Photo credit to Kurt Lunsford.
Arkansas hardcore band, Census, just released a brand new single titled “Placebo,” and Ben Carey, guitar and vocals, has taken the time out of his day to tell all about it! Check out the song, and be sure to share it with all of your friends.
Can you introduce yourselves to readers, and share more about who you are as a collective?
Census is a band we’ve had going for about three years now. There are five of us: Hayden Valentine on vocals, Ben Carey on guitar and vocals, Bo Sawyer on guitar, Hunter Bennett on bass, and Josh Coleman on drums. We love bringing people together and making music.
You dropped a brand new single yesterday. Can you tell me about it?
Of course! I’m so glad you asked this question because we’ve focused so much on sharing, promoting, and getting the song out to people that we haven’t had as much time to talk about the meaning behind it. The song is called “Placebo,” and it’s currently available on all music streaming/downloading platforms. For whatever reason lately, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about all the people who deal with depression and suicidal thoughts. Even within our own band members, it’s something we’ve dealt with to some degree. Bo came to me with a really interesting concept for a song that eventually became “Placebo.” The concept was that someone awakes in an empty room, totally alone. There is nothing, and there is no one but themselves. This person has attempted to take their own life, and is now, as the song goes, “Lost in the cracks between living and dying.” While in this empty space, they are able to see their life and all the different paths it could’ve taken had they not decided to end it. The beginning is a dialogue between this person before and after taking their life. People who deal with depression often have a misconception that ending their life will provide them with relief, even at the expense of eliminating any chance of their lives ever getting better. And that doesn’t sit right with me. I posted from our band’s Twitter one night about how unbelievably sad it is that someone can feel so completely alone that the only option left is to no longer exist. The last line in the song is one of the first lyrics I wrote for it: “The sickness never ends if you’re fighting the cure.” My goal with this song was to encourage anybody who deals with depression or suicidal thoughts to reach out and seek help. Talk about it. Don’t stay silent. Every life is precious, and each is uniquely important.
Is the release a teaser for an upcoming album, or just a one-off?
We’re trying something new with our music this time around. We’ve never actually tried to write a whole album, but I imagine it’s extremely exhausting because even just making one song like “Placebo” totally wears me out. However, we are in the process of creating the first ever Census full-length, and we plan on releasing multiple singles from it throughout 2018.
What is your major goal for Census?
Oh, man. Something that I’ve come to turns with is that Census is just something that I’m always incredibly happy to be a part of. So as long as we’re all still having a blast, Census will continue to be, regardless. I have, however, set my own secret goal for us to play the last ever Warped Tour since that’ll be happening this year.
We spoke before this interview about Census planning a possible Summer tour. Where all do you want to play, and what can fans expect from these shows?
Yes! We’ve only toured once before, but it was so dang fun. Our plan this time is to do a west coast route for about a week and a half. We’ll have a kick-off show in Arkansas, then head west to California, then circle back along the bottom of the US until we reach Louisiana! We’ve been working a lot lately on perfecting our live show aesthetic with lights, haze, and other fun stuff, so fans can expect to see us put on the best show possible!
Let’s talk about the making of your music. How does a Census song get put together? Does each person have a specific role, or is it a joint effort?
It’s literally different every time. We have an awful work ethic, but it always comes together in the end. Bo is the designated riff master. He wrote like 80% of the riffs in “Placebo.” Hunter and I write riffs every now and then as well. I’ve always been the main lyricist, but Bo and I usually collaborate together for lyrics. And obviously with Hayden in the band now, he’ll be writing lyrics as well. Once we have a good basis down, Josh will add drums to it, and him and I kind of collaborate on that as well. The whole process is random and unorganized, but it works for us.