Thrash Hits

easy tiger

Every Time I Die: “We had the word ‘Die’ in our name before anyone else.”

June 8th, 2008

Thrash Hits .com decamped to Oxford for the evening last time Every Time I Die were in town. Raziq Rauf talks to guitarist Andy Williams about making a great record and wearing just swimming trunks and braces on film.

Every Time I Die

In September 2007 Every Time I Die released their fourth full-length album, The Big Dirty. It was well-received across the board, as was their breakthrough effort, Hot Damn!. It was the record in the middle that confused everyone. The added rolling, twanging Southern-sounding riffs to their traditional hardcore sound didn’t quite seem to fit together.

“We weren’t really trying anything new on Gutter Phenomenon. I think we just over-thought everything,” Williams explains. “We only spent three months on Hot Damn!. With Gutter Phenomenon, ‘Easy Tiger’ was the first riff I wrote for Gutter Phenomenon. Seven months later, we finished the song.

The Big Dirty took just over four months to write and record,” Williams recalls, shifting in his seat. “Usually your first intuition is the best and, with us, that’s definitely true.”

Watch ‘We’rewolf’ by Every Time I Die

If you look at any heavy music bill these days, you are more than likely to see a band performing that has the word ‘die’ in their name. It’s something that Andy Williams has definitely noted.

“It’s been ten years already. We were a band five years before bands like As I Lay Dying and the rest of them. I’m not taking credit for it,” Andy smirks, “But we definitely had the word ‘die’ in our name before anyone else.”

Aside from band names, ETID have always tried to do something different within their admittedly limited genre. “I definitely think that we’ve shaped things and that bands have been influenced by us,” he says. “It feels good when I walk into a place and some young kid in a hot new band comes up to me and says, ‘Hey your music changed my life.’

Indeed, some current megastars are amongst Every Time I Die’s biggest fans. “There are dudes in My Chemical Romance that literally wouldn’t be where they are unless they saw Every Time I Die in 2000 – when they weren’t even a band.”

When asked how it feels to have Gerard Way’s voice on Gutter Phenomenon, Williams merely says, “It’s very flattering”.

Andy Williams’ Top Tips

  • Saviours are my shit right now. It’s the best name for that band because I hope they save music. They’re just a great band.
  • Gallows are bringing a British swagger to a really distilled American crowd and it woke people up on the Warped Tour last year. If a band’s going to shake things up then more power to them.
  • Torche – Meanderthal. Listening to that was like listening to Nevermind by Nirvana. It’s a band that can really shake things up along with The Sword and Saviours.

The Buffalo, NY band is completed by vocalist and master lyricist Keith Buckley, his guitarist brother Jordan, drummer Michael ‘Ratboy’ Novak and their seventh and hopefully final bassist Josh Newton but there was a sixth member for the first time on the recording of Gutter Phenomenon.

“We busted our asses for six months writing that shit and then the producer tells us it’s not good enough,” Williams complains. “He wasn’t being an asshole, he was just trying to make it sound better – that’s what a producer does.”

Complaining, however, is not something that Andy Williams takes lightly. “Bands who stress about being in a band are just not cut out for it,” he proclaims. “There’s always some dude on the tour who is moping around and complaining. If you’re in a band there’s no fucking reason you should be on any sort of anti-depressant pill. I play guitar for a living and I’m in England right now, riffing.” And riff he does.

As a result, Every Time I Die have built a reputation of being a fun band and this extends all the way through to their music videos. “If someone gives us $30,000 and a camera, of course we’re going to take full advantage of it,” Williams laughs. “We don’t want to be in a warehouse with some dudes, looking hard. We want to be in a house that looks like it’s in the ‘70s having a party.” See the results below.

Watch ‘The New Black’ by Every Time I Die

From images of the master guitarist in a pair of Speedos at a retro house party to the future, Andy Williams remains matter-of-fact throughout. “I hope there’s another ten years of Every Time I Die,” he ponders. “It’s all going really well right now but we are all starting to get really fucking old.”

Every Time I Die are playing the Warped Tour across the United States from 20 June 2008.

Win signed Kids In Glass Houses vinyl

May 30th, 2008

Kids In Glass Houses

To celebrate recent interviewees Kids In Glass Houses getting onto the Radio 1 playlist with ‘Give Me What I Want’, Roadrunner Records have given us a great prize to give away.

We’ve got a few copies of their last single, ‘Easy Tiger’, to give away. That doesn’t sound too hot until you hear that it’s signed 7″ vinyl where one side even looks like tiger skin. Yep, that’s pretty cool.

To enter this fantastic competition to win a signed 7″ vinyl of ‘Easy Tiger’ by Kids In Glass Houses, just enter the competition by answering the following question.

THIS COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED. THANKS FOR ENTERING.

Email your answer with your name and a contact telephone number to competition@thrashhits.com with “Kids In Glass Houses” as the subject. The closing date for entries is 10am Monday, 30 June 2008. The winner will be notified by telephone.

June
02 Norwich Waterfront
03 Exeter Phoenix
04 Portsmouth Wedgewood Rooms
05 London Astoria 2
15 Download Festival (Tuborg Stage)

July
11 T In The Park Festival (King Tut’s Stage)

August
09 Summersonic Festival, Tokyo, Japan (Mountain Stage)
10 Summersonic Festival, Osaka, Japan (Mountain Stage)
23 Reading Festival (Radio One Stage)
24 Leeds Festival (Radio One Stage

Kids In Glass Houses: throwing their own stones

May 29th, 2008

In the week that Welsh rising stars Kids In Glass Houses release their debut album, Smart Casual, they take the time out to talk to Robin Sparkles about biding their time and then signing to a heavy metal label.

Kids In Glass Houses

September 2006. A bunch of little-known UK acts are set to support some US emo types deep in the depths of Camden Town. There was a group of angry young men from Watford called Gallows, and then a double Welsh suckerpunch of The Blackout and Kids In Glass Houses.

It felt like there was something special happening; like magical wisps of stardust in the air. Well, maybe not quite, but it was a great gig.

From there Gallows went on to sign to Warner Brothers for a fuckload of money, re-release their awesome debut album and continued tearing up venues across the country while The Blackout went on a charm offensive, releasing a mini-album and a full-length.

KIGH, on the other hand got left by the wayside. Sure, they had their moments of glory supporting Lostprophets and Paramore as they toured their E-Pocalypse EP incessantly, but they never really broke out. Now, it looks like it is finally KIGH’s time as the five Valley boys prepare to release their debut album, Smart Casual.

“That gig definitely had that turning point feel to it. That was the first time we played London properly. I remember being really nervous. I don’t remember much of the show but we got a manager and an agent sprung from that show so it was an important one for us,” says singer Aled Phillips of that fateful gig.

Watch the video to ‘Easy Tiger’

“It felt like we were taking a long time to get an album out, but it felt like we were waiting to be in the strongest position we could be in. We were hungry to get where they were, but we didn’t want to rush it and release something that was half-baked either.”

That decision to bide their time worked well. The band – completed by guitarists Joel Fisher and Iain Mahanty, bassist Andrew Shay and drummer Phil Jenkins – spent most of 2007 on the road, writing and courting labels who were chomping at the bit for them.

Roadrunner Records eventually won that battle and athough the metal stable seems an unusual choice for a band with the powerpop tendencies of KIGH, Phillips thinks it was the right decision.

“They were willing for us to carry on doing exactly what we wanted to do and them just support us, so it was an ideal deal for us.”

Label in place, it was time to record their full-length, which they did towards the end of last year. The resulting album is 12 tracks of eclectic, melodic emo-rock that follows on in the tradition of Lostprophets. It’s a debut that crackles with the electricity of a band teetering on the edge of something very exciting, and KIGH couldn’t be happier with it.

“It’s the album we wanted to write. We have no regrets with it. It’s a lot more mature and varied than the EP, the album has a lot of different influences which we were keen to explore.”

Watch the video to ‘Give Me What I Want’

The broad-base of musical tastes that the five members have keeps things interesting. “That’s definitely come across clearer than it ever has before, because we all like completely different bands,” explains Aled. “Phil’s really into his pop, me and Ian have always been into hardcore and Joel likes Radiohead so when it comes together, it works quite nicely.”

It also means that they dodge pigeonholing, as their catchy, hook-laden, sing-along anthems sit comfortably between the intensity of Gallows, the screamo leanings of The Blackout and the pop-punk of Paramore – they can (and will) collect fans from all corners when on the road.

So as KIGH venture out on their headline tour, things are all good in their camp. So where do they want things to go from here? The ever modest Phillips ponders, “Things have never taken a massive leap forward so we’ve always had time to get our heads around it. So as long as we’re slightly bigger than we are now, as long as things aren’t going backwards and we’ve maybe seen a bit of the world, we’ll be happy.”

Well, it may have taken them a bit longer than their peers to get here, but we have a sneaking feeling that with Smart Casual as their secret weapon, the only way for them is skyrocketing upwards.

Smart Casual is out now on Roadrunner Records

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