reforming after a little hiatus or was it more spur of the moment?
After we split, nobody thought about the band, I think we were all mentally
drained and needed space. It was always a thing that was thought about by
me (Jesse) for a while. But just because it was a thought didn’t mean I was
trying to make it happen. I had to push it when the time was right. And it
felt right when it happened.
Being the sole original member, was it difficult to recruit new members for the
I wouldn’t say it was difficult, no. To be honest, getting the band back
together was almost completely contingent on if we found the RIGHT new
members. If we didn’t, we knew it wasn’t time and that was that. Luckily, it
all fell into place quite fast once the word was out there and the ball was
Where did the name of the band originate from?
It was told to me in my sleep. When I woke up, I called Alex. I said I had the
craziest dream that someone kept telling me I looked like – Before I can
finish, Alex interrupted and said “the number 12”. I couldn’t believe it, we
had the same dream. A demon telling both Alex and I, we looked like the
number 12. We knew what we had to do. And that’s how the band name
was originated. Ok, just kidding, it’s a Twilight Zone episode.
What made you stick with the mathcore genre? Did you ever experiment around
with other genres before settling on this one?
Well to be honest, we didn’t really think we were sticking with any genre,
nor did we ever know what genre we belonged in ever. Everyone hears us
in a different way, therefore they categorized us the way they heard us. We
never really knew our place in this world of “metal”, but I prefer it that way.
We have never stuck to one sound, we always experiment with styles we all
listen to personally. I can pull vocal references from Cannibal Corpse to
Saves the Day, Alex pulls inspiration from everything BUT metal. Somehow
we always end up with a #12 song.
Roughly how long did you spend writing the new album? What kind of lyrical
themes/concepts are you trying to convey on the new album?
I mean technically, we spent years writing. I personally have been writing
lyrics for this album since we broke up. But it took about 2 years from
officially starting the writing to finishing. Lyrically, I wanted to cover all
kinds of stories. They are a collection of voices including mine from around
the world who have things to say and real issues to address. Writing things
I’ve observed as injustices, things I’ve personally been affected by. Real
stories covering everything from a young poet in Syria whose mountain
was invaded by ISIS to diseased children in Africa who have no clean water
but still have a smile on their face. I’m trying to give a voice to the ones
who need to be heard in the most powerful way that I can deliver it.
Is there a specific lyric that you wrote that resonates with you most? If so, what is
“Nobody ever made history by following the rules.” Pretty self-explanatory and simply put.
Who would you say your biggest influences are? Are all of you mainly into the
same genres or are your tastes in music more varied?
Hard to say who the biggest influences are because there are so many. I
wouldn’t say I have any artist or public figure as one main influence
because I take away only little bits from each. Genre wise, I am heavily
influenced by the soul of Motown, the passion of emo, the brutality of
death and black metal, and the catchiness of pop. I would go ahead and say
I am the only one in the band who would say all that, everyone is
completely different from one another.
Is that Eva (Spence) doing guest vocals on some songs? If so, how did the
thought of guest features come about?
It sure is Eva (Korman, now) being featured in “OF FEAR”. A song about
dealing with anxiety. Something we both had hard times dealing with while
we were separated from one another in the beginning of our relationship. I
wanted to have a song that reflected an incredibly brutal year for us and to
remember that it was not easy to become who we are now, a strong and
incredibly happy couple.
Whatʼs the story behind the album artwork? Is there a specific theme behind it?
What albums were you listening to while writing/recording the album?
The album artwork was created by a group of us. I had the idea of creating
creatures that represented each song. Collectively they would be WILD
GODS, they represented stories in our world, so for all the beings outside
of our world…this is what they would see of us. The masks of the creatures
in each photo were custom made by an artist from Colombia named
Nandrysha, who read the lyrics to the album and made a mask unique to
the song. Then Karen Jerzyk took the lyrics and the masks and created
worlds for them to live in, she designed and photographed the images for
the album. I went back to the design company who did our last two albums
to lay it all out, Aardvark Brigade. Boom.
can’t think of lyrics when I’m listening to others singing.
Any major albums youʼre looking forward to that come out this upcoming year?
Nope, not really.
Who did you work with as a producer? What kind of experience did you have?There were a number of producers and engineers we worked with on this
album because we appreciated what they all had to offer. Just like we don’t
stick to one genre or sound, we can’t really rely on one producer to fully
get exactly what we are going for. So we had Kevin Antreassian work on
the music, Mikhail Marinãs work on the vocals and Jeremy Comitas work
on a bit of everything. It was definitely a different and unique process, but it
was exactly what we needed to get this album right where it is now.
Any big plans for tours to support the album?
We have our WILD GODS tour in October where we are playing new songs
for the first time ever and the annual 12 Days of 12 this Nov / Dec which is
always my favorite tour. We aren’t doing as many tours as we use to, so we
will make sure to give one hell of a show for these runs.
Speaking of touring, what are some of your favorite touring or show memories?
Anything ever happen that resonates with you the most? Doesnʼt necessarily
need to be a positive experience.
I think the most memorable experiences are a bit too graphic to put into
writing haha, and they didn’t even involve me or my band, just experiences
by other bands that should not be mentioned. So with that said, lets stick
with a PG13 rated memory. It was so so long ago mid 2000’s, when I went
to California for the first time and it was on tour, we played Corona, CA the
Showcase Theater. I was so excited to tell all my friends and family that I
went to California to play a SHOW. It really didn’t matter if there was 5 or 10
people there, I just remember thinking, “man if anyone shows up here I’m
not gonna believe it cause how would they have even heard about us?” We
pulled up and got in and found out the show was sold out at around 350
people. I’ll never forget that feeling.
Who would you say the nicest band you have ever played a show with is?
I know I’m going to forget a lot of the good ones and I can’t think of who is
the NICEST band, BUT I do recall Thursday being some of the kindest and
sweetest and most supportive bands we have ever toured with.
If you had the opportunity to tour with 3 bands, past or present, who would you
Fleshgod Apocolypse, System of a Down, Tegan and Sara.
Is there anything youʼd like to say to your current or future fan base?
To the current fan base, I love you. To the future fan base, I will love you.