It’s quite common these days for bands to have a message. It’s unfortunately all too common that that’s where most bands tend to leave it. And to be fair, anyone with a progressive wonk can’t be mad at that – we need all the allies we can get – after all, standing for something implies standing against something and that’s a quick way to lose followers.
Then there are bands like Architects.
Architects aren’t here to make friends; they’re here to make a difference and if that invokes the ire of the counter-factual community, then they’re ready to take all comers. In terms of implementing effective change, Architects not only talk the talk, as we see in their new magnum opus For Those That Wish To Exist, they also walk the walk. In fact, 10% of their ad campaign spend on Blunt Magazine has been donated to replanting trees in the Daintree Rainforest.
“I think because it’s so ingrained in us and the way we live our lives, it’s not fake or anything,” frontman and moral compass for many Sam Carter tells Blunt. “We do really care about all these things.”
As a community we’ve been given enough feedback now to know that merely ramming a message down someone’s throat doesn’t change their mind. Indeed in an act of self-preservation, they’re likely to become more fortified in their original position. Thus, one of the seemingly insurmountable challenges of addressing needlessly volatile issues like climate change is to make it palatable.
With For Those That Wish To Exist, Architects not only make it palatable, but poetic, straddling the perfect middle between art and discussion. At this stage in their career, it’s a juggling act that Architects have on lock.
“It’s effortless to bring it up and discuss it. Dan [Searle] spends a bit of time refining it and making it a bit softer. I do think it’s important. I think it’s that part of life that’s about looking around and being like, ‘What the hell is going on? What can I do?’
“Are you just going to accept where we’re at or are you going to try and change or are you just going to talk about it? And in this case, this is really us sort of opening up and being like: ‘What’s going on?'”
The ebb and flow of For Those That Wish To Exist also adds to its power; knowing when to be restrained in humble dignity, and when to explode in furious frustration. Throughout 15 tracks, featuring masterfully picked guest vocalists in Parkway Drive’s Winston McCall, Biffy Clyro’s Simon Neil and Royal Blood’s Mike Kerr, the album runs the gamut of conflicting and confusion emotions from sheer rage through to boundless optimism.
As a result, the record splits the difference, arching towards the comfortable middle ground of hope – or justice.
“I think it’s life, isn’t it?” Sam says of the albums tumultuous journey. “The record really has its ups and downs and its highs and lows and I think it sort of evens out. Some days you can feel really positive and some days you can feel really just dejected and hopeless.”
Rather than merely sitting at the back of the class heckling, or coming to us with mere problems, with For Those That Wish To Exist, Architects come to us with solutions – ideas of a way forward from the current mess society has found itself in. They may be ideas of cold comfort, but comfort none the less. “I think we’re all out there trying to make a difference and we’re all out there marching for change. But that change sadly comes from the people that are in control….
“The people that are in control are politicians and governments and they just want money. Luckily for them, there will be money to be made in moving towards becoming greener. There’s no point in them making money if there’s no world left and pretty soon they’re going to have to pull their finger out. Time is the only thing really going to be able to get them to sort their shit out. Until then I think applying pressure to them is the best thing you can do.”
“It’s just got to happen,” Sam concludes.
Of course, when an album addresses such serious topics as social equality and the future of our natural environments, things like album sales and charts won’t be an accurate gauge of success, causing Architects to think outside the lines when judging the impact it will make. “The record has already done its job in terms of musicality and where we’ve taken the band and showing what we can do,” Sam begins.
Beyond that: “Hopefully the record just serves as a question for people to take on board themselves and see how they feel about everything. I feel like it’s more of a ‘we’, like an ‘us as a whole’. I think that’s what makes it more interesting for people.”
“It’s not a finger pointing record. It’s more of a thoughtful one.”