Archers of Loaf revealed the release of their first new studio album in 24 years, Reason in Decline (Merge), out Oct. 21, along with the anthemic first single “In the Surface Noise.”
“We didn’t intend for this song to be political,” shared singer Eric Bachman in a statement on the track, “and it was written through a personal lens but as sometimes happens the lyrics what’s more for them ain’t less for you ended up being more universal.”
Throughout the past decade, the Chapel Hill, North Carolina indie rockers have continued to play a number of reunion shows since parting ways after the fourth album White Trash Heroes in 1998, and didn’t start thinking about a new album again until 2015 when Bachmann attempted to write new material but was stuck in the past Archers of Loaf.
“For Archers lyrics, songs, everything, I had to imagine I was this angry white curmudgeon college guy who hates capitalism and consumerism and has a broken heart,” shared Bachmann. “He’s bitter about relationships, so he makes fun of things to seem cool. As I’ve aged, I’m far less like that anymore, but it is a part of my personality. I just wasn’t excited about re-energizing it. I used that guy as a starting point to get myself out of the gate, but in the course of writing the actual songs, he eventually went away.”
As touring and making music became a distant memory during the pandemic, and Bachmann found himself working as a full-time stay-at-home dad, he revisited writing new Archers songs. “I’m 51, I’ve been writing and playing music since I was 14,” he says. “I’ve been doing it for a living since I was 22—that’s 37 years. For the first time, when COVID happened, I couldn’t do it. It was a massive psychological setback, to the point that I had to get help.”
Bachmann adds, “I already had a problem with suicide ideation, constantly thinking about this shit, and I’m not ashamed to say that. Thousands and thousands of people have the same problem. Anyway, all this got baked into the songs.”
Reason in Decline is not your Icky Mettle Archers of Loaf. Removed from much of the indie-punk angst of their more disenchanted days in the 1990s, Reason in Decline delivers more evolved lyrics that aren’t living in the past.
“What I really think about going back to the Archers and doing a new record is that the three other members of this band are awesome,” said Bachmann. “It’s not about responding to the past or whatever our bullshit legacy is. I just wanted to work with these guys because I knew the chemistry we had and that we still have. I knew that was rare.”
To kick off the release of the new album, the band—Bachmann, along with guitarist Eric Johnson, bassist Matt Gentling, and drummer Mark Price—have added a number of tour dates in Philadelphia, Boston, Brooklyn, New York, Richmond, Virginia and Asheville, North Carolina during fall 2022.
Reason of Decline Track list
2. Saturation and Light
3. Screaming Undercover
4. Mama Was a War Profiteer
6. In the Surface Noise
7. Breaking Even
8. Misinformation Age
9. The Moment You End
10. War Is Wide Open
Photo: Kate Fix / Grandstand PR