Mid-March 2000 – Jacoby Shaddix Interview (Papa Roach)

Mid-March 2000 – Jacoby Shaddix Interview (Papa Roach)

I drove to Jacobys house. I walked up to the door and rang the bell. Jacoby opens the door. Ruckus and Ruby, his dogs, welcomed me with paws and fur to go with my attire. I guess it has been a while since I have been there. Jacoby and I sat down. I pushed play on my tape recorder. I asked Coby Dick some questions. Coby Dick answered them. This is some major bathroom reading.

JAY- People across the country right now are digging your shit, hearing you on the radio in their hoopties, their Hondasports, Jeeps, and shower radios. What do you think about that?

Coby Dick- Its awesome man. Its been crazy because we are going to towns, and its like, youve been there when we are like in front of nobody and stuff, and pretty much, a lot of the shows we are doing right now, we are not playing with bigger bands, so its just us. So sometimes there are only like five kids that come out, but those five kids are like, “Yo dude, we got the sampler from the street team kids, and we totally love your shit and were telling all our friends. Its just like a fukkin, like a gas, you know what Im saying, to get out there, like get in front of a crowd Ive never seen before. Its trippy , like it would be weird, because Id go to a town and people will walk up to me like, “Whats up Coby Dick,” and Im just like, “Do I know you,” because everyone who calls me Coby Dick knows me personally and shit. So its kind of strange, but its cool. I think like, I think dude, if we become rock stars dude, I think Ill be a good rock star. I think Ill be good at that shit.

JAY- Yeah, you will be. How do you feel when you think of your fan base growing like a fungus each day, show by show?

Coby Dick- Hell yeah dude, its like, P-Roach like the fungus is like the “Dead Cell” virus spreading, and its awesome because we can cancel out all of this wack-ass shit coming out, and come with some correct music, straight from the heart, lyrically and musically. Im not saying our music is superior, Im just saying I think people can connect with their lives more with our music, and the energy of Papa Roach like, the people feel it, deep, all the way down to their toes and shit. So its exciting, its a great feeling.

JAY- I know you have played more than a few shows with Sevendust, but how were these recent shows with Sevendust, playing at the House of Blues in Las Vegas, and Los Angeles, just fat shows?

Coby Dick- Yeah they were dope dude like fukkin, dude you should have been in Vegas dude, Vegas was off the fukkin hook.

JAY- I was there.

Cobe- You were? Were you?

JAY- Yes.

Cobe- See dude, I dont remember anything anymore.

JAY- You tried to jump the fence.

Cobe- Oh yeah, and we were handing out demos, duh dude. Did you see when I jumped into the crowd the last time?

JAY- Yeah.

Cobe – You hear me over the mic, “oh shit.” It was crazy because we fukkin came out and I was stage diving on the first song and shit. I got so excited on the last one I jumped so far I like jumped passed the people, and landed right in the pit, but the shows with Sevendust were awesome. The Hollywood one sucked worse because its just Hollywood, you know what Im saying, but everywhere else, Reno was great, where else did we play with them, Arizona was dope. Also, playing with those guys, that band is like, on the same wavelength as us, as far as a hard working band, putting it down on “real-style,” and I think they saw that in us, and thats why we really clicked well.

JAY- Clint definitely saw it.

Cobe- Yeah Clint was down dude. Lajon, he came out, we played in Phoenix, and the next night they had off, they stayed in Phoenix, and they stayed in Phoenix to see us play at this little little club. There was probably like fifty or sixty people in there and like all of the guys in Sevendust rolled up and they watched our whole set, and they were like “Much love to P-Roach,” and like, hopefully were trying to link up that Tattoo the Earth tour with them. So they are putting in good words for us also, and we are putting in good words so if they read this or see it, or anybody sees it and knows Sevendust, dude tell them P-Roach loves them!

JAY- When you first started out, who were some of your biggest musical and non-musical inspirations?

Cobe- Non-musical inspirations would be that I was completely bored in my town of Vacaville, CA. Like there wasnt really shit for me to do. I played sports in the beginning of high school, but I was always interested in music, but I never had an instrument, or money to buy an instrument. I finally saved up, you know, to get an instrument, and I did that, and I ended up being a singer, but that was my non-musical inspiration, I was completely bored, and I had to find something to do. My earliest musical inspirations were total like Glam 80s, you know, thats what got me into music. Then from there I got into like Chili Peppers, Nirvana, Deftones, Nuclear Rabbit, Mr. Bungle, Faith No More, those were like my earliest, and Primus also, those were like my biggest influences, you know, as a kid.

JAY- In my opinion, you have just about the best stage presence Ive ever seen. You visually take control of the crowd, and if they are not playing football in the pit, they are staring at you guys, so like, standing high up on the stage what is some of the craziest stuff you have seen while you are up there?

Cobe – Ive seen, Ive seen, some, fukkin, titties man. Girls, I aint mad, you know, if they want to do that you know, its cool you know. Im not out there like, “Show me some titties,” but Ive seen some titties, and I aint mad about that, and dude, crazy motherfuckers, stage diving dude, motherfuckers doing flips into the crowd. Vacaville heads and shit, I got hardcore friends that are out there doing hardcore dances, you know, hardcore kids doing that shit, and that trips me out because not a lot of hardcore kids are into this kind of music. I think its just because we are in that scene in Vacaville, and kids grew up with us, and they kind of like went into hardcore, but they are still down, and thats awesome, plus hip-hop kids come out to our shows. Plus another thing is that its just not fukkin white kids, its totally diverse and thats awesome, like Im totally about unity, and thats awesome that I see that at our shows. In the pit, sometimes people get fucked up, but they are picking each other up, and its like a love vibe, you know what Im saying. Even though its aggressive and violent, it still has a positive thing, and thats awesome, and another thing about the shows, is just, we just completely have a great time, and thats important as hell.

JAY- On this new album “Infest,” what song was finished in the least amount of time?

Cobe- You mean as in recording process, or writing process?

JAY- Recording.

Cobe- “Tightrope. Dave went in, we had the drumbeats, he just went in and laid down a chorus beat, and a verse beat. Then we just cut and pasted it. That was like hella quick. We didnt have to do all kinds of edits, and the vocals were totally just. That was like the easiest song for me to record because it was like, totally just chill vocal styles instead of like, because I really push myself a lot of the time, so it was like really mellow, and that was really cool. I got to actually like, Im sober when I record, and Im sober when I play, and that was the only track where I like, had a bottle of wine, I smoked a little joint, I was like “whoooooo.” It was exciting, and that was probably one of the most exciting songs to record because it was so different, we didnt know we could do anything like that, plus mixing it was easy because it was a real basic mix.

JAY- Yeah Cool. What song means the most to you on this album? What was the song that when you heard the final master just hit you in a certain way like no other song on the album?

Cobe- I would have to say “Binge” and “Broken Home.” Those are the two songs. “Binge” kind of got a new life, you know, because its got that thing in the chorus, that high part in the chorus that kind of like, takes it to kind of like an 80s feel. It reminds me of something U2 would do on top of something, which is like, exciting you know, because its like, adding those overdubs brings new life to those songs, and also like “Revenge” too. I talked to somebody that has the new version and said they really didnt like it as much. I was like, to me, I like the new version more, kind of like, because I think its just like the overdubs and we were in the studio putting it down and putting it together, and like doing all of these extra things was like, fun, and getting it to the end and mixing it down, and putting it in and having the DJ on that song, like gave it the, the hip-hop break-down is like, SUPREME, it totally flips the script. As far as “Broken Home” goes like, the intro with the delay panning from side to side, we werent even like, we didnt like it at first, we were like “nooo,” but then like the more and more we listened to it you know, its got more like a trip-hop kind of feel, plus the lyrical value of that song is like totally deep to my heart, and, so those are like the three songs that most like, struck me.

JAY- Last night, there was a party at the Bottom of the Hill (San Francisco, CA). The last band that played, literally caused a riot in that place.

Cobe- Yeah we blew that place up fool. That place was off the hook, like sweat was dripping off the ceiling in that motherfucker. Kids went off, we played a real tight set I think, and its crazy because so many of the same people come out every time and they dont get tired of it, and thats awesome to me. That says something to me that this is really special. People really connect to this, and even if it is, you know, sometimes we play the same set a few days in a row, and you come see us, and its like the same thing, but its got that new energy every time. I dont believe that the P-Roach energy becomes old. Its always exciting, and to us, every show is like a new challenge, and I always want to maintain that everyday, like our manager Bret came to our past couple shows and Im like, “Dude do we still got it?” We have been playing a lot of shows, and sometimes for bands, it deadens them, they sometimes become jaded, and like one thing that Im paranoid about is becoming that. I dont want to become that. I think a band that does not do that, like Sevendust, they put on a good show every night. We went out with them for five days and they just blew it up every night, and it was just awesome to see that, and that was inspiring to me to know that bands are still out there blowing it up every night, you know?

JAY- Yeah. Was that your first time playing there?

Cobe- Um, second time. The first time we played there was like in front of like 50 people, and that was like days ago, but Live105 has been pushing the single too, so that really helped. Plus they were like, not really even, like, I dont even think pushing the single helped the draw of the show. I think its just that they announced the crap out of it. We already got the fans to come and see, its just a matter of fukkin, “Yo whats up, P-Roach is coming to town.” Also dude, thanks to Live105, the city of San Francisco, the area, because they have really helped us a lot. Plus 98 Rock too, like because this is going to be in Rant dude, props to 98 Rock because, its not like we kissed their ass to get on, but they were like, they got on P-Roach, and we were down, we made a relationship, you know, so for a Sacramento radio station, 98 Rock got the bomb.

JAY- Ok, the last two questions. From all of the cities you have played, where was the one most “off the hook” show, and then tell me what city gets the craziest every time they see you play, which I already know the answer to.

Cobe- I dont know which one is it? I dont know?

JAY- Well I dont know the best show, but the city

Cobe- Vacaville and Sacramento.

JAY- Well.

Cobe- Sacramento more dude, the pass few shows in Sacramento, have just been going off. San Jose too.

JAY- Thats what I was going to say.

Cobe- San Jose, its like really weird. Northern California as a whole dude, like just goes off. Its weird because when we go on the road, like, I want to be able to have the energy that Northern California has, like what we have and what the crowd gives to us because, they are screaming the words, and its like, I dont want to compare us to a hardcore band, but the drive behind the music, and the desire, and the intensity, and the passion behind the music, is like what hardcore bands have. We are not a hardcore band, and Im not gonna claim that at all, you know, and if a hardcore kid reads it and goes, “ohtheyduh, they tryin to claim this,” well whatever they can think what they fukkin want, but I see the passion behind their music, and I think that we also have the passion that they have for their music, and our crowd also, they are really passionate, and thats what I really appreciate. I dont even know what the question was, oh “off the hook.” Dude, like Northern Cali as a whole is “off the hook” right now, like the best crowds. The one that really surprised me the most, and was a brutal show, was Santa Cruz, and Santa Cruz is like a punk rock town.

JAY- Really?

Cobe- Dude you should have been at the last Santa Cruz show, it as packed as fuck. There was probably like five hundred and fifty people there, and we headlined it. It was crazy ill, and like, its a punk rock scene, and I was like, I said that into the mic, “Yo, this is a punk rock scene, but you are open to different kinds of music,” and thats awesome. We got kids in tri-hawks, and punk rockers out there (Jacoby says to his wife) “You saw that shit that was “off the hook” huh?”

Cobes wife- Thats where you saw all the titties.

Cobe- Yeah thats where Id seen the titties. Well, that didnt really add to the “off the hook” sense, I mean that was just like, “off the shirt,” but you know, it was like, Santa Cruz really surprised me because we have not really rocked it really before like we did the last time so that was awesome, but Northern California as a whole, I got love, you know, Vacaville, Sacramento, San Jose, Santa Cruz, Chico, you know, all of those towns, you know?

JAY- Yep

Cobe- Tight.

Igor Cavalera of Sepultura Interview 1998

I dont even remember how this interview happen.  Did I call Roadrunner, or I just asked Igor when I saw him.  I talked to him after their sound check, sat-down before door opened and got it done.  This show was nuts.  Metal in El Dorado Hills, CA at CLUB X-TREME with Earth Crisis, Sepultura, and Vision of Disorder.  I’m not sure if there was another band.  I saw them again the next night at the Maritime Hall in San Francisco, CA as well.  That show was crazier.  Robb Flynn came out and did his part from an Earth Crisis song from the one Roadrunner album they put out before going back to Victory.  Mike Patton came out during Sepulturas set and did his part from one of the songs from the Roots album.  That night was fantastic.  The interview.


AP:  So, when was the last time you were in Sacramento, CA?

IC:  Actually, I was here not too long ago, maybe like one year ago, but I just passed through.  I was just driving around, and like stayed over night…….But playing, ya know is different….The last time I was here I was just driving around.

AP:  I think the last time you actually performed in Sacramento, CA might have been with Biohazard, and Pantera?

IC: Yeah.

AP: I was not even really into the music at that time, I knew the show was here cause I saw crowds of people, but I obviously did not even know what was going on at that time, but I know exactly what is going on now.

AP:  I would like to know what led you guys to Derrick Green?

IC: Well, we were trying out, ya know, a lot of different people, and actually someone at RoadRunner knew Derrick, knew him from his old bands, and just thought that would be great to have him try out with us, and once we tried out with him we were like, this is it ya know.  He was like just right on it…..

AP: You guys totally felt it?

IC: …..Yeah, like totally natural, and that is the main thing for us.  If it feels natural, it’s like the rest of it, it just pretty much just falls into place.

AP:  I heard Derrick plays guitar.  Do you have any idea, when he’s actually going pick one up and start playing while he is singing?

IC:  Well, he does a few in the set, he plays a few songs and sings.  It’s like little by little…. Like at first he got all the vocals down, and now he is starting to get like some percussive stuff, and now he is picking up the guitar and playing on a few songs, so, it is just the beginning of the tour, so it’s kind of, ya know, like once we start touring more and more, he is going get into the whole guitar playing and stuff.

AP: You guys recorded in Japan with the group KODA.  Where did that idea come from?

IC: Well I’ve known KODA for a long time.  It’s just a Japanese group that travels all over the world, like very percussive, and they are all drummers.  So it’s something that, for me I’ve always been a fan for a long time, and then just had the idea really to put together Sepultura and KODA, so we contacted them, and they were really open-minded to work together with us.

AP:  Is Brazilian percussion a lot different from Japanese Percussion, or the tribal aspect?

IC: (quite loud with a smile) It’s CRAZY!  Ya know like, it’s like totally different….The vibe of it, the feel, but at the same time, the connection is there, and it’s mainly the energy.  At the end when everyone is playing it feels just like a Brazilian band really.  So it’s like, it’s weird because the way they play is totally different, but the energy that comes out of their drums is very similar to Brazilian style.

AP:  That’s phat.  I have not heard the album yet.  I’ve heard the first song, and I was looking for that song, but just did not get a chance to hear it.  

AP:  (Personally, I thought that Max Cavalera sort of ran the group, from reading articles, and some past interviews. Igor points out that was not how it was.) Ok so, since you guys were like short of one guy for this, for a while during recording, was everyone involved in the lyrics and the music this time?

IC:  That’s the thing, we have always been…Pretty much, it was a misconception between us and all our management, and the media that made it seem that Max was doing everything in the band, and that was not the case with Sepultura. It’s always been about four people really thinking together and putting ideas together and at the end, becoming Sepultura.  It was no different when Max left, so we just continued like, exchanging ideas and putting that into our music.

AP: Alright, one last question.  I play drums also, and I saw one of your pictures and I saw some electronic setups, what sounds do you have coming from those?

IC:  Well, I collect a lot of drums from pretty much all over the world like when I travel and stuff, but some of those drums are very fragile, so I can’t bring them on tour.  So I sample some of those drums, and put them on the pads so I can play them live, without really……

AP:  …….You’ll be trucking a lot of instruments……

IC:  Yeah, because some of them are really, hard to find, they are hand-made and stuff, and would not want to like, take them on tour with me.

AP:  I was just wondering.  That makes a lot of sense.

IC:  Yeah yeah.  I mean, you lose a little, but you gain…You lose a little in the feel of it when you play the actual drum, but at the same time, it is better losing a little than losing the whole drum, or it gets lost or……

AP:  Do you lose that much compared like playing live, I mean if you are going to use that instrument you want the dynamics and the clarity of the actual instrument, but is it that big of a deal if you have it sampled?

IC:  Well actually for live situations, it works out better, especially for the type of music that we play.  Some of those instruments, to get them to cut through all that music, the mess, I would have to (beats the table) beat them, ya know.  So if I have them on the pad I can pretty much just work on their volume so they can cut through.

AP:  Well, that is all I have.  Thanks a lot.  You are one of my favorite drummers, so I’m like lucky just to have you sitting next to me.

IC:  Thanks man.

Jerry Horton Papa Roach Interview 2000

Mid March 2000, around the same time I interviewed Jacoby for Rant Magazine (Sacramento, CA), the day before I interviewed Jerry online since I could not drive to his house that day.  Here is how it went.


jAy: How are ya?

Jerry:  I’m good….it’s nice to have a day off

jAy:  I hear that. I got home at 5AM last night.  Here is a comment, and question straight from a fan. It was so awesome that the fans were able to partake in the making of the “Last Resort” video. That meant a lot to you truest fans. Was that a decision of the band, or was it Marcus, the director of the video, his choice?

Jerry:  That was completely our choice. They wanted to shoot it in L.A., but we wanted to have our fans in it, and we couldn’t do that in L.A., so we did it in Sacramento

jAy: Cool…The fans are thankful for that, as you saw that day.  How has the experience been, playing in towns where you have never played before? What are the feelings you get seconds before the first note on those nights?

Jerry:  Well, some of the shows are literally in front of 10 people, but we always rock our hardest, because we know that those 10 people will tell all of their friends about a kick-ass band they saw. Sometimes we wince at the sight of 10 or 20 people, but we adjust mentally, and rock out anyway.

jAy:  Making the “Last Resort” video, how was that experience for you, and how did the idea for the video come about?

Jerry:  Well, let me just say that previous to the shoot, I had heard people in bands say that they hate doing videos, and how horrible they were. To the contrary, I had a really good experience. I think having our fans in the video brings a realness to it that is really intangible. The idea for the video actually came from Marcos. He had lost a friend to suicide, so he had some idea of how to convey the message of the song without being really blatant.

jAy: If you know, when might the video be released?

Jerry:  Actually, I don’t think there is a scheduled date yet.   Probably sometime within the next 3 weeks.

jAy: When on the road, in the van, what are some of the things you guys are doing to pass the time?

Jerry: We sleep, or listen to music, or sleep.

jAy:  Haha……yeah.  OK, Jerry, as consistant as you all play, and in most cases, errorless, when was the last time you can remember while performing, your equipment, the vibe, the rest of the band, and everything else was on point, and going good, but you fucked up?

Jerry:  Me personally?

jAy:  Yeah, can’t have you talk about the others.

Jerry: That would be last night, at the Bottom of the Hill.

jAy:  Was that you, when it happens, are you always aware, or do you sometimes not even know?

Jerry:  I can usually hear myself well enough to know when i mess up.

jAy:  What have you been listening to lately?

Jerry:  I’ve been listening to the new Snapcase record, Refused, Jimmy Eat World, Mock Orange, Fear Factory, Tori Amos, Helmet, Smashing Pumpkins, RHCP

jAy:  What does Mock Orange sound like?

Jerry:  Well, if you know what Refused sounds like, they sound like them, but a little more emo….really tight stuff.

jAy:  I shall check them out.   Why isn’t “Blood Brothers”, and “Legacy” both on the album, why one song for the clean version, and one for the unclean version?

Jerry:  Well, “Legacy” wasn’t going to make the record at all, but “Blood Brothers” wouldn’t have been able to be edited, and still mean the same thing, so to fill that spot on the clean record, we chose “Legacy.”

jAy:  Whoa……Yeah, I can see that.  By the way, You know I haven’t said it to you guys too many times, but the album is definately bangin’.

Jerry:  Hehe….thanx

jAy:  What is something that you have always been doing, that you cannot do now, or as much since signing with Dreamworks?

Jerry:  Well, pretty much the only thing we can’t do, is release our older stuff on our own.  I know a lot of people want to get 5 Tracks Deep, and Let ‘Em Know, but some of those songs are on our new record, so we can’t release them.

jAy:  Out of all of the songs that you have written, which is your favorite? One song, out of ALL songs you guys have?

Jerry:  You HAD to ask that question, didn’t you?

jAy:  I’m sorry, but there’s gotta be at least one.

Jerry:  Right now, I think it’s “Blood Brothers.”

jAy:  Alright, last question.   What was the last show you went to where you were not performing, who and where?

Jerry: The Last show I went to see was Sno Core in Sacramento, CA

jAy:  So, do you have any last words?

Jerry:  Thank you, and thanx to all the fans for all of their support.

jAy:  Dope, thanks a lot for your time….Later Jerry.

Jerry:  Later Jay

Candiria Interview, 12.11.99

This Candiria interview was done on December the 11th, 1999 @ Big Shots in Roseville, CA with Michael Macivor (bassist), John Lamacchia (guitar), and Kenneth Schalk (drums)

Well this is what happened. Kenny, the drummer for Candiria did most of the talking during the “first try” interview. John and Mike did quite a bit of talking too. All three can get pretty deep in their thoughts about music, their music, where they see music going, and where they would like to see their music going. The problem is this. I did not record any of the “first try” interview, because my tape recorder was on pause, the WHOLE TIME, BUT, listen to this. We did it over, but Kenny had to go do some other things to get ready for their set, so John and Mike re-answered the original questions, added some more statements and thoughts then they did before, and when I had to leave the interview to get my girlfriend waiting at the doors, John asked himself the questions and finished the interview for me. Candiria is dope!!! So, here is the 2nd interview. This so far is the best interview I have done. Thanks guys.

A.M.P.- In the cities where you have never played, what are the people’s reactions, and which has been your best and worst shows so far on this tour?

Mike- Well, I would say that our worst show ever, would probably have been experienced on this tour alone. See what happened was, we played in Columbus, Ohio right, and we did play there once before with Clutch, and the audience was pretty cool, but this time around we played with GWAR and the Misfits, and they just completely hated us.

John- They HATED us.

A.M.P.- Damn, that definitely wasn’t a good feeling.

Mike- Oh yeah, no. It was a terrible feeling when you actually have to fight and curse at people in the crowd.

A.M.P.- Are you serious?

John- OH YEAH, they were like, “You suck,” “Get off the stage.” Man, we were so pissed off.

Mike- It was hysterical though, but ill tell you the truth. Even though it was one of the worst shows, I think just because of the weird dynamic that we are not used to things like that, made it one of the most amazing shows in my mind because I was out there giving a thousand percent while these people hated us, and it just fired me up even more.

John- Yeah, it fired me up too.

Mike- Our best show in a city we have never played in is Seattle, Washington. We played, what was the name of that place…..

John- It will probably come to me but it will be five questions from now.

Mike- We had never played there before, and we roll into Seattle and it was like, ya know, as if we were a Seattle band, the way they treated us.

A.M.P.- What are the motivations of the instrumentals on the album?

Mike- Well let see. According to Ken, folklore has it that, ways back when……Everyone was getting into different styles of music and just, incorporating more than just heavy heavy balls out kind of music, and um, Eric (guitar) and Kenny (drums) started experimenting with some other stuff, listening to different styles of fusion, and what not. They decided to try something new and experiment with heavy music, and someone started experimenting with like, fusion, jazzy kind of fusion. It just kind of clicked, ya know. The band was then approached by a label to put out a full length album and the band was not prepared to put out a full length album, so instead of rushing to put more metal songs on it, let’s put out all of the different styles of music that we do, and that’s kind of like where the instrumental music came from.

John- I also think that now, more than anything, it is to satisfy our own musical tastes as well…….

A.M.P.- That’s how it should be.

John- …And to just experiment with all different kind of things because, I mean I guess Candiria will always be doing what we are doing, but ya know, we are going to be branching off and doing other things as well, and ya know, we can’t wait, it’s in our hearts, and we are going to have to play it, and it just so happens that Candiria’s audience is just waiting for us to do something like that, and this is what the band does and I think it is the perfect position to be in.

Mike- It is just the perfect dynamic, especially if you are a real serious musician, serious about what you do. You must have a dynamic, just like life has many dynamics, you cant have light without dark, you cant have something beautiful without something really ugly, if you don’t have anything to compare it to. So that what we feel like we do with our albums, we try to put the most ugly things and most beautiful things together.

A.M.P.- I believe Kenny says he messes up the most during practices?

John- Yeah I believe Kenny messes up the most.

Mike- Ken probably takes the most risks out of everyone of us, and that’s why he messes up the most.

John- There’s that room for that improvisation, and there’s room for him to attempt to make something amazing happen, and like I said before…… (when it was not recorded), that I think id rather him take the risks during the improvisational parts, and try to create something amazing, than just playing something regimented.

Mike- Even when Kenny messes up or any one of us messes up, we kind of have this good bond between us musically that we can fix ourselves without ever stopping. Ya know, if someone really messes up, someone else will just cover up that person and we will go right into the next part, and a lot of people sometimes don’t even realize it.

John- I think we call that “Coltrane-ing” it….We call that, “Coltrane-ing” it. As far as just like, it goes somewhere, go with it, take it somewhere else and try to bring it back, to make some beautiful music.

A.M.P.- Well that shows true communication.

Mike- I mean what do you do when you mess up, stop? hell no.

John- Nah, there’s no starting over.

Mike- No way, there’s no such thing as starting over.

A.M.P.- Ya wanna go back to the break?

Mike- Try telling that to the audience, we are gonna stop now and do it over..

A.M.P.- So do you notate your music?

John- No, there have been a few cases where we have written some rhythmic formats and time signatures and accents, or chord progressions or just basic notes, but we have never written out music.

Mike- in the traditional sense of notating music, no.

John- I think the only time we ever did have anything written out was when um, Tim, wrote out “Matter.Anti.Matter” for the album (Process of Self.Development).

Mike- Yeah for the jazz part so the horn players and stuff could sight read it and stuff because we obviously didn’t have time to come down…..

A.M.P.- I could not think of what the name of the album was…

John- It is off the process of self development album.

Mike- It is off process.

John- The jazz song off that.

A.M.P.- Because the one I’m thinking of is…..(I try to mimic the song to them)….. but I think that’s off of………..

John- That’s off of surrealistic madness, and process of self.development as well…its on both records.

A.M.P.- Who do you listen to now?

Mike- With the risk of offending anyone, I will not say that I do not like music that comes out nowadays as I did before, but I will tell you some bands that I do like. I love the hell out of Neurosis, one of my favorite bands, fantastic band.

John- I’ll second that motion.

Mike- I love Isis, out of Massachusetts.

John- I’ll second that.

Mike- Cave in from Massachusetts, Botch, I believe they are out here from Washington state, or Oregon, I’m not sure exactly, they are a fantastic band. Um, I don’t know lets see, what else am I listening to, still like the same old shit, ya know, Bad Brains…Ya know, things like that. Me and john were just talking about, we are really anxious for the new Tool album to come out.

A.M.P.- I heard that some of their songs have been like 20 minutes long so far.

John- WOW.

Mike- I hope that’s true, they are a phenomenal band.

Mike- What else do I listen to…Black Sabbath…I like Indecision…Very few hardcore…I like a lot of old hardcore…The newer stuff, its just….I am into a lot of other things now, so I cant, you can’t like everything you did like when you were 15, because there are so many new things you like when you are 25, or something like that.

A.M.P.- Do you think this type of music or I guess, I wanna sort of see it as freestyle like, because things these days are not free form, its sort of like, you gotta play this type of music because the people like it, for you guys to actually be doing what you like first, and enjoy first, do you think it’s going to become more popular, or it’s going to become marketed, do you think its time for it to become known, or is it just the way it is now, is perfectly fine. If they are gonna like, they are gonna like it…no need to over promote to get more exposure…

John- Well..I think it will always remain unique because I think there a lot of musicians that are just coming out, learning a few chords, forming a band, and making music, just like that, and I think, not that that is good or bad, ya know, I mean some of the best music is the most simple stuff.

Mike- ……To song writing, and writing a decent pop song.

John- But what we are doing takes some musical knowledge. I wont say a lot compared to other musicians, it’s not, we are not as great as some musicians, but we do….

Mike- None of us studied at Berkeley, or anything like that..

John- We do try our best to make the greatest music we can, and we do try to always learn more and more as we go along.

Mike- We are always pushing the limits.

John- We always push each other and we always challenge each other, and that, I think will set us apart from everyone else, and as long as people are out there pushing themselves like that, they are gonna make some great music too.

Mike- I think also that as far as, saying it’s time for things, I mean, if it stays at the underground kind of level where it is, I think it’s fine, but I do also think that, a lot of music fans are looking for something. A lot of people will just stick with “the norm” because ya know, “I know this,” “It’s 4/4,” “I can dance” ya know, it’s cool, and that’s great, but I think a lot of people out there are getting sick of that. They want to see something different, I think, maybe Candiria isn’t what they wanna do, but they do wanna see something different at least, and they’ll be like, “WOW,” this is different….

John- It’s different alright…I believe if people are exposed to something better, they will gravitate towards it. Lead them to freedom, and they will follow.

Mike- You cant force people to eat shit forever. Eventually they are gonna say no “thank you.”

John- (referring to eating shit, ) Can I have my influences in there?………..I don’t listen to to much heavy stuff, but I do like bands like ( A.M.P.- I am not sure on spelling on some of these, if you know the spelling, please let me know, please…) Corelles, Neurosis, Isis, Cave In, I like a band called Failure, I think they are really cool. I also dig some lighter stuff, there is a band called Idaho I really love, I love Radiohead. I like this neo-classical band called Rachels that I think is great, and I think some people that are a little bit more open minded should check that out.

Mike- It is a little sad.

John- Sad band, but they are very cool.

A.M.P.- Who were the extreme influences in the beginning.

Mike- I would say, probably, lets see, who did these guys really like, with the death metal roots, Obituary, Morbid Angel, Slayer, Metallica, Suffocation……

John- Metallica, definitely a big part of it.

Mike- Right off the bat when it started out, these guys were death-metal heads, Eric and Carley………..Eric, Carley, and Chris Puma the original guitarist. They were into DEATH METAL. They also liked hip hop and stuff, but for the most part, they were into DEATH METAL, ya know what I mean. They liked it, and really were into that stuff, and I that’s where I think, Candiria’s intensity was formed, in death metal.

John- As far as the diversity goes I think there were groups like Yellowjackets, King Crimson, also a group, I remembering them listing a group of musicians, Primus, Alice in chains, and stuff like that..

A.M.P.- You guys are from Brooklyn, NY right?

Mike/John- Yes.

A.M.P.- Are you just known in the hardcore community, or are you known any popular hip hop groups, or like the jazz artists, if they have heard of you, what do they think of your guys?

John- It’s mainly a heavy audience, but it is definitely mixed, id say it 65 heavy audience, hardcore audience, metal, and the rest is just mixed with all kinds of people that just come down and enjoy the music.

Mike- It’s a little bit hard for all the scene to intertwine, just for the fact, people are gonna listen or not, but the jazz community is, I would maybe say 75% to 80% maybe higher are snobs who don’t wanna hear anything but jazz. There are a few people like John Zoran, a lot of different other guys who are totally into experimenting and hearing news sounds and they love heavy music, but a lot of the guys are not like that. So I don’t know really about the jazz community in New York if they are aware of us, or if they are into us, if they are cool, if not, alright, whatever.

A.M.P.- I don’t know exactly how big Brooklyn, NY is, but I mean going from the hip hop part of Brooklyn, to the jazz artists of Brooklyn, to the hardcore that are in Brooklyn, NY, going by Carley’s hip hop, aspect, it would seem like, maybe some other people already in the hip hop genre would see him, and sort of be exposed to the rest of the jazz, and fusion, and some of the hardcore that way, and vice versa.

(About now is when I leave to get my girlfriend, Mike is called away to get ready for their set, and John then precedes to ask himself the remainder of the questions I should be asking him.)

John- Alright, I’d like to add on that, I think that um, ya know, this is insane, I’ve never done an interview like this before, but, I’m gonna have some fun with it. The next question is:

How long have you been in Candiria, and are these the original members?

John- No, these are not the original members. I have been in Candiria, for three years in March or February. They called me up and asked me, I was just splitting from my old band, things were not going so well, as a matter of fact Mike, our bass player, who just left the interview, he used to be in my old band, a band called Dead Air, we didn’t really do much, but um, he split to play in Marauder, and then after that, everything kind of went downhill, so when Candiria called me up, I was all for it, and I joined the band. Then we played without a bass player for a while, and then about a year later, or little under a year later, I called up Mike cause he was finished doing what he was doing with Marauder, so that’s how that all came together, and so I wound back up with this guy. So we have been playing together for about almost ten years now. The next question is:

How was the San Francisco, CA show? Were the people appreciative?

John- Well, I can’t tell you that right now because we are gonna play San Francisco, CA tomorrow. So hopefully people appreciate it, and we haven’t even played the Sacramento, CA show yet, so I wont even be able to tell you about that, but, the Seattle, WA show was awesome. So this is the last and final question.

So is this your first time in Sacramento, CA? When was your last time on the West Coast?

John- We have never been on the West Coast, this is our first time, and this is our first time in Sacramento, CA like I said, and we are about to play a gig in about twenty minutes or so, so we will see how that goes. So far the West Coast, Portland, OR, Seattle, WA, have been really kind to the band, Utah has been really great, Denver, CO, getting close to the West Coast has been really great, Albuquerque, NM has been really great too. So, this will be the end of now, and here comes the man who should be asking me questions, but had to run and get his girlfriend, so…take care.

A.M.P.- Ah man, thank you so much.

John- No Problem.

Victor Wooten Interview 2000

Victor Wooten Interview

This interview took place on February 3rd, 2000 @ Big Shots in Roseville, CA

I was exposed to Mr. Wooten on my local PBS television station during a type of live music show. David Byrne, I think that is his name, the guy from Talking Heads, he interviews the bands or the artists on this show. The night I caught this show was when Bela Fleck and the Flecktones were playing. I heard the bass, and was just freakin blown away to my seat. No doubt that this band is great, but Victor, my gosh, the way he grooved, the sounds he commanded from his bass, the way he complimented the other creative sounds being presented by the rest of the band…………Just left me in “awe.” A few weeks ago, I was looking through my local news magazine where I read about all of the upcoming shows in my area, and I saw the show listing for Victor Wooten’s tour coming to Sacramento, CA.

Victor Wooten is a Grammy winning bassist for the group, Bela Fleck and the Flecktones. He has been voted Bass Player of the Year by Bass Player Magazine 3 times, and his latest solo album “Yin-Yang” is up for a Grammy in the best Jazz Performance Category. So, ya know I had to see and talk to this guy, right?

In this interview I was able to expose Mr. Wooten to some of the music I listen to. A couple of hardcore/metal bands known as Candiria, and the Dillinger Escape Plan. After the interview inside the venue, Victor and I moved the remaining part of the interview to my car where we listened to a little bit of each band. You will read his thoughts of them in this interview.

I, a little more or less, started off the interview telling Mr. Wooten basically what I told you guys in the first paragraph, and how much more I appreciated the creation of music after capturing their performance on TV. Here is his response, and the rest of the interview.

Thanks to Sheri at Compass Records, for making this happen.

Victor Wooten – It’s funny because, the people who are not really familiar with Bluegrass, as soon as they hear the banjo, they say “Wow it’s Bluegrass,” but the people who are familiar with Bluegrass and Country, they say “No, it’s nothing like Bluegrass.” I think it is just the instrument of the banjo that makes people hear the Bluegrass, and I think that is great. Traditional “bluegrassers” say “No, that’s Jazz,” and the “jazzers” say that’s something different, but it’s neat, and I like it.

A.M.P. – From reading two or three different stories from the local papers upon you coming here, I read that you have some history in Sacramento, CA, particularly Rancho Cordova, CA. What stands out the most about this city, and what stands out the most on what you were doing while living here?

Victor Wooten – Well I had a lot of friends here. I started elementary school here, going to Cordova Villa Elementary. I remember the school as a round school, and it looked like a spaceship, and I lived just three houses from the school. So I’d go there everyday and play on the playground, you know. Those were some good years for me, care free years, but at the same time we were playing gigs, my brothers and I, the five of us, were playing gigs, and I was five, six, and seven at the time, and that’s where my musical career really started. It was here.

A.M.P. – Can you read music?

Victor Wooten – Yes.

A.M.P. – From you playing bass for so long, and being good at it, I would think that you are pretty good at thinking notes in your head, and playing the notes, and presenting them on bass, the same way you thought them.

Victor Wooten – Pretty much, but it’s kinda like talking. Talking is, the words are a description of what you really feel, and sometimes the words are just not capturing it, it’s not enough. The feeling is the true meaning, and music is the same way. You have a feeling so you describe it with these musical notes, and I use the instrument, the bass, to describe what I am trying to say, just the way we would use words, and most of the time when things are going well, I am having a pretty good day at trying to describe what I’m feeling, but sometimes it’s hard. You hear the notes in your head, but just like talking, sometimes you just can’t get it in the way you want, and music to me in just another language, and I approach it the same way.

A.M.P. – How much of what you play on bass is actually composed and driven through emotion. As opposed to “jamming,” or thought out creations of notes, how often or how much of what you create yourself is brought out from a feeling, and which song, and on what albums have you done that with the least amount of alterations and changes?

Victor Wooten – Most of it, is pretty free. It is sort of like, again, I always relate music to talking, or language. When you are talking, unless you are reading verbatim what you want to say, you are improvising. You have an idea of what you want to say, but it’s because you know the language so well, and your vocabulary is so big, you can freely pick and choose the words you want, without having to think too much about it, and it is pure expression. So for me, music most of the time is the same way. Even though I may have songs, that have a structure, I am going express and describe that structure different every time I play it. So, probably, eighty to ninety percent of what I am playing is pure expression, you know, it’s going to be different each time. It’s rare that I will play something exactly the same as I played it the night before.

A.M.P. – That’s the same way for me when I play drums, I just cannot play things the same way everytime.

Victor Wooten – But it’s hard to. It’s really hard. I mean, if you were to ask me that question again, it would be hard to say it the same way.

A.M.P. – Oh my gosh! This is weird! That is the exact way I think, I mean, I literally cannot play things on drums the same way the second time. Different things motivate it.

Victor Wooten – Exactly.

A.M.P. – Different things will just drive me to do different things, and if I answer questions, if you ask me again they are going to be different because I would have thought of something else.

Victor Wooten – That is life, that’s life. There are no two snowflakes alike, there are no two people, there is nothing in the universe that is totally alike. There are things that appear similar, but nothing is exactly a like.

A.M.P. – You are the only other person that has said something so similar to what I’ve said before. That’s just strange.

Victor Wooten – That’s just truth, that’s just the way it is. You really can’t express yourself the same way as you did once before. That is why every experience, is a blessing, it’s a jewel, because it’s the only experience ever.

A.M.P. – You can’t get it back.

Victor Wooten – Right, so you know, you just enjoy, and love everybody, everything because it’s an individual, and that brings me to another thing. A lot of people always ask me “Well who is your favorite this, who is the best, or are you better then this guy.” Everybody is an individual, everybody is the best. There is not another you. Even if I took a new born baby, and let them crawl on the bass guitar, they are going to get individual sounds that I will never be able to produce, and if I can’t produce what a new born baby can produce on an instrument, who is better? You see, so really, everybody is just, who they are, and that’s just exactly the way I see it, so everybody is the best, in my eyes.

A.M.P. – What artists of today, like hip-hop, blues, metal, rock, etc. have you been paying attention to, and what do you still consisitantly listen to?

Victor Wooten – Lately I have been listening to some, it’s a stuff called throat singing, which is, these guys from a country called Tuva, or either Mongolia, and they do this throat thing where they, it’s like a ( he gives his example ) groaning thing and they start hitting these harmonics with their voices, and they can get two and three notes with their voice. I have been checking that out quite a bit, and I have been into some music from the country India where they are using Tambla drums, and different time signatures. I still love a lot of the rap music, pop music, and jazz. I consider myself to be pretty open when it comes to music. I just like listening to all of it.

A.M.P. – Ok good because I have something for you after the interview.

Victor Wooten – Good.

A.M.P. – Ok, I play drums, and I was happy to see that you the work you did with Carter Beauford on your newest album “Yin-Yang,” which is up for a Grammy, I believe…

Victor Wooten – Yeah.

A.M.P. – That’s great!

Victor Wooten – Thanks.

A.M.P. – …will be on video, and can you tell me what it was like to work with him, and when will that video be available?

Victor Wooten- The video is available right now, actually we have them tonight. Carter is amazing, I have known Carter for many years. After we left Sacramento we moved to Virginia, and Carter lived in Virginia.

A.M.P.- That’s pretty much where all of Dave Matthews is.

Victor Wooten – Exactly, a lot of the guys from Dave Matthews lived in Virginia. So we met Carter, quite soon after we moved to Virginia. A lot of the great musicians, you just kind of gravitate towards each other, people that are thinking a like, you know. So I have known him for a long time, but had not done a lot of playing together. So this was a treat, to get him in the studio, and to see how he works after all these years. He is great. He just came in and had to learn these songs, and they are not typical songs, and you know, it was fun, and I was glad that the people were there to film it, and actually make into a video, because he is an amazing drummer, he’s got his own voice. As soon as he sits behind the drums, you know it’s him.

A.M.P. – Who else is featured on this album?

Victor Wooten – All of the members of Bela Fleck and the Flecktones. A sax player named Kirk Whalum, he’s playing sax on a couple of songs. The guys who are my brothers, Regi on guitar, Joseph on keyboards, JD Blair on drums. I have another friend of mine, a lady named Jennie Hoeft. She plays drums on a song, and there’s people, different people helping out with the vocals, cause I’m not much of a singer at all, you know. So I have different people, friends of mine, lots of friends of mine. Some of my friends who have never been on a CD or have recorded before I get them up there, just for the fun and the experience. My daughter is actually doing vocals on two songs. On one song she was sixteen months old, on another song, she was thirteen months. On one of the songs, she was talking, and I just recorded her talking for a long time, and then I orchestrated the music to the pitches of her voice, to make it sound like she was singing. It’s pretty neat.

A.M.P. – How long did it take you from the first and oldest played note that is on the album, to the last played note, how long did it take you?

Victor Wooten – That album probably was done, I would guess three months. The band, the Flecktones, we were on tour at the time, for a lot of the time that we were working on the album. So we would come off the road and I would have maybe five or six days to get into the studio with everybody. Then we (Flecktones) would go out on the road and I would work on stuff while we were out on the road. So, I would say maybe three months. I don’t even really know because I don’t really think of it in that sense.

A.M.P. – I appreciate you taking the time to tell us what to look for on certain songs on the album. I have not heard the album yet, I have only heard the Real Audio parts of it on the site, but, how things came about, and what you were thinking while you were in the studio, I have not seen that much on any other artists site including whats on the album or anything like that. They just put the album out, and you only hear things like that while reading an interview like right now, but you actually have that on the site, like “look for this…,” and “look for that on…” So that it pretty cool.

Victor Wooten – Thank you. I just think about what I would want to see. I see records from Miles Davis, and all these artists. A good example is this. There was a CD just released by the Mahavishu Orchestra. Which is this fusion band with John McLaughlin on guitar, Billy Cobham on drums, Jan Hammer on keyboards, Jerry Goodman on Violins. It’s a great album, but this was an album that they had forgotten about, and someone just found it in the vault, you know, and so they have just released it. On the album they talked to the different musicians. Somebody interviews the musicians about what was going back then.

A.M.P. – Is this actually on the cd?

Victor Wooten – Not on the CD, but in the credits, and so it was so neat reading about what was going on at the time, you know. The band was kinda feuding a little bit, and all that kind of stuff, and the different musicians wanted more of their music on the albums, and more credit. Just all of this inside stuff. It makes you kind of feel like you are getting a little more than your money’s worth, like you are inside there, and I love that kind of stuff. So I want to put it out there for people and let them know what is going on. To me it makes the music more special when you have something to look for, something to go on. You know when you are listening to Kaila and you know she was only 13 months old, and you know how it was recorded.

A.M.P. – You appreciate it more.

Victor Wooten – Of course, I believe so.

A.M.P. – Before joining Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, how well was the rock band that you were in before that, how was that band doing?

Victor Wooten – I was doing a bunch of different things. Like I said I grew up mostly playing with my brothers as a five peice band in Sacramento, CA, and San Francisco, CA we would play all over, and in Virginia we did that more. Then I was doing a bunch of things. Working at an amusement park, playing in a country show, you know, at Busch Gardens in Virginia, and right before I came to Nashville, I was playing with this group, this guy who you used sing with the Platters, who was living in Virginia, and I was playing in his band going around and playing the 60’s, Platters music. So that’s what I was doing right before I actually came to Nashville, and it was doing well but I knew that was not going to be the thing I did for the rest of my life, but I enjoyed it.

A.M.P. – How has the tour been going?

Victor Wooten – The tour is great. It’s been fun. We never know when coming out to the West Coast, especially on my own because for whatever reason it is always a little harder out on the West Coast. You never know who is going to show up, but we have been having a lot of sell outs, and big crowds, and we’re just having fun.

A.M.P. – Where has your best show been so far, on this tour?

Victor Wooten – On this tour… Wow… I don’t know. The first night we did was good. It was a long day because we had some new equipment and we spent all day trying to get it to work right, but it was in Boulder Colarado, at the Fox Theatre, and we always have a great time there. There was just a ton of people, and it’s a big venue, and it was just nice starting up again, and just getting to play, after that long bus ride from Nashville Tennessee.

A.M.P. – I noticed that when people get a certain level of touring experience from playing so many shows through the years, they really never mention bad shows when asked about them, they just say they love playing to however amount of people are there, but, have you had a bad show on this tour?

Victor Wooten – I would not say that I have had a bad show. I have had nights where I did not think I played that well, there are nights where I feel better, but a lot of time it’s really hard to tell because sometimes, like usually we judge our nights by how we felt, and sometimes you go back and listen to the tapes and you realize, wow, that sounded pretty good, you know, no matter how bad I felt. The opposite can be true too. Last nights show, we were in Tahoe, Lake Tahoe, a small place, and my bass to me didn’t sound that good, and when it’s not sounding that great through my rig, I’m having a hard time playing. It’s hard to just let it go and just play, which is what we try to do anyway, and Regi was saying that his guitar wasn’t sounding right, but, Kurt, our soundman, and Anthony who is doing our monitors, who aren’t really part of the show, they can sit back and just watch it, they said it was the best show so far. So it’s like wow, you just never know. The thing is to just play through your feelings you know, and if you are hating it, just play through, and just try to have a good time and just do what you do.

A.M.P. – Where do you see the love, appreciation, and importance of music among the future people headed? Not where you want it to be, or think it should be, but where do you see it going from the way you see it going now?

Victor Wooten – Well to me, it seems like the focus is being put back on music. I guess originality I guess is a good word, but not really people who are out just to be original, but it seems like people are just being themselves a little bit more, like bands like the Dave Matthews band. It’s amazing to me that they are as successful as they are, because they are not really fitting a successful formula, you know. They don’t have the hearthrob who is the good dancer or takes their clothes off or whatever, and when you go and see them play they don’t have a bunch of dancers up there or they are not playing to tracks, they are just up there like a bar band, but they are amazing musicians. They are playing music in odd time signatures with lots of long solos and all of this stuff that is not suppose to sell, but they are the biggest band going right now, and to me, that’s really amazing that it’s really getting back to that, and people are enjoying it, and even more than that, the people who own the business, the record labels, and things like that, they are starting to recognize that stuff can work. It doesn’t have to be a three and a half minute song with no solos. The lead singer doesn’t have to have orange hair, you know, that type of thing. It can just be good music, and people will listen to it and love it. So it seems like it is headed in a good direction.

A.M.P. – alright, so you got four minutes?

Victor Wooten – Sure, yeah.

Right now, Victor is walking with me to my car, so we can expose him to some new tunes and hear his thoughts. I played “Year One” by Candiria, off of their Beyong Reasonable Doubt album. I also played some Dillinger Escape Plan songs, but that was after the interview. Here is what Victor had to say.

A.M.P. – You just heard Candiria, what do you think?

Victor Wooten – It’s cool, it’s cool. It’s not the type of music that I go out and buy, but I enjoy listening to it whenever I get a chance because, a lot of people would probably consider that, not to be, I don’t even know what the word is…Well I’ll just say what it is. It takes musicianship to really be able to pull that kind of stuff off because they are changing time signatures, the meters are changing, I mean all kinds of stuff is going on, and they are doing it together. So there is a lot of musicianship going on there, even though some people, other musicians that are listening to it unless they are familiar with that type of music they may not recognize it as being good musicianship, but to me it DEFINATELY is. I could not understand the lyrics, but I like the style that it was sung in. It’s sort of like that throat singing I was talking about, you know, again it’s not the classical way that we are used to hearing, but I like it. I like the fact that they are just doing whatever it is that they do. It seems like they are doing what they want to do, not what the market or whatever is telling them to do, and I like anybody that is doing that.

A.M.P. – I would like to thank you for, letting me get a little bit of your time to ask you these questions, and it is an honor to have you in my car.

Victor Wooten – Hehe, sure!

A.M.P. – Because I never thought that this would happen, but THANK YOU VERY MUCH!

Victor Wooten – You are welcome.

After Victor’s amazing almost three hour long set, I got to thank him again after the show, and he thanked me for turning him on to the music I played for him. If you have the chance, check him out. jAy

Incubus Interview 98-99-ish.

This interview was around 99, or late 98. I am not too sure. This was behind the Colonial Theater, in Oak Park. Anyone from Sac should know about Oak Park. This venue back then was having some sick shows. The last one I saw there was The Red Chord, like two years ago, and before that was Killswitch Engage. Soulfly has played there, Neurosis, Papa Roach, Ghostface Killah a month ago, really, a lot of bands. The next album they recorded was Make Yourself. Around this time, Papa Roach was getting a lot of attention from labels, and went to LA for some meetings, and to check out NRG where they recorded their demo. I was out with them, and in the studio was Incubus recording that album. I believe Jurassic 5 was in the other studio there as well. Well here ya go.

AMP: Alright, new album, soon, do you have a date when you are going into the studio?

Jose: Umm, mid-April

AMP: How many songs do you have finished now?

Jose: Completely, well none completely finished, but we have done a little bit of recording, like some demos, we did five songs with vocals, and then there is one we haven’t done vocals for yet, and then we got a few more that are pretty much worked out, as far as the music goes. We really have not worked the vocals into them yet. We still got about two and a half weeks to write, so we got some time.

AMP: You guys toured with Black Sabbath a bit, how did the crowd like you?

Jose: I was scared, at first, I thought we were gonna get a lot of things thrown at us, but we had snipers on stage. (he’s kidding), but it was cool. It wasn’t really, our crowd, but we don’t, discriminate (hehe). We were received pretty well, all of us were kind of worried about that, but we really didn’t have single show where we had a bad response. It was awesome to watch Black Sabbath every night, that was amazing.

AMP: Ok, well Mike, last time you guys were here, you played a Sitar (an electric guitar, sounds kind of Middle Eastern), will we be hearing more of that on the next album?

Mike and Jose: YES

AMP: In S.C.I.E.N.C.E we heard tons of different styles on that whole album, in which I heard that you got the electronic, Mr. Bungle type of stuff when you were on tour with KoRn and the Urge over in Europe? Is there any other style that will definitely have an influence on this next album?

Mike: Well most of the stuff that we have been working on, is not as all over the place like S.C.I.E.N.C.E. was, like Jose said, it’s been 2 and a half years since we wrote that album. Two and a half years is a long time to evolve, so I think a lot of the newer stuff just sounds a lot more focused, it is much better arranged, and parts are better put together. There is going to be a lot of ambiance on this record, like maybe not so much going on all the time, a little more room to breathe, we are going to definitely have really really cool DJ parts, and those type of things. It’s a definite leap from S.C.I.E.N.C.E. It will be obvious.

AMP: Umm, what do you think of Jordan Knight and Joey McEntyre’s musical comebacks?

Mike and Jose: Hello?

AMP: The New Kids!!!

Jose: I think it’s insane!

Mike: Yeah, its been a huge influence on us, and we tend to rip them off thouroughly.

Jose: We would like to tour with them soon.

AMP: SO what have you been listening in your free time?

Mike: A lot of stuff Bjork, as always.

Jose: I have been listening to a lot of, I got some new Radiohead CD’s, yeah I’ve just discovered them myself, I think they are insane, um, still some drum & bass stuff, I just got this new CD “FOR a HERO,” it’s kinda like live drum & bass, it has a whole lot of other players that play on the track, like strings and horns, and flutes, it’s just insane.

AMP: Anything new happen to you guys, as a band, personal, anything?

Jose: Just the opportunity to write new songs, you know, which is pretty rare. We have been playing those same songs for 2 and a half year now, and it’s like really refreshing to be off the road and be able to just concentrate on writing music. When we started rehersing for these shows playing our old song I realized that I was sick of it.

AMP: Thats a real important revelation.

Mike: Yeah, we love our old stuff, but it is time to move on.

AMP: Last question, you guys ever done any covers?

Jose: We have not yet, we might in the future.

Mike: We have done fragments, but have never made it through a whole song.

Jose: I don’t know, it’s a tricky thing. We don’t want to build our integrity off of someone else’s music, but, you never know.

AMP: Alright, thank you very much.

Jose: Welcome!

Dredg Interview 99

This is a Dredg interview from 1999, from Bo Jangles in Sacramento, CA, a club that doesnt exist anymore.

AMP- So how much longer until Dredg.com is up?

Dredg- We just talked to the guy yesterday, we paid him the money..well we paid him half….We’ll see it soon, hopefully in the next 2 weeks…From there it will be updated a lot because we are going to put it up and see how it goes… We have not been able to see it altogether…..

Dredg FACT- Out of the 4 of them, two go to University of Santa Clara, one attends an art school, and another attends San Diego State.

AMP- How did this album come about?

Dredg- A lot of Acid (Kidding)……..

AMP- {After leading me on to a couple of other off-the-wall explanations on how the album came about(one being Willy Wonka), they eventually tell me, that a couple of them had recently spent time traveling around the world and a lot of this album deals with most of their personal experiences while traveling.}

Dredg- …..We wanted to do a story to it, to put a little extra, whatever in there, so we just started talking about what we wanted everything to be about.

AMP- Are the words in the booklet, the lyrics?

Dredg- Yeah, you got to find them, they are kind of hidden in there. If you know the whole story, and you know the whole album, you’ll know all the lyrics.

AMP- You guys don’t have a normal or typical sound. I tried describing your sound to my friend at work, and I could not do it. What are the major influences in your music?

Dredg- Probably like, landscapes, and stuff like that.

AMP- A lot of your songs are instrumental, so I guess in a way you could sort of visualize scenery. How long did it take you to finish the album?

Dredg- It was all over a period of time. It was good because we could go in over a weekend and mix, and get a break, and then go in again and record some more. It was probably a full year until it came out.

AMP- What does HDCD do? (On Dredg’s album, they used the HDCD program to record)

Dredg- (Engineer Travis Crenshaw steps in and explains it)- It’s a clarity thing. There are 3-4 different formats you can use, and at this particular mastering studio, Rocket Lab, they offered either HDCD, or not HDCD. HDCD is a lot clearer, a lot more punchier sounding, it works better for rock bands in general. It has a heavier edge to it, it could only benefit the CD, and then you are required to put the label “HDCD” somewhere on your CD.

AMP- (I then go into how I noticed a bigger and in-depth sound on the album, thinking it was the HDCD…….The band then laughed at me, told me that it was not HDCD, but the studio, then we went to the next question. Explain some of the guests on the album, and what they contributed….

Dredg- Ooh, Shannon Harris of Spike 1000 (Track 5), Gus Farwell (Track 6), he does the opera…All of it was pretty much improv.

AMP- Were there any effects on his voice?

Dredg- No, it was just two mics, stereo mics, and that room. (A reverb room that the band liked at the studio.) Oh yeah, and Gianna the cell player…..beautiful Italian girl…..She also did some stuff on the album.

AMP- {The band then goes into explaining what they all went through to make Gianna feel comfortable in the studio, and how Gianna made them feel, while in the studio for 6 days……(smirk).} Where are you guys from?

Dredg- Los Gatos, CA

AMP- How long have you been Dredg?

Dredg- We have been developing for the last 5 years.

AMP- Are you the original members?

Dredg- Yeah.. The old shit, is like the old old shit, we probably have been playing as a band for about 8 years.

AMP- From your 3-song demo, to your album now, has the sound from the two changed, or is this your overall style from the beginning? I mean, from your 3-song demo and the album now has about the same vibe. So I mean before you guys did the first one, were you guys different?

Dredg- Yeah, we were always changing…It’s cool you said that. I always thought the 3-song was a lot different than the new one, but it hints to this one.

AMP- {About this time, a plane went over us, and whatever was said, really was not heard…} I have only seen you twice, at Big Shots, and tonight..What are some of the other bands you have enjoyed sharing the stage with?

Dredg- Far, definitely Far. Papa Roach, Spike 1000. Queens of the Stone Age…

GO SEE DREDG—-www.dredg.com