The first time I saw Eyehategod live was sometime in the late 90’s. I had just joined an old CT band and was playing probably my third or fourth show with them at the Pearl St Nightclub in Northampton, MA. We opened the show, then there was maybe one or tow more bands before Today Is The Day took the stage. They were amazing and my night was pretty much complete at that point. I honestly hadn’t really gotten heavily into EHG at that point, and I’m sure some of you are scoffing at me right now. I really can’t say why. They were just one of those bands that while I was familiar with the name, had sort of slipped under my radar. Well that changed about five seconds into their set. I don’t remember the song they played, but what I do remember is singer Mike Williams immediately smashing a beer bottle over his head and the blood began to flow. I sat sort of in a trance for the remainder of their 45 minute set and have been a fan ever since. I had the chance to speak with bass player Gary Mader about EHG’s upcoming album, their side projects, what scares him the most in life, and more. The following interview was conducted on 11/17/10 while in the throws of some crazy sickness. Seems only fitting I suppose. (To enhance this interview, read Gary’s answers in a slow, thick, Louisiana accent.
The Gary Mader Interview
GM: Haha, I guess the music means enough to the people who are fans of ours to hang on to it. That’s the only thing I can think of. We haven’t put out a record in a while, so we haven’t offered up anything new and the way I see it is, if people like a band enough, it doesn’t matter how long it takes them to come back and do something. That’s how I am as a fan. I’ll be there. So I guess that would be it.
TIS: Right on. And speaking of not releasing anything in a while, any word on the new album? I heard you have some songs finished for it.
GM: We had originally planned to have the entire record done by the end of this year, and while that’s not gonna happen, we have done quite a bit over the last few months. We have six complete songs and a lot of different parts which just need to be arranged into songs. I think to put a deadline on it is kind of unrealistic though. Like I said, we wanted it to be done by the end of this year, but I think that before we worry about time constraints, we’re more concerned with making sure it’s a good record. At the pace we’re moving right now, I think we should be done recording and have it ready to be released possibly by early spring of 2011.
TIS: Cool. Any idea of what label you’ll be releasing it on? I heard rumors about possibly working with Phil Anselmo’s Housecore label.
GM: We haven’t really seriously considered which label we’re gonna go with. We’re at the point right now where we’re mostly concerned with making a good record, and everything else is secondary. That’s definitely one of the possibilities though. He’s expressed a lot of interest in having us on the label. It’s not in stone, but definitely one of the possibilities.
TIS: EHG is obviously associated with heavy drug use and an overall insane lifestyle since the bands inception. Have you guys slowed down in your more recent years?
GM: I’d say we’ve definitely slowed down. I think that if everyone would have continued at the same pace, some of would probably be dead. We’ve definitely lightened up on that scene. I can only speak from my own experience, it’s fun for a little while, maybe even a few years, but if you’re going to preserve yourself, you need to slow down and make it recreational again vs. something that’s done on a regular basis.
GM: Well Outlaw Order is on a hiatus because 4 out of 5 of us play in Eyehategod, so it’s a one or the other kind of thing. Some of us don’t have enough time to dedicate to both bands and do it properly and have it be full on. My guess is that once EHG’s record is written and we’ve toured on it, Outlaw Order with be going again, that’s just how we do things.
With Hawg Jaw, we don’t really do too much anymore. We play maybe 3 or 4 times a year. It’s a band that’s been together for fifteen years and has gotten a lot done. I think we’re slowing down as far as playing live, but we should be releasing our new record, which is written, and may be recorded as early as January.I’m really proud of the new material. It will be a good follow up to the last album and overall, it’s just good music. The new release is probably going to do a box set, which will have everything we’ve ever recorded on a double CD. It will include our first record, which never came out on CD, and some 7” stuff and maybe some demo songs from ’96 or whenever, which were pretty decent.
TIS: Sounds great! Can you give me a dream tour lineup, past or present, that you’d want to have EHG to be a part of?
GM: It would definitely have to include the Melvins. That would fucking kick ass. They’re one of my favorite bands, and to be able to watch them every night would be a good way to spend a couple of weeks.
TIS: Yeah, definitely.
GM: Yeah, so definitely the Melvins at top, but also Sleep, Neurosis, and Buzzov*en.
TIS: I’d definitely be there. So what’s the most memorable experience you’ve had involving blood?
GM: Ok, well I associate blood with needles from when I was in fourth grade and had a bleeding ulcer, haha. I was in the hospital, for what seemed like at least a month, and they just kept taking my blood. Every morning, afternoon, evening, while I was sleeping, they would keep taking my blood. I had anemia at the time so they had to take my iron level. Dude, I got stuck so many times that I’m permanently scarred by needles. That’s my main tie to a blood experience. It was so horrible man.
TIS: Sounds horrible! Are you offended by anything and if so, what?
TIS: Haha, what’s your job?
GM: I roll burritos man. I work at a Creole/Mexican Taco-ria.
TIS: Ok, so that could be offensive.
TIS: In your opinion, what murder weapon makes the biggest statement and why?
GM: I’d have to go with a butter knife because if that’s what you’re using, then you really don’t mind spending a little bit of time hacking off someone’s head. To me, that’s a major sign of commitment.
TIS: Awesome. And last, what scares you the most in life?
TIS: And which way would be the worst?
GM: I’d say burning or drowning. It’s a bit of a toss up. There’s nothing else I’m really scared of. Ultimately, that’d be my vote.
TIS: Ok, bonus question. Any plans on playing the Northeast soon?
GM: Yeah man, actually we’re playing some festival for a radio station in Syracuse in January. So we’re probably going to do Brooklyn on the 21nd, Syracuse on the 22rd and maybe DC or somewhere around there on the 23rd.
TIS: Awesome! Definitely looking forward to it.
GM: Hell yeah man. It’s going to be fun!