Eyehategod (en)

Interview mail with Gary Mader

interview Eyehategod1) Can you tell us the history of Eyehategod ? The creation until now in 2009?
i have only been in the band since 2001, so my knowledge of them prior to is that of an audience member. they formed in 1988 with a different singer, i think his name was chris hilliard. the first shows were great because the band was going against the grain musically, playing the noise-laden, slow, depressing style at a time when thrash was predominant in new orleans with bands like exhorder, graveyard rodeo, shell shock and a slew of others. it was the kind of band that you loved or hated. for the first few years of the band, maybe 40 or 50 people would show up, and that was on a good night. the first official release outside of demo cassettes 'lack of almost everything,' and 'garden dwarf woman driver,' was 'in the name of suffering' which was released on a french label called 'intellectual convulsion.' later, century media recordings signed the band and released everything from 'in the name of suffering' to 'confederacy of ruined lives.' around the time of 'take as needed for pain,' the band began to take things a little more seriously, rather than as a complete joke which was the original intention. this was brian's first recording with the band, and ehg began touring extensively at this point. over the course of those recordings, the line up remained the same with the exception of the bass player slot. prior to my involvement in the band, they had a new bass player every few years. i joined in 2001. i had been friends with everyone in the band since their beginning, and it was an honor to be asked to join. i practiced twice with the band, and we started playing shows a month later locally, and then went to japan in early 2002. after jimmy had completed touring with down and superjoint ritual, we resumed writing for eyehategods next release. we recorded some songs in my apartment which ended up being the new tracks on 'preaching the end-time message,' and hit the road for that shortly after; that was in may 2005. hurricane katrina hit in august 2005, and left the band in different states, forcing us on temporary hiatus until december of the same year. since that time, we have done a few shows here and there, but the main focus of the band at this point is to finish writing a new record. we intend on completing the record sometime early next year.

2) At His creation you thought that the band would become the leader of a new movement?
absolutely not; as i said, the band was formed as a joke in the beginning, more of a 'fuck you' to the norm of underground music at that time. i loved it personally; i saw it as the perfect combination of noise influence like spk, or throbbing gristle, and melvins/sabbath-like destruction with a punk rock perspective. if fans saw the band in the late 80's, they would have never thought that this band would be such a great influence on underground metal as it is today. i think it was the willingness to take a new direction that was especially foreign in new orleans and every where else at that time, and buliding on their sound that made that it was it is today.

3) After 20 years of music without compromise, do you have moments of doubt in what you did ?
i came into the band at a time when most of the obstacles and doubt were gone. i think its safe to say that they neither doubted what they did, nor gave a fuck what anyone thought about the music they were making.

4) How it celebrated 20 years of the band?
we had a show here in new orleans to celebrate that with our good friends crowbar, and it was absolutely amazing. fans from all over the world came to the show, and it was a great time. we booked it on the 3rd anniversary of hurricane katrina, as a statement of our resilience and a reminder that not even mother nature could destroy this band.

5) You have joined the band in 2001 and after only 2 concerts you're on tour in Japan, can you tell us about this experience?
japan was mind-blowing for me. i have been playing in hardcore bands in new orleans since 1988. i've always done this for fun; i just love playing music whether it be in front of 10 people or 1000. at this point in my life, there is not much else i can do except play music and cook, so before i even became a member of eyehategod, i knew where my heart was and intended to follow it. i never expected to be asked to play with eyehategod, and definitely didn't expect that what i did would land me on a tour with them in japan. i am nothing but grateful for everything that has happened. our first show in japan was in tokyo; we were touring with soilent green, and zeni geva was the opener. for the first time, i walked out onto a stage in front of about 1000 people going nuts for our music. it was an experience that, if i had died the next week
interview Eyehategod, i would have felt that i lived a complete life. our hosts were so kind to us, and the fans unbelievable. aside from the music, i found myself overseas for the first time, immersed in surroundings that were surreal to me; the temples, food, people, landscape, and just being a guy from new orleans in the middle of tokyo to play music are things i will never forget.

6) Phil Anselmo has always been a big fan of the band and has contributed much promotion, how are your relationships today? We have yet seen jam with you at the Hellfest for exemple…
yeah, phil is good friend of the band. he has done alot for the band over the years, but beyond that he is a friend. mike went to high school with him, jimmy has been jamming with him forever in a number of projects. when eyehategod played one of the last shows at cbgb's, he filled in fro brian who was on tour with soilent green at the time. he knows most of our songs, and decided to get up and play 'sister fucker' at hellfest for the fun of it. our thing down here is that we are a bunch of friends jamming, and that is a something that we bring to the stage regardless of what band it is. later that day, joey got up in the middle of down's 'buried in smoke,' and finished out their set.

7) What do you think about your concert in France during the Hellfest ? This festival look like a NOLA fest isn’t it ?
it was pretty cool having most of our bands play on the same fest on the same day. the festival as a whole was like nothing i had ever seen before; so many people that were really into the music. you could never have anything this huge in the u.s. from what we heard, alot of our fans were very excited to see all of us on one day; they travelled from all over to see the 'NOLA fest.' i know we weren't the main focus of the fest, but we definitely felt welcomed. thanks to ben barbaud for making us a part of this.

8) Speaking of France, before exiting at Century Media, In the Name of Suffering was released on a french label, Intellectual Convulsion. How did you get that deal?
i wasn't in the band then, but i think what happened was that the afore mentioned demo cassettes were getting great reviews in fanzines like maximium rock and roll, and intellectual convulsion was the first label to take a chance with the band for a proper release.

9) Jimmy told me that you will release a new album in 2010. Have you already finished some songs or will it be the opportunity of a great jam ? And will you come back to Europe for new gigs ?
we have written 4 or 5 songs to date, and once jimmy returns from his duites with down, we intend to finish writing a full length. it is way past due for a new release, and we are gonna buckle down and really try to make the most outstanding eyehategod release possible. the songs we have written thus far are really good; we have played a few of them live with good response, so we are really focused on making more good music. we all love europe, so touring their will be of our highest priority after we have recorded, or before then if we can.

10) Concerning Jimmy is it hard for him to find time for EHG ? He is a very busy guy with Down (and his other project)
it is difficult, but he is not the only member busy with other projects. while down stays the busiest of all the bands, there is still soilent green, outlaw order, arson anthem, and hawg jaw.

11) But it’s not the only one, you have other project too, ca you tell us more about yours ?
my oldest running project is hawg jaw. we've been a band since 1996, and are currently working on our fourth full length record to be released on emetic records. alot of folks haven't heard of us, because we rarely tour, but that doesn't stop us from continuing on. we do it for the love of playing music entirely. i am also a founding member of outlaw order. we started this band in 2002 while jimmy was busy with down and superjoint ritual. we are writing for our next record now, and hope to be ready to record by the end of this year. i also have a project called classhole with paul webb (currently bassist for hawg jaw, guitarist for spickle, and ex guitarist of clearlight). all of the bands i've done, i've always wanted them to sound true to the music that i grew up listening to; youth brigade d.c, poison idea, d.r.i., early black flag, circle jerks, cryptic slaughter, the accused; more or less like early to mid 80's hardcore and punk. not that all of the bands i play in don't draw from those bands as influences, but i wanted to have a band that sounds like we could have played back then. mike IX and i have always talked about doing a band like this (outlaw order was one of them that evolved into something else), so once we have about 10 songs we are gonna demo
interview Eyehategod some songs with him.

12) Seen from France the Nola’s scene look like a big jamming familly, is it true ? Each of you have project with member of many different band and it’s really cool.
yes, very true. what it comes down to is that there are very few of us in new orleans that are willing to drop everything in life to play this music, in what is already a relatively small music scene. there are tons of great bands in new orleans, but few make it out of the city. there are so many bands that have come and gone over the years, but during that time, you could find any one of us doing something, and inevitably something with one of the other handful of musicians that make up most of the bands that you've heard of.

13) What is your best memory with EHG ?
here are so many, that i cannot name just one. some of the best times i've had are riding around in a van, completely losing our minds afte we've broken the borders of boredom, laughing at the dumbest shit you could imagine, while driving anyone around us to complete lunacy. every show we've done because all of them bring back memories of jamming with people that are closer than most families, and hanging out with people that have showed us a good times. when we were in japan, it was the last year you could buy psychedelic mushrooms legally in a store. i ate some and wandered around osaka for about three hours...doing donuts on the james river with our friend skillet in richmond virginia in a small boat. playing on cbgb's stage knwing that the blondie, ramones, velvet underground and countless others stood on that same stage.

14) What are your influences ? The first time you played guitar ?
i am heavily influenced by the melvins, black flag, flipper, led zeppelin, the accused, john lee hooker, sonhouse, early henry rollins band, and celtic frost. most of the bands were hardly stellar musicians in terms of complexity, but they made the few chords they knew sound like i felt, and so i bought a bass when i was 14 and started learning exploited, minor threat, and clash songs. the first band i started was heavily influenced by circle jerks, cro mags, minor threat, youth of today, uniform choice. we had no idea what we were doing, but it was fun to make our own songs that sounded like the bands we liked. i picked up guitar around 1995, and basically learned by playing along with black flag's 'my war.' i have no 'real' schooling with guitar, couldn't tell you what's the difference between a diminished chord or a minor chord, but i know what sounds good to me. i know power chords and single notes and do my best to make them sound good. i stopped playing bass when i picked up guitar, but then started playing both again around 2000.

15) Talking about Century Media, what do tou think about the 2006 re-issue ?
i think its cool that they released the re-issues...mike did liner notes for each one that give some background to what was going on in the band at the time of each recording, so if you were a fan of these records before, it gives a cool perspective of where the band was mentally at the time of each recording. my favorite of the liner notes were the ones in 'dopesick' where mike explains the broken glass sound in the beginning of the record. they thought it would be a good idea to break glass in a garbage can that was mic'd, and mike ended up cutting his hand open and bleeding all over the studio, then writing 'death to pigs' in his blood on the studio walls. good times.

16) The band have done so many split, why is it so important for you to realise those split
splits were done most of time with bands that are friends of the band. most of the splits were done with 13, whose singer was mike's girlfriend for years, then there was the split with soilent green, and also cripple bastards. 7' records were very poular at the time, and to do one with a band that you were friends with was just fun, and helped both bands by exposing you to an audience that may not have know who your band was

17) Our website is call Spirit Of Metal, what is the spirit of metal of metal for you ?
my own personal black cloud that follows me wherever i go, and inspires me to write the music that you hear,

18) What can I wish for the future ?
we are working on the new outlaw order record, and hope for it to be completed by the end of this year. when jimmy is finished touring with down, we are going to finish writing the next ehg record and start looking for a label when it is done. also by the end of the year, hawg jaw should be finished their recording so look for that around spring 2010. other than that, we will be doing festivals, and some touring in the u.s. and europe.
interview réalisée par Julien

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saidhell - 15 Septembre 2009: Yeah, I have seen this interview
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