You’re only doing a short stint in the UK but is there anything you can’t leave home without?
Mr H.C. Banks III aka Chad (bass): Marijuana, some kind of sleep aid I would suppose. On behalf of everybody there were a couple of asses that drugs were hidden in.
Chris Emery aka Mother (drums): You stuck weed in your butt?
Chad: Yeah and it’s really good weed. You can write this down, trust me. The only way to bring shit over here is in your ass. You have nature’s little backpack
Mother: Condoms, weed in your ass and sleeping pills.
Right down to business then. It’s been three years since the last album, what’s been going on?
Chad: Got off the Coal Chamber tour in July 2002 and we were supposed to go and start doing demo’s for the next record. We did demos for Rick Rubin for about a year and a half [but] he wasn’t feeling it, he just didn’t hear it, he wasn’t really hip on it, which was weird because everyone else was.
Bryan Ottoson (guitar): Not to say he was totally down on us because he was also at the time, we later found out, he was really busy with Jay Z and stuff
Chad: He was in the Jay Z video, starting to produce Nine Inch Nails and finishing off the Johnny Cash album right after he died, so, I mean, in the grand scheme, on the ladder of importance we’re kind of the bottom rung on America.
Mother: Low on the totem pole
Chad: So basically we got better because we had written almost, probably fifty songs and we had decided to remove ourselves from American and they let us go, very graciously. I thought it was going to be a big legal nightmare, so when someone tries to get off a label it’s two years and they hold you’re record and they don’t…um but Rick held to his word and let us go, it was about three weeks and we signed to Nitrus. We did the record with Greg Fidelman who engineered the first record, he’s just a good friend of everybody, everybody respected his judgement. He’s finally getting credit for what he does. He made our record sound amazing, he did a great job with it.
Bryan: He’s like a seventh member, I mean he’s an amazing guy to work with.
The new album - the original release date given to us was October, why has it been pushed back to February 15th?
Chad: We were supposed to go on tour with Motorhead and the date of the release we would have been on tour for a month, maybe a little over and at the last second that got cancelled, so with no set up and the Christmas season coming up we decided to kind of push it back towards after the first of the year. That’s basically what happened.
Bryan: We got a call the night before the Motorhead tour was supposed to happen, we were like rehearsing the last song and we got a call from them.
Chad: We had actually brought Dominic [Cifarelli] from Pulse Ultra as our fill-in guitar player. Flew him in from Canada, rehearsed for about three weeks and the day before the Motorhead tour was supposed to start at House of Blues in L.A. our manager calls up and says what time we’re supposed to load in, then the tour manager of Motorhead says I was just about to call you, it’s cancelled. Oh my God. Bryan fucking packed up his gear that minute.
Bryan: Basically yeah, I packed up my shit in ten minutes, I was so fucking just pissed off and distraught with the whole situation. I left and I walked back to the hotel and I stopped at a bar by myself and just got a bunch of drinks.
Mother: By the time we got there you might have been like blackout.
Bryan: I was asking if it was day or night. I was like six am/six pm? So check it out, so I was flying back on September 11th…
Mother: I gotta have this part. Me and Dusty (drum tech) walked in the door and he’s got Nine Inch Nails cranked. We got a play station two hooked up to the TV and he’s got it cranked to where the TV’s distorting. Olly’s (Bryan) just laying there with the cover up to his chin like “Ahh man.”
Bryan: So I flew back on September 11th and Dusty was with me and I was literally like so distraught, I was throwing food around the plane, they almost put me in plane jail..
Mother: PLANE JAIL what?
Bryan: They have like some cells on aircraft, if you get out of line they have marshalls, they’ll put you in jail on the plane and so I get back to the airport and they lost my guitar so then I’m freaking out on security and the lowest point of that was riding around curled up in a little ball, riding around the carousel for like twenty minutes waiting for my guitar.
Chad: I wasn’t on that plane right, you must have been…
Bryan: It was just me and Dusty.
Chad: But what was some of the stuff you said when you were like “Fuck everybody…”
Bryan: I was talking to this awesome girl and showing her some CD’s and stuff and then I was just getting more and more pissed off as I was thinking about it. I was listening to Slipknot, drumming on the walls, fucking on the chairs and people were like god dammit. Dusty kept on “Dude chill” and they gave me my meal and apparently I wasn’t pleased with it so I threw it across the plane.
Mother: “Apparently I wasn’t pleased with it!!”
Bryan: Ok that’s enough of that time, it was horrible.
Chad: So about a month after that we started to get used to going out for three weeks to the Midwest and kind of just what I call blow the dust off, to remove the rust, so we did three weeks in the Midwest - Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, North Dakota over to Denver a couple of times, Houston and Dallas. When you start to get ready you’re all geared up and your system going, we’re done. We went back home and waited for this.
What are we to expect from the album? Any themes?
Chad: The War of Art, Cam and I wrote a lot of the lyrics…
Cameron enters with a monstrous laugh and arms flung open wide
Chad: Speak of the devil…
Cameron 'Martin' Cock (vocals): Oh sorry.
Chad: Come on in, interview
Cameron: Noooo (turns to walk out) (sing-song) I wanna do drugs, I wanna do drugs!
Chad: With the last record I had written a lot of the lyrics thirty percent. But this one he definitely wrote ninety percent of the lyrics. The bee-all was just getting through what we’ve gone through. You know to get to this point.
What inspired the clown used on the album and the website?
Chad: That’s a friend of ours, he actually did a painting for the FOR side project (Cameron, Chad, Paul Gray (Slipknot), Karma Cheema, Dane Tudors (ex-Druel), Benji ‘Bender’ Helberg (Black Flood Diesel)) Dusty painted this clown chick with the syringe and stuff. We all saw it and I think all of us were like ‘that’s it, that’s fucking awesome’ and of course because of the syringe.
Mother: The record is called The Feeding’ and has a lot to do with like people reacquainting themselves with their personal demon, a lot of people in the band kind of fell off the deep end. I think pretty much everybody in the band fell off the chemical deep end.
Bryan: Except him (Chris)
Mother: I did a lot during the demo and song writing stuff then about eight months ago I cleaned up and everything. I got about… well the 28th December I’ll have nine months. So I don’t drink or do drugs or smoke or anything.
Bryan: The Feeding, that clown thing and the syringe and all, I think it encapsulates the voice in all our heads, the demon that’s talking to you and the syringe and the whole thing, a lot of the lyrics are about that.
Chad: Cameron’s got a real fixation with the circus. He’s got circus tattooed on his stomach in big gothic letters.
Mother: So imagine the circus with like heavy music and trapeze artists on met amphetamine. Shadow people.
Where’s Dave (former member)?
Chad: Dave is good, he’s fine. He’s living in Minneapolis, St Pauls actually. The reason he’s not in the band anymore is because after we did the war of art he started to build up a life. He got married, he’s got a house and mortgage, he’s got two cars..
Mother: He’s got a thirty five dollar (£18) an hour job, union job cutting meat.
Chad: Yeah, he’s a butcher, he’s making more money that we are.
Mother: He makes more in a week than I make in two months.
Chad: It was simply a case of he needed X amount of dollars to keep his life going and we can’t guarantee that. We’re all eating the shit sandwich.
Mother: I know, I talked to him personally and I know it was a hard decision. He really wanted to come out with us and play and tour and record a record and stuff but it’s not worth losing a house over.
On the website Chad, you’re named as Mr. H. C. Banks III, is this a formal name change?
Chad: I’m actually thinking about going down town to change it.
Mother: To Banks?
Chad: Um yeah, Mister
Mother: OK, I thought that was a typo!
Chad: My first name would be Mister.
Mother: (Laughs loudly)
Chad: You can’t go wrong with that my friend.
Mother: Nice dude.
Chad: Whenever I would call Justin on the phone. ‘Hey what’s up J?’ ‘Mr Banks’. So I just kind of ran with it. H.C., C.H., Chad.
Dimebag, What’s your reaction to his murder? Have you ever felt threatened on stage?
Bryan & Chad: No never [threatened]
Chad: He was fucking A man.
Bryan: I was absolutely, majorly affected by that. I was crying the first night it happened and called him (Chad) . I was distraught. I thought it was a joke for like the first few hours. Trying to desperately find out if it was real or not. I saw it on CNN and I was like ’man’.
Chad: I woke up and had a call from him (Bryan), my tour manager and our manager just wanting to know what happened.
(I mention Metal Hammer December cover)
Chad & Bryan: With the knives?
Mother: I cried a lot . For two days I kind of like…it’s cold and dark out in Minneapolis anyway but I curled up and I cocooned and I didn’t leave the house for two days because I neede that time to just cocoon and get myself and just sit there and grieve it. And let myself get through it. I met him briefly but I had listened to his music for so long and just loved him. Maybe not known him personally but getting so close to him that way musically and so inspired by him just in my head, that that made me just cry because I felt like I knew him.
Chad: We actually got a chance to hang out. I don’t think Chris went to that night but we got a chance to fucking got to Vinnie’s house and went to Dallas to the club house, their strip club that Vinnie and Dime run. We went back to Vinnie’s house afterwards and they were really fucking cool man, they were totally cool guys and totally down to earth. I just think it’s a fucking tragedy . We were all worried about Lemmy too, wondering how he was.
I read about some of the mischievous tom-foolery you guys got up to in 2001, looking back is there anything you regret or would have done differently?
Bryan: On Ozzfest particularly? That’s a question for Chris because I wasn’t on that tour. I joined the band shortly after that tour. [To Chris] I think she’s referring to shotguns and burning flags and all that.
Mother: Oh right yeah, a lot of times I didn’t even know this was going to happen until right before we went on stage. I was for it, I was like whatever guys. But a lot of times it was funny because I’d be ready to go on stage two minutes before going on stage and I’m like what are you guys going to do? It was spontaneous most of the time. Like that morning somebody had it in their head to do something like that and just did it.
Bryan: You guys were like playing at 9:30 in the morning and I think…
Bryan: Playing 11:00 in the morning and they’re trying to get fucking attention over there and I tink a lot of people had a bunch of crazy ideas, not knowing that that stuff was going to happen
Mother: The media attention we got….
Bryan: I don’t think anybody would regret anything.
Mother: And also at Ozzfest we had Hatebreed on our bus one morning and we were all psyching them up because they were about to go over to Crazytown’s bus and haul ’em out and beat the shit out of them. So they’d tear ass off on our golf cart over to Crazytown’s bus. They were like “Come out here!” and they wouldn’t leave the bus. They were so scared and they’d look out the window and be like “You’re just jealous because you can’t dance!”
Bryan: They said that?
Mother: Yeah, we saw them at the airport and the lead singer Shitty Shit Stick [Seth ‘Shifty Shellshock’ Binzer]
Bryan: His name is Shifty Shit Bags
Mother: Shifty Shitter
Bryan: What does Justin call him?
Mother: Shifty Shit Bag. All I remember is when we did have a hotel, our manager was talking to Crazytown’s manager and their hotel bills were up above ten-thousand dollars. Like they were spending money like they were Puff Daddy. Don’t spend all your money on a fancy hotel suite dude, you’re gonna be wanting that money back. But I’m sure they had their fun. Each to their own, I just thought it was a funny story. I don’t have any hatred towards them, I just love this different lyric I did:
Come my lady, come come my lady, be my butterballs, turkey, gravy. Come my lady, come come my lady, your giblet and your cranberry sauce makes me go crazy.
Bryan & Mother: Wow wow wowwy wow.
New bands on the scene - who are you into?
Mother: Slitheryn [http://www.slitheryn.com]
Bryan: In all honesty the only band I can think of right now is Slitheryn. They’re from Chicago, they’re almost signed and they’re fucking awesome.
Mother: Bobaflex [http://www.bobaflexwarriors.com]. It think they're from West Virginia but they're about ready to be signed, they're really cool.
Music press - where do you go for news and new bands?
Mother: Well MTV not so much anymore. MTV2 headbangers ball I really dig that show. I don't know, a lot of times I'll just go out to shows or I'll ask fans on the internet what they listen to . A lot of times they'll throw up band names I've never heard of and I'll go out and listen to it and it'll be rad, it'll be awesome. So I find out a lot that way. Sometimes it's like they must have been smoking crack when they said they thought this band was good, you know. One of my favourite things is finding stuff I haven't heard and it's really good and it's turning me on. It feels really good to be alive at moments like that.
What does AHC hope to achieve in 2005?
Mother: 2005, what do you say Bryan?
Bryan: Quadruple fucking diamond!
Mother: We're going quad diamond.
Bryan: Diamond record is ten million records. That's not grandiose at all. Check it out 2005 - quad diamond, 2007 - Purple velvet.
Mother: Yeah we're going purple velvet.
Bryan: One billion records.
Mother: I think realistically, all jokes aside I think it would be good to just play out as much as possible for 2005, promote the record and enjoy that. We have a really solid team behind us our label, our manager and our lawyer; we're all on the same page. Everybody wants to just go out and do our job and get everybody excited about the record. Same team fighting for the same cause.
Bryan: As far as what we want to achieve, I would say more than record sales and I think I can speak for everybody in the band. We'd love to fucking sell a million records, who wouldn't? However I think we're more interested in making an impact on people musically and having them respect and appreciate what we're bringing to the table. In addition to that I think we'd rather have the respect of our peers and musicians that we have respect for. I think we got that already but I think we need to fuckin' solidify that. We're more about music.
Mother: But for 2005 it's just to go out and play as many shows and get that high when we're on stage rocking people out and get off stage and be like "I've seen you ten times, I love you guys, I love the new record!". Sometimes it's like "I really didn't like it.", but that's ok because everybody has free will. They can say and believe what they want, it's cool because that's the beautiful part, I mean having all your own beliefs and stuff. The biggest thing I enjoy is when like "this is my little brother he's never seen you guys and he really like's it". That really is a joy.
You’re only doing a short stint in the UK but is there anything you can’t leave home without?