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An Interview With Raid The Quarry

An album release from Raid the Quarry hits a lush alternative rock approach that delivers a massive cinematic undertone and an almost gothic edge at times along with fierce guitars and a soundscape that crosses boundaries and gets you wrapped up in it enough to keep you right where it wants to.

Beyond These Castle Walls is an intense record that has an amazing energy so much so that it feels like the players are feeding off of each other the entire time and while that's all happening you get a colorful array of beautifully edgy guitar tones and harmonies that span across the album and hit all the sweet spots you could possibly want for the genre.

This record was such an incredibly fun blend of alternative rock, experimental rock, pop punk, and even hints at southern twine at times and it's all done with a gigantic level of heart that bleeds through onto everything and makes the record that much more lovable.

There's something ultra creative about this release and you can clearly tell it's done by a group of people who have an absolute love for their craft, and I don't just mean their instruments. I mean together, they have a real love for songwriting and that's why these songs come out so intense.

The album has a lot of surprises around the corners and what I like most about this is the amount of character that it boasts because that's something that really sticks with it the entire time.

There is also the strange connectivity between the songs which almost makes this record feel like a concept album of sorts. Of course, I'm not sure that's correct, but it sure feels like that when you listen to the full album as a whole.

That's the other thing. There are definitely more than a handful of songs that stand on their own two feet as singles super well, but I do feel like this is the kind of record you need to listen to from beginning to end so you can really soak it in properly the way it was meant to be.

Lord I've missed great guitar work like this and how inventive and tasteful all of it is across this record along with vocals that really swell and sway with the song's characters and intensities.

This is almost theatrical at times, and I really dug into that a lot.

This is the type of record that you can headbang with or sing along with with your fists in the air at any time you want.

It's sort of for everybody as long as you like rock music, you should really love this record hands down.

These guys are really bringing back that arena rock vibe and they're doing it with their own style and creating songs and sounds that have fewer boundaries than their predecessors which I absolutely love.

We need a lot more like this in terms of rock music because it's got such a wide variety of people that would fall into it so easily.

All aspects of this record are killer including the drums, bass, everything about it just creates a whole atmosphere for you to escape into and forget about your own reality for a little bit and this is something I've missed in music for a very long time so to have it now is incredibly refreshing and enticing.

With the release of such a killer album, we wanted to have a sit down with Raid the Quarry and find out where this actually came from and what might be coming up next for the band.

Here's what went down.

Buzz Slayers: Okay, let's start with Beyond These Castle Walls! This album colorful and edgy alt and pop rock style that was radio friendly and massive! How did this release come about?

We had all these songs we’d been working on since even before the last record was released, and we started to see how they were going to take shape and fit together. We have always been chasing the highest possible quality in terms of our output, and so we decided to run an Indiegogo campaign to raise money so we could afford to track in a real studio with a producer. Amazingly, our friends and family made that a success! So, then we felt like we could really dig into all aspects of the production to make it the biggest and best record yet.

Buzz Slayers: How did this all start for you as a band?

Aaron: On a dark and stormy night between the hours of 1:00 and 3:00 am in 2013, all four members ran into each other at a quarry in Raleigh, NC in search of the long-lost treasure of Sir Walter Raleigh. We didn’t find the treasure that night, but we did discover that we all had a passion for music so we scrapped the whole treasure-hunting business and embarked on the equally unprofitable venture of forming a rock band. Daniel: Originally Aaron and I got together with some guys to jam. Aaron was looking to start a project and we liked some of the same bands. I basically said “You can play, and I have some songs I’ve been working on, do you want to play those?” and so we started doing that until Brian and Trey came on board and formed the lineup that has been solid since before our first EP.

Buzz Slayers: What kind of things really inspire songs for you?

Trey: Making music is an outward expression and vehicle for what’s happening within. Whatever the prevalent emotions are through the current circumstance and the current season in life, it creates an opportunity to communicate what’s happening in your mind and soul. Doing so artistically through music is a healthy way to get out the things that seem to lock you down and give you freedom to be human. It’s also a beautiful way to express gratitude and articulate the good things that life brings. I love the storytelling of music, and everyone has a story. Brian: I usually start off with a short riff that feels catchy and then just build/expand from there.

Buzz Slayers: This release has some great approaches to it! Can you give us some of your biggest influences musically?

Daniel: 90’s alt rock, 2000’s emo, anything that could credibly be called post-hardcore. Bands like Search the City and House of Heroes were really important to me around the time I was starting Raid the Quarry. Brian: Early 00's alt rock, Japanese video game soundtracks, Celtic folk music. Trey: I feel like I have a pretty diverse pallet when it comes to what songs and genres I enjoy. I tend to find my rock style comes from all the bands I loved listening to growing up including Switchfoot, A Day To Remember, All Time Low, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Foo Fighters, Yellowcard and pretty much any other 90’s and early 2000’s heyday bands. But I also love jam band drummers, like one of the best in the world Carter Beauford of Dave Matthews Band. Aaron: A lot of overlap with the other guys, in addition to pop-punk and Christian alt/hard rock.

Buzz Slayers: What are you doing when you're NOT working on music?

Brian: Thinking about working on music. Aaron: I’m a fitness addict, and I enjoy cooking and playing video games. Daniel: Spending time with my wife and daughter, watching movies, workin’ ye olde 9-5. Trey: I am running a country club, enjoying golf when I can, working on my side hustles and, most importantly, loving on my dog Brax and Sal the kitty man.

Buzz Slayers: Who's in all your headphones right now?

Brian: In Times New Roman... by Queens of the Stone Age. A Cat in the Rain by Turnpike Troubadors. Guts by Olivia Rodrigo. Those are my big albums of 2023. Daniel: I’ve been listening to Bayside a lot. Digging the new Paramore. Armor for Sleep. And The Classic Crime forever and always. Aaron: August Burns Red, Skillet Trey: All that was in my headphones back in high school are still in my headphones now, adding in new discoveries like Action Adventure and Good Terms. Even though that style is my go-to, it’s whatever feels good, no matter the genre!

Buzz Slayers: Are you guys doing any live performances right now?

We’re working on it! The music scene where we are is still recovering from all the venues and bands we lost over the past three years, but we’ll hopefully be doing more shows very soon.

Buzz Slayers: Do you record these at a big studio, or do you have a home studio set-up?

Beyond These Castle Walls was recorded at Warrior Sound in Chapel Hill, NC. Probably one of the best kept secrets in the area, producer Al Jacobs has built a pro-level studio in his own backyard.

Buzz Slayers: What can your fans expect from you in the near future?

We’re just going to keep writing songs until our ears fall off. In the meantime, we are working on getting some live shows together.

Buzz Slayers: Before we go, what would you like to say to fans of the music?

Every fan we have is absolutely precious to us. Our record was funded with fewer than 50 backers, which tells you something about how tight the core group of Raiders is. So, if you bought the record, or streamed it a bunch, or watched a music video, or were in a music video, or came to a show, or bought a t-shirt, or sent us a nice email about what the music meant to you… you rock. Thank you so much.

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