INTERVIEW: Every Time I Die at Slam Dunk Festival


INTERVIEW: Every Time I Die at Slam Dunk Festival

What memories or stories do you have of Slam Dunk when you’ve been here in the past?

I’ve got to be honest, I don’t remember the last time we played here (Hatfield). I remember Slam Dunk in Leeds, the crowd was sick, that was awesome, but I can’t remember playing here.

This year, how have the shows been in Leeds and Birmingham?

Good! Birmingham was weird because it was in, like, an air hanger? So we were just playing in a tin can and the sound was really weird, but it was good. You’d hear like, two snare drums from the bounce-back.

I guess our take on a show is different to someone watching, you’ll meet people afterwards who say ‘You guys sounded great!’ but on stage it sounds really different.

You’ve got a new album coming out this year – how would you describe the recording process and the overall sound of the record?

It’s killer. It’s definitely my favourite sounding Every Time I Die record. Recorded with Will Putney, he did Stray From The Path and the last Counterparts record. He’s the man, but he’s a guitar player though so the guitars are always going to sound great.

We recorded in Buffalo, NY, in a studio owned by Robby from the Goo Goo Dolls, which is insane – it’s a great studio. The record is really open, I don’t know how to describe it. If From Parts Unknown was the most angry record we’ve ever done, this is the post-anger, depressive state.

But at the same time it’s super fast. Like an old band trying to find itself or something, but it’s not going to alienate anyone – it’s still Every Time I Die.

It’s just a more vast record. When we were writing I was talking about deserts and things like that, I’d write a riff and tell the guys ‘This is where I want you to be’ and tell them to think about an open area, and the idea we’re working on taking up that area, sound wise. I know that sounds weird.

What have you got in your current rig, and what do you like most about Marshall amps?

I’ve had the same Marshall JCM800 for the entire time (of the band), and on the record it’s on the entire time, it’s in everything. We always like to do a modern/vintage sort of sound, so I’ve always liked to pair my 800 with something more high gain.

The 800 is amazing on its own, but for the chunkier stuff we’ll pair it with another amp to chunk it up a bit. I have so much stuff, I have an old JMP that I really like, but it just didn’t work on all of the songs on the record. They take pedals really well though, so if you’re doing a lead the JMP is absolutely perfect for that.

With my 800, I can tell you how every pedal affects it – what frequencies it’ll boost etc, I’m always going to be with that amp. I really like the diversity of the 800. They’re that workhorse car that you don’t have to do much to. The reason Marshall JCM800s are the best amp in the world is because you can go out there and find ‘your’ amp. You can find ‘your’ sound, and you just can’t do that with other amps. There’s a level of TLC that goes into them that makes them great. I’ll take an 800 over anything else.

On this tour we’re trying a JVM as a backup, and Jordan’s (Buckley, guitar) Tubescreamer died on the flight over so he’s going straight into the JVM and we love it – I really want to get one of those.

If you could describe your career so far in one word, what would it be?

Workhorse. That’s it. Perseverance, that’s another one.

Finally, what advice would you give to someone picking up the guitar for the first time?

Don’t think you’re going to pick up the guitar and think you’re going to be Zakk Wylde right off the bat, you’re gonna be learning The Ramones. Worry about that. Play The Ramones, and when you’re done with that move to The Clash, and when you’re done with that just work your way up.

It’s funny, a lot of people are like ‘I want to learn that Metallica song’, and I’ll ask them, ‘Can you play Blitzkrieg Bop?’ They’re only doing three movements, worry about those three movements first – don’t try to do twenty movements in one swoop.

I’ve been listening to Led Zeppelin since I was a child, and every time I listen to them I think ‘how did they write that?’ We’re nine records in, I’ve written nine records of music and I still sit there and think ‘how did they come up with that?’

But y’know, our records are more about having fun than writing 900 riffs. So yeah, start with The Ramones.