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Valentino Arteaga, drummer with the American metalcore band, talks about new material and overcoming challenges ahead of their gig at Manchester Academy on 4 April.

Your album is called Restoring Force. Do you feel that rock has been restored to its former glory?
Though we’ve heard it said that rock ‘n’ roll is dead, we feel it has been alive and well in the underground. Rock is categorised differently now, but it doesn’t mean that people have forgotten what makes for real rock ‘n’ roll: blood, sweat and tears!

The album appears to make a statement that you will not be stopped. Did you set out with this intention?
Yep! From day one, we knew there would be challenges to overcome. Our band name is based on the quote “The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.” Now, more than ever, we have grown into our band name and if a challenge is put in front of us there is no backing down.

Metalcore is not as established in the UK as in the US. Are there any UK bands on your radar?
We see Bury Tomorrow’s name everywhere. Their hard work and consistent touring will take them very far. Another band we’ve had the pleasure of touring with over the years is Enter Shikari. It’s been very cool to see them evolve their music while still holding on to key elements of their sound.

Some of your newer material focuses on Aaron’s clean vocals, as opposed to Austin’s more aggressive ones. Is this the future of your sound?
When Aaron came into the band, his knowledge of everything from opera to R&B and rock/metal was something we’d never had before. We wanted to explore these different ideas.

Something that gets crowds going is your sample of Waka Flocka Flame’s Hard in da Paint. How did this come about and can we expect any similar surprises on your current tour?
I’m a Flocka fan and I love how rowdy and hard his music hits. When that song came out it was just asking to be sampled! As far as what to expect from us – you never know. But we always have our fans in mind and we want people to leave our concerts talking about how much fun it was.

Antonia Charlesworth

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