By Tyler Sharp

“When the band broke up, I swore off ever playing music again.” Following Hopesfall’s disbandment ten years ago, guitarist and founding member Josh Brigham believed he was ending his career as a musician. He soon realized, however, that a new chapter was on the horizon. “It’s an itch you gotta scratch -- it doesn’t just go away. And I learned that the hard way,” he tells Loudwire.

Hopesfall announced their breakup in 2008, roughly a year after the release of their third album, Magnetic North. This came following a decade of releasing music (two EPs and three full-lengths), touring the world and attempts to nurture a tumultuous relationship with their former label.

Soon after the split, it became apparent that the members had unfinished business. “When we disbanded, we didn’t stop playing music, we just stopped having an avenue to release it,” says Brigham. Without the pressures of the industry bearing down on them, they were able to formulate ideas in a relaxed environment that was void of any expectations."

“Jay [Forrest. vocalist] is in Chicago, and the rest of us are in Charlotte, North Carolina. So, three of us would jam down here—just two guitars and drums—and then we would go bowling," he adds with a laugh. "It was honestly just fun to get together, and after a while we compiled enough material and we were like, ‘We should go make a demo.’ One thing led to another and we sent them to our old producer [Mike Watts]. We weren’t even trying to be Hopesfall, we were just [writing] music.”

That music later became the band’s long-awaited comeback album, Arbiter, which is due out July 13 on Graphic Nature / Equal Vision Records. “We went to the studio to start the [recording] process in January of 2017,” continues Brigham. “We were there for 18 days, and then Jay and I would go back periodically over the next couple months putting the finishing touches on. We didn’t really get done with it until June, and it didn’t get mixed until October.”

Today, Loudwire is premiering the LP’s lead single, “H.A. Wallace Space Academy.” Much like the album as a whole, this track ebbs and flows with the larger-than-life riffs and brooding melodies that Hopesfall fans grew to love over the course of the band’s initial time together. “Josh and Adam visited me in Chicago, and it was in the batch of the first four songs they showed me,” explains frontman Jay Forrest. “It was the second to last song that was completed for the album, and it was one of the first four songs we had written.”

Speaking frankly, Brigham assuringly adds that they are back on their own terms: “We’re gonna write what we want, and what feels natural. This is the cherry on top; this is a gift.”
And it's one that the fans have hoped for. The album is due out on July 13. Pre-order the album here.

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