Letter To The Exiles: Laying it on the Shadow Line
Letter To The Exiles has just unleashed a disc of hardcore metallic fury entitled The Shadow Line on Strike First Records. Featuring Erich Barto formerly of the highly influential Alove For Enemies, Letter To The Exiles is a grand testament of faith that is tremendously inspirational. We recently contacted Erich to find out more about his latest project…
First of all, what made you decide to go back into hardcore/metal music after leaving Alove For Enemies a few years ago.
I have been friends with these guys for a while, they originally needed someone to fill in on vocals, so I did, then I decided to stay on board.
How would you say the music on Letter To The Exiles compares to Alove For Enemies?
It is a different band, different music, different feel. It does share the passion though.
Is there any story behind the band name?
The band name actually comes from the Bible, Jeremiah 29
Is there any story or concept behind the CD title The Shadow Line?
The title represents the line between good and evil, light and dark, something common in all human beings, The edge of that line is the most dangerous part, yet it is the part we all walk on daily. The songs reflect that by lyrically and musically swaying between light and dark. I was heavily influenced by Joseph Conrad’s novella, ‘Heart of Darkness’ as well as his book, ‘The Shadowline’.
Why is it Never Safe To Dream?
Interesting question, I supposed it’s not safe because “dreaming” is not keeping your focus on the here and now, which could lead to very dangerous results.
What is You’re Not Going to Seduce Anyone about?
This song is about bands that masquerade as Christian bands just to springboard themselves into the spotlight. Misleading kids and ultimately retracting once they have gotten to the level of success they want.
Would you consider Letter To The Exiles to be a Christian band or
ministry? Why or why not?
Letter to the Exiles is a ministry minded band. All the members are Christian, and have a strong desire to witness.
Your producer Robert “Void” Caprio has an impressive resume, working with everyone from Megadeth to the Pet Shop Boys. What did he contribute to the overall recording of your CD?
Void used some methods that are not like anything I have done within this genre. The result was capturing the energy of the songs as a whole. In other words I feel he managed to make the record sound like the band and not a bunch of individual tracks.
“Ready your shield, and prepare your hearts…for War” – it says on your Myspace. What does this mean to prepare for a war?
“If you want peace, prepare for war” that was a saying you learn in the military. It applies here of course to spiritual warfare. We as Christians often get too relaxed and are susceptible to enemy attacks.
Is your project Behind The Glittering Mask still going, and are you still into techno and ambient music?
Behind the Glittering Mask is kind of on hold. I am working on a record right now that I supposed you could consider a “solo” record, it is electronic, ambient, etc. I don’t have a name for it yet, but I’ll keep you posted . And yes I am and always have been into all kinds of electronic based music.
In Flames do a blistering cover of Everything Counts by Depeche Mode. Would you ever want to try and metalize a Depeche song (or maybe New Order or Pet Shop Boys)?
We actually talked about that, but we will have to see…
What could one expect from a live Letter To The Exiles show?
No nonsense, we like to keep the shows high energy and don’t like to stop playing once we get rolling. The result is an all out sonic assault on your senses.
Any Los Angeles or Orange County dates coming up?
Not as of yet, but we want to get out there.
Any chance of a Alove For Enemies reunion tour?
A reunion show maybe, a whole tour? I don’t think that would happen.
Any final words of wisdom for fans in the Los Angeles area?
Yeah, don’t forget this scene used to be motivated by our desire to share new ideas. It’s time we take the scene back from the corporate minded individuals who would turn it into just another genre. And at the end of the day your beliefs are all you have.
(Interview by Kenneth Morton)