High On Fire

Interview - Matt Pike

1/18/05

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Sam: Why did you guys decide to go with Steve Albini this time instead of Billy Anderson?
Matt: "Well, it's nothing against Billy, I love Billy's productions you know, we just decided to do a little change and an experiment, and getting a new bass player...we just decided to change things around and do something new just to see where it would go, and it turned out really good. I'm glad that we decided to make a little change, and it's nothing against Billy at all, Billy is great. It was just like, I'd done everything in my life with him, so I decided to like, try something new you know, it's that simple."
Sam: How's the new bass player (Joe) working out?
Matt: "Oh, Joe's great, he's wonderful. He's a really talented guy, and he's really creative and...he's...yeah, I'm really happy to be playing with him. I hated losing George, but George was just kind of done with the touring thing, so, you know, I couldn't...it was really hard to think of a bass player that would be as good as him, and, you know Joe is doing a really, really good job. He's really different than George, but I think he's added like, a good element to our band."
Sam: I got the new album a couple of days ago, I've been listening to it and trying to get a feel for it, and the first thing that stood out for me right away was, I noticed it's really like old-school thrashy sounding like Metallica's "Kill 'Em All"...
Matt: "Yeah, we tried to go for a little of that, make it really raw and driving, but have...you know I tried to put more like, we worked on our dynamics and putting a little more moods into the music so it goes up and down."
Sam: What do you guys tune to?
Matt: "Well, it's like a standard tuning but it's C, F, A#, D#, G, C"
Sam: I noticed you're using a Soldono head now instead of the Matamp?
Matt: "Yeah, actually I just got a new endorsement with them. The Matamps are a little touchy to take on the road, you know, if you over use them too much...they require alot of maintenance where the Soldano endorsement, I really like the sound that they get, it's really beefy. I was using the Soldono preamp thru the Green amp instead of like, a distortion box before, so basically it's exactly what I wanted."
Sam: You guys have any tour plans after this next run through the U.S.?
Matt: "Yeah, actually we're going to Europe at the end of March with...I forgot the name of that band, some band from Finland...shit, I kinda forgot their name though, I wasn't real familiar with them, but they're supposed to be really good so... at a loss for words, a loss for names at this point"
Sam: I noticed you guys had Arik Roper do the album cover again, I thought that was pretty cool.
Matt: "Yeah, I really love his artwork, he's great."
Sam: I was reading the lyrics to the new album, and they're pretty fuckin' awesome, I was wondering about "Devilution", it seems like there are some metaphors in there, kind of relating to what's going on today, an apocalyptic view...
Matt: "Oh, there totally is, totally, very about the Bush regime and you know shit, the little Illuminati secret society, and twisting of the media, and just, all this bullshit going on. It's just ridiculous, so many people being blind to the fact, you know, we're not really liberating a country, we're taking it over for oil, and fucking drug imports, and just, all to have more money to build our military. And it's just a ridiculous fucking thing that all these right wings fuckin' don't see that. If they really could use their heads instead of their...you know, they have blind faith in what they're told, and it's like god damn, are you really that stupid?"
Sam: Yeah, I thought that was pretty heavy how you laid it all out but weren't completely obvious about it, I like how you have to read into it a little.
Matt: "Yeah, I try to make my point without being completely blatant you know?"
Sam: Were you actually in any bands before Asbestos Death?
Matt: "Um, well, no, not that did anything really, I mean obviously when I was a little kid, yeah I was in some bands, but it never really did anything so..."
Sam: Have you seen any local bands on this past tour that have impressed you live?
Matt: "Yeah, well, there's a bunch, but some of them I can't really recall names of and stuff. I just remember being all 'who is this? this sounds really cool' and then like, I kinda space out 'cause you get frazzled being on the road you know?"
Sam: Any bands you've been listening to lately, like cd's?
Matt: "All my cd's got ripped off, so, I'm kind of pissed, I need to restart my cd and vinyl collection 'cause now I have no records, and no cds so, I'm a little upset about all that crap."
Sam: You guys ever think about putting out a DVD?
Matt: "Yeah, I think there's gonna be one with this album coming out, I'm not certain, but we definitely had someone shoot a live show in L.A. so, yeah, I think there's gonna be a DVD with this one."
Sam: Any 7" or special vinyl releases planned besides the new album?
Matt: "Well, this new album is on vinyl, it's a double vinyl, I think Relapse already has some copies in..."
Sam: With the Judas Priest cover right?
Matt: "Yeah, I think that's on both, or it might just be on the vinyl, I'm not sure..."
Sam: Are there any more covers that you've done that are going to pop up?
Matt: "Oh, I donno, Joe, my new bass player is really into doing them, you know? So, we were talking about Motley Crue - 'Red Hot' which would be totally fuckin' funny so...as long as they're fun to play I don't care, like we'd just totally metal-ize 'um or whatever, even worse than they were."
Sam: Have you heard that project Om?
Matt: "Yeah, yeah I still talk to Al and Chris, I talk to Chris a little less than Al, but they're still my buddies and I think what they're doing is really cool, you know? Those two are fuckin' pretty genius about song writing and stuff. I was buggin' Al for days, I was like, 'you need to get back on the horse and start writing dude, you can't quit music you're too fuckin' good at it'. Yeah, they're really... they're pretty killer, so, oh god I need to hear the cd that they made though, I've only seen them play."

Wolfie/AbsolutMetal 2005