August 9, 2013 Interview- Justin Cordle of We As Human – Their rise to rock stardom
Sometimes we are given opportunities and within those opportunities something really special can blossom. Hard rock band We As Human have taken those opportunities to the full extent and are rising fast in the rock n roll world. Humble beginnings has found the Nashville, Tennessee rockers with a solid self titled debut album on Atlantic Records and a spot on this years Carnival of Madness. Their debut album is fast rising in the ranks in hard rock, rock, Christian, and alternative album charts. Recently we caught up with lead singer Justin Cordle for a in depth look at the beginnings of We As Human, their amazing break into the mainstream, Carnival Of Madness, and much more.
Crypticrock.com- We As Human has accomplished a lot in the past few years. Story goes you guys handed your EP to Skillet while at a show and they loved it and needless to say everything has taken off for you guys since. Briefly tell me about how everything played out?
Justin Cordle- Well actually the person who handed John Cooper our EP was our road manager at the time. He was working a Skillet show in Spokane Washington. John Cooper and some of the other members of Skillet ended up in his vehicle, he was running around doing errands and they got to talking. Our road manager said “Hey there is this band I work with called We As Human and I’d love you to listen to them” and he gave them our EP. John being polite took our EP from our road manager and he said “Oh yea I will give it a listen”, he was probably thinking in the back of his mind oh this is going to suck (laughs). That day John got back to his bus and sat down with his wife and listened to our first track “Fly” and he absolutely loved and listened to the rest of it and said “Holy cow I really love these guys”. He called up his manager Zach Kelm and he said “There’s this band called We As Human and I just got their EP I love it, think you should check it out and work with them”. Zach said “I just heard about this band as well and I really like them too. Why don’t we get together and see what we can do with them”. That is kind of how it went down and it just has been sky rocketing since then.
Crypticrock.com- That is a pretty crazy story to tell because that sort of stuff doesn’t happen that often. Now the band will be on the carnival of madness this summer with Shinedown, Skillet, In This Moment, Papa Roach and Sevendust on some dates. How exciting are you guys for this opportunity to hit the road with this group of established bands and get We as Human out to a large audience?
Justin Cordle- We’re ecstatic man, we are still pinching ourselves. When they told us we were going to be on the Carnival Of Madness I couldn’t believe it. We’ve done some really cool tours, we’ve been honored to tour with Skillet a couple of times, who we always love touring with. We’ve been on tour with Red as well. We’ve been touring a long time but I’d say out of all those tours this is the one we are the most excited about, I still can’t believe we’re on it. We’re really pulling out all the stops, this is the first tour we will really have an actual production and stage setup. We are going to try and go over the top on this one. Those are some of my favorite bands. I love Shinedown, I’ve loved them ever since their first record. Obviously I love the new Skillet record so it’s really exciting to see their new set coming together. All those bands are awesome. Sevendust is one of my favorite bands ever, so to be able to play with them is a huge honor. We are stoked about this tour, we are really excited about it.
Crypticrock.com- It’s going to be a great tour and fans should really look forward to it. The debut self-titled album We As Human was released June 21st. It’s a very strong debut, briefly tell me the writing process of the record?
Justin Cordle- It came out really strong, I was really surprised. We weren’t sure what to expect being our debut album. It hit hard and fast and we are really stoked about it. The writing process took about 1 1/2 years. We actually pulled in some songs I had written a couple of years ago that we just loved and that we wanted to put on there. I travelled a lot doing some different co-writing with artists I love. I actually wrote with Eric Bass from Shinedown, John 5 of Marilyn Manson and Rob Zombie, Mark Colman, Blair Daly, Bobby Huff, some great rock writers. This is the first album I co-wrote on. My band and I got out on the rehearsal stage and started hacking away, writing, and arranging. We just wanted to make sure everything on the record had a purpose, that it has its place and not just filler. Even when we were in the studio we were still making big changes, really simplifying, make sure every note was in the right place, every word had a meaning, and that was our goal. We wanted to make it a real purposeful album and we feel really good about it. I think we pulled it off, but ultimately the fans will be the ones to decide on that.
Crypticrock.com- I think you guys did pull it off and each song does have a unique quality. Now the tracks “Zombie” has a guest appearance by John Cooper of Skillet and “Take The Bullet Away” has a guest appearance by former Flyleaf vocalist Lacey Sturm. What was that experience like collaborating with them?
Justin Cordle- It was incredible. We got to the end of the record and we hadn’t thought too much about doing collaboration with another artists. I talked about it with John Cooper a little bit, but we were all so busy on the road and he was busy getting ready go in with the new Skillet album. So we got to the end of the record, it was done and we started talking to some of the A & R guys and they said “why don’t we get some of your favorite artists to come in to sing with you”. That kind of sparked this whole conversation of artist collaborations. They were really the two main artists, when I listened to our album there were these two songs that I thought these two artists would really fit. We had Lacey Sturm sing on “Take The Bullet Away” because I wrote the song about a woman. I wrote it about my sister in law and the things she had been going through. I thought it was really appropriate to have a girl sing on it and Lacey came in and just tore it up. When I went back to listen to the record “Zombie” was just made to sing by John Cooper (laughs). I’m really happy and ecstatic to hear their voices on songs that we wrote and on our album, we are really honored to have them on there.
Crypticrock.com- Those are two of some of the great tracks on the album and it just compliments everything. After listening to your self-titled debut album it’s very obvious each song is diverse in sound and style. Tell me what some of your musical influences are?
Justin Cordle- Me personally, I’ve always loved Alter Bridge, Garth Brooks, and Keith Urban. I love some of that country stuff as well. Our musical influences go everywhere from Muse, Steve Vai, to John Mayer. It’s kind of all over the place. I think the band and I, we are not just the kind of guys that we exclude a genre. We don’t really say “oh well we don’t like country music or pop”. Our influences are all over the place. I kind of dig anything from Britney Spears “Toxic” song to Disturbed and Godsmack. Anybody who writes well, I can dig that.
Crypticrock.com- It’s good not to box yourself in there. There is a lot of good music out there.
Justin Cordle- I think so there are so many good writers out there. You don’t want to ignore them because it’s not necessarily your favorite genre.
Crypticrock.com- Absolutely true. My last question for you is regarding films. Crypticrock.com is a rock/metal and horror news site so we like to focus on all genres. Are you a fan of horror films and if so what are some of your favorite horror films?
Justin Cordle- Oh man, that’s a great question, I hadn’t thought about that. I do like horror films. I like The Blair Witch Project, 13 Ghost, the first Saw movie, and Paranormal Activity. I like the ones where they have demons moving stuff around like The Exorcism Of Emily Rose and things like that. I don’t get to watch them that much but I’m going to get to watch a movie today. I think it’s going to be a horror movie kind of day.
Catch We As Human on Carnival Of Madness. Tour dates are as follow:
08/11 Asbury, Park, NJ – Convention Hall (no Papa Roach) *
08/13 Cleveland, OH – Jacobs Pavilion at Nautica (no Papa Roach) *
08/14 Philadelphia, PA – Mann Center for the Performing Arts (no Papa Roach) *
08/16 Canandaigua, NY – Marvin Sands Performing Arts Center
08/17 Cincinnati, OH – PNC Pavilion at Riverbend Music Center
08/18 Bloomington, IL – US Cellular Coliseum
08/20 Burgettstown, PA – First Niagara Pavilion
08/21 Bristow, VA – Jiffy Lube Live
08/23 Tinley Park, IL – First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre
08/25 Cedar Rapids, IA – U.S. Cellular Center
08/27 Clarkston, MI – DTE Energy Music Theatre
08/28 Big Flats, NY – Tags
08/30 Charlotte, NC – Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
08/31 Virginia Beach, VA – Farm Bureau Live
09/01 Raleigh, NC – The Red Hat Amphitheater
09/06 Allegan, MI – Allegan County Fair
09/07 Maryland Heights, MO – Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
09/10 Morrison, CO – Red Rocks Amphitheatre
09/12 Spokane, WA – Discovery Park
09/14 Sacramento, CA – Discovery Park
09/15 Las Vegas, NV – The Joint
09/18 Seattle, WA – Washington State Fair
* With Sevendust