by Jeff Brinn / Schwegweb.com
Since their dastardly incarnation in the early 90’s EYEHATEGOD has been some what of an underground legend. Their chemically induced treks across our fine country alone could easily make for a great Hunter Thompson out take. Ranking up there with “The fear and loathing In Las Vegas” writings to say the least EYEHATEGOD have returned on a mission. With such a blatant offending name EYEHATEGOD have always caused a bit of a stir but somehow have never garnished the respect they long have deserved musically. Live is the best way to fully experience the gut wrenching power EYEHATEGOD have been blessed with and having a U.S. tour in full swing now’s your chance to be educated in the true meaning of power. It’s been well over a few years since the last time EYEHATEGOD braved the touring trenches due to many obstacles but now re-intact the machine has been reconstructed and seems to be running better then ever. With this well respected return from the bowels of the Southern bayous of the great N.O.L.A. these sludge masters are back musically stronger then ever from their lengthy absence (not break up) and seem very dead set on spreading their filthy brand of abusive sounds the only way they know how. With this U.S. tour having just begun I recently got a very candid invite into the infamous world of EYEHATEGOD and have since found a new love for the extremely sincere underground beliefs that these sludge lords hold dear. After a long smoke induced, alcohol fueled evening I returned to my senses and came back with little piece of verbal abuse I received from lead vocalists Michael D. Williams, I hope you all enjoy.
Schwegweb: First off, what the hell has EYEHATEGOD been doing during their lengthy absence?
Michael D. Williams: “Just doing a lot of different stuff. Jim’s been doing Superjoint, Down, & C.O.C. for a little while. He was in Debris Inc. with Rob from Trouble and Dave from St. Vitus. Brian has still been doing Soilent Green. Me, Brian and Joey have a band called Outlaw Order which is like faster and hard core kinda stuff, crusty kind of stuff. Gary our new bass player is in a band called Hog Jaw. We all do different stuff.
I’m writing and I finally got my book published and out. I hate to say it’s poetry but that’s what it is. It’s like lyrics and stuff, some of it’s old but most of it is new stuff. Just ramblings and stuff. It’s something I have wanted to do for a long time. I read a lot; I’m a big fan of like Bukowski, Burroughs, Kerouac, and writers like that. I just wanted to put out a book and I finally did it.”
You guys seem to have a pretty good fan base how’s the tour been going, are the fans still there?
” Fine, everything has been cool. All the fans are still there. Many of them stuck with us but there are a lot of new fans this time around. I don’t know where their finding out about us but they like it. I think the heavier stuff is getting a little more popular you know.”
Do you think the new popularity is mainly because of your name sparking the interest?
“No, they definitely like the music. Like I was saying the heavier stuff is getting bigger, bands like Slipknot coming out and being commercially acceptable is helping. We don’t sound like that but it seems a lot of heavier stuff is becoming commercially acceptable. The name also does attract people, it’s like a shock value thing but that’s what we have always had, the shock value thing.”
Do you feel with your name being so anti commercial you kind of signed a lifetime commitment to being strictly an Underground band?
“Yea kind of, we just do this for our selves; we just wanted to play what we wanted to play. We were heavy into like Black Flag and the Melvin’s and that stuff so we just started playing stuff like that and people started liking it. The name just stayed, it’s not like the fucking Beatles or something like that you know. It gets us attention but you never know now. A lot of weird stuff is coming out now so you never know what can happen.”
It’s funny you mention Black Flag as an influence, was the early years of Black Flag a huge influence on EYEHATEGOD?
“Yea, I like everything they ever have done to an extent. The Rollins stuff I wasn’t that into but like side 2 of “My War”, all the slow stuff they did we were totally influenced by that. From there we discovered St. Vitus and other SST bands. We all love Black Flag!”
Would it be fair to say that EYEHATEGOD are back as a fully functioning band?
“Yea definitely, we never really broke up; we never broke up at all. There was a time when we took a break when we first got off Century Media and every body kind of did their own thing. I was writing for this magazine in New York, that was like 98 or something then we got back together, I hate to say we got back together because we didn’t really split up. Right after that we went to Europe with Soilent Green. We take a lot of breaks because every body is real busy. Were going to be doing this forever because that’s what we do.”
What are your views on the state of music right now and how does EYEHATEGOD fit in?
“I don’t know, I can’t tell man. I don’t know right now. There are a lot of bands now that seem to be doing our style. I don’t want to sit here and say we started it you know, I’m not that kind of person but we were way ahead of our time. I would like to think that we are a cross between Black Sabbath and Black Flag and then the feed back is from listening to bands like old C.O.C. and the Melvin’s. I notice that some bands try so hard to be underground but I’m not going to mention any names. That is just who we are.”
Any plans on signing a new record deal any time soon?
“Were not really in a hurry. We’ve been taking our time for awhile but we are in talks with a few people. Were trying to work things out and see who can help us out the best.”
Do you see the future of bands becoming more of a self run endeavor (Business) instead of relying on a record company for a future?
“Yea defiantly, we come from the whole D.I.Y. punk rock thing but that matters if you have the money to invest. Sometimes a band just doesn’t have it. If everything was perfect we would have are own label now. We do all our own merchandise and all of the tours have been self financed by us.”
Having such a huge cult following don’t you think that EYEHATEGOD could profit more from doing things on their own?
“Yea, when we were on Century Media we found that we made more money not being on a label. They did help us out renting a van here or there but that comes out of record sales anyway. Were doing great now. Yea a label can get you into Tower Records and places like that but I would go to shows and people would come up to me and tell me like they sent for our shit from Century Media and they never got it and stuff like that. That shit’s just not right.”
What are your plans after this tour comes to an end?
“Were going to start writing more. We just put this thing out called “Preaching the End Time Message. I think the ads say it’s a new album but actually there are 3 brand new songs on it with some live stuff from Japan, stuff from like the Anal Cunt split we did that is pretty rare now. I hate to say it’s like another compilation but it’s got new songs on it and we wanted something to tour on. When we get home we will start writing and recording a full length, I don’t know what label it will be on but were going to start doing it.”
Lastly do you have any thing you would like to say to the legion of fans that have stayed true to EYEHATEGOD?
“To all the people that have stuck by we really appreciate it. They are like the hard core true people. I’m a fan you know, I will freak out as much as any one so I understand the people that stick by us and collect all the records. That’s super cool and I thank everybody.”
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