interview with God's Iron Tooth

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Have any of you played in other bands?
Yes. Phil & I played in a band called Cain together which can be witnessed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pwdq1NNJl4M. That band had the current singer of Throwdown on guitar. Watch out now!!
Jeremy played in a band called Excessive Force https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I3G6ZLwGPKw
Both bands were quite lulzy.
How is it that you started playing music? I had some friends in high school that needed a drummer for a punk/hardcore band. My dad was a studio drummer who played surf rock in the 60s so he offered to buy me a drum set and teach me how to play. He was pretty good but pretty much just played surf rock style beats so I ended up only being able to play those type of beats while covering Infest songs in the band. I wouldn't say it was good, but it was different.
What are your names? / Who plays what? / How old are you? Phil – vocals. Travis – drums. Jeremy – guitar. Kelly – bass. I'm 39 and I think the others are my age or older.
Have you had other previous members? There was a dude named Ryan that played bass on the demo and ep but we kicked him out for saying things like “let's keep our fingers crossed”, “that sounds wicked sick” and generally being too positive. He actually quit to join a real band but we don't like telling people that. He was a bass player. Who gives a shit about them any way right? Despite Lars Ulrich being a drummer, bass players are like the Lars Ulrich of every band. You basically spend all your time telling them to just shut the fuck up and try to play something correctly.
Did you make music even when you were young? Phil covered Slayer & Kill Em All era Metallica songs on the harmonica when he was pretty young. I used to light candles and cut myself while writing poetry. I didn't really make any make music unless you consider sounding like a self-loathing whiny bitch to be music.
Where are you from? Long Beach, California. USA! USA! USA!
What year did the band form? 2000 if I had to guess.
What's your style of genre? We liked to describe our style of music as post-sloom rock. That's a combination of sludge and doom(sloom) but with an avant-garde twist, thus justifying the “post” in the “post-sloom rock” description. Just kidding. Anyone who uses the term “post” in a genre description and is not doing so sarcastically should have their ears filled with cement.
What inspires you? Nothing really. That's probably why I've accomplish next to nothing with my life. I'm open to suggestions if you've got any.
How often and where do you rehearse? We practiced in an office space in a warehouse a couple times a week.
How have you developed since you started with the music? We originally started out wanting to do something like Iron Monkey was doing and then that slowly shifted into a mix of Burning Witch & Amplifier Worship era Boris. We were talking about heading into a more Phil Spector “wall of sound” meets the samples/electronics of Godflesh's Songs Of Love & Hate In Dub. I was big into techno/industrial at a young age and had been working on electronic stuff for awhile so we had been talking about incorporating some of that stuff.
Do you have other interests of work outside the band? I'm really into movies, cats & raw doggin' it whenever possible. I also love mocking Jesus. I don't know what it is, but I can't fucking stand that guy any more. Before, I was always like “awww, whatever”, “to each his own”, “he seems like a nice guy”, etc. But now? Fuck that shit. If you have the audacity to tell me I'm going to go to hell for not believing in you, I'm pretty much going to mock the shit out of you and tell everyone of your followers to go fuck themselves. You honestly believe a microscopic egg and sperm can turn into a human fucking being over a 9th month period but don't believe man can evolve from an apelike creature over millions of years. It's a real bummer suicide excludes you from Heaven. If it didn't, I like to think these people would just be offing themselves left and right and then we wouldn't have to worry about them trying to control our lives any more.
Are you looking for a label, and what are your thoughts around that? Well, we still have an lp that was recorded and only released in a very limited format. It would be cool if it had a bigger release though. I've been thinking about putting it out myself, have the layout done with some pretty interesting packaging ideas for it. I'm just not sure if the money would be better invested in a weekend in Vegas than pressing a record that will most likely not sell.
What are your songs about? I'm pretty sure they're negative but I don't really know. For all I know they're about boning Brittney Spears but I can't tell what the hell he's saying. If they were about boning Brittney Spears, I'm sure it would be a violent/negative boning. She was hot back then though so I'm totally fine if that's what they were about. I'll have to ask Phil sometime.
Who does the composing and writes the lyrics? Jeremy wrote most the riffs but the song development was a collaboration between everyone. Phil wrote the lyrics. He may have just been freestyling the entire time though. He's got mad b-boy skills and is a pretty wicked mic controller. He's also been known to attempt backspins on asphalt when drunk.
Do you start with the music or the lyrics? The music. We weren't doin' some Bob Dylan Basement Tapes type shit.
Do you compose in a certain environment? The environment was generally cramped, hot & pretty shitty.
Have you done any covers live? We tried to open a set with a cover of a section of a Boris song once. From I what I hear, we nailed it. But at some point briefly after that, I kicked my shoes off, kicked over my drum set and ran out of the club screaming. That was the last time I drank all day then listened to some guy that said “take these pills and chew them up so they hit you faster.” The only part I really remember was needing someone else to set my drums up because I saw eight of everything.
What language do you sing in? English.....I think.
What are the least and most people to attend one of your gigs? I think the least was maybe 6. The most was probably 40.
Do you always play the same songs live, or do you vary? We mixed it up but we were severely limited by our level of intoxication.
Do you have a regular place you play live often? We used to play at a place called The Prospector quite often. I'm not sure why they let us play there though. It's a very small bar and I've heard from a few people that every time we'd start playing this older bartender dude that worked there looked like he was going to have a heart attack due to the volume.
What was your first gig like? I don't remember but I'm sure it was anti-climatic.
What was your latest gig? It was quite a long time ago. It was fairly violent and didn't end well to say the least. It was fucking fun though. This is not an exaggeration and we didn't really play too many shows but 50% of the time someone either shit themselves, got knocked out, choked, punched or got a bottle thrown at them. Unfortunately 50% of those events were us doing these acts to each other as opposed to others. I did get punched in the face by some wannabe thug life dude at the Stoner Hands of Doom Fest while standing outside smoking a cigarette though. Phil swung a brick at a guy he thought was talking shit on us once while we were playing in LA. He missed, fell off the stage and knocked himself out. The guy and his friend told us after the show that they actually came to see us play. This is an example of how not to treat the only 2 fans you have.
Have you had to cancel a gig? I think once or twice we refused to play after showing up to a place and just drove home. That was never about money but usually showing up and the club owner/promoter being like “you gotta go on now, the other bands haven't shown up yet” when we had been told we were going on third or much later and there was no one in the club yet. We can not get paid and play in front of no one for free back at home. Don't waste our time and gas money driving to a club to do that.
When did you start to sell merchandise, and what do you have for sale? We had shirts and CDs but they're all long gone now. Vedavu is putting out our lp on a series of 10” lathes but they are super limited and sold out. The third part of the series will be out eventually. http://www.vedavu.bigcartel.com/
What do you think about people downloading music instead of buying records nowadays?
I think it's great for the music fan. I've probably purchased over a thousand CDs and close to 3,000 records in my life. 75% of those I probably shouldn't have bought and only listed to once or twice so I view it as a pretty big waste of money.
The fact that the internet exists now and a person can check out anything on a whim is totally amazing. If you consider yourself a music fan, there's no excuse for not being well versed in a pretty much limitless range of music. I'm almost 40 and I still come across albums from the 60s and 70s that make me go “how the fuck have I never heard this before!?” and I absolutely love it. There's just no way I could have listened to the probably 10,000 plus albums without the internet having existed.
I'll generally purchase a download or a physical format of current bands that I like but I torrent the shit outta old random blues, funk, psych bands that I'm sure get zero royalties off whatever label is selling their stuff nowadays. I use to go to a lot of shows and support bands that way but I cannot stand standing for hours to see a band. I WANT TO SIT GOD DAMN IT! I spend all day at work on my feet. I don't want to have to stand the fuck around for 3 hours to make sure I'm close enough to the stage to see the band I'm there to see.
Last year I went with my wife to see FKA Twigs. Stood around for an hour then the 1st band went on and sucked so we left to go to a bar. Came back a couple hours later just in time for her set to start. Didn't see a fucking thing. I'm pretty sure FKA Twigs was there but I never once saw her. I do not care who the band is. I don't want to be standing around like some dipshit with my thumb up my ass watching pencil thin moustached tattoo'd douche bags repeatedly walking back and forth from the bar to alert the world to their presence while pretending to be texting while simultaneously looking around as if they are going to find someone that recognizes them or a friend they are meeting but never do.
Could you imagine if you had to stand at the movies? How shitty would that be? I understand if it's a fucking Miley Cyrus show and you gotta stand to smoke your blunt and crip walk in place or twerk or whatever the kids do these days, but there's no reason to be standing at a Swans, Chaos Echoes, Squadra Omega, etc. show. Not only do I like being able to see the bands/artists, I like being comfortable, high and drunk. All these things work great while sitting quite fucking well.
How do you think the music industry have changed because of this? I think the artists have always been getting robbed by the labels to begin with. I think they usually got what, 1/20 of what the consumer pays for a CD? That's a total joke. I've heard bands have to tour to earn money now but so what. I think the industry and the artists will adapt. It's always been shitty for independent artists and it will probably always stay that way. Let's be honest, most artists suck but almost all of them think they should be able to make a living off their art regardless.
What do you think of my work? You're definitely the hardest working & most passionate person in Sweden I've ever talked to. I mean, you're the only person in Sweden I've ever talked to, but that doesn't make you any less amazing.
How do you think and know that this interview will help you in the music business? I'm sure it won't but maybe someone will enjoy reading it.
Do you have any role models or idols? I've always admired bands/artists like Radiohead. They can pretty much do whatever they want and still be successful. There aren't too many bands like that. They get little to no airplay or constant rotation shoving it down people's throats, but just do what they want and succeed.
Why do you think that they exist? The same reason everything exists. Chance.
Is it easier to find inspiration from older bands, or bands that are more active today?
OLDER bands. When you listen to The Pretty Things “Old Man Going”, Fleetwood Mac's “The Green Manalishi”, Vanilla Fudge's “Some Velvet Morning”, The Beatles “I Want You” and on and on and on, you pretty much have the perfect template for doom, metal, etc. While the technology has improved/changed over the years and bands have a more focused idea of specifically what type of music they want to play, it's all been done already so you might as well draw inspiration from the originals than some current band's take on it.
If you listen to “Planting Bad Seeds” by Skip Bifferty or The Monks “Oh, How To Do Know” or the god damn way ahead of it's time epitome of the late 80s early 90s “Manchester sound” found in “Automation” by Giorgio Moroder from 1972, why would you need to listen to anything current for inspiration?
Amon Duul II, Funkadelic, Faust, ARGH!
Seriously though, 65 year old Buddy Guy released this song in 2001. Tell me it isn't heavier than the majority of stoner/doom shit you hear nowadays. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D6tdlmx_GO4
What have been your biggest obstacles? I honestly think our biggest obstacle as a band was that back when we were active we didn't look like we should have been playing the type of music we were playing. I think most of us felt like if we had long hair or looked more the part we would have been more popular. Nowadays you see dudes that look like math teachers playing in ultra heavy doom bands and no one really cares but the scene was a bit smaller back when we were playing.
It could also have been because we weren't very good and had a pretty bad attitude.
What advice would you give other bands or artists? My advice would be not to take any advice from me.
How do you get psyched for a gig? Alcohol.
Do you have any new material?
There may be a collection of videos being released on DVD in the future that I've been working on. Here's a sample and this is also my favorite song of ours and what I think represents us the best https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lfjMKmHK8X4
If anyone is interested in the God's Iron Tooth lp and haven't heard it, it can be found on soundcloud here: https://soundcloud.com/gods-iron-tooth/sets/unreleased-lp
Phil is currently in a band called INVDRS. I believe they are recording now or just finished recording their 2nd lp. You can find them here https://www.facebook.com/pages/INVDRS/320873579618
I'm fooling myself into thinking I'll finish an album of electronic nonsense I've been working on forever: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=edwZfCceKiU
How can people reach you? I'm sure Phil can be reached through the INVDRS' Facebook page. I can be reached through the God's Iron Tooth FB page or djtlaross@gmail.com. I don't know how to reach any one else who was ever associated with the band.
What are your plans for the future? As I feel most bands should after they dissolve, God's Iron Tooth will remain dead forever.
Do you have something to add? ****SPOILER ALERT**** While watching Inside Out, I shed a tear when Bing Bong died.
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