Last Friday, I got the opportunity to interview Zach Schwochow, the drummer for Convictions, a Christian metalcore band that I’ve written about before. They are currently on the Bloodied/Unbowed Tour with Oh, Sleeper, Famous Last Words and Empty and I was able to get in a quick conversation before their set while they were at the Brooklyn, NY stop.
Convictions consists of Michael Felker on vocals, Danyal Suchta on vocals and bass, Joshua Canode on guitar and Zach Schwochow on drums. The members play a distinct Convictions brand of metalcore but, as with any band, they all pull from different influences when playing their parts in Convictions. “There are certain bands that influence us to play music. Me personally, I kind of have like a pop style drumming and that’s where you can see some of the pop rock or like the pop punk drumming. Then Mike grew up on the same Nu metal influences, like Slipknot and stuff. So he likes those bouncy kind of riffs and then Josh pulls influence from Underoath and Norma Jean and those legendary Christian bands, if you will,” Schwochow said about the members’ different influences. “Then we all obviously pull inspiration from our faith and finding finding hope with our faith and writing about our convictions. That’s where we got the band name. So that’s really a lot of our inspiration.”
Speaking of convictions, that is one of the areas that really give the band inspiration, and not just for the name. “We just wanted to write about our convictions. We knew we wanted to be a Christian band starting out. We felt like our lives didn’t reflect it good enough. Like if we’re going to get on that stage, we need to not be fake. So why don’t we write about our convictions? Like whether its struggles we have, I’m sure if you listen to any of the lyrics with struggles with depression, anxiety, greed, and lust, whatever it is. Those are in there and those are things that we struggle with. The lyrics are not always pretty but, we always come back to finding hope in our faith,” Schwochow explained. “We we didn’t want to be a band that is these perfect people. We wanted to be a real and be like look, we’re Christian and just because you’re Christian doesn’t mean you don’t struggle with certain things as well. And people can relate to it.”
If you look on their site, and most other areas where they have a bio, they deem themselves “aggressive worship” and, after listening to just a few songs, you can tell why. “I was just talking about like aggressive worship because, like I said, most the time you listen to praise and worship. It’s always just good, you know but, just because you’re Christian, doesn’t mean life’s always going to be good. So I think that’s where we’re writing about our convictions and it not always being so pretty and the aggressiveness in the music combined but all glorifying God through it is where we came up with the aggressor worship,” Schwochow said when defining the phrase. “We definitely want to break the mold where people think all Christians are full of judgment or bigotry or anything like that. We’re like, no we accept everyone, you know, we want to love everyone and show that there’s a loving God.”
Being on tour in a rock band, I thought it may be difficult for them to keep their convictions but I was surprised by what Schwochow said about that. “I think when we’re on tour as a unit and we’re playing on stage every every night, a lot of times I feel closer to God because we’re always together. Whereas when you’re home, sometimes it’s easy to like lose sight and get caught up in the normal everyday, every new routine I suppose,” he said. He went on to explain how between travel, setting up for shows, playing and packing up, they don’t have much time for anything else even if they wanted to.
Convictions are not planning on taking a break any time soon. “We have a West Coast headliner because it ends on in Portland and then we’ll do some Cali dates and Arizona where we headline. And then we are with Capture The Quote. They’re called Capture now. Capture and Outline In Color and there’s five dates Albuquerque, some Texas and Georgia where will be doing that. That’s where it ends and then we’ll go to the studio down in Florida for about a little over two weeks and then we will be home for a maybe a week or so,” Schwochow said. “Josh will get married and then we’ll go over to Europe which will be headlining over there in October.”
Convictions recently released a new single, “Hurricane”. That seemed to be a sign that there may be a new album in the works. “We will be doing the studio in September and we’re planning on doing a few more songs and then kind of seeing where we’re at. We’re unsigned right now. So I don’t know. I guess it depends on what happens with either labels or in all the kinds of behind-the-scenes stuff whether we’ll do a full album. I would imagine that’s probably the way we’ll go and “Hurricane”, there’s a probably a pretty good chance that that would be on the next album,” Schwochow said when I asked him about any plans for more new music.
“Listen to our “Hurricane” on Spotify, follow us on social media and come see us on the road. You know, it really does help. Share your stories with us. Those are like fuel to our fire,” Schwochow said at the end of the interview.
If you go see them live, you will not be disappointed. After the interview, I watched them play and they are one of the most entertaining bands I’ve seen. Mike, the vocalist, got down with the crowd and let us join in singing with him. He even gave me the mic and let me get on stage and sing a chorus to one of their songs! It was definitely a night to remember!
Connect with Convictions: