Gnashing Of Teeth (GOT) seems to
be quite a new band, so why don't you give some kind of introduction?
GOT has actually been around for seven years now.
Larry Davis and I
started the band in 1993 under the name Enslaved. At that time we were
semi-progressive metal. Everyone else in the band at that time were
different than the current lineup. In the December of 1995 we decided to take
a short hiatus to evaluate the band and its direction. At that time, we
changed the name of the band to Gnashing of Teeth and began to write new
songs with a much heavier edge to it. But for the next four years it seemed
that we couldn't get anywhere due to frequent member changes. We finally got
a stable lineup just before we recorded the album for Rowe Productions.
This year you released a titleless album through
Rowe Productions. On the Gnashing Of Teeth site I read that some of the material are songs
that you recorded for an album called Outer Darkness. There's some confusion about
the Rowe Productions' release whether it's a re-recorded album or just a debut
CD. Can you throw some light into this matter?
It is officially a debut CD. We had been
talking with Rowe Productions as far
back as 1998 when we were recording our own independent project titled Outer Darkness.
Shortly after we signed the deal with Rowe in the middle of 1999 our original vocalist
quit the band. We decided to scrap the original
project. We felt it would be best if the album reflected who we were with
the current lineup, and some of the older material just couldn't stand beside
the newer stuff. We used only three songs from our original recording (which
were re-recorded for the self-titled album), the rest were songs that were
written between the time of the two recordings. The songs Pyro and Accept
were written less than a month before we entered the studio!
On the website you can hear some background music
that's much more in the metal vein than the official CD. I guess that's taken from the
original recording. Did you basically put the recording on the shelf?
You're right, all the clips on the individual
pages of the website were from the Outer Darkness project. Due to the change in
vocalists and the change in musical direction, we decided it would be best to start from
scratch. We wanted to accurately portray the band as someone would be seeing
us live, so the original project was laid to rest.
That may be a wise decision. On the other hand I
personally really enjoyed those old samples you can hear on the site. They give you a real
different impression of the band's sound. Do you get responses from people who are
disappointed with the current direction of the band?
We've talked about whether or not to pull those
sound clips from those pages, and we eventually will, but I think it's interesting to hear
how a band has progressed from older material to newer stuff. We haven't had one
negative comment about the direction our music has gone. Most people agree it was a
change for the better, as we felt it was. There was no doubt in our minds that we
were doing the right thing, and the positive response we have received only helped to
reassure us in our decision.
On the album I hear a combination of metal and
hardcore. How would
you like to describe the amalgam of the band's sound and what are the major
influences you perceive?
We have been labeled as metalcore, which seems to be a fairly good
description. We have so many different influences that show up in our music
that it's really quite difficult to pin one name to our style. Larry and I come from
a metal background, Marc is more death/hardcore, and Ryan comes
from more of a hardcore/rap background. Everyone is encouraged to throw
their styles into the writing process. As far as influences go, I would say one of
our biggest is definitely Meshuggah. Their use of timing has opened us up to a whole
new way of writing. Other major influences include Fear Factory, Machine Head,
Pantera, Living Sacrifice, Slipknot and a little bit of Suffocation and Embodyment.
I understand you also have a new guitarist. What
is his input for the band?
Ryan Lynd joined the band in May, so up until now
his job has been to play the material off the CD. Now that we have begun the writing
process, he will have as much say and input to the songs as anyone else. We want him
to contribute to the material, not just play it.
There's one thing I definitely don't like about
the album: The drum sound. It's such a hollow sound. Are you happy with the album?
There were things we definitely would have
improved on if we had been
given the time we needed to complete the CD. The guitars and bass were the
easiest to get the right sound for, so those got done pretty quickly. Unfortunately
the drums and vocals didn't get the time for the attention to detail that should have
happened. Despite the few things that are lacking, we are overall very pleased with
the recording. It came close to capturing the intensity of our live performance,
which was the goal from the beginning. It was an excellent learning experience for us that
we will take into the next recording session.
This summer you did some dates with Extol. How did
We had a great time playing the shows with Extol.
They are a spectacular band, especially live, and they are some of the nicest guys
we have ever met. While playing the shows we were pleasantly surprised with the
crowd response we received. We had a blast on the HM stage at the SonShine
Festival in Minnesota. The people there simply went nuts! I think they were
tired of hearing contemporary music, and since it was the first year for anything heavy at
SonShine, the audience ate it up.
I was kind of surprised that you were doing some
dates with Extol. They're on Solid State Records so I expected a US tour with another
Solid State band. How did you get on this tour?
Solid State is not Extol's official label, they
just have a distribution deal with Endtime Productions (the label Extol is signed to in
Europe) for release in the US. So Solid State didn't set up the tour, and Extol was
free to choose whom they wanted to tour with. Antestor did the majority of the tour
with them, but couldn't do the last part. Kathy Zappin from Rowe Productions had
been talking to Samuel Durling from Endtime for a while, and she asked if they would mind
if we picked up that part of the tour.
Right now you're working on a new album. Can you
tell us all about what the plans are and what you've already achieved so far.
The new material we have written so far is more
aggressive and emotional than our previous material. Musically we are picking up
where the songs Accept and Fear Is The Enemy left off. Lots of good metal riffing
with a healthy dose of hardcore slam. And Larry is definitely not letting up on the
double-bass! We are very excited about the direction the new songs are going
And are you in the recording process?
Not yet. We will most likely write about 15
or so songs before we enter the studio, the best ones will make it to the next recording.
There's also a possibility of us doing a five song EP for early next year,
something that will give more people who are unsure about buying a full-length CD from a
new band a chance to spend less money to hear what we are all about.