Aaron Mckenzie of While She Sleeps discusses new release YOU ARE WE

Congratulations on the release of YOU ARE WE! The band has been around for a decade now and you’ve accomplished so much, including releasing this album in the absence of a label, and fully funded by your fanbase. It must have been a stressful but rewarding process, which undoubtedly made the connection between you and your fans even stronger. You also really pushed the boundaries of the metalcore genre with this release in terms of instrumentation and style. How was the writing process different this time around?

This time round we wanted to rekindle the relationship we had with our earlier writing methods. When we used to have the barn. It was our hang out where we would be able to come and go when we please, and generally be there all the time to bounce off each others ideas. So about a year before we went in to writing for YOU ARE WE, we basically invested our time into building a warehouse in between our touring schedule. We built it ourselves and around January 2016 it was finished fully kitted out with our own studio. This  let us have a lot of freedom with ideas and took a lot of pressure off what is usually a stressful period

With so many accomplishments already under your belt as a band, what goals does While She Sleeps have moving forward?

We basically just want the band to have as much longevity as possible. This band has taken us places we never thought we would get to see and has connected us with people we would have otherwise never met. To continue touring and spreading what we believe to be a positive message is all we ask for.

Listening to the album from start to finish, it’s evident that you put a lot of thought into the order of the tracks and how they flow together. “In Another Now” provides such a powerful conclusion to the album as a whole. Can you tell us a little bit about the meaning behind it and why you chose it as the final track?

The lyrics, ‘In another now, the words we speak, will fade away and mean nothing to me’, kind of means that one day we will die and our music will live on, then obviously the words won’t mean anything to us anymore. So really it’s just a pointer to impermanence and a reminder to enjoy the present moment. What better way to close an album?

How did the collaboration with Oli Sykes on Silence Speaks come about? Is there anyone in particular you’d be open to collaborate with on future releases?

We literally live around the corner from each other. After we buried the hatchet from a previous feud, we started touring together again. Oli was super on board with the releases we were putting out from YOU ARE WE and wanted to get involved some how. When we sent him Silence Speaks he had a brainwave of an idea for the middle section and pitched it to us and we absolutely loved it so we offered him the part as a guest spot on the album. Then we were planning to shoot the video the following week after it was recorded and thought it would be strange to have his part in the song and not have him in the video so we asked him and he agreed.

The meaning behind the album title is awesome, and it’s something that no band should ever forget. The fans are ultimately the driving force that empowers musicians to thrive and continue to create. However, the lyrics themselves are filled with other powerful messages related to the current state of the world and society in general. What’s the most important message that listeners should walk away from after hearing the lyrics on YOU ARE WE?

The name YOU ARE WE is like you suggested in the question, about the symbiotic relationship with us and our fans. The recognition that it takes both of us for the band to survive. But it has 2 meanings. The first meaning is also symbolic of our symbiotic relationship with nature and other human beings on the planet. We cannot survive without one another. Just like you can’t have darkness without light, or space without solid. We feel that our current leaders of the world are promoting division within humanity making us feel alien to the world and each other.

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