"If there has been anything that we have learned... it's that we should keep on moving on through it all.” - Joshua Moore on the future of We Came As Romans.
It’s been a very big, and very difficult year in the We Came As Romans camp. The sudden and tragic death of their bandmate Kyle Pavone last year left the future uncertain for We Came As Romans – but in spite of their shared grief, the band are navigating their way forward.
They spent the tail-end of 2018 re-learning how to be a band without Kyle, appearing on tour with Bullet For My Valentine, and laying the foundation for new music - making sure this is something they felt they could continue with, together.
We talked to We Came As Romans songwriter and guitarist Joshua Moore to get a better understanding of where the band are at right now, following the release of their first new music in over two years. The two new singles ‘Carry The Weight’ and ‘From The First Note’ are a tribute to their lost friend, bandmate and brother, and have laid a foundation where they can traverse their grief alongside their fans.
How does it feel being back out on the road now, compared to when you initially made the decision to continue touring in the first place?
Says Joshua: “It’s been just over a year since we did that tour with Bullet For My Valentine, which was the first time that we performed without Kyle. Some days are weirder than others, and some days are definitely worse than others too - it’s not an exact, measurable science of when it’s going to feel right, or good, or not depressing. Sometimes it does feel right though, and it feels nice to all be together; sometimes it does still feel depressing though, and I’m not having the good time that fans may think that I’m having.
“It’s a lot different than a year ago when every single day was awful. I don’t want to say that I dreaded being onstage - because I knew I had to go and there was no point - but I really did hate doing it. Now it’s definitely a little different, and it’s nice to now be able to play two new songs that I’ve written for Kyle and in Kyle’s memory. That helps a little bit. We are supporting on this run, so we only play like 30 minutes. Having a bit of a shorter set really helps because when you’re having a really bad day, you don’t have to stand there and dwell on it. As a support band, we can get up there, play, and then get off there and focus on something else.”
It’s difficult to really know how you will feel playing that day until you are actively on stage and playing, which must make things even more difficult…
“Yeah. At least now, a year on, there is a possibility of those good days happening. When everything was initially going on, there wasn’t even a possibility of it - waking up and every day knowing that it was going to be a really shitty day. Having that time to deal with whatever I’m feeling and whatever the other guys are feeling allows the possibility to find the ability to appreciate the good moments and the good memories, rather than dwelling in the grief of it. “
When did you reach the point where you felt like you wanted to start writing music again? Where did these two songs come from?
“After we did the Bullet tour we took the rest of the year off - that’s when we talked about everything and whether we actually wanted to continue being a band at all. We said we would give another tour a try, so we did a headliner this past spring - that was a six-week tour, which wasn’t insanely long, but long enough to figure out if we could actually do this anymore. After that we said, ‘Well, if we are going to be a band, the next logical step is to write again’. Later this month it will be two years since we released ‘Cold Like War’, our last full-length. In this day and age, no one goes two years without releasing new content - it’s impossible, you get tossed aside into the darkness.
“Logistically, we needed to release new songs, but the hardest part was actually writing them lyrically. We all knew what we were going have to write about, and what the songs had to be about. It’s not like we could skip over talking about it, regardless of how painful it would be.”
It’s a credit to you and the band that you found the strength to write and produce such a beautiful tribute to Kyle with these two songs. It’s hard to imagine what trying to put songs like this together must be like, but how does it feel for you to have them out in the world now?
“It’s nice to have - I don’t know if ‘hopeful’ is the right word, but it’s really meaningful to our fans. Our drummer Dave [Puckett] and I look after all of our socials, so we see all of the comments and stuff - those two songs have really affected our fans in a positive way, which is good because we can all use some positivity after losing Kyle and going through all of that. Giving our fans a way that they can remember Kyle and have a way to sing about his memory when we are on stage is really good.
“For us, it’s a two-sided coin - on one side we have these songs, and I wholeheartedly believe they are the best tribute to Kyle that I could have written. On the other side though, playing them on stage every night is sometimes a happy moment where we can remember all the things we did together, and the times we shared, and then sometimes I just fucking miss him and we’re up there playing them, and I cry the whole time and fucking hate it. It’s still such a toss up. It’s shitty and hard some days, but then there’s the potential of something positive... it’s helped provide a different connection between our fans and us. “
Finally, how has writing these songs helped you when it comes to thinking what comes next?
“We are definitely going to keep on going - we already have some plans for next year, and after this tour we are going to finish writing an entire record. We have more than just the two songs ready to go, but not enough time to actually finish a full record. We went with the two songs just for now, then when we get home from tour we will finish the rest of the songs and see how it comes out. It will be emotional and different - an entire record without Kyle is definitely going to be really fucking weird, but if there has been anything that we have learned from the feedback from these two songs from our fans, and even from Kyle’s family, is that we should keep on moving on through it all.”
Watch the world exclusive behind the scenes of We Came As Romans' video for 'Carry The Weight' below: