John Maggard - Unearth

September 23, 2006


Photo Credit: www.unearth.tv

Tell me how the Sanctity Of Brothers tour is going so far.

It's going very, very well. We are about actually just over two weeks into it and we have another week left. It's been going very, very well and everybody is having a good time.

That's how it's supposed to be.

Absolutely.

You have some really great bands on the tour with you.

Yeah, Bleeding Through. Terror actually just dropped off yesterday. Scott Vogel came down with a really serious case of strep so he's incapacitated right now. They're going to come back for the last three shows of the tour though at the end of next week so we'll see them again.

That sucks. I was looking forward to seeing them tonight. They're so fucking cool. I've seen everybody before except Animosity.

Right, they're a good band. Young kids but they rage.

That's what it's all about.

Absolutely.

You guys just came out with a new record called III: In The Eyes Of Fire. Do you guys feel like this is your heaviest record yet?

Yeah, absolutely. Hands down. I feel very proud about this album. I think we did a great job with it. We went up to Seattle to record it with Terry Date who is a popular man around these parts producing all the Pantera albums. Yeah, he's got a great ear for heavy music and he definitely worked out the best.

Trevor was making the comment that he feels like a lot of heavy bands aren't as heavy anymore as they used to be because I guess they're trying to be radio friendly or something.

Yeah, I agree. I agree with that.

It's funny because no matter how radio friendly these bands may try to be, if you're not Britney Spears you aren't going to be on the radio.

Right, this is true. The thing is, just some of the attempts to go in a more radio friendly direction I just think brings the quality of the music down. That's not what the music is about. It's about raging. Rage. It's not being a pussy. That's the way I feel about it. If you're here to thrash then thrash. If I'm going to be a cook I'm going to try to be the best possible cook ever. I'm not going to open up a pizza joint that serves crackers with tomato sauce on it. I'm going to make a real fucking pie. That's the way I look at it. Maybe that makes sense to you, maybe it doesn't. Maybe I'm crazy. I don't know.

Oh baby, I think we're all a little bit crazy.

A little bit loopy.

You think you can survive in this world especially the way it is now without being a little on edge? Some of the songs on this record are about some pretty hardcore issues.

Yeah, that's more of Trevor's department to talk about that. There's some personal issues going on, on the album. "Sanctity Of Brothers" for example is a song about our friends that have passed away. Just remembering those times when they were here and how sacred those times are.

Probably a little thought of Dime in that one.

There's one of them. He's included in that as well for sure. Absolutely a great guy. I've got my Dimebag bracelet on right now.

It's so weird how his death happened a couple of years ago and it's still hard to talk about that.

Yeah, it's terrible.

I don't think that's something I'm going to get over any time soon.

I know. It's not something that anybody can get over to be honest with you. That's the way I see it.

It puts truth in the statement that really fucking evil people who do fucked up shit live forever but if you're a really good person then...

Kill me early because I'll stay a good person. I don't care.

There was one song here that I thought was pretty cool. It was talking about this guy in Salem who got accused of being a witch.

Yeah, that's what the song "Giles" is about. It's about a man named Corey Giles from the Puritan era up in Salem, Massachusetts during the witch trial period and he was accused of being a witch. He was crushed to death in a pit with boulders. That was his sentence. At that time it was a tricky thing.

That's something that gets me. I'm not a religious person. I always have Christians tell me about how violent Islam is and how peaceful Christianity is. Yet you look back in the past at Salem.

Religion is the number one killer. It is. It's the number one killer above disease and war and everything else. It causes a lot of problems. People misunderstand each other and they don't let each other believe the way they would like. I don't care. You can crouch on any god damn rug you want and point to the east or west or whatever the fuck you want to do. I don't care. That doesn't bother me. Whatever, you know what I mean? I've got my own quarrels and whatnot with God. It's something where I need to personally sort it out but not amongst groups. Somebody was telling me that a couple of days ago and then I was reading your bio about the record. I sat there and went "what? What about this Corey Giles person? You think that was peaceful?" Like anybody could be a fucking witch anyway. What the hell? I guess you can be a witch but that's being bitchy, not being "I put a spell on you." You guys went into the studio in March. How long did it take to put the record together?

About two months. It took us probably I don't even know exactly, probably between two and four months to write it and we recorded it in two months.

I like the statement "we just wanted to bleed and we want our fans to bleed the same blood when they listen to it."

Exactly.

I like that. I'll make sure I get out a rag every time I listen to that record. I think that's great that people still like to write lyrics that are about real fucking shit that people can relate to. God knows I've had friends die from drug abuse and shit like that and I never could fucking understand how people get caught up in that but they do. It's nice to know people write songs about that but at the same time they can also write songs about being happily in love I guess.

Yeah, I don't know what that's all about.

Oh come on, you've been happily in love before.

Oh yeah, puppy love when I was 13. I'm a single guy and I intend to keep it that way.

Yeah, me too. Free as a bird and I like it that way.

Not a bad time.

How do you feel this record differs from The Oncoming Storm which I fucking love that record.

Thank you. The Oncoming Storm was tracked a bit differently during the recording process. There was a little more triggering going on with the drum kits and Pro-Tools was used a little more extensively than on the newest album. This is why we recorded this new album the way we did. We wanted to put our live deal on a record.

Stay away from the Pro-Tools thing.

Yeah, just get away from having such a polished over album. Just have something that sounds amazing but it's believable.

Records should be raw.

Right. You want to be like "yeah, those guys just did that." They didn't just put it into a program and make it perfect. We wanted to get away from that because that's kind of the status right now. That's the status quo with recording. We wanted people to feel and to be able to pinpoint the human error and the characteristics that make it an album because of that. That's what we did. We went in and everything that is on that album we actually played note for note. There's no fucking around with it. It's a real deal album.

I do a lot of interviews with the old school thrash bands I grew up with like Kreator and Destruction and Hirax and those guys. They always bitch about how they listen to some of these newer bands and it's all this fucking Pro-Tools shit. A record is supposed to be something raw and fucking human and all this computerized bullshit makes it too nice and neat. That's not what heavy music is about. I've grown up with heavy music all my life. I don't know what this trend is with making heavy music all nice and neat and polished. It's not supposed to be. It's supposed to be in your fucking face to fuck you up.

Absolutely.

I'm glad that you guys did that. You're supposed to fuck me up with your shit.

That's what we're doing. That's what we're doing.

What are you guys doing after the Sanctity Of Brothers tour?

We're going to Japan, Australia, and New Zealand with Killswitch Engage and Lamb Of God. That should be good fun. We're really good friends with both those bands and it's going to be pretty ridiculous for sure.

New Zealand, huh?

Yeah, we've never been there. We've been to Australia and Japan before but never New Zealand. After that we're going to go to Europe with Hatebreed and then home for the holidays hopefully. Then I think that we may be going out with Slayer this spring. I'm not sure about that yet but it looks like that right now.

The Unholy Alliance tour fucking rocked. The only problem is after I listened to Mastadon, Children Of Bodom, and Lamb Of God, Slayer was kind of an anti-climax. That was my only complaint.

Yeah, that can be disappointing.

I love Children Of Bodom and Lamb Of God so after listening to all that heavy shit, it seemed like Slayer wasn't that heavy. It was awesome though. I wouldn't trade that experience for anything in the world.

Children Of Bodom and Lamb Of God are two good bands.

Any other thoughts or comments?

Just thanks to everybody out there that's picking up the new album and digging what we did. Thank you very much.

And make sure you have a rag when you bleed.

Yes, you can bleed with us.

Unearth