Ephraim Francis on I Hate Heroes' New Album: "It's My Sincere Hope That Fans Will Walk Away With a Real Sense of Our Purpose and Message"
Having just wrapped up recording their new album and follow-up to their 2015 debut EP, Pennsylvania quintet I Hate Heroes are starting the new year off on the right foot. Driven by their love for their local music scene and a desire to create the strongest eleven songs possible for their listeners, the new album promises to be a huge milestone for the band. While fans eagerly await more new music, they can rest assured - great care went into crafting these songs and 2017 promises to be quite a year for I Hate Heroes.
We recently caught up with vocalist Ephraim Francis and talked about the upcoming album, future tour dates and much more. Read the full interview below!
Interview by Shannon Shumaker
Can you tell us a little bit about I Hate Heroes for any readers who may not be familiar?
We're a post-hardcore band from eastern Pennsylvania. Since the fall of 2014 we've put out a few EPs and singles, along with a hard-hitting Taylor Swift cover. As a band we have diverse interests and it shows in our music. Personally I love the fact that many who hear us can't quite put their finger on who to compare us to. Though of course one of the most common lines when a band is pitching their music is about how unique their sound is, so I suppose you'll have to give us a listen and make your own judgement.
How do you feel the PA music scene has shaped you as musicians and songwriters? How has it affected new music that you’ve been working on?
Interesting question! The music scene here in PA is a tight-knit community. Kids love to come out to shows and feel the solidarity we all share between performing and listening to new music. We're lucky enough to have a lot of talented bands in our area to draw inspiration from. Our producers Ricky and Pete for instance are great musicians, and they have helped take our demos for the album to a whole new level. I've got to say my favorite studio moment was standing there amazed at how great everything is sounding now that the tracking is done, and we're heading into the final stages of production.
You guys just wrapped up recording your new album! What was the highlight of your time writing and recording in the studio?
I've got to say my favorite studio moment was standing there amazed at how great everything is sounding now that the tracking is done, and the fact that we're heading into the final stages of production.
What was the most difficult or challenging thing to overcome during the writing and recording process?
For me, the difficult part of writing the album was the fact that I can't help but challenge myself. With every song I write I try to include something that will make me a better vocalist. It's all about constantly improving. I've recorded 100% of the vocals on this record and I couldn't be more proud of how it turned out, but I can't say I haven't briefly doubted myself along the way.
Did you have any goals in mind when working on new songs?
The main goal for me was always the finished product. I stay motivated by keeping my eyes on the prize and focusing on the overall appeal to the listener, as opposed to getting bogged down by small details. Don't get me wrong, details are important, but luckily I have a great band of musicians and a great production team that I trust to take my contribution and make it even better.
When can fans expect to start hearing some new music?
Frankly I'm sure I'm even more excited to share our new music with our supporters than they are to hear it. It's been very hard to keep it to myself. As far as a release date it's difficult to say, as we're taking the time to make sure this album represents us to the best of our abilities. Things fans can look forward to though: a lot of touring in 2017, a music video, possibly a single, and an 11-track album that we've poured our hearts into.
What would you like listeners to be able to take away from the new songs?
Writing the lyrics has always been my favorite part of the process, and it's my sincere hope that fans will walk away with a real sense of our purpose and message. I think I speak for the whole band when I say this album is our best work, and we all want fans to see how much we have grown as musicians, individually and as a whole. Personally I just hope people are inspired by my writing.
With 2017 just beginning do you have any big plans or goals for the new year?
2017 will be a great year for I Hate Heroes. We have a lot planned, most of which I can't mention at the moment. Expect a lot of touring for sure, new music, new merch, new videos, new everything. I can't wait to share it with everyone.
Thank you for taking the time to chat with us! Is there anything else you’d like to add?
You're quite welcome. Thanks for the opportunity to share a little about the band!