And then there was light: How Architects are taking their next steps
Eighteen months ago, Architects suffered an unimaginable tragedy that threatened to derail them for good. As a new year dawns, they prepare to finally move forward
Sam Carter is casually tossing a parachute flare into the air, as his bandmates in Architects look on in horror. The flares we’ve found for today’s photoshoot were manufactured in 1983, meaning they’re older than the singer himself, and no one’s quite sure what will happen if he ignites one. Maybe nothing. Or maybe a burst of flame will annihilate the studio, causing a swift evacuation and landing Metal Hammer with a hefty bill.
“I desperately want to set them off!” the singer grins mischievously. “It’s because I’ve been told not to. It’s sort of like when you’re told not to press a button and you instantly want to press it...”
He’s upbeat today as we chat in Architects’ hometown of Brighton, where the band have been hard at work writing new material – something fans weren’t sure would happen, given guitarist Tom Searle’s tragic death from cancer in August 2016.
But a year on from their loss, the band announced a European tour, culminating in a show on February 3 at London’s 10,000-capacity Alexandra Palace – twice the crowd of their biggest UK show to date. Whispers began to circulate about whether music would soon follow. Less than two weeks later came the surprise-release of Doomsday, a standalone single that honestly and beautifully detailed the pain of grief. It was accompanied by a moving video featuring Tom’s twin brother, drummer Dan, suspended in the expanse of the universe. The message was clear: Architects were striding confidently into a bright new future.
“I’m relieved and pleased people connected with Doomsday,” says Dan, talking frankly and humbly as he sits beside Sam for our chat. “It’s very meaningful for us, and it was nice to feel like we were moving forward, and that things were going to be OK.”
The band posing for pictures in our studio today, completed by bassist Ali Dean, and guitarists Adam Christianson and Josh Middleton, have still got a hard road ahead of them. But behind the scenes, and away from the glare of fans and social media, they’ve been taking steps every day. Dan in particular began writing lyrics for their eighth album immediately after his brother passed away.
“I didn’t know what to do with myself, I suppose, but also part of me felt like I should really document what this feels like,” he explains. “Because at some point, everyone loses someone, and maybe other people would hear these words and it would resonate with them. And if it’s then put into context of a record that’s documenting a whole year of grieving, maybe they could see that they might move into a space in their life where they feel more positive.”