Bring Me The Horizon bring their new album 'amo' to Australia in April.
Bring Me The Horizon have had a meteoric rise the last few years going from metalcore favourites to stadium rock juggernauts.
Since 2013’s ‘Sempiternal’ album, Bring Me The Horizon (BMTH) have captured the attention of new audiences around the world and have solidified themselves as festival headliners with 2015’s ‘That’s The Spirit’ studio record.
Four years later and their sixth studio album, ‘amo’, is set to be released later this month (25 January). With this record, the band decided to change things up giving themselves more freedom to experiment.
“To be honest, it was self-inflicted,” the group's keyboardist, Jordan Fish says.
“It’s not like we didn’t have any freedom [on 'That’s The Spirit'], it wasn’t like it was enforced on us. At the time, we felt like that was the album we wanted to write.
“We really wanted to write an album that was like any song could be cherry-picked off the album and be a single. That was the brief we set ourselves, trying to do like a ‘Hybrid Theory’ type of album where they’re all bangers, basically. That was to some extent what we achieved; it’s not for me to say but that was our goal, to write 10 or 11 really big songs.
“With ‘amo’ we took a completely different approach, and it was like 'okay, we can do big songs and we can do the more poppy, catchy songs that we want to do' because we enjoy writing those types of songs, and that’s one of the things that we enjoy as a band.
“But also, we can afford to push things a bit and experiment a lot more on some of the other tracks and take some of our other influences and bring them to the front. It was quite different, a lot more experimental and a lot more challenging for us because we really pushed ourselves in different ways and tried not to rely on the same stuff that we know works for us.”
This experimentation is prominent throughout the album, which includes pop and electronic anthems, a song with a '90s Euro-club sound as well as tracks with similar rock and heavy metal influences to their earlier back catalogue.
The two lead singles, ‘Mantra’ and ‘Wonderful Life’, expand on the sound captured in ‘That’s The Spirit’. But the rest of the album is an unexpected surprise. “The singles don’t really paint the whole picture of the album at all,” Jordan says.
“I think [the fans] will be surprised. I think any fans who are paying attention know that it will be quite different. It’s hard to say what people are going to make of it, it’s especially hard for us because we’ve lived with it; it’s not that different for us, we’ve been listening to a lot of these songs for the best part of a year. They feel like a logical progression. But on first listen it’s going to be quite overwhelming for some people because the songs are kind of all over the place, they’re very varied and very different.
“I don’t see that as a negative; I see it as a positive because there are so many bands that are doing the same kind of thing again and again. There are so many bands that are doing the same kind of music, especially in rock music.
"There are not that many bands that are really trying to push themselves into some kind of weird, middle ground between different genres. That’s something that we wanted to do and experiment with. For me it’s an exciting thing, it’s something worth talking about.”
BMTH have slowly progressed from a pure, metalcore sound to a pop and stadium-rock style since they released their debut album, 'Count Your Blessings', in 2006. This has won the band many new fans, while most 'older' listeners have accepted this evolution.
However, the song ‘Heavy Metal’ (which features US rapper Rahzel) addresses the standard criticism a band receives when it explores a new sound. “Yeah, it’s kind of a tongue and cheek, a bit of a piss take,” Jordan admits.
“We thought we had space for one and we’ve never really done a song that is breaking the fourth wall kind of vibe, so we thought it would be kind of funny.
“The song had a slightly tongue and cheek bounce to the riffs, so we thought it would be a cool way to send the message to people who are still complaining we’re not a metalcore band or whatever, because we’re not anymore and we haven’t been for a long time anyway, really.”
The standout of the new album is Oli Sykes’ vocals, where he has focused on a smoother pop sound compared to his metalcore screams. However, writing pop songs isn’t something new for the former metalcore band. “[Oli is] definitely versatile and he’s been working on that for years and years,” Jordan says.
“He’s been having singing lessons for years and quite intensely. He really works hard at improving himself and I think his approach to writing and lyrics is quite pop, he writes like a pop writer anyway. People obviously wouldn’t know this but he definitely isn’t your average metalcore vocalist when it comes to writing.
"He could write pop music, for example, quite comfortably. It does suit his voice; his voice isn’t a standard pop voice, so I think when we do these songs that are a bit more pop leaning and coming from a rock background there’s a bit more emotion in his voice, a bit more than you would get in a straight-pop delivery.
"It works quite well and it makes an interesting fusion. ‘In The Dark’ to me sounds like a Justin Timberlake break-up song; it has a moody vibe to it and that’s what we wanted to get across.”
BMTH are no strangers to Australia and will be returning in April for an east-coast tour. Jordan’s excited to return to his home away from home. “It’s probably our favourite place in the world to be fair, that’s not even a lie.
“We kind of see Australia as our home away from home. Oli’s kind of like Australian, he’s got an Australian passport – he grew up in Australia. The band’s had three number one albums in Australia and I’d say it’s our favourite place to tour in the world.
"So [we're] excited to go back there; my first tour was in Australia when I joined the band, Soundwave 2013. It was an amazing experience and if you look back on the line-up for 2013 it’s absolutely crazy, it looks like it wasn’t even real.”
‘amo’ is released 25 January.
Bring Me The Horizon Australia Tour 2019
Wed 10 Apr - Brisbane Entertainment Centre Fri 12 Apr - Qudos Bank Arena (Sydney) Sat 13 Apr - Rod Laver Arena (Melbourne)