The Architects rock the hell out of Warped Tour during their first Canadian show

The Architects Play Warped Tour By: Sheena Lyonnais
July 19, 2009

Despite releasing four full-length albums since 2004 and having toured with everyone from the Bronx to the BellRays, Missouri band the Architects didn’t make it up to Canada until Warped Tour, which is where we caught up with the blue-collar punk band. 

The band consists of three brothers vocalist/guitarist Brandon, drummer Adam, bassist Zachary and their buddy guitarist Keenan Nichols.  What struck me most about their performance was the amount of passion and fervor they packed into their half-hour set.  Their brand of punk is drenched in old school blues influences, making their Midwestern-flair standout amongst a sea of, unfortunately, much more scene bands. 

Unfortunately, there weren’t too many people watching their set, but that didn’t appear to matter.  They tore through songs primarily from their just released album the Hard Way as if they had Alexisonfire’s crowd (easily the biggest crowd of the day).  Dripping in sweat, busting out appropriate hilarity and shredding the fuck out of their songs, the Architects easily had one of Warped’s most solid performances.

So why the hell did it take them so long to play Canada?

The ArchitectsIt’s actually quite the story.

“When we started playing I was like ten and we were all listening to everything from AC/DC to the Ramones and the Sex Pistols, so we were like this really lousy punk rock band of little children.  It was cool,” Adam Phillips said before their set.  “Everybody from where we lived would come see us and we’d put on these little punk rock shows in little clubs.  We were called the Gadjits back then.  We were up in Canada a lot.  We played the shit out of Canada.  One time we did 32 shows in 30 days in Canada. We started in Halifax, Nova Scotia and went all the way to Nanaimo.  We played everywhere.  We did four shows in the Toronto area in two days. We were up here all the time back then.

“Then a few years back we decided to change the name of the band and start fresh. We became the Architects and ditched all the old material.  People were asking us to play songs we put out when I was like 13, and we were like no, we’re not going to do that anymore.

“We try to stay on the road a lot.  But this border security, its rough stuff.  It’s expensive to cross the border.  It’s weird, we used to get up here all the time as the Gadjits, but since then a lot of shit has went down and now it’s hard.”

The Gadjits were a ska group who released albums through Epitaph and Hellcat records – a band that existed primarily in a pre-911 and pre-mandatory passports world.  It took a while for them to make the trek north, but it was worth the wait, especially since they have so much to talk about.

The Architects Live TorontoThe Architects recently signed with Skeleton Crew, the record label owned by guitarist/back up vocalist Frank Iero of My Chemical Romance.  The Hard Way was produced by Aaron Connor, a Kansas City producer/engineer who has produced over 55 gold and platinum records and is best known for his work in the West Coast hip hop scene (he’s worked with 2Pac and Notorious B.I.G, to name a few). This was their third time recording with him. 

The end result is what Phillips describes as their best release yet.

“It’s dirty rock’n’roll punk rock stuff. All of our records are like that, but this one everything came together, we got really good songs.  It feels better.  It was recorded and produced in a really cool way. We always do everything live. A lot of bands lay down one track and a week later they’ll lay down another track and they’ll spend a lot of time nitpicking.  We all get in the same room, throw up a bunch of microphones.  No studio magic bullshit.  We just let ‘er rip.   Count in the song and we blaze through it and that’s it,” he said.

“We try to keep everything right off the floor.  Some stuff gets overdubbed.  We may add a guitar part.  We’re not layering multi-tracking tons of junk to thicken it up.  We really tried to do it like we do it live.  We tried to go balls to the wall.  I felt like I was going to throw up after every take.  We were just pouring sweat.  We play really hard and we get into it.  I put on the studio headphones and duct tape them to my head so they don’t fall off.  Every time we record I do that.  They fall off, they fall on my drums, then we have to stop playing and that sucks so we duct tape them on there and we’re good to go for a few hours. It rips out a lot of hair, but that’s all right, I’m young, I’ve got plenty of hair.”

The Architects Live in TorontoThe whole record took only seven days to record (it was supposed to take six, but Brandon got sick one day) and three days to mix.  If you can’t make it to one of the Warped Tour dates, I recommend picking this album up.  Tracks like “I Carry A Gun” and “Knowing Is Half the Bottle” are guaranteed to make your heart pump happy punk rock endorphins. 

To check out the Architects, visit 

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