Justin Wolfe - Thine Eyes Bleed

February 28, 2005

Photo Credit: www.mazurpr.com

Tell me a little about your band.

We've been together I'd say about three years now. Three and a half in total. Went through a few changes since the album with a couple of different members. Now we have Johnny Araya on bass from Los Angeles which is an amazing asset to have in our band. We had just acquired a new guitar player recently after signing with The End Records and he's just adding a whole new element to the band. It was really the perfect person that we were looking for. We just had our first show in a few months with him the other night and everything is going well. Right now, it's just building things up and getting ready to hit the road and going through the emotions of a record label that's backing us and is really supportive. Our management team has just been unbelievable through the whole thing so we're just putting the final pieces together and getting ready to show everyone what we've got.

You have a lot of stuff working in your favor. Johnny Araya is of course Tom Araya's brother. You have Jeff Phillips who used to be the guitar tech and player for Kittie.

Yeah, we have a lot of helping hands definitely. It can go either way and we're going to get a lot of harassment I'm sure for Johnny being related to Tom and people will have their opinions about how we got as far as we did or anything like that. If anybody really knows us as people, they've known that we've worked for it just as hard as anybody since the very beginning. We're not having our hands held and walked through everything just using our connections. We definitely worked for it and it's just an added bonus. Everything that they've done, they're very proud of and Johnny's been on the road longer than a lot of us have even been playing in bands. Just to have somebody with that much experience and that much talent in our band is just amazing.

You can't pick who your relatives are. You can't pick what profession they're going to fall into. If you do have connections that can help you a little bit, there's nothing wrong with that. Making it in the music industry is pretty damn difficult especially these days.

Exactly and you hate to say it is who you know and that's what will get your foot in the door initially. I'm sure Johnny has taken a lot of heat his whole life about that sort of thing and I'm sure there's a lot more to come just because of who he's related to, but like you said, he doesn't get to pick who he's related to and that. If Tom decides that he wants to step up and help in certain matters, it's not like we're going to say no. We're not going to come to him and ask for it. We've gotten this far on our own and Johnny has shown us more than dedication to this band. We're not going to rely on our inside sources but if they come to us, then there you go.

That's just fucking stupid for people to get into that.

All of a sudden now that things are happening with the deal and that, we've just noticed that it's popping up here and there so we're like oh okay, this is going to be an issue I guess. They can say what they want to say.

They can get over it. You guys have supported Kittie, Candiria, and 36 Crazyfists. You've been on tour with Superjoint Ritual.

We did a show with Life Of Agony which was a really killer show. We've done some stuff with MTV's Steve-O. The tour that we did with Kittie, Candiria, and 36 Crazyfists helped us out a lot and it's pretty much what got the ball rolling for us and really did a lot for the band. We couldn't be more thankful for them to let us come out and play for next to nothing just to have that spot and open up and get our name out there. It worked and that's about it. Getting on the road is probably the best thing that anybody can do in a band and just to have that opportunity now. Even with the record company, we're seeing how difficult it is to get on tours and just to be thrown on a national tour like that without even anybody knowing who you are is an amazing opportunity that we had to take advantage of. Now it's got us to where we are right now. Just got to keep moving forward.

With the difficulty of getting places, sometimes you have to rely on a contact somewhere.

Yeah, until you have a name it's next to impossible, right? What do you have to offer anybody really?

Especially with so many bands being out there anyway, you have to work really hard. You have to have a completely unique product.

Yeah, it definitely takes a certain type of person to be on the road and get things done. You have to have the drive to succeed and the drive to do it otherwise it's not going to work.

Absolutely. Each of you have a different perspective on music. You must be influenced by a lot of different types of bands.

Definitely. I would say that's probably one of my favorite parts about the band and what I think separates us musically from a lot of different bands that are in the same genre. Our ages are all over the map which makes our influences all over the map. Many different styles through many different years all come together and each person has a little bit more to offer and something different to offer in the music to make it that much better or that much diverse to separate us from a lot of other bands that are in the same genre doing the same thing. That's one of I think our creative strong points. The fact that we are so spread out and do have so many different influences.

What's the age range of everybody in the band?

We are 21 to 35.

That is cool.

Definitely. There's everybody in between all the way up so there's years between all of us which makes things really interesting but at the same time we're all best friends. We don't even think about it but you can just really tell the influences and that where it comes out for sure.

All of my life I've had friends of different age ranges. When I was a lot younger I had friends a lot older and now that I'm older, I have some friends a lot younger. You just connect.

Definitely. That's the way it's been with me too. I've always had kind of an old soul. I'm one of the younger guys in the band but I've always had an older soul and I've always been taken under the wing of older people and guided this way and that. It's the way it's worked out and we're all very, very tight and get along really well so it's good.

You guys have a video on MTV's Headbanger's Ball that's called "Cold Victim".

Yes, we filmed that video. It's been a little while ago now because the album has been done for almost a year and a half or two years. We did that in Cleveland. It was kind of a last minute thing because our whole camera crew that was supposed to come up here with Darren Doane who's the director got denied at the border of course because it's hard to get into Canada. We had a few hours to figure out how to get out of all of our jobs and all of our commitments for the next four days and drive straight to Cleveland at a place that he found. It was all last minute and stressful and scattered but we did it. It just turned out amazing and Darren Doane for the timeframe that we had and the budget and that coming to an unsigned band, he's done a lot of work for a lot of bands on labels and whatnot but he came to us and he saw something and liked the band so he did it. It couldn't have turned out better. We definitely want to do something with him again.

Does this have to do with all this Homeland Security shit?

Who knows?

For something that was supposed to have been committed by international terrorists, people sure give local folks a hard time.

I know. A couple of white guys with a video camera. What are they going to do? We have enough trouble trying to get in back and forth ourselves. It's definitely an added stress in our lives for sure. In our situation, just having to worry about that the whole time. All right, we got this tour. You think we're going to get through the border? It's kind of like rolling the dice right now.

It's like dudes with musical instruments. They might kill people with music.

Yeah, we have to rip their stuff apart because they look like terrorists. They might have a bomb in one of the guitar cases. We get that all the time. We have nothing to hide so they can look through whatever they want. We usually end up getting by. We've got some good stories to tell about the border to say the least.

It'll make for a good book later on. You guys put out your debut album, In The Wake Of Separation. You got signed to The End Records which seems like a really cool label.

Definitely. So far so good to say the least. They've been extremely supportive already and the push that is behind us right now is just great. We're going to Japan in a few weeks which is just unbelievable. We're so excited about that. It's something that we weren't really expecting so soon. Everything is really coming together and they just seem really supportive and just as excited as we are really about the record release. To have a label like that, we couldn't really ask for more.

You were with Acacia.

Yeah, I sang. That was my previous band that I'd been in for about 11 years or so. There was actually an Acacia tour with Kittie years ago when Jeff played with Kittie where Jeff and I became really good friends and we're from the same hometown. When Kittie was on their off time and in the studio and that, Jeff and I decided to put things together and start the band that we always wanted to be in and here we are three and a half years later. It's been a long train but things have come together really well.

Well honey, nothing ever works out overnight.


Tell me a little bit about In The Wake Of Separation.

It's our first album. We have two different members now. Our new stuff is still going in the same direction and we still have the same feel. I think it came together really well and it's going to really stand out as our first album. It's really upbeat and it's really fast paced and intense all the way through. A good friend of ours actually from Seattle, Morgan Russell, produced the album and it was his first time producing an album. It just worked out really well. We had a great time in the studio. I think that will make some sort of an impression on the metal world even though it is getting a little old to us now. It's just going to set things up great for our next album and what's to come with the band but I think it's a really strong aggressive thrash album. People are either going to like it or they're not.

I love thrash. I like Kreator, Destruction, and Hirax.

There you go. You either appreciate it or not. Actually people who like Kreator say that it's got a little bit of a Kreator feel and they love it. It can go either way. You're either going to love it or you're going to hate it. I'm sure people are going to flack us for certain things more than others and whatnot but I just say you like it or you don't. We feel that we have something different going on than a lot of bands out there and we're going to stick with it and keep doing what we're doing. As far as we're concerned, it keeps getting better and better.

Who does most of the lyrical writing?

I do. The music is everybody. The best part about our band I think is that there's not one person that sits down and writes a song and brings it. Everybody gets together. A full lineup and we all sit there and help put each part together bit by bit and everybody has their opinion. We try everybody's different ideas and that and that's what I think makes our music really diverse and kind of separates us from everyone else. Once the music is all together, I sit down and I put my lyrics to it and try it out and take suggestions from the rest of the guys as well. What they like and what they don't like. We go from there and it usually ends up working out really well.

It's a community effort.

Yeah, definitely. I do know a lot of bands don't have that. It's a really good feeling that we can all work together on any level.

Are there any particular songs on the album that are favorites of yours?

We've been playing these songs for a few years now and we're trying to write and kind of expand our music and get away from it a little bit. It's funny because we've been playing the same songs for three years but everything's just starting now so they're brand new to everybody. I really like "Cold Victim" and I'm really glad we picked that for the single. I think that's probably the best song to represent a single on the album. I'm really glad the video turned out amazing for what we had and what we did.

What's so funny is that to you they're really old songs and the release date is in April.

Yeah, I know. It might even be a little bit later now. We will see. It's a never ending battle.

You guys are hitting the road in March. You're doing SXSW.

Actually driving straight from London, Ontario here. On March 5 we're driving straight down to Texas and then we're parking our vehicle actually over at Tom's place and then we jump on a flight to Japan from Austin. We go there for three days and then we fly back to Austin and then do the SXSW festival. I think a day off after that. It's going to be pretty hectic. Then we do the West coast run with a Metalblade band called Vehemence. It's going to be pretty hectic. We're excited. Texas is probably one of our favorite states to play. It's where we went over really well on this last tour with Kittie and Candaria. Just the fans there were unbelievable because we had actually started in San Antonio and it blew us away when we first came out and nobody had even heard a thing from us before. Just the support we had there right off the bat was amazing. It created a little special spot for Texas in our hearts.

We love our metal. You were voted best new metal band by uranium.com.

That was a big surprise actually. That just kind of came out of nowhere. They had just emailed us and requested our promo pack and the same sort of drill. That was just before anything had really happened. Before we had a label or anything like that. We just sent it in to see what they would say and next thing you know, we're the underground metal band of the year. It's overwhelming to say the least but it's great. To not even have our record out and then for them to be saying that. It's something else. I guess somebody likes what we're doing out there.

It sounds like you guys have everything going for you and I wish you the best of luck. Any other thoughts or comments?

We're just going through the motions and we're really excited to be doing what we're doing. We worked really, really hard for it and we've got a lot of support with our management behind us. They've done so much for us and we just want to pay them back and make this as big as we possibly can. We're just so excited and honored to have the opportunity that we do right now.

Thine Eyes Bleed