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Doc Coyle Interview

A Chat With The God Forbid Guitarist

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God Forbid

God Forbid

Century Media Records
Chad Bowar: Where did the album title Earthsblood come from?
Doc Coyle: We got the idea for the title from the movie There Will Be Blood. It’s not often that I come out of a movie and am moved. I thought the movie was potent on so many different levels. It made me think about all the connections. Human beings extract these finite resources, and these resources power our whole lifestyle. It’s like global vampirism, and there’s a huge human cost. You can make so much money cultivating oil and selling it, then you bring things into play like human greed. There’s so much interplay between what the human cost is for this lifestyle. There’s an interdependency that’s not being respected. I came up with this term “blood of the earth,” because there is a really organic element to it. It seems really relevant to what’s going on now. The words together seem powerful.

With the success of your last CD, does that raise the expectations for this one?
Yes and no. It’s been awhile since our last record, and I feel we’ve fallen off the radar. From inside the band it feels like expectations are kind of low. Are our fans still there? We haven’t toured in a while, and in a way I feel we’re starting fresh again. It’s a completely different music scene. There’s all these new bands, and new kids who don’t know who we are. The music industry is in a lot of trouble right now. We really have nothing to lose. It’s not like we’re Metallica. There’s a good positive vibe about this record from the press and on the internet. People seem to like it, and there’s a lot to look forward to.

You have some great tours lined up for the rest of 2009.
First we’re going to Europe with Ill Nino. Then we’re doing the tour with Lamb Of God, Children Of Bodom, As I Lay Dying and Municipal Waste, which is going to be one of the biggest tours we’ve ever done. Then we go back to Europe to do festivals, and then come back for the Mayhem tour with Slayer and Marilyn Manson. We’ve been blessed with some really strong opportunities.

For us there was a lot of uncertainty going back a year. We couldn’t really hold down an agent, and there wasn’t a lot of heat on the band. You come to a certain point when you worry if we are going to be able to keep doing this, at least in a professional capacity or in a full time capacity. We’re a mid level band. We’re not huge, we’re not nobody. We’re in the middle. When you grow up and are in the real world, money is important. Dudes gotta pay their rent and eat. I think there’s a perception that bands make decisions that are just greed based. But sometimes it’s just survival based. You do what you have to do to survive. When you’re in that mindframe, then you complete an album that you’re really proud of, and then start landing these really exceptional opportunities, you feel a lot of gratitude and positive energy, and it’s exciting.

Being on tours like that gives you a chance to get in front of a lot of people that may not be familiar with God Forbid and win over some new fans.
It’s good for us. I think we create the type of music that appeals to those fans, the fans that come out to those big type of shows. If we were doing things more catered to the underground, that’s not really where we need to be playing. We need to be opening for these big bands, or else it’s going to be difficult for us to find the audience that we need to keep expanding. It’s all about finding new fans. I don’t think anyone can rely on just their old fans. Kids grow up, they grow out of it. The kids that were 16 and 17 during our last album are now 19 and 20 and maybe into something else. You constantly have to recycle your audience.

That’s why you see Slayer always taking out new bands. You’ll never see Slayer tour with Exodus. It’s not because Exodus isn’t a great band, it’s just that Slayer doesn’t want to associate themselves with older bands. They want to bring Lamb Of God and Mastodon because they are newer and more exciting. I think it sucks for older bands who don’t seem to get on some of the bigger tours with newer bands because it’s always about playing in front of new kids.

Where haven’t you played live that you’d still like to get to?
We still haven’t been to Mexico or South America. We were supposed to go to Mexico, but it got cancelled, so we would definitely like to do that. A lot of bands are going to Russia now, and it seems to be insane there. We’d like to go to some places in the Far East that we haven’t been, like Thailand, Indonesia and Korea. We want to go pretty much where anyone will have us. We’ve been in Japan, Australia, pretty much everywhere in Europe. It’s difficult right now because of the worldwide recession.

For a band like us it could be a little more difficult, but hopefully things will keep moving forward. With bands that are coming up, it’s about that snowball effect. Things start to spread. One day they’re another band, then the next day they’ll be a huge band because they put out the right record and people gravitated toward it. A perfect example is All That Remains. It seems like one day they were just another band, then there seemed to be this global interest where they just took off, and now they do well everywhere. It was only a few years ago they were opening up for us.

What is the single best show God Forbid has ever played?
It’s difficult to single out one show, but the show we filmed our DVD for was a great show. That was incredible. When we played Download Festival in the UK that was incredible. There was so many nerves around those shows that we couldn’t enjoy them as much as the crowd did.

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