"I think there's a big misconception of EyeHateGod," says Jimmy Bower. "People see the name, think, maybe these guys are Satanists, maybe they're just stupid."
I first heard EyeHateGod back in 1992 when In the Name of Suffering came out. Admittedly, I was as enthused by their name as much as their music -- I was always looking for bands whose very name was offensive. But with that record I ended up quite pleased by the music that came out of my super-cool Park 'n Swap speakers. I was immediately a fan.
I caught up with EyeHateGod's Jimmy Bower, lovingly referred to as the Godfather of Southern Metal, on Sunday afternoon. Here's what he had to say.
San Diego's Cattle Decapitation are the direct support on this evening of heaviness and will be weaving their vegan tales of death, despair, and hatred to all things related to consumerism and progress. Apparently they've recently added some melody to their sound, but my distinct guess after watching a few of their videos is that their set will be the furthest thing from a peaceful night around a campfire with an acoustic guitar and a bag of marshmallows. Expect the pit police to be in full force at Joe's Grotto during Cattle Decapitation's set. Vocalist Travis Ryan is one of the more enigmatic front men this genre has to offer.
Also on the bill is Tucson's heavy masters Godhunter and local boys Scattered Guts, Sorrower, and Seas Will Rise. Doors open at 6:30, so get there early, strap on a massive set of ear plugs, and consider wearing padded clothing, because this show is going to be brutal.
Up On The Sun: What should folks expect on Saturday? Bowers: We're basically still on the rebound (from drummer Joey LaCaze's August death), but we've played like 10 or 15 shows with our new drummer. We're really tight now, and we're trying to trudge on after a tragedy of that dimension. We're looking to have a good time, and gonna give a good time. We haven't been to Phoenix in a while and we're looking forward to playing for everybody out there.
I've read a lot of comparisons about your tour ethic being similar to Black Flag's. Do you guys still tour in a van? That's what we do. EyeHateGod prides itself on trying to be as DIY as we can. What little money that we do make, we try to keep. As far as being in a van, that doesn't bother us at all. We're a band of dudes with a really solid friendship; I think that is what has helped us stay around for so long. It's cool... we have a lot of kids coming to the shows these days, and I guess that's what happens when you stay around for so long, but it is great to see them digging something that is new to them.
What's happening with the new recording? Our new record should be coming out on Housecore Records in April or May...so people should be looking forward to some new music. The record was finished before Joey passed away, but we hadn't mixed it. Joey was starting to get into this groove...like Carnivore mixed with Black Flag. It's really different. What about the set for Saturday, any old stuff? We're playing a few songs off of In the Name of Suffering and some stuff off of Dopesick but we haven't had a chance to dive into a lot of the older, more obscure stuff yet with the new drummer. After we get back from this tour (which includes a quick 4 shows in five days in Australia) we will start working on getting more old stuff into the set.
You've managed to stay pretty busy for the last 25 years or so doing music, what projects are you working on now? EyeHateGod and Down are my only current projects..although I'm working on a solo record, well, have been for the past five years. It's a lot mellower, kinda singer/songwriter stuff, but with sparse vocals. It may turn out to be more like an Earth record, with no vocals or just the random vocals here and there.
Any final thoughts you want to add? I think there is a big misconception of EyeHateGod. People see the name... think maybe these guys are Satanists, or maybe they're just stupid. We've actually evolved into a really good time. We're from New Orleans, we're sarcastic. Kids are getting it now and people just come and check it out and even if they don't like the music, they'll still have a good time.
Well put, Jimmy, well put. That's what it's all about.
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EyeHateGod is scheduled to perform Saturday, January 11 at Joe's Grotto in Phoenix