Rick Armellino estimates that his band, This Or the Apocalypse, has logged "between 33 and 38 tours" since forming during 2005 in Lancaster, Pa. But the current trek, the group's first as a headliner, is the most rewarding.
"It's the culmination of a lot of things for our band as an entity," explains Armellino, 27. "Not in a self-congratulatory way, but it's a lot of responsibility being on top of the bill. We have the responsibility -- to the audience and to the support bands we brought out with us -- of making sure there's a show each night. When you're a support band, a lot of times you feel you're not needed; if you blow a tire and miss the show, it's like, 'Eh, don't worry about it.' The headliner doesn't have that luxury.
"So we've really had to step it up this time, and it's cool for us to finally feel that."
This Or the Apocalypse -- with Sirens and Sailors drummer Doug Court sitting in for Aaron Maloney after an emergency appendectomy earlier this week -- is still promoting its fourth album, "Dead Years," which came out in 2012. Armellino says the group still has positive feelings about the set, especially since it had to weather the departure of its rhythm section -- including drummer Grant McFarland, who was "a big part of our writing process" -- and was also making its debut for a larger national label.
"It sort of felt like a first album again, in a weird way," Armelliono recalls. "We were treading a lot of new territory and dealing with a lot of what-ifs and maybes. When I listen back to that album it sounds kind of panicked and like we were just trying to put the new thing together and see what happens. I fee like there wasn't a very specific goal on that record.
"Now when I hear some of the songs I'm like, 'Wow, we put that together. We kinda picked up the reins there, and it was cool.' It turned out fine. I'm proud of what we did on that record."
This Or the Apocalypse, Sworn In and Shai Hulud perform Tuesday, Jan. 14, at the Shelter, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit. Doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets are $12. Call 313-961-6358 or visit www.saintandrewsdetroit.com.
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