I recently had the chance to interview The Persevering Promise, the band that recently released An Illusion in Shambles. Here is what the band members had to say about finding inspiration for writing music, the challenges of writing at all and the particulars of the latest release. All answers are by Jesse Barton, except where otherwise stated.
Q: What inspired the name “The Persevering Promise”?
A: Our name really comes from the meaning behind the word persevere; it’s about being passionate, and persistent in pursuing our goals even when times are hard. Never-ending hard work. I know at least for Matt and I, growing up, our parents would have rather seen us pursue a far more average American dream, if you will, but for us, we don’t find the joy in working life away at a 9-5 job to have a big house and a fancy car. We don’t need those things as a band. Hell, we all live in a van together half the time. But that’s okay for us because we are best friends. And all of us being the best friends we are, and being as passionate about music as we are, have always kept each other persevering our dreams. We made a promise to persevere.
Q: Where do you pull your inspiration from for writing music? And what was the driving force/overall “theme” of An Illusion in Shambles?
A: Our everyday surroundings. When we write music we pull from every direction of our life experiences. We have all been through hard times and tough circumstances in which we have found it hard to find ‘the light and the end of the tunnel’ if you will. But for us, we found that light through our music. With ‘An Illusion in Shambles’ We wrote every song from our hearts and hope to pass that forward to our listeners. We want to give them something to hold on to, and to let them know that there is someone out there that relates to their struggles.
Q: What would you consider the greatest challenge you faced as a band in writing for the CD?
A: I’d have to say time. When we signed with Pavement we were on the road, on the opposite end of the country from where we live. The label wanted us to record as soon as possible and at the time we had only written 3 or 4 songs for what was going to be An Illusion in Shambles EP. We were just finishing up an east coast tour and about to start another with our friends in The Party Foul and ended up having to drop off of that tour to go back to Washington state to write the rest of our record. At the end of the day though, it worked out for the best because we locked ourselves away in Chase’s basement for 3 months and couldn’t be happier with An Illusion in Shambles.
Q: What song (if any) would you consider your favorite track from the new CD and why?
Matt-Clean Vocals: My favorite would have to be ‘Annabel Lee’. That song hits all aspects of our music: strange time signatures, tempo changes, melodic verses, heavy breakdowns, and a passionate message.
Hampton-Bass: “A Reason to Believe.” This one really captures what TPP means to me personally. Everything from the writing process to the final product. It’s also sweet that Ronnie Winter from Red Jumpsuit Apparatus was kind enough to be on this track with us. It’s my favorite on our new record for sure.
Phil-Lead Guitar: For me, it’s a tie between “Annabel Lee” and “The Whistleblower.” “Annabel” shows a perfect balance of our sound and really highlights strong points. However, The Whistleblower is indeed my favorite track on the record , because it keeps you on edge, and is the most epic song on the album. Lyrically, it represents the inward battle in becoming a better person for the greater good of the people around you. For me, that is something that has always been a struggle in my own life. Both “Annabel,” and “The Whistleblower” have a lot of meaning to me.
Chase-Drums: “Crown the Victor,” because it’s the perfect balance of odd meter and grooviness… That’s right, I said grooviness.
Jesse-Screams/Guitar: My favorite on the record is “Annabel Lee” as it’s a very personal song to me. I spent probably six months writing the lyrics to this before I even brought them to the band. Luckily Matt and really liked what I had written, helped me tweak a few things, and we made it a TPP song. Along with that, I also feel that “Annabel” is the best overall representation of our music and our style.