Metal music is a full-contact sport, and it’s appropriate that Every Time I Die vocalist Keith Buckley’s fondest memory of State College involves a favorite pastime of the genre: stage-diving.
“We played a show (at the Crowbar) with the band New End Original,” the Buffalo, N.Y., native recalled during an interview.
“I drunkenly ‘super fanned’ to (New End Original singer) Jonah Matranga. I was a big fan of (Matranga’s previous band) Far. We actually got along really well. By the end of that night, we were having stage-diving competitions during the headlining band, which I believe was Thursday. It was a lot of fun. I’ve never seen or spoken to Jonah since that day.”
A popular draw in State College, Every Time I Die’s travels have included several stops at the aforementioned, long-closed Crowbar, and a wild 2012 show at Heritage Hall in Penn State’s HUB-Robeson Center. Next week, an unlikely venue will host the band’s frenzied, vociferous blend of metal, hardcore punk and southern rock — The State Theatre.
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As a State Theatre employee understatedly remarked on the show’s Facebook event page: “It’s something a lil’ different for us.”
This performance commences the American leg of Every Time I Die’s “Low Teens” tour. The group is promoting its acclaimed 2016 album of the same name.
“Low Teens” is the band’s eighth record, and first effort working with metal, punk and emo producer Will Putney.
Buckley praised Putney’s contributions to the album.
“He genuinely liked Every Time I Die ... which was a first for any producer,” Buckley said, perhaps only half jesting.
“He knew what we had done (on prior albums) and who we did it with. He knew what the other albums lacked. He wanted to make this the definitive Every Time I Die record. I think he did.”
“Low Teens” is bookended by the jerking, lumbering “Fear & Trembling,” and the cathartic, emotionally exhausting “Map Change.” Meaty numbers including “The Coin Has a Say,” “Petal” and “It Remembers” comprise the album’s midpoint and command a listen free of interruption.
“At this point in our career, it’s just instinct,” Buckley said of how an Every Time I Die album takes its final shape.
“We knew immediately ‘Map Change’ was going to be the ending track, but the opener had a few different contenders. In the end, we all agreed unanimously on ‘Fear and Trembling,’ ” Buckley said. “(You) just have to be patient and let the tracks fall where they belong.”
Buckley pens most of the band’s lyrics, but maintains the songwriting process is democratic.
“If I have any ideas for arrangements, (the band will) humor my suggestions, but we all know when something is ‘right’ and when it isn’t. That’s what happens when you’ve been doing this together for 18 years.”
If “Low Teens” is a sign of Every Time I Die’s creative well, this band will easily deliver 18 more.
Just don’t count on Buckley keeping his feet on the floor.
IF YOU GO
- What: Every Time I Die
- When: 7 p.m. Feb. 1
- Where: The State Theatre, 130 W. College Ave., State College
- Info: www.thestatetheatre.org