Hi Rex, how are you today?
Cool, lets get right into it. I listened to Revolution Rise for the first time this morning and must say, it’s really good. I definitely hear traces of Alice In Chains and Pantera in it, which is cool. Given that it was only released 4 months ago, it seems to be gaining lots of traction around here. How long did the actual recording and writing process take?
We pretty much wrote it and recorded it in different pieces. We did three songs here, three songs there, four songs here and so on. We started it in 2013. You know Mark had a lot of riffs that he was putting in and between the three of us we would have songs and melodies and words, and it basically made itself. It was sort of like magic, everything comes together and it just works. We had a couple of songs left over from the last record that we decided to put on this record coz they were killers. You know, just reworked them, did a little homework on them. I’m really proud of this record.
And with the writing process, especially lyrically, do you all contribute?
Um, Billy had a lot more input on this record than he did on the first self titled record, Kim and Billy get together and suss that out after the band has already got a hold of it. We used to get our producer who is a hell of a singer and composer who bought out stuff in Billy that I don’t reckon he knew he had in him. So that being said, he was really pushing Billy to bring out the best possible performance he could and trying different stuff that he possibly couldn’t think of and instead of bashing a record out in 20 days, we had this a little more planned so we could experiment a little bit.
Well, it certainly paid off I think.
Oh yes. Absolutely.
How has the formation of Kill Devil Hill been, given that you all have your pre-established habits and routines from playing in your other bands?
Well, I walked into rehearsals for the first time and heard Dooey sing and was like Holy Shit, this cat can fucking scream, I mean he could sing his ass off, and it just became what it is. We just kept pushing each other’s sounds and everything else. That being said, it just um like my musical journey. I’ve just been blessed with all these kind of cool dudes that have come into my life and we all have the same fill, we go up there and kick ass every night. Its playing the songs live. That’s when they come to life. We have a new addition to the band which is really like a breath of fresh air, its just one of those things. We got to a point when we had to tour and Vinnie had a lot of stuff on his plate. Nothing personal, but we had to do what we had to do and that is tour. We just plan to blow up every fucking amp we have over there, you know.
How have fans reacted to John Kelly being added to your line-up, and Vinnie leaving? Has there been any blowback fanwise from that?
Not really at all. Vinnie just didn’t want to tour. He’s at a point in his career where he has a lot of other stuff on his plate. These days you have to tour, you have to be out there on the road promoting a record that you’ve just spent a half a year of your life on, and it just came to a point, where he said no. we are still best of friends and so john came in on a whole lotta songs and we didn’t give it a second thought. I’ve known john for 20 years and we’ve seen each other at festivals and that kind of stuff. I knew that he would fit perfectly. Mark and Billy didn’t really know him that well, but they listened to what I had to say about people’s character and stuff like that and John is just such a sweetheart, and such a badass drummer. Pretty much one of the most under looked drummers in the world as far as I’m concerned. I mean, he’s really really powerful. He’s stepping into some big shoes, but at the same time he also is a student of what Vinnie did, but he plays right there on the backbeat and that’s what I like. I’m a child of the 70s and i like all that 70s killer fucking music and that was what John has, and Vinnie also. We are just all on the same page. You don’t find that very often with something like this and making this music together, it doesn’t normally happen as easily as this has happened with this band. Us not being able to tour was our only problem, but that’s all fixed itself now. (Laughs) we are good to go.
I’ll just put it this way, 90 percent of the people that have put their opinion on our facebook page and stuff, they have nothing but applauded what’s going on, and that being said, no. 1, they are behind the music that we are playing or they are listening to. They want to see it live. They want to see this band come and play. Look, come see for yourself is all I can say for the fans. You know you will definitely not be disappointed. We have definitely done our homework. I’ll put it that way.
What can people who have not seen Kill Switch Engaged before expect from your live performance?
Well, you either go buy the record, or fucken steal it you know, I don’t care how you get it, just get it. And then if you don’t have it, you will get it once you’ve heard us play live. And look, if it’s not your cup of tea, its not that big a fucken deal anyway. Its not like I’m coming out in some fancy dress and playing a bunch of acoustic fucken songs, this is unadulterated fucken rock n roll at its fondest you know. So you want to get there early and um, if you like headphones then you better put them in coz we play fucken loud.
Brilliant. Definite balls to the wall music. I love it. Is this the first time you personally have toured or shared a stage with Kill Switch Engage?
As far as my memory goes… yes. They have been on the bill on one of the festivals I have played somewhere, then again… no, in fact I really don’t know this band too well. I have heard some stuff, but with the music we have been making, I really haven’t had a chance to go and listen to what everybody else is doing, but when I got a call asking to go to Australia with Kill Switch Engage, I was like dude, we will do it. I hear that they put on a hell of a live show and they are the kind of band we want to play with.
I was reading on your website today that you are continuing to tour after the Australian shows. What else is in store for Kill Devil Hill over the next year or two?
We are doing all kinds of stuff. As soon as we get back from Australia we are going out with a band called Peanut. If you’re not familiar with them, they are getting big here in the states. They have a brand new record out. This is one of the bands I’ve been listening to the last couple of years that just do it for me. They are really good friends and the bill is going to fit perfectly. We will do that all of May, then there’s a whole bunch of festivals that they have over here in the states for different radio stations and stuff like that. And then we go from there, lets see, June we go over to Europe for download and from there we are still putting together what’s gonna happen this summer.
That sounds like a busy, busy year.
You know, you have to be careful what you wish for. Sometimes.
It seems to be that its all or nothing a lot of the time.
Your wishes will come true. This is all working out perfectly. I couldn’t have pitched a better plan you know. As long as at the end of the day we are all happy, that’s all that matters!
Well that wraps up our chat for today. I hope the rest of the tour goes really well, and I look forward to seeing you in our neck of the woods again soon!
Ok, it sounds great. Thanks a lot for doing this.