This past year has shaken and stirred the world of CLOSE YOUR EYES and they wouldn’t have had it any other way. Since the February release of their Victory Records debut album We Will Overcome, the band has been on countless tours, leaving a long-lasting impression on everyone nearby. Ending 2010 with an opening slot on the sold out headlining A Day To Remember tour, Close Your Eyes will be stationed in their Texas homes writing and relaxing only to jump back out on a slew of dates with I See Stars starting January 14th in Toledo. “We are excited to go out with these bands because we will be hitting an entirely new group of kids and we’ll definitely be itching to get back out on the road after being home for over a month.” says guitarist Brett Callaway.
London Music Hall
The House Cafe
In between their non-stop touring, the band spent a few days filming a music video for the second song off the aforementioned album, “The Body”. Touching on the video, guitarist Brett Callaway had this to say: “I love the way this video came out. Eric Richter [director] did a great job portraying the themes of the song in a metaphorical manor and we had a lot of fun doing our performance shots!” Click here to take a look!
About the band:
Using their faith as a driving force, CLOSE YOUR EYES has clawed their way out of Abiliene, Texas and is aiming for the hearts and souls of everyone in their path. It was a brief encounter at Hardin-Simmons University that turned Shane Reynolds (Vocals) and Brett Callaway (Guitar) from strangers, into two-fifths of Victory Records’ latest talent. “We met in the cafeteria. Brett was wearing a Dillinger Escape Plan shirt and I was wearing an As I Lay Dying shirt. We commented on each other’s and started talking about music; we realized that we had many of the same interests.” One of the common interests that Callway and Reynolds discovered was their understanding and dedication to the Christian faith. Quickly forming a unique friendship, the duo began a short-lived, two-man collaboration; after playing only a few shows, the desire for a thicker and fuller sound took over. Months of relentless searching through a talented sea of musicians seemed disheartening until Andrew Rodriguez (guitar), Sonny Vega (Bass) and David Fidler (Drums) appeared as though they had been there all along. This completed five-some creates the powerful and up-lifting sound that is CLOSE YOUR EYES, today. “With the line-up that we have now, we are all in-sync when it comes to music. We have such a heart for it; the best stuff always comes out” explains Reynolds. With their hardcore, heavy, rock sound and inspirational lyrics it was no surprise the band received such an intense initial response. “It took me a long time to find my ‘voice’ and the things I really wanted to write about,” says Reynolds, “Right around when we wrote ‘Song for the Broken’ I discovered that I could use lyrics to really express what’s in my heart.” One of the band’s biggest lyrical focuses comes from highlighting the ‘broken’ and needy people in the world. “It doesn’t take a specific religion to see that a lot of people in America are hurting. I really started having a heart for these people and saying, especially from a Christian standpoint, that we are being selfish.” Make no mistake, although heavily influenced by their Christianity, the group don’t plan on selling out their faith in exchange for their fame. “We don’t hide who we are but a big reason we don’t emphasize the fact that we’re a Christian band is because we don’t want our faith to be our primary marketing point. I would prefer if someone approached me after hearing our lyrics and questioned if we’re a Christian band, because then I can say ‘I am a Christian… and this is why’.” In 2008, they released a self-titled, 6-song EP that was ranked the #6 Most Added Album on both the FMQB and CMJ Loud charts. Due to its success, the band was honored with playing Main Stage at Cornerstone Festival in Bushnell, Illinois, after winning first place in the “New Band Showcase”. The following year, HM Magazine selected CLOSE YOUR EYES as one of their “Pick of the Litter” artists, which deemed them worthy of playing the magazine’s showcase at Cornerstone 2009. “When we got signed, everything changed,” explains Reynolds. After receiving his undergraduate degree in Ministry, Reynolds had decided to continue his education and was enrolled in graduate school. “I was sitting with my mom and we were talking about what this would entail: dropping out of school, quitting my job… a lot of things in my life would change. I expected my mom to be the one to tell me to keep my feet on the ground, be realistic, and have clearly defined goals, but she looked at me and basically said ‘You would be stupid not to do this. I would never want you to sit and wonder what it would have been like if you would have tried.’ I ended up dropping out that day and haven’t looked back since.” Excited and sure to waste no time, CLOSE YOUR EYES started compiling songs for their Victory Records debut, We Will Overcome. The writing process was pure, and humbling, making it more of an experience than a task for the band; especially for Shane. “I realized that I’m sitting here writing about how we need to take action and step forward and I’m not doing any of it. It is one thing for me to talk about all of these things lyrically and tell people that there’s hope, but if I’m not doing it myself then all these words are meaningless. The overriding theme of the album is that there is hope. No matter what it is that we find ourselves struggling with in life, we can and we will overcome these obstacles.” With their February 16th release of We Will Overcome, it’s evident that CLOSE YOUR EYES have lived up to their name as one of Alternative Press’s “Top 100 Bands You Need to Know in 2010”. Having just finished their run with label mates A Day To Remember, CLOSE YOUR EYES is stronger than ever, and ready to spend the next year on the road again. On behalf of the whole band, Callaway exclaims, “I am so excited for people to hear this album and that we can share our hearts, lives, and passion with them!”