Interview with Jamie (Bass)
Interview conducted by Barbara Williams (Crowley)
Date online: July 12, 2003
Hailz! How are you?
I'm doing fine. Thanks for asking.
Brodequin is a rather interesting band name. Why did you choose it and who came up with it?
I approached the rest of the guys with the name to see what they thought about it, it seemed like a good fit for the whole concept of the band. I was and still am writing a lot about old torture/execution devices and that name is one of my favorite devices of the many things I was studying.
If I may ask--you mention that you had to leave the tour with SCD early. How come?
Well, some things were not happening like they were agreed to. It has nothing to do with Ryan, Evan, or SCD; those guys were all great and I would like to tour with them again. It was a case of having too many days off, getting ripped off at clubs, and having a big van rental on top of it all. When you're off, you still have to pay for the van; plus, you have hotels on top of that.We unfortunately had the windshield of the van break outside of Amarillo, Texas. Since it was a rental, they wanted it back immediately to fix the damage, so we lost out on 2 shows--Amarillo TX, and Albuquerque NM. That set us back, and the then days off kind of drove the final nail in, so to speak. So we came home owing about $700 for that tour.
Your website is also under construction and I assume you're revising it. What are your plans?
The website is being completely redone in coordination with the new album, so it will be based on the new artwork that is being made at the moment. I have a few more things to do before it's all complete.
What's going on in the world of recording? I've got your "Instruments of Torture" CD and it kicks ass. "Festival of Death" is in the works. Can you tell us a bit about this next release?
We are going to be entering the studio to release a 2-song promo as a prelude to the next album, which should be available in August. Then we focus on the album. We will probably have 12 tracks on the new one and it’s tentatively titled "Methods of Execution."
How did you get with Restrain Records? Is that working well for you?
Actually he got in touch with us about releasing "Festival of Death" on vinyl, and he has been a real cool guy to deal with. The vinyl will have some bonus tracks on it that were previously only available on a Bones Brigade split CD.
How do you write your music? Is there a set guideline or do you write what you feel as you go along?
We just kind of write as we go along. It starts with an idea or a riff, and then we can usually write the song in one practice session. We record it and sit back and listen to it to see what’s good and what we might want to change. It's a pretty relaxed and easy process.
How do you get the inspiration for your writing?
Musically it comes from many different sources. Each of us has our own influences; some are the same and some are different. Lyrically it comes from studying history. I study a lot of different historical subjects and they all contribute in one way or another.
Do you write together or separately?
Mainly we write together unless Mike comes in with a riff he had written prior to practice or Jon has an idea in his head before we start; otherwise, it all happens together.
As a musician, do you play other sorts of music on the side or is Brodequin your only musical interest?
At the moment Brodequin is the only style I have interest in. Maybe years down the road, when I am too old for this, I'll be playing in a Jazz quartet or something, haha. I do play other styles of music. I just don't play them with other people. It’s just practicing another style and learning different techniques that I try to apply to make playing easier.
One of the elements of your heaviness derives from the drumming. Is meter the more important component for you or do you just get into the music itself and play what you feel?
I think meter is extremely important and it keeps me going in the right direction as the song plays out, but I personally get into the music itself and try to go on feel.
How would you describe your style of vocals? Who have been your role models?
Inhuman guttural noise. I have been lucky to know the people whom I respect as vocalists, Matti Way (ex-Disgorge, Cinerary) is a good friend of mine, so is Danny Nelson (Malignancy). I think Seb, Tristan, and Bruno(SCD) are all great vocalists, Dennis (Severe Torture), Bob Cock (Disavowed).
The music scene really changed between the 70's, 80's and 90's. What would you say has been your strongest influence?
I think the 90's would be the biggest influence on me. That's when people really started to push the limits of what they could make their instrument of choice do. Watching that made me want to do the same thing.
Which bands are on your list of favorites? If I were to look through your CD collection, what would I find?
Lets see, Inhume, Last Days of Humanity, Mesrine, Severe Torture, Malignancy, Angelcorpse, Dead Infection, Sinister, Disavowed, Pyaemia, Aborted, Deranged, and Neuro-Visceral Exhumation…just to name a few.
What are you plans for your next tour or gig? Can you expect to see you play soon again?
We are going to Canada around the 10th of August for a little mini-tour with a band called Serrated Scalpel from Winnipeg Canada. We'll be hitting Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Rimouski, and some others; it will only be a week or so. Then we'll come back and concentrate on getting the new album out.
Which songs do you like most playing Live?
Off of Festival..., I like "Flow of Maggots" a lot, and off of Instruments..., I like playing "Spinning in Agony," " Burnt in Effigy" and "The Virgin of Nuremberg." "The Virgin" seems to be a popular song to play out. We get a lot of shouts from the crowd for that one.
What made you guys decide to play in a band? Had it always been a dream? Who or what inspired you?
I guess you can only play guitar or drums or whatever by yourself for so long before you want to start playing with other people. Plus playing with others usually will make you a better musician, so I think it's a natural step for anyone who plays. No one person or band inspired me to want to be in a band; it was a whole "scene" the whole process of creating the music from the practice room, all the way through the packaging and releasing, then hopefully having people enjoy and respect your music from around the world.
Have your parents and friends always been supportive?
Yeah, pretty much. The parents were always supportive of learning a musical instrument, but when it became more than just playing in your bedroom, I think there was a little concern there for a while, but overall we have had a great amount of support from friends and family.
Outside of playing Metal, what kinds of things do you enjoy doing?
I do a lot of reading, of course, and watching all kinds of different historical documentaries and specials; and I am a graphic designer so I enjoy doing that kind of work which usually comes back to music. Most of the things I do is for bands: poster layouts, CD's, shirts and so on.But other than that, not a whole lot…I guess I'm not the most interesting person, haha.
Sounds interesting to me and it looks like you have quite a good array of interests. Any good books, movies, drinks, or anything else you would like to recommend?
I have some classic movies that I think everyone should see, like Goodfellas, Jackie Brown, Killing Zoe, Watership Down (crazy animated movie about rabbits!). There is a really cool anime out called Hellsing. It's a whole series of episodes. Another great Japanese animation movie is Ninja Scroll. I'm not big into anime, but those I thought were really good.As for books, I mainly read world history books; and drinks, if you ever have the chance, try a Belgian beer called Duvel.
You have some songs on Mp3.com. How do you think the internet has been helping you in promoting your band?
I think the internet does a lot of good for bands as far as spreading the music goes. I think that sometimes promoters for shows rely too heavily on emailing info instead of actually making flyers/posters or whatever to promote shows with; other than that, I think the Internet is an extremely valuable resource.
Who designs your CD artwork and who has the final word on what actually goes on the album cover?
I do all the design work, which basically comes from old wood block prints or paintings, but we all have a say in what we want and we all throw in different ideas and try to come up with something different than what everybody else is doing.
Noticeably, your lyrics are very strong and straightforward in content. I have just recently read an article (on anus.com) about boycotting Christian metal. What are your feelings about that? What does "Metal" actually mean to you?
I have never been a fan of Christian metal, but that doesn't mean it's not metal. I think "metal" is a style of music more than a "lifestyle." Whoever said metal has to be "evil...." I mean, in the 80's bands like Poison, and Motley Crue were considered metal. I don't think many of today's metal fans would walk around wearing spandex and lip gloss, but if people want to make music and sing about Jesus, so what! If you don't like it, don't listen to it. It's pretty simple.
Not too long ago, a metal fan approached me and told me that Black metal is no longer acceptable because the satanic content most albums have. As an atheist he sees this as a form of religion. What's your take on this?
I think that people are always trying to find a reason not to like something. By playing the religious card on something like that is ridiculous. I'm an Atheist myself and I do not see anything wrong with listening to Black Metal because of its Satanic views…who cares!! Just because you are listening to it doesn't mean you agree with it. Seriously, for example, all the bands that talk about getting shit on, how many people in those bands do you actually think participate in that type of activity? Or how many gore bands are out on a nightly basis robbing morgues and raping the corpses? The list goes on and on. It comes down to image and entertainment.
How is the music and being Brodequin connected with the person you are? Is your band image a reflection of you or completely separate?
I think in some ways the band is a reflection of myself--mostly on the historical note because that's my biggest interest--so in a way, I can expose people to a historical subject that they may have only had a little knowledge of. And if they are into it, they can learn a lot about that time period, not only the Torture/Execution side of it, but the religious, political and social elements of that era. I agree with the statement that "those who forget the past are doomed to relive it."
What lies in the future of your band? What are you hoping to achieve by the end of the year?
By the end of the year we will have the new album out, the mini tour in Canada taken care of, and be working on our European tour for the spring of 2004, which we are all looking forward to, so we have plenty of work to do until the end of the year.
Young bands and musicians often look to more accomplished bands for advise? What would you tell someone just starting out?
Practice, practice, practice before you go out and start playing, and the same before you record your first demo or CD. You get one chance to make a first impression. Don't waste it!
Any last words to fans, enemies, or anyone else you wish?
Thanks a lot, Barbara, for the interview. We really appreciate it. Stop by our website at www.brodequin.com or www.unmatchedbrutality.com for all kinds of merchandise.And I hope to see everyone on the road!!
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