Interview mit Tom von GODSTICKS
Interview mit Tom von GODSTICKS
As I like the sound of the new GODSTICKS-album quite a lot, I thought, I’s ask for an interview and hooked up with drummer Tom Price to learn more about the music and the band. Here we go…
My name is Amir and I´m one of the founders of metal-heads.de, the music magazine for fans of the heavy side of music. Our attitude is: Distortion is our passion! So anything goes, using an electric guitar. I thank you fort he chance to do this interview. My review is up on our homepage since the release date (it´s in German though). So I wanted to give the people out there chance, to learn more about your band and music.
MH: let´s start quite in the beginning. I’d be interested to know how you got you into starting this band? Who´s idea was it and how did it begin and develop until 2020, where we are now?
How a fan become the drummer of GODSTICKS
TP: Well the funny thing is I was actually a fan of the band long before I joined it! I had read about them in magazines and seen them live in Cardiff a couple of times; I always thought they were a great band and that each player was highly skilled at their instrument. Then in 2015 they were looking for a new drummer and I went to audition, never thinking in a million years that they would choose me, but they did! I think one of the things that helped me, was the change in style the band was going through at that time; changing from a fusion style to a heavy rock and metal sound. I like to think, that suits my style of drumming. So I feel, it was the perfect time for me to join, and we have just been developing that new sound over the course of the last few years and albums.
MH: what was your intention to start with this kind of music? In how far have you reached your goal already or what are the upcoming plans?
TP: I know that Darran, who is the songwriter for the band, had been listening to more and more heavy music and was inspired to take GODSTICKS in that direction. As much as I love listening to Spiral Vendetta and The Envisage Conundrum the songs‘ dynamics and feels are constantly changing, sometimes several tempo/atmosphere shifts can occur within just one song. I guess Darran got a little bit tired of that and wanted to streamline the music he was writing, and make it something that he would enjoy listening to first and foremost. So from Emergence onwards, the band has tried to embrace the heavy stuff and let that take the lead, but still drop back and play some softer and atmospheric songs as well. I definitely think Inescapable has a great mix of these different styles and hopefully we can keep developing this mix in the future.
The idea behind the re-release of „Emergence“
MH: what was the idea to re-release your third album in the „waiting period“ until the release of „Inescapable“?
TP: Our record label Kscope has always been incredibly supportive of us and it was their idea to re-release Emergence. The bulk of the recording for Inescapable was done in the summer of 2019, but we knew that our release date was going to be in 2020 so there was a big chunk of time to fill, and it was a great idea to re-release Emergence during that time. When I first listened to it, I was still just a fan and not a member of the band yet, so I love the album from that point of view as well. Obviously Kscope liked it too and recognized how important it was in the GODSTICKS timeline, marking this shift in styles and everything, so they decided to give it the spotlight for a little while.
MH: where do you see your main influences regarding music and lyrics on the other hand?
TP: That’s a tricky thing to do, because all 4 of us have such a wide range of influences. Bands/artists like SYSTEM OF A DOWN, DREAM THEATER and Frank Zappa are definitely some of the biggest influences on the band as a whole, but we all enjoy listening to music and lyrics from the other side of the spectrum too. Darran loves listening to pop artists like Ellie Goulding and Dan is just about the biggest John Mayer fan you’ll ever meet! That’s the same with me and RUSH; I’m a huge fan of them along with the classic prog bands like GENESIS and YES. Gavin is also a big advocate for guitar-driven music from the likes of Steve Vai and so on; everything comes together in a big melting pot and somehow we get our sound from there!
DREAM THEATER, SYSTEM OF A DOWN and Zappa…
MH: I liked „Faced with rage“, but thought it was „hard to digest“ for the listener somehow. I think in somehow, you stayed on that road, but I also see a development and more chances to „get in touch“. Especially with the previously released album opener „Denigrate“ I find it easier to approach the music on the new release. What do you think?
TP: Maybe that’s simply because there was a new line-up and a completely new outlook to the band’s music on Faced With Rage. We are extremely proud of that album, but you’re right, we wanted that style to grow and we made a big effort to make both the music and lyrics in Inescapable connect with people on another level. Probably the biggest and most important thing, we decided to do for the new album was to not write complex music for the sake of complexity; we wanted to simplify everything, so the songs could be driven by their melodies and grooves. We wanted the songs to stand up on their own merits.
MH: in my review I say, that I find the songs on „Inescapable“ some kind of melancholic, spreading a quite sentimental or nearly depressive vibe. Can you agree and is it your intention to sound like that or did it just develop during the composition of the material?
Intended to be melancholic…
TP: Depressive isn’t the word I would use, but they were definitely intended to be melancholic, yes. We wanted a singular theme running through every song, not just to tie everything together lyrically, but musically as well and hopefully make it a better listening experience. The theme is being introspective – looking inside yourself and not liking some of the things you find. Darran is writing a lot about inner demons and what they can do to our state of being, but ultimately I feel there’s a positive outlook to be taken from Inescapable – despite what the title may suggest! If you don’t tackle these demons, then you can’t begin to develop and grow as a human being. The fact that this internal conflict has to be fought is the only true ‚Inescapable‘ thing.
MH: are there any plans for some touring, maybe even in Germany or the Netherlands? Festival appearances in 2020?
TP: 2020 is already shaping up to be a busy year for us! We are doing a small headline tour of the U.K in April, which take us to Cardiff, London, Edinburgh and Manchester. Also we have a few festival spots lined up with one or two still left to be announced. Yes, we will be playing at Comedatio Festival in Portugal, Tech Fest in the U.K, and Prog Power Europe in the Netherlands. Needless to say we are very excited to get back on the road!
On tour with Mike Portnoy? – a look into the future
MH: what musicians would you love to share the stage with and/or what band would you like to tour with and why?
TP: There are so many! Because they have been so important as an inspiration to the new GODSTICKS sound we would absolutely love to share the stage with SYSTEM OF A DOWN. It would also be a huge thrill to tour with SONS OF APOLLO; I personally am really liking their sound and Mike Portnoy is one of my very favourite prog drummers. We are also good friends with some of the guys from TesseracT and we even had their singer Dan do backing vocals on our single ‚Denigrate‘ so it would be awesome to tour with those guys too!
MH: regarding playing live – festival, club gig or big venue? There are various kinds of gigs to play for a band to play. Small sweaty club gigs, big venues or even stadiums and then these 3-day-festivals in front of 50.000 to 120.000 people. What kind of performances do you prefer and why?
Happy to play any possible gig
TP: Honestly we would just be happy to perform anywhere! But like most musicians, we keep trying to climb the ladder, progress to bigger venues and create new memorable experiences. But this 4-piece lineup has only recently started touring small venues as a headline band, so I feel we still have a lot to prove with those kinds of gigs first. On the other side we have been very lucky to play some bigger venues and halls as a support band over the years, and it would be amazing to graduate and play the same places as a headline band some day. Maybe one day we’ll get to do an arena or stadium size show, too but who knows!
MH: do you have any experiences in playing charity shows like the RAGE AGAINST RACISM-festival in Duisburg? It´s a great thing, positioning itself against racism and of course the participating bands fully stand behind that attitude! Could you imagine to play an event like that? Just asking, as we are starting the preparations soon, as our magazine is the official media partner!!
TP: Over the years we have each had the experience of performing at
charity shows and festivals, and of course it’s so important to raise as much
money as possible for as many worthy causes as possible. What better way to do
that than through live music? The Rage Against Racism festival definitely
sounds like a great thing and would undoubtedly raise awareness for a very
important issue in the world today, and yes we could totally see ourselves
playing there (if they’d have us, of course!)
MH: the final words is always to our interview partners. Here YOU get the chance to tell the people out there something, that you think is important, regarding music in general, the latest album or whatever. So, here we go…
Hard work to create great music
TP: I guess all I can say now is, that we hope you will check out our new album Inescapable and we hope you enjoy listening to it! The band has worked harder than ever before, to make the whole thing sound the best it possibly can – if you like what you hear, please support us and maybe pick up a CD, a vinyl record or download it from any of the usual places online. Just like with every other band out there, it is only with the support from our fans that we can keep on making music. If you don’t like it, that’s ok; we appreciate you giving it a try!
MH: thanx for sharing your time and all the info. I wish you all the best with the album and the future efforts and hope to see you perform live on stage at some point.
TP: Thank you! Best wishes to you and all of your readers!
- GODSTICKS official band photo Titel: CMM Online
- GODSTICKS Albumcover Incapable: www.amazon.de
- GODSTICKS Cover Inescapable – Beitragsbild: CMM Online