Chad Bowar: Give us a brief history of The Word Alive.
Tyler “Telle” Smith: The band formed in April of '08, and after signing with label Fearless Records, a few member changes, toured for over a year on our debut EP Empire, and recorded our debut full-length Deceiver, set to release August 31st.You have the current line-up and the foundation set for a long adventure.
How would describe the sound of Deceiver?
Compared to our EP, it's a much bigger record. It has a lot more structure, more technical aspects, more electronic components, and in essence is a more mature album. We really tried to break the mold from the genre boundaries most bands stick to.
What inspired the title and lyrics?
The title was inspired by the lyrics, which for the most part were inspired by a lot of personal details from the band's life on the road as well as my personal life experiences. The last year of my life has been a rough one, and Deceiver is a much darker album lyrically overall.
How did you decide on Andrew Wade as your producer?
Well he recorded Empire, and we felt that if he was able to get that sound out of us in the early stages of the band, that after a year of touring, member changes and developing as a band that he could take us to another level. We feel he did just that.
What was your experience with him like?
We're very close with Andrew. From the first few days we met him back in '09 we got along very well. So it's very comfortable for us to record with him and he knows our sound better than anyone.
What are your expectations for the album?
While it's our first full-length, expectations are high. We really just want to spread our music to a lot more kids this time around and hopefully gain respect for the unique intricacies within our music.
How has Warped Tour been?
Warped treated us amazingly well and was an experience we'll all never forget. We tried our best to show our fans a good time and work hard to not take such an honor for granted.
What surprised you most about the tour?
The size of our crowds from time to time were absolutely insane. In my home state of Ohio we played for over 3,000 people and it blew our minds.
What other bands have you bonded with the most?
We shared a bus with Iwrestledabearonce, who are amazing friends of ours now, and we became friends with Haste The Day who played on our stage. Both bands are so great live and great people off-stage.
What are your tour plans after that?
We have our CD release show August 28th in Arizona and then we leave for tour with Bleeding Through, After The Burial, For Today and more a few days later. Later this year we go out with our friends Miss May I and Confide, which will be great as well.
Not including Warped, what has been your most memorable The Word Alive show or tour?
Our most memorable tour was The Emptiness Tour (with Alesana and A Skylit Drive) that we did earlier this year, playing with so many bands who are friends of ours was an awesome time. One of our favorite shows of all time was Bamboozle in NJ this year. It was our biggest show to date and really inspired us to keep working hard.
What's the craziest thing that's happened to you on the road?
Well we've had a lot of bad luck actually. We've hit a dear and destroyed our van. We've almost flipped our van after our tour manager fell asleep. We've broken down several times and once I was hospitalized for two days before the end of a tour. Needless to say, nothing has or will stop us from pursuing our dreams.
How did you get started in music?
I personally started out playing guitar several years ago and eventually started a band. We sucked terribly, but I was addicted to it. After working my way up through the local band ladder, I eventually moved to California to pursue music full time in May of '07. I joined In Fear And Faith and the rest is history!
What was the first CD you bought?
I'm so ashamed I can't even say. But I will say that my brother's first cd was KC & JoJo and mine is worse than that!
What's the first concert you attended?
Blondie and Pat Benatar with my parents. It was awesome! I really love a lot of music my parents listened to. Luckily their musical tastes were very diverse so I learned growing up to appreciate all kinds of music.
What was your first band, and what kind of music did they play?
It was called Experimental Unison. We didn't know what we were really. We had an all acoustic song, we had a piano song, we had a "let's try the whole screaming thing" song and as I mentioned previously, we were horrible.
Who are some fellow vocalists you admire?
Jared Leto from 30 Seconds To Mars, Jesse Lacey of Brand New, Anthony Green of Circa Survive and Geoff Rickley from Thursday are some of my favorites.
Where did your nickname Telle originate?
While in a previous local band, the drummer was named Tyler and while at practice one day our bass player decided I needed a nickname. I was talking on my cell phone and he said "TELLY" but spelled it "Telle" and it just stuck. Sometimes it's nice having a nickname, but sometimes it's weird to think how I never go by my real name, Tyler.
Anything else you'd like to mention or promote?
Just that I hope all of those who read this will give us a chance and go pick up our album in stores. As an artist I really want more than anything for people to relate to what we do and love it. So if you can't afford to buy it, just find a way to jam our CD constantly and I'll love you anyways!