R13 How's the tour going?
JBAwesome, we played London last night, Manchester tonight and Yoevil tomorrow. It's been great, the UK part of a tour has always been fun.
R13 How long are you on tour for?
JBWe're in Europe for about two and a half weeks. First we're here for a couple of days and then we go to Portugal and Spain and so on, then we're home for about a week then we're headed to Brazil and South America.
R13 Have you already toured the states?
JBWe did a tour a couple of months ago, it was when the record came out and we'll probably do another tour later on. The record is pretty new so we're touring constantly.
R13 Europe isn't renowned for it's cutting edge metal and hardcore scene, how well are you going down in Europe?
JBIn France we have great shows, Eastern Europe, Poland and Slovania. Poland was awesome, we always play a ton of shows in Germany, we've always come here with other bands and it's fun, we're down to play wherever.
R13 After chatting with Bleeding Through I got the inclination that they're not as popular in Scandinavia, have you had many problems breaking there?
JBWe do ok I think, we've played an awesome show in Melbourne, Sweden and a great show in Copenhagen in Denmark, it's different for every band.
R13 Are you planning any festivals this year?
JBYes definitely, I think we're coming back with Damnation AD and Ringworm for two weeks, I don't know which festivals, we're trying to put it together now. We were supposed to come last summer with Napalm Death to do a few tours but it fell apart at the last minute. We're trying to get as many festivals in as we can.
R13 How do you find the UK?
JBI think it's awesome to hear people speaking English (laughs), the UK is always the best part of a tour. Our old band Indecision came here in 1996 and it was just great, made a lot of friends, London is always incredible. It sucks when the UK is at the start of a tour because then we can't look forward to it.
R13 What kind of shows do you prefer to play? The big arenas or the small clubs?
JBI don't really care, one night we'll be playing a giant amphitheatre and the next night we'll be playing a place no bigger than this kitchen, but I like that, I like the fact we can do either. The smaller more intimate shows are usually more memorable, the fans of packed in and on top of each other. The large shows are good as well because you can play to lots more faces. Every day is something different, we'll get to a place and think 'ah! whatever.'
R13 How are the sales of 'Merciless' coming along?
JBSo far so good I guess, we don't really ask, we think, 'ah whatever.' If people are coming out to the shows that's fine and we assume it's doing ok.
R13 How many units of your last album 'Our lady of Annihilation' did you shift?
JBIn the US it sold about 30,000, I'm not sure what it sold in the UK. We never ask, we'd be disappointed, 'oh you sold 4 copies', 'ah whatever.' The whole industry part of it matters to the record company but to us it's more about the kids coming to the shows, having a good time, knowing the words, and when we come back there are more people, I then assume the record is doing ok. As long as I have enough to pay the rent, buy dog food and whatever.
R13 In your biography it states you are Gothan City Hardcore, what is Gotham City Hardcore?
JBWhen this band started we thought, everyone puts New York Hardcore and we decided to Gotham City Hardcore instead. People ask us, 'Where's Gotham City' and I say it's fucking New York, it's just an alias.
R13 The band was formed from the off-cuts of indecision, is it fair to say that your new album Merciless is the first album you've released that is primarily Most Precious Blood?
JBI think with the turn around in hardcore over the last few years, there are more and more people who don't remember who Indecision were. With us being on Road Runner there must be a lot of kids who think we're a fresh new act and that's fine. We don't' get pissed about it, it happens a lot, we've all been doing this for twelve years and the more time that passes by the more the band becomes its own thing by default. When Indecision broke up and Most Precious Blood started up a couple of months later I can see why people thought it was the same thing with a new name. Over time we've formed into our own style and our own thing, it's cool though because we're doing it all over again. Indecision were around for about seven years and we've been doing this for about five or six, it's cool to have these many lives I guess.
R13 Being on Road Runner now, who are usually cutting edge metal, there could be a tendency to be lumped into a scene, do you feel part of a scene?
JBHardcore, yeah, there's no doubt about it.
R13 But what about all the other offshoots such as scream-core, metal-core, emo-core?
JBFuck all that shit, it's all rock and roll man. We might not sound like Minor Threat or Black Flag or Agnostic Front, but we're definitely a Hardcore band, I don't think anything should come before 'core' except for 'hard.'
R13 If you were to be shoved into a scene, would you see that as a good thing or a band thing?
JBWhatever, it's just silly. I'd rather people not know what we are to categorise us. We've always been not metal enough for the real metal head dudes, not old school punk enough for the traditional hardcore fans. It's good though because it just filters out all those people who are into us.
R13 Is it one of your fears that you'll be put into a category?
JBI think people want to put it all in a box, it's like, 'ok, I've got my metal-core here, I've got my emo here.' It's silly because if you like it, you like it. I listen to Sick of it all and Siouxsie and the Banshees or Kraftwork and Aphex Twins.
R13 You're confident your hardcore roots will last?
JBOh Yeah, we're comfortable enough to try a few different things, you know with the electronic thing, I think the five of us know what Most Precious Blood is supposed to be.
R13 I was going to ask you about samples, keyboards and the electronics, are you using it to flesh out the sound of Most Precious Blood?
JBI think it's something we always wanted to do, we all like a lot of electronic music an all that, which is why we really like the new album because we got around to trying it. I don't think the next album is going to be a straight up techno album or anything but we're trying make it work because we all listen to different stuff and it's difficult to get everyone's influences in there. We want to be hardcore with some extra bits in there, so the kids who listen to us will expect the unexpected and know we're not going bring out the same album we did before. We're trying to keep it a little different to stop it from becoming boring, the main thing with this band is that we try to make records that we want to listen to, you know, a record that I can sit down and listen to as if it was music by a stranger. But at the same time we are not going to do it for the sake of doing it, we'll try some electronic stuff and if it works then great we'll leave it in.
R13 How much of the writing process are you involved in?
JBMusic, I write almost 100% of it. Lyrics are almost all Rob and he and I collaborate here and there. Our drummer would come with some ideas, he'd go back to Washington and email some drum tracks and I'd sit there in my room and get down some guitars. When we actually came to record this time we had a whole idea of what we wanted to do and it made it a whole lot easier. It was exciting to do it like that and I think we'll do it that way again. I would just sit in my room all day and all night in my boxer shorts with my guitar, it's a lot better than all going into the studio and being against the clock especially if you're trying something new. So when we record we can go in, do it, and get the hell out of there.
R13 So you don't write as a band?
JBToo many cooks in the kitchen you know, usually myself and Colin come up with the music and Rachel adds her guitar parts over what's already been written, but when you have that many people in a room it's too much. One time Rachel came to rehearsal with a whole song written and we learned it, it's way easier that way, when you have so many people shouting then nothing gets done.
R13 How do you record?
JBWe do the drums first and build from there. As soon as there was enough of the track recorded Rob would do his vocals. It's pretty quick, it only takes a couple of weeks.
R13 Some bands take 2,3 even four years to bring out a new album.
JBFuck that, most of the records we've done have taken a month and a half, tops, anything more than that then I think, what the hell do you do? We come from the world were bands, before they got a record contract, had to pay to do a recording, so when you went into the studio you've got to be ready to go. Even though we're not paying for it anymore, I still have that mentality in my head. I don't want to spend three hours doing the same part.
R13 When you started Most Precious Blood you started from the beginning, doing demos and small gigs, was this intentional?
JBTotally, people knew us as the off cuts of a different band and we didn't want that to be out selling point. We didn't want favours from people just because it had dudes from other bands, that's really lame, so we did it the old fashioned way.
R13 How's the tour going?