Monday, July 13, 2015

From the Dark Past: Interview with Jeff A.D. of Birth A.D., April 2010

This is another interview I did, this time with Birth A.D. in April 2010, over five years ago. I had seen Birth A.D. (and Hexlust, for that matter) for the first time four months prior and was blown away. This also has the distinction of being the first interview I ever did, being the humble age of 19. The questions are very basic and I wasn't very good at interviewing, but everyone has to start somewhere. I want to post on this blog a bit more, so consider these interviews to be some "bonus tracks" for you loyal zine-readers out there.

1. JH: First of all, where was "Stillbirth of a Nation" recorded, and who produced it?

Jeff: We actually recorded it at a home studio, a practice space, and Mark's house. The whole thing was done on a laptop. It was about as DIY as you can get, and we were very pleased with the results. Mark did the principle production, while I got the cushy executive producer role (e.g. "fix this, more of that").

2. JH: How long did the album take to record and mix?

J: I think it took a week in total. Mark tweaked the hell out of it though, so he might have a different story.

3. JH: Birth A.D. toured Japan very early on in the band's existence. How did that
tour come about, and what are your thoughts on said tour?

J: Just Rock PR set that up for us. We'd approached them about taking other bands of ours to Japan in the past, but Just Rock was most confident about Birth A.D. finding an audience. It was a great time all the way around. Tokyo really is the way you see it in movies, and I loved that. The people there are very polite and professional, and they know how to go berserk when the time is right. If Austin was more like Tokyo, I never would have written the song "This Scene Sucks"!

4. JH: "Blow Up The Embassy" is an excellent take on the Fearless Iranians From Hell classic. Are there any other songs that Birth A.D. would be interested in covering in the near future?

J: I've thought about it, but for the most part I'm more interested in continuing to write and perform original material. DRI would be an obvious choice for us, but stylistically it's almost redundant. We could stick with the Texas thing and update an MDC song or something. The Fearless Iranians song was something that fit lyrically and musically with the rest of our material, but again I'm more concerned about making my own ideas heard. [7/13/2015: I'm still lobbying for that Carnivore cover and/or Razor "Burning Bridges]

5. JH: The music video for "Parasites Die" was released in February and was filmed in Austin. Could you tell us about the experience of shooting the video?

J: It was fun and shockingly easy. It all went exactly as I planned it, which was fortunate since I had to perform and direct the video at the same time. People showed up, they got into it, they let me tell them where to stand and what to do - it was great. Everything you see was shot in two hours from start to finish. It was validating for me because I wasn't sure how close my vision would be to the finished product, and in the end it was almost perfect. The only thing we lost was a funny shot of Jason McMaster stealing my sunglasses. That shot was too hard to light and too hard to block without prior rehearsal. Headhunters really set us up nicely, and we owe a continuing vote of thanks to Billy Milano for his support of the band and arranging the shoot itself.

6. JH: On a related note, what made you choose "Parasites Die" for the video?
J: I came up with it when I was standing out in front of Room 710 about a year ago. I originally planned to be walking down Red River and shoving past people as I went. Usually if a good idea comes to me I just run with it. It could have been any song off the EP really, but "Parasites Die" had a pretty unmistakable message.

7. JH: Will Birth A.D. make any more videos from "Stillbirth of a Nation"?

J: Nothing official, no. You'll probably continue to see new live footage of us until the sun burns out, but I'm not planning anything else. The next release will have one, but ideally a label will fund that.

8. JH: Will studio versions of "Violent Retribution", "I Blame You", and "Short Bus Society" be released any time soon?

J: Soon enough, yes. We're shopping to labels right now, and as of this writing there are some promising responses. As soon as we get that sorted out, there will be a proper full-length with all-new songs and lots of touring to go with it.

9. JH: Are there any newer metal bands you've been listening to that you'd like to give a shout-out to?

J: Hod is good, and they continue to get better. Hexlust is a real blast on stage, too. Other than that I'm listening to stuff that everyone knows like the new Immolation album. It rules.

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