Lorna Shore had no choice but to part ways with their vocalist CJ McCreery due to allegations against him. The group has been keeping the facts on this matter private since it’s shocking for all, and perhaps, they are looking to move forward without having any ties with him. There are three other members in the group, and they were left with a difficult choice. After the amount of hard work the band and label put into their new album, Immortal, they decided to release the record as is with CJ’s vocals on January 31st via Century Media. As we expressed in the album review, from a musical standpoint, the label and band made the right decision knowing their choice could lead to controversy and divided opinions. The fact is, Guitarists Adam De Micco and Andrew O’Connor, as well as drummer Austin Archey, are moving on, leaving the past behind. None of this was easy, expected, and it’s nothing the band nor label wanted as well as expected to happen. Regardless, Immortal is perhaps the band’s strongest album to date, and we spoke to Adam to discuss the record and plans for the future.
Immortal is different from your previous works and it’s obvious how much blood, sweat and tears went into this record. Can you discuss the reasons why you drifted away from your initial deathcore sound?
I think we’ve always been moving away from that sound, to be honest. It’s been something that we’ve been constantly trying to get away from. I think we never saw ourselves as being just a deathcore band. We always saw ourselves as being more. Each record, we try to push to get further and further away from that and really become the band that we want to be. We want to get out of this box that we’ve been perceived to be in. We want ourselves seen in a bigger light. With each record, we’re pushing more and more to get away from that. Not to get away from it, but just display ourselves in a way that’s more than being that band. I always feel like this band is more than that. We want to display ourselves as being more than opposed just a deathcore band.
Compared to your prior works, you hear the change in this album along with the new orchestral arrangements. There are a lot of symphonic death metal sounds that pop up and parts of it remind me of Fleshgod Apocalypse. I wanted to ask, what made you guys orchestral elements?
We’ve always liked it and I think because of the fact this is the first time we were thinking about it while working on it. We were coming up with these ideas while writing these songs. In the past it’s always been like, okay, let’s finish these songs and let’s record them, and then if we have time in the studio, we’ll add orchestral arrangements. But we’ve realized as we’re doing it that it’s best to come up with these ideas while working on the songs. So we were already ahead of the game by thinking about this stuff while we were working on the material. We were writing a part and were like, okay, we can hear all the symphonic stuff. And then I would either create it or our producer Josh would help us create it. We just had this vision in our head. And while we had this vision in our head, we were putting it in the song right away as opposed to making it an afterthought like it was in previous records. Where orchestral stuff, or any sort of symphony stuff, was just an afterthought. We didn’t have as much time with it. So this time we were really making sure that was put in there. But it’s something we always wanted to add and we just never took the time to do it.
Are there any particular songs that were more challenging for you guys to write?
I think there were a few songs that were more challenging. And a few I think were kind of easy. The one that was really challenging was our last song, “Immortal.” That was a really challenging song because we didn’t know what to do with the song and where to go with it. And then I feel “Obsession” was a challenge, because that’s our first time trying to write a song that wasn’t a heavy song. It was out of our comfort zone. Same with “Relentless Torment.” It was different to see your band in a way that’s not meant to be heavy and be more metal. Those three for sure are the challenging songs. I think it was “Immortal,” “Obsession,” and “Relentless Torment.” Then the other ones weren’t as challenging because it still feels like Lorna Shore songs, with just a more mature sound.
One of my favorite songs on the album was, “This is Hell.” Can you talk more about that track?
That was actually the first track we wrote for the album. It was the first song that we wrote after Flesh Coffin. We wrote that song with the perception of wanting to write a mature song. We wanted a mature sound. That was actually a very difficult song to write. Because we didn’t know what to do, how to go about doing it, we just knew we didn’t want to do the same sound as our previous record and the song was already forming to sound like a song that could have fit on Flesh Coffin. But we wrote that song wanting to progress our sound, we wanted to try something different, something we wouldn’t do on Flesh Coffin. And that’s how that song came about. It went through four different variations. That was a song that our original singer Tom [Barber] was supposed to be on. That’s how old the song is. And then this is the first song we had CJ on it and whatnot. It went through multiple arrangements, went through multiple versions, but we knew we wanted to write a song that wouldn’t be on Flesh Coffin because when we first started writing it, it felt like it was going to be on Flesh Coffin and didn’t want it to be the eleventh song on that album. We wanted it to be its own thing and display the band in a more mature way.
“This Is Hell” has about three different lives?
The song went through so many arrangements, there’s parts spaced out all over the place in different places and it felt kind of forced. Then we came to the conclusion of doing something else and how the song came about was because we wanted to make it more mature. And then that’s how I feel the song came about because when we originally were putting it together, it just felt, like I said, the eleventh song on the last album. And to put out a song two years after the last album came out. And it sounds like it could have been the last album. It doesn’t feel really exciting. So we wanted to make sure that it felt like its own thing.
What was the process like creating the video for Immortal?
It was pretty easy considering, because we’ve worked with Joey Durango, who’s done a lot of our videos before. He understands the vibe of the band. We don’t really have to do much. We just send him the songs,lyrics and he comes back with the initial vibe. And he came to us with what he thought the song and video needs and we were like cool, everything works, everything makes sense. And it was pretty easy and effortless. We just had to show up and perform. He took care of everything else, he understands the band because we’ve worked with him on so many videos. He understands what we’re looking to do and it made sense to create the theme we were trying to create. He just understood it all. And it was in alignment with what we wanted to do.
This record is a big shift for you guys as it marks your Century Media debut. What was the experience like signing with the label?
That was a nightmare in itself. It was a very long arduous process. I was basically on the phone with lawyers, management and labels, like the entire time on Summer Slaughter. And then our lawyer was like, “Hey, I’m friendly with Mike Gitter who’s in A&R over at Century Media.” And he’s like, “Hey, you might be interested in the band.” And then, he was interested. He heard the record, he liked it. He flew out to Heavy Montreal. Saw us live and loved us. He came out to see us out in LA and we were negotiating deal points at that time, while on tour. By the time we got home from that tour, everything was all good to go. He had given us a bunch of stuff that we didn’t expect and gave us a lot of treatment that we’ve always wanted from a label and never thought we would ever be able to see. It was awesome to have that treatment, and tender care. They really were behind the band and very interested in us. It really showed and it’s been an awesome experience from that point on. I think they really care about their bands, and it shows. It’s awesome to be on board with them. But getting signed with Century was a long, long frustrating process. Not on their end, but because of what we were undergoing at that point in time. Since we’ve signed with Century Media, it’s been smooth and effortless and they’ve been doing great work since.
How did the European tour with Decapitated come together?
It came together because we have an agent over there, Marco. He works over at Avocado Booking. We mentioned that we wanted to do more metal tours and he said that he had this offer and basically it would be a good look for Lorna Shore. And we were like, hell yeah, we want to go back over to Europe. That was basically how that came about. I know it’s also really important to go over to Europe because Century’s based out there. We were excited to go now being signed to Century. That’s kind of how that all came about. But it was because Marco, who’s the big agent over there at Avocado, was pushing for us and wanting us to be on that tour. So we were like, this is going to be awesome. This makes sense.
What other plans do you guys have for this year in support of the album?
Nothing really locked in just yet because a lot of things have been moving around. But just touring in support of the record. We want to go to as many places as possible. I mean obviously we’re able to check off Europe right away. But I would assume touring in the States and really hitting those markets hard now that we have a new record out. Also looking to get to other territories, for instance, outside of the US. And maybe go to Australia or something like that, go to other places that we haven’t been, that we’ve been dying to go to, and maybe go to Asia as well. So that’s what’s on our agenda right now and our plan is to tour on the record and also go to other places that we haven’t been. I think we’ve toured the States a ton, and we hit those markets a lot, especially over this past year, that we’re excited to get out of what we’re used to and play in other places.
Is there anything else that you want to say or add to your fans?
Listen to the record with no expectation. Listen to it as is, without it being like we’re supposed to be a certain band and supposed to sound a certain. This is the current state of what the band sounds like. We’re a band that’s constantly evolving and maturing and we’re not going to stay in this box of expectation of what the band is supposed to be. I think as we created the record, we’re going to mature and evolve. I hope our fanbase can get along and beside that, because I don’t think we’re going to be the same band with every record. So to understand and have no expectation of that and just listen to the music as it is opposed to what they think we should be. That’s kind of how I feel.