Well, been about a while since New Orleans’ own Goatwhore formed and they’ve definitely established themselves as one the most diligent bands of the 21st century. Formed by guitarist/vocalist Sammy Duet in ’97, their legacy follows a dramatic series of lineup shifts, injuries, hauntings, natural disasters and an assortment of other mishaps large and small. But, driven by a blood oath to heavy metal and perhaps the powers of Satan himself, Goatwhore forever persevere.
Hi guys, for the Australian people that don’t know you guys, throw down a quick intro telling us a bit about yourselves.
Ok, I’ll make this simple. The band formed around 1994 with Sammy Duet and original drummer Zack Nolan doing some Black Necro Grind stuff. It was under a different moniker then. Add some other people to the fold and you have the birth of Goatwhore around 1995. Sammy gets in a barroom brawl and his jaw gets broken. Ben enters the band to help with some shows that were already in place. Once the jaw heals some ideas were passed back and forth and Ben stays in the lineup. Released 5 albums over the duration of 15 plus years with numerous member changes and have come to this point. Current line-up consists of myself (Ben Falgoust) on Vocals, Sammy Duet on Guitar & Vocals, Zack Simmons on Drums and James Harvey on Bass. If you want more detailed info the internet is a vast and informative place. Do some research you lazy bastards.
What’s next after the tours?
More tours, working on some tunes and we have some other ideas in the pocket that we want to make happen. Band life is pretty much tour, write, tour, record, tour, sleep, tour, sleep, drink, tour and the cycle repeats itself with the exception of more or less of the stated endeavors.
…What’s your personal favourite from the new album “Blood For The Master”?
It’s hard to pick a favorite. So much effort is put into each song to have one being the favorite of all of them. They all have an individual element that makes them unique. I personally like the whole record and the variation in styles on it. Every band has those handful of songs that everyone likes them to play.
What are those songs for you guys and do you still love playing them?
Yea, we have a few of them. Alchemy Of The Black Sun Cult, Apocalyptic Havoc, Invert The Virgin, to name a few. They seem to get old at times, but switching other songs in the set helps keep a flame with the more popular tunes and it also freshens the set in a very extensive touring cycle.
When you look back at your music career, what are the things you’re proud of? What are the highlights?
I would say that it has been an incredible experience to not only to play our music in so many places but to visit all of these places. We have had the opportunity to tour with bands that we admire and have influence us like Celtic Frost & Venom. The main thing would be the ability to continue on doing what we do. Times are tough for extreme metal bands on a financial level as well as the scene being swarmed with so many talented acts. We have managed to persevere no matter the circumstances.
Which bands have been the most fun to play along side in the past years?
Every tour we have done has been great memories. I am not saying you don’t have tough times, but when looking back the good times outweigh the bad times. Each band we tour with have a different aspect about them internally and adds to the adventure and the experience of the tour.
What would you say separates you from the other metal bands in your area, or the world?
I feel we have more to offer in extreme metal then the straight forward approach of being just a death metal band , thrash band or black metal band. We are all fans of those styles and other extreme metal forms, and we use that to blend these styles and make music that represents us as a band. We even incorporate grind, crust punk and other elements of styles that mend well with what we do.
Which bands have shaped your style from the start and which bands have caught your eye along the way?
From the start we would have to say bands like Celtic Frost, Venom, Bathory, Motorhead, Black Sabbath, Judas Preist, Exodus, Discharge, and the list goes on. Pretty much the basics that still get the point across. Along the way you come across so many bands and at times I feel they subconsciously rub off if you take an interest in them. Sometimes they become more of an influence than one might have perceived on their own. On the listening journey I would have to say bands like Emperor, Mayhem, Cannibal Corpse, Napalm Death.
A lot of bands think that it’s all about the label. Would you say that being signed to Metal Blade Records has given you that branding opportunity?
I guess it would be 50/50 in some times and 75/25 (in favor of the band) in other times, then 100% would be the band hard at work when the label’s gears start to slow once the record has been out for a bit. It isn’t all glitz and glamour that some people may think, but I won’t lie and say I am not having fun along the way.
Everyone knows AC/DC, but we would like to know what other bands you guys would know from Australia, and what you know about the music scene here?
Destroyer 666, The Berzerker, Damaged, Psycroptic, Bestial Warlust, Sadistik Exekution, Blood Duster, Disembowelment. Quite a few bands from Australia that paved their way in the extreme scene of the world. Putting out releases through labels such as Earache, Relapse, Nuclear Blast and numerous others. Don’t know much about the music scene except for what we witnessed when we toured with Behemoth and Job For A Cowboy. I am sure like any other scene in the world it had it’s timeline of highlights and pitfalls, but the devoted extreme metal people kept it alive through thick and thin. We are coming back to witness more of the scene in a closer more personal approach than bigger venue platforms… and that’s when you really get into the heart of a scene.
…What could bands do to make themselves present to the world?
Well, these days, the use of the internet is a powerful tool. The only problem in that format is the amount of bands out. So many new acts surfacing each month and bands trying to get recognized is a hard task in itself. I would still hold a torch up for the fact of touring. That is the main thing that will assist a band in the effort to gain more fans and reach more people.
Do you have any shout outs you would like to throw in?
First off, I would like to thank you for your time and support in doing this interview with us. Secondly, we are quite excited about our upcoming tour in Australia and New Zealand alongside Impiety. This is going to be a very intimate and intense show for those that attend. If you would like to further your interest in Goatwhore you can visit our website at www.goatwhore.net. There you will find links to all of our social internet outlets, merchandise, tour dates, etc.