Louis Benjamin Falgoust II & James Harvey are in an upbeat mood backstage at Nottingham's Rescue Rooms, having just started their European tour supporting 3 Inches Of Blood on what has been billed as one of the heaviest line ups we've seen in a long time. SoT's Mark Davies caught up with them and finds out what keeps the Goatwhore pair peddling their wares in economic turmoil.
A last minute move of venue to Stealth (just another room within the Rock City complex) does not seem to have fazed them at all. The previous night they were playing in Rotterdam, "The show started early at 3.30pm and was over by 8pm, that was weird and would never happen in New Orleans", Says James.
This is just surreal and unless you're playing a festival an early gig like that is unusual. Having forged a strong following through the years both in their native USA and now more so over in Europe are they noticing a difference with the fans on both sides of the pond? "It's taken a little more time over in Europe but they're starting to come around". With the U.S having more radio stations and options for greater exposure it comes as no surprise that the European market is a tough nut to crack.
"We don't get over here as much so we don't have as much publicity or promotion but it's getting better overall".
With their latest album Blood For The Master, a brutal piece of hardcore/metal, going over at live shows particularly well James tells me that they squeeze five or six new ones in the set for the fans to get used to them. "The reception to them is good, I like to play In Deathless Tradition it's a fun slower song to play, its just cool to play the newer stuff because we've not been playing it forever".
Not averse to facing life challenges and natural disasters like the devastating Hurricane Katrina, Van crashes and spending a lot of time away from home. With constant touring like most bands it must be difficult now and again but Goatwhore seem to come out of it never the less.
"Sometimes your dealt good cards and sometimes bad cards, sometimes it comes out in our music. Subconsciously, not directly but indirectly because it sits in the back of your head…it just happens" explains Louis. "We don't let things sit on our shoulders a lot, every time we go do a new record we don't have this thing where we have to beat our last record, we're going in, this is what we do, this is what we like and this is how we're gonna do it. We are our own critics an evolution of a band is how musicians grow and bring things onto the table" Says Louis.
So with Goatwhore feeling the ever changing pressure of the music industry and record companies like Roadrunner closing offices around the world, it's with great admiration that they carry on and continue to make albums and tour. "Bands at our level are going to have to work a bit harder, kinda like a DIY aspect to it" comments Louis.
With an American tour booked for later this year, Summer Slaughter with Cannibal Corpse, Goatwhore are reaching out to their fans for some assistance in funding it. "We want to rent a more fuel efficient van, even if everyone gave a dollar it would help, when fans see this on the internet that we're a signed band asking for assistance it really opens their eyes. It's not a diss to the label, there's only so much support they can give, we paid for own flights to do this European tour, so the industry is getting tighter".
You have to applaud their attitude to keep on making the music they love and retain the ability to tour the breadths of the world with minimum record company assistance but this is where we are at in today's world. More bands are taking control of their music and finances and with the help of fans we should see them continue to tear venues apart across the world.
Conversation soon moves onto some of the bands making a so called 'resurgence' with some excellent albums released recently. "You know I want to check out the new Accept album been hearing a lot of good things about it, we're into a lot of old metal that's a big basis of what we write" says Louis
"Also what I like about these older bands coming back with good albums is that it's rekindled their flame seeing these young bands coming out with good material. It's like 'I may be older but I can still hang with the young kid's kinda thing'. But you got to hand it to the young kid's …they're paving the way now, because you have a whole new generation of fans who don't know who Kreator or Sodom is".
Louis still seems to keep in touch with what's going on in metal and seems genuinely interested in what the competition are doing.
"It seems bands are stepping back and reinventing an older style but with their own kinda twist to it like Ghost, who are a modernized version of Merciful Fate. Nowadays it's genuinely hard to be 'new' in what you do, some bands pull it off with the older style like Ghost, and some don't".
So with show time fast approaching we wind up the conversation and continue to ramble on about old metal over new metal. With an arduous tour in front of them Goatwhore work damn hard to keep it rolling and with your help of donating a Buck towards gas you can keep the metal wheels freewheeling longer. Go to http://www.goatwhore.net/ to make a donation to the guys.