Nashville-based metalcore foursome The Persuaded have just released Dawn of Destruction, their full-length debut. Produced by Dathon Conner (Spoken, Icon For Hire), the RockFest Records release features 10 tracks showcasing both clean and screamed vocals atop fiercely driving guitars. The project will be available for pre-order beginning February 15, unlocking instant-grat tracks "Wolves" and "Forced Silence."
Born from a season of pain, Dawn of Destruction reflects the Hope and redemption each of the group members has found in the wake of personal struggle. Galvanizing the album's overarching theme, lead single "Wolves" grapples with feelings of betrayal that ultimately give way to forgiveness.
Comprised of Josh Honea (vocals, guitar), Joseph Vargas (vocals, bass), Cody Phillips (guitar) and Trent Russell (drums), The Persuaded have released two independent EPs since their formation in 2012. The group has opened for such artists as Disciple, Decyfer Down and Building 429.
We are honored to catch up with frontman Josh Honea for this exclusive interview.
Q: Josh, thanks for doing this interview with us. Your new album came about after a period of struggle. Could you tell us what was the nature of the struggle?
A: The struggles we faced included family, relationships, friendships, financial, physical, spiritual and emotional challenges. So many things hit us almost all at once. It was a tough time but we were able to get through it and come out even stronger in the end.
Q: How did God help you overcome your struggle?
A: In every way possible. God used our struggles to teach us lessons and to strengthen us in the long run. And through that He really proved to be faithful. God has been my lifeline and best friend in every struggle I've ever faced in this life and I know that if it weren't for him, I probably wouldn't be here. This time was definitely no different.
Q: How has your struggle helped you in your songwriting for this new record?
A: I think the best songs come from places of pain and struggle. I find it easier to write lyrics when I'm going through something. And with this record we tried to cover multiple topics, writing songs not only about our own struggles, but what our fans have shared with us at shows- things they've gone through.
Q: This new album is also your first for RockFest records, how did this record deal come about?
A: We've known Joseph Rojas and his family for a several years now and he's kept an eye on our career. When he decided to start RockFest Records, we were among the first bands he approached about signing. It was too great of a deal to pass up. We're very happy with RockFest and I can't imagine a better label and community to be a part of.
Q: Why did you call this new album "Dawn of Destruction"?
A: Dawn Of Destructionis pretty much a representation of the world and society as a whole right now, coinciding with the lyrics and all of the struggles and topics we address on this album. It's kind of a wake-up call. We're approaching destruction if we don't make a change-a self-destruction caused by our own hand. That message comes across the most in songs like "Forced Silence" and "To My Brothers."
Q: Talk to us about the new single "Wolves." What's the story behind this song?
A: Wolves is a song about toxic people in your life, people that stab you in the back and betray you. It's a tough subject to tackle, I think, especially as a Christian band-and even as a Christian in general. But ultimately the message of the song is learning forgiveness despite the hurt and anger that comes with betrayal; learning from it and not forgetting. One of hardest choices to make in life is cutting someone who is toxic to you out of your life-someone you've given chance after chance. It's something we've all been through and a topic we really wanted to write about.
Q: What other themes did you touch upon on this new record?
A: We touch upon themes of depression, suicidal thoughts, hopelessness, isolation, faith, betrayal, abuse, conformity, living in a broken home, backsliding and finding faith. All topics we think are important to address.
Q: What are your hopes for this record?
A: Ultimately our goal for this record is that the words and the messages we're bringing forth in these songs offer hope or something somebody can relate to. We hope our hearts shine through these songs and even more so, that the heart of Jesus shines through. We want people to be encouraged to keep moving and keep fighting and to know that they are loved and adored by Jesus Christ. They are not alone. Their life is worth living.