It’s been over a decade since former Fates Warning drummer Steve Zimmerman and guitarist Tommy Blardo first conceived of Enemy Remains. The Connecticut-based duo released their debut album, Two Faces Two Minds, in 2012. In the five years since, Zimmerman has busied himself with a Fates Warning reunion of the Awaken the Guardian line-up, while Blardo has been working on other projects. It was during this time off from Enemy Remains that Blardo discovered vocalist Frank Morin. Having a true vocalist changed the landscape for the band’s sophomore record, No Faith in Humanity, released on January 20. The new record also included the additions of guitarist Scott Kadish, and bassist Jeff Curtiss. For the first time, Enemy Remains had a solidified line-up, giving the band and the new record a new dynamic they’d never had before. Metalholic recently touched base with Tommy Blardo to chat about the new record, the new line-up, and the state of the nation.
You guys did some things differently with the new album. How did you approach No Faith in Humanity compared with Two Faces Two Minds?
“We wanted to be more relevant. We were going to go the old proggy way like we used to be. Me and Steve had an old band called Image Beyond that was like Fates [Warning] back in the day. We got away from that to do Two Faces Two Minds, which was more of a commercial album. It didn’t really do too well back at the time because the 90s grunge shit was going on at the time. So we took a different approach with this album. We kind of listened to what’s going on out there today, and I told Steve, we’ve got to make a drastic change if we want to be relevant in this scene. He was willing to do it. We took the new modern productions that all the bands are doing now and kind of put our own little twists on them.”
In many ways, listening to both albums, No Faith in Humanity almost feels like a debut for you guys. Do you feel that way on some level?
“Yeah, we do. We wanted to call it that, because a lot of people didn’t know about the other album, Two Faces Two Minds. We’re calling this our debut album, because the guys on this record are totally different. Of course there’s still me and Steve that’s have been back-boning this band forever, but we’ve got very talented professionals now that are on the same page with us. So it does feel like a debut album for us.”
How did the new line-up impact the record from your perspective?
“I usually write to the abilities of the singer. That’s pretty much the way me and Steve take the approach. When we came across Frank…Me and Steve wrote this demo and I told him I had this guy that might want to put some tracks down. So we sent him this song to see what he could do, and pretty much what you hear on the first single, ‘No Faith in Humanity,’ is what he did on that demo tape. So Frank brings a whole new aspect to the band because the guy can do anything: He can scream. He can sing melodic. He can write. He can play keyboards. He’s just a talented dude. And we never had that in a frontman, to bring into the writing aspect. It was always me and Steve writing. No we have three of us, and Scott too–He brings a whole new aspect to the writing. So we finally have a whole band that’s contributing in the writing.”
That has got to give you some breathing room.
“Yeah, it does. I was always like, ‘Jeez, I’ve got to get something else going.’ It’s nice when other guys come down, and I come up with something and the other guys feed on it. That;’s what we have. You take an idea and it will be ping-ponged around five ways, and everybody has a cool idea.”
I was looking at the album art and listening to the lyrics, and I’ve got to tell you based on what’s going on in this country right now with the Presidential election, and all the shit that’s going on around the world, I don’t have a lot of faith in humanity right now [laughs].
“Brother, that’s what this whole album is based on. You nailed it right on the head. It’s pretty much self-explanatory. We were sitting around watching the news with the political stuff and the racism that’s going on in the world. We were like, ‘It’s never been this bad.’ Then the news escalates stuff, and build up more hype. It’s just a lot of stupid shit going on in the world. We’re trying to bring light to that and bring a more positive message, because the songs are like, ‘let’s knock this shit off and try to figure this out.’ The world was never in this much of a mess.”
You can check out the full interview with Tommy Blardo below as he talks more in-depth about Enemy Remains and takes us track by track through No Faith in Humanity.