Phoner-interview about the
upcoming tour in Europe
Annihilator @ MySpace
Hi Jeff, how are you?
I am okay, thanks and how are you?
I am okay, thanks. We got this little interview because of the upcoming European tour of Annihilator.
Are you excited for this upcoming tour? But I think the answer will be yes if I listen to your reaction.
Yes, it did take a while because we’ve done a lot supporting gigs for other bands, special guest tours and rockweekends this last summer. Still it is not the same as playing shows of 75 minutes for big audience when you have to play in front of 300 up till 1.500 people.
It is the same if you are in rehearsal and it is really cool for a lot of musicians to play in front of a huge audience but for me the best thing is to play for smaller crowds. It is more fun, you know. I know from experience that it’s more fun for the fans and much more relaxing because they can see and talk to you between the songs.
For Carlos and Alberto it is the first time they’ve go on tour with Annihilator, did you need to rehearse a lot?
Just a little bit, yeah. Although they did the Hellfest in June, that was their first show with us. They were nervous and we were nervous because it was the first show in 2 years. We had practice for about 10 days before Hellfest and that has been hard work. So we went home for 2 weeks and did rehearse for 5 – 6 days more because we had to go back to Germany to do a lot of festivals in the whole month of July. I can say it went very well. The best practice is on stage in front of a lot of people. It has been a really perfect rehearsal for the upcoming headlining tour. So we will go back to Germany before the tour starts and will do 5 more rehearsals at our home-base in Frankfurt so then we will know how we all play and how to get along with each other. It’s all part of playing in Annihilator but we are ready to have FUN.
You will play songs from the new album Annihilator but will you also play some of the old stuff as well?
Yes, we will. We will even play some songs that we never played before from the middle of our career. For instance, like some stuff from the Joe Comeau period of our Carnival Diablos album like the song Time Bomb. So yes, we bring some stuff in and it is hard sometimes. We also do the song 21 which I haven’t played since the King Of The Kill tour and also the song Tricks And Traps of the album Remains from 1997 and yeah we also definitely try to have fun with our new songs.
Will there be a support act or is this only an Annihilator show?
Well, it will be just Annihilator but we want to bring along a couple of bands that are not so well-known but need some exposure. There’s a good UK band I want to bring along and this has been confirmed today. We got one and we figure they can share the tourbus with other band so we are looking to a few other bands.
In the past Annihilator did co-headlining tours with bands like Testament, Overkill, Nevermore. We also did special guest-tours with Trivium. This has been fantastic because at those times we didn’t sell too many records and were not that popular in so many countries. But now we got a lot of records that had sold really well. It was time to do our own shows and again it doesn’t matter to play for 200 or 300 people or 5000 like in Greece. I know that will happen, some shows will be sold out and some shows will not because Annihilator is popular in some countries but not in all.
Yes, I know , in some countries they will get to see Annihilator for the first time because in the early years the music was forbidden and now they can come to see the shows as well.
Yeah for sure, it is good finally to do your own shows after these few years.
This will be leg 1 of the tour. Or will this be the European part and later you will do the American and South American tour?
Well no, we don’t got a label in America that wants to support us. So until there will be a honest label to sign us we can’t do any shows in the US. So we’ve decided to wait. When there will be a label who will sign us we will be going crazy we go mad, get loose in the US. We are talking to promoters in South America and got Australia and Japan online, you know, things like that. We did Hellfest - France in June this year and a lot of festivals and some shows in July in Europe. The headline-tour starts in Paris - France and many other countries and will take 2 months but they still add shows, so it will be a long tour in Europe.
After this tour around the end of November I will take time to relax for a few weeks and being with my family until Christmas. Then I am thinking to do a guitar-clinics tour in Europe for one or two months. There is a musicschool-chain who got 80 different schools all over Europe and I know the boss and he asked me if I wanted to do some clinics at these schools for a few hours a day. That is a very positive thing I can do. I will have the chance to talk to 16 till 19 year old students and set a good example. I can be a positive role-model to them because I don’t drink, don’t do drugs, don’t smoke cigarettes and I’m a honest person. I also think I can get a lot of people into music and give them good advice.
After that I then come back at springtime and do some shows with bigger bands as support-act for a few weeks. We will see if Metallica or Rammstein or bands like that wants to take us on tour. If that works out for a few weeks, would be great. Next summer we want to come back to Europe again. Our agent is very busy to book us on every festival he can book, so I think I’ll be in Europe all summer long next year.
Wow, do you need a lot of rest because you seem to be a very busy man?
Oh no, that‘s the good thing of not having a good US label. We can take some time of, away from each other, so we won’t get sick of each other when we are on tour, haha. There are even some times I don’t talk to my singer and friend Dave Padden for 2 or 3 months. Once in a while I talk to him on the phone or maybe by email or textmessage. He has his life and I have mine and I believe that’s the success to why it lasts so long. We need to get a break in between of the crazy madness of touring and recording.
When I’m on break of touring I’ve got to work in my own studio where I mix for other bands and I also manage some bands. I even help out some bands with writing solo’s for them and I’ll do some guitar-clinics in Europe (November 2010) for Epiphone guitars for 2 hours.
So there are a lot of things I do in between and it is great because it all are positive things and some even make money and that is a rare thing in the music biz, right. So no, I don’t need a lot of rest, I’d like to stay busy.
Oh okay, you like to stay busy. Well it is better to do something and to stay busy then doing nothing and getting tired of yourself and everybody around you.
Yeah sure, I feel all right by staying busy. If I got any time left I need to write music because I’ve written and write all the music for all the Annihilator records. This takes more time than one week to write those albums. It takes me at least 3 months to write and that’s because if I have a writing-partner, another guitar player or a drummer to write along with me, it takes time because of the long distances. Otherwise I’m sure it would go faster.
Like Dave (my singer), he lives far away from me in Canada because I’m on the east and he’s in the west. The distance is huge, it takes a 6 hour plane trip for him to come over here. We only come together to record the albums. Than he comes in a little bit early to co-write some of the lyrics for some of the songs I haven’t finished. It is a strange way but it is good.
Don’t you find it a pity you´ll do one show in Holland and it is not around Amsterdam?
It was the first thing I said to my agency, I want to do a show in Eindhoven at the Dynamo Club or some club in Amsterdam. I think part of the reason we do 1 show in Uden is because our tour is 2 months long. So we can play 2 more Dutch shows but not this time. I don’t think there will be enough room in our tour schedule to play all the cities we wanted to play. So maybe we come back again to Holland at the next tour and do different cities.
Well I hope that will be possible to do so in the near future.
Well the key is that you are helping me with spreading the word because if there will be not enough people to go to the shows, the promoters will not book us at these cities. We will see what happens so far we get good reactions. It is hard for bands like Annihilator to tour as headliner with no big names to co-headline. But I don’t mind, it will be fun!!!
I like to thank you and we will meet each other on tour in October.