Interview by: Marisa Young
Photos by: Corey Tilton
WRBB caught up with Josh Gilbert, bassist / vocalist of San Diego metal band As I Lay Dying at Mayhem Fest August 3rd. Check out the interview below!
You guys have been on Mayhem Fest for a while now and you only have a couple days left—
Yeah it’s been almost a month, actually over a month now…
What’s been the best date you’ve played so far?
Well I was separating it into two best days: for the side stage the best date was Albuquerque because there was a crazy storm. The rain and wind were crazy and it tore up the stage and tore up a lot of the merch tents; we thought they were going to cancel the show. But we were the first band to play after the storm was kind of finished, and by then people were just so amped up that the show didn’t get cancelled so the crowd just went nuts. And then on the main stage the best one was probably Chicago because, you know a lot of the time the way the amphitheaters are, I haven’t seen this one yet, but there’s…a really small pit area and a TON of seats and then there’s a lawn area. Usually we don’t get much going on in the very front because it’s people who paid more money, like the older people who came to see the bands they wanted to get real close to, and they had to pay $120 bucks for their tickets. So they’re not going to be like moshing the way our normal crowd would be. But the lawn, we always address the lawn while we’re on the stage and this specific show we do a song where we do a wall of death, (laughs) you know we ask the crowd to run towards each other and there were like 10 separate walls going on. We just say “Hey! Part it down the middle!” and they know exactly what to do. But yeah there were like 10 of them at one time and it was just crazy to watch; I was actually laughing it was just so ridiculous.
(laughs) That’s great. It does seem weird here because the pit area is really tiny. I was trying to think of how it would work for a metal show because I feel like people want to go crazy, so it seems silly to restrict them to a seat.
Yeah definitely. There’s some places where [the pit] is bigger than others so it just depends on the place I guess.
What are your plans for after tour?
We have two shows with Slipknot right after Mayhem, just regular; it’s us, Asking Alexandria, and Slipknot. And then we go home for about a month and just kind of chill because we’ve been going nonstop since we’ve started writing and recording the record. So we’re going to take about a month off and then we go to Europe for a month with Trivium and Caliban. Then we come back right when that tour’s over and do another tour in the states, but I can’t say who’s on that yet because this tour’s still going on.
That’s crazy. So is [the US tour] going to be your record release tour?
That’s going to be the first time we’re playing in the states since the record’s come out so I would say yeah.
Cool. When does [the record officially] come out?
Are you playing any new songs today?
Yeah we’ve been playing one new song called “Cauterize”; it’s the one we made a lyric video for before Mayhem because we figured since— originally we wanted to get the whole record out before Mayhem but the problem was that other people have schedules and you have to work around them and can’t just do whatever you want to do. If you want to work with certain people you have to wait on them so it’s a little behind, but what we did is we mixed and mastered that song first just way ahead of time before we were even done recording some stuff, just so whenever it came time for Mayhem we would have something new to tell people about when we were playing. So we’ve been playing that one, and it’s been pretty cool because with the lyric video, every week you notice more people singing along to this brand new song.
On the new record: how do you think your music has evolved and what can we expect to hear from it?
Well the producer we got to do it with, Bill Stevenson, used to play drums in Black Flag. He plays drums in the Descendants still and he’s into more of a punk rock kind of thing. After we decided that we wanted to go with him we were like “Alright you’ve listened to our whole discography ahead of time; what do you want to hear?” And he was like “You know, I think you guys do the As I Lay Dying A: melodic sound really well and the B: thrashy sound very well, but it sometimes sounds like two separate bands.” So in the new record it’s like we took both of those sides and I think we just made it a little more seamless…every song has both elements instead of just A or B. It sounds a little more cohesive that way, to me at least. There’s not like one song it sounds like Gojira or Decapitated and then the next song sounds like Iron Maiden melodies. It’s kind of all together and a little more concise, I think.
If you had to play a show with anybody, anywhere, who would you play with?
Oh man let me think…I’d probably play with Deftones on…the moon (laughs). I don’t know. I was trying to think of the most insane place to play. They’re my favorite band so I’d play with them pretty much anywhere. We’ve played with them a lot, a ton of times, but I’d still rather play with them than anybody.
Since Deftones is your favorite band, if you had to listen to one album over and over, would it be one of theirs?
Yes! White Pony by Deftones. I have a White Pony tattoo, that’s why. It’s my favorite record.
What’s your favorite song to play live?
I really like the song we’re opening up our set with called “Condemned”. It’s off the last record and it’s a really cool intro song. I just really like the riff and the energy of it; it’s cool to come out with. It’s probably one of our heaviest songs that we’ve ever recorded so it’s cool to start with that and kind of blast everyone right off the bat.
Where’s the best place that people can find your music and stay tuned for the new album?
I mean Facebook is probably the most frequently updated as far as pictures and whatnot, all the announcements for the album are on there, but we also have it on Twitter. But for music I mean…I don’t know, we’re not on Spotify…Metal Blade has kind of taken a stance against it, which I partially agree with. So I guess iTunes, you can find all of our music on there. Or if you just go on YouTube and search you can pretty much find every song for free.