Exclusive Interviews Only Found Here at MetalCore!
Apathy is a killer thrash metal band out of New Jersey and I loved the bands disc that they sent me so I emailed them and interview and here is what Pete and the rest of the band had to say to my questions:
MC: Let's get the typical question out of the way. How did the band form and
what is the current line-up and did any of you come from any other bands?
Pete Wells: I formed Apathy in 2000, after a band I was in called DESECENT '98 broke up. It didn't really go anywhere, but we had some killer songs. After the break up, I took some time off and regrouped, writing new material and focusing on the type of band I wanted be in and would like to see. I placed ads online and asked former musicians I'd played with to join. Some new faces came to the picture and a few friends. We did some demo's but there lives were occupied at this point so committing was hard. Since then Apathy's had numerous line up changes. It was late 2005 Apathy began to take shape with solid band members and that's when Bill Jameson came into the picture.
BJ: I was in another band by the name of EXIT PLAN but was unhappy with doing mostly cover tunes so I posted an ad looking for a metal band to join.
PW: At the time Jameson joined, a few songs were recorded and Apathy had a singer before I took over on vocals. We took a track form a live rehearsal and put it on disc featuring Jameson on drums and released it in March of 2006. Except for a few bad apples, there was some great talent to bless Apathy and I feel each one contributed in the shaping of the bands sound. The present line up and hope to be the final line up is awesome. Each guy is a Metal head and loves to play metal and that for me means a lot. Why, because it's a burning passion, some bands tell you, they started a band to get chicks. I never felt that way at ALL! I wanted to start a band because I loved METAL! The music, life, culture and the power to give people an escape, like it was for me as a kid, then the hot Metal chicks....(LMAO) The guys in APATHY bring creativity and talent, checking the baggage and bullshit at the door. Bill Valverde joined the band when our former bassist was called to active duty in '08. Valverde learned all the songs quick and kept us from canceling shows. His passion for old school thrash, death metal and image was a perfect fit for us.
BV: Pete was down a bass player and he knew me from a long while back, I joined up right away, I was tired of wasting my time away on throwaway bands.
PW: Our newest member Warren Conditi joined us, when we were blindsided by our lead guitarist, who quit the band after the recording of his solos on the album and the mixing of the record had begun. Jameson and Valverde were pissed; I was too, but not really, because I saw it coming. He was good and another talented musician that didn't know what he had, but Warren killed it for us. We were auditioning new lead guitarist and some were really characters, it was like fucking American Idol dude. One guy had said he learned all the songs and came in playing something totally different. One guy brought his entire family; they saw our skull and horns banner. Did the sign of the cross and waited outside, praying I think. Jameson got up from the drums and said "Pete you're on your own with this one". Anyway Warren contacted us thru some online ad.
WC: Prior to Apathy, I was formerly with WHIPLASH and SKULL SESSIONS.
PW: Jameson and I both spoke with him and sent him mp3 of the album; he came in and blew our fucking minds, learning all the solos and music. I talked to the other guys in the band before making the decision, and said "guys, this dude is awesome and very well gifted; we're going to have to step it up." Plus it was cool he was in Whiplash.
MC: How did you come up with the name and were any other names considered?
PW: The band name, sort of came to me in a Slaytanic kind of way. Just listening to Slayer one day and the lyrics of Angel of death jumped out at me. Singing Tom Araya - fast, the line "abacinate eyes that bleed", I swear he said "abacinate, apathy". Maybe I was drinking heavy that night, anyway I looked up, what I thought I heard was the word "Apathy" in the dictionary, I said this is the name for the band, plus it fit perfect for the way my life was at the time! So no! There were no other names, except for previous bands.
MC: You are from NJ which where I am also based out of. The South Jersey area
sucks as far as metal, so how about your area of NJ. Do you get to play out
live much and what clubs have you played and shared the stage with?
WC: Northern NJ has a good music scene. Metal was probably a bit more popular at one time, but it's fairly well received up in this area.
BJ: I think there is a very loyal group of Metal Fans in North Jersey. Once they know who you are and get to know your music the support they give is tremendous.
PW: We get a good turn out, but I feel if you overdue it up here, like some bands, they'll lose interest. As far as playing out, APATHY has played out a lot, especially NJ. We've done a handful of shows since the album came out, opening up for thrash legends Whiplash, what a great show that was, the best one so far '09, because we played in our backyard at Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ. Our rehearsal room is like a mile down the road, it was a great Thrash show! In '07 and '08 we sold our souls to the road, playing places like the Stone Pony, L'amour's, Asbury Lanes, with Mistress Juliya hosting it, on that bill was the band Mutiny who are now signed to Roadrunner Records as Mutiny Within. Good for them! Our rehearsal room became a storage unit; we were playing out so much. The Starland Ballroom with Suffocation, then out to Arizona and Virginia, believe it or not both places love there Metal. The NJ metal scene North, Central or South is a tight nitch community and you'd be surprised who knows you as a band or person, so in nutshell NJ, I feel is still a METAL STATE and the Metal fans want more! Recently Jameson ran into one of the guys from God Forbid, I think it was Dallas Coyle and after a brief introduction, our band was mentioned," You're in APATHY", (saying to Jameson) "you guys are everywhere", so with that I guess the Apathy machine is picking up steam and we look to be doing a lot of shows in 2010.
MC: I love the CD you sent me to review. Is the band happy with it and how has the response and reviews been for it?
BJ: I'm happy with the way the CD came out. Although I wanted to have the drums a little heavier in certain songs, I was happy with the end result. WC: I actually preferred the more raw sound rather than the final mix, in my opinion. I think some of the character subtleties were a bit lost in the end. BV: So far, people have been digging' it. As a band though, we are going to try to turn it up a notch. We want the next album to be even more intense.
PW: It's a huge accomplishment to see this through and can't wait for next one. Like Valverde said it's going to be intense the responses we've gotten have been great here are a few: "I really like your music and I believe it has its own unique sound"- Ben Fisher "I just started listening to you 10 minutes ago and I'm completely amazed. By far, you surpass anyone I've heard lately. Now I want to see you in concert"... - Barbara Ordway, responses like this lets me know we are doing something right. My favorite one so far has to be from the band COMBAT who are a brutal band from NYC, you should all go see, had this to say "Usually I gravitate more toward faster stuff or maybe more technical, but damn man, this is just pure great metal that plain works! I have to say this is the album of the year for me, no B.S. The only one I could possibly see giving it a run is the upcoming SLAYER album. Tim Louie over at East Coast Rocker got first crack at the album while we were doing back up vocals, said he really dug the music, still waiting for his review (lol). Plus your review Chris was kick ass, thanks!
MC: How hard was it coming up with songs for the disc and do you have a favorite song and do you play any cover tunes live?
BJ: It wasn't hard coming up with the songs for the disc at all. We had a strong list of songs to pick from so that made it easy. I'd have to say Era of Terror is my favorite song off the CD because it's a powerful driving song that really brings out what APATHY is all about. We don't play any cover tunes live as of yet.... but the idea has been tossed around a bit.
WC: Either Machine Gun Rain or Era of Terror would be my favorites to play live at the moment.
PW: Like Jameson said the idea of doing covers has been tossed around, I'd like us to focus on our music instead. My favorite songs off the album are all of them! Coming up with the songs were fairly easy. This may sound crazy, but if I hear a riff that plays a scene in my head it's a keeper.
MC: How would you describe the bands music and who do you think you sound like?
WC: The band's music to me reminds me a bit of Slayer and bands from that time period. It's pretty aggressive. Bands always evolve over time. I wouldn't want to think we sound 'like' any other bands, but we probably remind people of certain ones. I'm sure our influences come out in the music.
BJ: I would describe our music as old school thrash. I think you can hear the bands that influence us the most in our music, bands like Slayer, Megadeth, Testament, Exodus, etc. So I'd say we sound like those bands.
PW: I think Warren and Jameson described it best, we are a melting pot of our influences and it comes out in our music.
MC: When can we expect some new music and how does the writing and arranging
of a song come about?
PW: You can expect to see new music as early as 2010 and a new album in the fall of 2010. We are currently writing. BJ: We are in the process of collecting riffs and lyric ideas right now. We usually get together and Pete and Warren will play riffs they've been working on and I would come up with a simple beat at first to structure the song. Then I would work on a more complex beat. WC: Writing little riffs here and there. No whole 'songs' as of yet, but we are writing. There aren't any particular ways arrangements come about that are set in stone. Sometimes you structure it more logically or in a more typical fashion, but this type of music allows for changing directions completely sometimes which is a nice freedom to have when writing music. PW: As far as writing the album A Decade of Violence, the songs would start out as riffs. We had tons of riffs and still do, that we may use later on. We'd go back and fourth in rehearsal on the riffs we'd like, I would take them home and clean them up. Bring them back, to the next practice and have the guys listen, if it sounded good, it stayed. Arranging songs can be tricky. You've practice it and pieced it all together, the way you like it and then you go into the studio to record the record and the producer says to you "This song ain't working man, we got to talk about this" you get pissed and want to kick his ass. But in the back of your head you know he's right. "Forever in Darkness" "Machine Gun Rain" and "Born into Pain" was like that.
MC: Have you sent the disc to any record labels and if you have has there been
any label interest?
PW: Yes, I've sent a few labels our disc, 2 of them got back to us, and one was from Germany the other in NYC. I was told that the one from L.A. is monitoring us. I can't tell you there names because I don't want to jeopardize anything.
MC: Plug any websites or merchandise you might have for sale.
WC: Visit us on myspace at www.myspace.com/apathymetalgods find us on facebook at Apathy metal band and visit our website at www.apathy-nj.com and pick up a copy of "A Decade of Violence" at our web store. Thanks for the interview!
MC: Does the band all get along really well and has there been any good juicy
fights or arguments you care to share with me?
BJ: haaa...this band has been through many lines up changes, so there are plenty of fight stories. For the most part we all get along pretty good. Every once in a while we need a break from each other to cool down. It's all been good with the current line up. I'll let Pete tell the horror stories.
PW: Oh god! This shit could take all day. Here's one - When we were out in Arizona, it was the first night or last night of shows out there and we were drinking like fish at the venue. I don't know what caused the argument really but it carried over to Jack-in-the-box, Tempe, AZ where we were at a drive thru and Jameson was in the back talking shit. I kept slamming on the breaks as we moved; we get to the window to pick our tacos and stuff and Jameson pukes all inside and outside the truck. There were people behind us that freaked out and backed-up out of the drive thru, mind you, we were all wasted. We get back to the hotel and I was like fuck you guys I'm going home. I get to the lobby, Jameson follows me, security comes out, Bill tells him to fuck off; we go out in the parking lot, while all our equipment is still in the truck. Valverde unloaded all of it by himself; we were still arguing, Manny our former guitarist was passed out. Valverde comes up to us telling us to chill, Jameson and I both turn on him like rabid dogs. Then all of a sudden a car full of hot drunk girls asked us if we wanted to hang out. Argument was over! That's probably the most we've ever fought with each other. As for some former band members, we've had it out! Fighting with other bands seems to happen more. We did a show at the end of '07 at Dingbatz with some egotistical band who showed up late to there own gig. Had the sound guy come up to us after our second song, telling us to cut the set? I went fucking ballistic, the crowd stood by us, chanting play!!!! Fuck the other band do your shit! APATHY rules! Once we finished our set the other band rushed the stage, moving our equipment and grabbing Jameson's drums, Bill told them "touch my drums and I'll fucking kill you". It was on man, I thru my Marshall cabinet off the back of the stage hitting our former lead guitarist. When the band got on stage and began there set, I was fuming at the bar, I then ran up to the stage and yelled "YOU FUCKIN SUCK!" and there song had just ended, there fans looked at me, I looked at them and said "Come on I'll take at least 10 of you fuckers" I went for some dude that was staring hard at me, as I approached him Jameson came out of nowhere and grabbed me. I get pissed still thinking about it! Apathy are a respectful bunch of dudes, if you disrespect us, you will lose.
MC: Does the band have any short term or long term goals for itself?
PW: The short term goal would be getting serious management and getting signed to a great record label right now! The long term, would to be successful for as long as possible. BJ: Yes, one goal. Become a successful band in the Metal scene globally....(Yep, the fame, the fortune, the women!! All of it)
MC: What sort of hobbies does each member have or things he likes to do when
not doing band related stuff?
BJ: I enjoy coaching youth football. I've been doing it since 1997 and it really gets me away from the band stuff. It's a totally different world and it brings out another side of me that many people do not know.
BV: I usually mess around on my computer whenever I'm not playing. Or getting trashed! PW: During the NFL season I'm all about it, if not I'm on a plane going somewhere like to escape. Hang out with friends who aren't part of the Apathy thing and chill.
MC: About how much time each week is spent doing band related stuff?
BJ: Countless hours, sometimes I'll sit at the computer for up to 8 hours doing band stuff and that's' just me, Pete probably does double that.
PW: I'm crazy, I'm every day, all day, it never ends, emails, phone calls, I won't stop till I get this band signed, it's become a sickness!
MC: Do any of you, like me, go up to that great record store, Vintage Vinyl
and blow lots of money on killer metal CDS?
PW: Yeah man I love Vintage Vinyl; I'm addicted to CD's! Shit I still have stuff on cassette, like Metallica's Garage Days, I will not through it out! I like buying the actual album. Downloading is cool if you can't find what you're looking for. Another cool place to check out if you're ever out in Long Island is a place called Looney Tunes. That place is killer I can blow $1,000 in 5 minutes. Want to go one day! I drive you buy! BJ: Yes, I love to go to the record store still. It feels great to open up a CD cover and read about the band and all that good stuff. You also find some great bands that you've never heard of before...
MC: What has been your favorite concert that you saw?
PW: So far this year, KISS! I never seen them and I know it's only Paul and Gene, but it kicked ass. They know how to put on a show! BJ: I would have to say Ozzfest '98 at Giants Stadium.There were so many great bands that year and Ozzy actually played with his band and then came out and played with Black Sabbath... It was an awesome show.
MC: Do you have videos posted of the band on your My Space page or on You Tube
and do you think you're a good live band?
BJ: We have a few short clips of the band on You Tube but there will be more to come. I think we are an excellent live band, in fact that's probably are biggest strength. PW: We are going to post a clip of our show with Whiplash and a few other shows on or website. Like Jameson said, we are an excellent band live. We interact with the crowd as much as possible, for 30 - 45 minutes we don't just give you music, we give you a show. BV: We all give it 110 percent every time we go out there, not just for the sake of being on stage, but we all just love playing these songs.
MC: When you listen to a new band or song from a band what are some of the
things you think make a great song?
PW: The list is short for me, with new bands; they all seem to sound alike. What I think makes a great song in my opinion is the music and lyrics. Its go to strike your soul! Almost like, being possessed! Most of all it's got to be memorable, because the average metal head or fan of any music can care less about your musicianship unless you're another musician. Take KISS for example. They've said it many times they are not great musicians, its all about the songs! BJ: Lyrics are important, and the arrangement of the song, being able to understand what the singer is singing helps. To me, the bass and drums have to be powerful and then you throw some kick ass riffs and killer lyrics on top...perfect song.
MC: Are lyrics important to the band or is the music more important or is it
a combo of both?
BJ: Lyrics are very important. Every Apathy song tells a story and we will never stop writing that way.
PW: Yeah man it's a combo deal! It's very important and for me the lyrics have to be right, because it helps when playing guitar and singing. Like Jameson mentioned, we are telling a story and you want that story to have some killer background music.
MC: Do you think you will be still listening to metal when you're an old man
in your rocking chair?
PW: Hell Yeah! Metal is my escape, always has been since I was a kid, so when I'm in a nursing home somewhere, they better have all my CD's or I pods loaded or else it's a walker up someone's ass! BJ: Absolutely! I will be 95 years old listening to Lamb of God!
MC: If you get signed to a record label what would you want them to do for
PW: Believe in us as a band and support our efforts.
BJ: Get us on a tour with a national act and push a few Records out and of course...... pay me!!
MC: If you could have written any one metal song what would it be and why?
BJ: I would have to say Motorhead, Ace of Spades!! I know that's a shock to most people but that is a Metal classic and Motorhead fucking rules.
PW: So many good songs out there, but I wish I wrote SUICIDE SOLUTION, its dark and twisted and its about drinking, when most people think its about blowing your brains out! It was a song with a message, that I like the most! Subliminal! The title alone just stops you in your tracks. The first line "Wine is fine, But whiskey's quicker, Suicide is slow with liquor, Take a bottle drain your sorrows, THEN IT FLOODS AWAY TOMMOROW!!" that is just awesome writing. I love the live version the best, Randy Rhodes guitar solo is awesome! I'm going to listen to that right now! I use to fall asleep to this song after a rough night! Sick isn't it!
MC: I am out questions. Any last words, horns up for the interview?
BJ: Thanks for taking the time to interview us..... Keep it Metal!!
PW: Yeah Chris, thanks for the interview, really cool! Hope to see you at one of our shows. On behalf of the other members of Apathy, Thank you! Oh yeah buy our record today at the bands web store www.apathy-nj.com.