The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world







Most people will know Rob Dukes as the frontman for thrash legends Exodus but some may not know about his other band, Generation Kill who formed only a few of years ago. While the band did put out their debut album "Red, White And Blood" in 2011, their latest release "We’re All Gonna Die" not only feels like a true first album for the band but it solidifies Generation Kill as a legit band and not just some side project. We spoke to Rob about the new album and how far the band has come since their inception.



Andrew: Hi hows it going?


Rob: Pretty good man how are you doing Andrew?


Andrew: Yeah good thanks. First off, thanks for doing the interview, it's much appreciated. Second, I've been hearing the new album and it sounds fantastic but just for those who are not too familiar with Generation Kill, tell us how the band first came together and what the idea was compared to Exodus?


Rob: Well first thing I didn't want to do was be a clone of Exodus, I wanted to do something different since I already do Exodus so it's not like I wanted to do two of the same thing. So when I came home from (the) tour I would get together with my friends and we would play music together and one thing led to another and we just started writing songs and the song writing continued and now we're here.


Andrew: Was there ever an issue about going between Generation Kill and Exodus at all?


Rob: No I mean Lee (Altus) has Heathen, Jack (Gibson) and Tom (Hunting) have their country band. It was just something to do when I was home. If I had the time when Exodus wasn't on tour, I would go do it.


Andrew: Do you consider Generation Kill a side project or another full time band?


Rob: It's just another full time band. It started out as just something to do with my friends when I was home and then it turned into what it's turned into which is a really good band. It might of started out as just something to do but it really snowballed into something really special.


Andrew: Yeah I remember you started the band a few years ago, it only seemed like yesterday so the time has gone by really quickly. How has the band progressed since you first started it? Has it been a very positive experience so far?


Rob: Yeah totally! The first album was kind of like a demo. We produced it ourselves, we recorded it ourselves. We took the elements of what we wanted to do which was focus on writing something a little different, taking some chances, playing some different kind of stuff that we like and then getting a really good producer. So getting a producer on board really kinda changed the whole game as far as being able to have a really good sound and sonically having the drums sound great, the guitars, the production overall. It's way superior to the first album. With that being said, I think it was a huge leap from like I said, the first album was kind of like a demo, we did it ourselves in the house over a period of a year and a half and this one was done in over about three months. Written, recorded, rehearsed and so it was a little more cohesive and more thought out. The first one we were kinda flying by our pants, this one was very thought out and planned, a lot of pre-production and a lot of thought went into everything.




Andrew: Yeah it sounds fantastic. I've been hearing it the last few days and it's a little bit more diverse than the first one, a lot more stuff going in there. What did you do differently in the writing and recording process compared to the first album?


Rob: Personally I had more time on this album. The first album some of it was written by Rob (Moschetti, Bass), some of it was written by me. So we really got cohesive and we got together and we wrote the stuff and we planned ahead of time. We don't want to stick to any forumla, we want to write songs that we love and we want to hear. Songs that we enjoy playing but also songs that we want to hear. So it brought us closer together in that sense but we went out and got a new drummer and another guitar player because we wanted people that were on the same page as us.


Andrew: The other thing I noticed on this album is the vocal styles. It's a little bit different, a bit more melody. How did you approach the vocals going into this album?


Rob: I just wanted to do something different. I scream a lot with Exodus so I wanted to be able to try new things, experiment, do something different other than just doing the same old thing all the time. Not that that's what Exodus does but Exodus is a pure thrash band and I don't think Generation Kill is a pure thrash band. I think we are more of an old school heavy metal band, sort of like early Maiden, early Priest, early Metallica. I think we take a lot of those elements on with us and I think that's kind of where we live, we're not trying to be one thing, we're trying to take all of our musical diversity and bring it to one thing which is what we are trying to do and hopefully we have achieved that.





Andrew: Do you think some of the vocal styles you did on this album might influence or filter into Exodus at all?


Rob: I don't think so haha! As I said, Exodus is thrash and they are not going to want to do a ballad or do anything mellow. That being said, this is what I'm doing.


Andrew: I love the song "Death Comes Calling", it has a much slower tempo than a lot of the other stuff. I even hear a little Alice In Chains thing going on in there.


Rob: I wrote the music for that one too because I play guitar so I wrote the riffs on that. I think it was more dirt rock, I like Alice In Chains but I don't really listen to it a lot. They're a good band but they're not something that's in my playlist at all. But it's more like Clutch and more doomy, Kyuss-y kind of thing so that's where that comes from. I'm a big love of dirt rock and stoner rock so that's where that comes from. But the Alice In Chains thing, some of the harmonies may sound very similar but that's how the song evolved and what the song needed. But if it sounds like Alice In Chains, cool haha! It wasn't intentional.


Andrew: One song that stands out on the album is "Carny Love". It's very different to the rest of the album. How did this song come about?


Rob: We wrote that like a Faith No More/Mr Bungle type thing. It started out with a riff and then it led into this crazy kind of thing. It was the first song we wrote on the album, the first song we wrote together for this album. The whole carny thing comes from talking about carny people and carnivals in general and it kinda had a crazy circus kind of feel so the lyrics just kinda made sense. It's got some odd time signatures and wierd stuff. Once again it was just something to do other than what was expected, I think a lot of people expected an Exodus clone so we started out to kind of experiment and do stuff that we wanted to do whether people got it or not. So that's how that song goes for me, I love the song, it's one of my favorites on the album.


Andrew: Yeah it's a great song, it's very different and it's one of those songs that stands out on the album. The album is very diverse, there's a lot of different stuff going on so it sounds fantastic.


Rob: Thank you!


Andrew: Will you be taking this stuff out on the road and touring for it at all?


Rob: Yeah man we are touring in 2014. We are putting all of that together now, our management is making all of that happen. I'm making a record with Exodus in February next year but I don't know when we are going to tour, probably not until the end of the summer so I'll have the whole summer to tour Generation Kill so we're planning on doing as much as we can in the meantime.


Andrew: Any chance of you guys coming to Australia? We would love to see you over here.


Rob: Oh man I would love to do that. I think that would be really awesome. Yeah man I would love to be a part of that and to go there again. With Generation Kill, we are a relatively new band and it's kind of like our first album. I know it's our second one but our first one feels like a demo. With this one, hopefully we can go out and tour as much as possible. It would be really cool if we are in demand and people want us to come out and play so that would be kind of cool.


Andrew: Have you toured much with Generation Kill?


Rob: Yeah we went to Europe last year with Heathen for a little over a month. We've played a lot in the New York and east coast area, New York, New Jersey and Rhode Island, Connecticut so we've kinda done the whole circuit here on the east coast. But now that the album is coming out and done, I think more opportunities are going to come up for us to tour the United States on a bigger scale and go to Europe and other places.


Andrew: At these shows how has the crowd reception been to the material?


Rob: Great, it's been killer man. We went out and toured Europe and noone had heard the album yet because it wasn't out, it didn't come out until two days ago. So we went out and played the album in it's entirety and people hadn't heard a note and it was fucking great! That was actually the reason we got signed, was because we went and toured and Nuclear Blast came and saw us and said hey we want to sign you guys because we had already left Season Of Mist and had no label and we payed for the album ourselves. And of course we didn't know what was going to happen, we shopped it around, noone wanted it and then once Nuclear Blast saw us live they changd their minds and said hey we want to sign it so it all worked out for us in the end.


Andrew: So really speaking, more so now than any other time before, touring is a very important aspect of a band especially when they are just starting out.


Rob: Absolutely yeah. I mean like I said we have a lot of tours on the schedule, nothing that's really fully confirmed yet but we are going to tour extensively in 2014 and 2015.





Andrew: Have you ever considered opening for Exodus and doing a double bill kind of thing?


Rob: Absolutely! Yeah that's an option, anything can happen. It would be kinda cool if we could make that happen


Andrew: If you could be a fly on the wall for the recording of any classic album in history what would it be?


Rob: Queen - News Of The World


Andrew: Why that album?


Rob: It's just such a great album. Every song is different and it's just a brilliant album. I would of loved to have been there, it's one of my favorite albums of all time. Being able to watch Freddie Mercury and Brian May work together would have been really something to watch for myself.


Andrew: And for you, what is the meaning of life?


Rob: I don't know, be happy and be good to other people. Live your life honestly. I think if you live your life honestly, you stand more of a chance being happy.


Andrew: Cool that sounds good! As I said the new album sounds great, I think it's even better than the first album not just because of the quality of the music but the diversity of it is great and I think it will open the audience up for you guys. Even for those that are not into Exodus, I think there will be a few people that will go ok this is pretty good, especially on songs like "Carny Love" and the first track "Born To Serve". Have you done a video for any of these songs at all?


Rob: No we are trying to get someone really cool to do a video for "Carny Love" and make it interesting. We are going to shoot some stuff ourselves over the next few weeks and then send it off to a guy to edit it all together and make a video and kinda try to see if we can get it to go out. Nobody makes videos anymore, it's not like the 80's where people make videos and spend thousands and thousands of dollars on big production. We don't want to do that, we want something simple and easy. We have a bunch of footage from our tour so we're going to mix that together with some live footage and then get some footage of us rehearsing, mix all that together and I think we're going to put out a video of that. We don't know what song yet but I think if we did it would probably be "Prophets Of War" or "There's No Hope", one of the longer songs.


Andrew: I would imagine if you did do a video for "Carny Love" it would probably have some kind of circus theme or something.


Rob: Oh totally yeah. Totally circus freaks and yeah, we're trying to get somebody to do that so yeah we're working on it.


Andrew: Cool. Well thanks for taking the time to talk to us, it's been a pleasure! Hopefully we can see you guys down in Australia some time so thanks again.


Rob: Thank you man and thank you for the interview and yeah hope to make it out there, it would be great!




Rob Dukes spoke to Andrew Schizodeluxe November 2013





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