Eye Hate God
Keeping an Eye on Eye Hate God, an inclusive interview with “The God Father of Southern Metal” Jimmy Bower. Bulldozer: Jimmy Bower Eye Hate God how the hell are you? The Power of the Riff! How do you feel about playing tonight?…Jimmy Bower: I feel great there Mr. Cabbs ! I feel great man, we played Oakland last night, and doing this gig tonight, and then we go home tomorrow. We just got back from Europe. We did five weeks in Europe, so right now we are just trying to do these weekend type gigs so we can really get back to working on the new record and get it finished.
Bulldozer: Talk to me about the new record because it has been awhile since you have released anything lately?
Jimmy Bower: Yeah it has been a while, we have had all these legal problems.
Jimmy Bower: Oh Yeah man! We have had legal problems with people in the band, and “Down” went on a three year tour when “Over the Under “came out , so now we have the time ,so we are focusing and trying to juggle both projects at the same time , but Eye Hate God is my baby you know? We have been working really hard on the new record so when we get home we are going to finish demoing and stuff.
Bulldozer: Would it be possible to talk about maybe what musical direction the new record is going in and maybe a couple of song titles?
Jimmy Bower: Yeah man we are going to play one new song tonight called “New Orleans is the new Vietnam. “
Bulldozer: Nice! That is so true by the way.
Jimmy Bower: Yeah, pretty much. This album will be more like “Take as Needed for Pain” our second album. That is what we have been putting our head into but then again we play a lot different than we did back then as well. We are better musicians now, so we are not “pigeon holding “ourselves either. It is going to be interesting man, we are really excited about getting into the studio.
Bulldozer: Are you blown away at all with how ‘Eye Hate God” has such a wider audience now? Especially with the bands appeal with this younger generation of Heavy music fans?
Jimmy Bower: You have no idea man how blown away I am. Dude the kids love it, all our gigs are all kids man! It is like “Wow” it is awesome man.
Bulldozer: It is incredible how this younger generation has fully embraced “Eye Hate God” where as back in the early days when I first discovered you, the scene at the time was not so receptive.
Jimmy Bower: Yeah man your right, I mean we have never been “embraced” (Laughter) so yes it is a little odd. I think its cool, kids now a day are not stupid. They are growing up with parents like “Us” teaching them to listen to the good shit, so it kind of makes sense to me some what.
Bulldozer: What would you say is going to be the main influence for this new record? Please let me elaborate, I mean with all the real life experience you have gone through being a resident of New Orleans and witnessing the tragedy that occurred there a few years back . I know that this subject has been discussed over and over again but on the first hand natural devastation and the failure and hypocrisy by the government that followed, it must of had some sort of impact on you?
Jimmy Bower: Yeah, We got to feed off that negative energy you know? New Orleans if you live there you will understand the atmosphere of it and everything like that. That has a lot to do with the way we sound and stuff like that. As far the main influence for this new album, I think it is just that we have not done one in so long and we are really passionate about writing songs again. We have been through hell and high water and it is time to vent?
Bulldozer: Do you think that this new younger audience that will eventually be hearing this new album will understand the origins , trials and tribulations of Eye Hate God, where they will fully appreciate this new offering as say your older more veteran Eye Hate God fan base?
Jimmy Bower: I hope so man.
Bulldozer: When “Eye Hate God” first burst upon the scene, you had to be a specific type of person to fully understand and appreciate the band, the music and the message.
Jimmy Bower: Right, You either loved it or you hated it!
Bulldozer: And now with this whole resurgence of Heavy music “Eye Hate God” has become somewhat of an Iconic band in this Genre , but I often wonder does this new audience really get the true substance, the true core of what ‘Eye Hate God “ really is about ? Meaning the whole concept of “Eye Hate God” or is it just the cool band to be into. Do you know what I mean?
Jimmy Bower: I think it is the blues element that sets us apart from other bands , and I do not mean just like the one ,four, five, blues element, a lot of feeling in the playing and the bending of the guitar strings and just being ourselves you know.
Bulldozer: Would you agree that “Eye Hate God” or any band from New Orleans tend to just have this special vibe? I mean after all New Orleans is a true music city ,whether it is the Jazz element, Blues element ext. Musical bands from that region just seem to have a natural , Heavy musical vibe regardless of what genre they are from.
Jimmy Bower: New Orleans has a really good music scene, everybody keeps each other really well informed with new bands it is a real close knit scene. It is the biggest small town in the world. We love being from New Orleans and you are right man about the “Heavy” gene that is. I would not want to be from anywhere else, I definitely wouldn’t.
Bulldozer: You slightly touched base earlier about the band history and the well documented struggles you have all gone through, that right there is a story in itself, but what would you say is the main reason you and your band mates were able to over come all that to be here now here in 2011? Where other artists of your genre were unfortunate and could not overcome those hurtles so to speak?
Jimmy Bower: Well this band originally started off as a joke, just something for us to go and do at night with our friends. I think the fact that we are all real good friends keeps us tight and glued.
Jimmy Bower: Yeah man glued! We are glued man. So we are just having a blast. I am forty three years old acting like a fool with these guys, it is Awesome.
Bulldozer: Well it is obvious to me that you all enjoy what your playing and each other, you all feed off each other very well and that is why that energy is massive which is then is hurdled into the audience. I would say that is why your fan base is so loyal no matter from what decade because of the honest and integrity that “Eye Hate God” has retained after all these years.
Jimmy Bower: Thank you man, Thank you.
Bulldozer: In regards to the new record, are you scheduled to go into the recording studio soon?
Jimmy Bower: Well we have been demoing before we came out on tour, we recorded four songs, we just need to put some extra guitar tracks on it and get Mike to put some vocals on them. We never did demoing in the past man. The album “Southern Discomfort” was a demo, which was the only album we demoed.
Bulldozer: Really? So all the other albums you just went into the studio and bashed it out?
Jimmy Bower: We just went in and did it man. So with this album we are trying to go back into the demoing thing again. We really want to put out the best record we possibly can.
Bulldozer: Are you focusing on the sound and production?
Jimmy Bower: Everything man, we are being very detailed about everything.
Bulldozer: Do you prefer this type of preparation and recoding philosophy as say compared to the raw recordings of the past?
Jimmy Bower: I just think it is something we have to do.
Bulldozer: Why do you feel that way?
Jimmy Bower: I just think this record is very important, it is either going to make or break the band.
Bulldozer: You really think so? You really feel that way? After all man it is “Eye Hate God.”
Jimmy Bower: I don’t know man.
Bulldozer: Do you feel pressured?
Jimmy Bower: I do, big time man.
Bulldozer: Really? That is so interesting, I would never think that. Thank you for your honesty.
Jimmy Bower: Yeah man, I mean we have influenced a lot of bands there is no doubt about that. So I find myself in this dilemma of how do you make a new record and not sound like the bands that you have influenced? But like you said, and thank you for noticing we have always stayed true to ourselves so we will have to just wait and see.
Bulldozer: Does it bother you that the bands that you have influenced and they openly credit you have gone on to have some what of a financial success where as “Eye Hate God” has not?
Jimmy Bower: No not at all, more power to them.
Bulldozer: Does it bother you that there are other bands that do “your thing” and they do not give you or your band any credit?
Jimmy Bower: No, not at all. I mean we stole from The Melvins, Black Flag and Black Sabbath so they are just doing what is nature, what a musician would do. Unless you are “U2” you are not inventing anything (Laughter) you know what I mean? It is flattering to us, me personally it just makes me a little nervous you know? I get asked by everyone what is the new “Eye Hate God” going to sound like. Is it going to be good? It just makes me want to work harder on the album.
Bulldozer: How would you describe “Eye Hate God” to someone who has never heard of the band?
Jimmy Bower: I would just describe it as a “Wall of Sound!”
Bulldozer: Have you recently gone back and listened to your older recordings while you have been writing the new material?
Jimmy Bower: I have had recently, a little bit but not that much really. The writing process has not changed much for us except we are analyzing it much more, and that is just us being good musicians.
Bulldozer: Would you say that just comes with maturity?
Jimmy Bower: Totally, yeah totally, I mean we just do not want to disappoint our fans at all, and we are doing whatever we have to do to not do that. As long as we are into it we can put that vibe into it, that energy out!
Bulldozer: Because you are enjoying yourself whether it is on stage or in the recording studio correct?
Jimmy Bower: Exactly, this is fifty percent of the game. You have to enjoy what you are playing; if you are not enjoying what you are playing it will not be good. You might as well go work at Subway or something.
Well Put Jimmy Bower. Look out for the new “Eye Hate God” record to come out sometime in early 2012 followed by a supporting tour. When “ Eye Hate God” comes to your town I highly recommend you experience “ The Flagging Off!” Some of you will get that.
Interview by Jimmy Cabbs