All That Remains’ Mike Martin Talks ‘A War You Cannot Win’ + Bunking With Adam Dutkiewicz
All That Remains are in the midst of a tour with Dethklok, Machine Head and the Black Dahlia Murder. The band is out in support of their brand new disc ‘A War You Cannot Win,’ which dropped Nov. 6.
We recently caught up with All That Remains guitarist Mike Martin, and he spoke about ‘A War You Cannot Win’ and the process of recording the new album, as well as the experience of rooming with the band’s producer and friend, Adam Dutkiewicz of Killswitch Engage.
‘A War You Cannot Win’ – can you talk about what this title means to you?
It’s funny I always get these questions, I do a lot of interviews because when we’re on the road. Phil’s [Labonte] job, as far as a vocalist goes, is not the easiest thing in the world – not only do you have to scream and sing for an hour a night but because he’s doing that, he tries to avoid doing a hundred interviews a day on top of the show.
So I always do a lot of the press and a lot of the questions have something to do with the song title or what the album means and what does this lyric mean and Phil writes that and he came up with the album title so it’s just one of those things where it’s one of his questions and it would suck for me to answer. I have no idea. [Laughs]
Maybe you can tell me when he came to you with that title, the first time you heard it, what was your reaction?
I’m just a black and white dude when it comes to most things so I was just like, “Okay that sounds cool, it doesn’t sound stupid.” [Laughs] It’s like “Okay cool, that’s fine.” That’s basically what everybody else does too, I don’t think anybody else in the band digs too deep into the meaning. Phil’s big into politics and all sorts of stuff so God only knows what the title means to him – it could mean a number of things.
What sets this album apart from your previous efforts?
I think with every album, we just continue to make steps of maturity as far as songwriting goes. I just think when you do something for 10, 12, 15 years you can’t help but learn a little bit along the way and I think that’s one thing this band continues to get better at with every album. It’s not a physical thing where everybody has to get a 100 times better at their specific instrument – I think collectively the songwriting gets better with each one.
How was the recording process like overall for this specific record?
For this, it was the most comfortable thing ever. We were at our normal home studio with Adam D. from Killswitch, our normal producer. I’m actually sitting in his living room right now because I live at his house. Yeah normal studio, normal producer – you know what you’re getting into and the work ethic and everybody’s methods already and everybody’s comfortable right away.
Out of curiosity how is Adam Dutkiewicz as a roommate?
[Laughs] He’s an amazing roommate, this is the most chill house you could possibly live in, just the quietest. We live out in the woods, it’s just farms out here – it’s amazing. It’s super quiet and calm – calm I know is something nobody expects when they see Adam onstage because he’s out of his mind, he’s actually pulling into the driveway now, I heard the garage just open. We’re both obsessed with certain restaurants and bars in our area and we go and eat there all the time – we’re pretty gross with the food.