Wednesday, March 14, 2012

All Out War interview with guitarist: Brad Mader. August 9th. 2011.

Vista: Hey. Can you give us some information on what year you joined All Out War & how were you approached to actually join the band?

Brad: I've known Eric (Carrillo) for years before he was in All Out War. I met him when was in a band with his brother called Violent Plague and we did some shows together with whatever band I was in at the time. We also worked together at Caroline Records and he always keep me posted about the band. I did try out for them back in the day but for one reason or another I didn't get the spot. Then in 1999 they had a tour of Europe coming up and their guitarist at the time couldn't do it so Eric gave me a shout, learned the songs in week and went on a 3 month tour. I still wasn't in the band when I got back, they just recruited Matt Byrne (Hatebreed) and were on tour in the states when they gave me a call to fill in again & fly out to Texas, I really didn't want to go so I said if they wanted me to do this, I want in the band, they called me back 5 minutes later and said you're in. I actually said SHIT, I don't want to fly out to Texas man, you pulled my card ya pricks. We had a laugh and they said, don't worry about it, we will pick you up in NY and on the road we went.

Vista: Take us through some of the first practices with the band. Did you already know a bunch of the songs, guitar-wise & what was your first show with All Out War?

Brad: I knew the songs from trying out before and hanging with the band. Rehearsals were easy because I am a fan of the band & enjoy playing the music. My first show was that Europe tour at the dynamo open air festival. Went from my biggest show at that point was maybe 1000 people to 15000. That was awesome. I remember about a minute before we went on and the crowd was getting bigger & bigger and Eric walked over to my side of the stage and said, this is insane. I look at him with a straight face and asked him how the songs went again? He looked at me with fear saying, "Don't do this now" I said, "just kidding man this is sick" he gave me the "if you weren't my friend I would kill you look" &  just walked back over to his side of the stage. He told me later he almost had a heart attack. That's what friends are for right?

Vista: While in the studio, what guitars & amps were you using for the recording? Did you use just one guitar while recording & while doing live shows what is you preferred set-up gear-wise?

Brad: For the All Out War album I used a Marshall DSL 2000 with a Dean MAB Lazer w/ EMG 81/85 pickups. I had another guitar on standby but the Dean really sounded good so I just used that for all the tracks. The cab was a original 1960 w/ celestion 30 watt green backs that was part of the studio. Live for AOW I use the same rig but use a old Peavey cab with gt75 celestions. Have a tube screamer, bbe sonic max. That's it, Simple, plug in and go.

Vista: Give us some details about the last AOW record. Where was it recorded & how long did it take to track your guitar parts? You live in the State of Florida. How did these songs come about for the album {"Into The Killing Fields"}? With the band based in N.Y., how difficult was it to make this work for you?

Brad: The album was recorded at Big Blue Meenie in NJ. The whole thing was done in three weeks. I did all of my tracks in 12 hours. Yeah, I put in some miles flying back and forth from Florida to NY but it wasn't difficult at all. When you love what your doing, everything just works out. It was funny when someone in the band would complain about driving to rehearsal saying " I had to drive a hour", "I had to do this", "I worked 10 hours", etc... I just look at them and said, I just took two planes, 1200 miles with zero sleep to get here, SHUT UP!
Vista: One question that I have about the last record that maybe you might know or maybe not...I had sen some promotional ads for the new album titled, "For Those Who Claim Divinity"? These were Victory Records ads with the front cover artwork with this title. Obviously, that was changed to "Into The Killing Fields". Why the last minute change?

Brad: That was just a working title for the album and for some reason Victory put that out. They did that one other time for the working titles of the songs. That was funny, people thought we were doing a cover album or just lost our minds (not far from the truth). When we are working on songs, we end up calling them like "Slayer napalm mosh" - "Obituary Death" - stuff like that but until Mike pen's the lyrics, we do not know what they are going to be called. I still have to look at the album.

Speaking of Victory Records, what is your overall opinion on the label? Are they a good label to work with or are all the rumors & not even rumors...Just from hearing other bands talk about the label in general on how shitty they are? Thought? Also, in 2011...Does a band like All Out War even fit in on a label like Victory? Granted, AOW might not have ever "fit" into what the label was doing but at least many years ago they had bands like: Blood For Blood, Reach The Sky, Earth Crisis, etc. Now it seems that the only type of bands they have a bands that wear girl pants & flat iron their hair and play pop-rock.

Brad: Victory Records is a business. You sign your own fate. Sign a good deal, treated well - sign bad, hating life. It's like that with all labels. I cannot speak for other bands but for me personally, I do not care for Victory. Just because I really don't feel like a band like All Out War fits with their stable of what Victory is now. Back in the day it was cool because of the bands that were signed like Blood For Blood - Earth Crisis - Hatebreed but now, I don't get it. Did All Out War ever fit? Answer - NO. But that is what is great about the band. We can do shows with any type of band & oddly enough, we do fit. When did it become cool to wear your sister's pants, be overly sensitive and wear guy liner? Can we grab whoever dreamed up that crap and open hand bitch slap them in the face? They all need to go to man camp and face the world. That is what happens when parents coddle their kids. PATHETIC!

Vista: When did you first get you hands on a guitar? How old were you & who were some of your initial influences to want to play? Did you have any formal training in the beginning or even nowadays? Also, what was the first song you learned on guitar?

Brad: I started playing when I was 11. Had a Fender 12 string with a broken headstock that my sister left behind when she moved out. My mother purchased a Sears Silvertone strat type guitar that I played for years they my first real guitar was a 1983 Fender Strat that I mowed grass and worked my ass off for. I took that to the Europe tour and still have it. I started playing blues and didn't really get into metal until my freshman year in high school when a friend handed me two albums he couldn't stand. Metallica's "Ride the lightning" & Slayer's "Hell awaits" I was hooked. First song I ever played was "Smoke on the water" by Deep Purple & Black Sabbath's "Paranoid"

Vista: You have been in and out of the band on & off for many years. Many people might not even realize it but you were suppose to record on the album that became "Condemned To Suffer". I know that you even had a hand in the writing of "Hypocrites Of The Revolution". My questions are: 1. Did you help create any other songs that are on that album? 2. I know you and the band {with then drummer Matt Byrne who has now been in Hatebreed for many years} were IN the studio to record for that album but the recording was aborted. What happened during this recording to bring it to an abrupt halt? 3. Personally speaking for just yourself how was it to see that album be recorded without you?

Brad: I wrote the title track"Condemned to Suffer" Every song on that album has my stamp on it somewhere. I put in a ton of work on that album.
When we started recording (Condemned) Matt & I layed down about 6 tracks and all was going smooth but there was tension in the band. We came back to the studio the following day and Matt had some trouble doing double bass. We did do some long hours the first day so we decided to can it for the weekend. When we were schedule to go back, I was the only one that showed up. Long story short, I called Matt and basically he had enough with everything (personal/Victory) that was going on and quit. I called Mike, told him what happen, gave him some options on drummers & course of action and he said, "If Matt quits, I quit too." So.... That was it, I moved to Florida. I heard some rumors & internet stuff that they were going in to record the album, I did call the guys about it and they said no, they were just doing some shows. Couple months later, I get a email from Victory saying, New All Out War album coming soon. I was hurt, for the time and dedication I had & still have for the band, it would have been nice to finish what I started for that album. 

Vista: This is a question that I ask a lot just for the varying opinions & thoughts. Give us your personal top 10 favorite bands/albums of all-time. It doesn't matter what genre. Just your top favorites?

1. Every Slayer album.
2. Exodus - Bonded By Blood
3. Testament - Practice what you preach
4. Goatwore - Carving out the eyes of god
5. Decapatation - Organic Hallucinosis
7. Necrophagist - Epitaph
8. Death - Human
9. Animals As Leaders - s/t
10. Burnt By The Sun - Sound track for a personal revolution.

Vista: As mentioned before, you live in Florida. I know that you also have another band that you have been involved with for many years now. Give us some details on this band...Year started, what has been released so far, who's in the band & who does what?

Brad: I have a band called Must...Not...Kill that I started in 2004. Current lineup is Dan Carden vocals (Fossor Silenti/Left Hand Black) Aaron Hollingsworth on bass & Brian Jensen on drums. We did a few demo's over the years, last year we released "Bloodcore" that was recorded with Mark Prattor (Iced Earth - Sebastian Bach) at Red Room Studios in Tampa Florida. "Bloodcore" we coined for our hatred for sub - genres of music and no-one including us could really tag what we do. We have been on the Mayhem fest for the past 3 years including this years Florida date (August 14th) in West Palm Beach. Sponsored by Jagermeister and have earned a ton of respect in Florida. Hopefully we will go up the east coast soon.

From your perspective...What {if any} differences are there between the hardcore/metal scene in N.Y. compared to Florida? Again, maybe in 2011 there are no differences from State to State?

Brad: HA HA - There is no scene in Florida compared to NY. Very hit & miss with shows. It's a shame because it could be awesome but with the economy the way it is now I can see why its hard for some b
ut before the economy took a giant crap, it was still weak.

Vista: What type of shows do Must..Not...Kill play in your area? Are you guys doing shows with mainly metal bands or more hardcore bands? Which scene do you prefer and see Must...Not...Kill lean closer towards?

Brad: Well, Tampa is the Death Metal capital in the world correct? We always get thrown in with a bunch of Death Metal bands but we can hold our own with anyone. I really do see Must Not Kill going over big in NY with the hardcore scene even though we are more of a metal band then hardcore. Sounds like another band we know right? 

Vista: Going back to the topic of AOW. I know you have done a lot of touring with the band. How many tours have you done in America & Europe? Also, I know you went to Japan as well. Are there some highlights that really stick out in your memory from these tours?

Brad: The one that really sticks out is when we got to Germany and went to the Berlin wall. That was a deep moment for me because that is where my family started. I have a picture of me up against the wall right by check point charlie that I got to show some family members before they passed away and I got to hear so stories about my family that I never knew before. That was awesome.
Japan was cool but Eric & I were starving on that tour. I'm allergic to fish and I think Eric just doesn't like it so we were miserable until we were in Tokyo and turned a corner and saw a Wendy's. I think Eric & I both ran the 40 yard dash in 3.9 sec. We ordered everything on the menu and had a feast.

Vista: While on tour...What are your three essential items that you HAVE to have?

Brad: In Europe - warm clothes because it's always cold somewhere no matter what time of year.
Shower shoes (some of those bathrooms are nasty). Ipod

Vista: When AOW released "Into The Killing Fields" the band did a tour of Europe in support of the album. You guys also did a small amount of dates in America. How were the European dates and what new songs from the album did you guys play live? How were the U.S. shows? Also, why so little amounts of shows? Is it as simple as the "age", "family" & "work" priorities?

Brad: Europe shows were a blast and really good turnouts. Some of the new songs were "Mercy Killer" & "Apathetic Genocide"
. We only did a few shows because yes, we are getting older, we have familys and full time jobs. I also do that little commute to NY from Florida. Bottom line is that we are just a little more selective on what shows we do. If it is worth it, we will be there.

Vista: While performing live...Which songs do you enjoy playing the most? 

Brad: I love playing them all but if I had to pick one it would be "Soaked in Torment" Crowd reaction is usually huge for that song. Before Mike can sing the first lyric, he gets buried by 50+ kids going for the microphone. I usually don't hear Mike until the third verse and that is a good thing. HA HA. Just kidding Mike.

Vista: Again, you have been in AOW for a long while. Is there a time era {year} that you felt was better for the band? I mean, as far as kids coming to shows, crowd participation & just kids embracing what AOW was doing? Maybe there was NEVER a time era when that happened? Ha! I mean, I have seen the band countless times when the crowd just scared or confused as to what the hell was going on while you guys were on stage! Thoughts?

Brad: HA HA yeah, still get that now and with Must... Not...Kill. Don't know if you should just stand there and bang your head, go old school circle pit or whatever that karate back kick thing is called, its all good. Time era I would say the late 90's just because we were a touring machine back then. It was a lot of fun. 

Vista: You not only played guitar on the latest AOW album but many years back you were also on the Victory Records release of a live compilation album with: Reach The Sky & Grey Area. That release was titled "NYC Takeover". From your memory what was the recording of these songs like & What club is this from? Were you happy with the overall recording?

Brad: I didn't know that was going to be recorded until we were about to take the stage. It was at the Downtime in NYC during the CMJ Music showcase. I thought they did a awesome job with it because if you listen to that CD, you can hear a faint feed back noise that they had to cover up. That was Taraz's (Apuzzo) amp with a bad input jack. It just cut in and out during the whole show but they did a good job on mixing it out. I was also surprised when I went to Victory and they showed me the cover with me on it. Very cool. Didn't expect that.

Vista: Outside of band stuff...What are you interests and hobbies? Also...I know you seem to have a kick ass job! Tell us about what you do for a living?

Brad: With the bands, the traveling and a full time job, I really don't have any hobbies. I just like to spend time with my wife & son and do whatever they want to do.
I'm a manager for Dean Guitars in Tampa FL. I like it there, people are awesome and just amazing musicians.

Vista: If you were to give some honest advice to a young kid just starting out & wanting to be in a band that does original material {regardless of the genre} & wants to tour...What would that advice be?

Brad: Have about 2 to 3 back up plans for life after music. Finish school and go to college and learn what you can. Also learn your craft to the fullest of your ability.
Music is a scary industry now with all the downloads and the market being saturated. It's hard to make a living at it but it is one hell of a ride.

Vista: As of this interview {August 2011}...What is the status of All Out War? Are there any plans for shows or touring? Are there any plans for studio recordings?

Brad: You never know when All Out War will rear it's ugly head. No plans right now but there are talks of going back to Europe and recording a new album. Maybe some shows... maybe not.... that's All Out War.

Vista: If All Out War ended today...What would be your fondest memories?

Brad: Before I was in All Out War, I really didn't know anything about the "hardcore"scene. So I would have to say getting introduced to it and meeting friends and fans along the way. I also love the touring, seeing Germany & buildings in Europe older than this country. It's been a great ride.
One of the funniest memories I do have is when you came on the road with us and we were going into Canada. You kept answering the boarder guard with off the wall answers till he got so fustrated that he took a AOW hoodie and t-shirt and told us to get out of there. I've told that story a million times and still crack up over it. And when you kept asking the toll both operator's if they knew where the V2K was? I'll let you explain that one.

Vista: Brad. Thanks for your time. As always it is great to talk to you & be in touch with you. Any final words or thoughts about the band? Anything else you'd like to say?

Brad: Same here John, as for All Out War, just keep a ear out because you never know. As for Must Not Kill, check us out on facebook, reverbnation, myspace & all the other internet hangout spots, I'm sure we are there somewhere. Thank you.

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