out there to grab people’s attention. “Hiding from Myself” was the first single. It is on the album, but it wasn’t announced with the album. So that was more of a ‘we’re back!’ moment. With the way things are going, with Spotify, releasing a lot of singles is actually quite beneficial to people in bands. You can submit for playlisting and you have more of a chance of people finding your music. It’s definitely worked, because we had people come to us and say that they found us on different playlists. That’s been a really great thing for us. It definitely worked.
Dead Rhetoric: Getting onto those playlists on Spotify is huge for bands as they are starting out. There’s so much more accidental exposure.
Rolfe: Yeah, and Spotify pushed a lot of underground bands. They actually hire people and have them listen to music and curate playlists. We have a lot to thank Spotify for in terms of our following. They gave us a chance when almost no one else would. A main reason that a lot of people know us is that when Closure came out, “Divided” was put onto a pretty big playlist and we got loads of new fans from it. Without them, we don’t know where we would be.
Dead Rhetoric: Could you talk about the idea of your ‘best self’ as it relates to the album.
Rolfe: The album is called Within Each Lies the Other, which is a play on ‘as above, so below.’ The album is a mix of emotions. As I was saying, it’s sad and frustrated, but it’s also a hopeful album. So there those two sides. One does not exist without the other. You can’t come through and be hopeful without having experienced sadness. As horrible and frustrating as it is, you don’t know how to become a better you in some situations, without the horrible stuff that happens beforehand. That was the idea, and a lot of the songs are about that, or self-struggle, and then coming out of the other end of that and seeing it from a different perspective. Also, songs like “Wallow,” where the frustration is taken out in that song – it’s like a ‘screaming into a pillow’ type of song. That’s the one that gets all the frustration out.
Dead Rhetoric: So is that where you pull your lyrical inspirations from, in more of a personal setting?
Rolfe: Yes, all my lyrics come from personal experience or personal feelings. But what I always try and do, is to create a lyrical content in which people can also put their situations into. So while it’s personal to me and what I went through, I want someone to be able to listen to the song and also put their circumstances in it, so that they can feel connected to it the way I do. I feel like that is really important. When I was a teenager and listening to bands growing up, bands that had stuff I could relate to I clicked with more, and felt more attached to.
Dead Rhetoric: Going to videos – do you specifically shoot for a cinematic feel with your music videos such as in “Stranger in the Mirror” or “Grayscale?”
Rolfe: We definitely look for that. I studied photography and I am very into movies and things like that. As a band, our first ever video we did was generic and in a warehouse – black and white, and we are all wearing black clothes. It was a grungy exterior and all that. But from then on, we wanted to do something new and interesting. A lot of bands do that repeated formula.
I took a lot of visual inspiration from films I liked, and our videographer is very into cinematic kind of stuff. He helped us create these ideas, especially with “Stranger in the Mirror.” I wanted it to be a static video and not have the camera move. In a lot of heavier videos, it’s the camera moving a lot and it is very jolting. I liked the mellowness to it. It kind of switches up a little bit. Our next single has a much more cinematic video than anything we’ve done before. So we have been following through with that theme.
Dead Rhetoric: So where there any specific movies that pulled you into a certain direction you were looking for?
Rolfe: I love a lot of Kubrick’s films, like The Shining. My favorite music video of all time is “The Kill” by 30 Seconds to Mars. I absolutely adore that sort of film-like play on it. It’s not a traditional music video. I like to have it linking to a music video, but I also want it to have a deeper meaning. A lot of our videos and the concept of the album – the symbolism in the videos matches to the artwork or the song. It all ties together. That consistency is really important to me. I know our videographer is very inspired by Wes Anderson and things like that. So the mix of ideas from both of us has created this weird child [laughs].
Dead Rhetoric: Looking at some of the numbers on your YouTube videos, do you feel aiming for that cinematic feel has allowed you to be more successful?
Rolfe: We didn’t know what the reaction to the videos would be to be honest. I think it’s more like the music – we just write the music that we want to. We don’t try to fit into any formula or bracket, if we think it’s a cool idea or think it will work, we go for it. We are very much like that in every aspect. People seem to really like it – I think they do like the fact that we can take a u-turn at any point. The “Hiding from Myself” video is quite erratic because it matches the song. The song and video need to match and make sure the vibe is right [laughs]. So the fact that people love the videos and feel they are really cool is a plus in my opinion. We make it because it’s cool to us [laughs].
Dead Rhetoric: Along those lines what do you feel a band like As Everything Unfolds has to offer within the scene?
Rolfe: Again, no one has ever told us that we need to write music a certain way. I feel like if someone did, we would very much be against it. If it’s writing or even dressing a certain way, we have always done it our way, and no one has really criticized us for doing it. Bring Me the Horizon is a perfect example of that. They just do what they do and people are loving it. I feel like that is something that needs to be prevalent in the industry and people just need to commit to their art. The industry needs to let people commit to their art, instead of trying to control them. At the moment, some of the biggest bands on the planet are the ones that are just doing what they want to do.
Dead Rhetoric: I read an older interview where the band was described as a ‘heavier riffier Paramore with synths.’ I get the impression that you are just doing the music that you want to, but do you think some people get scared off by relating to a band outside the heavier realms?
Rolfe: We tend to stay away from the comparisons now, because they made more sense back in the day when we first started. Now, you can’t really put us into a bracket. I think the closest band you could put us is Marmozets, but there’s not a lot of comparisons. So we tend to steer away from it and just say, ‘this is us now, this is what we are doing.’ To be honest, a lot of our influences do come from the external – people outside of the metal and hardcore genre. Most of us listen to pop music these days. So we aren’t afraid of that, I think. It’s probably a good thing I suppose.
Dead Rhetoric: I think it helps bands to stand out. It doesn’t have to be the most extreme thing in the world anymore to get my attention.
Rolfe: When you are a teenager, you need to find the heaviest song you can find. You are always looking for that next thing, and the next thing. Once you mature and you grow – it’s the same thing with the band. We used to write songs in specific ways, because we felt we needed to do that. Now, it’s more like, let’s just write something that works, and what we want to do.
Dead Rhetoric: With the writing, how important is playing around with the ideas of heaviness and melody in As Everything Unfolds sound and having that contrast?
Rolfe: It’s important for us. It’s showing that whole thing of not being afraid to do both. We aren’t afraid to do both on different songs, but we are also not afraid to do both in the same song as well. “Grayscale” has the softer parts and the heavier parts. It’s what we quintessentially do, and it makes us stand out a bit too.
Dead Rhetoric: With this being your first full-length album, do you have any goals for the future?
Rolfe: A lot of it has to do with touring, which is a bit of a lost cause at the moment. We toured Europe two years ago, and it was so much fun. It really opened our eyes to how much bigger the world is and what you can do with your music. I’d love to come to the States or play in Japan. I’d love to go to Australia. I think for me, and the rest of the band too, touring is such a big part of why we do this. It’s so important, and that’s what we aim for. When we talk about goals among ourselves, we talk about what we want to do with the next album, but we weirdly aim for being able to tour in the US or something like that. So either doing a headline tour or a really cool support tour would be our goal.
Dead Rhetoric: What plans do you have for 2021, outside of the album release?
Rolfe: Unfortunately, at the moment we don’t have anything planned. We are going to try to do a stream for the album release, but we aren’t entirely sure since everything is so up and down with COVID. Apart from that, we are looking at new creative ways to do things and keep the album support going. Hopefully in the UK, supposedly by June we will be back to normal. I’m a bit apprehensive about that, but that does give us some hope that by the end of the year we could do some shows.