FEATURED INTERVIEWS 07
These thrash masters are currently leading the new revolution of thrash metal back into it's glory days. Having toured with the likes of Vader, Dead to Fall, and most recently sharing the stage with Cannibal Corpse, The Absence shows no signs of slowing down. Their latest release, "Riders of the Plague," is brutal, melodic and has enough punch to make even the most death metal kids nod in approval. Mr. Jeramie Kling takes a quick minute to talk about their latest and why their latest is, brutally fantastic.
Gian: From the first track to the last, I could tell that you guys threw
it down hard for this album. What went into making this album and how
did it all come about?
Jeramie: Well a lot it had to do with what has been happening around us. Such as touring,finacial troubles, girlfriends,kids ect..... so this manifested into the music and made it very aggressive. It was a way that we could vent our frustrations.
Gian: "Riders of the Plague" is an interesting choice for an album title and the artwork that accompanies it is just awesome. Where did the title come from and what is the message behind the title?
Jeramie: In essence, we are all riders of the plague, its basically the internal battle to over come lifes bag of shit that we are handed. the album cover just felt right, we found the image on deviantart.com and we all fell in love with it. Kinda cool how it happened.
Gian: You guys laid out some extensive guitar work on this album and it really shines through in the tracks. How important was it to capture the guitar work and the sound on your latest release?
Jeramie: Well thank you. it was very important to us. we spent a whole day in the studio finding the right combo of amps to create the guitar tones for riders. Also, we spent multiple days tracking the guitars, Jonas has an amazing ear for tuning and being able to differenciate guitar tracks.
Gian: "Into the Pit" is one of the best true thrash songs by one of the best true thrash bands ever, Testament, why this song, why not Slayer, Metallica or an Exodus song?
Jeramie: Slayer has been done numerous times as well as Metallica. Exodus however was on our list. It just kinda felt good when we jammed out the Testament song so we went with it.
Gian: Thrash is making a comeback and you guys are right in the middle of it. Now let me be the first to say that I'm way pumped that thrash is making a comeback being a big fan of Exodus, Testament, Slayer, and Death Angel. How does it feel to be one of the bands that's flying the flag for thrash and what are you guys' thoughts on the current thrash/metal scene?
Jeramie: It's exciting, I mean, what an honor to be a part of music in general. Do I think that we are an all out thrash band no but I do believe we have many thrash elements. It's nice to be able to pay homage to music that we grew up on.
Gian: The Metal Blade 25th Anniversary Tour is probably the best metal tour this year and you guys are on it. How excited are you guys to be part of such an amazing tour and to be playing next to such greats like Cannibal Corpse and Goatwhore?
Jeramie: When we got the call for this tour, we were all floored. Come on CANNIBAL CORPSE!!!!! enough said right there. The tour was amazing great bands great guys.
Gian: You guys bridge the gap between thrash, melodic death metal and death metal and there's not a lot of bands out there right now that can really pull it off without absolutely sucking, except for a few. How did you guys find this medium and who or what do you guys consider to be primary influence to your sound?
Jeramie: All of us in this band have diverse influences, we also have a respect for the band to not make this a one kinda genre band. Therefore, allowing all of our creative styles to flow. Most importanly we are not forcing anything. It's just coming out naturally.
Gian: The thrash/metal scene of today is a mix of everything. From your stand point, what do you guys think about the current thrash/metal scene as far as what is thrash/metal, where do you guys think thrash/metal is headed, and what is not thrash/metal?
Jeramie: Hmm. Thrash metal is in the eye of the beholder. Meaning, what I may view as thrash and what you may view as thrash is most likely opposite. I think metal in general is going in the right direction. Which again is amazing to be apart of.
Gian: Speaking of the metal scene, what is up with the Free Metal Upgrade? For you people that still don't know about the Free Metal Upgrade from The Absence, The Free Metal Upgrade is, bring your "Trivium" shirt to any Absence show and swap it out for a free "The Absence" T-shirt! What is goin' on here? Please fill me in!
Jeramie: This is a brain child of Pete's. The idea behind it is, going to the biggest kid in the school yard and taking him out. All in all its just a maketing tactic. We do not really hate these guys, maybe some of their choices but not them as people.
Gian: Alright, Tampa Florida seems a like a cool place to hang out and have some good times, What do you guys do to pass the time when you guys are not making music or onstage and where would we go to have a good time in your neck of the woods?
Jeramie: Ybor is a cool area. Nightclubs and what not if thats your thing. We pretty much have everything here from hockey to lazertag. I personally like hanging at my home or going to shows.
Gian: Sex, Drugs, or Rock N' Roll?
Jeramie: ...... Sex yes.......Drugs hah no......I like me some rock'n'roll with coffee and doughnuts.
Gian: The Absence loves _________________.
Jeramie: Total Recall
Gian: Any additional comments?
Jeramie: Pick up riders of the plague in your local record shop. Keep it heavy!
Gian: Thanks Jeramie!
You guys heard the man, make sure you pick up a copy of "Riders of the Plague," out now on Metal Blade Records! You can also get merchandise and get more info about the band on their myspace page, http://www.myspace.com/theabsence.
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