As I Lay Dying's Jordan Mancino on Slayer and Frank Sinatra

The members of Grammy-nominated metal group As I Lay Dying are further into their career than they thought they'd ever be.

Not only does 2011 mark the band's 10-year anniversary, but the band released a new album, Decas, and are burning through the country with Of Mice and Men, The Ghost Inside, and iwrestledabearonce on the A Decade of Destruction Tour.

Decas features three cover songs paying homage to a handful of bands that influenced the members in As I Lay Dying, including Slayer and Judas Priest, and remixes of some of the band's tunes.

Up On The Sun talked with drummer Jordan Mancino on sow the band's sound has evolved over 10 years and why he'd like to share the stage with Frank Sinatra.

As I Lay Dying is scheduled to perform at The Venue Scottsdale, on Wednesday, December 14.

Up On The Sun: Do you have a specific favorite remix from Decas?

Jordan Mancino: It's hard for me to pick a favorite since they are all so different, but I would have to say Big Chocolate's remix, "Elegy," if I had to pick one.

Why is that your favorite?

I thought the samples he used were pretty heavy, which added to the overall intensity of the remix.

On the album, you guys cover Judas Priest's "Electric Eye" and "Hellion," Slayer's ultimate metal anthem "War Ensemble," and Descendant's "Coffee Mug." How did you choose the covers?

The Judas Priest song was Phil's [Sgrosso, guitarist] idea, which was ultimately supported by the band. We are all fans of Judas Priest and felt we could put a tasteful twist on the original while keeping it respectful to the original recording.

The Slayer cover came up as a covered single for a video game soundtrack. We thought it turned out so well that we would put it on Decas. Plus, Slayer is one of our many influences, so we thought it was fitting to pay our respect with cover of one of their greatest songs. The Descendants cover came up, since we most of us grew listening to them and other punk bands. We also liked the lightheartedness of the song and the fact it was only 30-seconds long.

How do you think As I Lay Dying's sound has evolved over 10 years and five albums?

Well, when you listen to the albums back to back the evolution of our sound is fairly clear, that is we are always trying to get heavier and heavier while writing better songs. I think with Frail Words Collapse and Shadows are Security we concentrated more on the melodic side of our sound, and An Ocean Between Us and The Powerless Rise we focused more on the trashier side and layering side of our sound. I certainly plan and hope to continue to evolve as songwriters and musicians.

What do you feel is the most powerful album, and the least powerful?

I would say our most powerful is the The Powerless Rise and the least powerful would be...Beneath The Encasing of Ashes? [Laughter]. That's a tough question, because I have no other choice but to say something negative about at least one record.

What's the one message you think As I Lay Dying's music brings to society?

I think there's easily more than one message to society brought by our band, but all of those messages provoke some sort of thought. People need to think a little more and question the norm.

If you could share the stage with any musician, dead or alive, who would it be?

We've shared the stage with most of my hero's already, which something I never ever thought I could say... I guess I would have liked to have shared the stage with Frank Sinatra. That dude owns it on and off-stage.

Can you remember the first type of music or song that made you realize you wanted to be a musician?

I can remember the first type of music that really got me stoked was on the heavier side. I don't remember what album or band it was, but I definitely know it was heavy. Wish I would have written it down, cause that would be good to know.

know that statements have been made in prior interviews that Christian views come across often in the lyricals. Do you guys keep Christian values in your actual lifestyles?

Definitely. That's not to say we are perfect by any means. We all make mistakes, but we try to learn from them. I think the most important thing for us is personal and spiritual growth.

As I Lay Dying's last DVD was in 2009. Can fans expect another one soon?

I'm sure we will get something out when the time is right. Right now we are trying to use free and accessible outlets like YouTube to give a glimpse in to our touring lives and shows.

What else can fans expect from you guys within the next couple years? Another full-length album? More touring?

They can expect both in 2012. We are heading in to the studio around springtime and plan to start the touring once we've finished the record.

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Lauren Wise has worked as a rock/heavy metal journalist for 15 years. She contributes to Noisey and LA Weekly, edits books, and drinks whiskey.
Contact: Lauren Wise