Hello people and welcome to Metal Invader. How’s everything going at Goatwhore’s camp?
Everything is going well. Just preparing for our adventure to Europe in a couple of weeks.
What’s left to you after your last visit in Greece and what should we expect from this new one?
This will actually be our first time playing in Greece, and are looking forward to it. We are known for our live performance and the energy it emits. Since it will be a headlining show for us, we will have a longer set consisting of newer material mixed with some classics from the past releases.
Crafted from pieces of amazing bands, Goatwhore lived up to the myth and still continues strong. Just a little less than a year ago you released your latest album, “Vengeful Ascension”. As this year has passed you can definitely take a step back and talk to us about how you feel about this album, now that the heat subsided.
Of course, the feedback has been terrific on all levels, with the album and the live performance of the material. This release was another evolutionary step in what Goatwhore is becoming and continues to become. We never let anything slide and have gotten even more critical in what we create.
In “Vengeful Ascension”, you chose a different path. First of all, you changed the producer and gave your trust to Jarret Prichard. What made you take this step?
We just wanted to do something a bit different and take an altered route in what we do. in some instances you just have to try something new. I think it worked out rather well and having someone new can always bring new ideas and skill to the process. Jarrett is our live sound engineer most of the time and we all discussed it would be a unique concept to have someone who is familiar with our live aspect at the helm of doing the album. He was very vocal and involved with the process and in turn I feel it benefitted the album overall. Every engineer you work with will have a different way they do things and listen/hear/approach the music, so whenever you have that difference it can change things. I guess in some ways good and in some ways bad. It is a risk, but sometimes that “comfort zone” needs to be breached to take things to a different level. In this case it was a very positive outcome for everyone involved.
The sound is different…it’s a new sound. The Hellhammerish / punk parts have taken a step back (without disappearing completely of course), giving a protagonist role to the mid paced parts where the rhythm moments are enriched with lots of melody. Was it a path that you deliberately took or while writing the music it just came naturally?
It is the progression of Goatwhore coming into it’s own sound. All bands start with major influences and as time passes those influences become the mold and will eventually contribute to the development of a staple that defines the band. I feel like it was a mixture of being deliberate and what comes natural. We choose to do certain things and take those steps and sometimes the ideas just flow out like second nature. I would say as a more mature band we focus on things differently and are a bit more crucial on what we allow to be in a song. We have our moments throughout an entire record. I think we showcase those aspects greatly and still leave room to develop in future releases. It is all about in influences throughout time as well. Some influences are revised as time passes and you can see a different perspective of the influence and that has an impact on writing and the perception of how things will be put together. Also, newer influences play a huge role. Some things are influence by choice and some are of a subconscious influence and then it permeates into the writing process.
After 20 years do you still feel the pressure to live up to the standards that yourselves have placed high?
I don’t think of it as a pressure. It is about us growing and evolving as a band and musicians. If we stagnate and never evolve than we will inevitably fade away, while newer music is released and we are pushed to the back. We decided to do this style of music and I think as time moves forward newer bands come out and it sort of kindles the fire on keeping that momentum going. I guess it is sort of being competitive, but at the same time, it is a moment that you realize that music is always changing and evolving and you have to be on par with the hungrier newcomers.
How do you keep up with everything when some of you also work with different bands?
I have a sort of split life. Then again, it all blends at times. The routine runs fairly smooth as long as everyone has their future plans laid out in advance. Last minute things do pop up, but sometimes things need a shifting around. It can be tedious at times, but as with anything, if you truly enjoy it, you will make the time to be involved with it.
Did coming from New Orleans make an impact on the musicians you are today since it holds a rich background as a music city?
I am quite sure it has had an influence on us in many different ways. The diverse nature of music here, as well as being a completely different style of music than a scene had to offer originally. New Orleans is known for it’s Jazz and Blues, but as anywhere there are underbellies of scenes that spawn out of the ordinary styles. Same with New Orleans. Just because the main focus in music are the Jazz and blues attributes, it doesn’t mean that every person is a part of that. In the same aspect growing up around it all the time will instill an influence whether you want it or not. Also, taking a different path than the norm in this instance will also force an odd influence because of where you are from and what you are taking in elsewhere for an influence. If 2 people from separate parts of the world liked the same things and they played music, their interpretations of those influences would be different. It is only natural since we are individuals and have different notions and concepts on things.
After following the path of hating Christianity, you added much to your lyrics by talking about various things, like the Holocaust. What made you seek an outlet for new thoughts?
Hatred is great vessel at times when writing down ideas, depending on your control over it. Everything we do has multiple sides, so things can get misconstrued. I also believe in digging up things from the past and presenting them to people. We can never forget the horrible exploits that have happened. These things must be revisited every now and then to help people remember, or gain knowledge of it, so it is never duplicated. If we write about something based on a terrible past, this doesn’t mean we support that agenda, it is only our vision to put out there in how we have interpreted it and then let people ask us about the meaning behind it. People that just decide to assume something about a band because of their content could possibly be wrong. Therefore, everyone should ask and see where the path takes them. Our lyrics cover a very vast terrain or both deep ideas and or a more tongue-in-cheek approach. This is the method we have taken to represent what we do. All the aspects within our visual and literary approach can either be taken at face value or people can delve deeper to get a different message out of it. Most people just scratch the surface and don’t want to unearth answers or don’t care to unearth them. Either way, we have chosen this path and it has become what represents us the most.
As some of your lyrics talk about Holocaust… How do you feel about the rising of alt-right in America and world widely?
The alt-right has always been there, it is just showing it’s face more. It has this surge of confidence with people being put in higher positions that represent the ideals about it. This makes the hidden agenda stand out even more with people that were too scared to speak up before. I would rather know my enemies, then have them secretly hidden behind a fake facade. I am about people being individuals and doing what they enjoy. Likely enough, we do what we enjoy and some people have a taste for it. People that want to oppress or have other people part of their agenda are blind to the fact of being an individual. I think that is why I have been more focused on Luciferian writings because of the individualist image behind Lucifer. The fall, the struggle, the work to get back to the top again. Even though, at any moment, calamity can happen. That is human life. We all don’t always face the drastic angle of life, but a great portion of us do. These are the instances when you see the greatness in mankind, the determination to survive, even in the darkest moments. To tie this up, I feel that there is a lot of ignorant speech and talk, and those people don’t want to accept anyone’s ideas or beliefs. We would all like the world to be a perfect proper place in our own vision, but there must be a compromise and there will always be madmen, delusional leaders, etc. Being prepared on all fronts is a necessary lifestyle.
What changed in everyday life in Trump’s America?
If you can stay clear from news and social media, it can go mostly unnoticed. If you are out an about, you see things occasionally that are associated with it. I usually don’t get into political discussions with people much. I still do all the same things I have done for years. Only time will tell what the outcome will be. In the meantime, I stay true to what I believe and try not to be an asshole, unless it requires me to do so.
What’s coming next for Goatwhore?
We are about to embark on a European Tour from July 27th to August 24th. The tour will have some Festival appearances, as well as some dates in-between the festivals with bands like Dying Fest, Carnifex, Toxic Holocaust and Venom Prison, and also a few headlining shows like the one in Athens. Then we will do a tour in North America with Arch Enemy and Uncured in late September through October. We are working on some other plans in November and the early part of 2019. During the breaks in-between tours we will be working on things for the next record.
Thanks so much for your time. You can close this interview as you please. See you in Athens!
Thanks for this opportunity. We are very much looking forward to our first show in Athens, Greece.