Musicscan: Give our readers a short briefing about Century, please. What are you guys doing right at the moment, what has happened since the release of Red Giant in the US? What has the feedback been like?
Century: Century is just kind of a side thing for everyone right now. Carson has two kids and runs a studio with Grant. They're currently getting ready to record a project for August Burns Red, that's huge. I'm doing This or the Apocalypse, raising a corgi puppy, and making hip hop beats. I almost forgot the day that Red Giant came out, we put some facebook status updates out and all that, though. Everyone tells me that it sounds really pissed.
Musicscan: What is the actual status of Century - band or project?
What can be said about your attitude towards being a group in between metal and metalcore? Are there any principles you would never give up to with Century style-wise? What kind of?
Century: Century is more of a project right now. Not a music project, a real one. A literal run down, crime-ridden project, like one in Compton that we go to every once and a while to get drunk and set a hobo aflame. We made a very firm agreement to "give not a fuck" when making Red Giant. It was important. A lot of bands are trying way too hard and trying to make their albums flawless, their lyrics philosophical or condescending. We wrote the songs in relatively few sessions and wrote most of the lyrics on the spot before tracking them. I'm not saying that's the way that everyone should be writing their music at all, Carson and I don't know any better than anyone else, but for this particular project I think that's what we needed to make the vibe we achieved. There was a lot of laughter, a lot of drinking, it felt very genuine.
Musicscan: This whole metalcore-thing has become pretty professional and somehow mainstream for some bands, when it comes to the poppy and melodic edge. What do you think about it? Is the underground losing its D.I.Y. identity somehow? Century is having a different approach - focusing on intensity and raw brutality with a good dose of dark melodies...
Century: You know, it's funny. I've met bands on tours with the whole shtick: programmed everything, keyboard samples, vocal samples, rehearsed dance moves on stage, the whole thing. It's just natural to want to hate that shit. Then you find out that they are busy listening to British punk in their free time and are arguing with their booking agent that they will only bring their best friends on a tour, rather than some band they don't know. They're buying you drinks and making sure everyone is having a good time. And then I'll meet a band that seems super edgy and D.I.Y. and they're all total douche bags who want to say things about good business decisions, talk about how capitalism works, etc. You have to separate the idea that a bands vibe and aesthetic somehow lends to their personality, it doesn't always work that way. I can't speak for other bands. I can speak for Carson and I in that we just wanted to attack this record like we simply did not care about it. It seemed to be the only way to actually care, in a weird way.
Musicscan: What do you think of the fact that the only really extreme thing to come out of the underground scene nowadays is the music? Lyrics and critical statements do not seem to be important to a lot of bands anymore…
How does Century find the topics to deal with? Are there still things left to say and worth singing of?
Century: Personally, bands lyrics have pissed me off to the point that I just don't care any more. There's no art to it, most of the time, nothing. They're just words, and often the bands don't even seem to understand that their words actually make the world a less interesting place. Complaining about slutty girls, this constant theme of "YOU DO THIS, I DO THIS, WE ALL THIS, NO. ONE. WILL. THISSSSSSSS". It's just boring. Carson and I just wrote about how much we hate the drug war, wanting to meet ourselves in real life so we could punch that mother fucker in the face, how we felt about the type of people who listen to Rush Limbaugh, that sort of thing. The topics we picked at the time were relevant to us at that very moment, had I wrote my lyric sections now I probably would have made something completely different. It's just what happens when you don't go back and rewrite everything. There's plenty of things worth saying in this scene, bands just have to stop worrying over whether or not the Solid State kids are going to close their eyes and put their right hands up in the air when they hear it.
Musicscan: A lot of bands claim to not be interested in “a scene” as such anymore. Do you still stick to any kind of scene or group of listeners with “common interests”? Regarding all those trends and the fact, that hardcore/metalcore have become some kind of a stylish scene for some parts, is it hard to still believe in the things you once did or you grew up with?
Century: I think now we're just showing the stuff to our pals that we used to play shows with. These are guys that bartend at our local bars, record at studios, write for the local newspaper, we have a really awesome group of people in Lancaster who stuck around. I can't really say that we're a part of any particular counter culture movement or anything. But then again, Carson has two kids. Grant and I are 25.
Musicscan: What bores you about todays metal-hardcore-scene/-bands, is there something you would like to change?
Century: Yeah, the fact that bands are usually terrified of alienating audience members by vocalizing their beliefs on war, social standards, political issues, that type of stuff, but have absolutely no problem talking about god on stage. makes no sense to me. There are far too few bands that don't go to bed terrified of the kids their trying to sell their merch to.
Musicscan: There are lots of heavier, metal influenced hardcore-bands around. What sets Century apart from others? You gained some attention and got signed to Prosthetic, so there has to be something. What is your artistic view on that?
Century: Whenever Carson or I reminded one another this thing was getting put out on a sizable label we laughed about it. Shit's hilarious. I'm in another band, This or the Apocalypse, that rehearses at least 4 times a week and won't drink before a show. I love those dudes and totally understand it's a different type of band, a different mentality. Century was sort of like, "Hey I wrote some riffs that completely rip off Refused, go get some beer and let's meet at the studio and track 3 songs".
Musicscan: Can you perhaps tell us something about the intention and the spirit of the band when Century came to be, or when you joined it. What has changed until today?
Century: Look, I was a huge Century fan. Now I'm in Century. I think the band operated a bit more as a functioning live band and had a different work ethos when I joined. Now we're a three piece that simply records material in an attempt to one up one another. No one on this damn Earth will ever convince me what we did was any worse than what we do, or vice versa.
Musicscan: If you would summarize the message and atmosphere of Century in a few sentences - what is to say?
Century: Stop fucking worrying about everything so much. If you really cared as much about your band, your job, or your friends as much as a lot of these musicians do, you wouldn't be constantly worrying about soundscan numbers or youtube plays. You'd do it just because you cared and it'd be infectious and fun simply for that. Bands want to be social network marketing experts and gear nerds before they even make a piece of music that has some emotion in it, albeit anger, disgust, happiness, love, rage, whatever.
Musicscan: Last one: What moments for you sum up the whole experience of Century so far?
Century: I think that when Carson and I sat in his living room, shooting riffs back and forth, a lot changed for me. It was like almost anything I played was great to him. I'm not used to that. I'm used to this really crazy system of writing hours of music and taking little bits and pieces. With Carson, I ended up realizing that a simple idea was fine and fuck all, let's just record it. That's huge.