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Doc Coyle – Guitar for God Forbid

Date: 08/06/07
Interviewed By: Rich Catino



1. How far along is the DVD and when should it be released?

DOC: Yup we are working on that right now. Dave Brobsky is working on the concert footage right now, he did our “End of the World” and “Chains of Humanity” videos. He did the DVD for Anthrax when they recorded the reunion show. But we have a much better looking concert with a lot more lights and cameras and this woman Denise Kariky shot our documentary footage for it, she did the documentary for Killswitch (Engage) and the Superjoint Ritual live at CBGB also. So her work for us is coming along good.

We finished the audio a few weeks ago and it sounds great. That’s definitely something you need to spend a lot of time and energy on you know.

2. Is it going to be in 5.1 surround sound?

DOC: You know I think it was only done for stereo so I think I’m gonna have to look into the 5.1.

3. Tell us about the bonus features for the DVD.

DOC: Well we have the documentary, the God Forbid TV stuff from our website, all our videos. We don’t want to make it too cliché. We are more trying to tell a bit more of our story, like the personality of the guys instead of just how hard we like to party, you know. Trying to do the bonus stuff a little differently.

4. Do you see God Forbid as one of the originators of the Metalcore sound?

DOC: I think we were definitely at least part of the first wave of American bands, you know I kind of hate that term “metalcore”, but at the time in the late nineties when we were coming up there weren’t that many bands from the States playing real heavy metal. You know at the time there was a lot of “Numetal” which was really big, and we came from more of the hardcore scene. There was us, Shadows Fall, Lamb of God, Killswitch, Trivium, all started out playing with more of a hardcore sound and playing hardcore shows. You know we had that hardcore vibe, mixed a little with the European metal sound, mixed with the old school thrash like Metallica, Sepultura, Slayer, Pantera, stuff like that. I think we were just trying to bring that type of metal that initially got us all into Heavy Metal.

5. Where do you think that whole Metalcore sound has gone in 2007?

DOC: Really I think it has blossomed quite a bit. I mean we are certainly not as big as some of the other bands I have mentioned (Shadows Fall, Lamb of God, Killswitch, Trivium), but those are the current almost mainstream metal bands out there. I think if you are making something that’s good enough people will eventually grab onto it, and if its promoted properly and if you get on the right tours and people can actually hear it then people will buy it. Its really no surprise to me how successful it has become. It is heavy music that people can get into it because its about writing good songs with something that’s catchy and its not about just being fast, heavy and underground just to prove that you can be underground, you know what I mean. Its about just writing stuff that metalheads will enjoy.

6. Do you think this sound has caught on more here or over seas?

DOC: The thing about Europe is that Heavy Metal never went away like in the nineties when America was seeing all the hard rock trends like Numetal, Rap Rock, Alternative, Grunge, come and go. Bands like Anthrax Slayer, their record and concert sales never went down in Europe like they did here in the States. America is a lot about trends and its all about the radio and MTV, it’s the flavor of the week. European culture, at least when it comes to Heavy Metal, is very dedicated and loyal and not wavering. I mean Europe definitely has the bigger better festivals, we have Ozzfest, Sounds of the Underground. Plus the European fests have much more diverse lineups also. I think unfortunately in the States if you come up with a festival with Hard Rock/Heavy Metal bands if you make it too diverse with the sounds it can work against you, I don’t know why that is. I think here you have to stream line the fests more.

7. Are you guys more metalheads or hardcore guys?

DOC: O definitely metalheads all the way. I mean we fell into the hardcore scene really because that was the place where you really didn’t have to sell tickets. A lot of bands came out of the scene like Dillinger Escape Plan, Candiria, Overcast, Shadows Fall, Killswitch. There was a band here called For The Love Of who were really influencial to us when we were coming up. But I think they were always more on the metal side than hardcore. I think the hardcore scene was always less about how you sounded and more about your attitude and how you presented yourself. You could be playing straight ahead metal but if you looked like and acted like a hardcore band than that’s what you were to people. We always liked the comradary of it and it wasn’t about being a rock star or anything. Fans that meet us find it hard to believe how down to earth we are and how easy it is to just sit down and have a beer with us, you know.

8. What has been the best tour you have been part of so far?

DOC: Ozzfest definitely. It was the biggest tour with the most exposure. Plus we played with Black Sabbath, the first metal band of all time, Judas Priest the Metal Gods, Slayer, Slipknot, Hatebreed one of the most influencial hardcore bands. Plus we got to do many off dates with Slipknot, Slayer and Hatebreed doing arenas. It really brought a lot of confidence to the band and we went over really well overall. Unfortunately we haven’t been able to land on a tour like that since. We are a heavy band but we do have melody in our music. So I think it makes us really appealing to those types of fans and also makes us able to play with heavy bands like the ones we played Ozzfset with.

See I think a lot of bands, and I don’t want to mention names, talked a lot of shit about Ozzfest and didn’t appreciate what the festival did for them. So some of the bands from the hardcore scene who play for their Hot Topic fans they I think looked down upon some of those Ozzfest fans and some of the bands.

9. Do you find with each record does God Forbid become a bigger band?

DOC: Yeah I think so I can see that. Our last two albums in the States kind of sold the same. But over seas our last album “Constitution of Treason” and “Gone Forever” sold more. I think with that now we can pick and choose a little more what type of tours and bills we want to be part of. When we are not on the road its kind of tough because the money is really not coming in but at least when it comes to releasing albums and touring it has gradually become better and financially more successful for us. And I think we have been rather consistent with our releases, always trying to challenge ourselves and our fans so we don’t repeat ourselves too much.

10. Have you started working on the next record?

DOC: Yeah we have I am actually at home working on it right now. My brother, who is our other guitar player, he does a lot of the writing, has not really been around much and he will be coming home soon. I’ve been doing a lot of the writing myself. But I think with every two albums we hit a bump so I think the next record is going to be a pivotal time for us. We need to try something different and move forward again with the next one. We don’t want to repeat ourselves if we can so its very stressful and challenging for us.

11. So if that’s the case, what would you like to do differently for the new album?

DOC: I don’t know really we are not that far along in the writing. I know lately I have been listening to a lot of Black Metal music like Dimmu Borgir, and I would like to fuse some more of that dark ambient stuff into the music. Get a little bit deeper with the music. But I don’t know because you really don’t know what’s to be until you really start playing and composing the music. We really don’t want to be just another metal band because there are just so many out there today and its very easy to be lumped in as just another band.

I think with heavy music people tend to lump it all into a category and sometimes they just get the categories all wrong, they just don’t know how to really identify with a sound. I know when “Gone Forever” came out a lot of people called it part of the New Wave of American Heavy Metal. And I thought that was cool and they lumped us in with Shadows Fall, Killswitch, All That Remains, Chimaira, you know cool bands. And then the next record comes around and the “metalcore” term is being thrown around a lot. But I thought some of the bands the media thought were “metalcore” were not like us so the term becomes misleading. Like we did a headlining tour with Caliban, It Dies Today, and Full Blown Chaos and I consider those bands more of your prototypical Metalcore bands and it was obvious. There were your long hair metalheads coming to see us and then you had the kids wearing Hot Topic clothes with girly jeans, spiky hair and eye liner (laughs). I think we may have some things in common with them but we are different.

12. I consider God Forbid more of a thrash band really.

DOC: Yeah I think so also, but if you think about it what is thrash, its Heavy Metal and Punk Rock and that’s kind of what Metalcore is.

13. Well I think what is a clear difference between Thrash and Metalcore is that the originators of Thrash like early Metallica, Anthrax, Megadeth, Testament, Overkill, Slayer, never had to rely on screaming and yelling all the time for the verses and chorus. They did it occasionally to accent a word or a lyrical line.

Metalcore predominantly uses harsh vocals with very little to no melody. With Thrash there is much more singing involved.

DOC: Yeah that’s true but that’s how everyone played Thrash in the 80’s no one really screamed. It wasn’t until Pantera who made screaming normal really, and Sepultura, Fear Factory and Machine Head were doing the harsher vocals for years. Its just a difficult line to make and I don’t think the press should throw bands into these genres just haphazardly, you know. I’ve noticed that many people have, especially like I said even though our fans are metalheads, a lot of times when we do straight up metal tours I think we face very skeptical crowds coming in to see us because they are told we are one thing when we are something else.

14. Do you see more melody coming into God Forbid’s music for the next album?

DOC: I don’t know really it has to fit and sound right for the part of the music. The last album “Constitution of Treason” really had a lot of melody, maybe 40% of it. So maybe for the next album I think we may go a little heavier, but then again the music is going to dictate where we take the melody. My brother does a lot of the singing so that’s kinda his thing. We really have to see what happens when we get together as a band.

15. Does everyone in the band get involved in the writing process at some point?

DOC: I probably write most of the riffs and do a lot of the arranging but we all work together on the songs. We jam together and fuck around and out of that we can come up with a song together as a band. So at some point everyone does get their hands involved on how the songs will turn out.

16. If you had the opportunity to pick the lineup for your dream Heavy Metal festival who would you include?

DOC: O man, you know Metallica has to headline.

17. Well now does Metallica get to choose from their whole catalogue or just from the self titled “Black Album” and backwards (which is what I would want)?

DOC: Well I am a Metallica fan I pretty much like everything, well except “St. Anger”, I even like the “Load” albums I think they are great rock albums. I mean they are still Metallica. Gotta get Megadeth on the festival, Tool, we have to play of course, an At The Gates and Carcass reunion, In Flames, Opeth, Lamb of God, Machine Head, Hatebreed, Sepultura reunion, Sevendust.

18. Future God Forbid touring plans?

DOC: Well right now we are trying to get the DVD done and out for November and we are looking at a US tour soon after. We kind of keep getting offers like we just got an offer for a Devildriver European run for September. We really like being on the road and anytime we get a good opportunity to be part of a good tour we like to do it. We may do a tour or two before the end of the year and then start work on the new album in 08.

19. How about new music is there anything your listening to that you would recommend?

DOC: Gojira is amazing, there’s a really good band from Massachusetts called Frozen they are like a Dream Theater meets Avenged Sevenfold but heavier, the new A Life Once Lost. Divine Heresy which is Dino Cazares’s band (former guitarist from Fear Factory), its like Dimmu Borgir meets “Demanufacture” era Fear Factory with a Pantera type groove its really amazing sounding.

Official website: www.godforbid1.com

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