Now in their tenth year of creating raucous rocking dirty southern tunes, Every Time I Die were recently back in the UK once again to promote latest album ‘The Big Dirty’.
Speaking from beneath a rather impressively hefty mass of facial hair, guitarist Andy Williams discusses dirtiness, food, reviews, music and touring with Sarah Maynard.
How do you think ‘The Big Dirty’ stands out from your previous records?
I think it’s a better record than the other ones and obviously good music stands out.
And where did the title come from?
It came from a Canadian TV show called The Trailer Park Boys and in the movie of the show they reference this thing called The Big Dirty which is like one big crime spree they planned so they could retire for the rest of their lives.
What’s the dirtiest thing you’ve ever done? Any tales from this tour?
There’s a LOT of dirty stuff… some girl called me up and said that I was wearing the same shirt every day. She was outside and she came up to hug me and said ‘You’ve been wearing that shirt every day of the tour’. And I was like ‘What the fuck do you know? You haven’t been there every single day…’ and she was like ‘well you wore it the first day’ and I said ‘yeah – since then I’ve washed it.’ So that wasn’t dirty at all really! I dunno… I signed a girl’s butthole once… that was weird. We were like waiting to get on stage and we heard the crowd go nuts so were wondering what the fuck was going on. We peeked our heads out and there was this girl stripping on stage. Then security grabbed her and pulled her off but took her right by where we were waiting to go on. So we went up on stage and played and when we got down the naked girl and her friend had obviously got thrown out. And they were both wasted. And she went ‘Please just sign my body – you can sign anywhere you want!’ And the other dudes were like ‘Dude, just sign her butthole’ and so I said ‘alright’ and so she really bent over….. (pauses) yeah, that was pretty dirty.
That is quite dirty…
Yeah, pretty gross. You know, when things like that happen there are bands that take advantage of those situations but we’re not like that. If I can sign a butthole I could probably do whatever I want to that girl but I never do. I also like to ask these kinds of people what they do and what their goals are and this naked girl was like ‘next week I’m joining the airforce to be a fighter pilot!’ So, I’m glad she’s protecting me! (Chuckles all round)
You’ve been to the UK a fair few times now. What American elements would you bring to the UK to improve it?
Tacos. Fucking Mexican food. Jesus Christ. Kids are like ‘oh man, I saw you eat all those tacos on your DVD. How do you do that?’ And I say ‘dude, you’ve obviously never had a taco. They’re easy to eat.’ That’s literally the only thing I would change about the UK. The weird thing is that there’s a lot of misconceptions about over here. The food isn’t as bad as everyone says but I just miss Mexican food you know? A lot of people think that every girl over here is going to be hideous because of Benny Hill and the old ladies in that show and stuff. So people think that everyone in the UK is hairy and ugly but actually some of the prettiest girls I’ve ever seen in my life are here. So misconceptions of the UK are something I could do without. I was actually looking forward to this tour more than I’ve ever looked forward to Europe. We haven’t been here in two years. It’s been so long.
That long? I saw you at the Garage in London a while back and it was literally the hottest show I have ever been to.
Oh my god. It was like raining inside. That show was awesome.
They’re doing that venue up at the moment…
Actually I was doing an interview with another guy and I said that this venue (London Astoria 2) is awesome. There’s not a venue with a stage like this in the States. If you play a venue that’s 1200 capacity like this is then the stage is pretty much enormous. It’s super-high but this is like – the stage is not so tall and there’s not a bad seat in the house. You can pretty much see the band from wherever.
Yeah, it’s not bad… So how do you come up with the super dirty riffs all the time?
Um I have no idea. I have another band at home called Chopper that I sing in. I don’t play guitar with them but I write most of it and it’s dirty too. It’s so hard to explain. I don’t know! It’s exactly what I want to play so that’s what I write. They are dirty. That’s a good way to explain it. Dirty riffs.
I don’t recall ever seeing a bad review of Every Time I Die. Do you remember ever getting a stinker of a write up?
All the time. But that’s because we look for them. As soon as something bad is written, we find it. Yeah, Gutter Phenomenon got a lot of bad reviews. In the States, Alternative Press bashed it. And then they put us on the cover this year. Kind of weird. But with The Big Dirty we haven’t seen anything bad written actually. Everywhere I look people are liking it. It’s awesome. No one buys it though. But it doesn’t matter. As long as people are coming to the shows, that’s all that matters. I don’t care if labels get money at all.
I don’t know if you can talk about it, but you guys have said you’re doing Taste of Chaos International?
Did we say that? Well… I can say that we’re supposed to do a big tour towards the end of the year.
If you could put together your dream big tour that you guys were on, who would be on it?
You’re asking the wrong person! Because it would be all bands that nobody cares about. It would be us, Torche, The Bled, Alexisonfire, High On Fire… It would be a cool tour but no-one would care about it. Basically just a music fan tour. All the bands would love it.
Is there any one place that you’d really like to play that you haven’t yet? Country or venue?
Have you not been?
Never. We played Denmark and it was rad but it wasn’t Sweden.
How do you survive being on the road so much?
I dunno. I guess it’s just automatic at this point. It’s just second nature. It’s what we do.
Any essentials for tour?
iPod. PSP. Computer. Any way to get away from the rest of the dudes. That’s the best way to tour.
What you listening to at the moment?
The new Torche record I just got… it’s fucking beautiful. I hope they get enormous. I’ve been listening to that a lot lately, I’ve been listening to Björk and the new Radiohead a lot. I only get a chance to listen to my iPod when I’m setting up my guitar and that’s usually only for five seconds before someone interrupts me. Last night I fell asleep listening to Björk.
What about when you were writing the record?
Usually nothing heavy. I don’t listen to anything heavy at all when we’re writing. I listen to Thin Lizzy – that’s as heavy as I’ll get.
Something to chill out with?
Yeah, exactly. Massive Attack to clear my head for a minute…
You’re doing some of Warped Tour this year right?
The whole thing.
And you’ve done that before?
Yeah yeah. Two years ago we did the whole thing but this year we’re on the main stage.
Are you excited?
We are excited. I love that tour – it’s one of my favourites.
Don’t some bands hate it?
Yeah. But people take what we do for granted. Some bands don’t get how lucky they are. They think they were born to be a guitarist or whatever. No!
What about the comparison of English festivals to American?
Oh it’s really different. American festivals don’t exist. People aren’t fans of music over there – they’re so spoiled. Over here, you guys aren’t spoiled so when the festivals come, it’s a bunch of bands you want to see and everyone goes crazy. It’s fucking wild.
I’m always impressed with the organization of Warped Tour, being in a different place every single day and being such a massive operation. UK festivals are massive but they’re static…
Yeah, totally. I mean that Kevin Lyman dude is a busy guy. He does that, Taste of Chaos, and he’s doing another tour. So he’s got Taste Of Chaos at the start of the year, then Warped Tour in the summer and now the Metal Mayhem tour over the summer too. He runs both of those tours at the same time. That’s crazy. Then he does international Taste of Chaos which is overseas and a whole new ballgame. That dude is literally insane. That’s crazy.
Would you like to do something like that if you weren’t in the band?
I think I would. I hate being home so I’d definitely be on tour somewhere somehow!
The Big Dirty is out now on Ferret Records