BAND: The Captive | INTERVIEWER: Brian Morrissette | DATE: January 11th, 2011
(Brian) First off, what is your name and what do you play in the band?
(Ryan) Ryan Piper, and I play guitar and sing
(Brian) Who else plays in the band and what do they play?
(Ryan) Abe Lawless plays bass, Brandon Reynolds plays drums, and Tyler Collins plays guitar
(Brian) So, how did the band get its start?
(Ryan) We've all been in different bands before in the past. The Captive kind of came together when others fell apart. It started out just Abe and me in 2008. I was living in San Marcos, TX, and he was living in Denton, TX. We would demo stuff out on Garageband and send it to each other. When we finally got what we felt like were some solid concepts, we got together with Chris Gildea, our former drummer, and Brian Cave, our former guitarist to hammer the rest of the details out. After just a few more weeks of practice, we went into the studio with Matt Lucas (Terminal/Solid State) and Cody Bonnette (As Cities Burn/Solid State) and recorded our first EP, the first six songs we ever wrote. We did a small regional tour after that, and I ended up moving to Denton. Chris and Brian left shortly after we released that first EP, and we picked up Brandon and started jamming some new stuff out with him. After a month on the road summer 2009 we felt like we really had a new direction for where we were going and started writing a lot more. December '09 we picked up Tyler and finished our second EP up in October 2010. It’s been a long road, but we're super stoked about what we were able to lay down.
(Brian) How would you describe your band's sound?
(Ryan) We always just say rock. I guess you could put us in the indie rock genre. Some big influences for us are Brand New, Colour Revolt, and Manchester Orchestra.
(Brian) How many albums has The Captive released? Where can you get them?
(Ryan)The Way You Behave (2009) can be found on iTunes or at a show. A New Grip With Tired Hands (2010) can be found on iTunes or at a show, or for a free download at www.thecaptivemusic.com/angwth/
(Brian) Compared to The Way You Behave, was writing A New Grip With Tired Hands any different?
(Ryan) It was like the difference in preparing a hot-pocket for dinner and preparing thanksgiving dinner. With The Way You Behave me [sic] and Abe were just really pumped about starting something fresh and new. We wrote those songs and were probably a bit impatient with them-- we just wanted to get them done so people could hear how we were going to sound. There wasn't a whole lot of dissecting of each part. I mean, looking back I'm still proud of how those turned out because I think that whole studio experience really thrust us into more maturity as a band. But A New Grip With Tired Hands took a l-o-n-g time to write. I mean, we were practicing several times a week on the same six songs for like a year, a year and a half? We went through each part of each song and listened carefully to each person's part. There were no real surprises when we went in to record. No one was like, "Oh, you play that? I've never noticed that before!" It was very thorough--probably more than it needed to be.
(Brian) What are some of the meanings and reasons behind the songs on A New Grip With Tired Hands? Because I find at some points the lyrics can get pretty cryptic.
(Ryan) There's not really much of an overall concept of the lyrics collectively. Each song really has its own purpose and meaning. I guess for me, when I write songs, it often has to do with what I'm struggling with. I am a Christian, and though we don't label ourselves a "Christian band," we are Christians in a band. I just write about our lives, and thank the Lord, our lives tend to be saturated with struggle in our faiths (struggle meaning effort). Several songs deal with specific sins (judgment, lust), where others are specific heart issues or theology (materialism, depression, the sovereignty of God). Still I believe they are riddled with the joy of a savior who is coming back and the redemption found from the darkness in the world. Hopefully there is encouragement even in the lyrics that seem hopeless.
(Brian) What does A New Grip With Tired Hands mean?
(Ryan)A New Grip With Tired Hands comes from Hebrews 12:12: 'So take a new grip with tired hands and stand firm on your shaky legs.' We felt like it was a pretty accurate way to define how we felt at the time: fatigued from intense writing and seemingly unproductive tours. We were pretty confident in what we had written, though so we likened it to taking a new grip on this whole music business.
(Brian) Who produced the new EP? It sounds awesome.
(Ryan) We actually recorded it ourselves in me [sic] and Tyler's house. We had a fundraiser and ended up raising about $3,500 to help us record. Really, we kept a pretty low budget. We bought a few more mics and stuff, but most of it went to post-production, tour gas and food, new merch....
(Brian) What is the main reason or mission behind The Captive?
(Ryan) We really just want to encourage people in their faiths. I can't count how many times-- praise God, not me--that people have come up and told me how our music has spurred them toward a greater love for Jesus. That's really what we want, whether that's at a show or when they're driving in their car. We just feel blessed that the Lord lets us be a part of His bigger plan, doing something we really have fun doing.
(Brian) With the New Year here what can the fans expect from you guys?
(Ryan) We really just want to play more shows. We kind of released the new record at a bad time. Three of us are in college and two of us are married. October 29th just fell at a bad time with finals and holidays.
(Brian) Is there any tour/show plans for this year?
(Ryan) Right now we're looking at a big show on February 4 here in Denton at Hailey's with Mike Mains and the Branches. We're still working on setting some other stuff up!
(Brian) What are the bands and your major influences?
(Ryan) Brand New, Colour Revolt, Manchester Orchestra, As Cities Burn, Circa Survive
(Brian) Is there anything that I and the readers can be praying for you and the band about? Because that’s one of the main purposes of this website, to be a helping hand to bands, any shape or form.
(Ryan) Pray for our future. Like I mentioned before, two of us are married and I'm engaged. Me and Abe are also about to graduate college. I'm not really sure how God will work to continue this ministry as we take on more family/life responsibility.
Pray also for stamina in this very competitive music industry, that we might not be tempted toward pursuing anything but the glory of God in this music.
(Brian) Is there anything else that you would like to say?
(Ryan) Thanks for writing this article and for your prayers. We really appreciate your support!
(Brian) God bless you guys and keep making awesome music!
"A New Grip With Tired Hands" comes from Hebrews 12:12, "So take a new grip with tired hands and stand firm on your shaky legs." - Ryan