Tuesday 30 July 2013

Interview with Switchblade Jesus

Now on Sludgelord it's my pleasure to be interviewing Corpus Christi's finest Sludge/Stoner Metallers – Switchblade Jesus

Switchblade Jesus have just released an incredible début album which is winning praise within the Sludge/Stoner Metal community. And why not. It's a hard rocking experience you will instantly fall in love with.

I said this about their début album.

“Check out other excellent tracks Sick Mouth, Equinox and Renegade Riders which will have you headbanging all over the place. The riffs are played once again at a fast and furious pace. It will leave you breathless at times. But damn... You can't deny the fun you will have doing it. The blues rock vibe does play a big part in the bands music here. But so does the NOLA based riffs lurking in the background. It's a perfect marriage made in Sludge/Stoner Metal Heaven obviously with Switchblade's lining up as Devil Horns in the air.

Production is immense. No wonder these guys have such a great reputation when the album sounds as good as this.”

Well since the guys are huge fans of the blog I had to feature them one more time. So lets get started with these hard rocking renegades.

Q1 – Hi guys.. Thanks for doing this. How are things with you all today

Very great, we have our CD release and Vinyl party coming up in a few at the House of Rock in Corpus and just loving all the feedback from the album.

Q2 – Can you give our readers a brief history of how the band came about.

It started when Eric and Billy got together and just wanted to kill some time, beers and just write. We got ahold of Billy's cousin Jon and he got with his old bassist Jason who both of them were in the Rockabilly band "The High Speed Heartaches", and it started rolling from there. We went through a few singers till we found Pete through craigslist actually, sent him some songs and got together the following week. Hit up local bars and venues then started out of town gigs a few months after.

Q3 – How would you describe your music. I would class it as Blues Based Sludge/Stoner Metal.

That's probably the best way in our opinion, when people ask we usually just say Heavy. It's a big meld of what we listened to as youth and now, thrown into an oven and cooked at 420 degrees. Alot of it is definitely blues based, grew up with alot of Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Sabbath, ZZ Top but you can also hear the influences of mid youth with heavy stuff like Pantera, White Zombie, The Melvins, COC, Down, Fu Manchu ect.

Where we live we're kinda the only of what we are, so we get alot of influence with the bands we play as well, from the blues psych grooveaholic Bertha to the vegan grindcore of Greedy Mouth.

Q4 – Now congrats on your début album. What a brilliant record it is that we rate very highly here at Sludgelord.

Thank you very much, we love Sludgelord and always respected yall's opinion on reviews and of music in general. We put alot into this being it's our first full release, before this we had a 3 track and a few songs on some comps. We sat back with the music after it was recorded and planed out where and when it should be and start. There were a few more songs we had recorded but we felt it didn't fit this album so we're holding onto them for the next release, which we have already started writing for. Sometimes an album doesn't need to have 14+ songs. Cut the fat and keep the goods.

Q5 – Was it hard or easy album to write and record for.

I wouldn't say hard, but at times there were challenges. Getting the levels to were we (us and Chris Darlington) felt that everything sat were it needed to be. Alot of the takes we do are 1 takes, like Pete's vocals on "The Wolves", he kinda knew where he wanted to go, but he walked in the booth, shouted at the world and it went so good we kept that first take. So what you here is the song actually materializing as he's going. Not saying everything was one take, like getting the rhythm guitars up in sync. Recording and live are completely different hahaha.

Q6 – If you had the chance would you change anything about the album. Good or bad.

If anything, maybe the tone of some of the guitars, not really needing too, but if anything that would be it. Love the amp we used, but should've dialed a little more something, but like I said, that's just minor stuff.

Q7 – Where did you guys come up with the name – Switchblade Jesus. That could definitely piss off the religious types in the world.

And it has! Hahaha. It's actually a homage to a friend that looked like Jesus and carried around a switchblade. Once at a bar during a fight someone goes up to Jon and said "don't worry Jesus has a knife" and that's where it all started. It was never ment as a religious stab or anything like that. Originally this band was just us jamming and getting hammered with a bunch of friends that would come to the house, and the name just stuck. We love it actually and have had more positive feedback with it than negative, but in a town that's called Corpus Christi (Body of Christ) we do get some bad stares hahaha.

Q8 – Does the album have a meaning. Or is it a collection of great rocking tracks. Like I said in the review I felt the album was a confession from a tortured soul. Especially on Bastard Son.

It was definitely suppose to be a journey for the listener the way it was put together, a start and end, then when it ends it starts that induced trip again. Alot of the tone has that tortured soul feel cause at the time a few of us were going through some heavy shit and instead of giving up like few do we put our heart and soul into those songs ... like Bastard Son. But these are ment to be beer drink'n, Hell raising, kick'n ass type songs. We wanted the listener to feel what and how we were feeling at that particular time and feel we met that.

Q9 – Bastard Son does include some brutal and hard hitting lyrics. Was that song a hard one to write. As it tells a great tale of a generation of outlaws.

It was more fun than hard I think. It was born after hearing Eric and the guys sick rhythm they came up with. I was sold right away. It felt like it needed to be a song with dark and solid meaning. A life lesson almost. So I chose to create the tortured soul trying to convince himself that life is a two way path and would be up to him to let his ways become corrupted or fight to change what was already instilled in him. A good versus evil within yourself. So once I clicked with the tune, the song simply wrote itself. - Pete

Q10 – Who came up with the design of the excellent album cover. It have a very trippy vibe around it.

Our buddy Trent Westbrook drew up the figure, crows, colored them, then Eric went to town on it. He's actually done alot of stuff for us, he's a comic writer/illustrator and actually has us in one of his comics. We gave him a listen to the album and told him to go for it and this is what we got ... and love it, we couldn't be happier with what we received, he did a killer job in our opinion.

Q11 – How big of a help has BandCamp in getting your music across to the masses.

Very, it's helped us reach an audience we would never had. The album has been selling well over in Europe and have been sending out digipaks to Sweden, Russia, UK and others. For that I'm glad of the media exposure that the internet and places like Bandcamp have.

Q12 – Has the Sludge/Stoner/Doom Metal community been a big help in getting your music across to the masses. Have you received any mainstream attention yet.

I wouldn't say mainstream, but we've got'n a few interview requests from magazines, blogs, and an individual does an online metal cooking show and wants to feature us, great amount of press. But yes they have, with online radio and mixcloud sessions from people like Amplifier Worship and Electric Beard of Doom to great sites like Sudgelord, Heavy Planet, Obelisk, The Soda Shop and others they've really helped push our music to the masses and for that we'll always be eternally grateful.

Q13 – In 5 words or less describe the live Switchblade Jesus experience.

Best fuck'n time you'll have .... or also ... Chaotic fuzz laced drunken madness. Which ever you feel hahaha.

Q14 – What are your views of bands using websites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo to fund their new album releases. Some people and bands are for it. Some are not. Would you consider doing some thing like that yourselves.

Not for an album, maybe if we have the chance to hit up Europe we could need some help, but for not an album, just bust your ass, play those $50 gigs and sell the hell out of your merchandise. If you feel you need a $8000+ album that's your own damn fault hahaha.

Q15 – Now I must say congrats in signing a deal with Kozmik Artifactz/Bilocation Records in releasing a vinyl record. How did that come about. Bet your guys are super excited for that. Can you tell us when that will be getting released.

Shit man we're beyond excited, to work with a great label like Kozmik Artifactz/Bilocation Records is amazing. They've put out some very quality stuff and there vinyls themselves are awesome, to get the opportunity to be on vinyl let alone get 180g is very killer. Hopefully late 2013, we're just trying to get everything squared away and also finish up some cool stuff we're going to include in the 100 limited hand numbered one's. There will be standard black, colored and the limited versions....very killer!

Q16 – What are your favourite bands you are currently listening to. Any bands that myself or our readers should check out.

To many to think of, but Wo Fat, Kylesa, Red Fang, Orange Goblin, Graveyard, QOTSA, all the greats and of course to favorites like Zeppelin, WZ, Pantera, Clutch, but like I said alot of local and surrounding guys since we play or at least respect their music like, Bertha, Cavegirl, Anthem for the Sun, Axis of Harmony, Echo, Sun Salutation just a few from Corpus, and surrounding we have Wo Fat, The Dirty Seeds, Mothership, Project Armageddon, Las Cruces, Venomous Maximus, The Well, Unmothered, Orthodox Fuzz and the killer Southern Train Gypsy. Tons of music here in Texas that needs to get out.

Q17 – Do you guys tour a lot in your home town or do you have to travel further a field to perform on a regular basis.

A good amount in town because the closes place is San Antonio which is 2 hours, but that hasn't stopped us, we play all over Texas, except the one place we haven't had anything booked yet is Dallas which will be soon, we've been talking with our good friends in Wo Fat and will be doing some killer shows with them soon. Traveling doesn't bother us at all.

Q18 – If you could provide words to wisdom for people wanting to start a band – What would they be.

Keep playing on what you feel. Don't try and be the next this or that cause you wont go anywhere, and your not getting paid in the beginning so get over that haha.

Q19 – What are the advantages and disadvantages of being in a band. Financial aspect being a part of band could be a major disadvantage.

Advantages - everything, we love what we do and have a blast doing it...really like the surprise beer tabs when we go to a new venue. There's disadvantages in everything you do in life .... but with this can't think of any, the financial aspect will only be a problem if you let it. Yea it costs gas and food, but if you plan ahead of time and make sure you get some kind of cut from the show for hotel/food/gas ect your all good. Don't go walking up there and expect to get paid.

Q20 – Do you have any plans to tour overseas or is this too expensive for you to do this at this moment in time.

Definitely have plans, but yes at this second it's a little much thats why we can't just pack up and go, would have to make sure what's in line and planned out. Guess that's where a kickstarter or something would come in, more like help us play in your killer country.

Q21 – Finally do you have anything to say to your fans.

We fuck'n love everyone one of you dedicated individuals, yall are the ones that help us grow and spread the good word to the masses, this might be the beginning, but it's definitely nowhere close to the end. We just got this freight train rolling and don't see it stopping anytime soon. You are awesome and a big thank you for all the support.

Thanks for your time. Best of luck with your album. Can't wait for the vinyl to be released.

Check This Great Band from the links below.