More and more MetalCore bands are signed by traditional Metal labels these days, Heaven Shall Burn by Century Media, Caliban by Roadrunner, Cataract and Unearth by Metal Balde. The latter band came up with a great record lately, so Tobi decided to do an interview with these guys...
It´s been more than 3 years since you´ve released your debut album “Stings Of Conscience”. What happened in those 3 years beside the release of the “Endless” EP with 2 new songs? I guess you´ve been touring a lot?
We have been on the road constantly in that time. We have not had any sort of extended break from touring and recording in the past four years. We dig it though. We wouldn't be maintaining this busy schedule if we didn't believe in and love what we do.
What do you think are the major differences between “Stings Of Conscience” and “The Oncoming Storm”? Personally I think that there was a big development from your debut to the “Endless” EP. “Stings Of Conscience” is still a strong album but the new songs on “Endless” get more to the point and makes you want to shred everything within your reach. In my eyes that development continued with “The Oncoming Storm”.
We have improved our song writing and technical ability over the years. I agree that you can see the development from record to record. We still love our old records, but we are proud of our advancement.
“Stings Of Conscience” was released through Eulogy Records, a well known Hardcore label. Do you still feel like part of the Hardcore scene or is something like a “scene” something you don´t really care about?
We grew up in the hardcore scene and will always be part of it. We are at a point where we are selling a few records and getting some bigger tours, but we will always go back and play the small club shows and VFW's. That is where we are from and it is something we will always be part of.
When the Metalcore movement started in the late 90s there were a lot of religious bands involved, e.g. Overcome, Zao, Luti-Kriss (now Norma Jean) and so on. Do you think that religion and a Hardcore background or music in general fit together? Especially in Germany it seems trendy to diss bands with a Hardcore/Punk background that put God on their thankslist. On the other hand it´s no big deal when some band like Prostitute Disfigurement (Death Metal) are humiliating women in their lyrics and receive positive feedback from Hardcore-zines because it´s supposed to be satire. That´s strange!
Everyone is allowed to have an opinion and should feel free to express it. If a band believes in something they should be allowed to sing about it. I personally hate it when bands preach a message on stage though. The lyrics should be enough to get your point across.
Especially since the Gulf war there´s a new discussion whether music should be political or not. There´s a lot of arguments on blabbermouth.net which shows that music definitely is political and even involves people who consider themselves as unpolitical. Do you think that´s important?
Politics control the world whether we like it or not. If more people are getting involved who normally wouldn't care about current political events then there is something going on that needs attention from all of us.
There´s this homepage called “conservativepunk.com” where people like Dave Smalley, Johnny Ramone and Michael Graves, who consider themselves as “Punk” are talking about their support for George Bush and the Gulf war. Since Rock´n Roll and especially Punk always was about rebellion I think that´s absurd: Punk and conservative??? At least I can´t imagine something like “conservativedeathmetal.com”. Do you agree?
I have never heard of that, but I will take your word for it. A conservative punk is pretty much an oxymoron in my eyes. Especially when George W. Bush is trying to Americanize the entire world and has no regard for the United Nations and the way things are supposed to be handled. I would disagree with the older “punks”, but everyone has their own opinion whether it sucks or not. Too bad we couldn't turn the clock back 20 years on those conservative punks and see how they would feel with a fresh young mind.
Given the case you´ve been asked to, could you imagine to participate in something like “conservativepunk.com” or the “Rock against Bush” compilation?
“Rock Against Bush” is something I would love to be part of.
I heard there has been a quarrel on the Ozzfest tour because of Black Sabbath showing some video sequences where George Bush is put on the same level as Adolf Hitler. Is that something that does affect or even offend yourself?
It doesn't offend me at all. Bush isn't as extreme as Hitler by any means, but he is the leader of the free world and is trying to force his ideals on the rest of the world. I know Black Sabbath had to pull that from the video show though.
Enough politics! How do you feel on the Ozzfest tour? I guess it´s quite an experience?!
It is an amazing tour. Every show is huge, the crowds treat all the bands really well and the line up is amazing.
What are your experiences with the other bands on the Ozzfest tour? Have you met Ozzy yet?
I have not met him yet, but I have been around Geezer Butler and Bill Ward (from Black Sabbath). Chuck Billy from Testament came out to a show and I got to meet him. He was a huge influence on me, so that was an honor.
Has the Metalcore movement already left its climax behind or do you think that it´s still growing? There are a lot of Metalcore releases these days and some people are already getting tired of that stuff. On the other hand lots of Metalcore bands get signed by bigger labels.
Metal-core is the new form of metal, so unless metal dies then metal-core will be around for a while.
I think that it´s strange how the listening habits of people have changed during the last two decades. At least here in Germany you were some kind of outsider or antisocial metalhead when you were listening to “Appetite Of Destruction”. Nowadays everybody´s listening to Slipknot or Metallica. What do you think?
I think it is great that people are finally starting to open their minds and pay attention to real music with a message.
I guess you listen to a lot of Swedish Death Metal (at least I hope so). What bands are your alltime-favorites in this genre?
My all time favorite in the Swedish Death Metal genre would be In Flames. Their guitar harmonies and song structures, especially on their older albums were flawless.
Okay, last question: Name three records you´d save from a fire.
Pantera- Vulgar Display of Power
Earth Crisis- Destroy the Machines
The Beatles- the White Album
We´re done. Thank you very much for taking the time for these questions!