by Jeff Brinn /

Schwegweb had a chance to sit down with Nick Hipa, guitarist, of the band As I Lay Dying. Here is what came from it.

WRITER’S NOTE: This interview was conducted live and has been edited for content and length.

Schwegweb: First off, how has this tour been treating you as a whole?
Nick Hipa: “The tour is sweet; it’s been awesome so far. We’re in like the last leg of it but so far so good, you know.”

You guys seem to have gotten a lot of flack for playing shows like this and the Ozzfest, some seem to think your not in the same realm as say bands like Cannibal Corpse and Behemoth, does this bother you. Is this something you guys had to sit down and discuss before going out on a tour like this?
“No we really haven’t been getting any flack. I think if anything the people that like us are stoked that we are playing such bigger shows. There wasn’t much talking about it. We never thought we would ever get the opportunity to play bigger festivals like Ozzfest. When that first came up we were like “Oh really”! We never looked at it like it would be a threat to our fan base or anything. Just because we play a bigger type of show doesn’t change the band or who we are!”

Has As I Lay Dying got the big sellout attack from fans?
“I’m sure people say something about it but we haven’t changed the type of music we play or changed who we are so I don’t think anyone can make that sort of assessment fairly.”

What are the plans ahead for As I Lay Dying after the Sounds of the Underground tour?
“After this tour we are going to start writing and take a few months rest as well.”

How do you guys conduct your writing process?

“What we usually do is everyone just kinda comes up with riffs on their own. It’s kinda hard to get everything together on tour to complete a full song but the engine has started with in each one of us so when we get home we can sort thru a bunch of ideas we have all recorded on our own.”

Will your new music be in the same direct vein or will you probably explore more musically?

“It makes sense maybe to explore more areas along the harder edge. I think we all enjoy the very heavy and energetic parts of our sets most so I would like to see more of that type of music coming out of the band.”

You guys have toured Europe a few times, what do you think of playing over their?

“Europe is awesome, it like keeps getting better. We seem to be building our fan base over their pretty good. The Europeans are so stoked to see you and they really get into it. Some places you play they will become a fan for life just because you played there. I tend to think that New York and L.A. are like my least favorite shows because kids there have seen every band like five times and you have to be incredible to even be appreciated.”

Are you surprised about the big number of bands playing church’s now days?
“I don’t think it’s that big of a deal. The type of scene we are all coming from you don’t need a certain type of a venue or premier bar to play at. If you have a P.A. you can put a show on anywhere you want. V.F.W. halls and church’s are pretty cool because kids can put on their own shows and create your own scene and I’m all for that.”

Do you miss those smaller shows when playing live?
“Yea, but you know what it’s funny because we can say we miss it but the other day we played like Omaha Nebraska in like a down-stairs like venue and it felt like one of those shows. The stage was like 2 feet high and kids were running up on stage the whole time and stage diving so it reminded me of one of those shows.”

Who would you like to see As I Lay Dying tour with in the future?

“It’s so hard to say. I would have said Iron Maiden but we played Ozzfest last year. I would love to play a couple of shows with Metallica, we haven’t played with them.”

Have you guys been hanging out with Gwar very much on this tour?
” Yea dude, I play poker with some of those guys.”

Do you win much?
“Uh, I’m kinda in the middle right now but hey you win some you lose some.”

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