The Appropriate Level of Outrage
Congratulations on the upcoming record! It's great to see that the 4 of you have come together to make music. How did things unfold?
It started with Brandon (Dion Landelius), he had a ton of music and he's a killer musician. He had all this music written and didn't know what to do with it. Brandon and Sean (Sellers) were jamming together and Brandon asked me if I'd be interested in listening to the shit he'd recorded and written and if I'd want to write lyrics and melodies. I said yeah, cause I like Brandon and I like the way he plays. So, he sent me like 15 songs, a lot of pretty complicated music that was kinda overwhelming to hear. I was like, "you want me to write words and melodies for all this shit (laughs)?!" So ya, I heard it, and really liked it and I told him to give me a week or two. After I had one in the bag, I got the feel of how he writes, and it got more comfortable for me and inspired me; this cool music. A month later I sent him back the demos that he sent me and I just threw some scratch vocals on, just so he could hear what I had in mind. He liked it, and the they asked Joe (Raposo) if he wanted to play bass. He said yeah! I mean really, it's kinda Brandon's thing, it's his little baby.
What attracted you to sign with Bird Attack Records?
The songs were recorded, and everybody was ready to get it out and tour. We were considering just doing it ourselves so it could happen, like now, but Brandon knew Garrett (Wadford) through Authority Zero, so he actually sent it to him. We sent it to a lot of people and everybody liked it, but it seemed like Garrett was the one that was really excited about the record. That's what we wanted - somebody who was excited and was gonna work for us and with us to make something. That's pretty much it. He was the first one that was fuckin' stoked, ya know? So we were like, this is the dude we want!
What's your outlook on the future of the record business? Where do you think it'll be in 15-20 years from now?
Hmmm...Shit, that's a good question. I think what will be the same as now, is that bands will absolutely have to tour. That's where the money is going to come from. If you're big, you're gonna sell records, and if you're small, nobody's gonna buy shit unless you're out there playing in front of them. I hope that vinyl will still be around. I imagine it will be. It's killer to have the big artwork that you can check out.
Something tells me the new record is going to be somewhat protest song oriented. How would you describe it?
It's definitely angry and aggressive. Throwing politics in people's faces isn't necessarily how I wanted to go about this, but the nature of the music that Brandon sent me, coupled with all the bullshit going on in the world, especially in this country... Ya know, when I sat down to write, that's the shit that came to mind. It was like, "what is this music telling me to say?" When I was younger I didn't give a shit about fuckin' politics, and I didn't want to hear about it. I wanted to party (laughs). We're all older, and now I pay attention to what's going on in the world. So when I sat down to write, that's the kind of shit that came out. As far as protest... I'm not telling you what to do or say in the lyrics, but I'm throwing it out there about what's going on and how I feel about it. The only thing that I am ripping on directly, is probably religion. As far as the political aspect of it, I'm simply stating how I feel, but it's up to you to decide how you feel.
Looking back to the 80's, it seems as though the Reagan years fuelled hardcore punk rock, and the like. Do you see similar parallels these days? Would you say that bad times make for good art?
I would absolutely say that bad times make for good art. As far as parallels, I'm not really the person to answer that because I didn't really like or listen to that kind of shit back then... and I still don't. All that political hardcore in the 80's, that wasn't my thing. In the 80's I was listening to Van Halen, Iron Maiden and Motley Crüe. That kinda goes back to my earlier statement; I was younger and I just wanted to party, and fuck these politics (laughs). With this dude that we have as president now, a lot of bands are gonna to be speaking out - and for good reason!
What bands influenced you most back in those days?
My brother is 7 years older than me, so I grew up with AC/DC and Lynyrd Skynyrd - just rock. When I was a little older, like early teens, I liked Iron Maiden's shit! When I heard Metallica and especially Slayer, that kinda took me in a different direction. I fucking loved... I worshipped Slayer! That was my shit. Then I dove into that kind of music, and quickly found out that Slayer is truly the only excellent band in that genre of music. Van Halen and Iron Maiden were always my two favourite bands. I was definitely into the 80's hair metal. I was young and we all have guilty pleasures (laughs) and that's one of mine. Motley Crüe, Skid Row and Twisted Sister. I was a metal head and still am!
What do you have in store for 2018?
It will definitely be focused on A Vulture Wake. The record comes out on January. 31. We're playing a couple Canadian shows at the end of February and we're all ready to start touring. If it's up to me, we'll tour a lot!
Books you gotta read before you die?
1- Wise Blood by Flannery O'Connor (or anything by Flannery O'Connor for that matter)
2- Father and Son by Larry Brown
3- A Feast of Snakes by Harry Crews
It's funny because all three writers are very similar. People call it Grit Lit. It's kinda Southern gothic writing. Obviously that's the kind of shit I like (laughs).