Posted on November 28th. 2017
Questionnaire by Nathan McLeod on behalf of METAL TO INFINITY WEBZINE BELGIUM
Nathan: Good day to you, Chris. How are you today? Welcome to “Metal To Infinity” & thanks a bunch for taking the time outa your busy schedule to do this interview today:
Chris: Good morning. Life is good. Your very welcome and thank you for your time as well!
Nathan: Can you please give the readers some information about yourself & “Mudface”? A short bio of sorts? Basically in your own words what you feel describes yourself & “Mudface”:
Chris: Mudface began in March of 2005. Former Mudface and current Death Angel guitarist Ted Aguilar approached me about trying to put back together our former band S1ft, after it had disbanded in the summer of 2003. When we couldn’t find a few of the members, we decided to start a new band with past and new members. When we first started, we began by playing old S1ft material. Our first show was at the Pound in SF playing with Testament, Hirax and others at the Thrash Against Cancer benefit for Chuck Billy. Was a great first show for a great cause. The blueprint for this band then and now, was to write heavy music with a groove. Respect for those who paved the way yet trying to be a little different than everyone else. Two EP’s, two albums and various line up changes and countless shows later, we are still rolling along after 13 years.
Nathan: And whose actually the other members that round out the “Mudface” line-up currently:
Chris: The current line up consists of Brett Crane (vocals, keyboards), Robert and Grant Kolowitz (guitars), Tim Davis (drums) and Jim Pegram (bass).
Nathan: So Chris, I’m gonna jump feet first into things & say it’s been rather quiet in the “Mudface” camp lately, what do you have brewing? You gotta new “Mudfcae” album in the works since your 2016 release of “The Bane Of Existence”:
Chris: So after we played the Death Angel Christmas show at Slim’s last December, we agreed that we wanted to take a year to really take our time writing new material for the next record. With “Bane”, we had three weeks to write that record. We were going into the studio with Bob Marlette ( Rob Zombie, Seether, etc) and Sahaj Ticotin (Ra) and we were really feeling the pressure. We also didn’t have a drummer at the time and asked Sasha Horn (ex Forbidden) to record with us. We went down to LA two days before we began recording to hash out all the tunes with Sasha. He came in and crushed it. Working with Bob and Sahaj, really taught us a lot about song writing and how to actually write songs and arrangements. I think as band, this becomes more important than just trying to out “heavy” everybody. Currently we are in pre-production recording 18 songs and will probably write a few more before we think about recording our next record. With these new songs, we wanted to take what we learned with ” Bane” yet have the youthful energy of the prior record “Anti-“.
Nathan: And speaking of “The Bane Of Existence”, what a kick ass release that was! Stellar release & a job well done, Chris! This was the review I did on “The Bane Of Existence”: http://cdreviewsm.metaltoinfinity.be/mudface-the-bane-of-existence-independent/
… You care to share any memorable moments during the recording process? A favourite gig in support of “Bane”? Do you have a favourite track from this release & why:
Chris: Thank you. Recording that record was an eye opening experience. It’s the first record we recorded where the producers actually gave input and that we were really pushed from our comfort zone. The whole process from start to finish, really made us learn a lot about ourselves and our potential. When you write a certain way for so long, it’s very easy to get into a comfort zone. Having a different set of ears and ideas, really helps open your mind and see things in a different perspective. That being said, there are a couple of songs on that record that I would’ve done differently. All in all, I’m happy with it and glad we had the experience. It’s hard to pick a favorite track. Three stand out to me. Hellfoot, Hollow and Down Below. All very personal life changing events in my life.
Nathan: Now, with the song “Killshot” that was originally composed on your 2011 “Anti-” release: https://youtu.be/oNFa1JWgdfg
… and re-released on “The Bane Of Existence”: https://youtu.be/f5nv7i79fVE … what a top-notch & kick ass fucking song! Both compositions are tip top! What I need to ask you is about the bone-chilling & sinister lyrics that were written for “Killshot” & what was your inspiration behind them? From my own personal trials & tribulations in life & what these lyrics mean to me, well, lets just say some cuts ran a bit deep with some past experiences & that reading the lyrics to “Killshot” hit close to home, Chris:
Chris: When we we submitted our ideas and some of our past stuff to Bob and Sahaj, they both agreed that they wanted to re record the song and trim a little of the fat off of it. Make it a little more anthemic. Looking back, we didn’t want to redo the song at first, but glad we did. Unfortunately in this scene, when you do good things, people want to try to shoot holes in it.Those same people pretend to be your friend but talk a bunch of shit about you behind your back. Killshot is our fuck you!
Nathan: Still a bit on “The Bane Of Existence” CD here, I must say the one song that really stuck out to me was “Down Below”: https://youtu.be/1CMyHVsidIU
… not sure if that comes as a bit of a surprise to you or not but must say that this track is brilliant as it is brilliantly written & composed. Could you please give a little backround regarding the song:
Chris: Thank you. I grew up in a family with alcoholism. I also had friends and ex band mates that were abusing drugs and a few of those people lost their lives because of it. Including my father. The song is about my experiences during those dark times. Both outward and inward!
Nathan: “Mudface” did two official music video releases from “The Bane Of Existence”. The first was “Hellfoot”: https://youtu.be/Wo0qOM9IcLU … and the second with “The Watchers”: https://youtu.be/Xznnc0_ladk … I actually did a short review of “The Watchers” here: http://cdreviewsm.metaltoinfinity.be/mudface-the-watchers-video-review-independent/ … and you’d given me some insight about the direction & meaning behind the video. Can you give us here a bit of the same regarding the “Hellfoot” video:
Chris: Hellfoot is all about choosing a path in life. Sometimes you choose the right path, sometimes not. Sometimes the path of least resistance is a lie, sometimes you know damn well that the path you choose takes you down a dark place and yet you still choose to take it regardless. Life is all about choices. You are in control of your own destiny. Sometimes however, choices are made for you.
Nathan: Going back to your debut self-titled release of “Mudface” in 2008 to “Anti” in 2011 & “The Bane Of Existence” in 2016, what had attributed to the gaps or period of years between each release? This have anything to do with line-up changes in “Mudface”? Were there other factors:
Chris: Yes line up changes over the years definitely play a role. It takes time to find musicians who share in your vision. The bay area is the Thrash Mecca of the world and although I do think we can be heavy at times, I don’t consider us thrash. I love the music, bands, etc, but we want to do things a little differently. Too much of the same thing out there these days. There’s already an Exodus, a Cannibal Corpse, etc. I’m all about a band having influences, just don’t try to rip them off to the point you sound exactly like them.
Nathan: A little bit more of what I asked you in question #4 regarding a new “Mudface” release, how far along is “Mudface” in the recording process? Do you have a tentative release date? Would you happen to have any new material teasers you can present to the masses currently? Anything at all:
Chris: As I mentioned earlier, everything is in the pre-production stage, with a few more songs to be written. We are really taking our time with this one. We have played a couple of new songs back in July and will probably do the same for our upcoming show at the Ritz in San Jose in December. After that show, we get right back to the process. We are going to possibly do something a little different this time around as to how it will be released and obviously, we will do a couple of videos for some of the songs as well.
Nathan: In 2015 “Mudface” played the “Knitting Factory” here in Reno, NV & had did a short live review here: http://metaltoinfinity.be/LIVE%20REPORTS-2/mudface_liveattheknittingfactory2015.html
… What a great show you guys played that nite! Was full of energy that evening & felt ya guys were on your “A” game that evening. Are there any tentative tourdates in the works? This could be anywhere, local Bay Area, Reno, Sacramento, LA, Portland, & beyond:
Chris: Thank you. We pride ourselves on being a good live band. It is very important to us that you are entertained. I can’t stand it when bands are staring at their feet or the singer has his back turned to the audience. 2018 will be a very busy year for us. We will be playing a lot. More so away from the Bay Area. I think it’s very important to not over-saturate yourself. A little bit of mystery is good!
Nathan: As a vocalist Chris, who are some of your influences in the “vocals” department? How about other influences such as bands? And how do you attribute your influences today & in “Mudface”:
Chris: It’s funny. I’ve never been one of those to say I’m influenced by someone. I love the vocals of Chris Cornell, Layne Stayley and Phil Anselmo, just to name a few. I’m more into how what you write about comes out in your voice. Is it true, are you singing it with real conviction, does it connect with me in some way and bring an emotion out of me? I want to hear clearly and understand the message you are trying to convey. Barking like a dog, screaming like a banshee or having a four octave voice doesn’t mean shit to me if I can’t understand what you are trying to convey. That’s just me. And shit, people may say that about me hahaha.
Nathan: “Mudface” was originally named “S1FT”. What was the story behind the name transformation:
Chris: S1FT was a fun band to be a part of. We were doing some things that were ahead of its time and we didn’t care what anyone thought about us. It was innocent and refreshing yet dangerous and challenging. I don’t think we thought much about what we were doing, we just did it. As I mentioned earlier, Mudface originally was supposed to be a reformation of S1FT. When we couldn’t get some of the members back, we decided it would never be the same and formed Mudface instead. A lot of the same mindset has been the foundation for Mudface since day one!
Nathan: Have you ever thought of taking tracks from the first three “S1FT” demos & first “Mudface” demo & re-recording any of the material & re-releasing them:
Chris: I like alot of those songs and some of those songs would definitely stand up today however, I didn’t write all of them and I think for the most part had their moment in the sun. I’m one of those people that doesn’t like to look back too much and if I had it my way, would play new stuff at every show, but I realize that they are my babies until they are released to the outside world then, they become your babies and realize people have an expectation to hear certain songs. Who am I not to give that to you. Without our fans we are nothing!
Nathan: This was the review I did on “The Bane Of Existence”: http://cdreviewsm.metaltoinfinity.be/mudface-the-bane-of-existence-independent/ & reviews I did for “Mudface” & “Anti-“: http://indexcdreviewsmnop.metaltoinfinity.be/less-recentolder-reviews-m/ … Personally speaking I think there’s been a natural progression musically from release to release as a band. Things seem to be stronger & tighter. Would you happen to agree with that statement & why:
Chris: When your bands line up changes, your bringing someone into the band that brings something new to the table. Also the longer a band stays together, you want to explore and not become stagnant. Even with the current line up, you will notice a change with the new material compared to “Bane”. We are into so many different styles of music and some of those styles bleed there way into what we do from time to time.Taking this year off and just spending time in the studio getting to know each other musically and as people will make you a better band.
Nathan: On a personal note here I know ya recently got married, Chris. Saw a lotta pics you posted from your honeymoon in Hawaii. Great pics by the way. Looked like ya had a great time over there. Would like to say “congratulations” once again, Chris:
Chris: Thank you. My wife and my family are huge supporters of what I do. That support system is huge part of who I am. With us taking a year off to write, it also gave me time to plan with my wife and focus on what’s really important in my life. Our guitar player Robert just got married a few weeks ago as well. Life has been good in the Mudface camp!
Nathan: Outside of “Mudface” do you have any other musical side-projects? Or is “Mudface” strictly it:
Chris: Currently no. I was playing in a doom style band for a couple of years but it hasn’t been able to get off the ground due to a thing called life. Maybe one day it will see light, but currently, not right now.
Nathan: About to wrap up this interview here with you, Chris. I’d like to say once again “thank you” for your time & effort with this interview. Appreciate it & am really looking forward to some new “Mudface” material & hopefully some upcoming tourdates. Is there anything you would like to add that was not asked nor covered here? A shout out to anyone? Feel free:
Chris: Thank you for giving me the opportunity to update everyone with what we’ve been up to. I really appreciate what you do for us and all of the bands. We love our fans and appreciate their patience. I know a lot of people are bummed we didn’t play live much this year, but I think it will pay off with the time spent in the studio. Mudface is still alive and well and promise some new kick ass music real soon. See ya in 2018!!!
Nathan: And there you have it ladies, gentlemen, & metalheads worldwide! From the voice of “Mudface” himself, Chris Dinsmore! Whom I’d like to say “thank you” once again for taking the time with this great & very informative interview brought to you by “Metal To Infinity”. And for more upcoming “Mudface” news, tourdates, recording info, merchandise purchasing, contact & general info, they can be found, followed, & liked at the following locations:
Bands In Town: http://www.bandsintown.com/Mudface%28OfficialPage%29
Metal Archives: https://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Mudface/85044