On the 18th of February 2014 Oblivionized rolled through London to play The Unicorn in Camden as a part of their UK tour with Cowards. We sat down in the back of their van for a chat about the band’s recent activities. Our questions are highlighted in bold.
First of all how’s the album going? Have you finished recording?
Zac: So the album is about 90% done. I got a cold early on and I came back to do vocals, did about 4 songs and it wasn’t good so I’m going to be doing the rest after the tour. We did it at Vagrant Recordings with Tom Dring who’s the drummer from Corrupt Moral Altar. It’s the same place where we did the Confine record. The guitars and drums are already done. Will did the drums in like a day and a half and Sammy did the guitars in one day and smashed it. We did each song in 3 takes through different amps and just layered the guitars to get a nice tone.
I’ve gotta say the man’s on a mission. How many bands is he in now?
Zac: Sammy’s in 3 touring bands now and we’re not even mentioning all the secret projects he has going on where he’s recording everything at home. So Regurgitate Life will be touring soon, Employed to Serve are already touring as frequently as we are and then there’s obviously us.
You guys have a pretty hectic schedule. How do you cope with it all? Is it simply a case that you tour because you enjoy it?
Zac: Yeah it’s just fun. When I haven’t played a show for a while I feel a bit meh and I just feel like I need to get something out of my system. When we first started we did a show and then it became the main reason to do what we’re doing and most of the stuff I do is for music anyway. We’re touring almost every day this month. Last year we did 50 odd shows.
How do you guys cope financially? Is it easy to get by doing so many free shows like tonight’s?
Zac: Nah, the only way we get by financially is between the 3 of us we do some extra work on the side. Will teaches drums. Sammy does landscaping work and freelance. I sell graphics, freelance and do a bit of bar work. Financially we can usually cover all our touring costs but it’ll get to a point when you’re more determined to just go and fucking do it instead of make money. I’ve never considered doing this to make money. I’d rather save all my money and blow it all on tour. I realise that’s not going to continue to work in the long run and when you tour the amount that we do it can definitely be hard, but its worth it to experience some of the stuff we have.
That’s a good attitude man and I’m glad there’s people out there that care that much to just go and play.
Zac: Oh me too man. I was talking about this earlier but we did a tour with Human Cull back in early 2012 and we started in London and did 8 UK shows. In all of those gigs we played to like 50 people in total. One show had a secret headliner which brought in a big audience but most of the shows we were playing to like 4 or 5 people and it made me feel like I didn’t want to do it, but if I don’t keep doing this I won’t get to experience what it’s like to succeed. Eventually if you keep going more people will turn up but you’ve just gotta keep at it.
If you don’t give yourself the exposure you’ll never earn fans.
Zac: Exactly. Nobody gave a fuck about us at the time but it’s got better. Eventually the longer you keep at it people will start to come to shows. I’m never gonna live a rock and roll lifestyle but if we can ever earn some money from it so I can afford the rent or whatever then great.
I wanted to talk about the recent What You Have Become compilation, in particular the title track. Is that going to be on the album?
Zac: That’s not gonna be on the album. We have a bit of a joke between us…
Will: [Will jumps in the van] What’s going on in here?
Zac: Oh we’re just doing an interview. If we’re unsure about something then we test stuff to see how it goes. So that track was like a shoegaze track which Sammy wrote.
I was going to say, is that Sammy on vocals?
Zac: Yeah that’s Sammy singing and he did all the electronics. It was a bit of fun and it’s why we did it on that small run of CDs which were all hand made.
It was cool to hear and it reminded me of Nullify the Cycle.
Zac: On the album we actually have a slower song called I Pity You. It’s a really big sounding song. It doesn’t have clean vocals though. I wanted to get some on the album but there wasn’t enough time to make it all work. Eventually we’ll do a clean vocal track on an upcoming release.
So what’s coming up next?
Zac: After the tour we’ve got a couple of gigs coming up. What are we doing after the tour Will?
Will: Doing a music video in March. Finishing off the album, writing new material as we’re really keen to write new stuff now the album’s done. The album’s good but we can definitely improve so let’s write some more stuff!
I was gonna say, you guys had some line-up changes in your early days but you seem comfortable with the current the line-up.
Zac: Oh we hate each other. We’re making so much money from touring that we can’t get on with each other [laughs]
Will: We’ve got a really bad coke habit.
Zac: My Mum’s in tears every time she sees me.
Will: [in a shrill voice] “Why are you in a band!?”
Zac: My mum’s like, “why don’t you work in retail like everyone else!?” [laughs] and I’m like, “no bitch! Life’s a struggle! Song reference!” I get all Lamb of God on her. But yeah, doing a music video and we’ve got some more gigs. We’re playing Deadbeat Festival which is a charity festival which should be good. In April we’re going to Europe with Human Cull as we’re still touring the split we did with them.
Zac: The album won’t be out until later in the year once we can get a label to put it out. In June we’re going to the States with Plague Widow to tour the This Black Earth split. That’s everything that’s currently definite. What most people don’t realise is that for every tour that goes ahead successfully there’s about 5 or 6 that never happen.
Thanks to Zac and Will for taking the time to talk to us.