Continuing on from the first part of Sarah’s chat with Joey Z, they talk about the more logistical aspects of band life.
In terms of the production, I saw you have your own music production business as well, so how much involvement did you have personally in the recording of the album with Matt Brown?
It was definitely a co-produced record. We were back and forth non-stop and when he was here in my studio it was almost like being one person. Matt brought so much to the table and we owe him such a huge thanks for how this turned out because he really pushed us. Also it freed me up to be a guitar player and not sit behind the computer the whole time so I could do my craft. It was perfect.
I gotta say the amount of energy and effort that man put in to the record was immense. He put in so much time in getting us to perform the way we did. There was no cutting and pasting, no pro tools on the guitars I played all of that and that was something we said from the beginning that we were going to do. No cheating. No bullshit. I was soaked in sweat every day. Matt would turn around and say to me he thought he saw demons coming out of me. He’d say “That was awesome – do it again” and then “That was awesome – do it again!”. So it was that pushing that made the record sound like that.
How has the response been so far to the release of title track “A Place Where There’s No Pain”?
It’s been great. We haven’t been ‘out there’ yet really, we have a little down time now with the set-up of the tour and release of the record and so far a lot of the response has been online. You can only get so much out of social media. It’s been great, but I’m a big fan of being in person with people and feeling and hearing the response first hand so meeting the fans at the shows and them telling you they love it. But the response has been amazing, I’m just not a big social media guy so I don’t spend all day online, I pop in once every two or three days. I am more looking forward to playing live and feeling and hearing what the fans think.
Talking of the tour, I see you have dates in the US and Europe coming up, but will you have any dates in the UK to add to the tour?
Yes, we are working on that right now, it’s been brought up a number of times from the band that we want to go back to the UK. We’re just waiting to hear what they can line up for us. There will be an announcement soon. I’m so excited to get out there and support this record, it’s going to be fun playing these new songs in the set.
Going back to social media and the internet, how do you feel the internet has shaped access to music?
I definitely think it’s improved a lot of access to music. There’s pros and cons to everything though. There are a lot of pros to the social media networks and how much further music can spread. What I think is really cool is that the fans can have direct contact almost. Years ago when you loved a band, you couldn’t really communicate with them at all. These days it seems that anyone is reachable in some way or another. It means you start seeing your favourite band as people and I think it brings you closer to the band, especially if they are good people. I think its lost a little of its special quality though, like when you had to wait to get that album from your favourite band, there’s more excitement that builds up. When I was a kid I had to wait for Metallica’s …And Justice For All to come out and I had no idea what it sounded like or anything. So I think we’ve lost a little bit of that excitement and mystery. At least we were lucky to experience that.
Where do you see Life of Agony being in the next five years?
I hope we’re still doing the same thing we just did the past year. What I learned on this record is never say never. If you’d asked me back around 2011 if we were ever going to do a new record I would have said “Huh, probably never”. What I hope is that we are playing live as much as we can. Just playing these new songs in the sets and have some more longevity. Fingers crossed keep it going just like this and maybe make another record, so we’ll see.