RockMonthly: Howâ€™s the Warped Tour going?
Dave Peters: Itâ€™s awesome man! Weâ€™ve been having a real good time, for sure. We kind of stick out like a
sore thumb on this tour, something we werenâ€™t sure of going into this tour. Now that weâ€™re on it I think itâ
€™s really worked toward our advantage because I think we do stand out a lot from all of the other bands. Theyâ
€™ve got some really great bands on the bill this year; Bad Religion, which is just a huge honor to play with them,
Killswitch Engage is a great band, Aptly Dying, which are old friends of ours, itâ€™s been great. Itâ€™s been cool
on every level for us.
RM: Howâ€™s the response to the new material on tour?
DP: About a week before the album came out, weâ€™ve been playing two songs off of it; we open our set with the
album opener â€œHoly Rollerâ€�. A lot of the kids may not have seen us before and I think the new stuff gets them
really excited. Much like the tour itself, we werenâ€™t sure what kind of reaction weâ€™d get playing the new
material, but weâ€™re not worried about it. I wouldnâ€™t say we donâ€™t care at all but we went and did what we
wanted to; there are a lot of people out there that â€œget usâ€� as a band and they will receive this record, and Iâ
€™m sure there will be fans that wonâ€™t. Iâ€™m really surprised that 95% of the feedback we get about this
record is positive. Itâ€™s great, weâ€™re really excited about it.
RM: Tell me about Venom & Tears and your favorite songsâ€¦
DP: â€œHoly Rollerâ€� is definitely one of my favorite songs; itâ€™s just got a little bit of everything in there, and
we had a lot of fun writing it and fun recording it. The title track was really cool for us as well because it was a
different vibe and path for us to take, in respect to the writing. Take the band Crowbar, for example; they are just
punishingly heavy but they still manage to have that soulful kind of vibe to it, you know? That kind of â€œsadâ€�
kind of tone to it. The song Venom & Tears was kind of a new line for us to walk but I think we really hit our mark
with it too.
RM: Did you approach this album differently then ones in the past?
DP: Absolutely. Circumstances were different because we had a lot more time to write and record it that we had
previously. In 2005 when we Vendetta we only took a little over a month to write, then another month to record
because we couldnâ€™t afford more time than that away from touring. This time around we thought at any and all
costs we would make the record we wanted to make. We kind of threw out the old formula and just did whatever the
fuck we wanted to do. We didnâ€™t hold back or set up any imaginary boundries to write and sound like we did on
Vendetta. It felt really good. We didnâ€™t throw any ideas out the window prematurely, which was a change for
us. Before we would say, â€œLetâ€™s do thisâ€� or â€œForget that! Letâ€™s do this because we canâ€™t get
away with thatâ€�. There were definitely times when a song was completed and we would go â€œWow! This is
going on the record?â€� We didnâ€™t think â€œthis canâ€™t go on the recordâ€�, we just did what we wanted to
do. When listening to the record, itâ€™s really cohesive, it makes a lot of sense, itâ€™s got a lot of dynamic to it,
and I think a huge reason why is because we just let loose and did whatever we wanted.
RM: What are your thoughts on your vocals being compared to Phil Anselmo and the bandsâ€™ sound to
DP: (Laughs) I think its great! Panteraâ€™s a band that we all grew up on and weâ€™re all huge fans of, and
argueably changed the sound of heavy musicâ€¦forever! We proudly embrace that as a compliment; just as much as
we love Pantera, we love Selputura, Metallica and Slayer, so on and so forth. I guess that influence comes out heavily
on this record as well. At the end of the day, we donâ€™t really get caught up too much on, no offense to you of
course, what journalists say about our band and we really are just happy to please the people in our immediate circle,
our fans and anything beyond that as far as positive feedback is just icing on the cake. I think when bands get too
caught up in the positive, or the negative, it starts to effect them and their sound. They might be too down on
themselves or get too big of a head. Overall, I think weâ€™re just really grounded people and try to stay on the
straight-and-narrow and not worry to much about whatâ€™s being said, good or bad.
RM: Do you still consider yourselves â€œstraight edgeâ€�?
DP: Absolutely. Iâ€™ve been straight-edge for about 15 years now. The band will always be a straight-edge band,
and when Mark came into the bandâ€¦we were looking for a straight-edge guitar player and integrity for our band is a
huge component and despite the member changes, weâ€™ve kept the same name and the same method over the
years is because weâ€™re really passionate about it; we think thatâ€™s a big definitive thing for our band, our ethics
and our values. Weâ€™ll get asked by a lot of kids if weâ€™re still straight-edge becauseâ€¦you take a song like â
€œForeverâ€� from Haymaker and that thereâ€™s straight-fucking-edge on it, they use that as the bar as far as what
straight-edge is, and compare it on all the other albums after that. Itâ€™s a shame with the digital era, kids donâ€™t
listen to lyrics as much and lyrics, to me, is the biggest part of the music; it goes hand-in-hand with the music thatâ
€™s being written. So we have kids saying â€œYou donâ€™t have any straight-edge songs!â€� Then Iâ€™ll say
(laughing) â€œActually we do!â€� In all honesty, thereâ€™s only so many ways you can write about straight-edge
because itâ€™s a pretty cut and dry lifestyle. To rewrite â€œForeverâ€� would just be pointless.
Straight from the Warped Tour, Dave Peters
and his band Throwdown have their plate full
for the next couple months with an upcoming
stint on the road with Machine Head and Arch
Enemy. No stranger to hard touring, the band
are greatfully anticipating a full tour supporting
their newly released Venom & Tears album. A
far cry from their earlier releases, Venom &
Tears was recorded with much more care
showcasing their writing style and vocals while
still displaying the power and fierceness of a
veteran hardcore band. RockMonthly had a
chance to speak to Dave at the tail end of the
Warped Tour about the new album and the
question of Throwdown still being straight-edge.
|Out With The Old...
Interview with Throwdown frontman Dave Peters