As I Lay Dying Interview with Jordan Mancino in Support of Their 2006 Release, Shadows Are Security
by Dixon Christie
PunkTV.ca: We’re here with As I Lay Dying at Sounds of the Underground. Can you please introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about your band?
My name is Jordan Mancino and I play drums in As I Lay Dying
PunkTV.ca: Right on. How has the tour been going for you and what bands are you most excited to be playing with?
It’s going great. It’s been an amazing time. Like the crowds have been great just the whole vide backstage has been awesome, everyone’s been having a really good time like hanging out and stuff like that. Bands, well there’s a lot of amazing bands on this tour it’s hard to kind of just name a few. Like Behemoth, we’ve toured before and just an amazing band to watch.
PunkTV.ca: Fun band to watch.
Ya like In Flames, Cannibal Corpse, it’s our first time on tour with Cannibal Corpse it’s really cool to see those guys.
PunkTV.ca: Considering what their politic is like what’s it like touring, being the kind of band that you guys are, touring with a band that has a completely different politic? Obviously, their great guys we’ve talked to them too.
Nah I mean I think that’s what’s cool about this tour. So many bands can come together with different ideas and different beliefs, be able to come together and play music together and respect each other. That’s the whole vide on this tour. There are so many bands that believe so many different things but everybody respects each other and we’re all here playing music together, you know what I mean.
PunkTV.ca: It’s all really just metal isn’t it?
PunkTV.ca: Most kids don’t know that you and Tim started out as a trio. Can you tell us about what that was like and how and why you guys evolved into a five piece?
Well we recorder our first record as a trio and we started going on tour and we needed obviously more people than that, you know what I mean. So we had people like coming in playing for a little bit or whatever, some people would joint the band and quit or whatever. But we just kinda felt like to get the full sound that we wanted to live we needed a five piece, two guitars, a bass, just so we could come off like our sound the right way, you know what I mean.
PunkTV.ca: Are there any trios that you guys respect? Like Triumph was a trio.
I mean there’s not too many three piece metal bands I guess…
PunkTV.ca: Who can pull it off.
Ya there’s some great trios but as far as metal there’s not too many just three person metal bands.
PunkTV.ca: And there’s one duo, the White Stripes.
PunkTV.ca: He pulls it off. He could play two guitar parts at the same time pretty much eh?
I think it depends on the kind of band and it depends on the kind of sound you’re going for…
PunkTV.ca: Not simplistic songs
PunkTV.ca: You’ve said that you never thought it’d blow up as much as it has. Can you tell us what adjusting to that experience has been like for you?
It’s been cool, you know, definitely. When we first started the band me and Tim just wanted to play metal, we wanted to tour and just play music that we love, you know what I mean. And we just did not expect things to get to this size I guess. We ere just hoping when we started the band that we sell a couple thousand records, tour once in a while when we could, like keep our jobs, keep going to school and that would be the extent of it. Just do something that we loved and put our hearts into it. I guess just because we put our hearts into it and just worked things just kind of started gradually getting bigger. It’s amazing, it’s definitely a surprise and a shock and we’re just like whoa we’re on a tour. We never thought we’d be here, never thought I’d be playing places this big and it’s been great. It’s been awesome.
PunkTV.ca: Who were some of the best bands that you guys have played with and some of the best experiences that you have had on the road?
Well actually last night we were just reminiscing about Taste of Chaos, the tour we just did right before this. We did a little chill session in the front lounge, get the I pod going, dim the lights and just listen to music just hang out. We were actually listening to just like Dredg or whatever, this is their shirt I happen to be wearing it’s kinda funny. You know, but we ere just like thinking about like all the amazing bands that were on Taste of Chaos. Kind of like this tour but a different style, like Deftones, Thrice, all these awesome bands you know what I mean and being able to be like, man I want to see Dredg right now. We wanted to see them so bad, we just missed it like seeing them every day. Same with Thrice and Deftones, it was great to be on tour with those guys. Ya just one of the amazing tours that we’ve had the opportunity to do. I mean, we’ve toured with Slipknot, did Ozzfest with Sabbath and Maiden. A lot of great tours, a lot of great bands.
PunkTV.ca: Can you tell us about Shadows are Security, your most recent album, and is there a theme or a concept behind that and what does it all mean?
Ya, like lyrically I guess, Tim our singer writes all the lyrics so I don’t’ like to go too in-depth with it because it’s something he wrote, obviously we all represent what he’s saying. Basically the whole album as I guess a concept album is just recognizing out need to change and our need like for forgiveness and learning form our mistakes and recognizing that. The first song on our record is called “ Meaning in Tragedy”, like so many times we go through so many things in our lives, you know what I mean, in rough times or whatever sometimes it doesn’t always make sense but finding like and understanding like why things happen the way they do and how to learn from it you know, like what to take away from it in a positive way.
PunkTV.ca: Some Christian bands or some Christians period believe that the personality of God is such that he is capable of putting obstacles in our life that can cause us trouble and they will fall back on the scripture that he won’t give us too much to bear. Do you think that’s the personality of God or do you believe that that just happens as a by-product of us being man?
Well I think a lot f it has to do when, I guess the imperfect nature of man and the human nature. God calls us to be outside of that and do more than that and I guess that’s where all of the struggles like begin, like happen because your fighting against your flesh.
PunkTV.ca: And when you guys are on the road, as with any band, it’s mostly stinky boys dressed in black out there but do you find the same kind of challenges and everything that other bands have?
Ya I mean it’s just life. Like life brings you a lot of challenges and struggles just any other desk job or what have you.
PunkTV.ca: People have different levels of spirituality and all kinds of different things that they believe in do you feel it’s ok for a band that is Christian or has Christian beliefs to be drinking or partying on the road?
All lot of it is up to the individual. I don’t think it’s wrong to have an alcoholic beverage, I don’t think it’s wrong at all. But I think that when people do start drinking sometimes it’s easier to get a little bit out of control and if it’s a struggle for someone I say obviously, no don’t do it. But if someone can just hang out, have a beer, you know just be reasonable with it then I don’t think it’s necessarily like a negative thing. It’s just a matter of like control and moderation you know.
PunkTV.ca: Ya that’s the one thing, that if you do get out of control and you do get too loaded, that’s the biggest opportunity for your judgment to be impaired and go ahead and do something that you wouldn’t normally do.
I think that it’s always important for me and for all of us to be of sound judgment, to be of a clear mind. You never know what’s going to happen, you never know if someone is going to give you a phone call with some bad news and you have to deal with it and you always want to be of a sound mind, you know, you never know what’s going to happen in like the next minute.
PunkTV.ca: You always want to be prepared. Can you tell us about your relationship with Metal Blade? You’re one of the few bands that have actually said that they’re 100 percent happy with the record label. Can you tell us about what that means for you?
It’s great. We love Metal Blade and we love just all the people who work there. It’s definitely a team effort with all of us you know and we’ve never really had any problems. There’s always something but we always talk and work it out and there’s always compromises. It’s just been great, it’s been like a pleasure of ours to work with them. They’re a very honest and hard working label and they do it because they love it. It’s good, it’s good.
PunkTV.ca: Ya you can tell that they like the music and it’s not just about the money for them. You guys have cited Iron Maiden and Metallica as being some of your biggest influences. Tell us why and tell us about some of your other influences?
I thin that both those bands are definitely legendary metal bands that did a lot for metal and did a lot for what is metal today I guess. Aside from that I think all of us have like very different like personally or individually. With me my favorite metal band is Pantera, I mean I love that band and that was a heavy influence for me.
PunkTV.ca: From a rhythm perspective, a lot of the chugging and the way that they play.
Exactly and how we get the metalcore label is just because, me and Tim also grew up on a lot on hardcore bands like Madball, No Innocent Victim, Strife, you know bands that. And I think that’s not necessarily where we get a heavy musical influence but I think more of like a mission as a band. I think that’s what we’re inspired by because like hardcore, it’s something that they all represent, they’re passionate about and they’re willing to die for and I think that that passion is instilled in us like that hardcore idea, dying for what we believe. And this is why we’re doing this, not because we want to play arenas or whatever, this is why we’re doing this and this is why we’ve been doing this for so long.
PunkTV.ca: Was it surreal to get on the road with Madball?
It was great. It was amazing, like it was a real honor for us to be on tour with those guys. I mean they have done so much for what music is today, hardcore and metal, and I think they were like a ground-breaking band and they definitely love what they do. It was amazing just to be on tour with such legends and it’s cool for us because our fans are so much younger that most of them don’t even know who Madball is you know what I mean. It was cool for us to take them out and show our fans like hey, these guys are a big reason of why this is what it is today.
PunkTV.ca: They started a lot of it.
Exactly, and it’s cool for us to bring them out and show to your fans, this is history right here, this is like where it starts. So it was cool for us to be able to have the privilege of taking them out.
PunkTV.ca: They played before you did, you headlined that show with Norma Jean and then you guys headlined and you’re headlining this one as well. So at some point does it get weird where you’re like, ok well you guys were our heroes and for whatever reason we’re playing after you but we’d really like it if you guys could play before us, does that part of it get weird?
Ya a little bit, it’s nerve racking. For instance, like In Flames. We’re playing after In Flames and this is their tour with them and all the tours before this we’ve played before them and they have been a huge influence on us musically and stuff like that and we look up to them a lot and respect the a lot as musicians, as people. It’s been an honor being able to headline the show it’s also very nerve racking. It’s cool like the other day we were talking with the In Flames dudes and they were just like saying from when we first toured with them to where we are now how proud they were of us, how they saw us evolve into the band that we are plus that means a lot form a band that we’re heavily influenced by and respect so much as a band to say that to us it means a lot.
PunkTV.ca: They’re bringing you along and now you’re kinda bringing them along.
Ya, I think it’s like you say, just for us to headline it just gives the people that come to see us it gives them an opportunity to see the history of what we are and where we came from with a lot of the bands. Obviously there are a lot of newer bands but a lot of older bands too, like Cannibal Corpse.
PunkTV.ca: Have they influenced you at all, Cannibal Corpse?
Ya, I think so. A couple of us listen to them and being label mates with them too we definitely have a lot of their records too.
PunkTV.ca: Right on. Do you get perks, do they send you free records?
Oh ya, we get all the newest Metal Blade catalogue every once in a while. They send us out a couple of records and it’s like, sweet check it out.
PunkTV.ca: You get to hear them before everyone else. We do too and I really like that. You guys just got voted MTV 2’s award winners for All That Rocks, tell us about your relationship with MTV 2 and how having them starting to play metal again and lots of great metal and hardcore and post-hardcore and how’s that all influenced and affect you guys?
It’s been cool. I think a lot of kids that don’t have the opportunity to come out to shows or don’t have a good record store in their town it gives them an opportunity to find these bands like us or whoever, like In Flames or Madball or whoever. And winning the All That Rocks thing definitely meant a lot to us because it was, I mean we’re obviously nominated by MTV but then also it was a fan thing that voted like it was our fans that voted for us you know what I mean. Like for us that always just shows us like how awesome our fans are and we even won music awards like artist of the year and like one of the top awards for like whatever and it was like we were nominated by committee but all of our fans are the ones that voted for us, it was like a fan voted award. And for us that means the world and to know that all of our fans are always out there supporting us, coming to shows, voting for us and it makes it just that much better.
PunkTV.ca: As opposed to say your record label buying ads on a station that for some reason you get nominated for and then someone within the committee, which is why a lot of bands don’t show up at awards shows because they don’t want to accept awards that are chosen on behalf of all the bullshit the record labels do.
Ya, exactly and I think that’s what’s cool about this award and about the other couple of awards that we have gotten, it’s all fan related it’s all fan voted. It’s not a bunch of dudes sitting in a room deciding who they think is best you know what I mean.
PunkTV.ca: It’s not political either.
Ya it’s the people who are out here at the shows like hear about what’s going on so it’s cool, it means a lot.
PunkTV.ca: You’ve had almost five million profile views now on myspace and obviously I think it’s just as many people that have listened to your music. How much of that actually translates to record sales and is that a good thing or a bad thing if kids can have access to the music and listen to it all day long?
I’m not personally on Myspace but I think it’s a great avenue for newer bands. It seems like a lot of our fans are on Myspace and I think that that’s why we get so many hits or whatever.
PunkTV.ca: You know what the record sales have been so far?
Ya I mean accumulative over the last three records like we’re shipped 500 000. Obviously we’re definitely not at 5 million or whatever but for us having good record sales is cool but for us it’s the shows. We like the shows for us like we love playing the shows and connecting with the fans so that’s what we look forward to the most.
PunkTV.ca: And when you sell more records you’ll get bigger shows and more fans but it won’t be quite as intimate probably more of the politics involved. Can you tell us the future plans are for As I Lay Dying and what you guys have coming up?
Well after this tour we’re gonna take some time off and write a new record which we’re all very excited about.
PunkTV.ca: Do you have any plans, have you written any of it? Can you give us some idea of what it’s gonna be like?
Well we really haven’t written anything. I think individually like we all have ideas but we haven’t had time to actually sit down and collaborate with each other because of touring so much and we’ve just been so busy touring and all the little thing here and there you know. But we’re all really excited to just sit down and actually like get started writing songs and see what comes out. We kind of have an idea but not really, you know what I mean so we’ll see what happens.
PunkTV.ca: Ok we ask this question to everybody, what would surprise people most to lean about As I Lay Dying?
Hmm, I don’t know.
PunkTV.ca: You don’t have a TV back here I’ve noticed, you’re not video game junkies like Trivium are?
Not really, some of us play video games once in a while but none of us are really gnarly gamers or whatever. Oh gosh, I’m trying to think…
PunkTV.ca: Do you own Ashlee Simpson albums?
I think I might have an Ashlee Simpson album on my ipod. I can’t really speak for the rest of the dudes, but for me personally a lot of people are shocked to learn that I’m like a huge Disney fan. I love Disney so I actually have, my drum company Truth Drums they made me a custom snare with a Mickey Mouse vent cut out of it like Mickey Mouse’s head you know, a little snare drum set they made me.
PunkTV.ca: With the little ears?
Yup, yup. So a lot of people are shocked by that cause you know metal, Disney, it doesn’t really you know.
PunkTV.ca: We just went to Disneyland last month. It was awesome, have you been?
Oh ya, many times.
PunkTV.ca: What’s your favorite ride?
Oh I’d say Pirates of the Caribbean. That’s wicked.
PunkTV.ca: And do you have some Mickey ears? Will you put them on for us?
Aw, nah I don’t have any sorry.
PunkTV.ca: Well dude it’s been a real pleasure. This is As I Lay Dying for PunkTV.ca. Thanks a lot for your time.
Ya no worries, thank you.