You released your new album, Peace at All Costs, on September 16. What are your feelings about it? It’s probably our most focused and mature effort to date. It took all of the strength of True Love Never Dies and embellished on those. We had the opportunity to take time off the road and really regroup and develop these songs as a whole, as an entire piece of work, and I think that’s very apparent when you listen to it from start to finish. It’s an extremely cohesive album, and it shows many facets of the human condition and the emotions that we go through. So we’re very proud of it. There are some departures from what we’ve done, but there’s also some familiar ground as well. I think that juxtaposition and that balance will really be pleasing to old fans of Otherwise and the new ones.
What was it like working with producer David Bottrill (Tool, Muse)? Incredible. By far our most productive and most pleasurable experience with a producer. Here this guy with three Grammys and the second Muse album and the soundtrack to The Last Temptation of Christ with Peter Gabriel, who has all the makings a super-producer, one of the guys who just come in at the end of the day and say, “Eh, that sucks change it.” But this guy was there from the first sound of the day; he was there repatching cables and plugging wires and mixing tones. He didn’t have some engineer doing all the heavy lifting. He was in it with us, and it was amazing. We hope that we can work with him again in the future.
You guys have had a really crazy couple of years. Does it feel like you’ve made it or like you still have miles to go? We definitely feel like we are succeeding. I mean, I’m in the middle of Wisconsin, on a brand new tour bus, and we just parked at the Walmart here, and they’re sold out of our album. Our single, “Darker Side of the Moon,” just broke the Top 20 this week on the Billboard rock charts. So in that sense it feels like yes, we’ve made it. Yet we know that we’re not anywhere near where we want to be as musicians, as artists, as businessmen. We have so much more growth that we need to accomplish. We’ve got a constant drive, my brother and I; it must be in our blood, because we incessantly want to progress and evolve.
What was your experience like coming up through the Vegas music scene? It was some of the best and worst times of our lives. I always knew deep down inside that we had a real shot at something on a national or on a global level. We may not necessarily sound different than other bands, we not look different, but we feel different as people. My brother and I are first-generation Americans, and now we’re rocking and rolling. We’re a rock band on the friggin’ American charts. So we are the embodiment of the American dream, just by virtue of what my parents went through to immigrate to this country. And that unique perspective of having seen where our parents came from is what drives us.
When we were coming up in Vegas, it was like every band out there had something to say and was angry and aggressive, and we definitely have those elements to our music, too. But what about the competition on the bigger levels? You’ve got multimillion dollar nightclubs; you’ve got international headliners playing almost every night of the week. So for us to be first original rock band to have a residency at a casino, at Station Casinos, that was huge for us.
We’re very proud of our heritage and the history in that scene, but we were doing things at a time when no one cared. We were doing big things out there, and the industry didn’t care—no one that we thought was important was listening. But now we’ve got the attention of the nation and we’re gonna try our best to make everyone at home in Sin City proud of us.
I see you have shows booked through mid-October. What’s next after that? By Thanksgiving we’ll hopefully be heading home for a short holiday break, and then back to basics. We’ve got a new album out, a new product, so we’ve gotta pound the pavement; we’ve gotta hit the highways and get the message out there and bring hope to people. That’s all we wanna do is bring hope and just let people know that there is light through darkness. As far as what’s next, in 2015 we’ll hopefully get over to Europe; that’d be awesome. But we still have so much work to do here on the home front.
Any plans to play a hometown show sometime soon? Any chance to play a show in Vegas we jump on. We’d love to come back for Thanksgiving, take a week off and then kick off the next leg of the tour with a big hometown show and send-off from there.