Most Precious Blood Interview
This interview was made in Lyon the 6th February 2006.
Laureline, Manu et O.S. have met the guitar player Rachel.
So first, you're on tour here in Europe since the 13th of January, how is it?
This tour is been really good, we were with Turmoil for 3 weeks and now we've got this week on our own. This is probably a million time better than our last time here a year and a half ago. We're really happy!

Something funny or strange to tell us that happened during the tour?
The roadies that was with Turmoil was actually got left on a ferry going between Sweden to Denmark. He didn't have his passport or anything on him and he saw the bus leaving from the ferry and started running after the bus but no one saw him, we all thought he was in his bunk when we got to the club. And then, probably a couple hours later we realize that he wasn't there, that we must have left him on the ferry. But he took a train, he had enough money and he said he ran through the border and no one stopped him. But he took a train to where we were. Everything becomes like a big blur after a while, now it gets hard to remember things... Yeah that was definitely funny... can't remember anything else... (Laugh)

Your music seems to have evolved on "Merciless" with the inclusion of electronic parts, with more melodic parts... For which reasons did you make these choices?
The electronic parts are just because me & Justin like a lot electronic music, dance music and dark wave. We both have like computers studios so we wanted to try to incorporate that kind of stuff in Most Precious Blood without going too far so we just tried to do a few subtle things, the strings on there were done on a computer. I think we always had melodic parts mixed with everything. We just try to keep doing what we were doing, move on a little bit a try a few new things but not going too far that people didn't know what we do. I think it worked out ok.

You also recorded a cover song, Nine Inch Nails' " Head Like A Hole ". You also recorded Guns N' Roses' "Sweat Child O'Mine".... Why these choices?
... The Guns N' Roses song was for a tribute to Guns N' Roses, we just want to be part of it cause we all like Guns N' Roses. I can't even remember why we did the Nine Inch Nails song! I remember going to do it but I don't remember why exactly (Laugh). We all love Nine Inch Nails and our bass player Matt always talked about covering that song and an another AFI we did too I think. I wish I can remember why we did it, it's gonna make me crazy (Laugh) I'm sorry! (Laugh) It's always fun to cover songs of bands you really like.

By covering songs like these ones did you maybe want to really mark your difference from the other hardcore bands which usually cover Agnostic Front songs, Cro-Mags songs...
I think it's more fun to cover songs which are not from hardcore bands.
Actually in the US a lot of bands like hardcore or metal bands cover weird songs. Like the band Evergreen terrace brought out a whole LP of weird covers. With my other band, The Wage Of Sin, we covered Journey and Separate Ways, I think its always. If you gonna cover a hardcore song, I think you just keep it just the way it is, the way it was done originally. There's not so much you can do when you cover a hardcore song because if you change it too much, people will get pissed off, but with any kind of other songs you can do what you ever want to so it's a little more fun. Not it's not fun to cover hardcore songs but overall you have more freedom when you don't do one, cause there's no expectations really.

You talked about The Wage Of Sin... why did you split?
We were just all very busy with other things, it was hard for everyone to make time to do the band, to play shows and write stuff. So instead of doing it half-ass, we didn't want to waste anyone's money to put our records out if we really think we couldn't tour anymore so we just to break up on good terms and being still friends. We feel that we accomplished a lot, we toured the US a couple of time and came here and we put out 2 records, that's more than I ever thought would happen with it.. (Laugh)

The cover of the album was once again censored... you certainly suspected that a little for a cover like this one? Which were your motivations?
Actually we didn't expect it at all, we understand why the last one was. This one was only disgusting but I don't think there's something offensive about it but you know we were told that we couldn't use it. But I guess maybe I'm used to see stuff like that... yeah that's how it is, ok... We always used cover that were a little bit shocking but I think the other covers are just a lot more shocking, it's more reactions than the one that we ended up using. At least its in there somewhere (Laugh).

That's a usual fact in the US...

What's your feeling about that, maybe do you know where does it come from?
It's just because hardcore is got pretty big in the US and metal now too, it used to be never issue for a hardcore band about your cover, it didn't matter because they never gonna be in big chain stores, it always been independent stores. But now, because hardcore is big and there's big stores that will not carry your record. You have to be part of the majority in the US, if there's anything a little bit offensive about your cover you have to put a sticker or a sleeve over it or change it. I think it always been like that in the US, obviously for major labels audience and stuff like that but now with what's happening with hardcore, its becoming part of it and its just another thing you have to deal with.

You recently played in South Africa, which is rare for a band in your style, could you tell us more about this experience?
We're actually the first US hardcore band to play there, the shows were really cool and the kids were excited that we had actually come all the way out there. We were like "Wow we're in S. Africa!", I would never have gone to S. Africa otherwise. There were only 4 shows and we were there for 2 weeks and we got to go on a safari. We did a lot of driving so we got to see a lot of the country everywhere, Cape Town for a couple days, Johannesburg, Durban and Pretoria. That's really good and crazy that's so far away kids like the same stuff I guess it's because of the internet, I think so (Laugh). We are really happy that we were able to go place some place new because everywhere is been covered by somebody so it's hard to go some place that's no one ever gone before, so we were excited (Laugh).

Recently, I bought the American version of " Merciless " in which feature a " Peta " DVD. Could you tell us more about this structure?
I actually never even saw it, I never even saw the CD with the double one, we didn't have one. But I know it wasn't exactly what we wanted, we wanted them to put that "Meet your Meat" thing, I thought it was going to be more serious, but it had a lot of stuff like pop-punk bands. We actually had someone write us complaining about what was on it, saying that they can't believe that Peta put something like that out. Cause it was some pop-punk band. But when the bigger bands do some photo shoot and have a skinned fox in it, the photo skinned the fox himself. Even if it's something opposed to fur you shouldn't really be skinning the fox for a photo-shoot, like I said I never saw it. I wish it hadn't involved other bands on it. We've always done stuff with Peta, we had their pamphlets on our shows and they sponsored a tour we did. We support them but obviously not every place is perfect.

I had the feeling while watching the DVD that "Peta" made an amalgam between the fact that certain people eat meat and the fact of maltreating the animals. Which is your point of view on this subject?
Obviously people who abuse animals are a lot worse. I guess there isn't really a difference between people who wearing it or eating it so that's probably be treated the same. Some people are vegetarian and still wearing leather and stuff like that even if they don't eat meat I don't see a difference, I see that as the same thing. People who used to do experiments on animals are a lot worse than people who eat meat. People in the world are always gonna eat meat, that's never gonna change, you're never gonna have a planet where no one eats animals (laughs). So I always care more about how the animals are treated while they are alive, rather than believing that the whole planet is gonna stop eating. If you know that the cows have more space and are not crammed into their quarters, then fine, you know that at least when the cow was alive it was having a good time. (Laughs) You know what I'm saying. I'm a vegan now but if I ever had a farm with chickens I'd eat them. Cause you know that the chickens were all taken care of and the cows were milked. Its more to me bout the conditions of the animals.

Being vegan is I think a lot different between Europe and the US, especially here in France because of the specific agriculture. The videos we can see on Peta's site are terrible and even if it certainly exists in France, it's different from the US...
In the US you have to make the most money possible from what you have so the more chickens you can cram in a tiny space the better and the more eggs they're gonna get, and the more they milk the cows there more they're gonna get. Is just how it is in the US.

How do you explain that it is in the hardcore scene where we find more the vegan or the Straight-edge speech?
I think that hardcore kids are more & always carried by social things than other people. Even if so many hardcore bands are like metal bands now, in the past hardcore bands always had a message and try to change things. Punk rock is I guess less about that, not all bands, but a lot punk rock bands are about having fun and getting drunk but I love punk bands. But you know there's definitely a lot of depressed bands which were always very political like Propaghandi. But I think the whole hardcore scene seem to have definitely a message, I think that's a natural thing for hardcore kids to find out about how animals are mistreated especially in the US and not eating meat and stuff like that. I think it just goes with the music. Unfortunately not as much today as it used to be I think. I think kids cared more about stupid things today than what it was in the 90's.

Do you see some fashion thing in being vegan or straight-edge? In fact we have the feeling that it's kind of fashionable here in Europe...
Straight-edge definitely cause people think that when they're straight-edge they can fit in a group and belong. And in the US the straight edge made kids break out and started doing crazy stuff like fu and started drinking. Its breaking their edge and they become extremists like either do nothing or get really drunk every night. Vegan I don't see as being a fashion or a bad thing. Ok there's less people eating meat, maybe they're doing it for the wrong reasons and eventually they will find the right reason and stick with it. If someone is vegan straight edge I would rather they broke their edge than stop being vegetarian. I an understand going from vegan to vegetarian cause I miss cheese all the time, but I can never ever think of eating meat again. But people who are vegetarian and then start eating meat again, I'm like" how can you go back after all that you know? How can you start eating burgers and chicken and stuff like that? I just don't understand it". Like I had a conversation with a friend who did that and he said its not going to change anything being a vegan, I know its not but I know that what's out there will continue being done and I don't want to be a part of it. And he was arguing the world is not gonna go vegan. Obviously not, that's just being silly (laugh).

I heard that Justin was working in a radio station...
... Yeah he's been doing that the last couple years, he works for a couple different stations and he does a lot of voice over work and stuff like on MTV in the US a lot of hardcore bands that have commercials now and doing Headbanger's Ball for their tours and their albums, so he's done a lot of voice over for some of those commercials.

So, the "Shark Ethic" video-clip is certainly link with that. Is it Justin we can hear at the begining?
Yeah cause he thought he might as well realise his radio voice, so yeah that's him, so yeah (Laugh).

The 13th of january was released in the States " Threat " in which we can see Justin, could you tell us more about the film and also about the soundtrack of the film with Terror, Bleeding Through, and of course MPB...
I was actually in the movie too! (Laugh)
It's funny because Trustkill put a thing about it that it features Justin two little scenes where he's in fights, beating up people or something. But in the films I've actually a couple talking things and I get shot in the face (Laugh)
But I didn't get mentioned. It's a friend of ours who did the movie, now it's probably 10 years ago that it was actually filmed. I don't know if I have ever seen the movie, I don't know what's the storyline was exactly. It's about different kind of kids in New York City and stuff going on with them, some straight-edge kid gangs... well I don't know what's the message is 'cause I haven't seen it. But the soundtrack is also cool because I guess, I don't know if you know the movie Judgement Night where they put the metal bands and the rap bands... they did something like that with hardcore bands & metal bands, with techno, DJ's and a lot electronic music, people did remixes, so we're pretty excited to have our songs remixed, I thought that was a cool idea, cause I like that kind of stuff too.

Do you know if the film will be released here in Europe?
I don't know, I just know it's got released in the US this month, or last month, in January. I'm sure they gonna try to release it here, I just don't know how. Because if it took him 10 years to get it release in the US your best would be if it comes out on DVD, just to buy it. (Laugh)

With tonight's show you only have 5 shows left to make. What will be your plans after that?
We're going to Brazil for a week at the end of this month, I think we'll play 3 shows and this festival called the Liberation Fest I'm excited cause I'll go to some new places, I've never been to south America so it should be cool. After that... I think we've been talking to a guy to play in Mexico but I don't know if it's going to happen, and we'll tour the US again and then we're supposed to comeback in Europe in mid-June for about 3 weeks to play some festivals, hopefully we'll play Fury Fest again...

... in fact the Fury Fest doesn't exist anymore. Now it'll be called the Hellfest like the one in the US made by Ben, the guy who create the Fury Fest. Announce yet, bands like Agnostic Front, Apocalyptica, Entombed and Deicide...
... Oh! Really? Well hopefully we'll do it... So yeah we hope to play some festivals and after that we're supposed to go to Australia and New-Zealand again and after that maybe start writing again and take a little break...

Questionnaire of Pivot :

Your favourite word? "Fuck", cause I use it a lot (Laugh)
Least favourite word? Probably "Cunt" (Laugh)
What turns you on creatively? Anger (Laugh)
And Spiritually? Nothing (Laugh)
And Emotionally? My dogs (Laugh)
What turns you off? Guys wearing make-up! (Laugh)
Your favourite curse word? "Fuck"
What sound do you love? The sound of happy dogs and breathing (Laugh)
And sounds you hate? Drummers constantly drumming on stuff (Laugh)
Your favourite place on earth? Arizona, the desert
And the most hated place? Cities in general
Who were your heroes when you were kid? Thundercats (Laugh)
What profession would you like to do if you weren't doing this? Veterinarian
And what profession would you not want to do? Working on any kind of office, anything where supposed to do the same thing everyday.
If heaven exists what would you want god to say to you at the pearly gates?

Interview Laureline, Manu & O.S.
Translation Manu

Copyright Hammerock - Spiritribe 1999