Hard rock band We As Human broke into the music industry in a way that almost never happens anymore: they were “discovered.” After years of plugging away at their craft and playing their big-sounding music in tiny venues, one of their demos was passed to John Cooper of veteran rock act Skillet. This led to an introduction, and eventually a record deal, with Atlantic Records.
Now poised to hit the mainstream, We As Human will see their debut, self-titled album drop nationally on June 25. WAH frontman Justin Cordle was good enough to answer a few questions for us about their long journey as a band, and about their upcoming release.
MIMO: Every band has a story–so tell us a little bit of yours. What were the early days like for We Are Human, and how did you eventually connect to Atlantic Records?
Justin: We started our band in Sandpoint, Idaho. We have always loved playing music, whether it was for 10 people or 10,000 people. After a few years, we decided to invest a lot more of our time to the band. We started getting out on the road more often and really embraced the whole tour lifestyle. It was the hardest and most rewarding thing we have ever done. We are one of the lucky bands whose hard work and years of investment have finally started to pay off.
We were discovered in 2010 by Skillet front man, John Cooper. Since then, our lives have changed drastically, for the better. Our manager Zach Kelm and Cooper introduced us to Atlantic Records in 2011. We signed our first record deal with them and have been touring and prepping for this album ever since.
MIMO: What was it like having Howard Benson produce your record?
Justin: Incredible! Howard has produced some of our favorite records, so getting to work together on this album was nothing less than a dream come true. It was great digging into our songs with him and hearing what he had to say about them. The dude’s a genius.
MIMO: There seems to be a lot of anticipation already for the upcoming album. Is there a common thread or theme with the songs that we should listen for?
Justin: The album is all about choices, huge choices! The door on our cover represents that. The little man staring at it is trying to decide what he is going to do. He can either take this huge opportunity and risk failure, or take the easy way out. The band and I have faced many of these choices in the last few years.
We’ve faced conflict with our families, with our careers and with our faith. Our album is a direct reflection of things that have happened either in our lives, or those who are close to us. We’ve all had to make decisions, sometimes really hard ones, and we’ve found that the path with the greatest risk of failure is also the path with the most amazing rewards.
MIMO: What does the creative process look like when you and the band are writing?
Justin: We retreat to the band dungeon and do what we have always done, write and rehearse until our fingers bleed! There are no short cuts in creating music. You have to write a ton of songs before you land on a few really good ones.
MIMO: You mentioned being discovered by John Cooper of Skillet. Skillet is a band who has been pretty outspoken about their faith over the years. Do faith and spirituality come into play with We Are Human, and how do these affect your outlook?
Justin: We definitely share Skillet’s outlook on faith. It is almost impossible to not convey that in our music. Our faith is what gives us hope. It reminds us of what is really going to last when this whole crazy thing is over.
MIMO: What’s on the horizon for you guys after the big release? Will you be back on tour?
Justin: We will definitely take some time to celebrate, and then it’s right back on the road to play some festivals. This fall we will be on the Carnival of Madness Tour with Shinedown, Skillet, Papa Roach & In This Moment. You can see where we’re playing at our website, weashuman.com.