Still Kickin' after all those Cocaine Years, Cocaine Tears

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It was a quintessentially awesome May evening with good weather blowing and good beer flowing when Chicago’s Bible of the Devil hit Kansas City’s Riot Room on their “In Raw We Trust” tour. Though it was arguably their worst stop on the tour for attendance and merch sales, the dudes of BOTD were in fine form and put on their show as if they didn’t notice. I got to shoot the shit with drummer Greg Spalding and bassist Darren Amaya over a few beers before they took the stage and below is the result of that meeting.

Greg Spalding: Are you ready for some verbal diarrhea?

Jodi Michael: Yes.

We got so burnt from interviews the last album, which was great, ‘cause I’m glad that people paid attention, but then you get a lot of burnout.  Plus you get a lot of people interviewing you that don’t really have any kind of excitement about anything, and it’s just, I don’t know, McDonald’s drive-thru interviews.

[Laughs] I listened to some interview that you guys had done on YouTube, and it was the most boring thing I have ever heard [though not on the part of the BOTD boys – jm].

Oh yeah.  Yeah, it was probably pretty dry.

Oh my god.

It was like watching paint dry or something.

Yeah, pretty much.

But sometimes you have those.

Okay, so you guys just started the tour…how’s it going so far?

Tour’s been awesome.  I mean, Madison was a little slow.  We typically do really well there, but it was kind of one of those shows, and you have those sometimes, where people come in and they’re there but you don’t really know if it’s registering with them or not.  But then we still sell a bunch of stuff, we still get paid guarantees, but Minneapolis and Rapid City – totally packed, awesome.  Omaha was at The Waiting Room, which is a great bar; played with Bloodcow.  They’re pretty awesome.  I’ve known them since I was in college, you know, 15 years ago.  It’s kind of weird.  It’s a little more stoner rock influenced, which I typically don’t get into, but they really started as a weird, almost Faith No More, Mr. Bungle kind of band, but theirs is a great live show, so having them on the bill helped a lot too.  Tonight could be the worst night of the tour so far [laughs].

Let’s hope not.

The thing with us, though, is I think at least you’re walking into a place where you’re always gonna have somebody in there that’s into the band, where before you really had to hope.  Once we got Freedom Metal out, you could start to tell, like okay, you’re consistently having people at your shows, but it’s still hard.  I mean, even some of the best underground bands, yeah, they’re still gonna play for five people on any given night.  There’s not enough good local bands in certain scenes to support what goes on.  But we’re looking forward to Wichita because that’s always packed.  We do really well in merch there.  We played with Manilla Road once six years ago too, and that kind of started a whole thing.  Down from there, Denver and Albuquerque we’re with Leeches of Lore; they’re from Albuquerque.

Right on.

It’s about as good a tour as you can do.  It is difficult.  We did it last year, east coast with High Spirits, which was a great double billing, but some of those shows were really slow.  It’s just kind of a crapshoot.  You’re never gonna get anything you really want unless you’re on some big packaged bill, like you’re touring with High on Fire or Saviours or some other band that is maybe more nationally recognized; you’re still gonna battle some nights.  I love being out here, though.  Tell you what, we used to do two or three months of touring a year, and now we’re down to just trying to do the best tours we can, but I wish we were out more.  You know, you get older and you want to try to maintain some semblance of a life without imploding.  We’ve amazingly survived this long, so we’ll keep doing it.

Right on.  You guys are kind of playing here on an unfortunate night because literally right across the street, Kittie is playing with Warbringer and god knows who else.

You wish every town you play you could be the only show going on.

Right.  Put that in your rider.

We’ve had that happen sometimes where you go in there like, ahh, it’s gonna be great.  ‘Well, guys, just want to tell you somebody’s playing right across the street.’  You know, we’ve even done things where we’ve walked across the street to try to get on that show, just be like, ‘Can we just open up and sell merch?  Because otherwise this is really gonna suck.’

Has it worked?

Um, no, I don’t think so.


We haven’t done it in a long time.  But I think we were in Ohio somewhere, I forget who was playing, but it was clearly going to be obvious that nobody was gonna show up, you know?  So we tried to get on whatever bill it was.  But we can’t complain as long as you’re doing what you’re doing.  When you keep putting out records, keep everything going, it’s, there are still people who are really into our stuff, so you get another PayPal in, another email, another show request, another play here and we’ll pay you this much money…you’re like, okay.  It’s not dead like nobody gives a shit, but it can sure seem like that sometimes, depending on any given night.

Right.  Okay, so the new album came out yesterday, For the Love of Thugs and Fools.  What kind of feedback have you guys heard thus far?

I think it’s been good, thanks to [Clawhammer PR].  I mean, there’s always going to be the naysayers out there that are gonna be like, ‘Oh, this isn’t metal enough’ or ‘this production sucks,’ or this and that.  We’ve faced it all, but I think when you get down to it, it’s kind of like any rock and roll band.  When you get down to the core of your audience, they’re always gonna be interested in what you’re doing.  So it was a little bit of a stretch for us in terms of, most of the stuff is kind of based on real situations the last three years, and it’s been really intense to even hold everything together.  And we kind of made a really conscious attempt to make the songs as catchy as possible, like make sure everything has the hook in there, the chorus in there.  I always get back to I think people want to see that.  I want to see that when I’m playing, that somebody remembers the songs that you do.  I mean, how many shows have you been to where you’re like, ‘Ah, this is okay, but I’m not gonna remember anything’?  And if people can leave even remembering one song, it’s great.

So I think it’s still early, you know, with the album just being out and we’ve done about a month of pre-promotion stuff.  But still, you’re always battling.  We don’t think we’ve actually gotten big or anything like that, because I don’t even know what that means anymore, but you would at least hope that the awareness has raised in each record.  It’s hard sometimes, because you think people at least know the band whether they’ve listened to you or not, but you still just run into all these knuckleheads that are still asking, ‘What does the band name mean?’  It’s like, all lame interview questions, and it’s like, if you were interested, you’d probably know a little bit more about it.  ‘Why’d you name your band that?’  It’s nothing really to do with music or the band, you know, it’s just kind of empty questions.

Because you’re Satanists.

[Laughs] Yeah, we’re Satanists.  We had to fend that off.  I mean, you kind of do it to yourselves too.  Basically, it’s just a euphemism for rock and roll.  When Strom Thurmond saw Elvis play in the ‘50s, he said, ‘That guy is the bible of the devil.’  When you explain it like that, it’s cool.  But you’re not gonna be able to tell a 15-year-old vegan hardcore kid otherwise, you know what I mean?  So for years we battled bad bills before we finally got around enough and people were like, okay, this is a rock band.  And then you start getting on better shows.  But I mean, it was a nightmare in the beginning, because there’s nothing worse than going in to play a show and you’re going in to play with them, they’ve got corpse paint on…it’s like, this isn’t gonna go well.  You know what I mean?  But we did this metal fest in Manhattan, Kansas a couple years ago.  It was just this odd billing, but we sold a lot of merch and there were kids into it, so you can’t really disregard that.  But yeah, you just kind of take it for what it is.

Each record you do, you hope that people are getting into it as much as you had fun making it.  And sometimes it always doesn’t translate.  There are songs on there that I thought were really gonna be nailing it to the wall, like yeah, people are gonna like this, and then they gravitated toward the other ones.  Like the response that we had for “Anytime,” Nate [Perry] didn’t even want to put that on the album, and I was like, ‘No, I think we should put that on there,’ and that has gotten a lot of great response so far.  So yeah, hopefully it keeps going positively, you know?

Was there anything you guys did this time around that you intentionally tried to do different from the writing period for Freedom Metal?

Well, definitely, whether we knew it or not, we set out to create the most direct, to-the-point, memorable songs, where Freedom Metal was kind of the bridge for that.  That was kind of maybe more of a watershed record for us, because before that we had the concept album with The Diabolic Procession, and Brutality [Majesty Eternity] was the more epic thing, and then Freedom Metal kind of went back in the really, for lack of a better word, almost like solid pop metal of the ‘70s.  I think we sat down with that in mind.  I mean, I’ve always had that in my head, to do that, but whether it really…with our band it’s kind of weird.  I don’t think we ever really sit down and say, ‘This is how it’s going to happen.’  It usually comes from snippets from somebody.  I mean, everybody does contribute stuff.  There’s really no dominant songwriter.  Nate did a few more of the kind of structured song stuff on this one, but I think we kind of stretched it out a little bit where we were doing a few different things.  I mean, even “I Know What is Right (in the Night),” I mean, that’s kind of a Van Halen little guitar-drum beat start, but just that kind of thing, we’re melding it into a more kind of pop song.  And I think that people are really going to remember that.  And I think it’s just kind of about trimming the fat at this point.  You can have all these ideas, but if you don’t synthesize it into a cool song, it can get real lost on people.  And I always want to have each record from start to finish, whether you like all the songs or not, you at least will remember them, whether you like it or hate it. Who knows for the next one, but I can see that becoming more of a theme.  I think we all have kind of had that since we were, you know, young kids.  You go see shows, you see the bands that are anthemic bands – you see Slayer when you’re 14 years old in 1990, and you’re like, ‘Okay, I’m gonna remember everything from that show.’  Or you see Cheap Trick, or you see another band that you’re just gonna remember the songs, and you feel lucky to be growing up in that time.  Now, it’s like there are so many bands, some are good, some are not so good, that where you draw that line to keep your band going and to keep everything in a metal fashion it kind of gets more difficult as you keep getting older.  Then it’s also a lot more fun because you get to that point where you kind of see what’s worked and what hasn’t, and then you can kind of just be like, ‘Yeah!’ and really ram it up everyone’s ass [laughs].


But yeah, the record, it was definitely was definitely a big labor to get it all done.  I mean, it was like eight months, a lot of budget issues, just getting studio time and stuff.  I would love to be able to just sit down for one month and do nothing but that, but when you’re working a job…I don’t think a lot of bands have that luxury anymore.  Even the best ones are, you know, they still have to try to make ends meet, no matter how great they are.


I think that’s really only the main difference [with the album], is that it’s still kind of BOTD’s style, but we set out to, like, ‘Okay, this one’s got to be a little more memorable than the last one.’  But we’ll see if people grab onto it or not.  There are always gonna be the likers and the haters out there, you know?


We need more likers, but I think there’s a lot of bands that because they have that fear that maybe they’ll be hated, maybe they play it a little more safe, whereas we never really worried about that.  Because I think that as long as there are people that are interested in music, even like a record label or band, that is enough validation, just one or two people.  It’s like, if you get a hundred people that say that they hate it, so what.  You’ve got two people that are into it, so keep doing it.

One thing that’s cool about Bible of the Devil is that it seems like each album you do something a little bit different, or try a different theme or something like that, but you never do anything that’s completely out of the way – you never do a Metallica; it’s always Bible of the Devil.  It’s recognizable.

Right, kind of more, you’re almost developing your sound.  I hate to even use that word, but there’s a reason why bands like Metallica and Megadeth, Led Zeppelin, I mean, they started out, maybe they didn’t have that thought, but you can just instantly identify it, and that’s what I want.  And I think that’s what we all want too, is where people say, ‘Oh yeah, it’s Bible of the Devil,’ whether it takes another two records or what.  But I think that’s the ultimate kind of praise you can get, is that you’ve really kind of carved out a so-called sound, even though it’s heavy with kind of retro influences, but that’s all the kind of stuff we like.  It’s not trying to be something it’s not, and that’s what gets hard.  I think the tendency is to stand out more now.  I think people really try to make their bands something that it’s not, and some achieve some degree of success, some don’t.  But you can just kind of tell sometimes, there’s no good feel.  I think we all operate like in rock and roll and metal, there’s always a feel, and some are more precise than others, but you still always got to have a basic feel in there.

The gap between Freedom Metal and the new album, that’s the longest period that you guys have had between full-lengths.  Is there a reason for that?  Of course you guys did a bunch of splits in between, too.

I think the main thing, one and two, is with Freedom Metal, we did quite a bit of touring, and we did a lot of shows in support of that.  Number two, I think we had a few things happen that kind of stalled a lot of progress on it.  I mean, you can point to a thousand reasons why it didn’t happen faster, but I think it was also a time where it took a little more time to cultivate all these songs.  And then you’re always, always worried about financial constraints.  You never have enough to get done, and you’re trying to figure out how to get all that done.  So yeah, we used to be a band that every two years, we’d have an album out.  But sometimes it’s okay that you’re sitting back and maybe reflecting a little bit more on what you’re doing rather than just kind of gunning it full force, which we like to do that too.  Hopefully the next one won’t be as long, but if it is, it’ll probably still be worth it in the end.

Oh, sure, yeah.  And you guys have still remained active, though.

Yeah.  It’s different if you just kind of hang out and take four years off.


And I think that none of us, first of all, would want to do that, and number two, I think if we did, this band kind of has weird rhythms how we move to everything, just the pace of the band, like, okay, we’re doing this here, we’re doing this here.  And if you stop that, you really lose that momentum.  Otherwise you just become a Chicago bar band.  And we have a lot of peers that are really talented too, where they’ve, it’s too easy to just hang out, not really do anything, and despite whether it’s for better or worse, going out and doing shows, maybe it wasn’t the right thing to do, but you still got to keep the idea of being active.  Because not everything’s going to be the perfect show or the greatest experience all the time, and the fact that you’re still doing it, I think even the best bands in the world, I mean, even Motorhead has not really stopped, you know what I mean, for better or worse.  They’ve got tons of albums and maybe you don’t like everything and stuff, but I don’t think you would sit there and have Lemmy take ten years off [laughs].  I think we’re all so used to it now it’s just second nature to us.  If it gets to the point where we are physically unable to do it or, you know, had something weird happen it’d be different.  But if you’re in a band, do it all the time.  I mean, we have often been accused of maybe we play too much locally or we do too many things.  We even had someone in New York say, ‘You guys put out your releases too fast.  I barely had this time to listen to this one and I got another one.’  But it’s always funny when you see where the criticism comes from and how people, what angle they take.  It’s like, huh, I always thought the point of being a band is to make music, for people to want to but it [laughs].  I mean, Thin Lizzy in the ‘70s, they put out about ten albums in six years, so I think we have a little bit of that kind of old school, old line of thought, if where budgets allowed and we could focus more on it, you might see the same result.  But I think we’re doing pretty good for 12 years with six records and a bunch of seven-inches and, I don’t know, about 25 tours and no one’s died.  There’s still time for that, though.

[Laughs]  So what’s your favorite track, or tracks, from the new album?

Um, I think I really like “The Parcher” a lot.  That was kind of, I always just think of more the metal gods, Priest, we kind of center it around that.  Nate came up with kind of this “Eye of the Tiger” riff, but we kind of turned it into a cool song.  To me, it’s one of the more memorable ones.  I think there’s also something from each song you can take.  I really like “Night Street,” because that was the first song we came up with for the new album, and I like them all.  But it’s always weird when you’re done with an album, you’ve spent so much time with it, and you’re playing these songs ad nauseam, it almost takes you a few years to sort of sit back and reflect, you know, ‘Do I really like that song?’  I think that’s with any band, you go back and try to listen to your records; it’s really hard.  But those two are good standouts.  I think the response for playing those live have been pretty good, because that’s something you’ve probably always got to take into consideration too.  You know, we don’t really care what an audience thinks, but if they totally hate it, maybe you’re like, wow, maybe we’re barking up the wrong tree here.  But I don’t think that ever really happens.  There’s always people out there watching it, and some people may say ‘fuck this’ and leave, but I think once you see the heads moving, you’re in the right mode.  As long as people aren’t standing there like this [bored posture], we get a lot of heads moving and that’s cool.  You know you’re hitting it on the head, that means they’re gonna take it home or ‘Play this one, play that one,’ and they start figuring out the words.  We have a lot of younger kid fan base that comes to our shows in Chicago and they know all the words and they’re yelling out, like, ‘Play this,’ shit we haven’t played in years.  But it’s better than ‘you suck’ or ‘fuck off,’ which is what I do with some bands [laughs].

[Laughs]  So when you’re playing live and somebody requests something, what is the most requested song?  Do you have one?

[Bassist Darren Amaya has sauntered on into the green room to join in on the convo.]

Darren Amaya: Maybe “Ol’ Girl…”

GS: “Ol’ Girl.”

DA: “Coke Years, Coke Tears.”

GS: Yeah.

DA: “Ships” sometimes, used to be “Flee” all the time, but we haven’t played that one in a while.

GS: “Ol’ Girl” is pretty standard because that’s, you know, you can kind of tell if you get a few more girls at your show and they really like that song.  That’s kind of cool.  But I think everybody remembers “Turning Stone,” “Night Oath,” “Hijack the Night,” stuff like that.  But I think maybe “Ol’ Girl” the most?

DA: Yeah.  We noticed in Rapid City recently, it almost depends on location.  Sometimes we’ll hit a place for the past ten years and those people in that place will remember something from an old album, all the way back to Tight Empire or before, you know.  People are calling out for “Victory Bringer” or something like that, you know, a song that we maybe played at a ten-year anniversary but we never play live anymore.  It’s kind of a testament of how many places we’ve been, where it’s like these people really like the song because we’ve been going there for that long and there’s some kid that knows that song.  But definitely “Ol’ Girl” gets a lot of requests.

GS: Yeah, I tend to agree with that.  Depending on where you go you get more suggested favorites, but that’s cool, at least it’s not like, oh, this band only has this one song and the rest of it sucks [laughs].  We’ll see what people request tonight, if there’s more than just you out there.

I do have a request – I want to hear “Orphans of Doom” tonight.

GS: Oh wow.  You want to shout it out?

DA: Yeah, just shout it out during our set.

Two more beers and I’ll do it.

GS: [Laughs]

Darren, what’s your favorite track from the new album?  Do you have one?

DA: The new album…I really like “Out for Blood,” just because I like the energy of it.  It has a really crazy Maiden thing and the reason why I like it is it was really spontaneous when we wrote it, which is something we’ve done a lot in the past right when I joined the band.  We were just jamming around on riffs and kind of throwing stuff out there, but the essential skeleton for that song just kind of came together at one practice, and then we remembered it, we recorded it, I think we demoed it that day a little bit so we could remember it.  That song came together pretty quick.  I mean, the lyrics might not have; the lyrics came a little bit later, but that raw energy of that was just so much what I like about playing in Bible of the Devil.  So that was really cool.  I really like playing “…Away;” it definitely has that sort of “Flee” feel where it’s like chugging like that.  I like the fact that we have an intro kind of thing into it and we’re doing it live it now.  I think it’s a good opener.  I mean, the album, there’s a lot of good songs on it.  I think we probably could have written more songs even for the record but we really wanted to get it out, and the songs that we put on it, we put a lot of work into.  We spent a lot of time making sure that they were the best we could do them at that point in time, the way we were playing them, you know.

GS: Yeah, like I said, you almost have to have like a cutoff point.

DA: Yeah.

GS: Because you would keep forever going over stuff or ‘maybe we should do this more, or this.’  And you do start, what Darren was saying, you do start losing a little bit of the spontaneity…I mean, a lot of times, the best songs come out in ten minutes.


GS: I think.

DA: Yeah.

GS: At least, if you spend six months on something it may turn out to be awesome, but we’re not making “Aqualung” or something, you know what I mean?


GS: If you have something that you really kind of lock into, it just feels better.  Then when you go back and play it again, you’re still excited about it.  It’s not like you put together The Black Album or something where, putting it together in a year and a half and you’re like, wow, is there anything left to feel after that?  It’s still awesome; I like the record still.

DA: It’s never an exact science with songwriting, you know.  Sometimes it can feel like pulling teeth with certain things; you’re like, why is this not coming together right, or I don’t know what do with this.  When we first started to play “Raw and Order,” I was having trouble getting my head around the, it’s a groove song.

GS: Yeah.

DA: You really have to, it was a weird song for us.  It was a big thing to jump into, and it has a certain feel to it, and it took me a while.  I didn’t wrap my head around it until right when we were recording it and almost after, and that happens, you know, when you’re in a rock band that’s just kind of doing, we do a lot of stuff ourselves and we’re all living and working all the time.  So sometimes you just, okay, we’ve got this song, it’s coming together, we have the arrangement, and then it kind of comes together in the right organic way whereas I might have been not so hot on this song, but after we did it, hearing what it sounded like as a complete piece outside of the practice space and recorded, I was like, ‘Oh, this is kind of cool, I like the sound of this.’  And we did some fun stuff with production; we put some sounds on it that I thought were pretty cool.

GS: Yeah, in that case, sometimes it’s not the spontaneity thing but even with the last album, with “Ol’ Girl,” it was almost so popular we were like, ‘Man, should this really go on there?’  And then that kind of became a signature song.  I guess you never really know.  People are ultimately going to decide for you I guess, but it’s pretty nerve wracking when you’re trying to get it all together, you know?

I’m sure, yeah.  Well, you guys have obviously had a pretty good relationship with Cruz Del Sur because this is your third full-length with them.  Can you talk about that a little bit?

GS: Yeah.  Enrico [Leccese] is a great guy. I think he, in the beginning, we got turned onto him by Slough Feg, because they had just put out the Atavism record.  The first time I met Mike [Scalzi] was when Hammers of Misfortune played in Chicago, and he watched us play and he came up to me and was like, ‘I think you’d really like my other band a lot.  I really like what you guys are doing.’  You know how that conversation goes – like, ‘I think you’d really like my band!  We kind of sound like you guys!’  And you listen to it and you don’t sound anything like it.  Mike sent me all the Slough Feg CDs and it was, what, overnight it became one of my favorite bands.  It’s hard to believe some of that stuff comes out of just him, and he’s just so intense about it.

So we kind of got started with [Cruz Del Sur], but you have to give Enrico the credit because I think he did take a chance on us at first.  Diabolic… was a fun record, it was cool, it was really weird.  I don’t think a lot of people really grabbed onto it, but I think he saw an avenue with us where he could embrace a little more of the rock part of the metal, and I think things really started developing from there.  He’s always been supportive.  As with any label, you wish you had more money, but for what he’s given us – to go to Europe, and someone who’s still giving us studio budgets, which is a rare thing these days, it’s really cool.  Meet, meet, sign, and we’re down [laughs].  He [pointing to Darren] went over there to Rome in January with his girlfriend and hung out with Enrico.  He’s just such a nice dude, an exceptional guy, that somehow has managed to keep a label going and pretty successful at it.  I don’t think he’s making a killing off of it, but he’s certainly able to keep doing it.  And a lot of bands on there are pretty decent, you know.  He’s really kind of honed the roster where it’s — you know, there really aren’t a lot of metal labels at all, or labels in general…

DA: I just want to add this.  Enrico’s a guy that I respect in a lot of ways because he’s doing it out of the love of it, and he’s obviously a big hard rock/metal fan for a lot of his life, and that helps because when you talk to him, he understands the history of it.  So it’s not like we have to explain why we’re doing something, or he’s not asking us some weird question about what direction that we’re going with anything, because he just understands and he trusts us enough.  He’s literally someone we’ll hang out with when we get to.  I mean, he lives in Rome, but anytime I see that guy, I can see him and have a conversation just like any other person that I think is cool.  So it’s really nice because dealing with that from a business sense, because they call it the “music business,” you know, we all want to sell our records and he wants to, and we all want to make money.  But it helps take a lot of the crap away to be dealing with someone that is coming from the same place we are, which is a love for the music and stuff that’s cool.

GS: That’s key with us.  We’ve had people or labels or agents or show people approach us and I don’t think they really had any kind of idea about the band.  That doesn’t really go far with us; they kind of have to know what’s happening.  They have to have a little bit of a background on what you’re doing or else it just falls on deaf ears.  So it’s about as good as a band-label relationship can get in this day and age.

What all are you guys doing after this tour?  What is coming up for Bible of the Devil?  I know that you said you guys were going to Greece.

GS: Yeah, we’re going to do a pretty long European tour in October, start maybe on the 17th and then on the 5th of November, do some Italian shows, Germany, Holland, Belgium, Greece, Austria, maybe Czech Republic.  Just trying to make that really good, it’s a lot of work.  This will be our fourth time over there but now that we have the support of High Roller Records with the vinyl release, we have a really good lock-in with a lot of German stuff now, and they have put out so much stuff, a lot of it awesome stuff too.  Those are great guys too, by the way.  I mean, if I would have known they were interested in the last record, I would have had them put it out [on vinyl].  But you never really know ‘til you keep beating down doors.  But they’ve been interested for a long time, which is really cool.  You know, that’s such expensive stuff to put out that it’s nice that you don’t have to worry about that, and they actually want to do it.  Like Darren was saying with Enrico, they actually have a background in music and they’re excited about it.  I kind of miss that in a lot of music these days.  I think labels just get in that mode of just putting out stuff because it’s gonna sell; gonna throw it, see what sticks on the wall.  But if you find out how many label guys or label heads are actually invested in the bands that they really cared about, I think you’d find that it’s a pretty small number.

So we’re doing that, and then usually the constant barrage of local shows or out of town weekend shows.  I don’t know what the contention will be, but we’re going to try to do a ten-inch with them [Slough Feg] and do a couple songs on that and hopefully get that put out, but it just depends if we can muster up the rights to songs and basically do everything, you know?  It’s gonna be a busy rest of the year too.

DA: Alehorn too.

GS: Alehorn of Power VI is gonna go on with Dawnbringer this year, The Skull, July 14th, it’s a Saturday.  With Alehorn, we try to keep it manageable.  Some of those other metal fests can get really crazy with the amount of bands they have, but we always try to find at least the most interesting five or six bands for that year.  Dawnbringer said they would do it this year, which is awesome because they have their new album out I think in May, another Chris Black [High Spirits, Pharaoh, Superchrist,] band.

That last one [of Dawnbringer’s] was great.

GS: Oh yeah, that was a good one.  It’s kind of a synthesis of a lot of different styles still in like, a catchy form, I guess.  It’s hard to do.  And Superchrist was great at the release show.

That’s right; you guys did that dual release show.

DA: And incidentally he said that like Züül, they’ll probably, are they still coming to Europe with us?

GS: Oh yeah, they’re coming to Europe.

DA: I mean, some of those guys have been to Europe before, but we’re going to kind of join forces with them.  They got their label that they’ve started.  That’s cool to have friends that are doing that stuff.  It’s the least annoying thing to put out a record with those guys, Onslaught of Steel.

GS: Yeah, they’ve done the last two splits – the Winterhawk split and the one with Züül, so it’s kind of nice.  Bob and Mike, who do the label, you know, it’s good to see people motivated to put out records again.  They put out good stuff – they did that Superchrist one, they did two of ours, they did the Stallion CD, which is a good record.  They’re doing a Hookers split, Züül and The Hookers.  They kind of know the bands that you’d want to see put stuff out, and a lot of those bands are getting active again too.  If anything, it’s kind of getting more back to what rock and metal was in the ‘80s for America, where it’s a lot of underground things moving up, but it’s still a small world.  All the right people kind of know each other but the stuff that comes out of everybody is awesome, they’re records that you want to hear and not just so much stuff that’s garbage all the time.  The amount of demos when I worked for the booking agency, at Tone Deaf, was just insane.  It’s so much stuff and I just think that’s hard when there’s so many bands.  There’s probably some stuff that’s good out there, but it takes so long to sift through it, because everybody’s in a band.  Especially in Chicago, there’s probably every other person [who’s in a band].

Do you guys have anything to add?

GS: Do you have enough material?

Yeah.  This was a great interview.

GS: We kind of go for more of that relaxed vibe too.  I can imagine some of your other interviews are a little more uptight with some stuff.

DA: We haven’t drank away all of our interesting discussion yet.

GS: We still have a brain in our head.  We have not imploded with our drug and alcohol abuse yet.

DA: …which is amazing, you know.

GS: Thanks for the interview.

Thanks, guys.


Original band photo at the top by Kickass Photography.


  1. Commented by: Apollyon

    Excellent interview Jodi. Almost makes me want to talk to people. Almost.

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