As Cities Burn

As Cities Burn
Interview with Cody Bonnette

By Levi Macallister

So you’ve probably heard the news: As Cities Burn is no more.

“As Cities Burn has broken up. We are happily moving on after 6 good years. Our lives and our wives have called us in different directions. Thanks to anyone who has come out to a show, had words to say, or bought a cd to help us fill the tank.”

After the rather abrupt announcement found on their myspace page following their third and final album, Hell or High Water, no one heard much from As Cities Burn, publicly. I have had the opportunity to talk with former lead singer, Cody Bonnette, multiple times over the past week, and it’s been my great privilege to learn a little bit more about the life and death of one of my favorite bands. I pray that this adds a bit of insight, clarity and closure for the fans that kept them together longer than we know…

One thing I learned while we were on tour… I had a tendency to always be looking to the next stage, looking to what’s next and to always be moving forward. Looking back – I really did appreciate every tour we went on and everything we were a part of, but it always seemed like waiting for the next stage. If I could go and do it again, I’d probably be like, “All that really matters is right now – this is the cool tour to be on.” I’d try to live in the moment more – instead of thinking so much ahead. I’d say that about life in general, actually.

I’ve got a new myspace.

Is that what’s up on the As Cities Burn page?
Yeah – “Hello High Water.”  I felt like I wanted… Well, with As Cities Burn, I couldn’t speak for the band anymore. I felt like every time I would write on the internet, I had to represent the band, and I just didn’t know, like – since we’re all out of contact – I didn’t know how they were feeling. And that’s another reason why we broke up. And now, this thing is all just me. This is me speaking for myself and I feel like it’s a lot better. So it’s cool. Now it’s like, “my new thing.” People are asking if it’s a solo project, and I guess you could call it that. Really, I just put up a bunch of old demo tracks for the CD. I’m working on some new stuff now that I’ll probably put up. I kind of see it as a bridge, with the hope to start a new band when I move back to Louisiana. It’s kind of just something in the meantime to connect me to that. To keep things flowing, and stay in touch with the people that care to follow.

Yeah man, that’s awesome. I was going to ask if you were going to keep on doing stuff with music. More touring, and different projects, or –
I, uh… As far as touring – I would love to tour, and be able to make money doing that. And you can. We were able to sustain ourselves on tour, but we didn’t have anything calling us home. Whenever As Cities Burn was touring, not many of us had places to stay. We all just stayed with friends and family when we were home, and we just stayed on the road so we didn’t have rent… but now we’ve all got families to consider. I don’t see full time touring much of an option. One, because I don’t want to be away from my wife for that long. Two, it’s just kind of a money thing. If I do tour, it’ll probably be like a two-week thing here or there. Not really counting on it to make me money. Just something like a vacation – to have fun.

Do all of you guys have families now, then?
Just me, Colin and Aaron are married, and Colin has a kid. So Chris is the only one left in the band – or at the end of the band – that wasn’t married, and kind of had more freedom there. But he was in school and committed to that. Finishing and getting a degree. He’s still playing some music with some people around Baton Rouge…. so…

Cool, well getting into the interview and a few questions I had… what was your favorite part about As Cities Burn? What did you enjoy the most about it?
I loved that… well… I had a lot of freedom in it, personally. Whenever we started the band, there weren’t a lot of people stepping up to the plate as far as making a song. So then I was like… well, I guess I’ll do it. I really enjoyed learning how to work with the guys from the beginning. Learning the things that Aaron liked to do on the drums. And then, writing songs was probably the thing that I liked most about the band. I don’t know. I feel like that’s just such an obvious answer – that the point of the band is to make songs. But I liked a lot of the freedom that I had in that: a lot of the band relied on me, as “Cody” to come up with a lot of the ideas, and then their two cents made it better than I could have. Like, I couldn’t have played the drums, and Aaron – he always sees drums at a different angle than anyone I’ve ever played with or listened to. It always seems like he does the right thing for it, and it takes it that much further. Same for Chris as the guitar player. So it’s cool to  put my ideas out there and see what the other people in my band are better at doing. They helped it, and then we’d all agree that the songs are becoming better. That, and they genuinely are my best friends. I feel like I ran across a lot of bands on the road that just… you know… maybe they didn’t particularly care for one another, or had grown apart. They never really had good stuff to say about their bandmates behind their back. I never really felt that with the dudes in my band that I really genuinely considered my friends (and still do). We had that bond, as well as a musical chemistry.

For sure. Well going along with the “writing of songs” – I know that when we talked last week, you mentioned that the band title “As Cities Burn” was good for hardcore, but not so much with the musical transition you guys have gradually been taking –

How would you describe that you guys went through that transition, and how was it accepted as you went through it?

Or perhaps the better question is – why do you feel like “As Cities Burn” doesn’t describe your newer music as much?

It’s kind of interesting how, if you consider us starting at Son, I Loved You At Your Darkest – our first Tooth & Nail CD – it’s like our heaviest point, as far as screaming and the bigness of… Well, the most hardcore point, I guess. But before that, whenever we started, that was when Thursday was just starting and we liked them a lot. And Further Seems Forever. So we started out a more indie/post hardcore kind-of-thing. But we’d tour with The Chariot and Evergreen Terrace and Showbread and He Is Legend – we were surrounded by all these bands. We liked Norma Jean a lot. Whenever we first started our touring, we were placed with heavier bands, and being surrounded by that all the time pushed us in that heavier direction. But at heart, none of us felt like – well, we felt like we were going with the tide. Not that it wasn’t true. But it wasn’t the music that we’d naturally make, maybe. I don’t know quite how to put it. We listened to some hardcore music, but what we really liked was rock music. Jimmy Eat World. We felt like the band we played in wasn’t what we’d necessarily listen to. That was the case with a lot of hardcore bands of the day. It’s a lot of fun to play live. Being at a hardcore show – there’s that energy – A lot of dumb stuff that goes with it – hardcore dancing. All the clicks everywhere: the hardcore crews or whatever. And another thing we had was TJ. TJ had a cool singing voice and a really cool scream that’s just different. We realized that was a strength that we had. I saw that and was like, “Let’s run with this as much as we can!” We finished that CD, and it came out, and we kept going with the hardcore direction. Touring with The Chariot, Evergreen Terrace, the Bled and, you know, kept going that way. Then TJ was getting married. That was a time that we were touring all the time, and we weren’t really home ever. He met his – well, now, his wife – he met Hailey. It’s hard to be away from the woman that you love when you’re on tour all of the time. There’s a lot of great things about touring, and it’s a really cool lifestyle, but he felt like it was time for him to be done and settle down. So he was moving on, and we were going to break up. We got other opportunities to go other directions, and be in other bands (possibly). But then it came down to, like, the people that I love making music with, were the people that were in my band. At the end of the day, I realized that we had everything we needed. I was getting more comfortable with singing, because I’d sung 15% or 20% of the time anyway. Now, it felt like I was ready to take the songs in a way that would work with me as a singer – and then Come Now Sleep came. We all new it was going to be a transitional CD. There’s something about making three CDs. We got a three-CD deal with the label. I was like, we just have to stand up to our word and finish it out, no matter how much we felt like being in a band was not a practical way of living. So the second CD we always knew was going to be transitional because it was such a shift… we lost some followers and gained some more. But… uh… I’m trying to get back to the original question that you asked…

That’s totally fine. I can take it from there, actually. I saw you guys a lot after Come Now Sleep. A lot of shows. I feel like, at almost every one (and maybe this is a little bit cloudy in my memory), you talked about how hard it had been for you guys to stay together through that second CD. Like if it weren’t for the encouragement from the fans… well, it felt like it was almost a pleading type of “thank you.”


I don’t know if that’s the right way to say it, but it was like, “Thank you for that encouragement.” It seemed like it came at an incredibly pivotal time for you guys to stay together. So, what I always wondered was, was there anything particularly despairing about that time that you were referencing? Or was it just “the band stuff?”
It’s a weird thing. When we were ready to disband after the first CD, we realized what we were giving up was great platform. Like even now that we have broken up, we still had a platform to keep going. And that’s kind of a dumb thing to give up. A valuable thing to give up. At the time, when TJ left, I was sad that TJ was leaving, and was starting to realize that we’d been given a gift, and with that gift was a responsibility to keep going and keep using it. So I was like, “Well I don’t really know what type of music to make, but I’m sure we’ll figure it out.” We never really went into anything with much of a plan. I always felt like there was this spirit that I felt like I was following in the music. Like – I didn’t know how long it would take to write a song that would sit well in my soul. It would take a long time, sometimes. Change after change. Rewording a whole bunch. Totally trashing a song and revisiting it later. There was something we were following that would finally let us rest. I guess that same spirit, I felt, was behind us and still going. Looking at it now, we were really grateful for people encouraging us not to break up, or saying that they wanted more from As Cities Burn. It’s a good thing to feel and to have as part of your support. It also has a whole lot to do with your outlook. It had a lot to do with my outlook at the time. There’s really nothing standing up against us – nothing making it hard for us. It was our outlook. All along, I was looking at the band as – not a burden – but something that you’d carry and bear and go, like a cross. But now I’m looking at it like a band. A gift. Something that you use to do what you love. The glass can be half full or half empty. I felt like I always looked at it like we were on an empty tank. And maybe that’s the reason that the first couple of CDs had a more confessional, negative – well, not negative – but a humble approach to pleading with whatever this spirit was to keep going, searching and moving forward. I feel like on this third CD, we had whatever it takes to finish it. And we could go on forever – it just depends on if you’re willing to put the time in. You have to keep plugging away at the songs and the music and the lyrics and the path that the band is on. And you go until you decide to stop. So that third CD is just where the band fell apart. Like, Colin had a kid. I was living in Tennessee while everyone else was living in Baton Rouge. I was working on the CD and half the time I was kind of alone working on it. It just didn’t feel like a band anymore, and it forced me to see that a band is just a vehicle and it’s whatever you make it. I feel like there’s a lot more ambiguous and lighthearted lyrical content on this new CD that’s just, like… sort of not taking myself so seriously. Sometimes when I listen to a song, I don’t necessarily want it to teach me anything. I used to approach music as like, “Well, we’ve got this music, and now what can I do with these lyrics to do something.”

Get the message across?

Yeah – thinking there needs to be some message. And you pack it in so tight. You got one line, and another two seconds later you’ve got another line, and you try to pack as much meaning into all those lines – but all that’s passed is four seconds. And how does your brain process an idea that quickly? Now, my mindset is, instead of trying to teach something or change someone’s mind or get them to agree, I want to say what I see – like, when I glance around. There’s so many interesting things going on with people and the way people interact. There’s a certain situation that’s over here that’s special. Maybe like, sort of narrating life, instead of over-complicating it with theology or – you know? That’s kind of where I am now. I don’t really know why I always thought that it was necessary to sing about… well… there’s nothing wrong with singing about God. I guess, looking back, I see it as I know that these CDs had a purpose, but I don’t really know why. I know that in my heart there was a need to have the kind of lyrics we had. – on all three of the CDs. And I felt right in it, in my soul. Like whatever that spirit was that were following – it felt right at the time. Now, I don’t really know what kind of songs I need to make. Which is why I’m laying low, just kind of trying to be quiet and listen.

That’s cool. I’m glad that you talked about the lyrical side of things, because I was going to ask you about that, too. Throughout all three CDs, I’ve enjoyed what you… well, I always enjoy everything that you guys write. And I write a lot. I love lyrics and enjoy where people are coming from and hearing about it and where that inspiration comes from.

Yeah. I feel like trying to convey what I’m feeling, now, is hard. I’ve changed a lot since those albums, for sure, or just grown, maybe. Now it’s hard to put it all into words, what it all means to me now. I’m kind of confused. But I will say, one hundred percent, that every single song we’ve put out I’ve thought about as much as I could. And we’ve always taken as long as we’ve needed. We’ve never just thrown something together to have another song. I always had conviction about it – even to the point where on every single CD I’m about to give up half way through writing it. I don’t believe it’s going to come together to something special or worthwhile. But it always works out. You’ve just got to put the time into it  – even if you feel like you’re on an empty tank. I feel like there’s something about looking forward. Like, every new idea that we have for a new CD or change in our sound or direction we have, always brings this excitement. It makes me want to try to write songs more. I feel like that’s the best way to look forward, and not in thinking someone wants you to write a certain thing or keep to a certain sound that you’ve established that you need to stick to. I’ve always wanted to evolve, and still want to. It’s hard – I always feel like every time I keep treading the same ground. Like a “we’ve been there, done that sort of thing.”

Well, shifting gears a little bit – I asked some of my friends what they would ask you, and here’s a question from my girlfriend: “What was your most epic live moment?” For her, it was when you guys opened with “The Widow” at Cornerstone ’07. What about you?

Wow. Man, I feel like it was probably that show. There’s some shows that feel like they’re not even real they’re so powerful. That could be it, man. That show. That night. I’m going to have to agree with her on that one. That show, entirely. I’m trying to remember… there’s so many great moments that made it so good to be in the band. I remember that show being especially… like, I remember feeling like it wasn’t real. There’s so much love underneath a tent, you know? And it was just for people. I know that Jesus had the most to do with it, but even aside from that, I know that not everyone at Cornerstone is a Christian. But from my viewpoint, I felt like there was a whole lot of love, and it was very powerful. I’d have to say that’s probably one of the best shows I can think of.

Going along with the same idea, what is one of the most embarrassing or awkward situations that you guys have ever faced live? I always ask bands this, because they always come with something. Like – okay so you’ll laugh at this – I asked Aaron Gillespie the same question about his The Almost project, and he replied that was playing in Phoenix, it was 130 degrees in the room, and he’d crapped his pants and had to play the entire set like that.

Oh man. Did he ever tell anyone?

No. Well, the funny thing is he was like, “Yeah I’ve never told anyone that – no one’s ever found out.”


And then he pauses and he’s like, “Well, I guess they will now.”

Haha. That’s terrible man. Well, Colin fell off the stage a couple of times. That was always funny to me. If something happened to one of us, it would always be Colin. And he’s not an exceptionally clumsy person in general, but I think that he just took it to the limit on stage. Um… there were a couple times with just stupid stuff. Like, our merch guy, Furg, – I let him be our guitar tech for a couple of shows, and the second show, he tuned the guitar wrong. I was playing and it was all funky sounding. So he got demoted back down to merch guy. But I can’t really think of anything funnier than Colin being the dude that always fell off the stage.

That’s fine, man. I just had to ask.

(Bathroom break.) Sorry dude, I just drank a lot of coffee this morning.

Dude no worries. When I was at HM – I went out there with hardly any money. Luckily, rent was cheap because I stayed at the office – which, surprisingly – was a mobile home in the middle of nowhere. Like, fifteen-miles-of-farmland-nowhere. So, first, I was like, “Is this seriously where it is?” But I got there and I didn’t have a whole lot of money, so I didn’t buy much food, and just drank caffeine. Drank like a pot of coffee each morning. And then, Monster sponsors HM, so I just drank coffee and Monsters all day.

Wow that’s terrible for you.

Yeah! It’s freakin’ disgusting and I’m going to die! Kidney stones! I lost 18 pounds. Went from 140 to 122.

Yeah. My wife is really into being healthy. I feel like she’ll save my life for a few more years. Cooking healthy for me and making sure that I eat right.

You’re band life might’ve cancelled a few of those years out. I don’t know.

Ha. Yeah. Well, maybe I’ll get a little more time, anyway.

Well, moving on: I don’t know if I’m completely mistaken but, moving on to your last album, I feel like I didn’t hear anything about Hell or High Water until it was out already. Granted, I’m not actively seeking out new albums as much as I used to, or on a label’s website looking for promo as much as I was when I was younger. But I felt like there was way more promotion for your last couple of CDs, or on any of their albums in general. How did you guys do on this album? I’ve heard that it’s done phenomenally, regardless, I just don’t feel like I hardly new it existed.

Yeah. I’m not sure where it stands now, but I know that without as much promotion as either of the CDs before, I know that it sold more than either of them did in the first week. Which is normal – a natural incline, I think – but it’s cool, especially in a time where CD sales aren’t up across the board. So I guess most of the people buying it were actively following us, or went to our myspace, or wanted to find it for themselves in the first week. That was really cool to me. It was kind of a bad time for me and the band, because we spent so much time on the CD and put so much into it, and now it felt like the band was stagnant and dead. We knew we weren’t going to tour anymore, and the label knew we weren’t going to tour anymore, and that was why they didn’t promote it. And that’s wrong, in my opinion. And I don’t care if you say anything that I say about Tooth & Nail or EMI, because I don’t really agree with some of the ways they do stuff. We signed a recording contract – not a touring contract. They only promote the bands that are going to tour – the bands that are going to make them money in the end. And that’s business; I understand that. But there were some things that just weren’t right. But, we’re done with our contract, now. But, it spoke a lot to me that, you know, we had so much support from people buying the CD. More than we expected. It was a really good thing. And I feel bad now, because, at the time, we weren’t – and still haven’t, as a band – been very in touch with our fans. Like, on our myspace… I feel very thankful, but we didn’t really say we were thankful for everybody buying it. The reason is – as I was saying earlier – the band wasn’t a band anymore. And I felt like continuing to communicate with people as a band, through myspace, felt wrong to me. And so that’s why I began this other myspace – like, well, what can I do? This is what I’m doing, for those that care – great! I’d love to stay in touch with whoever wants to, you know? And it came the time when it was clear it needed to be done. We needed to tell people, because it was done for a while, you know? We just didn’t tell people. And I don’t know what we were hanging on to, or trying to avoid… we were just going to leave it hanging forever. But then the people on the myspace were demanding an update and all this stuff. I was just like – I don’t want to be demanded to do something in the name of this band when we weren’t a band. So, my reaction was to say the band had broken up, and I made my own myspace. That’s where we stand now.

Did you guys play any shows with the new set? Or did you just release it and call it quits?

We have not played any shows since the CD came out. We played our last show on my birthday – March 28 – and then the CD came out April 21st. That was it. And that makes me sad. We did play some of the songs leading up to it. We played some shows here and there and played some songs just to be like, “We’re coming out with at new CD, here’s some songs.” And that was really, really fun. And I’d love to play those songs. Maybe I will, someday, if I keep going with this… I don’t know if it’s a band – my myspace – this “Hello High Water” – I might play some versions of the songs live at some point. And who knows? But whenever people were saying on the myspace, “Give us an update. What’s going on? Are you going to tour?” The only way I knew to respond was, “This isn’t going anymore. We’re not a band anymore.”

So was that a decision – I guess, just to completely clarify your breakup – why did you break up? And when you did, did you just get on and be like, “Hey, we broke up.” Or was it an entire band decision? Or what was it?

Well, one day, I woke up in the morning and was like, “Today is the day that I feel like just have to do it.” Like, it had been months since our last show , and I had been calling Aaron and Colin for a couple months, and hadn’t really talked to them. They hadn’t called me back. I just sort of lost touch with them for a few months, and I was like… this isn’t really a band anymore. Like, I’m still friends with these dudes, but we’ve just lost contact. And I’ve talked to them now and things are all good; they’re still my best friends. It just wasn’t like it was when we started at all. The band started as a heavy band, for one, and then I didn’t see us getting any heavier – I saw us getting softer. And then we had this band name: “As Cities Burn.” When I say “softer” – I just mean, “less stuff yelling at you in your face. Less going on. Appreciating simplicity more and more.” I just realized that you’ve got to just shed a name sometime. The band As Cities Burn was for – we were 19 when we started. It was for the younger us. And now, if I do something else in music, I hope to put all of myself into it. And I want to have a band that can transcend genres. Like, just a name that doesn’t necessarily sound like anything. Like, I don’t like the name “As Cities Burn.” It sounds hardcore, and if I ever wanted to play music like Coldplay, I don’t think I would work, you know? So, there’s that. And then – I’m still a Christian. I still have … uh, faith is very important to me but, as far as making music and writing songs, we established something on the first CD, that our band was a spiritual band, and that we’d sing about spiritual things. And I don’t want to be – exclusively – that kind of band. I don’t believe in Christian music and non-Christian/secular music. It doesn’t make any sense. Jesus didn’t run around saying, “I am Christian, this is Christian, this is Christian, this is not Christian.” He just went around and he was Jesus. And later on we were like, “Okay, well this is Jesus, and he only does these things.” And we don’t know that. No one knows that. Know one knows “what would Jesus do?” because he always did things differently. And was never like, to a form, or pattern. He always acts out of love. And that’s what I think is important – that’s how you write music. With love as the basis. I think it doesn’t need to say anything about God, and still be something that is in Christ. So I realized that As Cities Burn had a lot of Christian lyrics, you know? Even if you’d try it’s hard to get out – even impossible to get out. So you know, that’s how the band ended. Families was a big part of it, us being out of contact was a big part of it, and then outgrowing a name we had made for ourselves was another part. And I’m just looking forward, now, to the fact that if no one follows me to the next thing that I do, I’m still looking forward to it. I talk to TJ – my brother – about starting a band a lot. Have no idea what it would even sound like. You know, I talk to Aaron about playing with him some more because I don’t know many drummers that I’ve really connected with, or meshed with as much as him. He’s just always done the right thing, to me. So there’s a lot of opportunities up ahead. Whether any of them will happen, I don’t know, but there’s a lot of hope for making music. I feel like I can’t stop making music. I just don’t know what I’m going to call it, or what vehicle I’m going to use to do it. But, that “Hello High Water” myspace is just a bridge. Like, if nothing ever comes from it, then that’s where I’ll be.

How was it… ah, crap, I forgot what I was going to say. Get your wife to sing on the songs. Do that.

Dude! I’m trying to talk her into it all the time. Whenever she sings, she sings like someone… well, she always says she wishes she were alive in the ‘40s so she could be a lounge singer. And her voice actually sounds like that. It’s beautiful, I think. But she’s just so anti-being in a band to be cool, or being in a band because it’s the thing to do. Anti-perform because it’s the thing to do. Which is awesome, and humble, and the way to be. It’s really cool. I don’t really feel like it’s a big deal, either – to be in a band or perform. She really doesn’t treat me, at all, like it’s cool that I have a CD or in a band – she loves me because we knew each other before all of this.

Well you had some “bluesy-ish” stuff on your last CD – you could do that.

Yeah! Yeah, she tells me when she likes something, so… I’m trying some music to get her to sing along to.

Is there anything you would’ve done differently?


I guess that’s one of the most generic questions in this entire world, I guess I just –

No, no… it’s a good question. A really good question. There was something that I feel like – well, whenever you’re on tour, in the band, and talking to people on tour, it’s easy to be a different person every day. Whenever someone comes to talk to you at the show, you already have something in common. You’re both at this show, you’re both here to watch a band. I’m trying to explain what I’m thinking…

I like genuine conversation. Just talking to any kind of stranger. And that was always cool about being on tour, and just meeting new people. But I wish that it was less about us as a band, and more about individuals. But there’s no way for me to do anything differently – it was just a mindset.

I think it’s dangerous to think that you’re doing the Lord’s work, because then you think that you have something that others don’t have and you are relying upon your own concept of righteousness. When in reality, it’s like, God can use anyone, and does use everyone in their own way. And to think that one is more important than the other… it’s just that, when I stopped touring, and started living a real life, connected to the real world, and not a fantasy world, where it was just friends that would travel around, I felt like real people were different than what I had become. I felt like, socially, my growth was kind of stunted because I was comfortable with my friends in a van, and comfortable with conversation at a show because I was playing a show and it was fun and it was the cool thing to do. And I shouldn’t have taken that for granted. I don’t know if you can form that into an answer – I’m just talking…

No man, it’s good. It’s just conversation, it’s perfect…

So there’s that. And also – towards the end of the band – I don’t know if you ever saw anything on us playing drunk? Do you know what I’m talking about?

No, I can’t say I do…?

Oh, well there were a couple of shows were we had my friend Robert play drums for us because Aaron couldn’t do it. And I was like, let’s make it… It was like – I was unhappy with where the band was going. With everybody expecting us to, like, super-Christian, perfect people. I think I regret that section of the band… I think that might’ve contributed to us breaking up, as well. Because I started to think that the band was my own, and that it wasn’t something that God had given me, and something that God had given anyone that listened to our music and liked, or listened to it and wanted to follow it, you know? And I just wanted it to be “Rock & Roll – Screw it. I don’t care about anything.  This is my thing I can do whatever I want. I can be punk rock and sing about whatever I want.” But in the end – to the people that felt something, at Cornerstone, and shows like that, it’s a good thing that there is a lot of power in love. This is something that God let us do. It wasn’t my place, or our place, to mess with it or be careless with it. And there was a section towards the end of the band where it felt like I was tainted to be like, “Well, this band is whatever I want it to be because I’ve been in it since the beginning.” Just to be the opposite for the sake of disagreeing, you know what I mean? But that’s never what we started to do. We started to be about love. And I regret the way that I acted then.
Ha ha… these are the longest answers in the world, I know. Hopefully you can pull something out of them.

Ha. No, no, man. It’s great. I really appreciate you taking the time to do this interview with me.  I didn’t know if Jon (Tooth and Nail A&R) was going to be able to help me out with it since you guys went out of commission.

Yeah man! I hadn’t really thought… you know, we just said we broke up, and now it’s over, and if people want to ask me anything, then they can ask me. But then Jon Dunn forwarded me that email that you sent him and I was just like, “You know that’s a good idea.” HM kind of consistently followed As Cities Burn and supported us and we supported them. It’d be good to talk to someone and just explain a little bit. Not a big production, but to give the people who care any kind of answers or insight as to where we are now. And I’m glad you asked to do that.

Well I’m glad you were open to it! You guys aren’t the easiest to track down. Haha. Last, but not lease… What do you want people to know? Aside from any question that I ask… is there any sort of follow up or clarification or nostalgia or appreciation or closure… anything at all… that you just want to say or conclude with?

I like this quote by a scholar named Chuck Missler, “The only certain barrier to truth is the presumption that you already have it.”
Thanks so much for your time, Cody, seriously… it’s a huge blessing to be able to talk together about this stuff.
Hey man, I love how it turned out. It’s really fitting and personal. I’m glad you approached us to get this done. It was necessary. Overall, It’s the most honest interview I have been a part of…
Thanks, Cody

A special thanks to Cody Bonnette for being a part of this interview – and a definite thanks to As Cities Burn for blessing our ears with beautiful music throughout their time together…


Imperial Triumphant - 2021

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Photo by Alex Krauss

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Black metal may not be the first thing on your mind when you think of Portugal, but GAEREA is here to change that. HM contributing writer Andrew Voigt sat down with GAEREA to discuss the band’s music, their mysterious name and image, and how office work can be art.


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Atreyu- 2021

Atreyu's Baptism

At their core, Atreyu is a hard rock band with metal riffs and pop choruses. Now, after more than 20 years, the band has stepped boldly into their next chapter with a change in lineup and an album that proves the lifeblood of Atreyu is stronger than ever.


Photo by Ashley Osborn

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