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Black Market Rising

Chicago punks Rise Against drop their seventh album

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    NEWSLETTERS

     

    It’s been a couple of years since Rise Against have hit the road. Since the release of 2011's "Endgame," the Chicago punk quartet has taken some time off, released an album of B-sides, re-released 2003's "Revolutions Per Minute" and written an album of new material (so much for a break from work.) Their seventh studio album, "The Black Market," was released by Interscope in July.
    The band is back on the road for the first time in months and will make a stop at the RIMAC Arena on Thursday. Drummer Brandon Barnes recently spoke with SoundDiego about all of it.
    Scott McDonald: How are you?
    Brandon Barnes: Good, man. Thanks. I’ve had really s----y phone service today, though. I apologize ahead of time. I’m in an L.A. hotel and my phone doesn’t want to work.
    SM: No sweat. What brings you to L.A.?
    BB: We got together to do some rehearsal. We also wanted to check out all of our gear to see what we have and don’t have. We’re officially starting a new tour for this new record.
    SM: Feel good to be back?
    BB: Well, it’s an exciting time. We’ve had a year and a half off. When we tour, we tour really hard. And we also worked really hard on this record. So it was good to spend some time with our families. But we’re ready to get back in there.
    SM: Well, you did have two releases come out during that time off.
    BB: Yeah, but this is huge for us. We’ve been a band for almost 14 years, so coming off of a breather, it puts the focus on the record. And, thankfully, we’re really happy with it. We took a completely different approach this time by recording in different cities: Chicago, L.A., Boston and Denver. We all went to each of our hometowns -- where we live -- and spent time working on the record. And we really enjoyed ourselves with the changes of scenery. We’ve been a band for so long and really know how to use our time wisely, and this one has worked out better than we could have imagined. Everyone’s happy, and the band is in a really good place right now.
    SM: Is this a statement record?
    BB: Absolutely. And we were ready to make another statement. I think we're all just so extremely thankful -- that we still get to do something we love so much, that it's going as well as it is, and we get to keep playing music every day -- that you can hear that in the music. It feels really good.
    SM: The band has been involved with different campaigns and causes from the beginning. Is it hard to balance that and the music?
    BB: It’s not hard. It’s become a big part of the band -- as equally important as the music. We all agree that if you have a voice, you have to use it, and it’s incredibly fulfilling. But it’s also made the band more fun. We have this whole other thing that we do: We’ll be on tour, and we go and feed people at a food bank early that morning. Is a band feeding those people for one day going to do anything? No. But it gets the radio station to sit and talk about the shelter all week. And that raises money and awareness. It does take some work, but it’s totally worth it and makes you feel good when you want to help.
    SM: So what’s with you being called out as the only non-straight edge member of the band?
    BB: It’s strange right? People will actually come up to me and be like, "So what’s the deal?" It's weird that anyone cares. No one in the band cares, and it’s a non-issue. But people sure ask me about that quite a bit. I certainly don’t care if someone doesn’t want to do something, so it’s weird that people want to ask me why I had a beer before I played. It’s cool, but no one should care.
    SM: What’s next?
    BB: Tour, tour and more tour. But we couldn’t be happier about it.     
    Blogger Scott McDonald covers music in San Diego for a few different publications and is the editor of Eight24.com