Jesse Cash | JT Cavey | Alex Ballew | Conor Hesse | Sean Price
ERRA has made a name for themselves on their own terms. Determination and steadfast dedication have defined ERRA’s path, forging a unique connection with an ever-growing audience, without the advantages of traditional recognition. Titanic riffs and enchanting melodies litter the cerebral, immersive soundscapes powering each of the progressive metal merchant’s albums, culminating today in the release of the new single, "Snowblood"
ERRA confronts depression, anxiety, and desperation. They take listeners on a near-out-of-body journey to the infamous Suicide Forest of Japan; into episodic storytelling that would make Black Mirror writers proud; and even into the literary works of geniuses like Cormac McCarthy and playright/filmmaker David Mamet.
“I was going through a tough time, after a breakup, when Andy Glass from We Came As Romans turned me on to Eckhart Tolle,” Cash shares. “A lot of the information really seemed to stick. Many of our new songs talk about being present, being conscious, without sounding forced or contrived, or like standard optimistic metalcore cliches.”
There is a vivid picture of horror in “Snowblood”. The track takes on deteriorating mental health and the life-sapping effects of technology respectively. Vocalist and guitarist Jesse Cash adds, “The 'Snowblood' instrumental had a dark intensity to it, so the only lyrics that seemed to fit contextually ended up being some of the darkest we’ve ever written. We wanted to paint a picture of a person’s deteriorating mental health by creating imagery akin to what you’d see in a horror movie. Instrumentally and lyrically, all the key elements of where we’re heading as a band on our new material are in there.”
As their music finds the balance between the crushingly-heavy and the headily-melodic, its members seek to find harmony between the needs of the individual and the natural flow of this shared reality. ERRA, as a band of brothers and creative force, strive to live in alignment with the present moment. "Snowblood" represents redemption for ERRA, who has emerged with a renewed focus and confidence, a new record label, UNFD, and a new sense of certainty and self.
Musically, "Snowblood" conjures ERRA’s classic crushing heaviness and soaring musicality while broadening the band’s reach with meditative expansiveness, trippy near-psychedelia, and a haunting hook. It was recorded, mixed, and mastered by Carson Slovak and Grant McFarland, the Grammy-nominated duo responsible for essential records from August Burns Red and From Ashes To New. It’s a definitive mission statement for guitarist/vocalist Jesse Cash, vocalist J.T. Cavey, drummer Alex Ballew, bassist Conor Hesse, and guitarist Sean Price, each of them already well-respected players revered for their inspiring technicality and raw, natural talent.
"Snowblood" is clearly an evolution of the band, it sounds like a song we wrote, but it’s also such a big step forward,” Cash explains. “we wanted to give people who have been following ERRA the sense that we’re starting a new chapter, with something fresh.”
Cavey concurs. “We’ve always tried to have a balance of classic song structures, intertwined with experimental adventures,” he says. “Our music is written for musicians, but it also appeals to the masses. There are a lot more breakdowns on this record, but also bigger melodies. The most important thing was to write music that we enjoy.”
Facebook groups and hashtags organized around the band’s dense music and heady but relatable lyrics have helped further the ERRA mission, resulting in multiple #1 Heatseekers placements on Billboard. Previous ERRA albums Impulse (2012), Augment (2013), Drift (2016), and Neon (2018) saw the band spotlighted on a number of tastemaker playlists, as the band’s Spotify plays soared past 72 million streams.
Rising from Birmingham, AL just over a decade ago, ERRA have vigorously toured worldwide, with bands including August Burns Red, We Came As Romans, and Northlane, among many others, earning them a sprawling fan base, crossing both genres and generations. It all resulted in a worldwide audience devoted to the Alabama-based band’s catalog, eager for each new missive.
The down-tuned atmosphere of Deftones and Tool are central ingredients, alongside the inventiveness of Nine Inch Nails and the urgency of Northlane and Architects. All of these components are filtered through ERRA’s unique sensibility and experience, resulting in a singular creative identity both warmly familiar and refreshingly forward-thinking.
“By nature, ERRA’s music is going to be different than most metalcore bands, because we are still pretty damn complicated,” Cavey adds, with a laugh. “These songs are still not easy to play, but we put less pressure on ourselves to be so crazy [technical]. I try and make sure that a lot of moments in our music are just cool and catchy.”