Shane Frisby - Cannae

September 16, 2005

Tell me how your band got together.

The band formed in 1999. I actually joined the band probably a year or a year and a half ago and it's mainly the two members that are still in the band now are Adam our singer and Steve our guitarist. The rest of us are all new guys especially with this album. It's our first album with the band. They started in Alton, Massachusetts which is right outside of Boston. They came from other hardcore and metal bands and decided one day they wanted to start a crazy metal band that likes to drink. That's basically the story on that show. I think the original guys know it a little bit better than me but from what I reckon that's about good enough.

I read up on the Battle of Cannae and I thought that was an interesting way to come up with a band name.

Yeah, I like it. It's definitely original. It's not one of those "we need three words" bands. That's just getting ridiculous. It doesn't involve blood and leaves and wells and all that shit. We want to be something original. We don't wear our girlfriends' pants and white belts and all that shit. We're just crappy metalheads who like to drink and just play metal in general so it seems fitting.

Not to mention it also tells me that you guys are literate and you actually know how to read and research shit.

Honestly, I think the original drummer's roommate saw it on the History Channel.

See, someone was watching the History Channel.

That is true. I knew about the Battle of Cannae. I did a lot of ancient history and archaeology stuff when I was in college. That was before I even knew the band. They had already named it and had an album out.

A college graduate metalhead. Damn.

There have been a couple of us in this band that are college graduates. I don't know where we took this wrong turn. We got bit by the music bug and instead of pursuing something with my degree, I'm broke. I know me, the drummer, and I think our guitarist just fucking graduated from college. Yeah, I guess we're smarter than the average metal band.

This is a good thing and you're adventurous too.

Definitely. I figure I'm young. I might as well go see as much as I can now before I have to actually start a real life.

Exactly. There are all sorts of countries to travel to and stuff to be seen and experienced.

Yeah, and plenty of crowds to just kick the shit out of.

That's right and a lot of alcohol to drink.

Yes. Oh God, we're ready for that.

Aren't we all? What got you started on playing the bass?

Probably because my little sausage fingers weren't good enough for guitar and I couldn't scream for more than a half an hour without losing my voice. I figured the bass sounded good. I figured at least the bass player has to get laid at some point so I might as well do something in a band.

Exactly and they do. They do get laid.

They do. It's quite amazing. I think originally it's something that I've always actually wanted to play is the bass. I don't know why but even when I was really young, like let's say in first grade, I used to draw pictures of myself with long hair and tattoos, smoking cigarettes, and playing the bass. If I had just put a beer in my hand, that would have been a perfect picture of who I am right now.

At least you foresaw this at a young age.

Yeah, it's not a surprise to anybody. I was trying to warn them at age seven.

You've been in the band now for about a year I think you said.

Probably a little longer than a year. Probably 13 or 14 months but I actually worked with the band for six months beforehand. I was actually Cannae's tour manager on their first really big tours so I did all the business crap on the road. I had to whup up promoters for money and then their bassist left and I was about to leave the band too because I was sick of not doing music and here I am now.

Does this mean that you serve a dual purpose now?

I do. I do two jobs for the price of none.

I think that worked out really well then.

It did. Part of what I went to school for is music business so I started out as soon as I got out of school recording in studios and working at labels. Then one day I went to go see The Red Chord and a couple of other bands playing. Cannae was playing and I sat at the bar with them and we didn't leave until they shut the bar down. They said no one ever did that with them before and do I want to go on the road. The next day I hopped in the van for six months. The rest I get to say is history right now.

You guys came out with a new album called Gold Becomes Sacrifice. Is this the third studio album?

This is yes. The first one was Troubleshooting Death which originally came out on East Coast Empire and then that got shut down. Brutal Records put it out again and then the second album was called Horror which that was the first one for Prosthetic and this is the third for us and second for Prosthetic.

Those people are awesome.

Yeah, they've been great so far. I really don't have that many complaints.

Tell me a little about Gold Becomes Sacrifice.

I think we originally came up with the idea because we were just getting fed up with not just what was happening in our own band but what was happening for a lot of people we knew and just the whole music scene in general. A lot of people pretty much put their life on the line especially financially to do music and they'll do so much and get nothing in return. That's why we decided to call it Gold Becomes Sacrifice. It's just our little thing saying you put so much into something and it means so much and then you just get on shit on in the end. It just seemed like a fitting title for us. Just our we don't really care album. We're going to put out the heaviest best album we can and that's it. We're not going to do our desperate for girls moments that every band does now. We're not going to do singing. We're not going to do all this crap and cater to people. We just wanted to put out a solid metal album.

You may be desperate for women but you will not let that be known.

Not necessarily. I'm saying it more in the aspect that there are so many good bands out there that have maybe five years ago put out what I think were great metal albums and you listen to their new albums now that just come out and it's like why the three part vocal harmonies on this? Why do you have mascara on right now? I don't understand why people feel the need to just jump on a bandwagon and run with it. It's getting a little ridiculous and hopefully that whole scene will just eat itself at some point.

I guess everyone has to do something a little bit different. I come from the old days of big hair and guys fixing themselves up and looking hot. That's something I miss because guys don't really do that so much anymore but everybody has to have their gimmick.

Yeah, I'm not saying that's a bad thing. It's just that so many bands are just following each other right now where those bands back then knew what they were doing. They made their first album sound like their last album and it's not this band that will put out a great thrash album. Then five years later be putting out an album with acoustic parts and tons of clean singing. Just get your CD at Hot Topic. It's a little disheartening when you see bands just starting to cater to the masses to sell 25,000 more copies.

Sometimes when you put out a really terrific album, a lot of times it's hard to measure up to that the next time around I guess.

That is very true. That does happen a lot with bands. There are plenty of bands who have crashed out of the gates and completely just blown their wad the first album where then nothing they ever do is going to compare to that one album. Hopefully that doesn't happen.

Hopefully not. On your new CD, who basically did a lot of the writing for it?

The writing was pretty much our guitarist Steve and a lot of it was our drummer Colin. He's been playing guitar longer than he's been playing drums so he wrote a lot of stuff. There's actually a couple of songs in there that he just completely wrote himself. He's a talented little guy.

I think that's cool. That reminds me of a band I saw a couple of nights ago where everybody could play each other's instruments. All three guys were proficient on bass, guitar, and drums.

That's good. I definitely can't do that. I'm in no way ambidextrous. If I sit behind the drums, I don't know what I'm doing.

That was something I hadn't seen in a while.

It's refreshing to go to shows and see bands that aren't signed that people don't even know about. At least there are people still out there trying to be original and creative.

Tell me about some of the songs on the CD that you really like.

That's kind of a tough one for me to answer. I'd say in six months I could give you an honest answer on what I like and don't like. Right now I'm really happy with the album. I've listened to it probably 1,000 times. There's nothing on it that I cringe and go "what the fuck were we doing? Why did we do that?"

I would hope not.

Yeah, I'm happy with it. No songs in general but the ones that are a little faster. I'm really into grind and that style of music so I like the songs with the blast beats and I like the songs that just continually punch you in the face and just keep punching you in the face and it doesn't stop until the last note's played. A song like "Indemnity". That sums it up or "Mechanic Moving Backwards". It just keeps going. It kicks and kicks and kicks.

If someone were to pick up the album and listen to it for the first time and this is their introduction to your band, what three songs do you think represent your band the best?

I think something like "Rat, Snakes, And Thieves". The reason we put it on first is it sums up if you don't like that song, you're not going to like the album. It's got all the screaming, it's got breakdowns, it has blast beats, and it has solos. That's basically what I tell people. If you listen to the first song and you don't like it, just take it out because you're not going to like the rest of the songs. I'm not saying that all the songs are so similar but it's all heavy. It's all screaming. You're going to hear breakdowns, you're going to hear blast beats, and you're going to hear solos. Instead of the three I'd just say that. I'd say if you don't like "Rats, Snakes, And Thieves" then you're not going to like the album. That's why we had that as the single and put that on MySpace.com and put that out there first.

How long did it take you guys to do the record?

Writing probably took I'd say four months but we don't all live together. It wasn't four months straight. It was pretty much on the weekends. I have my own studio. I did all the pre-production so basically everyone would come down Friday night and stay until Sunday night and we'd just get drunk. I'd have everything miced so if anybody had an idea, they'd go over and I'd hit record and record it. Then we'd just splice a lot of stuff together and made the best songs that we could. That was probably about four months. Going down to Audio Hammer to record with Jason Suca I'd say was about four weeks and that was down in Sandford, Florida which was nice. We went down there when we had snow. We actually got the most snow in recorded history last winter. Where I live, we had about 170 inches of snow so it would have just buried us. When I was gone for five weeks, we got about 100 inches of snow in five weeks. We'd get about 18 inches a day for God knows how long. It was nice. I'd call home, talk to my friends and family, and say I'm sitting by the pool at Jason's house and we're in the studio recording. I've got a beer in my hand and it's 85 degrees out.

Your friends and family would be swearing at you.

Yes, they'd be like "we've been stuck in the house for a week now and it's freezing in here." I'm like "well, I'm going in the pool. I'll call you guys back in 45 minutes." It wasn't good. I actually ended up calling more people just because I knew it was snowing and I'd get to rub it in their faces a little bit. Just to be a jerk.

I'm sure they were laying in wait for you when you came back home.

Yeah, I think people are still saving me snowballs in their freezers right now.

I don't blame them. You were evil.

I don't either. Hey, they'll get me back. They always do.

You guys have been touring in support of the album.

Yeah, we played in Dallas about six weeks ago at the Red Blood Club. We were supposed to play down the street at some club and it got switched at the last minute and it was a pretty piss poor show but the whole tour wasn't that great so I wasn't too surprised. We had a lot of people come to the show after we played because they ended up putting on the show as early as possible so we had 50 kids come out all wearing Cannae stuff and asked what we had going on. I told them I'm packing my stuff up in the trailer because we're already done. We all went bar hopping with them.

Hey, that worked out.

Yeah, it was a good time. They didn't get to see a show. Well, they got to see a show later.

That was probably a good encore.

Yeah, it definitely was. That's usually how we do it. We tell them "we're going across the street fellas. Anybody that wants to meet us there, we're just going to pack up and go over."

Do you guys have any more tours set up?

Right now we have some stuff in the works. We're going to be going out in mid-October with a couple of different Century Media bands like Losa and Mantis. I'm not sure who else right now. We go out for the first half of that Prosthetic tour with All That Remains, The Esoteric, and Reflux and that ends in New Mexico. We're going to do about two weeks on our own and just come back up. That'll put us back here a day or two before Christmas. Then hang out until the New Year and then we're going to go out for as many months as we can straight.

What all states do you plan to hit?

We're going to hit as many as possible and we're definitely hitting Texas. After New Mexico, we'll probably go through Texas and I'd like to come to Dallas. When we go on our own I book everything so if I say we're going to do Dallas then yeah, we'll do Dallas. The last couple of tours we've done on our own have been equal or better than the tours we've been on which is nice. I'm looking forward to getting back out just in general. After about 72 hours of being at home, I wake up and I'm not in a random place right now. I don't like that. I like that two minutes of confusion when I wake up and I'm like "where the hell am I? Why am I on the floor? Oh, I'm in Illinois." I'm looking forward to getting out as long as possible.

I don't blame you. That must be pretty exciting to be out on the road all the time.

It really is.

I was interviewing a band a while back and they told me some of their crazy experiences of accidentally running people over and shit.

Oh, that's no good. I hope that never happens. We have crazy stories but it's no near death experiences. After a night of partying in Nebraska, I thought I saw a skyscraper in a cornfield. You can put that however you like but I still get shit for that. Pretty much every band we go out with always challenges us to a drinking contest which nobody has won yet. We went out with Scars Of Tomorrow and their drummer challenged us to a drinking contest so we basically force fed him whiskey while we were drinking. We get a knock on our hotel room door at about four in the morning and their vocalist Mike comes in. He's like "have you seen Chris?" We said no, why? He's like "well, I went into the bathroom to see if he was in there and there was a pile of his clothes on the floor and they're covered in shit. He's somewhere in the hotel naked, drunk, and covered in shit." He left and we dead bolted the door and just went back to sleep. I guess he had crawled into the van and wrapped himself in someone's sleeping bag. He had to go buy a new sleeping bag the next day too. That's two stories there. There's been some ridiculous ones. Our guitarist Steve stabbed me when we were in Texas about a year ago. He asked me for a beer and I bent over and he stabbed me in the leg. Then him and I went and just shot gunned beers in the bathtub and didn't even care. It didn't worry me at all. There are so many stories. That's just a sampling. When we come to Dallas, we'll just go out afterwards and we'll just tell you story after story. We've entertained people for hours and hours. I'm going to have to write a book.

That would be a cool thing to do and it would probably be quite profitable too.

Yeah, I've been thinking about doing that for a long time. A lot of people I know just live vicariously through me because they have kids and they have actual good steady jobs so I come home and I'm like "guess what I did?" I went to the Rainbow Room with Lemmy and we drank whiskey, like how ridiculous is that? We went there and drank with him and the guys from Fear Factory and fucking Cypress Hill. The guys from Mr. Show came out to our show and Kelly Osbourne and it's just weird. Tom Morello from Rage Against The Machine. California is surreal to me. It doesn't make sense to me when I'm out there.

Yeah, that place is odd. I went down to L.A. for one of my birthdays and I was walking down the street and there was this dude in a yellow dress and heels. I looked at my friend and said "hey, check out the guy in the yellow dress." She told me you get used to seeing things like that and it doesn't phase you anymore.

Yeah, it's a different place out there.

When I was down in New Orleans before it became Lake Orleans, I saw a guy in a really nice gold lame shorts outfit with torn fishnet stockings and heels. I looked at my parents and said "what the hell was that?"

What is that? I don't know. Just stay away from him. Just don't touch it or look at it.

They bust out laughing.

That's great. We're on tour probably at least half a year. Usually more. This year we've got about 10 months of touring to do. You just see so much random stuff out there. Every day is an adventure. It's pretty much like male summer camp. Especially when you go on the road with other bands and we've always become friends with every band we've been on the road with. The last month tour that we did, there were five bands so there was about 35 of us on the road. It would be just us getting absolutely crazy. All day would be just a big party and we'd be like oh crap, we've got to play in a half an hour. We should probably get up there and play.

Massachusetts has become a hotbed for really good heavy acts.

Yeah, it's ridiculous out here.

It seemed like the music scene would be located in one area. For a long time it was Los Angeles. Then it became Nashville.

The Bay area and then the Florida scene.

Now it seems like it's Massachusetts.

Yeah, Massachusetts has been going strong for I'd say almost 15 years now. They've been putting out great hardcore bands beginning in the early '90s. You had Overcast and tons of bands like 40 Days Rain and then that just kept evolving. Then came Converge and then came Cave In and then Bane came out. Then you have bands now like The Red Chord and Killswitch Engage and Shadows Fall. Unearth. Just really big bands that are just flying out of here. It's good and hopefully we can be in that category soon.

I've had the pleasure of seeing a lot of those bands.

Yeah, they're all great guys and we're friends with just about every Massachusetts band. We've all been in smaller bands and played together when we were in high school and then we're here now. We're all at different levels but we're all way above where we thought we were going to be way back in those days.

It must be pretty cool. You feel a sense of accomplishment.

Yeah, definitely. I've been playing music since I was probably 12. It wasn't a quick thing and I joined a band that was already signed too. That worked out in my favor but that was my plan to go on the road with Cannae in the first place. Go around the country and find a band that I liked that needed a bassist and move. Go play. I end up finding the one in my back yard. It's even better that way.

Any other thoughts or comments?

I think we covered all the bases.

I look forward to you guys coming to Dallas to ply me with stories and beer.

Cannae