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The journey of hard rockers We Are Human from one of northern Idaho’s most beloved, bone-crunching indie acts to ink a deal with Atlantic Records is nothing short of extraordinary. After touring tirelessly throughout the region since 2007 as both headliners and openers for Pillar and Seventh Day Slumber, alongside a soundtrack slot in a national commercial for Xbox 360’s “Section 8” video game, the guys scored an unexpected networking opportunity of a lifetime.
“Our road manager at the time was working a Skillet show as a runner and a couple of the band members ended up in our touring van,” recalls front man Justin Cordle. “As they were driving around, he said ‘hey, I know you get CDs all the time, but this one from We As Human is way more awesome than all the others.’ It wound up making its way to the band’s front man John Cooper, kind of as a joke at first because they really do get demos pitched to them at the time, but he put it in, absolutely loved it and said we were one of the best bands he’s heard in quite a few years.”
From there, the multi-platinum, chart-topping Skillet made the introduction to Atlantic, who agreed on its leader’s assessment and couldn’t help but be equally impressed at We As Human’s pre-existing work ethic that literally kept members consistently on the road since their inception. Add in the group’s aggressive, stadium shaking sounds that could easily fit alongside Alter Bridge, Disturbed, Shinedown, Skillet, Three Days Grace, Breaking Benjamin or Stone Sour, and anticipation for the group’s self-titled EP is already so strong that a full-length is on the books for 2012.
“We wanted people to get to know us with these four songs on the EP, and they are meant to establish us first and foremost as a rock band with a big, massive sound,” explains Cordle of the collection, which was produced by Grammy Award-winning producer Nick Raskulinecz (Rush, Foo Fighters, Deftones, Alice In Chains). “We love big guitars, big drums, soaring vocals and everything about the whole rock n’ roll experience. We love getting out and doing live shows, hanging out with our fans, getting to know them and having them get to know what we’re about.”
The band’s very moniker, We As Human, even lays the groundwork for members’ messages, intentionally sounding like an incomplete name or sentence to draw a parallel to the incomplete nature of the human condition. The songwriting across the EP is just as pensive and provocative, often times allowing listeners the opportunity to interpret their own meanings, even if Cordle has a specific story in mind.
“I’m one of those people who doesn’t want to write about vague subjects, in favor of personal stories, observations or just life experiences,” he relates. “A song like ‘Sever’ is inspired by losing my three-year-old nephew to cancer, which he fought for two years. Watching him go through that was really hard, and my brother and sister-in-law were really torn up. The song talks about the whole idea of separating ourselves from the things inside of us that are killing us and it’s really become a fight song for anyone going through something similar.”
An additional point of connectivity comes throughout “Living Lies,” which Cordle calls a therapeutic track for anyone who’s ever had a two-faced friend or someone betray their trust. “Double Life” builds upon that theme of recognizing deceit and serving as a sobering reminder that even the most skillful secret cover-ups are always exposed in the end. Yet ‘Dead Man’ is perhaps even more powerful when serving as a wake-up call that every decision has a consequence and it’s always best to strive towards an integrity-filled life.
“I believe we have to face the voices of good and evil every day and we can make decisions to either help or hurt others or ourselves,” adds the full-throttled front man. ‘Dead Man’ talks about killing the evil inside of us, coming from the perspective of talking to your inner self and resolving to bury the things you hate. It has some darker elements, but it’s an empowering song overall.”
Fans will have the chance to see those cuts come to life on a fall 2011 tour alongside Skillet, followed by a second run with those label mates/mentors on Winter Jam 2012, a 47-city arena trek spread throughout three months. “All the guys in the band are real musicians, and in an age when you don’t know if a band is playing their own instruments, we definitely are,” promises Cordle. “We take a lot of pride in our musicianship and the way we can pull off all of our songs live, but we also really love the entertainment side of things. We run all over the place, jump around and have a really fun, intense live show.”
No matter if it’s from the stage or the studio, We As Human is poised for rock prominence thanks to both its unbridled energy and thought-provoking songwriting, which coupled together in one explosive package, truly gives these Northwest-bred/Nashville transplanted players an innovative edge.
“We want a really long successful music career, but also one where we can move people and make them think,” sums up Cordle. “Hopefully our lyrics will give listeners a different perspective or an angle they never really thought about before. We just want to know as many fans as possible and bring them a killer rock n’ roll show wherever we go.”