Long Island hardcore band Stray From the Path recently wrapped up recording sessions for their seventh album at Belleville NJ’s Machine Shop. Last week, as vocalist Drew York completed vocals with producer Will Putney, Metal Insider caught up with guitarist and founding member Tom Williams, drummer Dan Bourke, and bassist Anthony Altamura about the new album, how it differs from their past work, and who WON’T be making an appearance on the album, which is tentatively due out later this year via Sumerian. Here’s what Putney had to say about working with the band on consecutive albums:
Stray is one of my favorite bands to work with because they are a BAND. I know that sounds obvious but the way they feed of each others ideas and gel together live and in the studio is inspiring to watch. It’s not one guy’s creative output and people following along, they’re a sum of all their parts like all great bands are. On this record I tried to capture that, and the organics of the production are going to bring that feel to life. They really stick out for me in a very predictable age of heavy music, and it’s great to be a part of.
This is your second album with Will Putney. What made you come back to him?
Tom: We did previous records with other pretty well-known people with reputations, and it was cool, but it always felt like us and this other person on the other side. With Will, it was cool, because for the time being, it’s almost like he’s a member of the band. His humor is the same, and his ideas are very much like one of us would be saying it. It’s cool because we can make fun of him and he thinks it’s funny, and he can do the same to us. We couldn’t do that with other people we work with. We worked with him on Rising Sun, and we worked with him on the single for “Landmine” that went up a couple months ago, so why wouldn’t we come back? I’m sure we’ll come back for the next one?
Do you feel like it’s an East Coast thing, where you guys just get each other?
Tom: It’s a New York thing. He’s an asshole and so are we. (laughter) That’s pretty important, and I’m not even joking. To be able to say something like ‘you’re a piece of shit, Will,’ and him say “Yeah I know. You’re an asshole” actually means something.
How was working with Will this time, as opposed to last time? Have you learned from him?
Dan: We’ve learned a lot from Will. He’s a fantastic producer, so he has all of these ideas, almost about getting out of your metal or hardcore mindset and writing a song as you would from a different genre, and then turning that into a metal song. A lot of metal or hardcore bands that have a lot of fans have this different way of going about how they write a song. It’s not the same as we normally do it, and that’s something that Will does really well. So i think we picked that up from him. It’s also really about not being content with what you have. You don’t want to be like ‘I think that song’s pretty cool. Hopefully kids will like it.’ But working on it and working on it and making sure that it’s definitely cool.
Did it take less time?
Tom: Yeah. We’ve been here since the 3rd, and it’s the 21st, and we’ve had two days off.
Dan: We came very prepared, and what we’ve learned from Will in the past, we really did that for ourselves this time. In our own practice space, recording our own songs, doing pre-production all by ourselves. When we came into the studio, we were way more prepared to start working with Will. That’s why this recording session has gone by so much quicker than it did in the past.