Paving the way for the release of their new album Eulogy, due to release next year, If Not For Me reveals their new unpretended and aggressive new single "Burn."
When it comes to fans of the metalcore genre, it's not always the easiest thing to get fans to pick up their ears to your music. A band needs to have these three characteristics if you want to turn a few heads: A unique presence, good lyric material, and instrumentally engaging songs. If you possess some of these, chances are, you may be on to something. If you got all three, there is a definite chance people will be looking in your direction. Hailing from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, the four piece band have possessed all these qualities and have been tearing down walls within the scene since 2018. Their EP Capture The Current would cement themselves as a fan-favorite within their hometown.
The energy for their 2018 EP would transgress into their 2019 single "My Own Way." Since then, the metalcore act has not put the gears on their creative drive just yet with the release of their brand new single "Burn," via Theoria Records. A poignant but melodically vicious track that puts into perspective our carbon footprint on the earth and the path of destruction it has left in its wake, this lyrical gem was produced by Carson Slovak and Grant McFarland at Atrium Audio, known for producing bands such as August Burns Red and Erra. While this is a huge and important release for the sparkling new band, things are just getting warmed up for If Not For Me.
“The main reason I wrote "Burn" was because I wanted to write about something I've never written about before; something important that doesn't just affect me personally.”
What first got you guys into making music? What was the music scene like when you first formed If Not For Me?
Patrick Glover: For me personally, I got into music probably a little bit later than I would've liked to. I grew up on 90s country and boy bands (which I still bump religiously), and I remember singing in church choirs and stuff like that. But I didn't fall in love with it until I was about thirteen or fourteen. I ended up going to some random show at my local rec center to hang out with some friends, not really knowing much about shows or anything.
It ended up being a bunch of local metal bands opening for Texas in July.
I just remember seeing all these dudes in skinny jeans flailing around and hitting each other and screaming and it was loud and angry yet somehow uplifting and full of comradery and passion. And I was like "Yep, this is it, the coolest thing I've ever seen." Shortly after that I got a guitar and I'd stay up until the sun came out and spend every free second practicing, and I started playing in crappy bands. Eventually, some of them got kind of okay, and then I somehow found my way into this one. I never really wanted to be a vocalist, but if the shoe fits...
If Not For Me went through a few different reincarnations before really cementing itself into the entity it is now. Hayden started the band, and we all had somewhat of a similar origin story in the sense that we were all just kind of throwing wet noodles at the wall until something stuck. But the local scene at the time was just the perfect storm. There were so many bands and so many places to play, so we all knew each other just from playing shows with each other's bands. But INFM started getting a lot more serious probably around 2017, and shortly after Hayden ended up recruiting Zac and me.
What are your music influences? In "Burn," there is a lot of infectious chorus work intermingling with a raging heaviness that further elevates the nature of the track I feel.
Patrick Glover: I have a whole lot of different interests musically. I'm very much into metalcore and hardcore, but also hip hop, pop, emo/post-hardcore, etc. But arguably my biggest soft spot is for pop-punk, and I feel like it probably shows because the new record is all about hooks. I definitely try to draw influence from all of these facets when the writing calls for it. Vocally, my biggest influences are hands down Spencer Chamberlain of Underoath and Chris Roetter of Like Moths to Flames. I developed a lot of my style and delivery from those guys as I was learning how to scream.
Hayden draws a lot of his writing influences from riff-heavy metalcore bands such as Polaris, Blessthefall, and August Burns Red, and Zac draws a lot of influence from more of the djenty side of metalcore, such as Currents, Volumes, Northlane, etc. But they're both phenomenal guitar players and it's fantastic writing with them. There are a couple of songs that Hayden wrote all of and a couple that Zac wrote the whole way through. But most of the record is super collaborative. It's awesome because I feel like if you're familiar with each of our influences and writing styles, you can sit there and pick apart like, "Okay Hayden wrote that pattern," or "Yeah that's definitely a Zac riff," or "That part was probably Patty's idea."
Where were you guys at when writing "Burn?" What was the creative process for that lyrically? I know this is a heavy theme talking about our carbon footprint on the earth and the path of destruction we are leaving as a result?
Patrick Glover: I think "Burn" was in one of the earlier batches of songs we put together for the record. I remember Hayden showing us the main riffs and they just felt super high energy and chaotic, so I needed to match that intensity with whatever I did. But the main reason I wrote "Burn" was because I wanted to write about something I've never written about before; something important that doesn't just affect me personally.
I wrote the first stanza of the song that ends with "Sit back and watch it burn." I just kind of stared at that line for a minute before it hit me. The next thing ya know I find myself researching climate change, global weather patterns, and oceanic trends over the last several decades, trying to transcribe whatever information or thought invoking anecdotal metaphors I could come up with into something catchy.
A lot of the lyrics came directly from that research. For example, I learned that in the 200 or so years since the Industrial Revolution of the late 1700s/early 1800s, the average acidification level of the ocean has risen nearly 30%, making it substantially more difficult for marine organisms to form protective shells or exoskeletons. All that inspired the line "Toxic oceans trickle down to gray."
How has releasing this song affected you as an artist? Do you feel this has made an impact on others to do more to place more awareness on the subject? By releasing this, this has placed more of an emphasis for other artists to make more music like this, is that safe to say?
Patrick Glover: Reception to the song has been overwhelming so far. I knew people were going to latch onto the riffs and breakdowns, but I've been a bit pleasantly surprised with how many people seem to be paying close attention to the lyrical content. I've had friends send me screenshots of people saying stuff like "I'm so glad someone is talking about this," and "beautiful meaning behind this song." I honestly do feel like it's touched some people.
One of my favorite bands on the planet is Rise Against, and I've always been enamored with the way they can paint a picture of what's going on in the world and make you think about it in such a profound way. I strive to invoke a similar sense of meaning in my lyrics. Unfortunately being a regular dude with limited access to "world saving money," I can't invest billions into creating clean, renewable energy to heal the planet. But if I'm given a platform to make someone think about something bigger than themself for a minute, I have to at least try, right?
What is the best advice you have been given as artists progressing in the scene? I know you guys have recently signed to Theoria Records. Congratulations on that by the way!
Patrick Glover: Thank you! The team we have backing us right now is incredible. I was just talking with the guys the other day about how good it feels to be represented by somebody that we can tell deeply cares about our music and what we want to do. We've only been working with Theoria for a couple of months now but they've already put in so much work for us, as well as all of the talented graphic artists and videographers who've been bringing our imagery to life. It's honestly a privilege to work with all of them.
As far as advice goes, one of the biggest things I've learned over the years is the "fake it 'til you make it" mentality. And no, that doesn't mean to literally be fake. It means to dress for the job you want. If you strive to be a professional someday, be a professional right now. Because if you don't take yourself seriously then how can you expect anyone else to?
What is next for you guys? I know this was already a major release for you. But I feel we are only surface deep on what's to come from you guys.
Patrick Glover: Absolutely! I'm not sure if I'm supposed to talk about it yet (doing it anyway) but we're gearing up to release our debut full-length record titled Eulogy in early 2022, and we couldn't be more stoked for it. It's been a long time coming given all the time and momentum we lost coming out of Covid.
I also feel as if everything happens for a reason, and we currently have a lot more support and resources in our current team behind the scenes. We're certainly blessed from that standpoint. So yeah, be on the lookout for that, and you guys can expect a lot more bangers to hold you over until then!