Our new record is officially out! What a journey it has been. After Andy’s departure, in 2012, we took a long, deep breath. We went about our lives, raising families, running businesses and pondering what would be next. Patrick and I were still writing together. We wrote and made demos for an album’s worth of songs, but I don’t know if they were really Hot Lava songs. And so time passed..until one night when I received several text messages from Wes.
Wes was at the Band of Horses of concert at the Township. He had been drinking and he told me, very directly, that we weren’t done and we were going to release another record. The idea of putting a band back together and kicking life back into the machine seemed really heavy to me. However, leaving ideas on the table didn’t sit well with me either. Wes wasn’t taking “no” for an answer. That’s one of the things I always appreciated about the band. There was always someone there to lift you up and pull you out of the darkness.
So it began. I started making roughs on my laptop and programming beats to give everyone a rough idea of what was in my head. I dove back into some old ideas (Double Minded Man, Lies) that had been around since college that never seemed to go away, but also seemed like they never wanted to be finished either. Wes brought some fantastic ideas of his own to this record (The Long Con, Azrael). Writing together again was fun. But, as you might have guessed, my drum loops just weren’t cutting it.
We were fortunate to have a large network of talented friends who stepped in to play drums for us during this time. However, it wasn’t until we received an audition video through a friend that the songs and The End Cometh really took shape. Wes Remembers “ (my friend) sent me a link to a video of Jon playing along with the tracks on "The Weed Sessions". Mike, Patrick, and I got together and watched the video. There was Jon, sipping a beer and slaying every drum part. Needless to say, he was in the band. Jon's adventurous drum chops and dry humor fit right in. He was perfect. We began work on "The End Cometh".
Lyrically the record explores the endings we must confront within our lifetime, whether it’s our health, our friendships, our freedom, or our existence. Patrick notes, “I really wrestled with my mortality on this record. Everything passes eventually. Our mind and body breaks down. Whatever we don't use often will atrophy and turn to dust. But there is something comforting in voicing the need for help from a higher power, whether it is heard or not.”
Particularly for the title track, Patrick took inspiration that was close to home. “We are all prisoners. We think we are free, or at least that we would be free if it wasn't for our job or our circumstance or some other external force, but really, we hold ourselves back more than anything. I've always fought those walls figuratively, but over the past several years, I have been communicating with a family member that is in actual prison. We've written a lot of letters and talk weekly on the phone, so his situation is always on my mind. I went to visit as well, and that's when it really sets in. The cabin fever and the atrophy of the soul and body is astounding. So between my own fears, my family member's imprisonment and watching "Escape From Alcatraz", these lyrics found their way in.”