I managed to catch up with Goatwhore's lead singer Lois Benjamin Falgoust the second at this year's Summer Slaughter tour . We talked for almost two hours touching on everything from illegal downloading to Queen, so here is part one of that conversation.
Wil- I know this year's Summer Slaughter Tour isn't the first for you guys ,So hows this years Summer Slaughter Tour compared to years past ?
Louis - It was two years ago we did this tour and Cannibal Corpse headlined. This year is ... nothing against year's past, but there are a lot of fucking heavy bands this year. Every year there has been a metal element, but with in metal it breaks down into so many sub-genres with different characteristics. This year the characteristics are a little bit more heavier than the past years. We just feel more comfortable in that environment. We have a new album, so that helps . We are seeing a lot of new faces. That is what is unique about metal it has so many variant structures to it, so many different audiences that come out. You can go see these bands play one month and then go see them again another month and its different crowd. It benefits all the band.
Wil- Since when you guys started out black metal elements being injected into music is more common in music today , how does that effect you ?
Louis - The black metal approach we have is more traditional. We all grew up listening to Emperor, but we also grew up on Celtic Frost, Venom and Bathory. Those roots are a little more stripped down. They were more like early Judas Priest, more of a rock n roll element. That era where they took metal and transformed it into this odd beast. Which basically is black metal . black metal just evovled as the years past and they molded it and changed it into different variations. Those are the elements that have been the basis of our band. Of course if you listen to our earlier stuff Celtic Frost has been a hug influence. Celtic Frost has just been rooted in a lot of stuff we do.
Luckily we got to tour with them, which is pretty unique. How often do you grow up listening to something then later on in life the band makes a come back and you get to tour with them. We toured with Venom. We played shows with Emperor. We are about to play some shows with Samhain. Thats unique. Bands you grew up with.
We take those elements and we mesh them. Looking back those elements were always present , but now days we mix them, death metal, thrash metal, punk, crust and grind stuff. We just incorporate it in ways we see fit. Music is a weird chemistry you never know how it's going to work out. You go after the things you enjoy, maybe by fault the fall into place. When I was growing up I used to think what makes a band evolve into what they are. I use to go after that quest then one day it just hit me. It's just the right moment, the right chemistry.
Slayer's Reign In Blood it will never be duplicated , Metallica's Masters of Puppets it was the right time at the right moment. Sex Pistols it all chemistry. You could be scientific, the moons aligned and it happened at the right moment. its a moment when every one's cylinders are firing properly and it works out like that. At one point I said don't think about it . Just do it and enjoy it , if it never turns into anything then at least you went after it. That how we do when we write music.
We try to write something that we are going to enjoy in a live setting. Not something like maybe Joe in Montana will like this riff so lets put it in a song. Then we are in a live setting going , well I don't know about this, I don't like this riff , I'm not really getting into it. So nothing against fans or anything, we write stuff that we like. Thats how we mix it into things. We are all influenced by a lot of different variations of metal. Deep rooted in traditional metal like Judas Priest, Black Sabbath, Motorhead, mixed in with Celtic Frost, Bathory and Venom. Even Sex Pistols and Discharge. All that stuff kinda plays a role.
I think as you go along and you do records, your influences shift because that point you might get fed up with whats coming out and you go back to the older stuff you were into.Then newer stuff comes out and you are like oh wow I like what these bands are doing and that influences you as well. The thing with Goatwhore is that we never ever took drastic steps, it's not that we are doing anything new per se, we are just reinventing the wheel, not that it needs to be reinvented, but its that cycle. We are taking all these traditional things we grew up on and molding them into our ideas.
Wil- As far as influences go another big one would be that you guys have come out of the legacy of Acid Bath , how do see that effecting where you came from vs where you are now?
Louis - Sammi was involved in that , so it plays a role in a sense , but that to it's like there's this band you like then that band breaks up , the first idea have in your head is...well its not the same , and it's not. Goatwhore is never going to be that. Its a different entity. Goatwhore was a project that was going on while Acidbath was still around . It was him and his friend Zach Nolan who played drums back in the day.They started because they were into that necro death metal black metal style.Then Acid Bath broke up. Theres no battle of well Dax is doing this now, it's just that band dissolved into seperate things. People coming to a Goatwhore and are looking for us to play "Screams of the Butterfly" It's not going to happen. I don't sing like Dax , but Dax doesn't sing like me. We are totally two different individuals as well. I appreciate everybody's ability in music to do what they do.
Thats why I appreciate Queen.
Wil- Queen is awesome, Brian May is probaly one of the most under rated guitarists ever.
Louis - Totally, if you listen to a lot of early Queen there is a lot of metal in there.
Wil- Queen 2 is a metal album for sure.
Louis - If you ever see footage of them live it's metal as fuck. With Brian May's guitar sound he had a very heavy tone. I'm influenced by Freddie Mercury, in the fact that I'll never be able to sing like him. Nobody can.Even the people who are trying to fill in with Queen now.Its not going to happen. Overall he was really eclectic in the way he laid things out in the songs. I can take that approach and put it into a metal setting. It's really unique that England has two really phenominal vocalists , like Freddie Mercury and Rob Halford.
Wil- and Robert Plant.
Louis- Yeah, Robert Plant too, but I like Halford and Mercury. Freddie Mercury wasn't even from England originally, if you dig deep into the background of everybody.
Wil- I'm a big Morrissey fan too, so I would have to put Morrissey and David Bowie on the list of England's greatest singers.
Louis- thats what's good about music, if every thing was the same it would be boring. So if one kid listens to the new Goatwhore record , they'll be like I like it , it's like black death metal, then another kid will listen to it and they are like no it's like blackened thrash. SO theres that variations in peoples opinons and how they percieve it. I want it to be open. I don't want to be pigeonholed into a corner, like this band is black metal. When you get stuck in a whole it pushes people away. They see a stamp on it and they are like well I don't like that. Which is kinda reidculous with the internet these days as you can check out anything. When I was a kid growing up, you had to shell out money, for something you didn't know nothing about. You would take a risk. I would save up money all week. I'd go to the store , I'd look through, I'd find a tape that looked intresting and it would be a fifty fifty chance. Now a days you have things like Spotify and things like that. This whole downloading thing, every body is bitching about it and bands are bitching about it saying you are taking money away. But every week like ten albums come out a week and look at the average kid, if there are 40 albums a month, so at ten bucks an album thats four hundred bucks a month, so does any average kid have that kinda money to shell out? If anything it's a catch 22, it offers kids a chance to hear things that they wouldn't get to hear because they didn't have money to hear it.
It's tough but nobody said this was going to be easy either. You only see a few bands that pull out and do it to where they are making enough money to survive on. The rest of us do it and we go home and work a job. We get back out on the road and we do it again. I was never one of these people against the download thing. Its funny cus Trevor from the Black Dahlia Murders once said "Its amazing you have a Facebook page and you have 200,000 likes if you were to turn those into units sold it would be 20000. Its a friend game or something like that. If you go in and like that band go buy the record or go to a show and buy some merch. But we were all kids once.
Wil- That's funny cause that's how I found Celtic Frost as a kid they had the coolest album covers, so I bought into the pandemonium.
Louis- I bought Morbid Tales on tape on a family vacation in Texas and found it. When you found that album that was really good it was a moment of achivement.
end of part one , check out part two this week, when Louis reveils the secret to why the south makes good metal.