I See Stars perfect a push-and-pull between sweeping hard rock, metallic energy, and electronic dance music on their fifth full-length album, Treehouse [Sumerian Records]. In order to achieve that often illusory balance, the Warren, MI quartet—Devin Oliver [clean & unclean vocals], Brent Allen [lead, rhythm guitar], Jeff Valentine [bass], and Andrew Oliver [vocals, keys, synths, programming, drums]—rebuilt their very foundation, creatively and personally.
“This is the most time we’ve had to create an album since 3D,” Devin admits. “We actually had time to reflect on our past, but most importantly what we want to become. Beyond the music, it felt like an evolution for us emotionally. We finally feel like the band we were meant to be. If you strip it down, it’s not just drums, guitar, bass, vocals, and minor production. The electronic aspects could be their own songs, and we aim to blend everything as seamlessly as possible.” “We went into making this record mindfully,” he admits. “It’s important to deliver the live performance as close to the album as possible. I wanted to step up. I had no idea what a challenge it would be; it was like learning a different language.” “We’ve had so many changes, and it’s an important time,” he goes on. “When we got back on stage, I had no idea what to expect, but our fans came out and showed love when we needed it the most. We wanted to give them what they deserve, which is the best record possible.” In order to achieve that vision, the musicians took a different route. To record Treehouse, they enlisted a cadre of producers including Erik Ron [Panic! at the Disco, Saosin], Nick Scott [Asking Alexandria, Chunk! No, Captain Chunk!], and Taylor Larson [Periphery, Veil of Maya] as well a mixing by David Bendeth [Paramore, Breaking Benjamin]. They would also track the bulk of material in Los Angeles—another first—and the rest in Detroit.
“Lyrically, this one discusses family issues,” continues Devin. “The past year has been really hard. I realized I’m on my own, and it’s do or die with this band. It’s my life.” It’s that honesty which will continue to resonate the loudest among listeners and why I See Stars shine. “This is the most honest we could be,” Devin leaves off. “That’s what I want people to see.”