Interview: Revisionist 7-14-19
Interview by Levi Yager with Josh Barbee, Max Abood and Josh Peavey of the band Revisionist.
Could you guys give a brief band history for people who might be unfamiliar with Revisionist? Just kind of how you guys formed and came to be where you’re at now.
Max: That’s a long story.
Josh B.: Go ahead.
Josh P.: You want me to start that one?
Josh B.: I’m curious to see how much you guys know.
Max: I don’t know the full story.
Josh P.: I’m the most recent addition to the band.
Josh B.: Grant is actually the most recent addition.
Josh P.: Oh yeah. Sorry, sorry. Grant’s the most recent addition to the band. I don’t know, that’s a question for you. Josh is the one who started Revisionist in, what? 2016?
Josh B.: It started as just a passion project for me. I actually never thought it would be a band; it was just, like, studio stuff. And then, one by one, it just was people that would come and go that were helpful being involved with it. And the record got done, and then we needed a solid group of dudes that could travel and play real seriously. So everybody served a purpose and had a season until we landed on the current lineup which is Devin, our drummer, and Max. We did a tour in October, and then Josh recently filled in for the guitar spot, and Grant took my spot. I was actually doing vocals in the band up until that Slaughter to Prevail show.
Josh B.: That was his first show. He was actually just filling in for that show, and then after the show, he became an official member.
Wow. Also, who all of the current lineup recorded on Culling?
Josh B.: All of them.
All of you guys recorded on Culling?
Josh B.: They all did it.
Max: That’s a lie.
OK. I was like, “I don’t know if that measures up to what I just heard.”
Josh B.: I did the recording on the record except for drums, and there was a couple lead parts that our old guitarist helped with. But everything but drums on it was me.
Josh P.: Vocals and everything, yep.
Gotcha. That’s pretty impressive. Nice job.
Josh B.: Considering that they’re all the best musicians in the band, yeah.
Max: Also a lie.
So the upcoming release will be even better, right?
Josh B.: It’ll be way better. It definitely is growing.
Josh P.: I’m real stoked on this new stuff.
Very cool. And – for Max and you, Josh [P.] – what would each of you say are things that you guys want to bring to the table in Revisionist?
Josh P.: Me personally, I remember when Josh had sent me the Culling record before it was released. I was into it, but I felt like there was a little bit lacking, if I’m being a little honest, as far as like – I don’t know if structure is the right word or anything like that, but – I don’t know. It was definitely a different record than what I’ve heard in a while, which I was super stoked about – I thought was really cool. I don’t know. It’s a good question. I’ve been in and out of bands that never made it anywhere and, like, never made it off the ground. And so this will be my first recorded release whenever we get new stuff done. So, maybe some more energy, I don’t know.
So just kind of excited to be part of it and give whatever you got.
Josh P.: Yeah, yeah. For sure.
Josh B.: I would say you would bring some steadfastness to it – some steadiness – if I was giving what my expectation is.
Josh P.: That’s a good answer. Yeah.
And Max? Your turn.
Max: I’m kind of the same way. I’m just kind of there to give it, you know, whatever I can. But I think something big that I can help out with is arranging. I’ve never really been in a hardcore band like this. So, the composition side of things, I’m not fluent in. But if something’s written and I hear it, it’s like puzzle pieces; I can just kinda put ’em together.
Josh B.: I would agree with that. Max went to school for this. I need Max to help me out. I’m always like, “Hey, so here’s this part. So, what works with it? ‘Cause I don’t know what works with it.” So I ask Max. Max brings all of that kind of stuff ’cause he understands music a whole lot better than I do.
Josh P.: I feel like Josh and I are really similar in that way where it’s like we can write some really cool riffs, but sometimes we don’t really know what to do with them or how to place everything together. And I feel like that’s where Max really kinda comes in and lends his ear and expertise.
Josh B.: I think we all actually play some pretty different roles – all in good ways. Everybody kinda complements each other.
Yeah. You’d hope to have that in a band.
Josh B.: Yeah.
Next question for you. So, I could tell Culling is a concept album of some sort. So what is the concept or story behind the album?
Josh B.: There’s actually a couple different directions and forms that it can take; it’s not really one, specific direction. So, “culling” typically is referred to with, like, animal husbandry and things like that. When you’ve got character traits you don’t want in the herd, you cull the herd. So they eliminate animals that are born with the character traits you don’t want. And then, that way, you develop a better product over time. Basically, when it got written, there’s been a lot of really difficult life things that’ve, you know, attacked at least my life and some of the people that were around as we were writing it. And it starts out with a lot of desperation. As the record progresses, there’s a little glimpse of “there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel.” But there’s always different topics of things that we need to grow or work through, and if you don’t get through it you’ll never be better than the situation that you were in. And so that’s why there’s a shift. That “Long Live” song at the end shifts and is a very bright song because it’s kind of the metaphorical end of getting out of that dark spot. That’s why – I know when you reviewed the record you talked about – some songs didn’t have a really direct theme. So I’m a little bit older than everybody else in the band and came from a pretty consistent touring background. And so “Lifer” is all about being on the road and then struggling with, like, “I’m home. My life is awesome. My friend group is awesome. But I struggle and miss being on the road even though being on the road was also one of the hardest and – if I’m being honest – miserable things I’ve ever done, too.” It’s a weird, bitter mistress. You long for it, but you get back on the road, and then you’re like, “Man, this sucks, but I don’t wanna be home.” So, it was never just one situation that the record really touched on. It was just a lot of the struggles that’s gone on over the last couple years. So there’s a little bit of some relational things or falling out, whether it’s friend groups or actual relationships and just stuff in general. But none of the songs were written to be specifically about a breakup or a death in the family, per se. Like, “Thought Crime” is about, we’ve had some friends that struggle with addictions. So we touch a little bit on everything. The second underlying meaning behind the record was, musically, I feel like there’s a lot of stuff that’s gotten sort of watered down; there’s not a lot of substance to the content. Whether it’s lyrically, or, you know, there’s a lot of really good musicianship in bands today, but there’s not much substance there. So a lot of it, too, was sort of a culling within the hardcore scene. That’s why there’s that section that talks about, “There are survivors; you’re not alone.” It’s sort of a beacon to everybody that wants something real. So the two subjects sort of go together for the entire theme of the record. And the video ties into that, too. I don’t know if you’ve seen the music video yet.
For what song?
Josh B.: For “Culling.”
I have not. When did that drop?
Josh B.: Like a week before the record dropped.
OK, gotcha. I don’t think I’ve checked it out yet, but I definitely will.
Josh B.: It helps tie in a little bit of the concept.
Very cool. So, it’s not really like a strict, story-type thing. But, basically, kind of the idea or concept of a culling – you kinda play with that throughout various moments in the record.
Josh B.: One of the biggest things for me was not making things so specific that you can go listen to it at one point in your life and connect with it one way, and then you might listen to it two or three years later, and you’ll listen to the same song and be able to apply it to different parts and different things that you’re going through. So, for me, it means one thing, but I wanted it to be able to connect to people where they’re at. So, a lot of people can kind of pull their own, you know, what it means to them out of it without being so out there and poetic that it doesn’t make any sense whatsoever.
Yeah, that makes sense. Gives it more of a timeless quality when it’s applicable at any point in your life, really.
Josh B.: Mmhmm. That was kinda long-winded, but did that make sense?
Josh B.: OK.
Josh P.: That’s a really good answer.
Josh B.: It’s been interesting, though, ’cause even you guys coming forth a little bit later – we were talking about this the other day. I think Josh was saying that some of the songs really get to him, and Grant was saying the same thing – and he’s only done two shows with the band. And it’s because when you know the lyrical content and how it follows through, I guess, the guys who weren’t on the record are still able to be emotional about the songs even though they weren’t initially a part of that process, which is cool.
Josh P.: It was a super weird feeling. So I remember playing that Slaughter show, and we started playing “Thought Crime.” And when I joined, it was just like, “Yeah, I’ll learn the songs. And, whatever, I’ll listen to the record and stuff like that.” But for whatever reason, I think it was the ending lyrics of that song just hit super hard to me. It was almost like an out-of-body experience while playing of, like, “I don’t even know if I’m playing the right thing right now, but it’s just–”
Josh B.: He probably wasn’t.
Josh P.: I probably wasn’t. But it was such a weird feeling of being, like, “OK I’m just kinda learning these songs – just filling in for a couple shows.” And then actually joining and being like, “Woah, I didn’t think this would mean that much to me.” And it ended up happening, and I was like, “This is really, really cool.”
And that says something about the material as far as, like, it can hit you as a performer even if you weren’t involved with the recording process or the initial creative part of it. That’s really cool.
Josh P.: Yeah.
Alright. So I heard you’re already working on a new EP. Is that correct?
Josh B.: Started, yeah.
OK. So I was wondering, are there gonna be some similarities as far as kind of, you know, a world-setting type thing that you have going on in Culling?
Josh B.: You mean theme?
Yeah. Some kind of a vague concept like you had in your first album.
Josh B.: I don’t think we’re to that point. I mean, I don’t think there’s a, “We want to do something that’s themed,” and there’s not a, “We don’t want to.”
Josh P.: Grant and I have tossed around some lyrical ideas, but nothing that really got wheels off the ground or anything like that.
Josh B.: I think we’re trying to find our balance with new people and then adding different writers into it still to really know exactly the final product, like, what we’re shooting for. I don’t think that we’ve actually sat down like, “We wanna sound like this,” or, “We wanna do this.” It’s just been, like, “We need to get into a room and–”
Josh P.: “Kinda figure it out.”
Josh B.: One thing that was really important to me on the Culling record was an honest, authentic record. I don’t know if that makes sense. So with this, it was like, we want to let it be something organic. You know, there’s songs that we thought were done – we went back and changed every single part of it and just kept certain pieces. So I think, right now, it’s just trying to find our rhythm, I guess.
Max: The new stuff is gonna be a lot more collaborative, for sure.
Josh B.: Yeah. Our drummer is actually a better guitarist than I am. And the last two times that him and a couple of us got together, I didn’t even touch a guitar, and I just sat and helped do some arrangement while Josh and Devin, our drummer, played guitar the whole time. So, they wrote several pieces and put some stuff together. So it’s been a cool process overall.
Josh P.: It’s definitely been for me, personally, a way different writing process than what I’ve ever done in the past. ‘Cause any other band I was in was always like, “Oh, a singer or guitarist will write the whole song, and then they’ll bring it to practice, and you’ll just learn the parts and play it.” And with this, it’s way more collaborative. Like he was saying, Devin, our drummer, was writing guitar riffs and everything. And, you know, we used some of that in the new stuff, and it’s awesome. It’s really cool. And then we have Max doing some arranging stuff and Josh doing some arranging stuff, and it’s really, really cool.
Josh B.: I’ve surrounded myself with all better musicians than I am.
Josh P.: That’s your trick; you just gave it away.
Josh B.: Yeah, that’s totally what it is.
Josh B.: That’s the best part of it; makes my job easier.
Josh P.: You could just lay back and have the riffs already written.
Josh B.: Just like, “Whatever.”
Just let it be. That’s awesome.
Josh B.: I’m, like, the laziest member, for sure.
So, another thing I’m wondering is, do you have any idea of when the new EP’s gonna be released?
Josh B.: No. ‘Cause we’re a couple songs into it, and then, also, we don’t know what we’re gonna scrap. We played one of the new songs at the Earth Groans show – and at Slaughter – and everybody really likes it. But as you piece more things together, you start being like, “Oh, this doesn’t fit.” You know, so we might release a single or so. But with the current record just releasing, we’re gonna do some more video content and stuff and then push it while it’s there. We’re trying to be smart with money and what we’re spending to basically get more attention. And, also, the record’s gotten some pretty good attention, and Jeff Sahyoun, the guitarist from letlive., produced the record. So, you know, we wanna continue to work on new music as new members are involved but also be smart about pushing what we have.
Very cool. So, speaking of music videos, what is the next one you guys are gonna shoot one for?
Josh B.: I don’t think we’ve decided yet.
Josh P.: We haven’t talked too much about it.
Max: We keep bringing it up, and then we’d forget it.
Josh B.: We paid for a video, like, six months ago. It was either us juggling time or the guy who’s doing the video juggling time. But we’ve got a couple things that we’re just trying to figure out what we wanna do. I think you were talking about wanting to do “Thought Crime.”
Max: I would love to do “Thought Crime.”
Josh P.: I was thinking that same one, yeah.
Josh B.: It’s a longer song.
Max: Yeah. It’s just my favorite to play.
It’s a great one.
Josh P.: “Sage” would be a cool one, too. Honestly, we could say any song off the record, and everyone would be like, “Yeah, that would be cool.”
It’s true; you can’t really lose.
Josh P.: I mean, that’s what I would do, I think.
Josh B.: I really do go in waves, though, for different songs that I really enjoy. Also, I’ve had some new favorites since I started playing guitar because, like, I know all the songs on guitar, but I haven’t performed them all on guitar – I’ve always been doing vocals. And playing guitar, my favorite song to play is “Long Live.” I blast playing that song live. And so, they go in waves, where it’s like, “We should totally do this.” And every song’s got a little bit of a different vibe, where they all sound like the band, but some songs are much more hardcore influenced, or some are a little crazier or some are prettier. And so, it changes with what I like. Sometimes I won’t listen to a song for a month, and then I’ll go back, and all of a sudden it’s like, “Man, this is my favorite one; we should actually start playing this live.”
Very cool. So still kind of figuring out which one would be a good one to shoot a video for, but it is coming.
Josh B.: Yeah.
As far as the musical direction on the new EP, are there any hints you can give us for that? Or you’re still mostly just figuring that out?
Josh B.: I just think it sounds like a little bit more matured version of what we’re doing. It’s not a drastic difference. ‘Cause that new song I think sounds like Revisionist.
Max: Yeah. We definitely took the groundwork that Josh laid down and then just kinda evolved it. You know, just adding with all of our different styles and influences.
Josh P.: Yeah, I was about to say that. It’s interesting to just have everybody collaborating in the band but everyone having a crazy amount of influences, you know.
Josh B.: Honestly, I think that it’s one of the things we wanted to do with the first record and having some time with it was, doing a little bit more – I don’t like the word chorus ’cause it’s not really chorus-y, I guess – but some parts that have a little bit of loopback and a little bit of development to pull people in. So we’ve been working with some parts that have a little bit more vocal dynamic range on them, I think. ‘Cause we play with a pretty high-energy show, and the songs are mostly pretty high-energy. So I think maintaining that energy – and it’s a pretty aggressive sound – but developing some more driving, straightforward parts, too, which Josh is really good at.
Josh P.: Thank you.
Something I also wanna ask – since we’ve kinda touched on some concept-type things in Culling – for each of you, I wanna know, what is your favorite concept album? And this can be, like, loose concept albums – such as Culling – or something very narrative-focused. So, either way.
Josh P.: I got mine.
Josh B.: Me, too. Actually, I immediately knew which one.
Josh P.: Did you?
Josh B.: Yeah.
Josh P.: Say yours first – I don’t wanna say the same one, if it is.
Josh B.: Mine’s Zao – Liberate Te Ex Inferis.
Josh P.: OK, no, it’s not that one. But that’s a good one.
Josh B.: Yeah it is.
Josh P.: A Shipwreck in the Sand – Silverstein.
Josh B.: Stupid. What is that one about? Being on a ship that sinks?
Josh P.: Yeah. It’s tight. You should listen to it.
Max: The entire Silent Planet discography.
OK. So why is that your favorite? What’s your reasoning behind your pick?
Josh B.: So growing up, riff-wise, Russ Cogdell had a huge influence on my writing for guitar, and that record is about Dante’s Inferno. So, the circles of hell. I always thought it was really cool. It was my first real experience with a concept record, too, growing up, and I thought it was really cool. I remember going through and looking through the CD booklet and reading it. It was the first thing that kinda drew me in, and then I ended up reading Dante’s Inferno the first time because of that record. And so, I thought it was cool because it was music that made me pick up other media of art – like the book – and interested me in something other than what they were doing. That’s why it was for me.
Josh P.: That’s cool. Yeah, for me, I was never a big Silverstein fan – ever. I was always, like, a musical guy – I was never really a lyric kind of guy. But then a friend of mine just kept bugging me to listen to that specific album, and I just wasn’t really that into it, but then once I kind of started to read the lyrics and listen to the lyrics, it was this really, really crazy story. And there’s a bunch of different factors that go into that story. It’s, like, a 13- or 14-song album. So, it’s cool ’cause it follows this storyline, but there’s so many different facets that it can go down, and there’s so many different characters involved in it to where you almost feel like you’re reading a play, you know what I mean? And so that was real interesting. Just kind of reading all of that without the music, I was like, “Woah, this is crazy.” And then having the music behind it after I read it, I was like, “OK.” I’m kinda piecing it together a little bit, like, “I get it.” And then it just turned around into an everyday listen, and I was like, “This is awesome.” And it was just interesting; that was the album for me that kind of flipped that switch for me, going from only caring about the musical side of bands – and not the lyrics – to being like, “Oh, I actually care about the lyrics now.” So, that’s kind of why I like that record.
Josh B.: I’m interested to hear your answer.
Max: Me too.
Josh B.: Make sure yours isn’t stupid.
Alright, you’re up.
Max: I’m kinda similar to Josh [P.] in that I mostly listen to instrumental music and care mostly about what the guitars and drums are doing and how they all work together. And then when I first started listening to Silent Planet, I really enjoyed all their sections. The song “Native Blood” was the first one that got me hooked. I’m sure it’s the first one that got a lot of people hooked.
The breakdown in that song is so good.
Max: I know! And then the chorus is great and really melodic. So I started to kinda dive into that band a little bit more and see what they’re all about. And I’m kinda, like, a shuffle guy. Normally, I just go to artists, and then I hit shuffle. But that was one of the first bands where I was like, “I’m just gonna listen to the album from start to finish.” Yeah, I don’t know, man. Just all the political topics that they talk about and religious topics. The way that Garrett speaks about things – he’s got a way with words.
Max: I really look up to that guy.
Josh P.: We should just talk about our favorite records now. I’m thinking about every one of my favorite albums, and I’m like, “Aw, I could talk about that all day.”
Well, I think that’s all my questions. Is there anything that you guys wanna add at all?
Josh P.: Come out to a show. Buy some merch – buy some cool stuff. I don’t know.
Josh B.: Honestly, for me – not even just this band, but – music is a very therapeutic thing. I’ve met some of the coolest people in my life that I’ve maintained some really, really good relationships with. And so, finding ways to, you know, have people come up and tell us about their projects and things that they’re working on. At least for me, personally, I’m always sharing things. The guys in the band are all doing other things musically as well. I’m always, like, sharing their stuff and wanting people to go out. And so, for me, it’s having people come and share what they’re doing and then come be a part of what we’re doing – even if it’s not exactly the same thing. And realizing there’s probably more common ground than most people think. And a lot of the relationships that come develop out of that end up being some of the coolest stories that we have from growing up. So for me, it’s like Jeff doing the record. We’d been friends for years, and we joked around about him recording the record for, like, two years, and then it just ended up happening. And he did the record – did all the mixing, mastering, engineering – for next to nothing. ‘Cause for him, letlive. had just broken up, like, midway through us starting the recording process, and it came out of nowhere for him. And for him, he just was like, “I need a heavy record.” It was therapeutic for him, too. And the experience was one of my favorite things musically just because I got to connect with somebody, and we did something together. And so, it’s like this with the band, whether it’s locally or regionally, being able to connect with people. For me, that’s why I want people to come out; not just to take part in what I’m doing but to share what they’re doing. I don’t know if that was confusing.
No, that absolutely makes sense to me. Just being a part of basically a community that sort of helps each other and provides momentum to each other’s projects and artistic desires and things like that. I don’t know, is that kinda what you’re getting at?
Josh B.: Yeah, for the most part.
Max: I’m pretty excited to see where this project goes. I think we all kinda started as a fill-in, in a way. Even though I haven’t been in the band very long, I’ve still seen members come and go. And it’s only been, I don’t know, not even a year. So I think now that we’ve finally kinda got the lineup set, we’re all able to find our place ’cause now we’re a member and actually taking ownership for what we’re playing.
Josh P.: It’s weird. I feel like all the newer people – when I say new people, I mean everyone except Josh – are still doing that, like, still finding our place and our vibe.
Max: Yeah, I definitely am.
Josh P.: Because, I mean, I know you started out as kind of just a fill-in, I started out as just a fill-in for a couple of shows.
Max: Grant did.
Josh P.: Grant did.
Max: Devin did.
Josh P.: Yeah. So it’s interesting to kind of see now everybody collaborate on writing, you know.
Josh B.: And how similar it still is. Does that make sense? It’s interesting.
Josh P.: Yeah. It’s got, like, a weird feel to it, but not in a bad way if that makes sense. It almost still, to an extent, feels like I’m just filling in. But then we’ll finish a new song or whatever, and I’m just like, “Oh, yeah. I’m actually in the band now. I forgot.” You know?
Max: That’s definitely how I am. Like, I’m still kind of finding my place.
Josh B.: I think having some emotional music helps, though. ‘Cause it doesn’t just feel like you’re showing up and clocking in. ‘Cause even musically, for a lot of the friends that we’ve shown it to and talked to about the record, it’s kind of an emotional roller coaster. Even without the lyrics, there’s music that kinda makes you feel a way. So I think that helps, too, with everybody feeling like they’re a part because they can connect to it as opposed to just being like, “Well, I’m just playing something else that I didn’t directly, initially write.” And we’ve done a good job of keeping the songs like the record, but I know Max has changed some stuff on bass from the record, and Devin’s adapted some drum parts and stuff. So we’ve been able to even mature the record itself a little bit live.
Max: It’s cool playing bass and doing something that’s not drums.
Josh P.: Same here.
Max: First band I’ve played bass in.
Josh B.: Actually, all three of the guys other than Grant are drummers.
Wow. So you guys are always on time, huh?
Josh B.: Unless they’re looking at me for changes.
Josh P.: Yeah.
Josh B.: “Long Live’s” working title for a long time was “Captain Can’t Count.” I think it’s still that in some of the saved files.
Josh P.: In the Google Drive, it’s that.
I think I saw that when I got the the link.
Josh B.: Everybody makes fun of all the fuckery that comes out when I write guitar parts.
Josh P.: Devin and I will just make fun of him so much ’cause he’ll be like, “Check out this sick riff,” and then we’re just like–
Josh B.: “I don’t know what’s going on.” And I’m like, “Hold on,” and then I gotta break it down for ’em.
Josh P.: “Is this in, like, 11/4 or some weird signature?”
Josh B.: Yeah. It’s OK, though.
Max: The new stuff is gonna be very drum-heavy with three drummers.
Josh B.: I think my favorite part when I watch bands, sometimes I watch drummers more than anything.
Josh P.: Oh, yeah. Well, and all three of us do that, too. So we’re all like, “Dude, that drummer was sick.”
Max: Yeah. It doesn’t help that this music is already very rhythmic-based.
Josh B.: Yeah, it is very percussive, just overall. I’m OK with that, though.
Josh P.: That can be kind of a cool element, though. Because, like, all three of us do have a little bit different styles when we drum, I feel. So I think that helps out, for sure.
Josh B.: With the other record, I wrote and played guitar on all of it, too. So I always can jump in and fill in spots, but I’m not real amazing at anything at all. And so, we tracked the record here in town, and we were missing some pieces that we needed. We didn’t have, like, a vocal pre-amp and some other things. And so we were recording vocals in a bedroom on some stuff that wasn’t quite what we really were looking for. It made the vocal process a little bit more difficult. And Grant is twice the vocalist that I am. He’s, I think, passionate, and he’s good at it, whereas I just try to make up for the lack of skill with being super stoked on it.
Hey, yeah, you do what you can.
Josh B.: So I’m excited. When you did the review, I was reading it, and I was like, “That sounded pretty spot-on.” Like, some of the vocal stuff. Just ’cause I’m all about being a team player. I just want it to be successful and go well and be kind of a driving force behind it. So as soon as Grant was doing really good, I was like, “I’ll totally play guitar.” He’s better at it than I am, so, you know. I don’t think this band currently has any ego with it, at least internally. I feel like it’s like, “I’ll do what I need to do.”
Josh P.: Yeah, we’re all super laid back. ‘Cause, I mean, when you first started talking to me about joining, it was on drums.
Max: Yeah, same here.
Josh P.: And then it was vocals, and then it’s just all flip-flopped around to where, basically, everyone can pretty much do anything. And we’re all willing to do whatever we need to do to kind of push it, you know.
Max: I showed up for the first practice for the tour that we did last year, expecting to play drums, and Josh was like, “Actually, we need a bassist.” I was like, “Oh. OK. I can do that.”
Josh B.: We had a lineup before that we had slowly worked on. We knew a couple of members couldn’t tour, and we were gonna work on some fill-ins. And then, just life stuff happened, and a couple people couldn’t do it. But if I commit to doing something, I want to do what I say I’m gonna do. So we committed to doing a tour with a band called Nihil from Boston.
Max: They rip.
Josh B.: Yeah, they’re awesome. They’re some of the raddest dudes. I was like, “I’m not canceling this.” So I got a hold of Max. And Max and I didn’t dislike each other, but jury was out on if we liked each other.
Max: We were testing the waters.
Josh. B.: We met a couple times. It was like, “I don’t know about this dude.” We actually were discussing that, like, two or three days ago.
Josh B.: And then, somebody had said, “Hey get a hold of this Devin kid, too.” And so I talked to Max about drums, talked to Devin about drums and everybody’s so busy. And Max is in, like, 46 bands.
Oh, I know.
Josh B.: And so we did kind of like, “If you have time” and someone’s hitting me up. So, originally, Max was gonna play drums. And Devin came over to learn guitar parts, and then he was like, “Do you mind if I sit down behind the drum set? I think I know one of these songs already.” And he sat down and played “Lifer,” which is actually a pretty ridiculous drum song. He sat down and played the song, and it was like, “Oh.” And Max had never been over for practice yet. So Devin came over two or three days in a row and ended up getting the tour set down in, like, three or four days. And then Max finally was like, “Man, I think we need to start practicing drums if we’re gonna do this.” And this was, like, 10 days before tour. And he came over, and I was like, “So, we didn’t really plan on it to be like this, but Devin already knows all the songs.” And he was like, “Oh. Well, if he knows ’em all.” I was like, “But we need someone to play bass.” And so, Max was just like, “Alright. Guess I’ll learn bass.” So, him and I sat down and learned all the bass parts in my living room. And then, we had a show that week; Capsize had an off-date, and we ended up doing an impromptu, like, we didn’t tell anybody about it. They did a show in our practice space at our house. We didn’t announce it till the day of, and they show up. But Max didn’t play the show because he couldn’t be there or something.
Max: Yeah, I think I had another show with Old News.
Josh B.: So, another friend of ours filled in ’cause he knew some of the parts. So we played, like, a short set before them. And then we had one full band practice before tour with Max. And then we left for two weeks or whatever.
Max: Which, I showed up to that practice, and they were like, “Actually, we’re doing this song that you don’t know yet – not the one that you already do know.”
You’re like, “Good, I was hoping for that.”
Max: So the first show of the tour was, like, me learning that song.
Josh B.: It went really well ’cause everyone’s a professional in the band; everyone actually is really on their A-game. So we were able to just make it work, which was actually really cool when you think about it how we were just like, “Alright, we’ll figure it out.” Like, “The show must go on.”
Max: Yeah, we’re very adaptable.
Josh B.: And then we actually learned a lot about each other on that run. It was interesting. So, like, Max and I realized that we are much more similar, which is ironic just ’cause we didn’t know if we even liked each other. But come to find out, Max and I were the ones that, as soon as show was over, we were organizing all of our gear. And both of us were right by the trailer, loading up. Him and I knew exactly where everything went, and it was like, “Oh, someone else who’s ‘on it.’” And so I think we bonded ’cause we were both “that guy.” And there’s a lot of pieces to our setup, so it’s a little bit of a complicated rig. So having someone else that’s like, “I know where everything goes.” And then with Josh being in the band, Josh is learning – especially being new to guitar – like, picking up. And so now it’s cool ’cause now we’re all kind of the workhorses of, like, “This goes here, and this is how this gets put up.”
Max: Having that day in Austin where we just hung out most of the day, and then Weston and Devin went and did their own thing.
Josh B.: Yeah, and we didn’t know if Devin was gonna make it to the show.
Max: Yeah. He went to skate with one of his buddies.
But he made it, right?
Max: Yeah, yeah.
Josh B.: Oh, ’cause we went to a burger place – Wholly Cow.
Max: Yeah, we went to get burgers, and then we went to some music stores. And then, that night at the show, we walked down 6th.
Josh B.: Yeah, ’cause we got gyros.
Josh P.: I remember you messaging me when I was in Snakehound, and you were like, “Hey–”
Josh B.: I messaged you before you were in Snakehound about doing vocals.
Josh P.: I know.
Josh B.: No, about drums. Before that tour.
Josh P.: Yeah.
Josh B.: And then, you were like, “I don’t play double kick, but there’s this dude named Max you should hit up.”
Josh P.: That’s what I said. But I do remember when I was playing in Snakehound, I don’t know if we had played a couple shows with me or not, but you had messaged me. ‘Cause we were already talking, and you were like, “Hey, this Nihil tour, we might be looking for another band. Does Snakehound wanna hop on?”
Josh B.: No, I think it was trying to possibly fill our spot in case we couldn’t do it at the time.
Josh P.: Oh, OK. So you made it seem like, “Hey, it’s us and Nihil doing it. We’re looking for another band if you guys wanna hop on.” And I was super stoked. And so I remember going to the dudes, and I was like, “Yo, this guy Josh asked about us.”
Josh B.: I think it was, like, so I’m the prepper in the band; I’ve got plans A through X ready to go. And so I was like, “We’re gonna do this.” And we had a friend of ours – I don’t know if he’s still in the band, but – he was in Great American Ghost. Freddy Velasco. He mentioned being able to fill in for some tours. This was before we had Devin and Max. We talked to this Freddy dude. It’s like, if something happens and we can’t get it together, then I was trying to see if they could take it. ‘Cause I didn’t want the tour to suffer because of our little bit of instability. That was really important to me, like, “We’re going, or we’re solving whatever problems are there.” Even if we can’t go, I’m not just being like, “Oh, sorry.” It was like, “But we have these other people that can,” you know.
Josh P.: Yeah. I just remembered that. As you were talking about that tour, I just remembered getting an Instagram message.
Josh B.: Mmhmm. That was the direction behind it. Just in case we couldn’t, I was trying to be, like, not wanting to bail. I’m glad we didn’t.
So, really, that tour kinda kicked off your guys’ current lineup.
When was that tour, again?
Josh B.: October. It was the American Sacrilege Tour up to east coast and back. It was awesome. A band called 156/Silence did the first leg of the tour, and then we did the second leg of it. Nihil’s this sweet three-piece from Boston that rips. They remind me of – they’ve got a bunch of, like, Harm’s Way parts, but they’re not that kind of band at all. But, yeah, they’re sweet. They were fun to watch. You don’t always tour with bands and remain friends or keep in contact, and I talk to a couple of the dudes still, like, every couple days and stuff, which is cool.
Max: Yeah, they’re homies.
Josh B.: And we come from really wild, different perspectives on life and stuff, too. And it was really cool to watch some people with different – whether it’s religious, political or life – perspectives be able to get along and actually talk and have some mutual respect for where everybody’s at, I guess.
Yeah, that’s cool. It doesn’t always happen.
Josh B.: No. They rip. That’s all that mattered.
Max: Yeah. We all had a beach day, and that was a lot of fun.
Josh P.: I remember seeing the Instagram pictures, and I was like, “Aw, I wish I was on that tour right now.”
Max: Next time, man, next time.
Josh P.: I was like, “Beach day looks so much fun.”
So you have that every tour, right? Beach day?
Max: We should.
You should, yeah.
Josh P.: That’d be cool. Make it, like, a mandatory one-day-a-tour.
Josh B.: That was the first time Max ended up really close to me naked, and it really freaked him out.
Josh P.: I heard that story.
Josh B.: You remember that?
Josh B.: I get naked a lot on tour.
Max: I saw your butt.
So is beach day the concept for the new EP?
Josh B.: Yeah.
Josh P.: It’s just Beach Day EP.
Max: I would love that.
Josh B.: Also, since we’re doing an interview about the band, though, and you haven’t seen the video, you should watch the video.
I will. I definitely will.
Josh B.: Make sure you do ’cause Thad, the dude that did it, is awesome. He did our video, and then he moved, like, a month later to L.A. And he just got off tour with Tech N9ne and did a couple videos. He’s killin’ it right now.
Max: Yeah, he really is.
Josh P.: The video looks awesome.
Josh B.: Yeah.
Max: He did the “Deceiver” LIMITS video.
Oh, OK. Yeah, I know that one.
Josh B.: Yeah, that was his first band video – music video.
It turned out pretty good.
Max: Mmhmm. We take credit for where he is now.
Josh B.: But that’s one of the hardest working dudes I’ve ever met in my life.
Max: Yeah, for sure.
Josh B.: He knocked it out of the park. ‘Cause we wanted to do a little bit more of, like, a story video instead of just a performance, watching the band. He’s awesome. But, yeah, it’s been good. Max actually hit me up the other day and was like, “We should go on tour again,” and I was like, “Alright.” ‘Cause my job allows me to travel now full-time, so I can go whenever I want. So it’ll be good. We have a bus, so we have transportation.
Nice. Not just a van?
Josh B.: Yeah, we’ve got, like, a short bus – a school bus.
Josh P.: All of us fit on it real well.
Josh B.: Grant wants to help me – we’re gonna build out the inside of it and stuff. It’s already gutted. It’s cool.
Max: As long as we got a Smash setup in there, I’m golden.
Josh P.: I’ve never played Smash, so you should teach me.
Max: I will; I’ll take you under my wing.
The key is, you wanna use Meta Knight.
Max: If we’re playing Brawl, yes.
Josh B.: The key is, you wanna go play outside.
Max: And if you’re outside, you play Pokémon GO.
You can play Smash outside.
Max: Yeah, on the Switch.
Josh B.: I think the biggest thing, for me, with all this music stuff has been – ’cause I do more of the business stuff than everybody, but – a lot of the people that help the band. ‘Cause we’ve had some help with some friends in high places that were helping manage for awhile. Alex, the drummer from War of Ages, was helping out with the band for six months or so. And he got us, like, ESP Guitars endorsed the band, and then we had a CAD company out of Houston that really was into it and built this custom backline and stuff. It’s been people that – they don’t have anything to gain from it. Like, Alex managing the band. My old band did one of their first couple tours, like, 15 years ago, and so we just stayed in touch ever since. But he was like, “I want to help more bands out.” So he was helping us. It’s been really awesome. And that’s what I’m the most excited about, is just connecting with more people and making more friends. You know, this band will only last a short period of time in the context of life, but those people that we meet will be lifelong friends, which is the best part.
Yeah, something that lasts longer than the band’s tenure itself.
Josh B.: Yeah.
Well, those are all the questions I have. Anything else you wanna mention?
Josh B.: My favorite band is Misery Signals. I just want the world to know that.
Josh P.: Max, what’s your favorite band? My favorite band’s Circa Survive, if we’re doing favorite bands.
Josh B.: Stupid.
Max: It changes, like, every week.
Josh B.: Actually, my favorite band is The Charlie Daniels Band.
Max: King 810, right now, is probably mine.
Josh P.: Shut the hell up. Not King 810.
Max: Definitely not that.
Josh P.: Quote from Max Abood, “My favorite band is King 810.”
Josh B.: I just like their current lineup ’cause there’s just a bass player and a drummer.
Max: Yeah, you’d think I would like that.
Josh P.: You can say “I just like them because” all you want. You still like that band.
Josh B.: I only listen to it ’cause it pisses all you guys off.
Josh P.: I don’t even get mad anymore. When you play it, I just walk out of the room.
Josh B.: Mmhmm. You can’t walk out of the van while it’s on the highway, though.
So what would it be, then? Not King 810?
Max: Dude, definitely not King 810. I don’t know, man. It changes, like, every week.
Well, for this week, what would it be?
Max: OK. For this week? I’ve been listening to a lot of Pet Symmetry, which is not hardcore at all.
Cool. Any last things you wanna add? And, if not, it’s cool.
Josh P.: I don’t think so.
Awesome. I think we hit pretty much everything. Thanks, guys.
Josh P.: Sweet. Thank you, man.