Boy Becomes Hero Discusses Working with Kurt Travis, Garret Rapp and Aaron Gillespie on His Concept Album, "Reverie"
Michigan post-hardcore outfit Boy Becomes Hero is an incredibly unique project. Brought to life by Andrew Brittingham, Boy Becomes Hero is kicking off 2019 with the release of their debut album, Reverie, which features guest performances by Kurt Travis (Royal Coda, ex-Dance Gavin Dance), Garret Rapp (The Color Morale), Aaron Gillespie (Underoath, The Almost), Darina Kayuokova (Moqumentary) and Sam Kohl (ex-Sea in the Sky). Not only is Reverie a stunning collaboration between talented musicians, but it’s also a concept album that tells the story of a boy named Tsukuyo and his battle with the evil that has consumed his past, present and his future. An incredibly ambitious debut release, Reverie tells a story of hope and perseverance.
After battling addiction for 10+ years, Andrew became sober in early 2017. He had always struggled to find his place in the music world after bouncing around bands and finally had the clarity and inspiration to create the concept album he'd been dreaming of. Thus, Reverie was born.
We recently caught up with Andrew to talk about the creation of Reverie, working with other artists for his debut release and plans for the rest of 2019. Read more about Boy Becomes Hero and Reverie now below, and pick up your copy on February 28th!
Interview by Dom Vigil
Can you tell us a little bit about Boy Becomes Hero for anyone who isn’t familiar? What sparked this project?
Boy Becomes Hero was created as a project to create a new experience in the post-hardcore genre. The initial spark was actually more of me trying to prove to myself that I could do this! Something to help me keep my sanity and gain my inspiration back in my sobriety. As it continued to evolve it has become more about being able to create a different type of escape for anyone struggling so they can get lost in the music; differently then just listening to songs with sad/relatable lyrics that pertain to what they're going through at the moment.
You’re getting ready to release your debut album, Reverie later this month! What are you excited for listeners to hear on the album?
I'm excited for listeners to hear everything on the album, the actual full album! I can't wait. Each song is so much different from the next, so it really keeps you going straight through.
Reverie is a concept album about a boy who battles the evil that consumes his past, present and future. How did this concept come to form during the writing and recording process? What story did you want to tell with the songs?
It really all started while I was trying to write the melody line for the first song of the album. When I'm writing vocal parts there are just random words spewing out of my mouth; whatever can fit in key and timing. When listening back to the first take, the words I said... initially made no sense... then the story started flooding in. The album started as an EP, but the more story that kept coming to mind and the more people that became involved made the necessity for more songs. I wouldn't have it any other way though. The story that I wanted to tell is exactly what I got to tell! You'll have to listen, see the art, and follow along with the lyrics to figure out what happens! (Grab a physical copy at http://www.boybeomeshero.com/shop to get the full experience).
Concept albums are pretty few and far between in the post-hardcore scene - what made you want to tackle one as your first full-length release?
That's true. I think one of the biggest things that made this happen is that I'm just at a point in my life where I am really happy. I didn't have break-ups, betrayal, or any other burdening issues I wanted to voice. Some of the most influential bands to me; like Armor For Sleep, Closure in Moscow, Boys Night Out, and He Is Legend, have a really unique way of writing that I've always been drawn to. They create a space for your mind to escape in and continue wanting more and more and you start to figure out what the songs are really saying and how they fit together.
Reverie also features guest performances from a ton of great artists like Kurt Travis, Garret Rapp and Aaron Gillespie! How do you feel their performances and additions affected the album?
Their performances enhanced the album in a way that couldn't have been possible without them. Each character being played by a different person allowed the characters to really come to life in the music. They were able to inject their own personalities into their parts and each character. Kurt, Garret, Aaron, and Sam are all amazing artists; their voices are seriously their instrument.
What was the most rewarding part of working on the album?
Good question. I'm not sure we are even to the most rewarding part yet. I'll let you know when I get there. Right now though, I am really, really proud with were things are going.
What would you like listeners to take away from Reverie?
I want for people to take away whatever they'd like to from Reverie. There's a lot to take from it. My major message is that if someone else is struggling with anxiety, depression, addiction; or anything, that we can get better. It may take time, but god damn is it ever worth it. It took me an entire year to be able to pick up an instrument again without my body and mind thinking that they were about to drink or have another substance. It wasn't easy, but I was able to break away from my triggers, get my inspiration back, and enjoy writing again.
Do you have any other big plans coming up in 2019? Any shows or tour dates?
Big plans right now are writing the next album, which is already well on it's way. It will serve as a prelude to Reverie and create backstory for some of our characters. Writing and creating an experience is really where the fun is at right now.
Thank you for taking the time to chat with us! Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Thanks for having me! I just want to encourage everyone out there to - go for your dreams and don't look back.