last time you were in Paris was with Slipknot in 2001. How does it feel
to be back in France?
So far pretty good its only been like half an hour. Except for traffic,
it is fucking worse than New York, its amazing. Last time we were here
we were on a bus with Slipknot so you don't really see much driving
around. But now since we only have three dates outside the UK we rented
a van and we can see where we're going. I'm like "holy fucking
shit you drive like an asshole"!! Get me in a car here a wanna
fucking drive like this, there's no lines! Its good to be back though
because its been way too long, so its good to be back in swing get the
The last year has been hard for the band, a new
label, changes, one divorce, did you wanna stop everything?
Oh yeah, I think everyone in the band quit at some point, I mean I quit
for half a day. I called Cameron in the middle of the night and told
him in his machine "I'm done I'm fucking done dude", then
I got drunk and then next day I was like "aw shit what did I do?"
I called him back and said "just kidding"! It was actually
pretty rough between 'The War of Art' and 'The Feeding', I know a lot
of bands say that but it was fuck hard man, esp. even after the feeding
was done and Brian died on us. We just can't shake the curse, there's
an AHC curse, it touches everything. I swear your car's gonna break
down on the way home! There are definitely times when I thought I was
fucking done, and other people quit the band at times, you couldn't
get a hold of them for 2 weeks. That's when I was in California and
they were in Minneapolis a couple of thousand miles away and we were
doing demos for Rick Rubin back and forth just waiting and wait
For Rick to fucking listen to it, it took too long.
did your courage come from during these hard times?
Well basically this is all I do, I either play bass or I ask the person
do you want fries with that? That's all I got. I can write music, play
guitar, bass, that's about it, so I can't really quit this cause if
I do I'll work at fucking McDonalds. Cause all I do is play music.
working in a factory?
No no, I had so many shitty jobs before we got signed so I still remember.
There was actually a period of time between records and because it had
taken so long, 2 and half - 3 years, the cheques stopped coming in and
eventually you got one every once in a while for 200 bucks and you're
like "fuck I gotta pay rent, I have to live, I have to eat",
so I went and got a job for 3 months.
you tell us why you left American Recording and how you got the deal
with Nitrus Records?
We left American because we felt we were ready to record a record and
we were ready for a long time. We had recorded more than 45 songs and
Rick kept saying keep writing songs and we kept asking for notes on
the songs, we sent a batch of 10. We were used to getting back notes
like: "track 1 I like the intro, not sure about verse, maybe change
the bass kick pattern, the chorus great". He would give us direction.
This time around, we got notes with one line, like "don't like
it so much", or "this is pretty good", there was no direction,
he was vague and general. It was hard to get a hold of him, he was producing
everybody like NiN and Johnny cash, in the echelon of importance we
were down here, we didn't turn out to be the next SOAD, we did not sell
5 million records, at one point I think they were thinking this was
what was going to happen and it didn't, so we got pushed aside a little.
So we kept writing for a year and a half and we were watching our career
fade away and he was doing his stuff, we sent demos and heard from him
after 2 months. 2 months is a long fucking time when you're waiting
to hear about your career. We were ready to move on and he still wanted
us to keep writing. But he was pretty gracious, he held to his word.
One of the first things he had said to us was "if a time comes
when you don't wanna be on the label or not work with me or if I don't
want you on the label and don't want work with you, we'll clean cut,
real easy". And once we told him we wanted off American, in three
weeks the paperwork was done, it was actually one of the fastest things
Our manager is actually part of the Nitrus label and nitrus put out
the 'Texas chainsaw' soundtrack, the Clutch records, the Lit records.
Definitely it's a very small label but in the general musical climate
it is harder now to get a record deal than 5 years ago. So we were given
this opportunity. So our manager was like "they wanna work with
you pick you up", and we were like "Grab that!" Cause
its really hard to get a record deal. Labels aren't throwing money at
bands like they used to, they're being frugal.
Last time we had like no budget to make the record with Rick, we moved
into his house, we brought Sheryl Crow's studio doors from her house,
rented every peace of gear known to man to record.
This time we went into the studio we had a percent of money per song
we have this much to spend so we have 14 songs. Last time we did like
22 songs. So it was really different. So it was through our manager
that we got together with Nitrus.
you happy with Nitrus and what they're doing for you?
They were doing ok up to about 2 weeks ago! This whole Mudvayne tour
has been planned great. But when we got here in Dublin, the promoter
didn't know we were gonna be there! There were label problems, we didn't
get the money, someone else gave the money, it was all Mickey Mouse,
it was fucking retarded. So I'm a little pissed off with him right now.
I cant wait to get back and tear that fucking guy's head off. But up
until then its been good!
feeding has been out for 3 months.
When did it come out here, in February or later?
In the States it was released on Valentine's day.
it was at the end of March here. How did the fans react to it in US
You mean live? Oh the record. Its mixed everyone seems to like it, especially
the industry and the bands like Mudvayne, Otep, Bloodsimple, DKL. Everyone
loves the record, I'm very impressed by all these good musicians saying
"its awesome I can't get it out of the CD player". But with
fans, they kinda got locked with War of Art cause they were listening
to it for 3 years. So the feeling was different. Its not as long as
War of Art, it sounds more like a band, it doesn't has the Rick Rubin
wall of noise. You can here each instrument, each guitar. It's a mixed
reaction but people like. Its not a bad record, but some say "I
like War of Art better". And you say "ah shit I was trying",
but that's just the way it goes.
was your state of mind during the recording?
I was a fucking lunatic. It was a hard record to make. It was the tail
end of the shit storm for the past 2 years. I was back into drugs really
bad. Things were shitty, I wouldn't go to studio, people would not show
up, they would walk out. We put our producer through hell. He really
had to work for us, crack the whip! My state of mind was not good recording
that record so I'm looking forward to doing another one and been present
this time. As opposed to being pissed off at everyone not wanting to
be there. I had some personal shit going on, I was living separately
cause I was living 5 minutes from the studio in Hollywood and all the
other guys were renting their own apartment. So I'd get there and they
were all like "yeah we all went swimming", I was like "fuck
you! Where's the nearest liquor store?" It was rough, it was hard,
in the last days there were bottle flying, glasses flying, people screaming
at each other.
you explain the cover art concept and who did it?
The painting? It's a painting. Our old drum tech did it, Cameron's the
singer's roommate, he lived with me for about a year too. We had finished
the record and were still trying to figure out what the artwork would
be. We went through a bunch of different things. Anyway, a friend of
ours was in Cameron's apartment and looked up at the wall at this 4x4
feet painting and said "that's the art cover" and everyone
went "DING! That it!" They emailed the pic to me and I said
"fuck that's rad! lets do it!"
record is kinda disappointing compared to the war of art, the songs
are more melodic, its more easy to understand, as you say the samples
are less aggressive less acidic, the songs have more of a classic structure.
What according to you is the reason for this evolution?
Well we became better songwriters. When we first went in with the songs
that we had and that we had been playing for years to do 'War of Art',
they were very different. Some songs are vastly different. Rick helped
us write songs, not that there are rules for writing songs but we would
think like ababcdef. Most of the songs we brought to Rick, he'd listen
to and say "that is a song, that is a different song". We
had a strange way of writing and he helped us write a classic good rock
song. So it was more refined. We worked with the same guy the engineer
from the first record was the producer, on the feeding who works a lot
with Rick Rubin. So he's kinda got the same mentality for song writing.
He's like me I'm 33 I grew up listening to Kiss and AC/DC and shit like
that, rock songs! So Greg Philman is very much the same way, he's a
classic rock guy. He's like "write the fucking song". We sometimes
start to go off on our tangents and he brings us back in. But some songs
like 'Ridicule' and 'Take' are definitely structurally different, they
are not the simple abcd rock song. So it was a natural way of writing
songs. And the length of the record is different, the first one was
too long it was 75mins of music. People would sit down and listen to
half of it then go off and get a sandwich and then listen to the other
half when the brain was cleared out. So this one is more succinct, you
sit down listen to 11 songs in 45 minutes and take off and have it stick
in your brain. I'm proud of The Feeding, it was a bitch to make and
I'm amazed its out there and amazed anybody in France knows what The
Feeding is. I have gratitude.
I have a question about the lyrics.
You probably shouldn't ask me, I haven't written much on this record.
I've written 1 and half or 2 songs.
it's a general question, its about the lyrics on the songs 'Walk Away',
'Leave me alone' and 'Take what I've taken'. Does Cameron sing about
being dumped by someone or stopping drug abuse?
Its always hard do to answer stuff about his lyrics, he wont give an
answer and so I cant either. Our lyrics are ambiguous you have to take
them as you will. I've never hear Cameron answer a straightforward question
on lyrics. There's a beauty in that. Its like Jane's addiction. I'm
not comparing us to them, they are gods. But you can read Perry Farrell's
lyrics and not know what the hell he's talking about. Different people
find different ways to relate to these lyrics. The statement leave me
alone says something, I know what he's talk about but I'm not gonna
say, its not about a person though. Its open for interpretation.
and fear are 2 concepts used a lot in your lyrics. Do they dictate the
band's and Cameron's life?
Yeah probably cause the clock was running out on us. There was a point
when we nearly gave up. Time was a factor, we were watching our asses
go down the drain, we were trying to fix the problem but it became futile.
A larger side of the record is also based on fear of one form or another,
and you can take that as you want it.
have a few questions about Brian.
I can talk about him, but I really have to get going we're playing in
heard a lot of rumours in France and on the net about the day he passed
away, can you talk to us about that day?
We were coming form St. Louis Missouri and where on our way to South
Carolina we were driving for 16hrs and he passed away somewhere along
the route to South Carolina. Brian was an insomniac, he could not sleep
on the bus. He had been awake for 5 days, he was getting pissed off
because of this. So when he went to sleep on the bus, we usually left
him alone and did not wake him or check on him. He had strep throat
for the week before that and he was on penicillin and he wasn't drinking
cause the alcohol cancels out the antibiotics. He had strep throat for
about 5 times the past year, his tonsil was black he couldn't swallow
without tears coming to his eyes. So he went to the doctor in Philadelphia
12 days before he died and he got some penicillin and pain killers.
However, we didn't know he had a heart condition but he hadn't been
drinking. The last time we saw him we went out from the hotel we walked
down the street me, him and our guitar tech we had a beer and 2 shots,
he wasn't fucked up, then we got back to the bus, he took the pain killers
and with that and the booze and his heart and he was on his back, opiates
make your stomach turn and they would make him nauseous, so with all
that combination it was the classic case, he choked on his puke, there
was shit in his mouth and nose, he tried to get something out of his
stomach and he just couldn't get it out. When he was found, I don't
know we haven't talked about it as a band for a while. It was our tour
manager who found him, then it was Justin. I was inside getting dinner
with Chad Grey he introduced me to his fiancée, and one Mudvayne
technician came and called Chad. I thought it was for him but no it
was for me and he said, "you guys need to come to the tour bus
right now!" and I said "what?" And Chad said "I'm
fucking eating man" but he said "NOW!" he was fucking
serious. So we went out he said "dude what your guitar player's
name?" I said "Brian" he said "he's in the tour
bus and he's not breathing". I haven't run that fast since I was
10, I got to the bus and saw cops, lights, ambulance, coroners van,
cop tape everywhere, they would let me on the bus, everyone was freaking
out. I just didn't believe it for an hour I was in shock 'til I saw
them take the body off the bus, we cancelled the show that day. The
weirdest thing was we had to get in the bus and drive it and get to
the airport to go home for the funeral. It was fucking weird. That's
for the record pretty much what happened.
did you do in the days and weeks after his death?
Well we took 9 days off, basically we went back to bury him and we got
back on a Wednesday and his funeral was the next Wednesday and we were
on tour by Friday. We nearly didn't finish the Mudvayne tour. Justin
had a hard time dealing with it he was like "I cant fucking go
do that right now". I told him I understand, but business wise
it's a bad move, I hate to say this phrase, but I would say "go
and do the fucking tour, this is what you do. You stayed home for a
week and a half now deal with it, fucking go do the tour". That's
how what I felt Brian would say. "Stop crying and bitching and
go play music", so we were back in 10 days with Benji filling in
for Brian. He was in the band that Brian was in from Minneapolis, so
we keep stealing people from that band!
Pivot's Questionnary :
is your favourite word?
Your least favourite? Happiness
What turns you on creatively? Depression
Spiritually? Really good sex
Emotionally? Really really good sex
What turns you off? Bad sex
Favourite swearword? Motherfucker
The sound you love? Feedback guitar
The sound you hate?
When your eating with you knife and fork goes and it goes eeek!!! I
hate that fucking noise, it just made my nipples go hard
a bad one!
Your favourite place on earth? L.A.
Your least favourite? I don't really hate
you worst place to play live?
FRANCE!!! No probably
God it's a hard one, where do we have shitty
gigs? I can't answer that. Everywhere we go even if the venue and the
sound sucks the kids are great so its hard to say
book you read?
Dark House, by Dean Koontz, and Fast food nation, a few books by Al
Franklin, I just finished the Da Vinci Code, it was interesting
film you saw?
Last new film was Team America, with the marionettes from South Park.
Favourite movie? Probably Willy Wonka
person who has influenced you most?
Hunter S Thomson, William Burrows, Ace Frehley
were your heroes?
Ace Frehley and Evil Knevil probably since I was 7, I wanted to be him
other profession would you like to do other than your own?
Weird I was just talking about this the other night, helicopter pilot,
kindergarten teacher or mortician, fixing dead bodies.
other profession would you not like to do?
Anything where I have to get someone changed
heaven exists what would you like God to say at the pearly gates?
Glad you made it.