Birthed from the sunny state of California, As I Lay Dying are hailed as one of the biggest names in metal and having released album number six Awakened earlier this year; we were keen to find out what keeps them as successful as they are and how after ten years together, they've kept and still have an ever growing fan base, drummer Jordan Mancino fills us in.

R13: You're currently touring Europe, what's been the best part so far?
JM: Well, just the shows; the shows have been great, pretty solitary I think tonight's probably going to be close erm...yeah, shows have been awesome and it's great to be here with Trivium. I'm glad that were finally able to tour together over here, you know we did some off date shows from festivals this Summer, and we had such a great time we were like, "gosh we get to tour together" you know, so er yeah...that worked out and so were here. Were psyched to be here, were all so excited to get to the mainland as well.

R13: Are you looking forward to tonight's show here in London?
JM: Yeah, definitely.

R13: You've been around since 2001, what's the secret to your long-time success?
JM: There's no secret really, I think it's's like anything else, sort of like a business or education or whatever it is, it just takes dedication.

R13: Are you pressured to keep things refreshed, because obviously you've been around for quite a while now; are you under a lot of pressure to generate new ideas?
JM: Musically...I mean yeah were always like trying to get better at what we do weather it's like performance, or writing erm...but yeah for us it's important to build on what we already have you know and not like completely change or just go to left field, it's like we want to get better at what we do by keeping that same like...same initial focus, like when we started the band which was just to be a metal band and play heavy music you know and basically bring like as much intensity to our live show and as much intensity in thought and purpose to our recordings.

R13: Being birthed from California, do you feel it's an ideal location to form a heavy metal band?
JM: Not really, I mean actually, I was talking to a fan last night... his dad was a drummer and he was like "there's no metal scene here" but honestly like, there wasn't much of a metal scene in San Diego, at the time when we started, it was like playing maybe 1 or 2 shows, sorry 2/3 shows locally and then hopped on tour and then when we came back it was like "oh where's the band".

R13: Ok, but it's easier to get noticed in America, do you not think?
JM: I don't's kind of hard to say like, I mean there's a lot more bands in America I know that, erm... but yeah maybe, I've really got no idea man, I think good music is good music.

R13: Yeah, it shouldn't really matter where you're from, if the music is good, it's good, isn't that the way it should always be?
JM: Yeah, exactly!

R13: At what age did you know you wanted to be in a band, well specifically drumming?
JM: Thirteen! Yeah, that was like the year, I really started to fall in love with metal and the drumming so, that year I started playing drums and it's like all I wanted to do, I stopped playing baseball, stopped skating well skateboarding but yeah that's all I wanted to do I just sat there and played along with like Pantera and yeah I don't know it just created something within me you know just passion, I mean I didn't know I was going to be sitting here whatever 16 or 17 years later but yeah, I'm stoked to be here.

R13: So you started out dueting with Tim Lambesis, did you guys just click instantly and know from that moment on that you wanted to form a band?
JM: Well, we had known each other through the local scene and er...more or less just acquaintances, and my band had broken up and his band had broken up and I was playing with a punk band at the time that actually I'd found an advertiser in the Reader, but yeah I love playing fast heavy aggressive music you know, I mean obviously my heart was more in metal but that was the only band I could find... I just found it in one of the local like Readers you know that you find in the street and then he called me up and was like "Hey, I want to start a metal band" and he was like "Are you down?" and I was like "Yeah man" so we met and then recorded 2 months later and then toured 2 months after that. We did our own stuff you know, funded our own recordings, and funded our own tours for the first couple of years so...

R13: You played at Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival, can you share the experience with us?
JM: Yeah, amazing, absolutely! Definitely one of the best tours we've ever done I think, it was really cool for us, I think it was...well the last like year or so has been like, almost like a transition for us, it's like we've been around for 10 years now and we've been able to create a fan base around the world and been able to connect with that fan base and merge with that fan base, erm...and yeah there's a lot of newer bands coming up and you know at that point you start to wonder if you're still relevant.

R13: Yeah, do you ever feel like there's slight competition; with all these new bands emerging?
JM: Not really, I mean I think there was a question you know, there was like I guess like...alright, we'll see how relevant we are and we did Mayhem and it was amazing! It was cool because we kind of started to feel this transition in to like... we're starting to become like an older generation to the younger bands but you know, for us it was cool because you have the veteran bands like Motorhead, Slayer and Anthrax, so we just fell right in the middle there and you know we were still able to, connect I guess with the younger audience and also connect with the older audience, so like all these older metal head dudes, like Motorhead shirts and Maiden shirts and Slayer shirts coming through our signing line, you know it was cool, it felt like a very important tour for us because basically like we're still here, we're still doing this and our fans are still coming out even more so than they ever have and so man... we're gonna keep shredding (laughs).

R13: I was going to say fans probably look up to you more because you have been around for so long and you're still going?
JM: Yeah, and I think for bands like us and Trivium, you know, we've all been around for a while and all kind of came up with the Metalcore scene and rose to the water with other bands and we've both been able to continue on even with a lot of other bands, who have broken up now or whatever else happened, but you know it's a really cool feeling for us.

R13: What do you love best about touring overseas?
JM: Just love it (Laughs). I just love being in a different place every day, its know it's a cool experience. I just love being on the road, waking up in different places every day, the only thing I do hate is flying. I hate flying and I hate aeroplanes and I do a lot of that, which is horse shit, but it's definitely worth it.

R13: Your sixth album Awakened was released only last month, has it gained the response you were hoping for, or more?
JM: Yeah definitely more, you know...yeah I think, it's definitely connected with people, connected with our fans and a lot of new fans as well.

R13: Is that important to you as a band, to obviously get fans to connect to you musically?
JM: Yeah, I think its...I mean, they're the ones who give us the support, you know for so many years, so it's important to us to keep connecting with them and like I said, to build on that connection. It's definitely a give and a take on both ends, I mean with this record, we were super excited because we felt like we were able to successfully incorporate all the different sides of metal that we like produce in every single song.

R13: You worked with punks finest producer, Bill Stevenson; do you feel that made a lot of difference to this record?
JM: Working with Bill was great, even though we're a metal band, working with Bill was still a very exciting thing for us...obviously, being fans of his bands who are awesome and just him as a producer we felt like it was a cool change for us.

R13: Do you feel it changed your sound, compared to your last albums?
JM: No, I think it kind of gave us, well it refreshed us and it was able to push us in directions that we've never been before but then also bring us back to some of our roots you know...yeah it was great! A lot of bands try to work with producers a little outside of the box, you know when you get to a certain point in your career and you think "I need a change" or "I need to do something different" but for us, it felt like it was outside the box, but not too far out so yeah it was perfect.

R13: Did you receive a lot of support from your record label, Metal Blade; I mean you have been with them quite a while now, have you thought about switching?
JM: No I mean it's definitely been a cool partnership for a long time and for them it's a label, you know...they've grown as we've grown. It's been cool for us to just stick with them I guess, as independent artists who are used to having control and just doing things themselves, you know Metal Blade are very honest and very genuine about everything they put out and everything that they support.

R13: After 10 years, did you feel that Awakened was a bigger project for you?
JM: Yeah, we worked on the album a long time I mean all the songs were written before we got in the studio, we didn't write anything in the studio...we kind of messed arrangements and stuff like that but the songs themselves were done beforehand so we had a vibe of how the album would be but you never really know until it's completely done, I mean like the way we recorded it I mean we did it in different locations...I was out in Colorado recording drums and once I was done with that I started travelling back and so yeah I actually didn't really hear everything together like the rough mixes until everything was totally done, so when I popped in and heard it for the first time I was like "Wow", it's a really cool feeling.

R13: Does being Christians affect your music lyrically?
JM: Yeah I think it does, it affects us all as individuals and for us the important thing is, I mean everybody has their own path or journey so to speak and we all have like a foundation based on like a desire for knowledge, a desire for truth you know and I think from there that's where we get our inspiration...we're inspired by the realities of this world and experiences in our own personal lives.