As I Lay Dying Drummer Jordan Mancino Dishes on New Album, Mayhem Festival + More
As I Lay Dying have made the transition from the studio to the stage this summer, as they recently completed the recording of their sixth album, ‘Awakened.’ Loudwire caught up with drummer Jordan Mancino at the San Bernardino, Calif., kickoff of the Mayhem Festival to discuss the new disc (due Sept. 25), their bond with producer Bill Stevenson and details about the video the band just shot.
What are you expecting out of this year’s Mayhem Festival?
If it’s anything like today, it’s going to be an awesome summer, which I assume it will be. It was great out there today. The crowd was awesome and we had a great set, played a new song, the signing went well and we’re just trying to play live in the U.S. We haven’t done it in six months, and we want to promote the record that’s coming out Sept. 25 and just hang out and have some fun.
And the new single ‘Cauterize‘ recently debuted. How did that come together?
‘Cauterize’ was something that bassist Josh [Gilbert] brought to the table and we all dug it. It has that classic As I Lay Dying sound, but it kind of has some new elements that we’re going to be introducing with this new record. I thought it turned out great and it’s a good way to ease people in, because this new record, it’s As I Lay Dying evolved if that makes sense.
I mean we’ve been a band for over 10 years now and we’re working with a different producer and we’re able to capture a new sound with As I Lay Dying but also capture the rawness and aggressiveness that we’ve had with past records. So we’re really stoked, and we’re really happy with it.
You mentioned the change, and like you said, you’ve been a band for 10 years, so can you teach an old dog some new tricks.
You know I think a lot of bands get to that point in their career where they’re like, ‘We want to try working with a producer a little bit outside of the box.’ Some bands kind of shoot themselves in the foot when they do that because they get a producer that can’t wrap their head around that style of music, you know, us being metal. And we thought that working with Bill Stevenson, it was a good balance. He still comes from an aggressive music background. He played in the Descendents, played in Anti-Flag, produced tons of punk bands, but he still has enough of a different perspective from us, from where we came from, and it was a great mesh.
Bill’s got the Blasting Room in Colorado. Did you go there to record or did he come to you?
We tracked drums and guitars out at the Blasting Room and then Bill flew out and did vocals and bass with Josh and Tim [Lambesis]. Jason Livermore engineered it and helped produce some stuff, so pretty much we were doing everything simultaneously at two locations. They would track guitars, send the filed and then Tim would do his vocals in San Diego. It was pretty cool.
You’re in town not only for Mayhem Festival, but you shot a video as well….
Yeah, the song is called ‘The Greater Foundation.’ I’m gonna wait to tell people about the concept, because we’ll probably roll out a preview eventually, but it came out great.
We worked with Drew Russ, and it was awesome. It was cool because it’s been a long time since we worked with someone where we really felt they captured the intensity of a live performance, the way we perform live. In other videos the performance was good, but we never felt like someone was able to harness the intensity that we push for in a live performance and just from the footage that we saw it looked amazing.
Obviously live performance is a big, big part of it for As I Lay Dying. You got out here today and got a chance to perform after having some time off. So how are you feeling after day one?
[Laughs] Well, it feels good. This is the first time we’ve played the U.S. in six months, over seven months actually, but we did like a two-week European run of festivals a couple of weeks ago so those were like our first shows back. But it feels great to be back, playing a show close to our hometown. It’s very welcoming.
With the ‘Decas’ album, which had a few covers on it, how did you decide which songs to put on there and do they hold a special meaning?
I think all of them represent some of the influences we had growing up. We didn’t pick everything. We started discussing it and each of us had five different songs, but from there it was trying to whittle down songs that made sense for us to record but were also collectively influences for all of us. The irony of it is we recorded the ‘Coffee Mug’ from the Descendents before we even decided to work with Bill, so it was fate.
So once you got in there, did you hit up Bill about what he thought?
It was funny because when we first talked to him, he was like, it was the first time he actually listened to our band. He’s like, ‘I can’t believe you guys did a cover. This is great.’ Like I said, it was fate.
Off of this upcoming record, is there a song you really are anxious to get out there in front of an audience?
There’s a song called ‘Wasted Words’ on the new record that is one of my favorite songs on it. It’s a thrasher and for me I like playing the super-thrashy songs that we have like ‘Condemned’ and ‘In Destruction’ and things like that you know. Those are a lot of fun for me.