From Depths We Rise is a melodic metal/hardcore group with an extensive array of influences but one unified message: creating heaviness that is both challenging and healing. We sat down with Christopher Bullock to talk about their music, the band’s background and more intimate questions.
When asked where the band comes from and what brought them together, Christopher explains:
“From Depths We Rise (formerly Darkest Before Dawn) comes from San Diego County in California. We initially formed back in September of 2009 after leaving another band. Our former guitarist, Andrew, came to my apartment after he heard I had left, and said we’re a package deal so he left as well. He brought over a couple of 40’s and we started jamming out what would be the first FDWR song, “Chaos is Born”. Ai, our vocalist, answered a Craigslist ad I had posted a couple of months later. She sent me a demo from her old band in the Phillippines, then we brought her in for an audition and needless to say she blew us out of the water and boom, From Depths We Rise was born.”
I would describe our music as “beautality” – a combination of beauty and brutality.
Tell us about one of your tracks, the process behind it, how did it come together and why did you write this song?
So, “As Death Becomes Light” is the first single from our upcoming album, “The Meaning of Mourning”. This song was different from how I normally write, where I normally have the music done way ahead of time. I wrote this song while staying with my wife in the hospital after we lost our son. This started off as a poem, and months later I came up with the musical idea while at work. I went home and immediately started recording the guitar parts, then put the lyrics to it. The drums came last. This was one of those songs that just felt right – I didn’t even have to think about it, it just flowed.
“If you’re asking me personally, I would describe our music as “beautality” – a combination of beauty and brutality.” Christopher explains when asked how he would describe their music. “I grew up on bands like Killswitch Engage, P.O.D. and Sevendust – bands who know how to balance heavy music with big, beautiful choruses, and I think that’s what separates them from other bands of their era. They’re still relevant and making timeless music today, and ultimately that’s what I aim for anytime I write a song. I can write the heaviest riff in the universe, but if there isn’t a good hook to catch your attention, then there’s no substance behind it.”
“I don’t want to speak for Ai, but I think that when it comes to me at least, I play music because it feels like the one thing in the world where I don’t feel any judgement” is what he likes most about playing music. “I can play all day and feel like I have a place in this world – I feel like I belong. Outside of my family, music is one of the few things that keep me sane. I couldn’t picture a life without it in some way.”
What is it you would like people to do while listening to your song?
“I’ve never really thought about that to be honest. The way I listen to music, you just have to allow yourself to be in that moment in time. But when I’m writing, I try to get the listener to think about what they’re feeling in the song. So that’s kind of how I write – what would I want to feel while listening to this? My ultimate goal is to get the listener to relate in some way; if they’ve done that then I feel like I’ve done my job as a musician.”
“When it comes to my work ethic, there aren’t many people that can match me” he exclaims when asked how his previous bandmates would describe him and his work ethic. “At the same time, that has also been a point of contention with some bandmates because I can tend to take on the heavy lifting and don’t allow them to get involved. So, with From Depths I tried to let some of that go – but now with us just being a duo, I don’t have much a choice lol.”
Would your music sounds the same 10 years ago? Or the 20 years older you? What would he/she change to it?
“This is a damn good question. Ai and I actually talked a while back about re-recording the first demo (2010 3-song demo) we did and doing it in a more modern way. And as much as the concept seems cool, I don’t know that I could do it the same justice – like I said earlier about feeling the songs in the moment, those songs were written in a specific moment and time and had a specific feeling to it. We’ve grown both as people and musicians, so I feel like you have to let those songs breathe in that space. Playing those songs live is one thing, but you can’t re-create it 15, 20 years later and expect it to have the same energy.”
What if you would have to fuse your music into a different genre; what would be the most hilarious one?
“Oh man, that’s interesting. Based on the feel of our biggest singles, I would have to say I think trying to turn our music to modern R&B (like Jhene Aiko or NeYo) would be absolutely hilarious. I love their styles and considering we have female vocals, I think it would be fun to try but I’d probably be laughing too hard to focus on finishing.”
Why did you choose From Depths We Rise as your artist name? Is there a meaning, a secret or twisted side?
“When everyone outside of myself and Ai left, we decided to adopt a new moniker. Since we had been doing some research, I initially came up with the name “From Depths I Rise”, which kind of reminds me of picking yourself up from the ground and starting over. But our drummer Broc thought that sounds too deathcore-ish, so we all agreed on From Depths We Rise. It’s more of a concept of humanity pulling itself from the bottom of the ocean and back to solid ground.”
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