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







There's a circle of bands in the New Orleans area that are some of the most influential and legendary sludge-doom bands around like Crowbar, Down and Eyehategod. Jimmy Bower has been a part of that scene forever and still is to this day. With his main band Eyehategod who experienced heartbreaking tragedy earlier this year with the death of their drummer Joe LaCraze, the band picked themselves up and are back with a new album due in 2014 and a tour to Australia in January which sees the band take part in their 25th anniversary. We spoke to guitarist Jimmy Bower about the upcoming tour, the new drummer and their upcoming album.

Andrew: Hey hows it going?


Jimmy: Hey what's up dude! How you been bro?


Andrew: Good thanks! Thanks for taking the time to talk to us, it's much appreciated.


Jimmy: Thank you bro, appreciated!


Andrew: So it's the 25th anniversary for Eyehategod, over the years all the tours and stories. How does it feel for the band to still be around after all this time?


Jimmy: It feels awesome dude, like a crazy rollercoaster ride!


Andrew: Any personal highlights over the years?


Jimmy: All kinds of stuff man. Tours with Pantera, playing CBGB's, touring with Nuerosis, playing in New York first time. I mean I could go on for days. Playing in Australia last year, that was awesome.


Andrew: Yeah that was good to see you come over here. How was that?


Jimmy: It was awesome! It was cool to play to people who were like been waiting to see us forever so it was cool to finally play for them.



Andrew: And you are coming back next year in January for a headlining tour including Perth which we are very excited about. What can we expect on this tour this time around?


Jimmy: A lot of new material, we'll be playing some new material off our new record which will be out in April. But it'll be just some fucking killer shows.


Andrew: Yeah I was going to ask whether you will be playing some new songs. How many have you got together for the tour?


Jimmy: We got about 5 so it works out pretty good because we usually play for around an hour and 15 to hour and a half so it works out good.


Andrew: And how has the new album come together? Is it completely finished or are you still working out the last few bits?


Jimmy: Just working out the last bits but it should be out in April and we're just excited man, it came out really good. It's been 13 years so it's a big deal for us to finally get this out.


Andrew: From your perspective, how does it compare to the other albums?


Jimmy: I think it's different but it's still Eyehategod. It's just an evolution to me, it's evolved. We get feedback differently and play differently but I don't know what to say about shit like that haha! To me it just sounds like new tunes but somebody else might be like well it doesn't sound like this or that. I'm like alright man, sorry haha!



Andrew: You have the new drummer Aaron Hill who has taken over from Joey (LaCaze) who passed away this year. Obviously it must be tough to get through something like that so how has Aaron fitted into the band so far?


Jimmy: He's been doing really good man, he's getting there. Joey would of never wanted us to quit playing, we knew that for a fact. So as opposed to sitting around bummed out we just got into a room pretty fast with Aaron and started learning as much as we could. We got 22 songs down so we're stoked man, it's good to be playing shows again. We miss Joey big time, we will always miss Joey but we're also excited about the new chapter in the band. And coming to Australia is a big deal too!


Andrew: Have you played any shows with Aaron so far?


Jimmy: Yeah I think we've done 7 or 8 and then our first show back Dale (Crover) from the Melvins was cool enough to play with us at Housecore's Horror Fest in Austin, Texas and Joey was a big fan of Dale so that was really cool. It was an honour!


Andrew: And how has the fan reception been, have they embraced Aaron?


Jimmy: Oh yeah man, he's from New Orleans and his musical taste is a lot like ours and that was important. He's just as stupid as we are dude!


Andrew: Haha ok that's good to hear. Did he play on the new record?


Jimmy: No Joey did. We recorded it last year right after we got back from Australia but it's taken us a year to get it all finished up and everything. That's another reason we are super excited about it too. But we've been writing too, we've already got 2 new songs and almost another one so it's good because the band has been the most active than we've ever been.


Andrew: You must be happy for the band to be back and be strong again.


Jimmy: We felt like we were doing really good when Joey was still alive because in 2008 we were doing a lot of touring and stuff like that but I guess with this new chapter, we played in New York and Chicago and people are really supportive and cool and just happy that we continued on. So we've just been kinda taking that and using that as our fuel. That's cool and we love this band, we don't know what to fucking do with ourselves when we're not in this band.



Andrew: So whats the plan with the band for 2014 then?


Jimmy: Like I said we're coming to Australia in January and then hopefully after the record comes out in April doing as much touring as possible, on the road and really promote it hard. We're really looking forward to that and probably going into the studio pretty soon too.


Andrew: And I see Down is coming here for Soundwave next year as well, will you be making the trek for that too?


Jimmy: Yeah man 4 flights!


Andrew: That's a long trek to make 2 trips in one year! How do you think that will go?


Jimmy: It will be awesome dude, I'm looking forward to it. Just get a good book you know? The flight aint nothing man to get over there to jam like with Sonishphere I've never played that but I heard it's pretty cool.


Andrew: Which type of shows do you prefer, the festivals or the club shows?


Jimmy: Like 200 capacity.


Andrew: Is that because it's more conducive to your kind of music or do you just like the vibe?


Jimmy: I just like it when it's shit packed dude and fucking nobody can move anywhere. And yeah the vibes better but both are killer.


Andrew: How does it feel to be part of 3 great bands like Crowbar, Down and Eyehategod, it must feel great to be part of all that?


Jimmy: Yeah it really does man, it feels great! All those people in those bands we just talked about to me are really talented and fun to jam with, I couldn't ask for better bands to be involved with.


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


Jimmy: Black Sabbath's first record.


Andrew: Why that album?


Jimmy: Just because it's a great record and the vibe and the way it sounds. It's like an obvious choice (but also) any Skynrd record would be amazing to see.


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


Jimmy: Riff. All about the riff bro! The riff is what makes the sun shine haha!


Andrew: I will agree with that, it's all about the riff.


Jimmy: Totally man, it's what makes you feel good.


Andrew: Well we are looking forward to seeing you guys in January, especially in Perth. I think it's going to be an awesome tour so thanks again for talking to us, it's much appreciated!


Jimmy: Thank you bro and I really appreciate it too!




Jimmy spoke to Andrew Schizodeluxe December 2013





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