BAND MEMBERSDrew York - Vocals
Life often resembles a game of chess. Players outside of our control make moves that affect our everyday existence. However, recognition remains the first step to revolution. Once you know the game, you can make a difference in the outcome. On their sixth full-length, Only Death Is Real [Sumerian Records], STRAY FROM THE PATH survey the playing field and provide a book of bloody battle notes etched in hardcore energy, metal fire, and hip-hop poetry. The Long Island, NY quartet—Thomas Williams [guitar, vocals], Andrew “Drew York” Dijorio [vocals], Anthony “Dragon Neck” Altamura [bass, vocals], and Craig Reynolds [drums]—outline that fight on the record’s very cover art…
“The king equals the elite, the queen equals the government, the bishop equals the church, the knight equals the military, the rook equals the police, and the pawn equals the people,” explains Thomas. “This was the first time the vision and the theme of the album came before the music. We had the artwork first. We wrote this during a pretty dark and reflective time in our lives. In an age where government has failed, they made us feel as small and as insignificant as ever. In this game, all of the attention is turned onto the people: white versus black, Democrat versus Republican, gay versus straight, or Trump versus no Trump. They know the fight is within the community. There can be no fight against the establishment.”
Nevertheless, STRAY FROM THE PATH continue a 16-year tradition of speaking out. This tradition has transformed the group into genre luminaries.
In 2017, the boys hit the studio for their fourth straight collaboration with producer Will Putney [The Acacia Strain, Body Count] and first with vocal producer Jesse Barnett. Recording with Craig behind the kit for the first time, they ignited a fresh spark. “Since Craig joined, the vibe of our band has been electric,” Thomas continues. “Everyone has a brand new fire in them to push us to places we’ve never been. He’s added a chemistry on and off-stage that has changed us for the better, and we’re writing our best material to date because of it. Then, there’s Will. He’s basically a member at this point. He’s our tie breaker. He understands us better than anyone. Also, Jesse brought in something we haven’t had yet on a STRAY FROM THE PATH album.”
Ultimately, only death is real comes at the right time. “This is the world we live in,” Thomas leaves off. “It made a heavier and darker version of STRAY FROM THE PATH, and death is the only thing that’s certain.”