New Jersey’s Armor for Sleep very first came onto the scene in the early 2000s during the increase of emo with their 2003 debut Desire to Make Think. At a time when a sophomore record could make or crack a band, Armor for Slumber identified further success with their sophomore breakthrough, What to Do When You Are Useless (2005), a concept album pursuing the protagonist’s suicide and journey by means of the afterlife. Then they adopted it up with their significant label debut in 2007’s Smile for Them prior to imploding and disbanding in 2009.
But (like lots of of their 2000s emo compatriots) Armor for Rest formally reunited in 2020, hitting the write-up-pandemic touring planet and releasing their first album in 15 years, The Rain Museum (by using Equivalent Eyesight Records). But as opposed to some of the nostalgia-fueled emo reunions, the new album feels common without remaining rehashed or outdated. At first intended to release pre-separation as a thought album based mostly on a short story written by singer Ben Jorgensen, The Rain Museum normally takes place in a write-up-apocalyptic desert world the place there is no additional climate. But although the story remains at the album’s main, its concept has taken on new indicating in its resurrection all these yrs later.
SPIN spoke with Jorgensen via Zoom from his Los Angeles property after returning from the Good day Long gone Days tour with Dashboard Confessional and Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness.
SPIN: How did the reunion dialogue occur about immediately after far more than a ten years apart?
Ben Jorgensen: The precise hardest discussions ended up about accomplishing the reunion tours, mainly because I in no way preferred it to appear to be like a shtick. Dan Sandshaw from Equivalent Vision Documents — the label that set out What to Do When You are Lifeless and Desire to Make Believe — genuinely persuaded me that if we did reunion displays for What to Do When You are Useless, men and women would come out to the shows. I was like “Well, if persons will come out to the exhibits and enjoy it, then we’ll do it.” So he type of experienced to twist my arm a tiny bit for that.
In terms of the new record, that was just some thing that took place throughout the pandemic. It was definitely a pandemic newborn. We were essentially supposed to go on the What to Do When You are Lifeless tour in 2020, but the tickets acquired announced two months prior to the world went into lockdown. So we were being in this point out of enjoyment to do this 15-yr anniversary tour and get the band again with each other, but every little thing shut down. Everybody was by itself in their residences, which sparked the idea in my head to resurrect this notion for an album that I had a extensive time back, but under no circumstances obtained to make — and then factors spiraled from there.
Talking of the concept at the rear of The Rain Museum, what sparked you to revive it? What was that imaginative process like?
The motive why the band was dormant for so prolonged is for the reason that we took an oath with each and every other that we hardly ever preferred to deliver the band again unless it was for a genuine artistic cause. When we went into lockdown, all people was on the lookout for their pandemic projects. Men and women ended up carrying out jigsaw puzzles and sewing quilts. I just remembered this strategy that I had needed to do right after What to Do When You’re Lifeless, which was our major concept album. Soon after that, I was energized about notion albums and the earth-developing you could do. I experienced this concept to do an album that would come with a book, prospective comedian books and all this artwork. But when we signed to a important label, the people about us said we could not do a concept record and necessary to simplify items. It was just “Armor for Sleep Light” for the important label debut. I was bummed out that the strategy record hardly ever transpired, so I seen my time in quarantine as a actually exciting time to resurrect this previous notion that I had, but in the voice of Armor for Snooze. It could also be a resurrection for me to revisit that fashion of music and those people emotional musical ideas that I played with the band — almost like a twin resurrection. But my everyday living took a stunning remaining turn in the process, and I feel that definitely made the album what it is.
You went as a result of a divorce, suitable?
Yeah. Appropriate when I was beginning to blindly go into this resourceful method of earning this album — which was a tremendous enjoyment knowledge for me — I unexpectedly went as a result of a horrible stage of my existence. My marriage of just about 8 many years fell aside, and I didn’t have the very same instruments that persons heading through breakups generally have due to the fact the globe was on lockdown, like conference good friends and hanging out with relatives. The one factor that I did have was focusing so really hard on this album. So I resolved I was just likely to maintain creatively centered on it, and it would assist me get via it. Then one thing odd commenced to occur. I was trying to create this album about this wholly fictional earth, but I could not aid but produce myself into the tale and into the globe. Right after a several music, I was like “OK, should really I cease at this level and break up the two thoughts up?” But it transpired to me that the full point of undertaking The Rain Museum and exploring these outdated strategies was a large amount about searching again at earlier factors, and which is exactly what I was heading as a result of in my separation. I was analyzing my lifetime, how I received there and the heartache I was going by.
Seeing as you originally tabled The Rain Museum thanks to information from a big label, did returning to Equivalent Eyesight Documents make it possible for you the resourceful regulate to make this file on your possess conditions?
Yeah. What to Do When You’re Useless is probably the album that our supporters related with the most more than the many years, and the method for us producing that album was Equivalent Vision trusting us and declaring “Go make the album you want to make.” We did not have to sit in a conference with them. They weren’t coming to the studio each individual day. So with this album, I called Dan [Sandshaw] from Equal Vision and he was tremendous supportive. “Whatever you want to do when Armor for Sleep needs to occur back again, we’ll be there.” I did not engage in Dan a piece of new music. I did not present him a demo at all. He completely trustworthy me. I feel that is since in their encounter functioning with me, the best outcomes appear out when I’m just remaining by yourself, for improved or for worse.
The music landscape has adjusted so considerably since your past launch thanks to streaming and social media. Is that daunting as an artist coming back again to this new participating in industry?
I don’t assume so. We used to exist as a mysterious band the place we would under no circumstances describe what we ended up performing and, to a sure extent, that can not exist anymore because of social media. Individuals are so applied to finding material delivered all the time that you just about can not be a mysterious band anymore. As a substitute of on the lookout at that as a bummer or like we may possibly not suit in, I consider it is definitely interesting. When we broke up the first time close to, there was seriously no social media. I’m in fact sort of thrilled to have Armor for Snooze as an lively band with social media all over. I’m not indicating we’ll start out accomplishing Armor for Slumber TikToks upcoming week or everything, but it is amazing to have these channels. It’s a way we can connect with our supporters greater.
How have the band’s dynamics changed in excess of the past 15 years?
We toured jointly through our early 20s very a lot nonstop. Then when the band took a split, we all became adults — and then we bought back again alongside one another to perform displays. It is a genuinely intriguing marriage that I never assume we’ll at any time have with any one else. We’re all grown ups now, and we all occur with each other to do this point, even nevertheless our life have been pretty diverse. I moved to Los Angeles in 2015 and the relaxation of the band is in New Jersey, so we have not been ready to hang out like we did when we have been youngsters — but when we occur collectively as a band, it’s this genuinely exclusive detail I sense like we’re so embedded in every single other’s DNA. So to get to do that all over again with the similar men is just genuinely particular.
Provided the present-day resurgence of bands from the mid-2000s, what was it like to occur back again when some of your peers are also coming back?
I surely come to feel a small bit vindicated. I grew up going to displays in northern New Jersey when I was 13 several years previous — looking at the rise of so several bands that shaped all of our life — and then we obtained to engage in this type of songs for so extended. I truly feel like this total scene experienced a black eye immediately after the mid-2000s, and I feel like a large amount of us remaining that complete scene with our tail concerning our legs. It was generally these a bummer to me, simply because every thing came from this kind of a genuine location. It truly did aid me mature up and deal with a whole lot of darker emotional matters that I was heading by means of as a kid. I know that my band and bands like us really did impression people, so when “emo” became the butt of a great deal of jokes following that, it bummed me out a whole lot. To see it come again once more and to see people today in their late 20s, 30s and 40s coming again about and indicating “Wow, that was a really significant element of my existence, and I want to display aid for that scene of tunes again…” It is a very little little bit of vindication for me and some of my peers far too. It feels like it wasn’t all for very little, and that it did genuinely matter like we all considered it did.
What do you hope the upcoming holds for Armor for Sleep?
I’ve in no way been 1 to think way too a lot of methods forward, so in the fast upcoming, I hope some people today in the earth are ready to hook up with the album. I made use of to make the oversight of seeking to put too numerous flavors into an album — to be like “This is for someone who’s likely by this, but I want to have a track that’s like this for someone” — but I knew that this album was in essence about a romance breaking down and seeking at that in the context of your daily life. If anyone needs to set on a file to go social gathering with their friends, they are most likely not heading to pick up this report — which is absolutely high-quality. What would be magnificent is the probability that this could talk to folks who are likely by way of their personal darkish instances and just on the lookout for one thing to hook up with. When I was heading by means of what I went by when crafting this album, connecting with the albums that I loved and listening to other folks likely as a result of their individual darkish situations certainly built it less difficult for me. Just listening to that someone else is likely via that human encounter is pretty beneficial. I hope that there might be a few of people all over the class of time who can find this file and connect with it. That’s pretty much all I could ask for.