We Came As Romans are doing well for themselves. Signed to SharpTone (a label co-founded by high and mighty members of Nuclear Blast and Sumerian, so they know their stuff) and with their latest release, Cold Like War, out last month they are very much out to make a huge metallic mess of the place. But who are they? Where are they from? And – most importantly – who is their musical man-crush? For this and more, read on as singer Dave Stephens tackles our questions…
The Detroit area!
How did you meet?
Josh and I went to high school together and shared a few acquaintances. We met the rest of the guys because they were all in different bands. I would notice they were all leaders in their bands and extremely hard workers, so I stole them from their old bands!
How long have you been playing as a band?
Professionally, I’d say about 7 years. But technically, it’s been over 12! We were horrible the first few years though, so I can’t really count them.
Before you get sick of being asked… where does the band name come from?
Unfortunately, it means nothing! I started this band on guitar and we had two different vocalists. The band used to be called This Emergency which was not a good name so our singers took it upon themselves to come up with something better! We thought We Came As Romans sounded awesome, so we went with it! We didn’t realize at the time when we were 16 and 17, ten years later, people would actually care about the meaning of it.
What are your influences?
I mostly like heavy music. To name a couple: Architects, Kublai Khan, Code Orange. All the guys’ influences are all over the place, though. Andy likes 90s nu-metal, Josh likes emo music, Kyle likes EDM, Lou listens to weird hippy ukulele stuff, David likes everything.
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
Our lyrics are incredibly deep. We take a long time thinking them out and making them as meaningful as possible. The music is driving and aggressive but still allows for different emotions to shine through. We like writing a lot of songs to cater to live events as well, so there are a lot of chants and sing alongs.
Do you have any particular lyrical themes?
Writing lyrics for Cold Like War was very interesting! Every day, myself, Andy, and Josh would go somewhere and journal. Some days, I would go to a park, other days I’d climb a mountain, or go to a beach, bar, coffee shop, etc. Whatever mood I was feeling, I would go to a place that seemed like it was fitting. We wrote all the lyrics for this record based on experiences and very specific stories we’ve shared in the last few years. Because of the way we began writing the ideas for these lyrics, each song is very specific and the details of the lyrics take me back and make me feel those emotions all over again.
What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?
Very high energy! We always walk off stage dripping sweat. We love getting the crowd involved by getting them moving and singing along. We’ve played well over 1000 shows over the years.
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?
I jumped off a speaker stack that was like 15 feet tall into the crowd and prayed they’d catch me. Luckily they did! But it still hurt. Quite a bit. But worse things have happened to my band mates! Kyle caught Lou’s guitar headstock to the eye, couldn’t see for two hours, and wound up getting stitches under his eyelid. Andy broke Josh’s nose with his bass. Andy jumped into the crowd and his big toe got stuck in the barricade and was dislocated.
What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?
Josh plays Ibanez. Lou plays ESP. David plays Tama. Andy plays Ernie Ball.
What, if anything, are you plugging/promoting at the moment?
New record, Cold Like War! Its my favorite record we’ve every made for more reasons than I can list. Please check it out!
What are your plans for the rest of 2017, into 2018?
We’re on tour in America and Canada right now through the start of December! This tour is 63 shows in 75 days so it’s incredibly busy and exhausting! However, its also been incredible and the shows have been massive, averaging between 1000-2000 people nightly.
If you were second on a three-band bill, which band would you love to be supporting and which band would you choose to open for you? A chance to plug someone you’ve toured with, or a mate’s band we’ve not heard of before!
I want to support Slipknot. And it would be awesome to have our best friends in The Word Alive opening!
From previous Band of the Day Tomorrow Is Lost: If you could only take one thing on tour what would each member of the band take?
- I (Dave) would take my iPad. I like reading on my iBooks and streaming shows, so it’s a great thing to have!
- Andy would take his tablet because he does lots of graphic designing.
- Josh would take his PC because he loves internet gaming. World of Warcraft or something I think?
- Kyle would take his laptop because he loves making EDM music and scrolling around Facebook.
- Lou would take a never ending bottle of Smirnoff vodka because he doesn’t need much else in life.
- David would take his laptop because he never stops working or creating new companies.
From another BotD, Project 86: Who is your musical man crush? Your Mr. Holland’s Bropus?
I’ve always really admired Chester from Linkin Park. His death hit me super hard for several reasons, but one was because he was someone I looked up to so much as a vocalist. I loved his versatility and the amount of emotion he was able to put into a track.
And from Core of iO: What is your view on streaming services such as Spotify as a band/artist breaking through? And do you think it helps or hinders developing artists?
I think they’re a great way for artists to make residual income when you compare it to physical sales. It also costs the artist almost nothing to release music this way when you compare the cost of pressing CD’s and other physical forms of music. They’re also great platforms to cross-promote other events your band has going on! Not to mention, a great way for fans of bands similar to yours to find your band!