I met up with Gumby from Battlecross out behind the State Theatre before the show, we talked about their album “War Of Will”, their experience on Mayhem Festival and more. Battlecross are currently on tour with Protest The Hero, The Safety Fire, Intervals and Night Verses, check out any remaining tour dates, as well as any upcoming tour announcements from the band. Also be sure to pick up their latest release “War Of Will”, out now on Metal Blade Records.
Q You guys are three and a half weeks into the tour, how’s it been treating you so far?
Gumby – It’s been nice. It’s a good group of bands, it’s not your normal heavy/thrash metal show, you’re not just getting one type of music, you’re getting a bit of everything.
Q – You guys are (in a good way) sort of the oddball band on this lineup. Do you guys prefer playing on these diverse tour packages, as apposed to playing 100% metal tours?
Gumby – I’ll tour with whoever our booking agent has for us. Like, “What are we doing?”, oh, alright whatever. “Where we going?”, alright, cool. “When are we doing it?”, sounds good.
Q – “War Of Will” has been out for around eight months now, how has the overall reception for it been?
Gumby – Awesome. Everybody has been very receptive with it. I’m extremely excited about what we’ve done, and what we’re doing in the future. We’re getting mad good response, we’re just like “Woohoo!”(laughs)
Q – What are the lyrical themes for “War Of Will” ?
Gumby – Pretty much just trying to be positive, not letting people get in your way, it’s the one thing you have control of. I don’t try to get mixed up in all of this crap, like, “Hey man, you’ve got real world problems? So do I! I dealt with it, you can deal with it. Have a good day.”.
Q – Battlecross were a part of last year’s Mayhem Festival. How was the overall experience for you guys?
Gumby – A huge growing experience for us, helped us fast forward a couple years. It was really hot and muggy out, I loved it.
Q – Shannon Lucas recorded the drums for “War Of Will”, how did it come about having him on the album?
Gumby – We were just parting ways with our drummer, we just like, “If you’re not doing anything for the next couple of weeks, why don’t you come track with us?”, we sent him the stuff and he was just like “Okay, cool.”. In two weeks he got set up, figured out what he wanted to do, and then tracked it. He saved us a bunch of money, and we were just like “Alright!”(laughs)
Q – You guys covered “Fucking Hostile” by Pantera, what lead you into choosing that song?
Gumby – We actually started doing that on our first tour. Our friend has a recording studio at his house that he lets us stay at, and he was just like “Hey, I’ve got my recording studio down here, you guys wanna start recording?”, and we just said “Sure, whatever.”. We just recorded it to record it, and he said “You guys are only here maybe three days out of the year while touring, why don’t you come stay and record?”, and it was right near the venue we were playing at that night, so it worked out.
Q – “War Of Will” hit #134 on the Billboard top 200. Did that surprise you, or did you expect the album to do so well?
Gumby – I was pissed off, they didn’t let us use all of our numbers. We were selling it for four or five days on Mayhem Fest, but we released it “officially” on the fifth day of Mayhem, because that’s when things have to be released, we can’t just say “Alright, we’re going to release this album now.”.
Q – I know you guys have been very vocal about connecting with fans whether it be on Facebook, or through emailing. It seems to be something that is unfortunately somewhat rare with bands nowadays, why do you feel it’s so important for you to personally reach out to your fans?
Gumby – Why am I in a van for five weeks straight? To connect with the people you’re going to see. I’m coming to see you just as much as you’re coming to see us.
Brandon(interviewer) – I unfortunately don’t see very many bands even seem to make much effort, but I know you guys are a little more outspoken about it.
Gumby – And I can’t wait to surpass those bands(laughs). When they ask us how we got there, it’ll be because we have a nice response from people who actually say stuff. If we’re going to come on this tour we provide for this market, and here’s the data to back it up. It’s not just “band-hangout time”.
Q – What’s the best concert you’ve ever attended that you didn’t play?
Gumby – Some of the baddest concerts I’ve ever seen are the ones where I’m like “Yeah! I’m at this bitch! Woo!”. The Hatebreed show in Michigan where I broke my ankle in the pit, I can’t do that anymore because it hurts when it pulls, but then I realize it’s just cause I’m getting old. We were opening for All Shall Perish, Demon Hunter and In Flames down in Ft Lauderdale, it was the first day and I was in the pit just like “Yeah! It’s All Shall Perish!!”, and I caught an elbow to my mouth, and I was like “Well, I guess I can’t do that anymore”, I mean, if you’re gonna pit, you better be ready to get socked in the mouth.
Q – What are some of your favorite music releases from the past year?
Gumby – Night Verses, the band that’s opening this tour, they’re sick. And the new Revocation, those guys are sick. The new Killswitch Engage, obviously.
Q – What’s the one band you’ve never toured with that you wish you could tour with/open for?
Gumby – Lamb Of God, Slayer. We’re playing with Black Sabbath this summer, although they’ll be playing last and we’ll be playing at like 2pm, hopefully(laughs).
Q – Battlecross are playing this year’s New England Hardcore & Metal Festival. Are there any bands you’re particularly excited to see?
Gumby – Goatwhore for sure, Unearth would be cool. We’re playing the same day as Iced Earth and Sabaton. Our name is in the big font too. I just looked at it and was like….(laughs). We’re used to be being around the middle of the opening bands, and this year we’re one of the headliners for our day, I think that’s pretty sweet. I had to go brag to my friends, like, “Look at that, you see that? That’s big font.”(laughs).
Q – After this tour is finished, what’s next for Battlecross?
Gumby – We go home for a bit, then we do New England Hardcore & Metal Fest, the back home, then we go out with Killswitch Engage for two weeks, then to Europe in June for all of the summer festivals, then we’ll be back in in late August. We have some things in line for late August that have yet to be announced. We’ll also probably start writing in July.
Q – Thanks for taking the time to talk with us, is there any last thing you’d like to say to any fans of Battlecross?
Gumby – Come out and see us live, buy a t-shirt, bang your head.