Interview with vocalist/drummer Jake Beaver | By Hutch
Lifelong Michigander friends Garrett Finch and Jake Beaver had to eventually face the inevitable and began Problem Of Pain in early 2015. They had been writing music together in a prior band, but with Problem Of Pain, they are expressing their unique vision without additional members.
Beaver—the band’s vocalist and drummer—claims, “Our place in hardcore is very strange. Our initial direction for the band was heavy and dark, but through touring and growing as a band, we slowly wanted to change it up. Quite frankly, there are better bands doing the ‘as heavy as possible’ thing, so we went in a different direction.”
That direction yields a new EP, I Will Always Want To Let Go, released on Richmond, Virginia’s Blood & Ink Records on Feb. 9. Five tracks of draining, confrontational metallic hardcore influenced by black metal, mathcore, and dark subject matter distill their vitriol into a bleak record.
“While writing this EP, we took the approach of trying to make something artistically and emotionally tangible for the listener,” Beaver continues, “which, nowadays with heavy music, I think is something that is lacking. We wanted to create an atmosphere that evokes a powerful connection or emotion through the music or lyrics that lasts. We hope that it can open up our audience to a lot more groups of people and that they all enjoy it.”
Michigan artist, Amber Muller—a friend of Beaver’s—created the album art, and Beaver touts her “immense talent.” He sees the bridge between the striking cover and his music. “This being bright, saturated, but still having a dark and mysterious blackened tone is exactly what we wanted,” he says. “I think that it very vividly represents the emotions and instrumentation within the EP: cold and empty but still full of life.”
The instrumentation for I Will Always Want To Let Go was recorded and engineered in two days with Chris Herr at North Tower Studio, while vocals were recorded and engineered by Bryce Mata. Beaver and Finch—who helms guitar and vocals for Problem Of Pain—then sent their creation to be mixed by Adam Cichocki at Timber Studios and mastered by Mike Kalajian of Rogue Planet Mastering.
Beaver delves into the lyrical landscape of I Will Always Want To Let Go, calling the EP “a self-examination on the inevitable and, also, the struggle of being human. Some themes include guilt, disappointment, and remorse and how they can influence the way we value ourselves.”
“The key theme, though—placed within the title—is the constant battle of wanting to remove oneself from commitment and how hard it is to be fully committed to a person or spiritual ideology,” he adds. “This EP is an honest response on trying to find the meaning to that pain and how we can be refined or destroyed by it, how persistent trial changes the way you can view or trust someone, and how love can be a constant back-and-forth battle of trust and submission. Even though we all fail the ones who love us, will they show us mercy? And why do they?”