Arkansas-Based Progressive Rock Band CENSUS Discuss Their Newest Single ‘Sunbeam’, Music Plans for the Future and Much More!
Meet the progressive rock band CENSUS! On August 14th, they released their latest single and music video for their track, “Sunbeam.”
CENSUS originated in Jessieville, Arkansas. Falling outside the scope of the typical metal band, CENSUS presents a powerful pop vocal style that meshes perfectly with their heavy rock instrumentation. CENSUS has opened up for a wide range of national touring acts, including Beartooth, Like Moths to Flames, Kublai Khan and many others. Pairing modern metalcore and 80’s-esque guitar riffs with emotionally driven lyrics, CENSUS aim to continually evolve their platform with their upcoming single “Sunbeam”.
Check out “Sunbeam” here-
Connect with CENSUS Online Here:
Apple Music: bit.ly/censusonapplemusic
Learn more about CENSUS in the following All Access interview:
Thank you for your time. So given these unusual Covid-19 times, what does a typical day look like for you all? How have you adjusted to these times?
Thanks for having us! We’ve actually been pretty fortunate during this disaster of a year. Before COVID-19 hit, we had been releasing music and videos pretty consistently for a little over a year. We haven’t played any shows since summer 2018 because we had some member changes and decided to write all new music and not play another show until we were ready to come back full force. The upside to this is that once the virus hit, we were already used to the idea of making music and videos from home without playing shows.
What has been the hardest/most challenging part about being quarantined? Is your city starting to open up more now? Have you been able to get together and play much lately?
We live in Arkansas, and most businesses are definitely starting to pick back up and return to normal hours; they’re just starting to take masks and social distancing a lot more seriously. It was rough finding time to get together and practice when everything first started. Our bassist, Jathan, has a wife at home that is immuno-comprimsed, so we took probably a solid two months off from seeing each other. Now that things are returning back to normal, we’ve been trying to get together at least once a week to write and practice while just social distancing and being safe in our free time.
How have you been able to use social media during these unprecedented times? Are you finding that you use it even more now to stay connected to fans and other musicians?
Prior to COVID-19, we were discussing things like how we should release new music, when we should play shows again, and how we could work to grow our fanbase. After cancelling all of the shows we had booked for this summer, we realized we needed to put more of our focus towards our social media presence. The main way we have accomplished this is by investing more time and money into anything we do online. We have been super focused on producing music videos that tell a story and are as visually professional as possible because right now it’s the best way for our fans to experience what we create.
What has it been like having to reschedule your spring, summer and fall shows? What shows in 2021 are you already excited for?
It has been bittersweet. On one hand, we have had more time to focus on our music and the content that we create. On the other hand, anyone who performs live will tell you that there isn’t anything like it. When you can’t perform your music live and hang out with your fans, it literally leaves you feeling like you have a hole in your chest. We are more than eager for things to go back to normal. As far as our plans for shows in 2021, we’re just crossing our fingers that those don’t have to be cancelled too.
Since we are all desperately missing live music, can you recall a favorite show of yours from the past? What do you think ultimately makes for a great show for you? What about a favorite show of someone else?
We once opened for Beartooth with a bunch of other Arkansas locals in 2015 in our buddy Dalton’s backyard! That was a wild night. It was a legendary show for the Arkansas rock and metal scene for sure. For us, a great show is all about the audience. You can both see and feel the energy when a crowd is really enjoying your music, and that’s what ultimately makes a great show.
How did you come up with your band name? Was it hard to come up with a name you could all agree on?
Our original drummer, Michael Pilz, came up with the name Census. We like it because it’s just a very inclusive word, and we’re a band that’s all about unity and relatability. When you think of a census, you think of people. A collective. Everyone.
Let’s talk about your brand new track, “Sunbeam.” What was the inspiration for this track? How does it compare to your previous music?
We are so excited for people to hear “Sunbeam.” Comparatively, it’s basically a mixture of every song we’ve released over the past two years. Ben wrote “Sunbeam” after having a conversation with a friend who deals with abuse, depression, and mental manipulation at the hands of their own partner.
What was it like shooting the music video for “Sunbeam”? Was it done before the pandemic hit? How creatively involved with the process were you all?
We have been so incredibly blessed to work with our good friend Joe Lane from Anointed Media on our last two music videos. Joe is an old hometown friend and he always puts everything he has into making a music video something special. Joe usually comes up with the main vision for what the video will look like, but it’s always a collaborative effort, and he welcomes new ideas and feedback. We started planning the music video at the end of May, when the corona virus scare was in full swing. Joe lives in Texas and has a family of his own, so we had to wait over a month before we were able to meet up in Arkansas to shoot the video. It ended up being great though because we had a ton of time to plan out the video and make everything exactly the way we wanted.
Do you have plans to release an EP or a full-length album later this year? Are you working on that now?
For now, we are just focused on putting everything we have into one song at a time. We want each of our songs to be its own unique experience since we are not able to perform live right now. We are still waiting to see how things go with COVID-19, but as of right now, we are thinking that we may begin working on an EP sometime in 2021.
How do you think future music is going to be influenced by this incredible and absolutely necessary Black Lives Matter movement that the US and even the world is going through now? Is it inspiring you and your music today at all?
For us personally, the Black Lives Matter movement has further solidified our stance that the world needs unity, rather than division. We absolutely support the BLM movement, as well as the necessity and urgency of its cause. As for the future of music, we hope to see more opportunities for our fellow black artists to flourish as the world continues to push for racial equality.
If you could get into the studio with any artist today and collaborate on a new song for you, who would it be and why?
This is such a tough question. We’d obviously love to collaborate with somebody like Oliver Sykes, who is a lyrical and melodical genius in a genre similar to our own, but we’d also love to work with somebody like Blackbear or Post Malone, who are also creative geniuses, but would complement our style of music in a really unique way.
Would you like to share anything else about yourself or your music with our readers?
We love you guys and hope you are all staying safe out there.