Every time Rise Against drops a new album, you know you're in for a treat. And that's once again no different with their new album "Endgame". Sure, they've changed their sound over the years but they did it without giving up what they stood for and the tunes may be different but they're still ridiculously good. Read on to see what bassist Joe Principe had to tell us. (photo credit : Evan Hunt)
PRT: You’ve just released a new album called “Endgame”. Not only does it come with a very current title if you look at the situation in Japan, it is once again an amazing album. Congratulations!
Joe: Thank you so much. Yeah, the japan situation is heart breaking to say the least.
PRT: Spin Magazine reported that the new album would be a concept album that was largely influenced by the Dixie Chicks, which had me scared for a spell. Where the hell did they get that from?
Joe: That was the result of the spin interviewer twisting a comment made by Tim.
PRT: If you hold “Endgame” next to your first two albums on Fat Wreck, there are a few differences. How do you feel about “The Unraveling” and “Revolutions Per Minute” looking back on them now?
Joe: I think of every record as a page in the rise against history book. I’m extremely proud of everything we’ve done but always look forward to progress in respect to songwriting.
PRT: “Siren Song Of The Counter Culture” was a new beginning for you guys, it being your first album on a major label. Did the whole being on a major change anything for you on a personal level?
Joe: Well, that was our first major label release and with change comes a bit of uneasiness. We were so used to working with Fat Mike. If you needed anything you could just call him on the phone and get it done. A major label has a whole process and team of people to get anything done so it can be a but frustrating. A big part of our deal with Geffen was complete creative control and they have always held up their part of the deal.
PRT: What I’ve always wanted to ask and I don’t mean this in a bad way… does signing with a major label come with some kind of pressure to write more accessible songs or did that just come about naturally?
Joe: For us…….not at all. We’ve never written with that in mind. It always comes from the heart or else we wouldn’t do it. I think it would sound incredibly forced if that was the case.
PRT: You’ve worked with Bill Stevenson and Jason Livermore on most of your albums… are they the producers who ‘get’ punkrock the most? How big of an influence would you say they have on your music?
Joe: They have an immense impact on the end result of our records. They truly get hardcore punk, pop, rock, etc…..It’s extrememly important for producers to get the roots of the band they’re working with or else you get a record that sounds like the producers influences, not the bands
PRT: There’s been a lot of other punkrock bands who went from indie labels to majors but you’re one of the few who have made the transition successfully. Why do you think that is?
Joe: I think its maintaining creative control. Our records would sound the way they do regardless of what label we’re on.
PRT: While your sound has changed over the years, your ideals and beliefs have always remained the same which is commendable to say the least. Do you ever get tired though of fighting the good fight?
Joe: Not at all. Its in our DNA to sing about the things we do. It just comes natural to us.
PRT: With as many fans as you have, there’s bound to be a few of them who don’t get much further than saying that so or so is a badass song. Does it on any level bother you that they don’t get more out of your lyrics or support the causes you help out? Or is it already more than enough for you that people think you write badass songs?
Joe: Yeah, its unrealistic to think you’ll reach each and every fan on that level. And that’s ok. Everybody takes different things from music.
PRT: “Endgame” deals with the end of humankind as we know it and the idea that things could very well be better at the end of this transition we’re going through. Do you think things need to get worse before they can get better?
Joe: Seems like that’s a necessary. The bad inspires change. Its human nature unfortunately.
PRT: What else can people expect from Rise Against in 2011? Lots and lots of touring?
Joe: We’ll keep doing what we do. Playing to as many people as we can. I’d like to thank all of our fans here in Belgium for their support!