Trevor Phipps - Unearth

April 23, 2004

How's the tour coming along?

The tour's great. It's a different tour for us. We're having a good time and playing in front of a lot of new people. That's the whole reason we took this tour. It's going well.

Tell me about the band. You guys are from Massachusetts.

We're from the Boston area. Just north of Boston. We're a metal hardcore band influenced by bands like Crowbar, At The Gates, In Flames, Iron Maiden, Earth Crisis, and stuff like that.

That's a wide variety.

Yeah, I think that's why we've done so well. We grew up listening to metal and hardcore and put all our influences into one and came out with some good music.

You guys have done some extensive touring through the States, Canada, and Europe with some acts. Are there any particular bands that were really cool to open for?

Every tour we've done has been a great tour. Last year we opened for In Flames and that was definitely a goal that had been set for us years ago to tour with them. Also had fun touring with bands like Poison The Well, Shadows Fall, Killswitch Engage, Lamb Of God, and Soilwork. Ton of tours with them. Zao was a great tour. Touring with Zao was amazing. We've pretty much toured nonstop for about three years and we just have fun doing it. This is the life that we like.

Having toured the States, Canada, and Europe, are there some countries you haven't toured yet that you'd like to?

Yeah, it's a huge goal for us to get to Japan. We always wanted to tour in Japan and Australia as well. Eventually I'd like to go over to Mexico and South America. This band will go wherever will have us. If it's worth it for us to go to South Africa, we'll go.

I've been hearing from a lot of bands that Korea and Vietnam are interested in metal.

That'd be awesome. That's a cool thing. If a place likes rock and roll or metal or whatever, we'll go.

You are on the MTV2 Headbangers Ball tour. How did you get hooked up with that?

Yeah, we were on the first one in November and now we're on the second one right now. It's an honor to be on both of those tours. The first tour, a lot of that had to do with the other three bands. Killswitch Engage, Lamb Of God, and Shadows Fall. They're just bands that we've grown up with and that are friends of ours. Plus our manager is also really involved in the metal and hardcore world so he helped us on as well and our booking agent as well. It's the same thing for this tour. Hatebreed are friends of ours and they helped us get on and then management and booking agents.

You're currently working on your new album.

Yeah, we've already recorded the new record. It'll be out June 29th on Metal Blade. It's called The Oncoming Storm. It's the best thing we've ever done by far. The metal parts are more metal, the breakdowns are heavier, and there are more dynamics in the vocals. Not really singing more at all. I have more range in my screaming voice than other voices I use. It's just the best record we've done by far.

Who writes most of the lyrics and what inspires you as you write?

That's me. I do all the lyrical writing. I use a lot of personal beliefs and political standings in my lyrics. I'm trying to open people's eyes to the wrongdoing that a lot of the world does to our planet and to each other.

That isn't more obvious than today.

Yeah, that's what spurred it. I've always written my lyrics on what's been going through my mind all the time with every record I've done. Ever since I was in high school when I was in bands. The past couple of years I've just really opened my eyes to what's going on around and in the world that's really sickening me. So I felt I had to write about it.

I think it's scary.

Yeah, it definitely is scary the world that we live in. Some changes have to be made if we're going to be here any longer. That's why I called it The Oncoming Storm. If we don't change then we're fucked.

We're fucked for sure. The guy who produced your album is Adam from Killswitch Engage.

Yeah, Adam D. He's a genius. This is our third record we've worked with him on and he's a friend of ours. It's almost like he's an extra member of the band and it's just awesome to work with him. He's great.

Are you building up your fanbase wherever you go?

Yeah, we've been a band for five and a half years. We've done pretty much nonstop touring for three and we have a great following all across the U.S., Canada, and in Europe. We took this tour to play for our new people but we'll never stop playing the underground hardcore venues like tonight we're actually headlining a show because the tour's playing a big rock show, The Headbanger's Ball tour. That's not really our scene, the big arena rock gigs, because we're not an arena rock band so we decided to do a headlining show in a smaller club. We'll always play to those fans of ours that we played for, for years but we definitely have to branch out and play in front of the Ozzfest crowd too if we want to continue doing this much longer. We're all getting up there in age. We're all between 24 and 27. If I'm 30 playing and not making enough to pay my apartment bills then that'll be a bummer.

You'll be living in a cardboard condominium under a bridge.

Yeah. We all realize that this music isn't something that you're likely to make a lot of money off of. If I can pay my bills than I'll be totally stoked. I'm doing something I love and that's worth more than money is but I do need a little bit of money to pay my expenses when I'm home.

Are you guys pretty stoked about being in Ozzfest?

Yeah, it's going to be an awesome time. All the bands are friends of ours on the second stage. The bands we've toured with before, most of them. The main stage bands like Priest, Slayer, Superjoint, Ozzy, Zakk Wylde. It's going to be an awesome time. One summer of fun.

What's in your immediate future?

Playing a show tonight. After this tour, we're doing all sorts of stuff. We're going to Canada. We're going to Ozzfest. Then doing hopefully a really good package tour in the fall. I think just touring is basically in our immediate future. That's basically all it is. Tour and put out the record and hope people receive it well and just play, play, play. Nothing really else to it. Just want to play everywhere we can play.

You guys are signed to Metal Blade Records.

Yeah, we just signed to Metal Blade recently. This is our Metal Blade debut. We were on Eulogy Recordings before that. They're a label out of Florida. We actually are in Florida tonight. It's our first Metal Blade CD.

Do you feel you'll do better with a bigger label?

Yeah, we did well on Eulogy Recordings and underground because that label's more of an underground whereas Metal Blade is still an independent label but they definitely have better distribution and that's the whole reason why we signed to Metal Blade. They have much better distribution and better promotion.

More people are familiar with Metal Blade.

Totally. A huge bummer for us. For the past two years we've been on some really big tours and really just killed ourselves on the road and then we get emails all the time from kids bummed out because they can't find our CDs in stores. That is the number one biggest reason why we wanted to go to a bigger label. If we're out there doing the work, we expect our CDs to be in stores and a lot of times they aren't.

Any other thoughts or comments?

Thanks for the interview and check out the record June 29th.

Unearth