Sabrina Ramdoyal caught up with Josh Gilbert of As I Lay Dying before the show at the Academy 2 in Manchester on their recent headline tour.
Can you introduce yourself to our readers and what do you do in the band?
My name is Josh and I play bass in As I Lay Dying.
How is the tour going for you so far?
It’s going great, we’ve been really surprised by some of the turn outs because before we’d be more looking forward to the German shows because more people were excited about the band there but this time it’s been like wow, so many people have turned out to see us. We were definitely stoked to be sold out in London in a bigger venue than we’ve played before.
How is working with Metal Blade compared to previous record labels like Pluto Records?
I wasn’t with the band then, they only released one record on Pluto Records back in 2001/2002. Basically Metal Blade has been around for like 30 years now and Brian Slagel, the owner of Metal Blade, was the guy who introduced James Hetfield to Lars Ullrich, he’s been involved in Metal and the underground scene since the 80’s, so he knows everything about what he is doing, so were stoked to work with them and they really know how to market metal bands really well.
You hooked up again with Adam Dutkiewicz of Killswitch Engage to record your newest LP “A Powerless Rise”. What was it like & was it any different from previous recordings?
It was awesome to be working with Adam again, we’ve know him and done tons of tours with him and he’s well versed in playing guitar, bass, drums, bass and keys, basically any questions or times when he were second guessing ourselves he was like the outside influence that we trusted and we had a great time, you know he likes to have fun.
Do you have any plans to head into the recording studio in the future?
There’s a chance that we might, we’re gonna be out for two months before we head back out on tour again, so we’re thinking we might as well get in the studio and if we have any ideas maybe record some stuff in January but nothing official and we have no release plans. We worked on the last album for six months and that was over a year ago, we were finishing off that record this time last year so if we get some new ideas maybe they won’t make it to record but it will be something creative to do.
How was the transition of previous albums lead to “A Powerless Rise”?
The overall picture is the same but the new record is a little more thought out and detailed compared to our previous records, as far as song structures and actual textures, reliefs and fills were a lot more thought about as we had a little more time to work with on this record. So, that is definitely something, I think, a little bit different from the previous records but we tried to do something that was unique enough to make it worth buying another record from us but also to keep doing more of the sound that is expected from us.
You played at this year’s Download Festival! How was it for you and the band and does it compare to other festivals you’ve played?
We like playing Download, definitely, it was the third or fourth time we played it. This year we had a few problems, when we took to the stage we had wireless issues. Someone from Them Crooked Vultures’ guitar was using the same frequency as one of our guitar players so I was singing and hearing Jon Paul Jones’ bass in my ears. Then the stage manager pulled the plug on one of our songs because we were “inciting” the crowd in violence, I guess, by asking them for circle pits and he was like “If you guys call for one more circle pit or one more mosh you’ll be pulled off stage”, so we were like, fine we’ll finish the set.
How do you find the crowds over here in the UK and Europe compared to those in the USA?
I think that sometimes in the states there’s a lot more touring bands out in the states at the same time and what happens is the audience gets a little spoiled as far as how many good bands they get to see so when we play over here and we only get to come every two years or so then they really value it more maybe than the American crowds do. Not that all the European shows are that great, there’s definitely some amazing shows in the States too but you can definitely tell when there’s places that don’t get great shows all the time, like we played in Ravenna, Italy and those people just go off because they don’t get many shows and it’s a real small, tiny place.
How do you cope being on the road touring for so long, especially when you’re in a foreign country?
Being around anyone, even if it’s your husband or wife, as more as we are around each other you’ll find something to get annoyed with. So, I think the best way to avoid it, because we are all big friends, is I think you have to get chilled by yourself sometimes too. We’re on a bus right now with 17 people on it so it’s not always easy, so if everyone is in the venue I’ll like chill in my bunk for an hour by myself. It gets a little crazy but, I mean, we’re not the kind of band that will get into fights or anything like that. I think it’s worse dealing with being on the road with like missing home than it is dealing with the people on the road. Even this year our record didn’t come out until May and we have already been on tour for like eight months out of this year and next year we’ll probably be on tour for like nine months.
What or who are your main inspirations behind the band?
We all grew up listening to the same bands like Zao and Living Sacrifice and later on appreciated bands like Iron Maiden and even in the last few records we have kind of embraced bands like Testament and Pantera, stuff like this a little less melodic sounding and little more angry sounding.
What is your favourite track to play live and why?
I really like playing a song off our new record called ‘Condemned’, one of the more thrashy songs that we’ve done, it’s fun to play live. I obviously love the songs that I sing on too but it’s also like more pressure, I gotta make sure not to be out of breath but when I play ‘Condemned’ I play loose and not have to worry about losing my breath or anything.
And finally, do you have any final words for our readers at ThisIsNotAScene?
Thanks for reading the article, buy our records and come to our shows and maybe buy a t-shirt.