The latest album from the Texas Christian metalcore band Fit For A King is Deathgrip. I caught up with frontman Ryan Kirby, who fills us in on the new record, touring, his faith and other subjects.
Chad Bowar: The subject matter on Deathgrip is very real, but can also be grim and depressing. What inspired the album’s lyrical content?
Ryan Kirby: Being in Paris four days after the Paris attack at the Bataclan made death feel closer than it ever had, and it really opened my eyes to how much of a grip death has on our lives. Also that there are injustices around the world people aren’t paying attention to, and I wanted to bring them to life.
How did the guest appearances by Jake Luhrs (August Burns Red) and Levi Benton (Miss May I) come about?
We became close with both of those guys after doing the Frozen Flame Tour in 2015. It seemed like a no brainer to get them both on it.
Did having the same lineup for the second straight album make the process smoother for Deathgrip?
It definitely did. Bonding together during the two years between albums really increased our comfort level with each other, which made a huge difference.
How has the band’s sound evolved on this one?
We wanted it to where when we get heavy, we go all in, no more tip-toeing around it. We also wanted to create more atmosphere and diversity among our tracks.
Did you struggle with song order at all?
Not too much, it all came together really quick once we finished tracking everything.
How do you go about mapping out a plan for touring on an album cycle?
All of it is just taking the best available opportunity and making the most of it. Fortunately for us, we keep landing amazing tours that allow us to keep growing our fan base across the world, but we plan to headline at some point in 2017.
When bad things like the Paris attacks and other tragedies happen, does it ever cause you to question your beliefs?
Never once. I will never blame God for man-made tragedies.
How do you stay connected with your faith while you’re on the road?
Just a lot of podcasts, reading the bible, and prayer. If anything its easier on tour because there’s so much time in the van to reflect.
What’s your take on this year’s presidential election?
I sometimes have a hard time differing our presidential election from a reality TV show.
You struggle with social anxiety. Being a frontman requires a lot of interaction with people. How have you dealt with it?
Just diving head first into it and trying my best to build my confidence up. Sometimes you just have to go for it.
As a (relatively) newlywed, what has surprised you most about marriage?
I am surprised at how awesome it is, considering TV shows always make jokes about how awful it is.
What’s currently in your heavy musical rotation?
Fit For An Autopsy, Bury Your Dead, and As I Lay Dying.
Anything else you’d like to mention or promote?
(interview published October 7, 2016)