Actually I have a deep love for Children Of Bodom right now. Those guys are fucking rocking. They always tell you the older you get, the more mellow you get. I find the older I get, the heavier I like my music.
I'm with you. The older I get, the more angry I get. The more you realize that there's so much fucked up shit going on. The stuff that happens just makes me angrier.
It seems like as time goes by, more fucked up shit goes on but I've always been of the opinion that it's been there all along. People just ignored it or used it for their own purposes.
I was reading some stuff about you and there was some stuff that I thought was comical.
Somebody described you as a cross between Iggy Pop and G.G. Allin.
Yeah, I heard that. I heard Iggy Pop and G.G. Allin trapped in Glen Danzig's body. I thought that was pretty funny. I loved the G.G. Allin. I'm really into going on stage and shitting on everybody.
And eating it.
Yeah, of course. Eating it. Yeah, that goes without saying. Doesn't everybody?
Absolutely. I'm all about living your art but God damn, eating it.
How can you waste a perfectly usable, edible piece of shit? Come on, life is too short.
Yeah, and it really was for him too. Poor bastard.
Yeah, life was definitely cruel for G.G.
This dude wanted to totally commit fucking suicide onstage and then he had a heroin overdose.
I know, I know. G.G. is an inspiration to all. Do you like his music?
I actually haven't heard any of it yet.
Have you seen the movie? You should.
No, I haven 't but I have a friend who really loves that guy. Curiosity begs me to go look.
Female or male?
Okay, I don't think he has any female fans.
He actually managed to have a girlfriend who kept his dick hard so he could trace around it for his album covers.
He had at least one female fan.
That's awesome. Yeah, he was a one man war.
Without a fucking doubt.
What else have you been listening to?
Lamb Of God. I've gotten into them. Actually revisiting some bands from my past. I've got a Deep Purple thing going on at the same time.
Nice, which record?
The latest one I got was Bananas. I thought that was pretty cool. I think I like Purpendicular more. That was really cool.
I love the older stuff. I'm not too familiar with the newer stuff. I love, well obviously Machine Head, but I liked the double CD that they came out with on that.
Yeah, that was cool.
That's some great stuff. The outtakes or the re-edited versions or whatever the hell they were. They had some sort of strange versions of some of the songs and I got this great bootleg in England. It was a triple CD of Deep Purple and it's incredible. I got three CDs full of stuff that you've never heard before.
I've got several bootlegs of KISS because that's just my all time favorite band.
Really, I have one called New York City Jews. It's a live one from 1976. It's amazing and it's actually called that. It's like KISS Alive. It's basically the same thing. It's just awesome but the name of it is just so funny. KISS was the first band I ever heard, well it's a really weird story really. My mother had the record and I never really liked music. I hated music. If I heard rock music, the only thing I could connect to it visually was Gene Simmons' face. I grew up hating rock music and then eventually as I got older, I loved KISS.
You hated music but you became a musician. That's cool.
I was a professional skateboarder when I was a kid. What was happening was I was living in the South in Florida and I was forced to have to listen to southern rock.
Yeah, which was the enemy's music because I didn't get along with people so I wasn't really a redneck.
Well, that's good.
To make a long story short, I fight with these guys and got jumped on by them. Then it was the enemy's music. The enemy's soundtrack. It was the soundtrack of school so when I was skating, it just made me that much more agro and hate filled and I was seven. So it was seven years old to 15 that I skated and I toured and did all kinds of demos and shit like that but that's how I got turned onto punk rock actually. It was through Dwayne Peters, a skateboarder and who obviously turned me onto Black Flag. In 30 seconds my life turned around.
That was something else I thought was really interesting. In the studio and during live shows, you have shed blood, blackened eyes, and broken ribs.
Yeah, lots of accidents happen.
I was wondering if anyone has a really large life insurance policy out on you.
I wish. I don't think anyone can afford that but I have gone through a lot of things in my past. The funny thing is that a lot of times I've broken bones onstage and gotten knocked out. Lots of things have happened like 30 seconds into the first song in Barcelona, Spain I jumped off the drums and I hit my head on the ceiling and I knocked myself out cold. I had a concussion and just woke up backstage. I remember waking up with the band around me going "Casey, Casey, are you okay?" Vince was pouring water over me trying to revive me. I asked what he was doing. Get on stage and make some noise. Then we went back out 10 minutes later and finished the set.
It was last spring you had multiple hernias.
Oh, I almost died.
That's fascinating because most guys I know have one hernia and they're like "oh my God, I'm in so much pain." You were fucking hanging out with multiple hernias.
Yeah, I had a couple of hernias and one of them ruptured. I went to bed after rehearsal and I woke up the next morning and I couldn't stand up straight. It was like my back was hunched and I was basically like a hunchback. I told my girlfriend and she told me I had to go to the hospital. So I went to the hospital in the morning and all I remember them saying is that I'm bleeding internally and all the way up to my waistline, I was filled with blood. It was a hemorrhage and that's why I couldn't stand up straight. There was blood inside of me. Blood where it shouldn't be. I was bleeding inside of myself and they rushed me into surgery and basically said if I would have ignored that and went into the nighttime, I would have poisoned myself or something like that.
Oh my God, dude.
Yeah, that's crazy, huh? That was when we were off tour and I was just rehearsing the night before. It was strange shit.
You need to take better care of yourself, sweetheart.
I wish I could. I don't know how. I think from skateboarding I conditioned myself to ignore or be accustomed to the pain. In skateboarding, the intent was always to make the most radical air or the most highest tricks or the most intense. Then doing all these tricks, of course you're trying to learn it so you're falling a lot. I think my life has just been one giant skateboard trick and I'm just falling all the way through it. That's the way I try to look at it I think. Maybe I'll be able to lick it off the board one day. In the meantime, I'm pretty much strapped up in a bondage skateboard outfit.
Yeah, bondage and skateboarding. What's going on in the world of Amen?
I just recorded 48 tracks with Clark and the drummer that's played on every record that Amen has put out. On every record I play everything with the exception of drums and this one will probably be no different. I might have some guest appearances by some people in Norway that I've had some great relationships with. Some of the Scum guys maybe. I don't know. There's lots of options because I've met so many cool people since the last record. I've never been the kind of guy that wants to have people on the record for namesake and stuff. When there are people that I've become friends with like Henry Rollins and Iggy Pop and all these guys from Emperor and just all these incredible artists, it's a bad thing to say "hey, I want you to do something."
Some of those collaborations are pretty fucking cool.
Yeah, the thing is I've always liked to separate it in the sense that I had a band called Headband with Josh and Nick from Queens Of The Stone Age and Twiggy. We had a band and we recorded some demos. It was basically Josh and I and Nick had been friends for a long time. We were neighbors and it was right after the Parents record came out. Probably a year after that to be honest with you. Josh said he really wanted to do a side project with me and was I up for it. I said yeah, what do you want to do. He said "I want to do something super fucking heavy. Something so that I can walk down the street, broad shoulders, not having to worry about what anybody says, and I know that I just made the baddest assed album there is." He just wanted to bring a really violent record. He said that I play guitar on all my records and it's never been known so I can play guitar on this. He said we can all sing. It was really inspiring so Larkin played drums, Nick and Josh played bass and guitar and sang. I played guitar and sang. Twiggy from A Perfect Circle and Manson and Nine Inch Nails, he played bass as well so we had two bass players. One was distorted noise and the other one was just keeping root down. We wrote a lot of songs. Actually some of the songs that came out of that stuff was the first song on that Queens record, "Medication". That song was written during the Headband sessions. Then I had another project I did with, actually the way I met Daron was when we did Big Day Out in Australia. Daron from System is who I'm talking about. He said that Amen was his favorite band in the world right now as far as rock music goes and wanted to know if I'd sing on a record that he had written. He said he wrote it especially for me and my voice and if I didn't want to do it, he's not going to do it. I said well, let's hang out when we get back home and see if we're on the same page because I didn't really know him. So we made an album as well. It was Daron playing guitar and he wrote all the lyrics actually. 90 percent of the lyrics I would say. Daron on guitar and backing vocals and then we had a drummer I introduced him to who played with Amen for a bit. His name is Zach Hill. He's in a band called Hella. He also plays with Les Claypool's solo band. It's something like Frog Brigade or whatever. I'm not familiar with his work. He's an incredible artist so he played drums and we did 14 songs and ironically enough, one of which songs that I co-wrote was the song "B.Y.O.B." so that was one song that came out of those sessions. It changed quite a bit when System did it but I wrote the part where it went "why don't Presidents fight the war, it wasn't the way it was before." So those have been my side projects besides Scum.
Well, that seems like a fucking oh my God, do I dare use this term, supergroup of really cool guys that everybody knows and loves. What brought this about?
One of my closest friends is this guy named Satyr and he plays in a band called Satyricon.
They fucking rule.
Oh great, you like them.
Yeah, they were here in Dallas a while back. They're cool.
He'd always come over and visit me in Los Angeles and he introduced me to a lot of great people in Norway. I was visiting Norway quite a bit. I was there a dozen times probably in two years I would think. What happened is that we started, Turbonegro had a tribute record and Satyr had done a song that was a Turbonegro song but it was a black metal version of a Turbonegro song. What I told Satyr is that I want to do a record that is kind of like what Stormtroopers Of Death did. It's basically a record that is, to me what S.O.D. was, was the first record and the only record of its kind. You hear it and immediately you go "oh, that's S.O.D. I'm talking about." The classic record. The first one. It was the first record to ever cross thrash metal with hardcore punk. I wanted to do the same thing but with black metal and true punk rock attitude. I felt that both styles of music are the only genres of music in the last 25 years that have been created not money motivated.
Oh yeah, because you don't make a whole lot of dough doing that shit.
Right. It's great. I love all kinds of music and stuff but the hardcore is what I grew up listening to and then eventually listening to everything I would guess pretty much. These two styles of music were what I'm really into and Satyr thought it was a great idea and he wanted to be a part of it. So we did the meeting at Moonfog Offices, Satyr's label. This was two years before we did the record and Faust was still in prison but he had weekend leaves at the time.
Yeah, I love their fucking prison system over there.
Yeah, the thing about it over there is that it's such a different world. You're talking about a place where if somebody does something that's criminal over there, they punish them and then what happens is that they don't come out a better criminal like in America. They come out pretty much reformed and they're pretty much a part of society. They contribute to society.
They actually rehabilitate their criminals.
Right, exactly. I don't think there are any repeat offenders. Anyway, when we had this meeting at Moonfog, it was Mortiis who is a very good friend of mine.
Yeah, he's so cool. I love him.
Yeah, he's one of a kind. So we had Mortiis who was originally in Emperor. We had Samoth who was originally from Emperor. We had Happy Tom from Turbonegro. We had Satyr. And we had myself. We all talked about the idea of making this record together and what was the purpose of making a record like this. Why we would want to do it. Why we would want to do it with each other and started working together. Over the two years time I would come out occasionally and we would rehearse and the lineup changed a few times mainly because of people's touring schedules. It was very difficult to try to get studio time booked and for all of us to be able to commit to it. What happened was that Faust finally got out of prison so we didn't have to worry. They can rehearse whenever really and they had just completed a show. They did I believe, fuck I don't remember where it was but it was a tribute to Bathory when Quorthon died. Samoth and Faust were the backbone of the band that had a bunch of guest singers coming out and singing. A couple of days later, Satyr sang one of the songs and he called me that night. He said "man, I had to tell you that Samoth and Faust are just playing so good. It's unbelievable. I can't believe how good Faust is playing." I said really. He said "yeah, I just sang the song and it was very moving." I said that's cool and Samoth called me three days later and said "okay, I think we're ready to record the album." I go okay, why do you say that? He said "well, I have eight songs written." I'm like okay and me being a life time punk, I translated it knowing Samoth pretty well and his songwriting abilities and style, I translated his eight songs into probably being like 30 something songs in like one whirl because I know he's such a great player. Everything he writes, he's so technical and has so much ability that he'll put 50 riffs in a song. A couple of weeks later I talk to my buddies in Turbonegro and I talk to Euroboy the guitar player and I asked him if we could record at his studio because he has a studio. He said yeah, absolutely. It's totally open and we can use it and we can stay at his girlfriend's house because no one's living there now. She lives with him and I'm like amazing. I told him we didn't have any money or anything so we have to wait to get a record deal to pay him back. He told us not to worry about it, it's totally cool. I flew up there and we made the record. Basically we had 10 days booked and because of all the attention in the media and everything that generated once I got there, once we started recording, it really created a huge whirlwind of goodwill and you had all these incredible artists who wanted to be a part of it or somehow tried to be included in the album or something. That's how Nocturno Culto from Darkthrone ended up singing on the record with me. He loved the album and now hearing the new Darkthrone, he's like "I love the fact that you've taken this punk vibe and mixed it with this really thrashy black metal rock and roll. It's fucking so beautifully ugly. I just had to be a part of it. It's funny because the new Darkthrone stuff is very much like this. It's very inspired by this type of vibe." I was like wow, this is amazing. Now I just heard the new Darkthrone and they do a Susie And The Banshees cover. Once you hear the new Darkthrone, it sounds very Scumish. It sounds a lot like Scum.
What I thought was so fucking incredible about it, the characters in this. You come from punk, some of the boys come from black metal, and Happy Tom comes from Turbonegro which is kind of a rock and roll type thing. It's just this mishmash. That was cool.
Actually it was a dream come true for me because it couldn't have been a better lineup. There was no way I could have thought of anybody else to be involved that would be any better. It was the best of the best for me. It was a dream come true and it made me, even though I've been playing music for 15 years, it made me really reevaluate my own life. My own work ethics in music. My own philosophies about who I have. Amen is a revolving door. I never keep band members very long because I always want new blood and I'm jaded blood and none of these people that turn out to be ungrateful. People have ulterior motives and stuff like that. The original lineup of Amen, that was a great lineup. They were in it for the right reasons and they were all pros. Everybody else that ever came into the band after that never came from a band. They would just come walk in off the street and were begging me to be in the band and give these guys a chance. Gullible me, at times I would do that and end up bringing people into the band who had the wrong motives. Working with these guys, you couldn't work with anybody more credible. It was an honor for me to be able to work with all of them and sing a song with Nocturno Culto or be able to play with the guys from Emperor and Mortiis and Cosmos, the great guitar player from his band Mindgrinder. All these people, they were just so good. Faust, I can't even talk about him. He's so good. He emotionally just blows me away. He's just an incredible, incredible, incredible person. People say yeah, he killed somebody. We all make mistakes and it seems like killing people in rap music is a fine thing. It seems like rap music, you've got to kill somebody to be cool. He's an outstanding individual and just incredible at everything he does. The Scum record for me is just the highlight of my life really. It's such a great record. I'm just so proud of it because when you hear it, there isn't any confusing it with anybody else. You hear it and if you know who the band is you go "oh, that's Scum." You're not going to be one of these fucking one of a million other bands that sound like the flavor of the month band. You know, you're a journalist. You know what I'm talking about. When you hear a band, let's say Korn is popular, and then all of a sudden an overnight success and you've got a million other copycat Korn bands or even in black metal. There are so many bands, I collect black metal like trading cards. There are so many bands that just have the same set of rules or the same sound and everybody who was involved in Scum and people who were journalists over there, they were all expecting it to be more black metal. Even I was originally but as I worked with Samoth and Faust and the guys, it became more and more evident that that would really be redundant and stupid to do. Because how can you top the first Emperor album? As far as black metal goes, I don't think you can. It would be facade. It would be fake because I wouldn't be singing or doing what I do honestly. I'd be trying to be black metal. This was a real collaboration of everybody being true to themselves and their art and trying to make something that was not like anything else really.
That's a cool thing because sometimes the music scene can be a little bit stale. It's nice to have somebody bring some fresh life into things.
I hope people do recognize that because I've gotten reactions of both kinds from press and fans.
You're going to get that.
Yeah, I thought it was a real crime that these two people, Samoth and Faust and Mortiis are lifetime friends. They're family. They've been friends since they were children and I thought it was a crime that they hadn't been making any music together and I thought this would be a great opportunity for them to work together and make something special. I know that they all feel that way and I know that just seeing their faces and this being the first record that Faust did. This being the second album he's ever really theoretically done. The first being the first Emperor album which was a big, big, big thing for him because of his name and what a big figure he is in black metal. So he wanted to make sure that it was something that was credible and something that was true and he's got a heavy rep.
I think he's the one who can't come to the United States.
Right. There's a lot of reasons he can't actually.
Which is a shame because I would have loved to see him play.
The problem is that you have a government. There are a lot of people in bands over there that can't come here. I'm sure you've noticed that every time Satyricon comes to America they have a different drummer.
Because they can't bring Frost. It's just so fucked up over here. It's not even funny.
Yeah, it's sad. These people are my friends and I know them pretty damn well and Frost is an incredible person and an incredible talent that would be able to give a positive impression to people if given the opportunity.
It's so stupid because I feel the biggest criminals are in the government.
Oh yeah, exactly. It's always those people that are in those positions and/or the guys that are the rich capitalist pigs.
It's like you're cool if you're a fucking multibillionaire and you've swindled a bunch of people out of money or if you go and bomb another country and kill a bunch of people. Then you're cool. It's bullshit.
I'm speaking your language believe me. I haven't had cable television when last I was in America for five years. I had it right before I left and I'd seen these television shows that were like The Apprentice.
Oh my God, these stupid fucking reality shows. What happened to Hollywood? They can't come up with any new shows or sitcoms so now we have all these reality shows. My friend has this joke about how he should put a reality show on where he takes a shit every morning and philosophizes. I told him it would be a big hit and we could call it The Shit Sessions or something.
There's no doubt it would take off. Somewhere along the line as long as there was some sort of fame or fortune, it would be a Top Ten hit because that seems to be the common denominator there. You have these people that are willing to do anything for a dollar and what makes me embarrassed and ashamed to be honest with you is that over here in Europe, American television shows are popular. You have it over here. The impression Europeans get of America is a really bad one because of these people that are willing to go on television and marry a millionaire. Who Wants To Marry A Millionaire. They should have renamed it Who Wants To Be A Fucking Whore. Who wants to sell their souls to be on TV? If I was the mother or the father of one the people on the show like that I would be so ashamed, I'd fucking kill myself because they ruined my family's name.
It's like with this American Idol thing. I've got friends who are so fucking hooked on that. I can't stand a show where somebody goes up there really dreaming of a music career, sings their heart out, and then you have some fucking asshole going "you know, you fucking suck."
I saw that show too, funny you should mention that. I'd always heard about it but I'd never seen it. I saw a couple of them and it was so funny to me because these people that win and the people who are judging, they say they want somebody original. They want somebody who has originality. They're saying all this shit. I know a lot of bands and not one of them goes by any of those rules. Of course we're talking about the absolutely opposite market. The pop market or whatever they're trying to target in on. Whatever it is, it's the target of greed. It's really frustrating that you have so many people around the world that hate America. They really do and it's because of shows like this. It's because of actions of our Presidents. It's because of the wrong reasons. There are a lot of great things about America. What it was founded for. Everything about it. Something has gone awry. When 9/11 happened, instead of actually figuring out or trying to think about why did this happen, people just thought oh, just go and nuke them all.
Thanks for bringing that up. I believe in asking questions, getting to the root of problems, and figuring out a way to solve them. Other people think you just need to kill everyone. My question is are they pissed off that people were killed or just pissed because it was Americans. Which is it? It wasn't just Americans. It was people from 60 different countries. All you hear is this is all about America. What about all these foreign people who thought they were safe in our country? Then there's the "official story" which I'm not sure I believe. It's like Swiss cheese.
I don't believe it for a minute. Let me ask you this. How many times have you flown in a plane?
You know when you land, just like all of us, those landings that you get that are kind of sketchy. The plane kind of bounces up and down. You're kind of scared for a minute there.
I was on one flight where I know the pilot was a Navy pilot before he became a commercial pilot. You know how military planes just drop down. Well, he fucking did that. He just dropped the whole plane and I just knew my time had come.
My philosophy is this. I've read quite a bit about this whole tragedy. Out of all the times I've flown which is quite a bit, I would say that happens quite often where you get that feeling when you land or just a bumpy landing or a bumpy ride or whatever, you've got pilots that aren't as skilled as others. But they're still pilots that have gone through years of training and school and a rigorous amount of tests before they can fly hundreds and hundreds of people. We're talking about theoretically how many guys did they say did this?
19 guys flew the planes?
Something else that strikes me as strange is that I work with a box knife at work and I don't really think anyone can terrify a handful of people or a couple of hundred people with a box knife.
Exactly, that's another good point. The thought that these guys have never flown a plane before except for a tiny little plane or just simulation or whatever the fuck, that these guys could just jump into a couple of giant fucking jets, highjack them and at the same time be able to pull off something like the Twin Towers with such accuracy.
Especially that second plane. I was off work the day that happened and I tuned in just time for that second plane. I was in the Air Force for four years and that plane did an Air Force jet maneuver. It was a perfect Air Force jet maneuver and I have a very hard time believing that a guy with only a few hours of training could execute such a perfect fighter jet maneuver. It was a perfect fighter jet maneuver.
That's what I'm talking about. There are too many holes in the story. There's too much in my world that is impossible for these guys to have done. I definitely think that you had people in the cockpit that were very good at flying planes and not people that were just out of a jet simulation class. They took a couple of classes in Florida. That doesn't make any sense to me. Someone like you who's been in the Air Force, you have a billions more knowledge of flights and planes than I do but it just seems that it would be a lot harder to pull off the biggest American catastrophe ever of all time and by this group of guys who just happen to do business with the Bush family for the last 20 years. It's going to unfold no doubt the way that the Kennedy's unfolded in 20 years. We're going to find out that the Bush family was the most corrupt governing dynasty like the Kennedy's and Marilyn Monroe where the brothers were fucking her and drugging her up and finally they snuffed her because they knew that if she talked, their fucking name would be dirt. We're in the same kind of atmosphere I believe and it's all because they're oil rich and oil hungry. I find it appalling that this family, it's the same way like these people at Wal-Mart.
I've worked for that company for almost 15 years and I feel like I get paid to observe the human condition. Basically they're dirt cheap on everything. Their prices, what they'll pay their vendors, they have sweat shops in China. They're cheap on how they sell things and they're also dirt cheap on the wages they pay and the health insurance they offer.
The name of the movie they did on Wal-Mart is called The High Price Of Low Cost. You have to see that movie.
I can tell you stories about that place.
It seems like the employees are very hard working and you have to be to work for that company and they contributed quite a lot of money to the homeless people and good causes. Charities and such over a year's time. Then they compared it to what the Walton family donated and the Walton family who are the four out of the top 10 richest people in the world.
They have a combined income of 90 billion dollars.
They contributed about 6,000 dollars to people and charities in one year when the entire group of people who work for Wal-Mart contributed 50,000 times more.
That's because the daughter has to have a 235 million dollar painting.
They also have a nuclear bunker.
What's so funny that I noticed about the Bush and Walton families is that they have all this money but they have to put it up their noses or they have to drink it because they're not happy people.
Of course. I don't care how much money I would have but to have to live with that kind of guilt, I just wouldn't be able to do it.
I'm not even sure they feel guilty about anything. They feel the world is their playground and everybody is here to serve them. They can fuck and kill whoever they want to and spend 235 million dollars on a painting when people are going hungry.
I know, that movie really bothered me. I saw it and I was really shocked because I knew nothing about Wal-Mart. I know nothing about it and you obviously know a hell of a lot but I just thought Wal-Mart was a regular store like any other store but by the way it looks through this movie, it's far from that. It's almost like Scientology.
Something that I thought was really funny was someone wrote something about you and said that you are a highly complex individual with some deep psychological issues and then he says you speak your mind on whatever subject is brought to your attention and you're uncensored in your opinions. How do those two correlate to being psychologically fucked in the head?
I don't know. I'm psychologically fucked in the head?
I would assume having deep psychological issues would translate into that.
Is this somebody from a record label?
It was something I read from an interview you did a while back.
I think one person's crazy is another person's sanity. To some people, Amen live is an actual threat. I think the band is not the type of band that is premeditated or is trying to be there for shock value. It's something that if I wake up and I feel really shitty in the morning, you're going to see me take it out on myself or you're going to see me be very angry or maybe see me, I have a lung and heart disorder and I can't breathe so I have to take medication like crazy. It depends on where I'm at. The fact of the matter is that it's always been honest and I've never hidden anything about the things that...I think a lot of other people are slaves to their labels. I think they do say and do whatever the label wants them to. That makes me sick. I don't like that. I don't like when rock and roll becomes a commodity. When you're talking about rock and roll it's about being psychologically fucked up I think because we're talking about Elvis' cock you know. We're talking about the Sex Pistols and Iggy Pop and Little Richard who is the devil because he's black and playing the devil's music in a white world. I think that a lot of people judge a book by its cover I guess. It's funny to me when I hear people say "oh he's crazy' or "he's insane". I've never had a real problem with anybody except when I was a child really and that was when it was rednecks and coming from New York moving to the swamps in Florida. That was a big change for me and I had adjustment problems obviously at a young age but I never really had deep problems. I always keep on keeping on. Just doing my thing and something like Scum which like you said is a very obscure group of people, it's very unique in that sense. It was a flicker of a thought. It was something that just popped in my head and literally for a second it was something that "yeah, that would be really cool. Okay. What are we going to eat?" It was just a real brief idea and then it actually happened and I did it. I was able to make it happen with those guys and me the only American. For me it doesn't matter if the record sells or if people think it's the worst or the best or anything. The fact that we made it and we did it our way and we did what we wanted to do, it was a real accomplishment for me. That's the biggest American dream for me. It's just a Norwegian dream.
You guys just connected.
Yeah, it was incredible and Norwegian people are very different. So different. I remember when Satyr came to L.A. One of the first times he came to visit and stay with me, we were going out. Some guys recognized him and they were in a band and they were actually in a popular band. They said they were inspired by Satyricon and he was like that's good. They said they have a couple of records out and he said "yeah, I know." They said he should really hear their band and he said yeah, he's heard them. They said it would be really cool if they did a tour together or play together and he said "no, I don't think so. That's very nice but no thank you." Very eloquently "no, I don't approve." He's being honest about it. Instead of the pseudo camaraderie of being on a tour with 50 bands and all the bands are like ďhey bro, how you doing man? You guys rock, man.Ē
Yeah, I interviewed him once. He was very soft spoken but yet very up front. I liked that.
Yeah, thatís the reason weíre such good friends I guess. Weíre both very comfortable with each otherís company and I donít see myself as being somebody that will bullshit somebody and tell them what they want to hear. Thatís part of the reason also why Amen always goes through lineup changes. Iím not going to lie or settle for second best or play with people that are going to be fake or put on an act. They could be in Amen or any other band and it wouldnít make a difference as long as theyíre on stage thinking that theyíre getting attention for the wrong reasons. Iím about the message. The music is more important to me than the attention. I donít want to be on stage singing about ridiculous garbage unless Iím playing a gag for Halloween. I have to be able to believe what Iím singing and not live a lie. Hopefully it will move a few people and having people like Henry Rollins and Nikki Sixx and Iggy Pop and all these people tell me how much of an inspiration I am to them. That to me is beyond any kind of reality because Iím just some kid that was making noise one day in my garage with my skateboarding buddies and none of us could play and we just did it because it was raining. That was the only way we could get our pent up frustration out and we would make noise and all of a sudden Iím talking to these people that I worshipped as a child. For me it is that big circle where itís so strange to become friends with some of these people that I grew up really admiring or having the Sex Pistols pick Amen to be the main support for their 25th anniversary tour. Who could have ever dreamt of something like that. The Sex Pistols are my Beatles. Itís surreal life. Maybe I should do a reality show.
Casey Chaosí Reality Show.
The reality show for insane people.
A couple of years ago, talking about your lineup changes, I guess somebody left the band and he as one of my friends put it whined about it in a post and later on Larkin counteracted that. How do you feel about, not just necessarily your band but any band, members and ex-members airing their dirty laundry on the Internet?
I donít know. I donít know who or what it could have been.
I think his name was Matt. Something about he had tattoos and he left and he was mad at you and your drummer said something about it.
I think I recall what youíre talking about because when you said tattoos, that rang a bell. Funny thing is the Internet is such a powerful tool and itís something thatís a real amazing creation. Iím very computer illiterate. Iím not very good at computers. I have a very difficult time being able to check my own email. Iím getting better. The only thing I can do is I can do Photoshop. I can do that and thatís it but Iím learning. Iím trying to learn and Iím able to browse around probably like a three year old child. I think that obviously itís a very simple answer and the answer is that I have sacrificed my life for music. There are some people that have to try to convince people of things to try to prove that they are somebody of merit or they have character. I think if you take somebody like him or somebody that has never ever done anything in their entire life and are a complete and utter failure, and basically everybody that Iíve ever had in Amen with the exception of the original lineup who all lived at home or had their own houses, I housed every single member of Amen and paid for everything that theyíve ever needed and given them an opportunity and I think the only thing that you have is your word and the body of work that you leave behind you. Or the work that you have created in your life. That is really it. There are people that are difficult and that are artists like Van Gogh and Lemmy and Lemmyís awesome. Heís a friend of mine. Heís great. A lot of people would say Satyrís difficult but heís very kind. I donít settle for second best and people will try to come up with excuses and create ďoh, I left the bandĒ or whatever when I know the real truth. I donít even bother addressing it to the public. Like my publicist said, thatís the only way they can get any attention. Whoís going to want to listen to this guy? Who cares? He didnít exist before he was in Amen. I donít care about what anybody says. I care about what my conscious says and I care about waking up in the morning and knowing that I have worked with people that are legends. Like people in Scum. Not myself but the other people. I consider them legends and Iíve toured with all these people and Iíve fucking had amazing relationships with everybody. Iíve never had a bad relationship with anybody on a musical level. I had those bands. Headband and Scars On Broadway with Darren and Zach and are still best of friends with all those guys. Itís because all those people know how the music industry works and theyíre professionals. When you take somebody and you spoil them and you give them everything and then you take it away from them, theyíre going to say or do whatever it is to try to get the attention back with his tattoos. He obviously is very fanatical and very hurt that I rejected him. I guess when people see the real truth is in the body of work, thatís what I believe. Anybody can put anything on the Internet. There are no guidelines. As far as you and I know, he might not have even written that. Itís a matter of people who like drama or like gossip and create nonsense. I have no idea. All I know is that I have never ever had any problems with anybody other than people who are obviously like that. People who are wrapped up in some sort of self absorbed shell. Like Larkin said, the only real bad thing I do is that Iím far too generous. There was an ex-member that went up to Shannon Larkin when we were doing our drum tracks. His band Godsmack had a party and some guy came up to him and Shannon almost beat the shit out of the guy. Shannon is the nicest guy in the world. He is the most loyal, most real, most incredible artist, drummer, person. Everything about him is so pure. So true. It comes out in his art and his work. Like I said, you watch the guy play and youíre like oh my God.
I love that band.
He is just so awesome. Come on, whose words are you going to take? Some fucking guy that has never ever been in a band before? The first band he joins, after he gets fired he talks shit about the singer. Or are you going to take Shannon, a living legend and probably the best drummer in the world. As anybody knows him, obviously Larkin would never lie about anything. Heís obviously an honest person who has nothing to gain by standing up and defending me. People forever will always be into the gossip and the nonsense and shit like we get jealous. Heís going to create whatever kind of drama. I remember being on the covers of these magazines and having some of those guys being upset they werenít on the covers. They were mad at me. Iím like dude, I canít help it if a magazine edits a magazine cover and puts me on the cover. What am I? Iím going to tell them no, you have to put the whole band on the cover of the magazine otherwise you canít put me. Iíll be mad. Thatís for a real thing that happened with these people. That tells you what kind of a mentality I had to deal with and why I never speak about it. People ask me all the time ďthe last couple of lineups, people have talked shit and this and that. There was all this money that you stole.Ē Iím like yeah, thatís why Iím in Amen. Itís for the money. Weíre a huge band and Iíve put out three records and theyíve all sounded the same. Itís obvious that I play this music because I know Iím going to sell millions of records. Give me a fucking break. Iíve had many opportunities to join other bands that were very big bands and I never did it. Iíve always just wanted to do what I do and I donít care if it sells 50 records or 500 records. Whatever. 5,000. Who cares? As long as I can survive. I can look at myself in the mirror every morning and be honest and truthful and live a dream is what Iím living. This is a dream for me to be able to work with people like Scum and people like the guys in Queens Of The Stone Age. People like Darren from System Of A Down. Zach from Hella and Larkin, Henry Rollins, Iggy Pop. Iím blessed. Iím really blessed to live it and have these incredible figures around me. I guess if youíre some fucking guy that is bitter and youíre nothing and talentless and you just had the rug pulled out from under you after youíve been caught stealing, I guess you would have to say anything you can to try to save face before the truth came out. I pass no judgment on people and I donít care what people think. If people want to believe what he says is true, thatís fine. I know my truth. I know my reality. Maybe thatís why Iím crazy. I think Iíd have a few more friends that would back me up on that. I think I do some stupid things on stage but I donít think Iím crazy. Maybe one day at the end of the line for you and me and for everybody, weíre all going to find out we were.
No shit. I think most people are a little crazy.
If your life doesnít have a little bit of craziness, it would be a little boring. Everybody has to get a little crazy here and there I would hope. We wouldnít want to be wearing suits and have to go clock in to a 9 to 5 thing and not have an outlet once in a while.
I think of Wal-Mart as my day job and my webzine as my night job. I deal with all these crazy people during the day and have fun with all these crazy people at night and Iím a little crazy myself.
Thatís it and thatís the perfect balance.