Coming from New Orleans, Eyehategod are one of the first and most iconic sludge metal bands. Fronted by Mike Williams, the band is known for their very slow yet punky sound as well as always producing quality output. Recently, Mike hasn’t been feeling very well and cannot make their upcoming tour with Discharge and Toxic Holocaust. In his place the band will be using Lamb of God vocalist, Randy Blythe. I was recently able to interview bassist Gary Mader on this topic as well as others including his views on the current scene in New Orleans.
How did this line up of Discharge, Eyehategod and Toxic Holocaust come to be?
I don’t know man. It’s luck I recon. I’ve been a big fan of Discharge since I was a youngin’, and Toxic Holocaust is just killer. Its going to be cool man… I’m looking forward to.
It must be an honor to be playing with the band that made all these extreme punk/ metal crossovers possible.
For sure man. A lot of people associate them with D-beat or whatever, but beyond all that their early music was influential, kinda like how the Misfits ended up sounding on Earth. A.D. That band is a big influence on my music outlook.
How’s Mike been doing?
I’m sure we will be doing shows with him again. The important thing is the he gets better. Of course everyone knows he is sick and that is the only thing he cares about being public about. It is definitely a situation that has a fix. We hope to tour again with him sometime next year, but we are not putting any kind of time line on it. Our main concern is that he gets 100 percent better so we can play with him again.
How were you guys able to get Randy Blythe in the band?
He was a friend of the band before I was even in it. I didn’t join until around 2001. Back when Lamb of God was called Burn The Priest, they did a lot of shows with Eyehategod in the 90’s. He is a good fit being a friend of ours and loving our kind of music. It worked out good because we did not know what we were going to do. We were worried that we would have to do an instrumental tour with Discharge. We were lucky Lamb of God wasn’t doing a bunch of touring.
I’m guessing the reason why you aren’t doing another tour with Phil is because he is doing stuff with Superjoint again?
Yeah. I’m pretty sure he is doing more with Superjoint, as they just released a song that is going to be on their new record. Also Phil and all of us agreed on those two shows he did being something special. Both shows went over really well. It was ment to be a guest spot. It would make it less special if we did two shows and then said “Hey we are touring with Phil” afterward. I think its awesome to even jam once with the dude. I think everything went really cool.
I’m guessing he was excited to play with you guys since he has always been a fan.
Oh yeah. People think it is a far cry that someone has big as him would hang out with us, but it isn’t really that weird cause us and the rest of the Nola scene is who he hangs out with. He doesn’t think of himself as a celebrity… he just likes repping the bands he loves.
On your most recent record I noticed some songs like “Medicine Noose” are alot faster than your normal sludge stuff. What made you guys decide to write songs like this?
Its just what we had on mind at the time. We were just feeling that for no reason. It’s cool to be heavy and slow,but not on every song. You don’t want everything the same. Hardcore punk has always been as much a part of our sound as the doom stuff.
I remember seeing Mike describe the band as “Black Sabbath as a punk band”.
Yeah, that is pretty accurate.
Are you guys working on any new music?
Yes, at this point we have two tracks. We need to record the other tracks and of course Mike needs to sing on it. Their will be a new record within the next year or two hopefully that next year.
When people think of the NOLA scene, they mostly think of the 90’s bands like Down, Acid Bath, Crowbar and you guys. Are there any bands from your local scene out today that you really like?
There are a ton of great bands in New Orleans right now. There is a band called Weather Warlock that is our drummer Aaron and another friend of mine. It’s an ambient band where the main instrument is a monster analogue synth which is controlled by the sun, wind and temperature. There is a band called Abysmal Lord that I’m really into. It’s some Autopsy type shit. There are like a million great bands. What is different now then how it was back then is that the music now is more diverse. You can remember the handful of bands from when I was in high school. Now there is tons of different genres that make up the New Orleans underground. All these one man bands. We got two dudes on a corner with a broomstick with real bass strings. You can’t just lump it into one category.