Just under a week ago, I had the chance to the vocalist from legendary Chicago alt metallers SOiL. After a warm welcome, we got straight down to business…
How have the shows been so far?
They’ve been great. It’s never a let-down coming over here so it’s always good to be in the UK.
I spoke to Adam last year before your show with Coal Chamber. What have you been up to since then?
You did an interview with Adam?!? He doesn’t do any interviews. That’s a very rare occasion and awesome!
But no, we’ve been hitting the states mainly. We started tossing around ideas for music about a month before coming over here. Once the holidays are over and done with we’ll tackle that a bit more seriously. We’ll also maybe look into doing something for the 20th anniversary of the band. Yeah, we’re that old!
It’s been good! I mean, we’ve gotten to the point where in the states that we get together about once a month and pick out an area and do a handful of shows over a long weekend kind of thing. Then we don’t see each other for another month and then we got out and do it all again. We’ve been doing that for about the past year in the states. This run we’re doing here is the first lengthy time we’ve had to together. We haven’t killed each other yet and we’re still enjoying each-others company which is a bonus!
You mentioned earlier that you’ve been throwing some ideas for new music. Would you say that is the main focus for the next year?
Yeah we definitely want to release something next year given it’s our anniversary and all. We’ll hopefully be back over in the UK after that and we’ll also do a full US run as well.
Does the band have any say as to who you tour with?
Our managers come to us for the “Ok”. They organise a couple of options and we either give them the thumbs up or we say “Keep looking!”. I’m really happy with this run with Sons of Texas. I’ve seen them a couple of times back in the states and really enjoy their live show. They’ve been getting a really warm welcome over here that has been really nice to see.
When writing lyrics, what do you take your inspiration from?
I’ve never been a reader! I’ve always admired bands that can write about historical events, books and topics that I’ve never been able to do. I’ve notepads full of lyrics that have never been used. When Adam comes up with some music, it’s just whatever is going on in my head at the time. I wish I could write, but it’s just never been me.
Have there been any new bands in the past 12 – 18 months that have peaked your interest?
Sons of Texas. Not just because they are on the road with us, but because they are really good. They’re lovely guys and super tight musicians. The band from the UK that are with us on this part of the tour, Liberty Lies, are really nice as well. It’s been a really fun run this one.
I’ve always been like this with bands though; I only really get into them if I’ve toured with them. That way I get to actually meet the individuals and know if they are cool people or not.
In terms of the set-list, what sort of mixture is it?
It’s moreso a mixture this time than ever before. We’re playing songs off the two albums that I haven’t been a part of. We’ve never done that before on a tour ever. If you cut it up, there’s more stuff prior to Whole than is on that album.
We wanted to change it up a bit as we’ve been here 3 times off that album so we needed to keep it fresh. We need to keep it interesting for us as well as we kinda get bored of playing over and over again.
What advice would you give to new bands?
It’s tough. It’s such a different industry to when it was when we came up. I hate to say it, but we came up at the end of when rock and metal was healthy. It’s a different world out there now as albums aren’t selling. Bands have to make their money on merch sales and guarantees for shows. Regretfully, if you haven’t made a name for yourself 15 to 20 years ago, you aren’t going to make the money off the guarantees. Then you’re stuck on the merch money but there’s venues that are taking a good chunk of that merch money away from bands that are trying to get enough money just to get some gas in the van to drive to the next show.
If you asked the same question 6 or 7 years ago, then I would have said “Stay in school!”. But the fact of the matter is that if it’s in your blood to do it then you’ll die trying. The best I can say is “good luck to you”. Sadly that’s the best I can say. Even though we came from the end of the era when it was healthy, it was still a matter of being in the right place at the right time. I’ve shared the stage with people who can run circles around me, but if they aren’t heard at the right time by the right people then they’ll not get anywhere.
So I’d say, keep on going and get your music out there the best you can. And hope and pray that it falls into the right hands and the right ears hear it.
Photos by Bukavac Photography