EYEHATEGOD - Jimmy Bower



Here we are on the Cardiff stop of the "Campaign for Musical Destruction Tour" which is the 11th show of 27 across the UK and Europe. How has the tour been so far and how have the crowds been with such a great mix of genres on the bill?

It's been good man. I mean any bill that has four to five bands, it's always tough for the opening bands as people are just beginning to walk in and get their drink on but these guys (Batt) on this tour kick ass. They are just like old school metal and they do it right, they are great guys and it's our first time on tour with them. Then Rotten Sound comes out and they are more like grindcore with a bit a doom and generally as the night goes on the crowd just keeps getting better and better until we come on ha ha. Most of the crowd know who we are and everything like that but we are definitely the odd ball out. Misery Index are killing it and Napalm as always are just fucking solid.



                                   




I have to ask how Mike is doing now after his liver transplant back in December of 2016 and is he coping with full time touring life again? EHG always have a pretty hectic touring schedule.

He is doing great. It was like four or five months after his operation, it might have been sooner than that, we did three shows and we were all really worried about how it would go and decided that we would just take whatever we can get and then the next thing we know we are in a fucking van back on tour again. Unfortunately I had to get an operation as I had ripped my bicep in half so I took six months off and this is my first tour back. We all love this band and we love the opportunities that we get to travel.


How is the arm feeling now after 6 months off and do you find that it's affected your guitar playing or drumming in any way?

It's fine man. I've got this little bump that will never go away but that's about it. I'm not as in shape as I was but that will come with time I guess. It doesn't effect either at all. The Doctor said it would take six months to heal but after like 2-3 months I was playing the drums at home again. The Doctor was worried that it would rip again but also said that once it heals it will be stronger than it was before.


EHG have now been on the scene for 32 years since you formed back in 1988 and you are also one of the pioneers of the Nola sound. Could you have ever imagined that the Nola sound would become such an iconic sound in the world of metal?

We could never have imagined it. I remember playing drums with The Slugs which is now Crowbar and trying to get Kirk to keep his guitar feedback. He would not fucking do it dude. He would not fucking do it. It was like 87/88 and he called me after he listened to a Carnivore record on acid and he was like "dude, I totally understand it now", so The Slugs went in the direction of Crowbar. I was more of a Melvins freak and also Black Flag where as Kirk is more of a metal guy so that's why we formed Eyehategod. When both those bands started, thrash was huge and we had no idea that any of this was going to happen. We all like 70's love songs we just wanted to turn them into something heavy with heavy riffs. Obviously then Down happened in 1991. We recorded a bunch of songs and demos in a garage and the next thing I know that record came out 95. I'm real proud of the work that everybody in all those bands have done to put New Orleans on the map. It's been a long road and it's still going on so that's really cool.


Obviously you are one of the pioneers of the Nola sound but are there any up and coming bands from the New Orleans that we should be keeping an eye out for?

I don't know man. We are always on tour and I don't ever leave my house man. There's always great bands coming out of New Orleans and Gary would be the best one to talk to about that but we do see a lot of great upcoming bands while out on tour. New Orleans will always be a breeding ground for scum and for dirty bands. It's a cool city. You can go anywhere, any night of the week and you can see whatever kind of music you like and you can hear it coming out of the bars. Growing up there just sticks with you forever.


Obviously you mentioned Down just a second a go, Down have only ever released a few albums over the last 25 years but you have had such a big impact on people and the music industry in that time. How do you feel about the big 25th anniversary shows this summer for Down's debut album "Nola"?

First off, it doesn't feel like it has been that long and secondly I'm just really glad that we are actually doing it. I think it's important for the fans and we haven't really been doing anything lately. We haven't done anything since 2016 due to Phil being involved with The Illegals, Pepper is doing C.O.C, Kirk is full time with Crowbar, I'm doing EHG so there really hasn't been time for it but we are finally going to take some time out to do it and it's going to be really cool. I think the fans deserve it and fuck it's going to feel good when we get up there. Once we get in the practice room and it's like 1,2,3, it's going to be so cool man and we have got Kirk back in there too so it's going to be killer.



                                                                



I previously read that Kirk was coming back for the shows, is Kirk going to be back in the band on a permanent basis now or will he just be back for these anniversary shows?

Well we aren't permanently a band right now. Just because Kirk is coming back for these shows doesn't mean that we will be doing another record or anything like that. We are just going to take it as it comes because everyone is really busy  with all their other bands. It would be great if we could do some stuff like that but we will see.


2014's "Eyehategod" was the last album to be released by EHG and I believe that you are currently working on a new album at the moment or that it might actually be completed? Could you tell us a bit about what we can expect from the album and when can we expect it to be be released?

It's fully recorded apart from the vocals. Once Mike does the vocals then it's pretty much done. We are just trying to figure out the logistics but we want to get it out this year without a doubt. It's already recorded and I just love it. It's a good progression. We originally recorded the whole record and then Brian left so we became a four piece. We went on tour for like a year and in that time we realised that we had become a completely different band so we said that we have to go back and re-record these songs. We went back in there and re did those songs with that being in mind. We had talked about getting another guitar player in but we threw that out of the window. It's definitely a good record. I really like it a lot. I have been listening to it for a year now and once Mike puts touches to it and adds his vocals then it's going to be like star on top of the Christmas tree.


                                                    



"Eyehategod" was obviously released via Century Media in Europe and through Housecore Records in North America, Do you have a record label line up for the release of the new album? 

We will be on Century Media in Europe and we are still trying to figure out what we are going to do in the States. Housecore did the last one but I think that we are probably going to try to go with someone else. Like I said, we have all been so busy that we haven't even really talked about the business stuff.


The new album will be the first to feature Aaron Hill on drums who obviously has big shoes to fill. How much was he involved in this whole process of recording a new album and how much of a say did he have when it came recording the album? Was he more under your direction or was he given the opportunity to do as he likes?

That's a good question man because when Aaron got in the band we told him that we don't expect him to be Joey, we don't expect him to play like Joey, just listen to what he did, respect it and do a good job filling them shoes. He is doing great dude. I call him a kid as he is a lot younger than me but he is a good kid, he works really hard and I think that people are going to be really pleased with his style on the new record. We just wanna get that record out there for him so he can finally say that he's on an EHG album. We have done a couple of 7", we did some stuff for Adult Swim which was actually a song that he wrote but it will be cool to get this record out there for him. He is great and we couldn't have asked for a better replacement and I think that people will definitely see that on this record. 


We keep talking about the new release but there's been no mention of a name at all so have you guys actually decided on an album title yet?

No not yet. It was easy on the last one ha ha but we usually leave that up to Mike and Mike is really good with one liners and the lyrics. If it was left up to me then it would be something like "For adults only" but I doubt anyone else would go for it so that's why I don't name the records. You got to do what you know you can do.


Since last summer EHG have performed over 80 shows worldwide and with a new album on the horizon, I think that its safe to say that the EHG touring juggernaut will continue throughout 2020 but will there ever be any respite for you guys?

I haven't but they have ha ha. We have a lot of booked up for the rest of the year. Obviously I'm just coming off of a six month break so I'm ready to roll but respectfully for these guys they have been to Vietnam and Thailand and apparently it was a really tough tour and lots of flying where I have stopped and they haven't. We are just trying to keep trudging on but we do need to take enough time off for Mike to do these vocals. Once that is done then even more opportunities will open up. We never sleep man.







                                                           




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