Burning up the stage

Catch Grammy-nominated August Burns Red as the band kicks off its anniversary tour with a stop at Franklin Music Hall on Sept. 9. Image | Fearless Records

August Burns Red is celebrating 10 years of their landmark album “Leveler” with an anniversary tour that will hit the Franklin Music Hall Sept. 9. Also appearing are Fit For A King, Erra, and Like Moths To Flames. Get your tickets at axs.com.

The band was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2016 for Best Metal Performance for the song “Identity” from its 2015 release “Found in Far Away Places,” and again in 2018 for “Invisible Enemy” from “Phantom Anthem.” 

ABR recently released “Leveler: 10th Anniversary Edition,” a re-recording of its fourth album, which was originally released in 2011, with special guests, new guitar solos, alternate tunings, and more. 

The band’s current lineup consists of lead guitarist John Benjamin “JB” Brubaker, rhythm guitarist Brent Rambler, drummer Matt Greiner, lead vocalist Jake Luhrs, and bassist Dustin Davidson. 

PW recently caught up with Rambler to talk about the album and getting back before live audiences. 

You guys have been together since the early to mid 2000s. How has the band and its music changed over the years? Why do you think you’ve enjoyed so much success and consistency?

The band has changed a lot since we first started, obviously. Many of us were very new to our instruments when the band formed and even into our first EP/full length. Our song writing was probably a little ambitious for our level of skill. Now we’ve all matured as players and as people, so things feel a little bit more organized, as far as writing goes. 

I think we’ve enjoyed the level of success we have because we hit metal core at the right time. Our sound was different enough that it caught people’s ear and then we really just built our own niche within the genre. We are lucky enough that all of our fans have stuck with us along the way, but we also try to do a lot to keep our fanbase happy.  

How did the band spend its downtime during the pandemic?

We chose to not really take any downtime during the pandemic. We started our own webstore, which we were able to use to present three different live streams through.  We also released a full-length album right at the start of the pandemic, and then we continued to release covers and other original songs over the past 12 months. We didn’t want to fade away at all so we did everything we could to keep ABR at the front of people’s minds. 

Talk a little about the upcoming tour that kicks off at Franklin Music Hall on Sept. 9. How excited are you to be back on stage again?

We are unbelievably excited to kick off the tour in Philly. It’s our hometown show on this tour, and we wouldn’t want to have our first show back in any other place. I think there’s going to be a lot of emotions swirling around the whole venue when the set starts so I’m both nervous and excited as humanly possible. 

You recently released “Leveler: 10th Anniversary Edition.” How is it different from the first “Leveler,” and how can people get it?

The record is quite different from the original. For starters, every single song is in a different tuning. We also added guitar solos, changed up the drums a bit, and the record is full of awesome guest spots. People can listen to it on any streaming service or they can buy a physical copy through our webstore at augustburnsredmerch.com. 

How about new music? Are you working on any new singles or an album?

We are always kind of working on new music and that’s just because it takes us a very long time to write material. We are hoping to give our record “Guardians” its time in the sun before we drop another full length.  

What are the best ways for your fans to keep up with what you’re doing?

You can follow us on our socials. We are @augustburnsred on pretty much everything, or you can sign up for our newsletter at augustburnsredmerch.com.

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