Over the past several years, BATTLEGHOST has been a mainstay in the Richmond pop punk scene. Despite several member changes, the band has endured. Currently under the reigns of drummer Nick Craven, guitarist and vocalist Dorian Cooke, and bassist Graham Walker, BATTLEGHOST are continuing to make a name for themselves in Virginia and beyond, and they have high hopes for success in 2014. Currently, they are putting the finishing touches on their next EP and making plans to tour the east coast to support that record. I had the chance to discuss with Craven the new direction they are taking, some of their new year’s resolutions, as well as their recent cover of “The Freshmen” by THE VERVE PIPE.

Since Lloyd and Ben left the band, how have you guys adjusted your music to playing as a three-piece?

It was just Dorian and I for a while, but we recently picked up a new bassist. There is going to be a big difference in our new sound. The songs are going to be a little darker and a lot more meaningful to us.

How has your approach to songwriting changed?

We are approaching it in a more personal way, and we are not writing what people expect to hear from us or what is out there right now. We just write whatever comes to mind, and we are pushing out our own thoughts into the songs. The new EP will have a deeper emotional side. One of the songs, for example, is about Dorian’s grandfather being in the hospital. We are pulling more from actual experiences in our lives.

How much progress have you made on your next record?

We recorded it at the beginning of December at The Looking Glass in Atlanta with Kory Gable and Travis Hill, and we are working on mixing it now. The next mix will be sent to us on [January] 3rd. After we get the right mix settled, it will just need to be mastered and released.

Have you set a release date for it yet?

We are planning to release it in late April or early May, but most likely it will be closer to late April. It will be a four-song EP with an intro. So four and a half songs (laughs).

What are some of your resolutions for 2014?

Keep band members (laughs). We also really want to be on the road more and see more of the east coast.

Do you have any plans to tour in the near future?

Yeah definitely! After the release of the EP, we plan to do 20 dates on the east coast, but we are not sure who we will be touring with yet.

What was your proudest accomplishment as a band from this past year?

We were really hyped that Alternative Press premiered our song “Habitats” for us. That was some really great recognition that we were really excited about.

Why did you guys decide to cover “The Freshmen” by THE VERVE PIPE?

That was an idea that Lloyd and I had four years ago, and the two of us never got everyone to agree to do it until he and Ben quit (laughs). I showed Dorian my idea for the cover, and he loved it. We recorded it with our buddy Pete from COUNT TO FOUR. I just really love the lyrics, and I think that the song never got that band as big as they should have been.

Which venue in Virginia is your favorite place to play shows?

Of all the venues in Richmond, The Canal Club always treats us well, and we usually have a great turn out there.

Who are some of your favorite bands from Virginia?

CONDITIONS is definitely a favorite. I know some of the guys personally, so I know the story behind why they are breaking up. It’s understandable, but it’s still sad to see them go. BROADSIDE, of course. They are good friends of ours. Also, IN COURAGE are good friends. We share a practice space with them too. Lastly, AUDIOSTROBELIGHT from the beach. They are a good band and good dudes as well.

For more updates on BATTLEGHOST, be sure to “like” their Facebook page, follow them on Twitter, and check out their cover of “The Freshmen” on Bandcamp.

Joe Fitzpatrick

Joe Fitzpatrick

As editor-in-chief, Joe is very passionate about promoting music and culture in Virginia and DC. A resident of Falls Church, Joe enjoys going to shows, checking out local breweries, and trying new foods with friends.

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