Sunday, March 3, 2024

Interview with Goatwhore

The metal community is going to feel a ravaging wave of terror today as Goatwhore’s new album ’Constricting Rage of the Merciless’ is finally unleashed, and what better way to benchmark it with an interview to find out just what makes these guys really tick… we had a bunch of garlic on hand – just in case!

We at RAMzine caught up with drummer extraordinaire Zack Simmons of the mighty Goatwhore to bend his ear on a few things…goatwhore

RAMzine: Who writes the majority of the tracks or is it a joint effort?

Zack – “Sammy and I put together most of the music and Ben writes all of his lyrics. It’s always a joint effort though. Every idea is taken into consideration and given a chance. Sammy always has an endless supply of riffs so it just comes down to putting them all together and trying little variations of things until we are all satisfied with the outcome”.

RAMzine: We loved the darkness of ‘Constricting Rage of the Merciless’, we said “psychotic is one word for it” – would you agree with that statement?

Zack – “I’d totally agree with that. It has elements of all the older albums but is a lot darker and bloodthirsty overall. We wanted to make an even more aggressive, pissed off metal record and worked hard to give each song its own identity without the album losing its cohesiveness”.

RAMzine: Who is the lyrics master, and when are they most inspired to write?

Zack – “Ben is the master of that realm. He is constantly coming up with ideas and jotting things down. We generally like to write and work on things at night. That’s really when I’m the most awake and creative”.

RAMzine: We said “FBS is an intense and powerfully rampant track which burns ferociously and throws out a cataclysmic riff of hypnotic savagery. This will have fans fired up in the shape of a demonic ritual.” – was that the main aim with FBS?

Zack – “That’s a good description. It’s a pretty straight forward tune that was definitely designed for the live atmosphere. That song will definitely get things moving”.

RAMzine: What do you think of the music labels and music industry as a whole?

Zack – “I think the labels and industry are really struggling to adapt and survive. I think in general, the industry has adopted a ‘quantity over quality’ approach to where they’ll sign just about anyone as long as they know they’ll sell a few copies. There are a lot of bands out there all competing for the same opportunities, so it’s also made it harder for bands to survive as well. Bands seem to be coming and going more frequently these days”.Goatwhore-300x250

RAMzine: Where did the remarkable name Goatwhore come from?

Zack – “It comes from altercation with a very unattractive stripper. A drunken stroke of genius”.

RAMzine: Do any of you have any strange hobbies outside the band?

Zack – “Nothing too strange or out of the ordinary really. I enjoy mountain biking, running, and workout out. Anything to counteract the unhealthy things that happen on the road like crappy food, booze, and lack of sleep”.

RAMzine: How would you say your music differs now from that of your earlier material?

Zack – “I think over time new elements have been added to the sound and we’ve evolved into a more multifaceted band. We’ve come to allow our other influences in like Motorhead and Judas Priest instead of sticking with a straight black metal approach. Our sound has become a melting pot of all the bands we’ve grown up on”.

RAMzine: What are your feelings on illegal music downloads?

Zack – “There are definitely positive and negative aspects to it. I feel it can be beneficial since radio and TV don’t really acknowledge extreme metal. Whether it’s right or wrong, it’s another way people can discover new bands. Maybe they will come out to a show and support”.

RAMzine: What is the most bizarre thing you have encountered when on stage?

Zack – “There was a show in Albuquerque, New Mexico where a lady was spraying us with bug spray while we were playing. I have no idea what the hell she was trying to accomplish. We’ve had suspension artists on stage with us as well. That was pretty interesting to watch while we played”.

RAMzine: What is the most bizarre thing you wish would happen on stage?

Zack – “I kind of wish more that bizarre things don’t happen on stage! Unless it’s a storm of naked girls parading around, I’d rather keep the bizarre stuff for after the show”.

GoatwhoreRAMzine: What is the hardest thing about being in a successful band?

Zack – “There a lot of aspects that are difficult but once you get used to them, it’s really not that bad. The crazy touring schedules and lack of sleep can be tough sometimes. I feel really grateful to be able to do this so all the hard aspects are something I’ve learned to accept and deal with”.

RAMzine: What do you love about music?

Zack – “I love the fact that you can travel anywhere in the world and even if they don’t know what you’re saying, they can still get into what you’re doing. Music is really a universal language”.

RAMzine: Has fame brought any disadvantages?

Zack – “Not really because I don’t consider myself famous at all. I see myself as an equal and feel lucky to be able to do what I do”.

RAMzine: What is the strangest thing any of your fans have done?

Zack – “There were a couple naked girls bathing in pig’s blood and slicing their arms with broken Heineken bottles at a show in Cleveland once. That was pretty strange I suppose”.

RAMzine: If anything what would each of you like to be reincarnated as?

Zack – “I’m not sure if I’d like to come back. I think once it’s done, it’s done. But, if I had to, I’d come back as a reptilian humanoid and work for the government”.

RAMzine: In your words, what can fans expect from ‘Constricting Rage of the Merciless’?

Zack – “10 tracks of ripping, pissed-off heavy metal. It’s a natural progression from where ‘Blood for the Master’ left off but is a lot more varied and bi-polar, if that makes sense. Erik Rutan did a superb job on the production as well”.

RAMzine: Have you any plans for UK shows?

Zack – “We are coming to the UK and Europe in November/December with some other killer bands. Details will be released shortly, I’m sure. Definitely looking forward to it!”

A big thanks to Zack for taking time out to answer our questions and good luck with the new release, which is bound to carve a deep and bloody 666 in the minds of their loyal fans everywhere! – And we didn’t need the garlic!


Video: Goatwhore ‘FBS’ (LYRIC VIDEO)

Pagan Hel
Pagan Hel
RAMzine Senior Writer - Although my fingers don't play frets they write with enthusiasm for metal!!!!!!

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