by Ryan Meehan
Following countless years of personal hardships, studio disasters and times of music industry indecision, New Orleans’ own EYEHATEGOD, with much relief and excitement, are proud to announce the release of their brand new full-length! Assembled and financed entirely by the band along with US label partners, Housecore Records, the self-titled, eleven-track long player will be released on May 27th by Housecore Records in North America, May 26thby Century Media in Europe, Australia and New Zealand and May 21stby Daymare in Japan. Already dubbed, “the record that EHG fans have been waiting for; a stomping and venomous set of eleven tracks that reignite the band’s amazing propensity for down-trodden, electric blues and with their late drummer LaCaze behind the kit,” by Vice Magazine mega music portal, Noisey, Eyehategod features vocals recorded and produced by Housecore president Philip H. Anselmo at his own Nodferatu’s Lair and serves as the band’s first proper release in over a decade. Vocalist Mike IX Williams is my guest today in 7 questions.
RM: It’s been fourteen years since Eyehategod put out a new album…What’s the biggest step the band has taken with regards to fine tuning its already dominant songwriting skills?
Mike IX: There’s no one exact step we’ve taken, it’s all an amalgamation of years of perfecting what it is that we do… Which is play heavy Punk Rock n Roll Blues… It’s not a real conscious decision to “get better”, we just do what we do naturally with no care for what anyone thinks but us… Of course we want folks to dig it, but we’re not focusing on pleasing anyone but ourselves. Selfish bastards.
RM: How does the material on the new disc differ from that which is on “Confederacy of Ruined Lives”? Have you made any adjustments to the way you prepare lyrics and/or perform them live?
Mike IX: Well it differs tremendously because it’s a different time & a different album obviously, but at the same time it’s traditional EHG to the bone. We stick to what feels good to us & this sound is tried and true. It is the desolate vacant lot from whence we come.
RM: What is it about the atmosphere of the New Orleans area that makes it so conducive to the sludge metal sound?
Mike IX: What is ‘Sludge metal’ ? I don’t get it, and/or understand what that means..? It’s a crappy label for a genre no one could explain. People ask me “What Sludge bands do you listen to…” I DONT! New Orleans is our home and our environment & surroundings reference our music. I don’t listen to bands that sound like EHG. I’m flattered of course, but I’d like to see way more originality out there. EHG are John Lee Hooker playing with Black Flag on a broken amplifier.
RM: Phil Anslemo recently said “having heard the new record, this is the EYEHATEGOD record every true fan has been waiting for”. When someone who is so well respected in the metal community says something like that, is there an elevated level of pressure that comes with that statement even though he’s a friend of yours?
Mike IX: Pressure? Not at all. He’s an very old dear friend from way back so there’s no change in anybody’s demeanor as far as the album goes…And by your statement, he made this comment after the LP was recorded so it’s his honest opinion.
RM: Where were you when you found out that Joey had passed? How much time went by before you were able to get back to your usual activities as a musician?
Mike IX: I had just got home from a six week tour in Europe with Joey. A few months passed. Joey wanted this band to continue and this is what we did… Plus we are from the South. We don’t give up very easily. We’re a tenacious breed of people & don’t care what people think.
RM: What’s the story behind the lyrics to “Agitation! Propaganda!”? And what’s the meaning of the line “Pure of Heart, Dim of Wit…”?
Mike IX: It’s up to the interpretation of the listener. I like to be confusing and contradictory with my words. Cryptic abstraction makes the world go ’round. The lyrics speak for themselves.
RM: If there were to be a mission statement for Eyehategod, what would it be? And how do you go about seeing that it rings true in the future?
Mike IX: Destroy Society.
RM: What’s up next for you guys in the remainder of 2014? Anything big in the works that we should know about?
Mike IX: Ain’t this LP big enough? Lots of touring the Earth and writing…
Official Website: http://eyehategod.ee/
Mike IX: http://mikeix.com/
Eyehategod on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/OfficialEyeHateGod
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