James, we’re coming to your house tonight. What new music are you most excited to introduce us to? What are you making everyone listen to at the moment?
I’ve been jamming the new Exhumed quite a bit. I don’t really listen to much ‘new music’ – there are things that I listen to that are new to me but may be 30 years old. I also like to put on some Thin Lizzy or Priest pretty much every time I fire up the stereo for an extended period of time.
Five hours later we’ll still be there and, politely, you’ll be wanting to get rid of us – what goes on the stereo to clear the house?
Hmm – I have accumulated some pretty shitty music over the years. Take your pick. I’m not going to put something on that will chase out my lady and my dog though.
What was the first record you can remember hearing at home? Did it have any effect on where you are today?
White Zombie – Astro Creep 2000. This was one of my dad’s favorite albums when I was younger and it is the first that I can recall really liking. I must have listened to that cd a million times when I was like 10. Ever since I started getting into music I wanted to play in a band. My goal was to play the local talent show at the time.
And what was the first record you bought with your own money? And why?
This will be an atypical answer – When I was in elementary school I liked to play computer games, and there was a game called Full Throttle that I loved – basically a biker/motorcycle game. I loved the soundtrack so I got my mom to track it down and I bought it. It was by a band called The Gone Jackals. Keep in mind I was probably eleven years old here – the music was kind of dirty rock with somewhat of a harder edge. No idea if the band existed before or after the album which the game used, but that was my first album…
Any records in the collection you bought because you liked the cover, only to get them home and realize you’d made a terrible, terrible error?
I’ve bought many, many albums based on the cover art – when I was younger there was a pretty cool used record store. I’d go through the cds and pick out a handful – it was a gamble of course but usually it ended up being cool, and some things like Carcass‘ Reek of Putrefaction took awhile to get into at the age of 14, but eventually it clicked. Since we are out on the road right now I don’t have my huge cd book with me, but there are definitely a few in there that were so-so but had cool artwork.
If you didn’t answer this in question (3) what was the first record to make you think you might like to try your hand at rock n’roll yourself?
That’s a tough one, at that point in life I started to get into a lot of new metal – lots of death metal, and some black metal in the following years. I always had a goal when I was a kid to at least form some sort of band with kids I knew – eventually it happened, and of course was terrible.
And what record is so good it makes you feel like giving the whole game away every time you hear it?
Nearly impossible question. It kind of depends. I could really list a lot of records under this category…Pentagram Be Forewarned...Bethlehem Dictus Te Necare. Im trying to think of things I really like that aren’t necessarily everyday listens.
What record for you most fits the term ‘Metal as Fuck’
Judas Priest – Defenders of the Faith, or Screaming for Vengeance. So many others to choose from, but if you put these on I guarantee you will change your answer to the above question to one of the two. I did.
What decade is most represented in your record collection?
It is pretty diverse – Ranging from late 70’s to recent. Pretty evenly split between 80’s, 90’s, and 2000+
What would you recommend to unbelievers as the best ‘entry level’ metal record in your collection?
Mercyful Fate- Melissa. The reason I say this is as follows: Everyone/Anyone knows Ride the Lightning and British Steel. For an ‘entry level’ listener, Mercyful Fate is a perfect band to kind of bridge that gap to more subterranean music. This is assuming the listener has a rudimentary knowledge of bands like Metallica, maybe a little Motorhead, etc. If they don’t then they really have had their head up their ass.
And what album from your collection should be in every other home in the land, apart from one of your own?
Carnivore - Retaliation
What’s the vinyl/CD split of your collection?
I don’t really have many splits, so I’ll go with my personal favorite. It is from two of my favourite black metal bands, Teratism and Bahimiron…Both from the US. Generally splits are a more underground thing so they are usually pretty limited in numbers…I’m sure there are many out there that I would love. The Emperor/Enslaved split is pretty cool too.
And finally, what record would you take with you to the next world, if such as thing exists?
Thin Lizzy – Thunder and Lightning. I don’t care what anyone thinks about this album, it is my favorite Thin Lizzy and never fails to put me in a better mood. I listen to a pretty wide range of stuff so this is a tough one. I’d rather go with a great album like this than anything else though, if I was stuck with it for eternity (luckily I’ll never have to worry about that though)