18 January 2018

Crypt Sermon

Brooks Wilson – Saturday 16 June 2017

“We aren’t Rob Zombie fans but wanted to see a big crazy show. I think it would be fun to see pyro and all that stuff. That’s one of the issues with a doom band” – Brooks Wilson

How the hell are you?

I’m well I think I’m the most rested of the band right now. We traveled like 28 hours to get here. We were at the Nantes station waiting for the last train and it never showed up. We saw all these metalheads waiting on this train, and then we realized that at that point we had been traveling at 28 hours. Finally we got a shuttle. We were well taken care from but it came all the way from Clisson to get us. At that point we were about to collapse from exhaustion. I’m the only one feeling okay now. The guys were trying to be troopers and hang, they all went to see Rob Zombie. We aren’t Rob Zombie fans but wanted to see a big crazy show. I think it would be fun to see pyro and all that stuff. That’s one of the issues with a doom band. Of course that’s something we want to do since we are a doom band who literally only play fests.


So this is your first Euro fest…

This is my first time in Europe! This is not Steve’s first time, he just played a festival as a fill in guitar player for Eternal Champion at Keep It True. He kind of gave me a crash course in what to expect, especially because I was super nervous and leaving my kid is always a thing.


Obviously this is the biggest crowd you’ve ever played by a lot…. did you have to adapt your stage presence?

I think it’s the same approach in any environment. It’s defined by connecting with people and pull them into it. A lot of the engagement happens on any size stage through big movements. It’s not a secret. Look at the great performers, they are looking at people and pulling them in. I can’t believe we went from hanging out in basements to doing something like this!


How do you specifically try to connect with people?

That’s an interesting one. If they already know the words you can sort of single people out. Even if they are throwing the horns or starting to get into it you can get them to join in with you. Every great performance I’ve ever seen the band is loving it. We’ve got great musicians who are enthusiastic about playing. I think that’s going to be a key part of any live show. It comes from a lot of traditional heavy metal and rock. Of course we are also interested to some degree in pop music and that has a lot of really theatrical elements. This community often spurns that but it’s fun to be a part of the audience for those shows and it’s fun to perform those sorts of things.


Well I think everyone remembers the first time they were in a band and a moshpit started…

Right! It’s like “I did this!” I remember we were in a grindcore band, that is Steve and I, we didn’t even have an album and people were enthused and became moshing and that was one of our first experiences to be like ‘maybe we are on to something’ as musical partners and it was a rewarding experience. I’ve been in bands with Steve for a long fucking time and some weren’t as good as this one!


So you have collared tips on your boots and a bolo tie, where does the midwestern look come from?

We’ve talked about this as a band. The aesthetic we are trying to move into is mixing European and American aspects. That really comes out on stage. I find the older look a band like Motorhead has mixing a biker look with Western elements to be really cool. I grew up in the south and I think there’s an element of growing up in a culture that raises you to enjoy country music is interesting. I’ve been wearing cowboy boots in bands since I started making music. I’m the only one from the south and the informs me, as much as being raised in the church and having certain community values that come from the southeastern United States. People are into getting together with friends and having a good time because there’s not a whole bunch else to do.


Does that Christian background inform the music?

I think I can speak with a good bit of authority on the topic of the influence of Christianity on the scene. I grew up really religious and it has been a continuing fascination. It informs a lot of cultures around the world and they are really shaped by it. It’s really spread really well. I’m interested in using that imagery but I don’t think we are always going to use that. We might lean into it harder in the future but we are going to be ready to move past it.


Does your daughter influence your music?

Being a father has impacted me lyrically. I don’t think she’s influenced my music necessarily. But having a child changes your perspective. It can feed a lot of ideas. It gives you new ideas for using language. I’m involved in early childhood education so it’s not entirely foreign to me but there is value in fatherhood. It’s an incredible thing.

Interview: Matt Bacon.