Emarosa has been through hell and then some in the past few years. With the departure of former vocalist [and now frontman for Slaves] Jonny Craig, Emarosa took the time to plant their roots and blossom into their full potential as songwriters. With the help of now vocalist Bradley Walden, Emarosa has exploded back into the music scene with their vivid and impressionable album, Versus. We were able to catch the Bradley Walden, keyboardist Jordan Stewart, and bassist Will Sowers a few hours before their set in Wantagh, NY to discuss the trials and balances of making Versus in this segment of, “5 Questions With…”
Cliché: Bradley, when you came on board as the new vocalist for Emarosa, were you initially nervous about bridging the gap between old and new fans?
Bradley Walden: Yes. It was a lot of stress and a lot of pressure. I think anyone coming in would have felt that. It took me a year to actually go through committing to doing this, so eventually I realized what I was exactly trying out for with the fan base and prior members. I have a good support system in this band and I walk through it now knowing that they chose me for a reason. I trust myself of my abilities… but initially it was a nightmare! [laughs]
Was there any struggle in the beginning to make your vocal range/style flow against the instrumentals, or was there fluidity in this transition?
Bradley: I don’t think there were any difficulties. There is no Emarosa material that I can’t perform, aside from “This Is Your Way Out.” [laughs]
Jordan Stewart: But Chris would be willing to help you out. We have a good working relationship with Chris.
Bradley: Yeah, I can’t touch any of that screaming stuff, but other than that, Pete and I will sit and maybe write something acoustic and now, it’s been almost two years, and people don’t realize that. The record hasn’t even been out a year, but I’ve been in the band for like two years now. And now there’s a different kind of relationship, especially musically, where we can just be like, “OK, write something. Let’s go.” It’s very fluid and very organic.
Is there any of that anxiety now or do you all feel that it is time for vitriolic fans to accept not that this is ‘the new Emarosa’ but rather that this IS Emarosa?
Bradley: Yeah, I don’t care anymore. [laughs] This is the band that we want to be. Old fans, they can appreciate those records, because there’s still that music for them to listen to. At the end of the day, this is what this band is.
Jordan: At the end of the day, we’re so happy with where this band is at right now that nothing else matters. We’re having the time of our lives. We play music every day, and that’s all that matters.
Will Sowers: Yeah, you know we’re responsible for the choices that we made that have put the band where it’s at, but we’re happy where we are, with Brad especially.
With the effort of commandeering Emarosa into its broader sound, can we expect less of the latter in due time?
Bradley: We don’t know. We’re not going to pigeonhole ourselves into a “now they’re going to be a mature rock band.” Maybe one day we’ll write a Michael Jackson song, and one day we’ll write a song that you think is Radiohead. We’re a band. There’s not one type of music that we have to play or have to write.
Jordan: We’re hoping to get some other tours and stuff in the future to be able to show the other side of Emarosa and show the dynamics within the band. I think that will also come in writing to, for people to see in the material that we’ll be able to put out going further.
Will: At the end of the day, no matter what is put out, you’ll still be able to know, “That is Emarosa.”
Jordan: It will be consistent. There will be a string under there.
There was a lot of pressure with the creation of Versus. Do you believe that with your works post-Versus will have more room to grow, now that Emarosa has flourished to its new potential?
Jordan: Yeah, I definitely think so. Versus wasn’t safe, by any means, but it was definitely the right record at the right time. We got to show our legs on there. We definitely had a little fun, and definitely showed that we had been off doing some other things for a while and Bradley was able to put that all under one consistent sound and feel successfully.
Bradley: I don’t say this in a negative light, but I do think Versus is a stepping stone record for the band. And when I say that, in the back of my head I think it makes it sound less than what it is, but it was just the right record to make for this band that that time. It was a musical decision and an emotional decision for the band, and it had to go through that – we had to go through that process to get to where we are now. And you can hear from the kids that come to this tour and everything that’s getting posted around that we’re in the place that we wanted to be from day one. It just took a while.
Jordan: They’re singing back now – they’re singing Versus.
Bradley: Yeah, more kids are singing that more than any other songs.
Jordan: The other stuff feels out of context now. It feels slopped together compared to other songs.
We saw you perform with Chiodos in April and there was no hint of nervousness when you guys took the stage. You guys just put it all out there.
Bradley: That’s surprising. [laughs]
Jordan: We’ve come a lot further since then.
Bradley: I’m excited for you guys to see us, and to see the difference.
Jordan: We only get twenty minutes though, so we’re going to play all twenty.
Bradley: We’re going to destroy all twenty!
Read more Music Interviews on ClicheMag.com
Warped Tour: 5 Questions With Emarosa: Photos by Heather Glock