Hard Talk

God Forbid, an Interview with Byron Davis

J: So the new album, ‘Constitution of Treason’ has been out a couple months now. How is it selling?

B: It’s selling good you know. I mean it’s not moving as fast as we want it to, but it’s definitely moving. We’re very proud of the record. And it’s catching on. And we’re very happy about that.

J: I saw that the first week of it’s release it hit #199 on the billboard top 200 list. That must have made you feel pretty good about it?

B: Yes, that felt really cool. That we got some recognition for all our hard years of work. It was definitely nice.

J: Now for the 100th time, could you give us a brief rundown of what the story line is about?

B: Basically it just deals with the apathy of people in the United States. And how everyone is always complaining about how they don’t agree with what is going on, but nobody says anything outside the dinner table. It’s just a matter of realizing what’s going on and being willing to stand up and say something about it and be a part of a solution. Instead of a reoccurring problem.

J: Lyrically speaking, how did you end up venturing down that subject? Were there too many things eating at you?

B: Well there were a couple things eating away at us. I think the thing that really took it over the top was when Dimebag got killed. At that club in Ohio. That really showed just how America is really messed up. It really brought it to our attention. So we started out with that song, the title Constitution Of Treason and the song Fallen Hero, which is our ode to Dime. It really just snowballed from there.

J: Do you feel that there is a majority of fans that pay that close of attention to the lyrics?

B: I think some people do, I think more so after a period of time they do. First of and with any band they end up just listening to the music. After they get comfortable with the music and where the changes are, then some people will naturally venture into looking at the lyrics. We’ve been given a platform to stand on and we try to write about real issues that everyone can relate to and have some kind of meaning. To what the hell is going on. Instead of just writing party songs.

J: So what do you hope people will take away or get from them?

B: Well we hope that it provokes thought. When people sit back and really take the time to understand the lyrics. To realize that a lot of things are occurring in our world right now and that they have a chance to go ahead and change it. You’re given opportunities all the time. America is the greatest country in the world. You have the right to vote. You have the right to disagree with someone else’s statements. You have information and information is power. It’s cool to try and prevent something that happened 30 years ago. That you could do today. We just hope that people will sort of wake up from their little comatose state and realize that a lot of things that they don’t like, they have the power to change. If they’re willing to do that.

J: So now you’ve pretty much been out on the road since the release?

B: Yeah.

J: How have the crowd reactions been to the new material?

B: Oh the crowd reactions to the new material have been great. They’ve gone over really well.

J: How much of the new material do you incorporate into the set?

B: Well we try to do any where between 3 to 4 songs in the set.

J: Even in a headlining spot?

B: If we’re headlining, we always try to do a little more. Right now we just try to do 2 to 4 songs.

J: So how have the first few shows on this Anthrax tour been?

B: They’ve been really cool. It good to see a lot of old school metal heads out there. Getting back into the fold. It just that we have to show them that the metal community has never really died. They left. And all along it has still been going. So we’re trying to usher them back in slowly.

J: That’s my next question. Have you noticed an older crowd of metal heads at these shows?

B: Definitely. I mean, I grew up on Anthrax. I still have the cassettes and the vinyl’s. that was one of the main bands for me growing up. Anthrax, Metallica, Slayer and Megadeth. Those were the four when I was growing up that I constantly listened to. So for me to be in a position to be on tour with a band that had so much influence on me growing up, and it being the original line up is just amazing. We did Ozzfest in ‘04 and were lucky enough to do off dates with Slipknot and Slayer. It’s like a dream come true for me. Playing with two of the four bands that really made an impact on my life. And now I hope I’ll be able to someday play with the other two.

J: What’s the upcoming year looking like for you guys touring wise?

B: Right now after this small tour we’ve got a few headlining shows that we’re going to do, then head home and take two or three weeks off to take care of some band business and take a little break. Then it’s off to the UK with Trivium and Bloodsimple. After that we’re going to come back and do Children of Bodom and into a full proper U.S. headlining tour. We are hoping to get a spot on the Sound Of The Underground tour. Or maybe Ozzfest again or maybe even the Giantour. Whoever comes knocking with a feasible offer, will definitely hop on board. To step out on that big stage and show the world what God Forbid is all about.

J: What are your thoughts on today’s American Metal scene and do you feel it’s headed in the right direction?

B: Right now I feel it’s just that window of resurgence. Back in the ’80’s, metal was really huge and then it died out a bit. Then it came back with that grunge. I think now is metal’s big window of opportunity. The really good bands are going to stand out and keep the genre moving. Just like how it was back then. You had all your real heavy bands like Megadeth, Slayer, Metallica and Anthrax. Then you had your Skidrow, Poison and the Bulletboys who all were dominate during their genre. That kind of died out but then they came back and I think that’s what is going on right now. I guess you can say that now metal is sort of being exploited in a good way with bands like Killswitch Engage, Shadow’s Fall and Lamb Of God doing really well that it’s showing . And to all those metal heads who thought it died out, it’s showing them that metal is back in the fold.

J: So what differences do you notice from the crowds here as opposed to those in Europe or other countries?

B: There’s subtle little differences. Not too much though. You’ll always get the stare. That if you’re playing somewhere you’ve never played before, they give you that stare until they see that your up there and can really prove yourself. But I’ve got to say whether it’s Europe or America, it’s the dedication and the love for the music that really stands out. And it shows that our metal community is still growing. And it’s still alive.

J: What are some of God Forbids long term goals?

B: I’d like to see us go to the point where we’re not in debt. I want people to sit back and go, wow they’re a really good band. I don’t want to sound fucked up in saying it but a lot of good bands sort of go by the wayside and don’t really get noticed until way after the fact. Regardless of whether metal is real big or not, we’re still going to be doing this. And that’s playing the type of music that we love to play. And that out hearts are into. There is so much music out there , choose wisely.

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