Hard Talk

As I Lay Dying: Interview with Jordon Mancino

As I Lay Dying bring a heightened sense and sophistication to metal. They released an independent album and toured and are still touring, which has been a part of the bands moniker since day one. Their latest album, Shadows are Security, has brought new fans a long the way as well as redefining their hardcore loyal following.

Ballbuster had some time to chat with drummer Jordan Mancino of As I Lay Dying about their new album and being a part of the Slipknot: Subliminal Verses tour. Currently the tour has been postponed due to Shawn from Slipknot’s father passing away. Our thoughts and prays go out to him and his family.

Ballbuster: So, how’s the tour going?

Jordan: The Slipknot tour was amazing even though we only played five shows as of right now. The crowd really liked us and it was a lot of fun. It was a good experience with Slipknot as far as the band and the crew. I can’t wait to start touring again.

B: Tell me about the Slipknot tour cancellations?

J: Shawn’s father passed away while we were playing in Toronto. We didn’t find out until a couple days later and the tour was canceled for over a week. We plan to fill in as many dates as possible.

B: You guys started as a local band in San Diego and released, Beneath the Encasing of Ashes, with constant playing and touring. Can you tell me about that time period when you were an independent unsigned band? How did everything unfold to what As I Lay Dying is now?

J: It’s a whole project. You evolve and progress as a band overtime. We never expected the amount of success that we have had especially back then. We only wanted to play and tour and reach more people. We were going to college and would tour during the summer and winter break. Once we were signed to MetalBlade Records, everything started to pick up from there.

B: Tell me about your new video “No Struggle,” that just premiered on Head Banger’s Ball? What can people expect?

J: The video has a performance piece of us playing in an abandoned meat locker in an empty warehouse in downtown L.A. There’s an old guy with an apron studying medical books and gathering tools. You are not sure what he is trying to construct, but throughout the video you realize it’s a mechanical heart that starts beating. At the end, he takes off the apron and his chest is empty. He was trying to make a heart for himself.

B: You released your current album, Shadows are Security, in June 2004. What did you try to do differently on this album compared to your previous album Frail Words Collapse and why?

J: With Shadows are Security we had more time and money to do what we wanted to do. We have new writers in the band and we wanted to create a great metal record with really good songs. We wanted heavy music but also to write really catchy songs that even the non-metal fan could listen to with joy and actually understand it instead of just playing some intense thrashy riff. We wanted organization to this album. Over the years we have progressed musically, as a band, and as songwriters.

B: What is your ultimate vision and sound for As I Lay Dying? What do you want it to totally be?

J: That’s a hard question. When we first started this band, we never expect all of this to happen. For me to set a goal would be presumptuous. I want to keep on doing what I am doing. I want to play shows and continue to be passionate about what we do.

B: What advice would you give to unsigned bands?

J: I would say find dedicated band members first and foremost. Find people that really have a passion and a drive for what they want to do, because if that’s not there it’s not going to work. Try to get some money to record an album in a decent studio, it doesn’t have to be top-notch, but where people can listen to it and get the general idea, so you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars. Then try to tour and play shows as much as you can. Meet people and try to get your message out there.

B: What is next for you guys?

J: After the Slipknot tour is over, we are doing a headlining tour with Norma Jean, Madball, and A Life Once Lost until Christmas. That’s all I know about touring as of right now.

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