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Bring Me The Horizon Threesome Tour at Comerica Theatre

October 10 @ 7:00 pm - 11:30 pm

When Bring Me The Horizon finally returned home from their last world tour in December 2011, they’d been on the road for two whole years. Their third album There Is A Hell, Believe Me I’ve Seen It. There Is A Heaven, Let’s Keep It A Secret had proved both a critical smash and their worldwide breakthrough, smashing into the Top 20 on both sides of the Atlantic and going to Number 1 in Australia. They’d sold out shows across Europe, Asia, Australasia and North and South America. Played astonishing, show-stealing gigs everywhere from the Vans Warped Tour to Reading & Leeds Festivals. Inspired an obsessed army of devotees, not to mention an almost-as-vociferous band of haters.

Now that they had to do the hardest thing for any band in their position – essentially, the hottest breakthrough metal band on the planet – to do: nothing.

For frontman Oli Sykes, the band’s first proper downtime since they formed in Sheffield in 2004 was a much-needed chance to take care of business, both of the commercial (Bring Me The Horizon signed to RCA after three albums on indie Visible Noise) and personal variety (“writing became my passion again”.

Consequently, when the time came to begin work on their fourth album, Sempiternal (an old English word meaning “everlasting”), Oli found himself in a “better position and clearer mindframe than ever before – I was working at 110% whereas before it was always 50%, because there was stuff going on that was hindering me”.

But he also knew that a clear head alone would not be enough to craft a truly game-changing modern rock record. This time around, Bring Me The Horizon were determined to deliver an album that – in the words of guitarist Lee Malia – was “as close to perfect as we could make it”. Before, BMTH albums had often been put together on the hoof between tours, but for Sempiternal they had plenty of time and a license to experiment. It was time to rip up the rulebook and start again.

Previous BMTH albums were no strangers to electronic sounds, but this time around Oli brought in Jordan Fish, formerly of atmospheric electronic-rockers Worship, to help integrate keyboards and programming into the band’s sound from the very start of the process. Initially, he was supposed to play a support role, but soon he was writing with Oli, and bouncing ideas off Lee, and slowly-but-surely he became an integral member of the band.

Jordan jokes about falling on his feet by joining BMTH just as they look likely to become one of the biggest rock bands in the world, though he’s certainly paid his dues (“I’ve done all the shit bits of being in a band, just without anyone knowing about it…”) and he also played a vital role in overhauling BMTH’s sound, his electronic soundscapes adding depth and space to their raw rock power.

“We’ve never wanted to just be beholden to the metalcore thing,” says Oli, who as boss of his own, wildly successful clothing line Drop Dead, has long defied the metal stereotype. “We always said we want to push boundaries, but this time we pulled it off. Jordan opened up a lot of stuff that we’ve always wanted to do, but couldn’t.”

“Before, we used to build up and then go into something super-heavy,” says Lee. “But we’ve moved on a bit from that: it can still sound massive but it’s not just based around a breakdown.”

But they didn’t stop there. Oli also changed up the way he worked, taking singing lessons, spending hours crafting perfect lyrical soundbites and even studying the science of “what makes a melody catchy”.

“The idea behind Sempiternal is that we wanted every song to have a different theme musically and lyrically,” says Oli. “And that whatever song you listen to, you should know what it’s about, at a certain level, straight away.”

And the results of Bring Me The Horizon’s new approach, and the hugely intense recording sessions at Angelic Studios in Banbury (“Whenever we took a break, I could tell it was killing Oli,” says Jordan, “He’d be itching to get back to work”) are splattered all over Sempiternal. An album of astonishing versatility, it ranges from the controlled menace of Seen It All Before to the naked aggression of Anti-Vist; from the bubbling electronica of Can You Feel My Heart? to the metallic attack of The House Of Wolves; from the irresistibly anthemic chorus of Shadow Moses to the uncompromising fury of Go To Hell.

Meanwhile, Oli’s newly-bolstered voice is a revelation, swooping from heartfelt croon to cathartic scream and all points in-between, while his lyrics grapple with both his own personal issues and wider concerns, from the attack on religion in The House Of Wolves (“I had stuff to deal with and there were a lot of people pushing me towards religion,” says Oli, “But I couldn’t stomach it”) to giving a verbal smackdown to keyboard warriors on Anti-Vist (“The whole internet generation drives me insane,” he says, “People think they’ve got a platform to spout any old shit”).

In short, Sempiternal is here to reclaim the word “epic” from the people who save you money on your car insurance. No wonder the band is already attracting unprecedented levels of buzz, not just from the hard rock enclaves where Bring Me The Horizon have long been superstars, but from the mainstream.

Already, since their return, they’ve proved their unique versatility by playing – and conquering – everything from a small Sheffield Leadmill show for hardcore fans to a headline slot at Vans Warped UK to a Maida Vale set for Radio 1’s Rock Week (quite a baptism of fire for new-boy Jordan).

Then, with broadsheets and music magazines alike electing BMTH as poster boys for the UK’s new wave of hard rock, Radio 1 premiered Shadow Moses on daytime radio, not once but twice, lighting up Twitter and providing a rallying point for the whole rock scene in the process. It was no one-off either: weeks later, Bring Me The Horizon are still staples of the playlist.

“What must builders be thinking when they listen?” ponders Lee. “It must be weird for people who never listen to that sort of music… It’s still weird for us!”

They’d better get used to it, because Lee, Oli, Jordan, bassist Matt Kean and drummer Matt Nicholls are poised to become THE rock success story of 2013. And Oli Sykes, for one, is ready for it.

“Everyone starts off listening to pop music but they get hungry for something a bit more exciting,” says Oli, who was converted to the rock cause as a teenager by Linkin Park. “A whole lot of people want that – there just hasn’t been a band that have done it for a while, there hasn’t been that band to get people into better music. I would love Bring Me The Horizon to be that band for this generation.”

SLEEPING WITH SIRENS drive right to the core of the place inside that connects people through music. The band’s urgent anthems and earnest ballads communicate authentic, raw, transparent emotions through melody, a rhythmic punch and that intangible essence that makes one feel alive. Kellin Quinn’s intimate vocal revelations arrive drenched in a warm vulnerability that has stitched fans around the world to the band.

Guitarists Jack Fowler and Nick Martin, bassist Justin Hill and drummer Gabe Barham forge a vibrant collage via instrumental backdrop; always in service to the song and the powerful audience connection their songs create. The devotion of the SWS faithful is potent and palpable every time Quinn’s voice ascends to his signature banshee-wail, whether that’s on record, in videos, live onstage, or in collaboration with his peers.

Quinn’s angelic voice and the easygoing affability of all five guys endears them to a diverse audience, people more friends than fans in a sense, people who connect with the singer’s personal tales of childhood woe (“Free Now,” “Trophy Father Trophy Son”), tender love letters (“If I’m James Dean, You’re Audrey Hepburn”), and direct encouragements to seize the day (“Scene Two – Roger Rabbit”) and triumph over heartache (“Feel”) and pushback against the hater brigades (“Congratulations”).

Sleeping With Sirens have taken to referring to themselves and their fellow outsiders as Strays, a concept immortalized in the song of the same name on the band’s Epitaph debut. Produced by hit-maker John Feldman (5 Seconds Of Summer, Panic! At The Disco), Madness is an electric celebration of all that is SWS and everything they represent. It’s a reminder and an exclamation point as to exactly why so many consider this band to be the voice of their generation, a hilarious happenstance considering SWS humility and humble beginnings, not unlike Hayley Williams or Patrick Stump, in truth.

Wins and nominations for Artist Of The Year (APMAS 2014, Alternative Press 2013), Best International Newcomer (Kerrang!), Album Of The Year and Song Of The Year (APMAS) are all emblematic of the groundswell SWS built at what feels like a lightning pace. Facebook likes tripled to over 3 million since 2013; each of Quinn’s social media profiles has 1 million followers; Feel debuted at #3 on the Billboard 200; Alternative Press, Rock Sound, Kerrang!, Outburn and Blunt regularly feature them on the cover; they’ve been a main-stage act for Vans Warped Tour and UK’s prestigious Reading & Leeds. Quinn’s “King For A Day” collaboration with Pierce The Veil was certified gold. A few years ago, SWS was an opening band. In 2013, they sold out a 5,000 capacity club in London.

The band has sold over 720,000 albums across their catalog, but their earliest beginnings are vividly relatable to anyone who has been in a band. Quinn joined an early incarnation of the group in Florida even as its lineup was disintegrating. Barham and Hills were working restaurant jobs in their native Midwest when Quinn, who they had played with in bands before, asked them to join Sleeping With Sirens. They sold everything, strapped Hills’ bass cab on the top of a car and headed South with nowhere to live and no real plan. The three of them made SWS debut album together. With Ears to See and Eyes to Hear featured the old line-up’s guitarists, but Jack Fowler and Jesse Lawson were onboard in time for Let’s Cheers to This, which shook the scene in 2011.

The first two albums and relentless touring resulted in a solid profile as a top-tier band in the worlds of screamo and metalcore, but SWS had bigger aspirations. The subtle, down-to-earth acoustic performances they’d quietly assemble outside of clubs after their set started to draw more people outside than whoever was headlining inside. The intimate, communal vibe of these interactions with fans and the exploration of bigger melodic hooks led to the acoustic EP, If You Were A Movie, This Would Be Your Soundtrack. The group’s newfound comfort in their embrace of giant melodies was apparent with the massive crowd pleaser, Feel, which demonstrated a wide range, from debut single “Low” to their collaboration with rapper Machine Gun Kelly, “Alone.”

The Feel This Tour (SWS, Memphis May Fire, Breathe Carolina, Issues, Our Last Night) introduced Nick Martin to the fans. Martin’s tenure in Underminded and post-hardcore super-group D.R.U.G.S. lends sharp experience to the raw energy already present in SWS, resulting in the most potent incarnation of the band yet. No matter how large Sleeping With Sirens has become, Quinn and his cohorts haven’t backed down from their offering of only the most courageous examinations of what they are as people, expressed nightly on stages around the world through marvelously intimate songs.