With its latest effort, a triple disc album titled The Mother, The Mechanic and The Path, the New Jersey five-piece is looking to bring something different to a genre that really has been pushing out the same ideas for some time. Chronicling the protagonist's journey from a young boy into adulthood, the album tackles the dilemma of whether children are destined to manifest the shortcomings of their parents.
For an album that will undoubtedly strike a chord with many young listeners, the band members surprisingly had a hard time agreeing on whether making this album was in their best interest.
Fronted by singer Ace Enders, with guitarists Joe Marro and Bill Lugg, bassist Sergio Anello and drummer Jeff Kummer, when Enders brought the concept to his band, he wasn't met with open arms initially.
“Ace came up with the whole concept of what he wanted to do, and I was really wary of it because at this point we hadn't heard a single thing aside from the few songs we were working on before,” explains Marro. “So I was wondering if this was the right move for us career-wise, musically and creatively, but as I started to hear the songs and Ace told me the context, it became obvious that this was going to be something special and worth putting a lot of time and thought into.”
But even while being won over by the album's concept, the band would still have more obstacles to overcome, as an album's theme can be overshadowed if not ruined by poor execution. Marro admits that at one point, the pressure nearly won out.
“During the recording of it, we almost broke up,” he says, adding rhetorically, “You know, could we finish this?”
Nevertheless, the band persisted and sure enough, when things seemed proverbially darkest, there was the too appropriate light at the end of The Path , which Marro explains The Mother and The Mechanic serve as a sort of soundtrack to.
“It was a very trying time for the band, especially for that third disc. We didn't really know where to take it or what the actual story should be saying, but it actually came together really nicely. It took us three months to finish, and for the first two months we were kind of lost and confused, but during the last month, things really started to come together.”
Symbolism, thy name is emo.
Considering the painstaking level of thought and effort put into this album, Marro is actually very modest about himself and his band's accomplishments. Playing to largely sold-out audiences these days, Marro jokes he's not quite sure how to explain it, saying, “We're unpredictable, and not like, in a cool way. Like, is somebody going to break a leg on stage? Is everything going to work? We'll see a live set that we did and be like, ‘Jeez, who pays us to do this?' So we make up for it by throwing our stuff around.”
Humorously self-depricating as he is, Marro does admit his band has come a long way from when they started. “We feel a lot better as a live band now, things have kind of clicked. It took a long time for us to feel comfortable playing live,” he says, which isn't so shocking when Marro reveals the Early November are anything but the cool kids behind the scenes.
“We're a lot of nerds in this band, we're not very cool … Serg is pretty cool, I guess,” he says before affirming this by admitting a weakness for fantasy video games and revealing he was in the computer club in his middle school. The high rank of this on the geek-scale surely isn't lost on Marro either, but considering his band's level of self-awareness, not much really is.
True, the album may reveal that parents can have a much greater effect than what their children can compensate for, but the members of the Early November themselves are going to prove that they don't follow anyone's lead but their own.
The Mother, The Mechanic and The Path will be available July 11. For more information, visit www.theearlynovember.net.