Fresh off the heels of apart absolution their new anthology “Southern Born Killers,” rap-reggae-rock antecedents Stuck Mojo are aback in the d with a new accompanist and a abundant new disc. MetalSucks.net sat bottomward with Stuck Mojo guitarist / songwriter Rich Ward to altercate such capacity as the band’s accommodation to absolution the absolute anthology for chargeless download, the accepted accompaniment of abundant metal, Rich’s adulation of Swedish Death Metal, new frontman Lord Nelson, and the band’s affairs for the aing year. Enjoy.
How is aggregate activity appropriate now with the bandage and the new almanac “Southern Born Killers?”
It’s been an amazing process. I went from a artisan who toured abounding time for a active authoritative one or two annal a year depending on how active I was. Stuck Mojo has consistently been the #1 band, but I accept a ancillary activity I do alleged Fozzy, and I aloof put accession almanac out with them aftermost year. Through all that actuality the antecedence has been consistently to accomplish the music for the folks, and afresh about-face all the music over to a almanac aggregation who would distribute, and sometimes alike adjudge to bazaar it and advance it. But this time with this new Stuck Mojo absolution we absitively the advance of activity would be to absolution it ourselves and advertise it abandoned through mail order, and now I accept become the world’s busiest mail adjustment clerk. (laughs)
You guys accept admiring a lot of absorption by authoritative the anthology accessible for chargeless download. Are bodies affairs in accession to downloading? Can you allocution a bit about your motives in authoritative the anthology accessible for free?
It’s been amazing. I absolutely anticipation that we would advertise ok because a lot of bodies nowadays, they alive on their mp3 players or they put their music on their home computers and comedy it. So I ample we accept two options here; either we accord the music abroad for free, or if you’d like to abutment the bandage with the music if you buy the anthology mail adjustment anon from the band, you apperceive that the money goes beeline aback to the guys that created it. It goes to pay off the recording costs and to basically acquiesce the musicians to absolutely accept a few dollars per almanac as against to aught cents per record. Alike admitting in our accomplished almanac deals we were declared to accept as a bandage about one dollar per CD, that’s afore advantage amount of production, recording etc, and bands never see any money unless you’re into absolutely multi-platinum sales… bands never see any money. What I aloof said, maybe it’s like the account arrangement that we acclimated to accept years ago breadth you go into the club abode at the pond basin and they’d accept a box of bonbon bars, and you know, it’s not a automat machine, aloof a aperture you put some money in. And it acquainted like it was the appropriate affair to do. And to accord it to association if they accept in the band, they accept in the product, I believed they’d buy it. And I didn’t anticipate they’d buy it by the tens of thousands, but on the avenue that we’re activity appropriate now it’s headed that way. Which is incredible, because my plan was to amalgamation it all up actuality at the abode and accelerate the artefact out and aloof booty affliction of the aggregate of it for the aboriginal brace of months, but I’m absolutely sitting on the attic of my appointment and it’s absolutely endless of envelopes abounding with CDs. I’m calculation them and aggravating to accord a claimed affiliation with the fan-base, authoritative them feel like they didn’t aloof abutment the bandage but they’re architecture a accord with some musicians who are absolutely amorous about what they do and absolutely accede the abutment that they’re accepting from the fans.
Does the abridgement of audio affection on mp3s bother you?
Well, it acclimated to bother me absolutely a bit because I’d absorb so abundant money and you’d sit there – and this wasn’t abundant different, we flew to England to clue drums and bass with my associate Andy Sneap who’s accomplishing the new Megadeth record. He was a groomsman in my wedding, we’re best buds, he’s spent Christmas and New Year’s at my abode many, abounding times — but still, it’s not like it’s chargeless (laughs), you apperceive aloof to get flat time at his flat it’s expensive, and his amount isn’t cheap, it’s expensive. So we did that, and we alloyed at the bigger flat actuality in Atlanta with the Ambassador Shawn Grove… he alloyed the accomplished brace of Sevendust annal and Collective Soul. We spent the money. He’s amazing. So I fabricated abiding that I spent the money on the product. And I spent months and months of accomplishing the things that it takes to accomplish a abundant album. And yeah, aback you booty all of that into application and annihilate it bottomward to 96k, you say hmmm, because of the banal cymbals and babble and stuff. But what I achievement is that the song is acceptable abundant to the point breadth bodies adore the song. And maybe those bodies don’t accept as acute an ear for that affectionate of stuff. I anticipate that the majority of bodies who accept to music are accidental admirers who adore a abundant melody, a acceptable rhythm, a acceptable riff, or whatever it is, and at some point, if bodies are absolutely anxious with audio affection those bodies are not activity to bother over spending $12 $3 aircraft to get a acceptable archetype of the CD. If they don’t apperception accepting the downloaded version, and accepting it aeroemism and complete a bit odd, afresh they can get it for free. And now I’m ok with that because I ultimately admit that already the anthology got out into people’s easily it’s gonna be chargeless anyway. I’d rather be the guy who gives it abroad and says, hey, this is my music, I wrote it, I spent $40k recording it, I’m activity to be the guy who gives it to you and at atomic I will be in allegation of the afterlife of my music. Added than, you know, some guy at a almanac aggregation who we accelerate a archetype of it to, and he makes copies for all his buddies, and afresh afore the anthology anytime gets out it’s up on the net. I acquainted like there was a bit of pride and candor complex in alive that through every footfall of the way I controlled the afterlife of the product. Whether bodies got it for chargeless or not, it was still the creators who offered that option, that still, as I said, it affectionate of gave it a faculty of “it’s ok.”
How anon do you see CD’s actuality a affair of the accomplished and how do you anticipate the Internet will affect music sales and the way music is marketed and distributed?
Yeah… (hesitates)… it seems to acumen that CDs are apparently not activity to be about 10 years from now… apparently won’t. It’s gonna be up to us as musicians to amount out a way to bear a artefact that bodies absolutely can authority in their hands. I got my aboriginal annal in the backward ’70s aback I was a kid, and I admired accepting anthology sleeves and I enjoyed absolutely attractive at the anthology covers, abnormally if my admired bands like Iron Maiden and Priest had absorbing anthology covers. There was article air-conditioned about it. But now I’m alms the aboriginal few thousand association that ordered a archetype of the CD, I accord them a chargeless DVD, that acutely makes it a bigger package. I say, hey, you get the music video for Accessible Season, and you get the “making-of” that, additional you get account footage. You know, it absolutely is advisable to us as musicians to try to amount out a way to accomplish the admirers of the bandage feel like they’re accepting article for their money. And if absolutely all they’re absorbed in accomplishing is downloading music and aloof accepting it to put on an mp3 amateur aloof to accept to casually… I hope, I accept that there are accurate music admirers out there that appetite added than that, and if it turns out that it’s aloof bands like Stuck Mojo and aloof bands like, oh, I don’t know, some of the European bands — whether it’s In Flames, or whether it’s Hammerfall, or alike underground rap groups that bodies absolutely adore — maybe it’s aloof activity to be affectionate of the subgenre bands that accept absolute loyal followings that still abide in a absolute format, and maybe it’s aloof that pop music becomes…. Because let’s face it, bodies who are admirers of pop music are about aloof admirers of songs. They’re not necessarily a fan of an anthology or a fan of that artist, which is why artists are so throwaway these days. They put a almanac out and bodies go crazy over it because of the single, and three or four years afterwards you never alike heard of that accumulation because no one cares. Hopefully there are absolute musicians putting out absolute music that has actuality to it, and that there is a faculty of candor abaft the music. Maybe those types of bands will still be able to put out artefact in some appearance or form. Maybe there will be some affectionate of adamantine drive appearance breadth there’s a baby little zip drive that the anthology is on and you get video footage on it… maybe the media it comes on changes… maybe there can be bend out posters or booklets so bodies can absolutely see accede yous and liner notes, and why that song was created, and who was the guy who played keyboards on clue #4. I anticipate the absolute admirers of bands appetite to see that. I apperceive that I do. So, I’ll aloof put it in the easily of those in the music industry to abide to assignment adamantine and put out a artefact that bodies will accept in and will appetite to support.
So do you anticipate that the industry will about-face appear bands authoritative added money from tour-based income? Because, like you said on your website, all the musicians you apperceive are bistro bake burritos three times a day, and with almanac sales tanking it seems like that’s beneath and beneath of an assets source.
Yeah… I consistently fabricated the majority of my money touring. Always. It was consistently abundant because from the actual alpha we started off in a van and we backward in a van for assorted years. So aback we started absolutely accomplishing able-bodied and we were affairs out every night and we were able to alpha arena bigger venues and accepting big guarantees, we didn’t say “Well, we should absorb all our money on a bus, and 18 aggregation guys to ablution our ass and do everything.” We aloof said “Hey, we’re already acclimated to roughing it.” I was consistently the disciplinarian of the bandage anyway. Aback we were done with the appearance I’d get in the disciplinarian bench and I’d drive to the aing place. So we consistently were able to accomplish money because we never spent it. We would put it away. We were all active in big houses and had nice cars, but touring was how we paid our hire and how we collection our appealing cars. We were able to do that alike admitting we absolutely fabricated aught dollars off albums. I mean, zero. So absolutely you’re talking about touring and commodity as a big allotment of it. And I’m now award that if I had been a little smarter on the way that I had recorded this new anthology and cut some corners… it’s accessible ability that I recorded this anthology alert with two altered vocalists, so that added absolutely a bit of added amount to authoritative this album. So, with that in mind, if I had adored a little bit added money in the recording process, the guys in the bandage would accept at this point been authoritative absolutely acceptable money. We’re aloof now starting to get into accumulation margin. All the costs are covered. So we’re adage oh my god, we’re absolutely to the point breadth every guy in the bandage is starting to see a little beck of assets off this album. And it’s done. And sales are still advancing in, a acceptable abiding stream. We haven’t spent one dime on advertising. And it’s all been chat of aperture so we’re absolutely appealing blessed about that. And it’s acceptance us to booty some time, get into rehearsal, absolutely beating these songs about and adapt a show. Already again, we’re gonna be arena baby clubs. I’m astute that at some point we’re gonna accept to acquire our keep. We’re not on a big characterization breadth there is some affectionate of announcement budget, and afterwards accepting artefact on shelves you can’t do abode announcement with Best Buy to advance your concerts. So we’re gonna accept to comedy baby rooms… but I’m bringing video screens, I’m bringing abounding pyro rigs for apartment we can do it in, and abounding production, lights and PA. And we may lose money every show. But I wanna accord bodies the activity already afresh that they got VALUE aback they spent 10 or 12 dollars to appear see Stuck Mojo in a baby club, that they got destroyed and absolute abroad and acquainted like here’s a bandage that absolutely cares about the product, and they affliction about the music, and they affliction about the fans. And maybe that will abide to actualize an ambiance breadth our admirers can abound with us and will abide to be a allotment of a little apple success story.
You guys aloof had your aboriginal appearance with [new advance singer] Lord Nelson this weekend? How was that? Did the army accept him well?
It was awesome. Absolutely. My anticipation was that we were gonna be in a little bit of trouble, because we’re talking about Macon, Georgia, which is aloof about an hour and a bisected alfresco of Atlanta. This is an breadth area we’ve played assorted times… they were accustomed with the aboriginal lineup. We started in Macon in maybe 1993. We were a bandage that consistently awash out in Macon. It was like our additional home, because it was so close. And I was a little abashed that aback we absolved on stage, some association who were aloof accidental admirers of the band, aback they absolved in the aperture would go “who the hell is that?” You know? If they were Internet basics they’d get on there and analysis actuality out and they’re consistently attractive at the metal blogs and stuff, but maybe they don’t alike know. So I’m thinking, ok, I don’t appetite Lord Nelson acclamation the army about it, it’s my job, I’ve been actuality for years, I should be the one introducing him. We didn’t alike accede it. We went out and played. The aftermost appearance we played with Bonz, as a band, was August 15 in Macon, Georgia. The aboriginal showed we played with the new bandage was the exact aforementioned area basically 6 months after, and this appearance was better. And I’m not talking about us as a band; booty that absolutely aside. The admirers acknowledgment was bigger than the aftermost gig we played, and it was so over the top and bodies admired Lord. They were all over him, and they aloof anticipation he was great. And there was no charge to abode the army about the situation, because they all knew already. They knew, and if they didn’t know, they didn’t care, there was aloof some abracadabra in the air and it was acceptable and it was absolute energy. We’ve consistently been one of those bands that’s been a little misunderstood, and it’s partially our accountability – we’ve put out a lot of advancing imagery, and we accouterment some arguable issues, and do some things that advance some ons, but at the end of the day we’re aloof approved old blue-collar Joes that adore the simple pleasures in life. We don’t accept any… don’t appetite to change the world, don’t appetite to alpha a revolution, we aloof accept some thoughts on some things and we draft them up with big air accoutrements and put them on steroids in adjustment to amplify the point, to absolutely bang the affair home. But aback we comedy shows, it’s all about the vibe, and it’s all absolute and it’s all good, and it’s fun natured. Lord Nelson envelopes that a lot added than the antecedent diva who is a lot added aggressive. Lord is aloof a little added laid back. His delivery, his style, is a little bit added accessible accoutrements and I anticipate the allure with what we’re accomplishing had a little bigger synergy to it, and I accept that the association in the admirers acquainted that. Not to booty annihilation abroad from the old calendar because it was able in its own way and it was great, but this had a little bit of a altered activity to it and I acquainted association absolutely responded able-bodied to it. I was absolute surprised. I had a little bouncer up, cerebration ok, this could be weird.
I capital to ask you about the agreeable agreeable of the song “Metal is Dead.” You absolutely assume to be aggravating to say article there, so is that aimed at any one accurate bandage or aloof the accepted arena in general?
It’s absolutely not aimed at any one specific actuality or one specific band. I accept to affirmation a little bit of benightedness in that I absolutely don’t chase a lot of new music for that exact reason, that it seems that abundant metal music has absolutely angry abroad from what was appropriate about it aback it aboriginal started to anatomy in the backward ‘70s and the aboriginal ‘80s. Today’s abundant metal reminds me a lot of glam rock, in that it’s all and no stuff. Alike admitting glam bedrock was all about the breed and the party, this bearing of abundant metal artist, it’s not that it’s the aforementioned methods, it’s aloof affectionate of affected to me. If you attending at it, everyone’s got these hip apparel they bought at Hot Topic and they abrasion atramentous attach brightness but it’s gotta be chipped slightly. It aloof seems too formed on. And the music is so digitally “fixed.” I’ve done abundant annal to apperceive what auto-tune sounds like. I apprehend all the guitars actuality anchored — and I’m not adage I don’t do it. As amazing a ambassador as Andy [Sneap] is, he knows that we could re-track it a few added times. It’s aloof that technology is there, and you wanna say “Do you wanna do it afresh or do you wanna fix it?” So yeah we’re all accusable of it. But the aberration is, aback addition sings a chorus, and there’s one bum agenda and you fix the one note. You apperceive they did it in the ‘70s and ‘80s too, they aloof acclimated analog angle and time machines to do it. But the aberration is I apprehend it on every fucking note. I like P.O.D. I anticipate they’re a abundant band. I dig the actuality that they do this Christian rap-rock thing. The rapper is great, man.
I anticipate that bandage in accurate owes a lot to you guys, as far as influence.
You apperceive what, I’m accustomed anytime anyone says “Dude, I absolutely admired what you did. You guys came out 10 years afore us and it was air-conditioned to accept to you guys.” I don’t apperceive them abandoned as guys, but I will acquaint you that as abundant as I like them, I apprehend the ambassador tune every freakin’ note. I apprehend it in every note. The guy’s apparently a acceptable singer. Leave the bum addendum alone. Let it be organic.
Yeah, that’s Howard Benson [P.O.D’s producer], that’s what he does.
Yeah, and that aloof already afresh shows you how out of blow I am. Howard Benson could be George Benson. I don’t know! (laughs) My accomplished affair is abundant musicians… it’s why I’m a huge fan of Dimebag, it’s why I’m a huge fan of Zakk Wylde, and Hendrix. It’s why I’m a huge fan of absolute musicians that comedy absolute instruments and absolutely affliction about the song and the anatomy and the attitude and the vibe. And Hendrix hit bags of bad notes, but they were the appropriate bad notes, and sometimes it’s aloof ok to leave ‘em there. And so aback I beggarly “Metal Is Dead” is has added to do with the all-embracing appearance of it. The spirit of it is done. A lot of these bandage guys, and I’ve toured with ‘em, but these guys… we’re animals, and so allotment of us are sacral beings, so yeah we adulation women and yeah we like to party. But aback that supercedes the admiration to convenance your apparatus and to address abundant songs… It’s aloof like the American Idol acquaintance –- they aloof wanna be famous. You know, all these kids, they wanna be in a band, they wanna be an actor, actress, whatever. “I don’t care, as continued as I’m famous! I’m gonna buy a $400 Ibanez and comedy through a little Pod. And I’ll appropriate some duh-dunh-duh-duh-duh-dunh-dunh riff, and I’ll get some accompanist that screams about how he’s agitated about how his parents fabricated him do his homework.” And all of a abrupt you’ve got this all-overs and you get a ambassador to fix everything. And they do it account they appetite the acclaim and the breed and the glory. To me it’s so boring, it’s lame. And that’s what the song [“Metal is Dead”] is about. And I’m not adage that there are not absolute players out there account there are, there are bodies that absolutely affliction about metal. It’s aloof that a lot of the ones at the top of the game, are the ones that, you know, are some of the adolescent groups. And it’s not necessarily their accountability – I bethink actuality 19 or 20 years old and continuing in advanced of the mirror afore a appearance cerebration “Damn I attending cool, I’m gonna get chicks,” instead of sittin’ in the van abating up for the gig, you apperceive alive on my accustomed accessory scales or whatever. And not alike that that’s what it’s all about. There’s that accomplished bandage amid accomplishing it for authentic motives and accomplishing it for egoistic arrogant motivations. I would aloof appetite this song to affectionate of be a call-out to absolute bodies who do it for the absolute affidavit and whose activity is amorous about music.
You may accept already answered this, but are there any accepted bands or musicians that you’ve noticed that you do like, that you feel are accomplishing their affair their way?
Yeah, I adulation this bandage Symphony X. Russell Allen’s [Symphony X singer] voice… he’s one of these guys who aloof has this amazing bequest to backward ‘70s affectionate of Joe Lynn Turner, Dio, Graham Bond, or alike Lou Gramm from Foreigner. Aloof an amazing dejection voice. I adulation him. I adulation his playing, and I anticipate they’re an amazing accumulation that are not abashed to change, try new things, they don’t apologize for it. They add added keys and add added melodies, and they don’t apologize. They aloof do it account that’s what they do. And I acquaint you, I adulation Mark Tremonti. I anticipate Mark Tremonti is one of those guys, who you know, because he played in Creed and because of the accoutrements that came forth with the diva in the accumulation and some of that bad stuff, he got a bad rap. But that Alter Bridge bandage is an amazing accumulation and Tremonti is an amazing guitar player. As a amount of fact, one of the accurate guitar hero-esque guys that is out there who’s not accepting any adulation because he played in Creed. But he’s the absolute deal, he’s a abundant player. The accompanist Myles is aloof an amazing singer. The bagman can play, the bass amateur can play, and they do it up. I adulation Audioslave. I anticipate that that’s the best accent area in the apple arena bass and drums. As abundant as their backroom and my backroom apparently sit on adverse abandon of the universe, I accord it up, brother! They are aloof as killin’ it as John Paul Jones and John Bonham in my book. There are affluence of guys out there who aback I accept to their annal I anticipate amazing, acceptable for you. And I alike like the new Maiden record. There is affluence of acceptable actuality out there that I love. I ambition I had added exposure. What I don’t accept is, aback I aboriginal active to Century Media, my A&R guy, he acclimated to accord me discs all the time of new and accessible bands. He gave me Apparatus Head Burn My Eyes afore it came out, and Demanufcature [Fear Factory] afore it came out, and the Strapping Young Lad record. It was abundant to accept addition agriculture me new material. And now that I’m married, and I’d rather watch 24 and The Shield than accept to new music sometimes, my ache for absolutely activity out and award new groups -– and maybe it’s because I’ve become a bit contemptuous about it -– but it’d be nice to be apparent to added groups. Because I apperceive they’re out there.
Especially now. There’s absolutely array of a renaissance so to allege of guys who can absolutely play, which to guys like us is thrilling.
Absolutely. And that’s what I need. As I told you I’d adulation to accept it filtered bottomward to me, and somebody to comedy the actuality for me. Man, I heard this bandage alleged The Haunted. I got it from Sneap aback I was at his house. And man it sounds brutal! And I apperceive that or at atomic I heard that one or added of the guys came from that accumulation At the Gates. And I adulation At the Gates! I anticipation that Slaughter of the Soul anthology was amazing. I still accept to it at the gym aback I’m training! I adulation Testament. I anticipation The Gathering was one of the greatest metal annal of the aboriginal 2000s. There are affluence of records… I like Bruce Dickinson’s abandoned records, I anticipate Halford’s abandoned annal are great. I’m abiding there’s a actor added albums I’m apathy aloof based on the actuality that I accept to the aforementioned four or bristles Journey annal all the time. (laughs) I get so abundant affliction from the added guys. They’re like “Dude, you accept to Thin Lizzy? What’s amiss with you?” I say “ Dude, nothing’s amiss with me!”
What’s in the a approaching for Stuck Mojo? Tour? Festivals? What’s next?
We won’t be accomplishing the summer anniversary affair in Europe this year because we absent the timing on it. They alpha booking that actuality in December and January and we did put our name in the hat for a few, but the botheration additionally becomes afterwards bout abutment it becomes difficult to do those things. We consistently did ‘em, because Century Media was able to put in a little bit of banknote to accomplish it easier on us, because you accept to comedy club dates in amid the shows on the big weekends. But the botheration is no one goes to club shows in the summer in Europe because they absorb all their banknote on the big festivals.
Right, and every bandage is aggravating to do the aforementioned exact thing, touring in between.
Exactly. And it’s actual difficult to do summer tours, so it’s absolutely accessible if you’ve got some bout abutment to accomplish that happen. But we’re gonna be accomplishing an East Coast / Midwest run in April and May. I anticipate the aboriginal appearance is in Spartanburg, South Carolina on the 13th of April. And that will aftermost for aloof beneath a month. And afresh -– I apperceive it seems camp –- but we already started autograph music for the aing Mojo almanac and we appetite to try to accept it done and recorded and appear by July 1st. The old academy putting out two annal a year affectionate of like Kiss acclimated to do. That’s our goal. If the affection of the actual is not there we won’t do it. Maybe if we end up with 6 or 8 abundant songs, maybe we’ll put out an EP and advertise it for absolutely cheap. But that’s our ambition is to accept article out by the summer, and afresh we’re activity to Europe in September and October. Appropriate now the bout that’s been offered is 9 weeks. And we’re affectionate of putting the dates calm now. So who knows, it may about-face into 7 weeks or 10 weeks, you aloof never apperceive with this stuff. And afresh we’re activity to Australia in November. So those are the planned tours. Aggregate else… we’re apparently activity to do accession Duke anthology as able-bodied in between, but we’d do it with the aforementioned Stuck Mojo band, and alike accept Lord Nelson do a lot of vocals on it. And it will be like Stuck Mojo lite. Affectionate of all the bedrock jams that are not abundant abundant for Stuck Mojo, do it beneath a altered moniker. And aloof affectionate of address and actualize and almanac as abundant abundant music as we can. I beggarly I spent my activity accumulation on architecture a flat and I’ve become a appealing acceptable ambassador and engineer. Afterwards alive with so abounding abundant ones, I aloof stared over their amateur for so continued that I’m putting my name in the hat and I’m gonna try and almanac as abundant as I can, and that’ll be the goal. If by December of this year we’ve got two added annal out and accept done three or four appropriate tours, afresh it absolutely will accept been a acknowledged year for us.
Cool, able-bodied acknowledgment for demography the time to booty to us.
Really my pleasure. I absolutely accede it. It’s been nice, because I’ve done all these interviews for political online zines and blog sites that it’s nice to allege music. It’s abundant that you guys are there, because there needs to be a source. I go to Brave Words, and I go to Blabbermouth, but there’s not a lot of absolutely abundant sources from bodies who are accurate admirers who absolutely can acquaint new music to bodies and get bodies excited. I mean, I’m abiding that there are, but if you’re not diggin’ too deep, there’s aloof not a lot of ‘em that are out there screamin’ for attention, so I absolutely accede you bein’ a ability for us and for added groups.
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