Keith Reber - A Dozen Furies

September 22, 2005

Tell me a little about A Dozen Furies.

The band is awesome. This is something that we've been building forever. Mark and I pretty much started a small portion of this band back in '94 when we met in high school and ever since then members have changed. I've left the band. Mark had left the band for a while. Then everybody went off and did their own thing once we got a little bit older. I think that fate brought us all back together and it's paid off.

What drove everyone to run off from the band?

We started it when we were 14. So girlfriends and jobs. We'd have shows on Friday night but not all of us could work during the day because we had school. Some of us had to work so it conflicted with everything. We didn't really know that we wanted to carry it on into a career but at that time, we had been doing it for three or four years and nothing had happened. Everybody was getting frustrated so somebody would leave and maybe join another band or pick their job and girlfriend over the band. Nothing could hold us away for that long so we all decided to get back together and now that we're all more mature and have our goals set on what we want, we all have the same goals. It's worked way better than it did back then.

Money and chicks damn it. You guys were on Ozzfest and I saw your show here in Dallas. I thought you guys were awesome so had did you get selected for Ozzfest?

That was the Battle for Ozzfest. We heard about the reality show through the Internet and we figured why not. We had one tour booked of maybe 10 shows. We just all made a band decision that we wanted to go out there and do the show. We had our problems going out there with transmissions breaking down and whatnot but we finally made it out there and tried out. We weren't really sure what it was going to be about but we figured it was going to be a reality show and if you win, you get to play Ozzfest. We figured we had a good shot at it and it ended up that they thought we did.

How did you guys feel when you won that?

It was amazing. Standing there in front of Ozzy and Sharon. Me personally, I'm a huge Ozzy fan. I always have been. Standing in front of him and actually getting to play in front of him and Sharon because they were maybe 10 feet away from us so it was amazing. My family was there. My dad is also a huge Ozzy fan so just having my dad there and Ozzy there was a dream come true. Then when they announced the winners of the show, it was surreal. It was just unbelievable and couldn't have asked for anything more.

Your dad is really supportive of you.

Very, very. He was the one that got me into music. I wanted to play guitar because everybody else played guitar and I thought it was so cool. My dad told me to play drums because nobody played drums and so I got into that. He taught me pretty much all I know so I played drums all my life until once A Dozen Furies got together. They practiced at my house when they first started. I was in another band and I saw what they were doing and when you have four other guys that are just really headstrong and know what they want. I was in a local band that just wasn't really doing anything and I saw how much drive everyone had and I wanted to be a part of it so I was the final member of the band. I switched over from drums to play bass and picked it up. It's a great switch. At first I was kind of scared about switching my main instrument but it's been a blessing. I've gotten to do exactly what I've always wanted to do and this is just the beginning.

The bass is a really interesting instrument though.

I love it. I get to be up front now. It's a change from being in the back and nobody really gets to see you. I get to sing. I've always wanted to sing and so now with the music that we write I'm able to sing with Bucky and Bucky just has a phenomenal voice. Him and I work so well together so this is pretty much all I could ask for in a band.

I think that is just awesome that things are working out so well for you guys. You put something out called Awake And Lifeless which I guess is three songs from a full length album that you guys are going to have out.

Yeah, actually the album came out last Tuesday on September 13th so the album has been out for a week. Awake And Lifeless, the three song EP that we did, was strictly for Ozzfest. We needed something to sell and we felt that putting our album out then was a little premature. We wanted to use the crowds at Ozzfest, getting out there telling people that we have an album coming out, but also get to play in front of them and show them what we do. Not a lot of people have heard about us. There's a lot of people that watch the show but there's also a lot of people that won't buy our album because of the show. There's a lot of people that don't like MTV and whatnot but we figured that once we show them our stage performance and what we do, that right after Ozzfest drop the album and that way a lot of people understood and can take in what we do.

I don't think people should determine whether or not they like a band by some show they do.

Yeah, I know. Neither do I. I love MTV. People don't want to do that because they don't hardly play music anymore is what everybody thinks. MTV is just shows and they don't play music anymore.

It got that way for a long time because I used to be a Headbanger's Ball fanatic. I loved that show and of course I grew up during the early '80s and I just loved Headbanger's Ball and when they took it off the air, that's when they started putting more and more shows on there. It got a little retarded for a while. I think now that they brought Headbanger's Ball back, it's renewed my interest in MTV. I think people ought to give it a chance and check it out.

And they do. The bands that they're putting on Headbanger's Ball, that's what everybody wants to see as much as they hate it. That's the only thing they can watch. There's Fuse also but still I personally think MTV is just where it's at. That's where I go to watch music videos and if I want to watch heavy music, I go to MTV2 and watch Headbanger's Ball and I get my fix.

Well tell me a little bit about A Concept From Fire.

"A Concept From Fire" was originally just a song we wrote quite a while back actually and it wasn't even meant to be the title song on the album. We were just going through names and that happened to be. We thought the name was cool. It was refreshing. It was a little bit different. It was basically a concept into what we're doing. We've got melodies. We've got these dark, heavy parts in our music so it's kind of a concept of what we're doing. Making the album was just so much fun. It was awesome. The producer, Braxton, understood what we do. We went in and talked to him. We told him this is what we want to do, this is what we want to come out with. This is what we want the final product to be. The ideas that we all had, collaborating all together, just came out. It was amazing. I'm not really into a lot of the heavier bands out right now. I've never really been into heavy music but I can honestly say that when I listen to this album, I'm so impressed by the band members. Our five song EP that we did before was a bit more poppy and not as heavy but I love the album. I honestly listen to it all the time which there's no one out there that doesn't listen to their album. I don't care what they say. Everybody listens to their album. All my friends listen to it. Friends can be your worst critic.

They're going to be straight up with you.

Exactly and I give my friends copies and they're still listening to it. It's been a week and a half and they're still listening to it. I can honestly say that I think what we did with Braxton and the five members of our band, we really came up with something that we really like and that we really want people to hear and be just as excited about the album as we are.

If you can't stand to listen to your own shit then there's something wrong.

Exactly, I know. I've talked to a lot of people on Ozzfest this year and that was my first major tour. That was my first big tour so I got out and I started talking to other members of the bands. Kind of soaking in what they do and they all told me "man, when my album came out that's all we listened to." I didn't feel as bad so now I'm not afraid to tell people that.

Speaking of Ozzfest, you were on it for the whole go around. How did that go for you?

It was awesome. We had a great spot. We played at 1:05 every day which was right in the middle of the day. That's pretty much when everybody had already gotten there. Playing in front of that many people every day was incredible. I can't even describe it. Another part was being up there with four other guys who are my best friends and that I've been friends with for years. It's something that we've always talked about doing but never really believing that we were going to do it. We've always talked about it and then the first day we got up there, we're looking at each other like we're actually doing this. Then it just became second nature. We'd get up there and play and we really like to interact with the crowd and make the crowd feel like they're a part of the show. There were a couple of times in the show where Mark and I would actually jump out in the crowd. When people can touch you and when they can feel that you're just another human being up there, it gives them a hope that they can do that too. Then we'd get dragged from the crowed on to the ground because security didn't like it very much that we were out there. It was an amazing summer and I wouldn't change any of it. I got to meet some great people. I got to meet a lot of bands that I go and see when they're in town just to see what else is out there. We got to be on the same tour. At first it didn't even seem real. I felt like we weren't really on a tour. We were. We were just like everybody else but it just didn't feel real so that's how everybody was like. A lot of people came up and said they loved the band. A lot of people came up to us and said they were nervous about having us on the tour. They didn't know what we were going to be about. If we were even a real band. They thought we were like an American Idol that just put us together and sent us on our way.

Oh no, you guys are a real band.

Definitely. We had to prove ourselves to all those people who were also your worst critic. Other bands never want to tell you that you're good. We made some great friends and this summer was just amazing.

You guys were so fun to photograph with that big old Texas flag. I loved that.

We wanted to represent Texas. It was so hot out there that day. It was hard to get people going but I think everybody enjoyed the show and flying the Texas flag was definitely a good idea.

I thought it was hysterical when Rob Zombie said that his shoes were melting.

Yeah, it was really hot up there. That's for sure.

I thought that was one of the best Ozzfests ever.

It was so diverse. Having Rob Zombie finish it and then Mastodon. They're heavy but they're straight forward rock. It wasn't just a bunch of metal bands up there. I think it was really well put together.

I heard a whole bunch of crazy stuff about the Iron Maiden thing. That whole thing sounds like a couple of people should have gotten together and had it out in the office.

I missed that. I went to watch Slipknot that day but we went back to the RV and we missed that whole thing. We definitely heard about it but we stayed away from it. We figured let's just stay clear of it and try not to get in the middle of it. We stayed at the RV that night and we actually left a little bit early. We had our video to film the next day so we didn't even get to really see the aftermath of it. We just left.

That is a good thing and always do that. That keeps you out of trouble.

Yeah, definitely. I agree.

Tell me about the video that you guys went to film.

We did "The Cycle" with Darren Doane. He's done bands like Every Time I Die. He sent us a trailer of a bunch of bands that he had done and he looked the best out of everybody that we saw. Then when he told us what he wanted to do, he basically said "let's just blow shit up. Let's blow everything up. Make a bunch of fireballs. We'll shoot a bunch of dirt at you guys. Let's make it a really dangerous video." We said perfect. There's no storyline. There's no girl. There's a lot of people that wanted to make Bucky be the main character of the video and have it be that there would be a love interest. We were like "you know what? We're a metal band. We don't want that. We love your idea. Let's blow everything up." For people who do know us, everyone knows that our live performance is what we do. It's what we put all of our time and energy into. But then the music is right there also so we figured why not have "The Cycle" which is the song and then our live performance and then who doesn't like explosions? That's all we did. Darren Doane also did the most recent Every Time I Die video. The video is awesome. It's got Michael Madsen in it. There's no real point to the video. It's got a lion growling in the beginning and then the band plays and that's it. Michael Madsen is kind of the director figure of the video and like I said, there's no point to it at all actually. It doesn't go anywhere but they're also another great live band. That's what they want to show people and I thought it was a great video so that's another reason why we went with him.

When people pick up your album, which three songs do you feel represents your band the best?

That's a good one. I'm sure everybody in the band would pick a different song. I would say "The Everlasting Grudge", "A Concept From Fire", and "Into Another Life". Those are my three favorite songs. "The Everlasting Grudge" is just heavy and chaotic in the beginning but then the chorus comes in and it just comes from nowhere. It's just this singing chorus that everybody can sing along to. It's clear and then it goes right back into heavy but it's not too chaotic. People can find structure in it. I think that's personally my favorite song and then "A Concept From Fire" is just heavy. It's hard hitting. It's got a singing chorus and then it's pretty much heavy the whole time. "Into Another Life" is my favorite live song to play because it has the breakdown basically in the breakdown and those three songs are great. I've actually heard a lot of people that tell me those are their favorite songs off the record.

You guys just got off Ozzfest. What kind of touring plans do you guys have?

We are sitting at home right now for a couple of weeks getting our RV back in order. We have to add a couple of more songs to our set. Then I believe October 2 we leave and we're doing the GWAR and DevilDriver tour. I'm so stoked about that. We're doing a little over two months with them. It's a full U.S. tour and also a little run in Canada. We're about to leave for that. I'm really excited.

I saw both of those bands on Sounds Of The Underground.

I heard they were awesome.

GWAR was exceptionally great. They started an electrical storm. Lightning, thunder, heavy rain. It was cool.

I can't wait. I'm really excited to see GWAR. I've heard about them all my life and I'm on tour with them. Again this is just been an amazing ride.

I've seen them twice and they're just awesome. If you've got a really good sense of humor, you're really going to love those guys. They don't leave anything untouched. People have to have an open mind and a good sense of humor.

That's what I've heard. It will be refreshing to do that tour. I'm not sure that we're the heaviest band on there but I think we'll be a refreshing band for that tour. DevilDriver is really heavy. I haven't really listened to DevilDriver or GWAR but I'm pretty sure we're the band on there that's got a lot of singing in our set. We're just really clean singing. That's why I think we're most excited. The fans get to see us but then they also get to see that heavy GWAR set. They won't be bored. I think it was a great tour to be put together.

They'll definitely get a good show. Any other thoughts or comments?

Thank you so much.

A Dozen Furies