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Artist to Artist Interview…
Black Sheep Wall vs. East of the Wall

It’s pretty simple…are you ready for HEAVY again? Ear/Splitters & CVLT Nation won’t stop because we can’t stop. Black Sheep Wall & East of the Wall will be bringing the heavy back to the Mountain Bar in Los Angeles on Wed. Nov.9th. So in honor of this killer event, Black Sheep Wall interviewed East of the Wall in the latest installment of our Artist to Artist Interviews. Check out this crucial read after the jump!

If you could score any movie what would it be?

Debbie Does Dallas, obviously…

If the band had one collective super power what would it be?

Teleportation. That would sure make touring a lot easier.

Do you think it is natural for a band to think their most recent work their best?

It’s natural for a band to say that their most recent work is their best publicly. Whether or not they believe it is a different story perhaps. In our case, I actually do think our new record is the best one we’ve done, but I’ll be pretty bummed out if I still think The Apologist is #1 by the time we get around to putting the next one out.

Does the band collectively agree on what is your best material?

To an extent. There’s definitely some overlap in what we think is our strongest material, but now that we have 3 full lengths and 2 EP’s worth of material to chose from, putting together a setlist can be a contentious process sometimes.

Is the band ideally where you guys would like to be? If not, what are the greatest obstacles in getting there?

Artistically I think we’re getting pretty close to where I’d like us to be. That aspect is always a work in progress but I think we’re on the right track. From a business perspective we’re certainly not there yet. You always want as many people as possible to hear your music and we’re still operating on a small scale in that regard. We also need to get to a point where the band can sustain itself financially. I’m comfortable with us all needing day jobs to continue doing this, but DIY touring can really put a strain on your personal finances, and in the long run we’ll need to find a way for the band to make enough money for us to not have to come out of our own pockets so often.

Most awkward moment on tour?

For me, it’s always working with a sound guy who thinks the show is about him instead of the band. We need a lot of stage volume to do what we do correctly, if for no other reason than because we use feedback in a lot of our songs. The worst thing in the world is when the sound guy wants your amps to be quiet enough for you to whisper to the guy standing next to you. Not only does it feel weird onstage, but it makes it tough to get the feedback we need. Plus tube amps sound like shit when they’re not cranked to a sufficient level. So that tends to lead to some awkward moments onstage while we’re line checking. I find that sound guys that want that much control tend to think that what’s important is how easy their night is, not what the band sounds like. I know they have a tough job and deal with a lot of amateurs, but we’ve spent years developing our sound and rehearse 3 or 4 nights a week to make sure we’re delivering it properly in a live setting. So perhaps we have a better idea of what we should sound like than you do, Mr. Grumpy Sound Guy?

Usually when a band is asked who inspires them, they name an artist whose career is long over, who is the most recent artist to their respective scene that continues to inspire you guys?

I can only speak for myself, but Dysrhythmia continues to put out engaging, challenging music with no regard for whatever middling trends are dominating the heavy music “scene.” I aspire to do the same.

Aside from the instrumental roles of your members, do you guys have concrete roles concerning the band that don’t require what a fan sees on stage?

Alfie and I tend to do the majority of the booking. We also do a lot of interacting with people on our Facebook page. Alfie does all of the other web stuff and records all of our demos. I tend to take care of the majority of interviews for magazines/websites/whatever. Squid and Bart generally make sure our van is in good working order and help out with booking Alfie and I can’t get to. Bart also does a lot with our merch, whether it’s getting new designs for shirts or placing orders. At this stage, we’re extremely DIY. We don’t have a manager or a booking agent, so we all have to put in a lot of time beyond just showing up for rehearsal to make this operation work. For me, I usually have to spend at least an hour or two per day outside of rehearsal to do what needs to get done. I’m sure it’s similar for the rest of the guys too.

Given how easy it has become in the past few years for people to create home studios with recordings that are all direct and plugged in, how important is it for you guys that your recordings sound as natural as possible?

We take a lot of pride in the production values of our records. The boom in home recording is good and bad. It’s good because it gives the underdog a chance. Not everyone can afford to spend $5,000 on making a great recording in a studio. So it gives bands with something to contribute to the world artistically an opportunity to get their music out there in spite of the financial stumbling blocks. On the other hand, it also lets every idiot who learned how to play guitar yesterday a venue to release the record he spent 15 minutes writing, thus further contributing to the universe’s artistic death spiral. You take the good with the bad. As far as “direct” recordings, it’s all a matter of taste. I think those kinds of recordings sound like shit most of the time, but a lot of people love it. In the words of H.L. Mencken, “Nobody ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American public.”

How many people have seen Brett’s dick?

The better question is how many people haven’t?

Being that you have done DIY tours, if there was one tip you could give a first time touring band what would it be?

Be prepared to eat shit the first few times you circle the country. It’ll get better over time, but it’s not going to be glamorous and you’re probably going to lose some money. Be ready to play in front of next to no one in a lot of places. And be prepared to still put on the best show you can regardless.

How do you feel about the future genre of your music?

Much like any genre of music, there’s always going to be some great stuff and some bad stuff. The internet makes it easier to find the good stuff. Keep digging.

What do you think about Scary Movie 2?

Haven’t seen it in quite some time, but that’s the one with David Cross right? If it is, than it’s great because anything with David Cross is automatically amazing. Please see Mr. Show with Bob and David for further viewing material. 

Who is someone who is not a music artist that inspires you?

Hunter S. Thompson. The guy approached his job with a total disregard for convention. I appreciate that.

If you could play a show with an artist that is most opposite your style of music who would it be?

Wu-Tang Clan.

If each member was a ninja turtle, who would each turtle be?

Alfie would be Donatello because he’s the technical genius and/or dorkiest member of the band. Bart would be Michelangelo because he’s clearly the party dude. Beards would be Leonardo because of his stoic leadership. I would be Raphael because I have the shortest temper. Squid would be Splinter because of his wisdom, experience and the fact that he’s the oldest in the band by a bit.

Is there really any food better than pizza?

Yes, but pizza still rules.

If Indiana Jones was a female would that change your opinion of the series?

Depends on who the female was.

Some people know we are gamers? Do any of you game? If so what is your all time favorite game?

Alfie and Beards are. They spent a good chunk of a van ride to a show last month discussing Final Fantasy Tactics. It was the dorkiest shit I had ever heard in my life. Squid dabbles in gaming a bit. My gaming is limited to whatever the most current game in the NHL series is. Pretty sure the last video game Bart played was Tony Hawk for PS2.

Do you prefer PS3 or Xbox 360?

I’m an XBOX guy, pretty sure everyone else in the band is PS3. I’m such a rebel.

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