San Diego rockers, Thousand Below, have been making waves with a steady emphasis on delivering emotional and potent lyrical musings through every one of their impassioned tracks. The Rise Records family members have absorbed life experiences beyond their age and translated the wisdom that they have collected through their artistry. I caught up with Thousand Below vocalist, James Deberg, to discuss the deep significance behind the release of ‘The Love You Let Too Close’, how growing up in San Diego has influenced his artistry, tattoos and more.
Congrats on the release of ‘The Love You Let Too Close’. Tell us about the backstory behind the title of the album and what this album personally means to you.
‘The Love You Let Too Close’ is about pain, loss, grieving, love, coping mechanisms, and transition periods at damaged parts of our lives. I lost my best friend to suicide about two and a half years ago and going through that changed me as a person in an extremely large way. The record is about my experience through coping with that, who I became as a person as a result of dealing with such grief, and falling in love with someone and losing that person as a result of my damaged mental state.
What do you desire fans and listeners to take away from the album?
I want the fans to be able to connect with the music, I want them to listen to the songs and feel connected to what I’m writing and feel less alone if they have been through a similar experience, or should they experience any of these emotions or feelings in the future.
What is your perception of the current state of Hardcore music?
Depends on your definition of ‘Hardcore’ but if you mean heavy music in general it’s in a very interesting spot. I’m noticing trends of heavier bands transitioning more towards a nu-metal sound or taking a lot more influence from rock/alternative music similar to what BMTH did with their most recent record.
Any upcoming tour or festival appearance plans that you can fill us in about!?
A lot of things in the works right now, can’t say anything just yet.
As you guys have recently signed to Rise Records, tell us about fellow artists on the label that you really dig and have inspired you throughout your time as musicians?!
The Devil Wears Prada is the reason I got into playing music and becoming a vocalist. I wouldn’t be around in the music scene if it wasn’t for that band.
Let’s talk tattoos. What is the most memorable tattoo you’ve created and what does it personally mean to you.
I have two women tattooed on my back that symbolize the powerful influence both my mother as well as a certain love interest in my life have had on my personality and who I am today as a man.
Growing up in San Diego, you were exposed to a lot of artistic inspiration. How was being brought up in California influenced who you are today?
The music scene in San Diego was such a beautiful thing to be apart of when I was growing up. I spent my high school years hanging out with my childhood friends at shows as well as people I met going to the concerts at our hometown venue called SOMA. California is such a beautiful place to grow up and I’m so blessed to have a ‘home-base’ in a city that people go to for vacation. It’s unreal and I try my best not to take it for granted.
If you could challenge yourself to overcome your greatest fear, which fear would that be and how would it benefit your life if you had overcome?
I’m scared sh*tless of going to the dentist, I don’t know what it is, I suppose I just had a ton of terrible experiences getting cavities filled there so it’s traumatic or something haha. Overcoming that and going more often would probably make my teeth better in some way I suppose but holy hell I hate going there.
If you had the opportunity to grab a drink with any fellow musician either dead or alive, who would you choose and why?!
I’d want to have a drink with Drake and pick his brain for as long as possible. The way he carries himself, presents himself, performs, and expresses himself in his music is beyond cool to me and I feel like he’d have some sick stories to tell.
Last but certainly not least, any closing messages for your fans?!
I could go on here for pages on pages but I will keep it simple. Just thank you so much for giving us the time of day to click play on our songs, check out the band, and coming out to a show if you’ve had the chance. We put absolutely everything we have into this record and we really hope you all enjoy it. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
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