AGE OF EVIL – Jacob Goldberg (bass)
AGE OF EVIL play a brand of hard rock that defies their relatively young ages — no pun intended. Listening to their Get Dead album will remind you of the razor-sharp vocal and guitar hooks of bands like Skid Row and Dokken, along with the intensity of thrash. This is a combo who clearly knows how to construct the kind of songwriting that gets stuck in your head — long after you first hear it. SMNnews spoke with bassist Jacob Goldberg.
Please give SMNnews readers a quick history of the band.
The band is comprised of two sets of brother, Jeremy Goldberg (lead vox/guitar), Jacob Goldberg (bass), Jordan Ziff (lead guitar), and Garrett Ziff (drums). We’ve all know each other since we were 3-5 years old and live a quarter mile from each other. Garrett and Jordan picked up their instruments about 10 years ago and Jeremy and I followed a few years later. We’ve been jamming together ever since. About 5 years ago we decided to take the next step and record a full length album and in 2007 Living A Sick Dream was released.
From there we got asked to open the Bang Your Head!!! Festival in Germany and were later asked to perform on the main stage. Immediately after we were done playing the head of the festival asked us to be the first band announced for BYH ‘08. In ‘09 we got hooked up with our label Evil Eye Entertainment in Germany and they officially released our debut in ‘09. We went back their last summer for 60 days and toured, as well as recorded our EP “Get Dead” which came out in November.
I noticed that you are very on top of the social networking aspect of the band. How important has that been so far?
It’s been extremely important to us. It allows us to be directly in contact with our fans and give them updates on the band as well as communicate with them on a more personal level. The Internet and social networking is an important way to reach out to fans who have invested time and money in to what we do, and we always strive to be at the forefront of it, so that they feel connected to the us even more.
How tough was it getting your iPhone app off the ground?
Well Jeremy is the guy in the band that handles all aspects of Age Of Evil’s Internet media. He designs the website, the myspace, etc. and of course the free app that would put out. We pushed it through our social sites and word of mouth, and people are really enjoying having us in their pockets. How good is it you ask? It got me laid. That good.
You’ve toured Europe a few times already. A lot of bands make a point of the differences between audiences there and here, in the States. Did you find that to be true?
The very first show that we played in Europe we realized how different the crowds were. It was the warm up show for the Bang Your Head!!! Festival in Germany. Typically, American fans like to mosh and go nuts the entire set. That’s the crowds we were used to playing for here in the states, but when we played that show we noticed no one moshing, mostly just standing and watching. I have to admit it was a little intimidating at first and was unsure if we were winning the crowd over. Immediately after we finished a song they would cheer, clap and raise up their horns.
After that show we realized that the many Europeans go to a show to really listen to a band and not to just mosh and crowd surf. We’ve learned to appreciate that both audiences show their interest for the band differently. Although, it varies depending on where in Europe you are.
Age of Evil’s sound is thrashy, but there is a lot of melody in there. It seems like you could fit on a lot of different types of bills. That said have you had a tougher time playing to a certain kind of crowd?
I believe our melodic and heavy edge has only helped us. We’ve been able to play with bands that span across the rock and metal spectrum as it shows in our touring schedule last summer. It’s great that we have the ability to do that because we really appreciate all styles of rock and metal.
I believe our sound and style is expanding even more, but at the same time, pinpointing the signature sound that people will recognize as Age Of Evil.
Jordan’s guitar playing seems influenced by the guys who ruled the shred era back in the late ‘80s. How did he discover that type of playing style?
His guitar teacher introduced him to a lot of the greats. Randy Rhoads had the biggest impact on him. From there his influences expanded to Yngwie J. Malmsteen, Marty Friedman, and Nuno Bettencourt. But it was Santana that really influenced him to become a shredder. Although, knowing Jordan and how he has evolved as a player, he would take melody, emotion, and attitude over shred any day.
You’re not signed to a major or even bigger indie label yet. What has been the toughest part of that so far?
It is tough not to have that machine behind you, because whether or not you agree with the concept of labels in this day and age, it is vital for the potential success of an upcoming band. They have the money, resources, and the force to push a band beyond what is possible on their own, 99 times out of 100. But if you work hard enough, write the songs, and build a following, then the labels will hopefully come to you. Until then, it’s day in and day out. And once you’re signed, if you’re not a bunch of dicks, you work even harder.
What else is in store for Age of Evil for the remainder of 2010?
We have been demoing new songs and figuring out the next steps to record the next album. Hopefully we will be getting out of god forsaken Arizona in order to gig the states as much as we can. We can’t wait to play some new tunes for all the fans out there.
What albums (new or old) have you been listening to lately?
Some of the older albums would be the entire Aerosmith catalog, Pornografitti and 3 Sides by Extreme, Best of Led Zeppelin, and Push Comes To Shove by Jackyl. We don’t listen to many newer bands but I have been listening to The Resistance by Muse a lot.
Thanks SMNnews and readers. You guys rock! Can’t wait for all of you to hear the killer new music!!!
By Christian A.