In addition can you speak of past bands you have played in, particulary Enemy Soil, and give a brief bio on bands past and present?
Well, I started Enemy Soil with Mason in 1991. He eventually was in Frodus for a time, and he was in this band that Scott and JR from Pig Destroyer was in too. When that band broke up they started Pig Destroyer. Anyway, Enemy Soil was around until 1998 when I broke the band up. A good select discography is out called "Enemy Soil Smashes the State!" on Bones Brigade Records.
Ok I would like to talk a little about you career with The Mighty Enemy Soil. How old were you when you started Enemy Soil?
It was 1991 which made me 21.
When did your interest in these styles of music begin?
I was in high school when it started I think. I needed some kind of release and metal was it. You need a kick in the pants sometimes. That's what Terrorizer's for. But at first I was into metal and hardcore, and it went from there to death metal and to grindcore and so on.
Can you give some high points and low points during your time with the band?
Yeah, I guess some high points would be playing Fiesta Grande the year that Discordance Axis played. Also going on a 5 day tour of Canada and a riot breaking out at the show we played in Montreal. It made the Canadian national news the next day. All the mail I received from people saying that Enemy Soil was an influence or that we were someone's favorite hardcore band was very humbling too. There were plenty of low points to go around as well. We had bad luck and of course all the lineup changes were hard to struggle through.
That must have been difficult with the band dynamics constantly changing.
That's right. When there was a major lineup change it was like starting over because you have to teach however many new people each time the songs and get used to their style. Progress stops while you get everyone up to speed.
Could you elaborate on some of the stylistic changes ES went through, for example drum machine versus live drums, political lyrics versus lyrical experimentation in to other areas, and other progressions that happened over time?
It sounds like you've done your homework. We did the drum machine thing because we couldn't find a good drummer or one that wasn't a flake. When we graduated so to speak to working with drummers that changed things a lot because there's another person there contributing to the percussion and also how the songs went. Different people in the band put in their lyrics also and that changed the focus over time. When we started Mason was writing very political lyrics about war and democracy and America and the whole thing. When I started writing lyrics that added something and my lyrics changed over time just naturally, becoming more subtle sometimes and other times staying as blunt as before. There was one musical change that stands out and that was when we went to Canada for a week. We were exposed to a lot of dissonant hardcore and Discharge-style hardcore and that rubbed off on us a great deal. You can hear it on the splits for which we recorded after that trip.
Enemy Soil stayed fairly underground with releases being fairly hard to get ahold of at times. Looking through Enemy Soil's back catalog, can you select a few releases that you would consider your favorite and explain why?
I think "The Ruins of Eden" was a good one although we had a hard time recording it. Some people consider that their favorite. Also the "Fractured Theology" 3" is one I'm proud of, although I will admit there was some filler on there. Of course there's the "Casualties of Progress" ep as well. That one did a lot for us.
Also is there one release that you feel sums up and captures the energy and essence of Enemy Soil?
I guess "Casualties of Progress." Many people associate Enemy Soil with a drum machine anyway, so there you go.
For those who do not know when and why did Enemy Soil call it a day?
It was in 1998. There had been another round of lineup changes and then the drummer quit, and at that point I decided it was time to do something else as I liked to refer to it at the time.
Considering the time you had invested in the band what were your emotions like when it came to an end?
I was tired and disappointed. The lineup changes were partly my fault because I'd have people in the band that weren't right for Enemy Soil, and partly it was a long string of bad luck with the lineup. Those were stumbling blocks in our way and I think we would have gotten further and more people would have heard us if it weren't for that. So I sort of gave up.
And to what degree would you say music plays a part in your life?
A large degree to be sure. I hate not being in a band or when my band isn't active because we're missing one of the pieces.
What are a few classic albums you can't live without and what are a few newer releases you have been digging lately?
There's a few of those. "Peace Sells But Who's Buying?" and "Metal Heart" and "Dimension Hatross" and the Zero Hour 7" ep. There's some awesome newer stuff too but I can't think of anything. I'm sure after the interview I'll be kicking myself.
Any up and coming bands you think we should look out for?
There's two bands called Left Unsaid but the one from Virginia is quite good. They're brutal and they're technical and textured. I don't know, man. There's lots of those too. I feel like I haven't given good answers to the last two questions but I can never think of anything when I want to.
Thank you very much for doing this interview.
Well, thank you. I can tell you dug a little to come up with these questions and I appreciate it.
Any last comments or things I left out? Please feel free to give a last shout out.
You're a poet and you didn't know it. Keep supporting music and defeat Bush in 2004.