Over the past couple of years, The Word Alive has gained a global reputation for pushing the boundaries within their genre. But with new sophomore full-length Life Cycles, the Arizona quintet is set to join an elite club of heavy music luminaries ushering in the next evolution of melodic metal. We chatted with Telle about his hometown roots, challenges in writing Life Cycles, and their upcoming stint on The All Stars Tour

For the record, what’s your name and what do you do in the band?

My name is Telle and I’m the vocalist for TWA.

Let’s talk about your roots. I’ve never been to Kettering, Ohio before. What’s it like there?

It’s pretty much as blue collar and normal as it gets haha.  I lived down the street from a popular venue called “The Attic” which I still play on tour today.  Green grass, tons of trees, and not too hectic.  It’s just a working man’s city.

What are some of the particular messages you tried to get across in the lyrical content of the new record? Are there any topics that you cover on Life Cycles that you haven’t in the past?

I covered a ton of new content I feel.  I wrote every song essentially to be different, but at the same time tie together.  Life Cycles has a lot to do with the progression of life, and the thoughts you have as you develop who you are and what you believe in.

What was the biggest challenge in writing the album?

I’d say just making sure that everything was a step forward and a step up from our previous efforts.  I believe in this record like nothing before.  I honestly understood at times when people weren’t fans of our last 2 CD’, but I have a very personal attachment to this record, the songs, the meaning behind the songs, and I really believe we created something special.

What was your experience like working with Joey Sturgis?

I actually didn’t work with him; the guys recorded the music in Indiana and I recorded the vocals in California with producer/engineer Allan Hessler.  I visited the studio for a total of about a week and a half probably.  The guys were really focused on making the record musically, the best that they could.  I think they had a great time making this record and it shows.

Are the any guest vocals on the record that would surprise people?

We actually decided against guest vocals on this record.  Seeing how much it meant to us, we wanted to make a statement with this album.  We wanted 100% of this album to be credited to our benefit or demise, as something TWA made with no help.

How would you guys say you’ve grown as musicians just from the time-span between Empires and Life Cycles?

We know what we like and have a better understanding of how to create that.  We are constantly practicing and trying to learn new things, new techniques and we tried a lot of that on Life Cycles.  Empire we were “just kids” as they say; this record shows we’re growing up.

Who’ve you really been looking forward to seeing on The All Stars Tour?

I really love watching my good friends in Suicide Silence, they kill it.  And I also am looking forward to seeing Stick To Your Guns, their new album is great. 

You’ve toured overseas numerous times; have you found a favorite food/drink/etc there that you can’t get back home?

I live in Vegas, where everything from the world is made available, haha.  Fortunately for me there are a lot of culturally diverse places here.  Nothing I have found, aside from I’m sure a few obscure beers.  But my favorite beer is available here.

It’s about mid-way through the year. What albums have you really been enjoying lately from 2012?

Stick To Your Guns’ new record, Architects new album just came out and it’s incredible. Outside of our genre, I’ve been jamming a lot of Crosses. It’s Chino from Deftones’ (my favorite band) side-project, and it’s too good.

What’s one thing you’ve never mentioned about you or your music before in an interview?

Well I’ve never given myself credit vocally in the past, but I feel this record was the coming of age for me as a vocalist.  I am very proud of how hard I’ve worked and that might sound egotistical, but if anything, it’s meant to showcase that there isn’t anything that can stand in your way if you believe in yourself and are passionate about what you do.  I hope people feel that way when they hear this album.

Last question: What is one book AND one band that you’d personally recommend to anyone that listens to TWA and what reasons do you have to support your choices?

The Perks Of Being A Wallflower is my favorite book, and one band would have to be the Crosses.  The book is really crazy, and it makes for a quick read even for the non-readers out there.  And if you love Chino’s voice, or cool music, that’s good enough reason to jam them.