- Thanks to Todd for this!
W/R - With both “Unsilent Death” and “Abandon All Life” receiving massive amounts of positive praise from both critics and fans a like, did you feel any pressure when it came to writing the new album?
Todd - Yes, but not because of how highly the albums were praised because we put the same pressure on ourselves to write each album that we did when we did Unsilent Death, before anybody really heard of us. It’s our goal to write the best albums we possibly can, not for our audience, but just for our own personal satisfaction. We’re extremely lucky to have people interested in our band and we love our fans, but before we answer to our fans, we have to answer to ourselves. We need to feel confident about our material. If we don’t feel good about it, then why would anybody else? It’d be a waste of everybody’s time. Our albums are statements and we only make release albums when we feel we have something worthy to put out into the world.
W/R - Slower material such as “Wide Open Wound” and “Suum Cuique” brought a whole new heaviness to the band. Is this something you’ve explored further in new material?
Todd - Yes, we have some slower stuff on the new record that’s unlike Suum Cuique and Wide Open Wound but similar in spirit. Violent.
W/R - In another interview I saw you mention that you’re a fan of Neurosis. Do you draw influence from band’s such as them when writing slower material or is it just a case of whatever comes out?
Todd -We draw influence from the spirit of Neurosis, heavily. Not so much their sound. I love Neurosis.
W/R - Do you have any completely left field influences no one would ever expect?
Todd -Yes but perhaps I will keep that to myself. Some people not might understand and be upset about the fact that I might pull ideas from bands that aren’t “metal”.
W/R - With a vocal style that sounds like a mix between a martyr crying for freedom and a nervous breakdown, how do you try to avoid blowing your voice when recording?
Todd - I don’t avoid it; it happens every time. On Unsilent Death, I recorded all the songs in the same order that they appear on the album, and you can hear my voice deteriorate as the album goes. On our next album, we’re going to take more time with the vocals and put more effort into them.
W/R - In our last interview you said Taylor could possibly be contributing some riffs to the new album. Has this happened at all so far and if so did he bring any new elements to the riff department?
Todd - Not yet but we’re still in the early phases of our album.
W/R - Does anyone other than yourself contribute to the lyrics and have any previously not touched on themes been explored in new material?
Todd - Yes, Saba has written some lyrics. There’s some new themes on the album but to be honest, it all comes back to being marginalized.
W/R - If I remember correctly, for a long time you guys had very little internet presence in terms of you promoting yourself via Facebook etc but the strength of the music seemed to result in people championing the band and in turn promoting you via word of mouth, similar to how it was in the old days. Was this a concious thing or are you just not that into social media?
Todd - Yes, absolutely. We live in a time where people try to force things down your throat particularly when there’s no demand for what these people are pushing. For instance, a band with a demo who already have a Facebook/Twitter/Instagram etc. There’s no reason for that when nobody is interested. We started out not using those tools because there wasn’t a demand for it. As the demand grew, we started to use those tools to communicate with the people who wanted to communicate with us. Timing is a very important factor with everything surrounding NAILS.
W/R - That said, the need to be popular on sites such as Facebook seems to have become almost a mandatory thing in the minds of younger people, even if with thousands of likes they still play to empty rooms, it still seems to be something they work at a lot, if not more than putting together a solid release. Do you think the idea that having the numbers on social media sites is important for a young band or could you suggest a better way for them to focus their energy?
Todd - It’s important for bands because booking agents and record labels take Facebook likes into consideration when doing business with bands. It’s stupid but that’s the truth. For a band looking to work with those types of businesses, it’s important. For bands who aren’t, it doesn’t matter. That’s just the bottom line. With that being said, the core of a band is their songs. If you’re looking to be in a band to get Facebook likes, people like me won’t be interested in what you’re doing. But if you’re in a band because you want to express yourself and you can convey emotions through music, people will eventually connect with that and people liking your band will happen naturally.
W/R - Finally, although sure you can’t give away too much, can you estimate when we could be expecting the new album?