Exclusive interview for hellfest.fr : AGORAPHOBIC NOSEBLEED
“At Hellfest our drummer will be doing private clinics – half hour sessions. Five thousand dollars a session!” – Scott Hull – 11/15/2015
How the fuck are you guys?
Richard: Fucking great!
Scott: We’re so good we’re feeding back! How are you?
I’m not drunk enough but y’know…
Scott: You’ve got to long game it man!
What are your general drinking strategies at festivals?
Scott: It matters what we’re day we’re playing. If we’re playing I don’t drink until half an hour before, then a shitload on stage and then after the gloves are off.
Richard: I’m pretty much the same way. My strategy is to get super drunk the night before so I don’t feel like drinking the day of.
John: I just try to stay pretty sober.
Richard: I’m a lightweight so I try not to drink on stage either.
Scott: He drinks stuff when nobodies looking.
Richard: I do lots of stuff when nobodies looking.
Scott: Not in my room you don’t!
What do you do when nobodies looking?
Scott: Yeah what do you do? You’re leading the witness here! You’re giving him all the questions!
John: Next question! (laughter)
Scott: How about that body you buried?
Richard: I’ll bury another in a minute!
Scott: How about those drugs you were on? How’s the child porn rap going?
John: Too soon?
To what extent does casual alcoholism impact your work?
Scott: I drink at almost every practice. It depends what you mean by that.
Richard: Is any drinking alcoholism?
Scott: A lot of people think so.
Richard: I wouldn’t call any of those people friends! I would question their definition!
John: I don’t think it’s ever gotten in the way luckily and I think that’s my definition of alcoholism. Luckily it hasn’t done that yet. I’ve been drunk on stage for Pig Destroyer a couple of times and that was weird.
Scott: I could never be sober on stage for Pig Destroyer – that would fuck up the performance. I’m way too self-conscious and hyper.
John: You don’t get drunk either…
Scott: I don’t, but if I don’t have anything to chill me out…
Richard: I haven’t through practice learned how to just take the edge off and remain in control so I try to stay sober.
Scott: You’ll get a little more comfortable.
John: You’ve only done two shows. Once we get a few shows under our belt.
On that note – Hellfest. Why did you decide to play Hellfest as opposed to Wacken or something?
Scott: They wanted us last year and its really up to promoters and booking agents.
John: It depends on who submits an author. Pig Destroyer has played it twice and it was awesome. It’s a huge event but still personable. It’s a cool event and you can see a lot of cool bands. When we announced we were playing Maryland Deathfest we got a whole slew of offers for other festivals before committing to anything else. I didn’t want to have commitments if it was a dog shit show. We got through Maryland Deathfest and then started to accept offers.
Richard: I didn’t want to be involved in a dog shit show either!
Scott: You’ve been involved in a couple! No offense buddy!
John: Things have been going so well though that when Hellfest came up with an offer it seemed right.
So you’re going to maintain the two shows a year deal?
John: I don’t know what we’re going to do. I don’t want to play a shitload of shows until we have a new CD out When we actually get a new CD out we’ll play smaller shows. I don’t want to do that until we get something done.
I wanted to ask about the drum machine drum solo…
Scott: That was totally improvised! We didn’t know he was going to do it – he just did it!
John: It was awesome – a great solo.
Richard: Why are drum machines always a “he”?
Scott: For real! Not saying that ours isn’t a “he”..
So you’re saying your drum machine is male?
Scott: But it could be female!
How do you sex a drum machine? How do you determine its gender?
John: We need to come up with a backstory for it. Name it, give it a Wikipedia page. Determine all that.
Richard: It’s like Godflesh, the drums would always be credited as ‘Machines’.
Scott: Was it?
John: I think on a few records it was.
Scott: We haven’t given it too much thought, but we will now! (laughter)
Richard: Great question.
How do you feel about the cult of Agoraphobic Nosebleed fans?
Richard: It’s crazy. It would never enter my mind that I would play in a band that people would like enough to get a tattoo of. I’ve got a Voivod tattoo but to be on the receiving end is weird.
Scott: It’s pretty awesome. When you don’t do shows very often you build a high demand. But last night with Phil Anselmo and Kirk Windstein rocking out that blows me away. We did Agoraphobic Nosebleed as a personal thing, we would just write the songs and get them pressed. The entire thing happens between you and the person listening at home. For a very long time we thought, “That’s the only space in which the band exists” and definitely not out blathering about stuff like we do now. But we’ve spent so much time doing it we want to play live. I had no idea that we were so popular because we never go out.
Richard: A lot of our fans are very extreme. Especially in terms of their personality. Not to say you need to be extreme to get a tattoo but the mails we get suggest we attract a certain type of fanatic.
What do you guys love so much about music?
Richard: You’ve heard this before, but we need a creative outlet to express ourselves. If I could never play guitar or sing again I’d feel like I have something bottled up.
Scott: I think I’m in the happiest in life in general, asides from being with my wife and kids, is when I’m in the studio creating something. That’s the most positive thing I get. It’s kind of like having a kid every time you put out a CD. I can’t imagine doing this forever but I can’t imagine not doing it. I’ll probably be an old dude not knowing when you quit.
Richard: I think it’s important to age gracefully and know your limits as you get older. I think it can be done but you have to approach it with grace.
John: I’m more into the live aspect of music and I love the traveling and camaraderie. These festivals are like family reunions. You see old friends. That’s my personal favorite thing. Running around these big fests and hanging out with the homies.
Any final words of wisdom?
John: Don’t smoke in bed.
Scott: Be nice to your mom. At Hellfest our drummer will be doing private clinics – half hour sessions. Five thousand dollars a session! (laughter)
Richard: One of the many reasons I’m looking forward to Hellfest is because I’ve never played France before!
Scott: You’re going to see Paris for ten minutes and then you’re going to see the country!
Richard: I’ll take what I can get!
Scott: We can have some good wine!
Interview: Matt Bacon
Housecore Horror Fest, Austin, TX – 11/15/2015
Many thanks to Liz Ciavarella (Earsplit)