Samuel Barker: Alright guys, let's start off with names and what you do, and if you have some sort of special message, throw that out too.
Nate Wallace: I'm Nate, I sing
Bill Schultze: Hey, I'm Bill, I play guitar.
Andy Cyrulnik: I'm Andy, I play drums, and Kevin Lewis is our bass player but he's not here.
Samuel: So, you guys are out of Detroit, are there many bands you guys enjoy playing with there?
Andy: Detroit's music scene is definitely starting to take off, and there are a few local bands like Arising, Pooch, a band called Sicks, and we're good buds with Taproot.
Samuel: So, how many years have you guys been together doing this?
Bill: About 3 and a half years...
Andy: Yeah, about 3 and a half years. Bill, Kevin, and Nate were the first 3 to start the band and they went through a couple of member changes and I was the last one to join about 3 years ago. So this four-some has been together for about 3 years.
Samuel: Have you guys done a lot of independent releases before you got with Mojo?
Andy: We actually ended up signing with a local independent label called Medea. They were the ones who actually put us in the studio to record Mankind which is our debut album. It was a real low budget album, we didn't really expect anything to come of it and the next thing we know we have some majors interested in buying it off Medea. That's when we ended up going off and working with Mojo/Universal.
Samuel: Have they been a good label to work with?
Andy: Mojo? They've been awesome.
Nate: Yeah, the really interesting thing about this is that they took our original album that we produced ourselves locally and re-released it after remastering it, it's something we take a lot of pride in. We had such a low budget for the album, it was recorded for three grand which is really low.
Samuel: So it was kinda nice they took something low budget and had enough faith in you as a band to re-release it.
Andy: The cool thing about the album is the fact that we went into the studio and busted it out really quick and there was such a low budget and everything. It kinda give the album a real almost live and raw feel, almost like out live show, and then Mojo taking it and remastering it to give it a louder, cleaner sound. But by listening to it you can here it's not this high produced, high budget album, it's more real and gives people and idea as to what our live show is going to be like.
Samuel: I know a lot of underground bands playing this genre of music, even though you've been playing it for 3 to 4 years, still get the "you just started doing it, you're jumping on the bandwagon" sorta thing, have you guy had to endure that at all?
Bill: Well, we're basically doing what we're doing because it's what we like and what feels good. When we write a song it's not like we sit down and say we want it to sound like this, it's what makes us feel good first and foremost. The most important thing is if it feels good to us and if we're comfortable doing it.
Samuel: I love what you did with the lyric sheet where it's more of the idea behind the song as opposed to the actual lyrics. With this album, you could make out most of what you were saying as opposed to just noise and yells and stuff. It was nice for you to take the time to illustrate what the idea behind the songs were.
Nate: Yeah, it was just a chance to add a little more literary art as well into our music. It's neat too because people always come up to me and ask me what words are and ask "is this what you're saying" and I'm like "No.", everybody usually gets it wrong. It's kinda funny, but the cool thing about it is that it's left open to interpretation, for people to get their own feelings. That's more of the idea, to represent the feeling. The idea isn't really what matters it's what people are taking away from it. It's like looking at a painting, you get your own idea of what it feels to you and that's what I wanted to do. I wanted to be more like that so people who listen to it get their own idea from it. And it represents themselves instead of representing what we're feeling or I'm feeling in particular.
Samuel: I see you guys are on tour with Kittie now, have you been on tour with them long?
Bill: We've been on tour with them since November 18th. On November 18th we started the tour and will be going until December 12th. Then after that we're going out to do some stuff with Gravity Kills, then we're going home for the holidays.
Samuel: Is this really your first big US tour?
Bill: This is the biggest tour we've been on, but not the only tour.
Andy: It's pretty much the 3rd tour we've been on and it's definitely a step up. We've been on tour with Mudvayne with them as a headliner for a while now, but now with Kittie on the bill they're raking in anywhere from 1000-2000 people a show. It's obviously a big step up for us. Any opportunity to play with a new band gives us the opportunity to get our music out to people who most of them have never heard of us before.
Samuel: Yeah, I know I've never seen the name down here much until lately. We cover a lot of shows, and I know a lot bands spend a long time at home before heading out on the road.
Andy: The album came out on October 2nd.
Bill: October 3rd.
Andy: It's all the same. Yeah, it's new to us, but it's been a good experience for us, and the response has been pretty kick ass so far.
Samuel: Has it been weird going from being a local independent band to doing all the promo stuff and being stuck doing shit like this?
Andy: Yeah, we were waiting for this man, it's been our dream and we've been ready for this for years. We're ready to come out of the gates and tear it up.
Samuel: Does it feel good to have the feeling you've finally accomplished what your goal was?
Andy: Yeah, it's still in the beginning. We just started, and in our eyes it is just the beginning and we still have a long fucking way to go. But it's a start, and it's a good start. We're gonna keep busting ass, so far so good.
Samuel: Well, do you guys have anything to add?
Andy: Not really.
Samuel: Alright, thanks and....
Andy: We like small children
Bill and Nate: Andy likes small children
Andy: Don't get embarrassed about it.
Nate: I'm not embarrassed, I like my nephew, but I don't want to do anything with him.
Andy:(with everyone laughing) Alright man, we're done.
Samuel Barker is Senior Editor. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.