GOATWHORE Frontman On Recording Albums, Performing Live
The Scream Queen: As you said earlier, you’ve been working on some things for the next album, how do you believe it’s going to turn out?
Ben: Umm…Well, we don’t have a ton of stuff, we just have pieces here and there, some full songs, we can’t really… It’s almost like, we can’t even determine if they’re (laughs) good enough or not to ourselves because we’ve been on the road so long. It’s like, we get home, we might be home for a week or to, and we go, “OK, well, let’s spend a few days feeling around with new stuff, throw it around and everything.” And then all of a sudden you’re rehearsing the next set for the next tour, and so we’re like, “OK, and then what?” We’ll be at a venue and Sammy [Duet] will have his rigs set up and play a few riffs from it, and yeah, it’s good, but you can’t really grasp the feeling of it just yet; you need to sit in a room and go over it and go over it and feel it out and everything. So, I’m not really sure what it is; I know we’ve got a lot of pressure on us because of the way “Carving Out The Eyes Of God” came out, but I think too, we’ll kind of push that off to the side, and we’re just gonna do like we did when we wrote “Carving” and just go after stuff that we like. And we’re pretty picky ourselves, we’ll tear things apart and re-put together songs, or have a song that’ll pop up out of nowhere that’ll be something that we’re into. It’s just time, basically.
The Scream Queen: Goatwhore is known for the high-energy live shows… When you record your albums, how do you capture the raw presence you guys have while you’re on stage performing and decipher that into the studio?
Ben: Umm… That’s actually a good question… Ummm… Because too, if you kind of go back to all of the Goatwhore records, I don’t think we really captured the way we are live until recently with “Carving”, you know, just like tone and the way it attacks and everything. I think it has a thing to do with too, being really comfortable the studio, and you kind of fall into that pocket where you really get into it because it’s hard, you’re in a little booth or whatever, you’re doing you’re trick, but I got to the point where when I was doing vocals for “Carving Out The Eyes Of God” prior to me actually starting to record the vocals, like the week beforehand, I got [producer Erik] Rutan to set up a mic in the room and just let the reel play all of the stuff that was recorded and basically rehearse over it. You know, go over it, get used to it, get comfortable being in the room. We had never done that before and Rutan’s like, “That’s a cool idea.” Because at the end of the night, I’m dropping all of the stuff from the computer into a drive and let the tape roll, and you can sit there, go over it, break yourself in, and when you don’t feel like you can do it anymore, you can just stop. It helped out, it helped because what happens is, when you’re in the studio, the singer’s pretty much the last one that does his stuff; so when you’re in there for five weeks/four weeks, you’re pretty much about the beginning of the fourth week or somewhere in there when you start your stuff. So, there’s a couple weeks or so beforehand when you’re not doing anything. By doing that, it made it more comfortable, and when you’re in there, it actually… I can’t really just attack it the way it is in the live setting, you’ll never be able to do that because you have the energy of the crowd and everything as well with that, but I felt way more comfortable this time because it almost sets you up and prepared you. And so, I could get into in the booth when I was doing everything and I just enjoyed it a little more.
The Scream Queen: When you’re on stage, how do you transform into the person you are now to the person you are destroying the stage?
Ben: It depends, sometimes I’ll have a beer before I’ll play… I don’t really drink a lot, but every now… Like, recently I started drinking like maybe a half an hour, or an hour before, just like a beer or something, but usually it’s just like, I could still be running around doing stuff and then right when I… Five minutes before we start is almost like it shifts, it’s like a mode, and I just go into that mode, and that’s where it is. And it’s funny because sometimes we’ll be out on tour and a guy in the band will be 20 minutes before we play and it’ll be another guy that’ll be like, “So, you ready to play?” And I’m like, “Not yet.” But it’s kind of weird because you’re like… Wait, we play in 20 minutes, and you play in 15 minutes, and you play in 10 minutes; and it’s like, no it’s not, it’s like right when I step on there and it’s ready to go, then I’m ready, and it just takes off from there. It’s a whole different thing. It’s kind of weird, it’s like, I don’t get into this thing where I’ll sit in a room alone or other things you can hear about other bands and they get in this “mind-frame” and it’s almost like it changes right there, when it’s time; it shifts. And this is what it is, this is what has to be done at this time. I have to say, I really do… I enjoy playing live a lot, whatever it’s 30 minutes, 45 minutes, an hour, whatever tour we’re on, but there’s so much about it. Even if it’s not a really packed show, big show, we’ve done shows that’ve been in some small towns where there’s 25 kids, 20 kids, whatever, you know? I still get on stage and I do the same thing as I’ve done for a packed audience because it’s like, this is the reason I’m out here; this is the reason I’ve done it from the get-go, was to play the music and be into it. I guess the day where I’m not really into it and step on the stage and don’t have that urge, then that should be the day when I should stop and just let whoever else move into. Not saying necessarily move into my place, but another band, with the same kind of style move into this terrain, or whatever, so it’s one of those things. It’s not like this thing where I pump myself up and I’m like, “Oh I gotta get this going!” It’s just a step into it and it takes off from there.
Read the entire interview from The Scream Queen.