Senses Fail discusses its many influences

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

This year ushers in a new era for New Jersey rock act Senses Fail. After a mutual parting with guitarist Dave Miller, the addition of former Midtown guitarist Heath Saraceno, the release of its sophomore album and receiving a top spot on this year’s Taste of Chaos tour, lead singer Buddy Nielsen feels Senses Fail has finally found its niche.

“Having [Saraceno] in the band has been a really positive experience for us,” Nielsen says. “I don’t think the sound from his previous band has affected our sound at all, but he has brought things like good melodies and his presence has helped us escalate our songwriting and ideas.”

Still Searching, the band’s follow-up to its successful 2004 debut Let it Enfold You, maintains the band’s signature hard emo-rock sound but adds deeper lyrics, excess screaming and a bit of pop.

Nielsen says this growth is the result of increased confidence.

“This album was really a natural progression for us,” he says. “We went into it knowing that we were capable of doing some extreme things and we just experimented. We wrote some weird shit. Some of it made it, some of it didn’t, but it was very natural.

“When you create music, it has to be yours. [On sophomore albums] a lot of bands change their sound completely, others don’t change all. Some bands become pretentious, writing songs for themselves, and that’s bullshit. We don’t want to show off. We just want to be Senses Fail.”

Nielsen explains his dislike for labelling bands.

“I think titles really suck. In the States, there’s a big Christian and straight-edge punk scene. Kids will go out just to see these bands, who are mostly Evangelists, and they preach intolerance to the kids. They claim they’re punk, but they aren’t tolerant of all human beings and different lifestyles and religions, and this is ignorant.

“Punk was always about being you and not giving a fuck. Today the most punk thing you can do is be yourself and not have an image.”

Nielsen says Senses Fail is very honest about its beliefs and influences.

“There are bands like Fall Out Boy who are huge, so far into American pop culture, and way beyond representing any scene but act as if they’re small.

“I really like those guys, but I wish [Pete Wentz] would take responsibility and be more outspoken about things I know he cares about. Go ahead and sell dolls to kids, but don’t pretend you’re something you’re not.

“So many bands feel its necessary to look intelligent and create an image and credibility. The kids in Panic! At The Disco claim they’re into Morrissey and the Smiths. That’s bullshit " they like Blink 182. We’ve always been honest about our inspiration. We like Jimmy Eat World, Promise Ring and The Get Up Kids. Bands worry too much about their image and it’s lame.”

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