2X4, a metalcore band from Oklahoma. Their album Dark Hand, dropped on July 30th to an amazing response – peaking at #9 on the iTunes Metal chart and #71 on the Rock chart.
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Refined By Fire:
My dad is a preacher and when I was younger I can remember him preaching about about the refining fire. He spoke about how God uses hard times and suffering as teaching tools. Suffering tries and tests people, purifies their faith, corrects their flaws, and refines their character. This suffering is an expression of grace and love because once people have come out of the refining fire and accepted correction, they will shine with a tested and confirmed faith. This too me was a perfect way to kick off Dark Hand because like I said earlier, I was in a dark place when we wrote Dead Days,. After I pulled through, began living a new way, and really had gotten rid of most of the garbage I was left with a new me. Refined By Fire showcases the new me and the new style that people can expect from 2×4 as a band.
Daggers is really the beginning of the my story. Everyone wants to become the best you can be and to make your family proud of who are. I was in that same mindset but but i had become something never wanted to be. I would rather not get into the specifics, but just know it got bad, and I didn’t want to be where i was anymore. Our good friend Jorge from the band Adaliah recorded some guest vocals on the song really summed up my “pick myself up and suck it up” stand i took at this time. I had found the hope I needed, now I had to make the change.
This track was written to pose a question. It was the question that had to ask, and still ask, myself while my transformation was occurring. “Is letting hate get to me really worth my time?” There were multiple times that I literally just had to take a step back from the situation and decide to react or not. I knew change was was difficult process but I didn’t think it was going to be as hard as it was becoming. I had break myself of every habit and building block I had ever had and really learn to just let things go.
Everyone always says “You’ve got to be the bigger man” in pretty much every situation. Dark Hand is about one of the final few adjustments I had to make, which was choosing to be a bigger man. It was harder than you would expect, especially knowing that all you want to do is beat the shit out of someone to make you feel better.
Nothing Left was also a question to myself. I would lie awake at night with my mind racing to find excuses to think that I was really okay and there was no point in actually going through with this . Sleeping was a joke. There was a constant war on my shoulders between the devil and angel. I knew there was something wrong but it was like something was pulling me back and making me justify what I was. It was as if part of me was saying “no one should tell you how live your life”, but at the same time the other half was saying that those people are trying to help help you.
Addictions was really hard for me to write and thats because it is the most personal. I’m not going to expand on it because the song, I think, does a great job putting it forward. It simply about addiction and how it holds me down. Every day is a constant battle when you have addictions, but the most important thing to know that there’s always hope and a way out.
Struck Down Cast Out:
This one is about how at one point I was looking inside myself and really thinking. I realized that I had been too blind, or ignorant, to see that hatred had been the one thing blinding me from the truth. I had to make a choice to not let it run my life anymore. James from King Conquer did guest vocals on this track as well and he really put the whole song in context.
More about 2×4:
To brave the trials and strife that life throws one’s way requires strength and positivity. Music is often a vessel that keeps people afloat through rough seas. It has the ability to transcend time, distance, and any other obstacle in order to deliver a message of acceptance and hope. Metalcore five-piece, 2X4 are hoping to contribute music to the world that acts as that helping hand for its listeners.
The band first began to take shape in 2009, when vocalist Micah Hutson and guitarist Colin Stafford enlisted their fellow childhood friends to play local shows around their hometown of Durant, Oklahoma. When they decided to take things further, 2X4 expanded from four to the current five-member line-up, adding Jayson Braffett on guitar. In 2012 the band’s roster shifted again leaving them with two openings. They were quickly filled with long-time friends, bassist Eric Nacci and drummer Matt Dierkes’, as the duo’s previous band came to a close and allowed them to join. With the perfectly interlocking components of the ship put together, 2X4 was ready to sail into the ears of listeners and cities across the country.
It is the fans that 2X4 bonded with while touring and those they forged virtual relationships with, that allowed their first release, Dead Days, to come out with a bang; charting on the iTunes Rock charts at #135 and #7 on the Metal charts. It is also those fans and that bond which inspired the band’s forthcoming project, Dark Hand. This will be the second EP release from 2X4, but the first with the current line-up and communal writing process. The new collection of songs is a departure from the band’s first release, a result of the time they’ve had to mature and grow together. Dark Hand, engineered, mixed, and mastered by Josh Schroeder at Random Awesome Studio, delves further into 2X4’s metal roots and is crafted to give something back to all of those who continue to support the band. The EP, like the band, is all about being true to one’s self, “Even if what we play isn’t the most popular thing out right now, we’re going to make the music that we want. We never want to be considered fake.”
These small-town, Oklahoma natives are here to show that their metal musings have the ability to reach a hand out to those in need, and contribute to the rising message of positivity within the music community. “We would like to make our style of music something that, when people hear it, they don’t automatically put it in a box. We want people to dig deeper into our music, read our lyrics, and apply them to their life,” comments the band. Dark Hand will take aim at this re-definition of the metal scene July 30th, 2013 and set in motion the beginning of a long, prosperous journey for 2X4.