Today exclusively on AXS, NYC-based progressive hard-rockers Four Trips Ahead premiere the music video for "Bring Me Down.” The band will be releasing their new album ...And The Fire Within on March 10, which showcases their dynamic sound, as usual. The track “Bring Me Down” has a heavy melody with a catchy groove and challenges people to look inside themselves to find the strength needed to reclaim who they are. On their forthcoming album …And The Fire Within, Peter Wilson (vocalist), Brian Eisenpresser (guitarist), Dan Cassidy(bassist), and Ken Candelas (drummer) have put together one of the band’s strongest releases to date. AXS spoke with Peter Wilson about the concept behind the band’s video.
AXS: What is the message you want people to take away from your new video “Bring Me Down”?
Peter Wilson: First of all let me say we are so excited that AXS is premiering the video for us. With the video we wanted people to know they don’t have to feel trapped in their given situations. The idea with the song was to be an anthem for people who feel boxed in or trapped. I think with today’s political and economic climate as well as global events it all kind of permeates down to regular folks. The song was written for that. The idea for the video was to give the feel of being in a closed space. It is very in-your-face. The shots were done in a way to address the claustrophobia feel and fighting back against it. That is why we went for a very intense, dark approach to the video. The song is also very powerful. A lot of times when you are watching videos, and I love watching videos, I enjoy watching video where they spend a lot of money and do some really cool visual stuff, I’m a really big fan of that but I am also a big fan of very stark imagery.
AXS: Four Trips Ahead lyrics tend to be introspective and influenced by what is going on in our country. How did the election of President Trump inspire the songs on the new album?
P.W.: You know, I don’t know if this is unfortunately or fortunately, but we were writing this album as the election was happening. I still feel that there is a huge level of misunderstanding that occurs between people of different ethnicities or different religious groups, different sexual orientation or what have you. That was always kind of there. When the album was coming to fruition the presidential election went the way that it did. A lot of people who heard the album early remarked how it seemed like we read the election early. That wasn’t our intention-it just kind of turned out that way. I’m very proud of the fact that with album we saw things very timely and differently. I think we were all inspired by different events. I mean, you couldn’t not be inspired by Bernie Sanders and him coming out of nowhere in some ways. You couldn’t help but be inspired by what was happening globally, in good ways and bad. Particularly when you think about refugees or what is happening in Syria and northern Africa. That was very heavy in some lyrics. Definitely what’s been going on with police shootings and not feeling safe.
AXS: What inspired the art Ken Candelas and you created for the album cover?
P.W.: Visual aspects have always been important to me. Ken and I both went to Music and Art, we were both art majors. We both feel music and art is very connected. I think that we are kind of seeing that connection become more prevalent again. For a while most album artwork was terrible, there wasn’t any thought behind it. It is disappointing when you get an album and the art isn’t any good. When I was a kid buying records sometimes it was the album art that almost lured you in to buy the record. It got you to imagine what the sounds would be. Ken and I decided to go for this very propaganda type art look with a graffiti feel. We wanted something colorful that captured a lot of the characters portrayed in the record. We wanted something with feeling, something to look at while you listen to the music.
AXS: There will be a limited edition orange burst release of ...And The Fire Within on vinyl. Are you a vinyl collector?
P.W.: All of our other releases were self-released. This was the first time we worked with HiFi records and Alliance Media. We love HiFi because vinyl is their main thing. We mastered this album specifically for vinyl. We recorded in kind of an old fashioned way and were able to give it an older sheen with a big sound. The first 500 copies sold will be in this bright orange sunburst vinyl. So you will have this great album cover but you will also have this cool colored limited edition vinyl. The rest will be standard black vinyl. It is going to be a stunning package for those who first pick up the record.
Vinyl is kind of my thing. I was the only person that kept all their vinyl records. My dad was a Jazz and Ska music collector from Jamaica and my mom was a singer that toured for 25 years with a Ukrainian choir. Vinyl was always king in my house. My dad and mom always said the two things you don’t get rid of are records and books. For me this release is a dream becoming realized. Putting something out on vinyl is a very expensive process, but now that vinyl is growing in popularity again it is becoming a bit more reasonable.
AXS: Any upcoming dates where fans can catch you playing the new tracks live?
P.W.: On March 31 we’re doing a special show at SingleCut Brewery in Astoria, N.Y. It is going to be very cool. It is our record release party. SingleCut is a great spot. They have a state of the art performing area that floats above the brewery itself. It is very neat. They have a great sound guy that comes in. We are going to celebrate the record there because they only play vinyl at the brewery. When you walk in there are records everywhere, music is crankin’, and really cool guitars are hanging on the walls. The hope is to line up dates so we can hit the road this summer.