If you know me (or if you've seen their logo tattooed on my leg), you know how much I love Every Time I Die. Forget all those indie darlings you fan over, forget the latest rap fad you'll adhere to. Every Time I Die goes against all of that. They're bringing it back to the roots. Amazing lyrics, thumping bass, delirious drums, and hardcore, whiskey-metal riffs. Now that's real music.
So, you can understand how thrilled I was that not only I was sent their new album, Ex-Lives, a month before it comes out, but also that I was to interview the band before they stop by Montreal on February 20th. So, being the hardworking journalist I am, but really mostly 'cause it's so damn good, I locked myself up and listened to the album on repeat. And many questions and remarks arose. So, I set my mind to asking those questions when I was to interview the band.
The album, it must be said, is beautifully written. It might, in fact, compete with The Big Dirty, which still to this day remains one of my favorite albums of all time. The guitar parts were masterfully arranged, and almost go back to the roots of the band, with huge borderline southern rock riffs, which for any fan will be very reminiscent of 2003's Hot Damn, and even sometimes of The Hives (as it will be discussed further on). This was also the first album recorded with their new drummer, Cornwall, Ontario native Ryan Leger, who, as Andy puts it, turned out to be “a fucking beast”.
I'm kind of new to the whole idea of phone interviews, or phoners. I've always preferred in-person interviews, human interaction, you know? I guess I'm kind of old-fashioned like that. But that didn't matter. I was about to interview Andy fucking Williams from ETID. I dial the number tentatively, and nervously await an answer. But, from the first few words, Andy makes me feel at ease. And the conversation suddenly flowed smoothly.
The last time I had gotten to talk to the guys was at Warped Tour '10, a but after New Junk Aesthetic, their previous album, had come out. So, I ask what had been up since then.
“Holy fuck, Warped Tour...Dude, so much happened since. I think we've done at least 5 tours since then. We took time off, we wrote a new record. We toured with GWAR.”
As much as that sounded like an interesting topic to talk about, I wasn't sure I really wanted to talk about the Gwar tour. As some of you may know, Gwar guitarist Cory Smoot, a.k.a. Flattus Maximus, died during their tour with Every Time I Die. Death among friends, especially in the music business, is always kind of a touchy subject, so I divert the attention to the new album. That's where my attention lies, anyway.
I ask Andy about Ex-Lives, which, in a lot of ways, is very different from The Big Dirty, or even New Junk Aesthetic. I ask him if that was contrived, if they knew where they wanted to go with this one, or if it was natural for them.
“I don't know man. A lot of times, I'll just write shit, or Jordan will come with a guitar part, and we'll just work with that”.
When asked about the 4th track on the album, Typical Miracles, and why the intro sounded so much like a song by The Hives, Andy laughs, and says:
“I'm not even kidding you, that was supposed to be a black metal song”.
At that point, I let out a huge “what the fuck?”, and Andy continued:
“Yeah man, I kinda wanted Legs to just hold a blast beat all the way through the song, and I was pretty much triple picking it. But then Jordan was like 'Really? I see it more like this' “, and Andy proceeds to recreate the guitar part in the intro, with his mouth, much to my hilarity.
If there's one thing you have to give those guys, besides the fact that they're the best band in the world, is the fact that they're so damn amusing. Cunning as people, incredibly hilarious, seeing an Every Time I Die show feels kinda like an evening with friends you only get to see every now and then, but with better music, and way more alcohol involved.
Speaking of an evening with them, they will be playing a show at the Club Soda, with the almighty Terror, hardcore darlings Stray From the Path, and local newbie-supergroup-that-consists-of-world-renowned-artists Obey the Brave. Tickets can be bought online here, or at the Club Soda. Every Time I Die's new album, Ex-Lives, comes out March 6th through Epitaph Records.