Nathan Percy

Interview: Trevor Phipps – Unearth

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SoCalMusicToday.com caught up with Trevor Phipps at the first day of Rockstar Energy’s Mayhem Fest 2011 to talk about the band’s first festival since 2006, the release of its new album, Darkness In The Light and what the atmosphere is like on a major tour after shows and signings are done. Keep an eye out for the Massachusetts quartet as they plan to play all across the world into 2012 to support the new album,

You’re here at the Mayhem Fest, opening day, what’s the attitude of the band going into this afternoon?

Trevor Phipps: Ah, we’re syked! We haven’t done a tour in the states since 2006 with Ozzfest and those were always great, we did another called Sauza Underground, but then we took a hiatus from them for a little while and haven’t had a chance to do them for a little while, so we’re syked to be back out here, we’ve heard from our friends that this festival is well run, all the bands are taken care of, the shows are sick and the fans get into it and like to party, so we’re looking forward to it.

You mentioned a hiatus, was that because you were coming back as a band and getting stuff taken care of?

Well, the first year was a hiatus on purpose because we didn’t want to get into the rut of Oh, of course Unearth is going to do a festival tour, but then in 2008 we did a record and 2009-10, we just never got the offer, so we thought to ourselves that we had to get back out there and then finally they (Mayhem Festival) called, we got the offer now, so we’re syked.

One thing that should benefit you on this tour is that you just had an album come out this past Tuesday, talk about that album and what we can expect from it and how happy are you with it.

Well, obviously the band is happy with it, each record you do you feel is the best because it’s most fresh to you, but the feedback from fans and most press is about that same thing, it’s our best record since our breakthrough album The Oncoming Storm or our best ever and just to hear that feedback is amazing. On our Facebook and Twitter, we’re hit with hundreds of responses every day telling us how the record is and as a person in a band, seeing that stuff is fucking great, it makes you feel like you did something right (laughs).

Well, another thing too is that one of your songs was the Free Single of the Week on iTunes, that has to help you out too.

Yeah, it’s a free download and then they can decide whether they want to pick up the rest of the album and it causes more traffic to that site and if they want to support it instead of stealing it, that’s awesome too, that really helps bands. Big tours like this one, they do pay attention to what band’s sales are, so if people have their favorite band, it’s good to support that band.

Talk about the hiatus and coming back as a band, do you think it helped you mature?

We didn’t actually take a hiatus from playing, we just went to the club circuit, we did clubs, clubs, clubs and we grew as a band, it’s our tenth year of full time touring and our fifth studio record, so we can throw down hard, we’ve gone a lot, we’ve learned from bands like Hatebreed that there is a lot of help with press like this, but there’s no real mainstream media that’s putting us on TV, it’s not Bon Jovi. You have to hit the road hard to get yourself heard and that’s what this band does, we’re on tour all around the world and it’s our job, it’s what we love to do.

Well you’re from Massachusetts and now out here battling the sun in So Cal, but talk about the atmosphere, how excited are you guys?

We did a few shows on the way out here, we did Texas and Vegas, it’s been a whole week of desert, I think the band is used to it, but it’s cool.

First day of the tour, what type of response do you think you’ll get from fans today?

Last time we played here was 2006 and there was a huge dustbowl from the mosh pit, but we’re just looking for people to have fun, mosh, dance, crowd surf, headbang, sing along, throw up bull horns, it’s a party, that’s what we love to do.

On a typical day like this, after performances, what is it like on tour?

Well, we usually spend a couple hours in the merchandise tent, doing some signings, meet the people and say thank you for coming out. After that I’m sure we’ll party, drink some whiskey and beer and just hang out with friends.

I was talking with groups last year and they said they were responsible for coming up with two themed parties throughout the tour, is that going on again this year?

It’s Day 1 so no one’s really talked about it yet, but I heard about that, so I’m sure we’ll get into some trouble with it and have some fun. I know Testament is playing today and they’re a favorite of mine so, they’re only on for the first couple of days, but I’m stoked to see them too.

What type of theme do you think you’d come up with as a band?

This is what we always do, we play “Edward 40’s Hands”, basically you hold 40s in each hand and drink them quickly and keep them in your hands until you’re done, and you can’t piss because you can’t get to your stuff until your done, so it usually ends up with someone pissing themselves or puking. I’ve always been great at it and been able to finish, it’s only 80 ounces of beer, it’s not bad.

Who are you looking forward to seeing, hanging out with on this tour?

Well Testament for the first few days and then Megadeth comes on after that and those are the two that really got me into metal, so being able to play alongside them is just great. And I’ve never seen Dethklok before, so I’ll be syked to see them play. Gene Hoglan actually played a couple years ago for us on drums, that was cool and it’ll be cool to check him out. But even the side stages are awesome, All Shall Perish, Kingdom of Sorrow, Suicide Silence, Trivium, it’ll just be a cool summer hang out all tour long.

After Mayhem Fest, do you have a tour planned to support the new album, Darkness In The Light?

Yeah, of course, after Mayhem Fest we take a 10 day break and head to Europe to headline a month long tour, and then we go to Australia to be part of a festival tour a lot like this, but it’s a bit more rock. Van Halen is headlining it which will be fucking great! Then we go to China for the first time and Japan and then come home and we’re going to do some more touring in the states, reset for 2012 and keep touring to promote the album.

Geez, you weren’t lying when you say you get all over the world, huh?

Yeah, people can expect to see us for the next 18-20 months.

 

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