Interview by Parisa Eshrati
I sat down with guitarist Danny Marshall of Baptists after the final day of Southwest Terror Fest. Their new album, Bloodmines, just recently released and seeing them perform this new material live was definitely a highlight of the fest. Danny and I discussed their new album, touring, other side projects, and more.
You guys just had a “Fuck Thanksgiving Canadian Stolen Land” mini-tour and posted list of Aboriginal boarding/assimilation schools. This was a very prevalent issue in Tucson and Arizona in general. Do you feel that when you’re playing in places that exemplify your message that you feel any difference in your audience or with your own live energy?
Maybe with a few people the message will hit home a little more, but I think that at the live show the lyrical messages become a secondary thing. I think more people pay attention to that sort of thing when they’re at home listening than they do live.
The new album, Bloodmines, just released 5 days ago. How has the feedback been so far?
Great! We recorded a long time ago in April and we’ve been waiting for a long time for this to get released. It feels good to finally have it out there, and people seem to dig it.
One theme of this new album is the corruption in the foster care system. I read that your singer, Andrew [Drury], hinted on working on a fuller investigation with a Vancouver journalist. Do you know anything more about this project or how far along is it?
I'm not sure how much I can elaborate on that project, but he definitely has an inside view into that world. He has been a specialized foster parent for the last two-and-a-half years or so. He deals with kids who are on their way out of the system. If it doesn’t work out for kids when they get to people in Andrew's position, then they’re kind of done. So he deals with kids who have had it the hardest. He sees the underbelly of the system that is pretty bleak.
On your last album, Bushcraft, there were some interesting D.I.Y. approaches to the album art, i.e. your friend Jill used her underwear for a filter. Were there any similar D.I.Y. approaches for Bloodmines cover?
The cave on the cover and the cave on the insert are both places that Andrew just found in the woods around Vancouver while he was camping. We just went up there with Jill, who shot our last two covers, and just took some photos around there.
Is there an intentional reason why there are no words or logos on your album covers?
I don’t know if there is a specific reason for why we do it, but we want to have imagery and photos that kind of speak for themselves. We want to have a continuous theme of just…blank. We just really like shit with nothing on it, no writing, no anything. It seems sterner that way.
You guys will be releasing your first ever music video for the title track “Bloodmines”. What was the process like of turning your music into a visual concept?
It was mostly our friend Brian who has worked on the video. He plays in a band called Waingro that we all love. He’s a good friend of ours and he played in another band called Rotting Hills with Nick [Yacyshyn], our drummer. He made a video for them and it was great and he said he wanted to do something with us. So we just let him go with it, and we trust him…so it should be pretty rad.
When will it be out?
Probably within the next few weeks. We got a text from him last night about final cuts and things like that, so it should hopefully be out sometime in November.
There are a lot of side projects with everyone in the band, so what are some things to look forward to with those side projects?
Nick just finished recording an album called The Deal. The band is called Sumac and it features him with Brian Cook from Botch and Aaron Turner from Isis and Hydra Head Records. It’s insane and the album is unreal. That’s probably the most exciting side project thing going on right now. Sean [Hawryluk], our bass player, has another other band Lady Hawk and they been doing a ten year anniversary tour and stuff like that. Nick and I have a band called Erosion that will be recording in the next few months. So there’s definitely some cool shit coming up.
You guys posted a badass Misfits cover for CVLT Nation just about a week ago. Do you have any other songs you’d like to cover in the future?
We have too many songs we want to cover! It would vary on depending on who you ask. I would love to cover a bunch of Motorhead songs, we wanna cover more Misfits songs, there’s just tons of stuff. We’ll see what happens though.
That cover was pretty appropriate with Halloween coming up, so I gotta ask what do you think is one of the best Halloween costumes you’ve ever had?
Oh man, I’m not a real big dress-er upp-er. Andrew is way better at these things. The last time I dressed up for Halloween was four or five years ago and I tried to be a sailor and I ended up looking like Donald Duck [laughs]. It was a real stick in the mud, so I haven’t tried dressing up since.
What do you think have been some of the most This Is Spinal Tap moments you guys have had on tour?
Ohh man, we have blown it pretty hard at different points [laughs]. It’s hard to pinpoint a specific Spinal Tap moment though.
The description of your album kind of reminds me of the Smell the Glove album cover. No words, no logos, you know, the whole “none more black” thing.
Yeah! [laughs] Maybe our decision to make an album with no name on it so people can’t tell what it is is kind of a doofus move too.
It's a pretty damn great cover though, and the album is amazing. One last question, name a few things that describe the smell of your tour van.
Feet…someone always sleeps in it so it smells like snore-breath. And just sweat. Lots of sweat. Sweaty gear, sweaty shoes, sweaty dudes!
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