Thursday February 22nd 2018

Interview with Swarm Of Eyes

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Interview with Swarm Of Eyes at The Lucky Dog Music Hall
By Jim Slimedog

 

TNB was lucky enough to catch the first gig by Swarm of Eyes a couple of months ago and was impressed enough to create a profile for them. Soon after, Andy Bang became really interested in them after receiving their cd, “Designing The Dystopia,”and giving a very complimentary review on the site.

Formed by George O’Connor (guitars,studio wizardry) with Randy Carter (yelling) they soon added Derrik Albertelli (guitars) on what was, at first, a studio project.
When it was decided it was time to hit the stage they added Jeff G (bass) and Tommy Burke (drums). What they ended up with is one of the best metal bands on our site with an energetic, exciting live show which we were happy to witness recently at the Lucky Dog in Worcester, MA. Slimedog loved the show and we’re not sure if he was more impressed with the band or that he could buy two draft beers and a Jagermeister for ten dollars! And that’s where this interview commences from (with Slimedog and Jimmy Thrash).

Slimedog- As you know, this is a question someone submitted on facebook. So Randy how do you get your hair looking so nice before a performance?

Randy- It’s a Tressa made gel and I just run it through the ringlets, (laughter) a little bit just out of the shower and just sort of let it air dry which helps the curls bounce a little. (As he tosses his mane behind his shoulder as his other band-mates sigh in envy). And I gotta add a little extra when I’m gonna play a metal show because otherwise it will become a giant Afro.

Slimedog- So how did you guys get started?

Randy- I’ve been playing in bands in Boston since about 93,94 and George had similar connections and the band he played in for years played with my band all the time. We kept in touch, with e-mails and one time I said, “How come we haven’t had a band together?” He used to get up on stage with me, when I was playing with my band and I’d jump onstage when he was playing, invade his space, bother his singer. So he started experimenting and learning about programmed drums and he said, “I’m gonna throw some songs at you and see what you think.” He sent me the first song and I almost peed myself it was so good. Then he sent me the second song and I said, “This is insane!” And I just wanted to thrash in my cubicle while I was listening from an e-mail at work. Then he sent me the third one and I said, “This is terrible,” and he didn’t send me one for awhile.

Derrik was in the last band with me and wasn’t doing much, he was in the Boston Typewriter Orchestra. We just wanted to rope him in ’cause he’s an insanely talented guitarist. Both of our guitar players are so good but so different and they’ve brought an amazing mix. So we did the three pieces for awhile but then we said we’re probably gonna need a bass player and drummer for playing live and that’s when Jeff G came in the picture.

Jeff- I think I heard you guys were doing a band. I heard some stuff floating around and I’m like, “I have to play in this band.” We started jamming and I added my own little flavor to the tunes and everybody was like, “We like everything you’re doing,” and that was it for me.

George- And the x-factor is this is born out of friendship. It’s two guys, “Hey, let’s do something together.” And then we bring Derrik who we’ve known since 2000, he’s a good guy, and it just so happens everyone is so talented. So, if Jeff comes and says he wants to play- of course! He’s the best goddamn player, I recall, from us playing the scene. (Slimedog, as a former bass player, wants to interject, that he’s one of his favorites on the site). And then we bring in Tommy who’s another level headed, great guy. And it’s always gotta be fun, when it ceases to be, what’s the point?

Slimedog- How would you describe your style?

George- If I had to guess, it’s born in the big four (Metallica, Megadeath, Anthrax and Slayer), the rhythm aggression of the big four. A little more of the Kilswitch, maybe Lamb of God sound. I know the DNA of those bands will never go away but I think we got it a bit more modern.

Jimmy Thrash (interjects)- I think the vocals change in a few songs. You got the Death stuff but some Black, as well. You got some really interesting textures to your voice on the cd.

Randy- I wanted to branch out with this band into more Death type vocals and what’s interesting is I think we recorded three different vocal styles for each song and saw what worked best and sometimes mixed them in a song. And I was trying to do exactly what you said- I wanted to bring Black Metal to a song like “Endless Ashes,” Death Metal to “Humanemic” and bring a shouting hardcore style to “Warzone.”

Slimedog- Do you have any plans coming up that we should know about?

Randy- We’re tossing around doing a video. We know it’s not gonna be on anything but local cable but it’s about having youtube exposure and having something to push.

Slimedog- We’ll put it on TNB, we have some kind of video for almost all our bands.

Randy- George has a phenomenal web series called, “664, the Neighbor of the Beast.” There’s a link to that on Swarm of Eyes site to his lazyhorde.com. He has vast experience doing horror films, serials and everything like that; so we’re counting on him to come up with a video to put out.

Slimedog- So who writes the music?

George- It’s a combination of Derrik and myself. Sometimes either of us has a song or sometimes it’s just a riff and things start snowballin’.

Slimedog- How about the lyrics?

Randy- They’re all me and I love to get input from them. And George’s a big help and brought more out of me in a studio than ever before and helps me put lyrics that I had together into a song; and sometimes chip in a line. And in one song he said, “Here is something I wrote, I think their should be more vocals here.” And it’s an amazing thing that I never dealt with before! “Hey, I think their should be more vocals,” -guitar players don’t tell you that.

Slimedog- Guitar players say, “I don’t think my guitar is loud enough.”

George- That’s one of my proudest moments is when I listened to one of the early mixes and I said, “I want you to write this date down! The guitars are too loud.” You’re never gonna hear that again.

Slimedog- First time in history, now for the serious questions. Who drinks the most in the band?

Randy- Who brings the most to the band has got to be George (Randy goes of on a long spiel where he explains how vital George is to writing and recording though he, himself, does the website and design stuff. At one point he mentions he doesn’t drink and I’m trying to figure how this fits in with the question. Finally, he’s informed by Jeff that the question is “Who drinks the most” not “Who brings the most.” Maybe he WAS drunk??? )

Randy- Then it’s definitely Derrik (laughter). Why didn’t anybody stop me when I was five minutes into that? “Oh, Randy’s off on another tangent. What a surprise!”

Slimedog- On that note, how about a favorite dive?

All- The Lucky Dog (in Worcester, where the interview is taking place).

Randy- We love this place. It’s my favorite place to play.

Slimedog- Who’s most likely to become a serial killer?

All- Derrik!

Slimedog- And why is that?

George- ‘Cause he doesn’t say much, he’s the quiet one.

Randy- He’ll say something that is really funny or really scarey (laughter). Sometimes both at the same time.

Be sure to check out Swarm Of Eyes band profile here and their CD review here.

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