By Kyle Tucker
Feeling a little numb? Do spicy Mexican food and obsessive working out no longer give you the same rush of excitement? Well, instead of getting that panoramic tattoo you’ve been thinking about, get a taste of Unearth this summer. Their ultra-intense metalcore sound is sure to kick start your heart. Unearth’s new album, III: In The Eyes of Fire, hits shelves Aug, 8th and contains some of their freshest and heaviest tracks to date. If listening to the CD isn’t enough, you can check out Unearth live at any (and every) Ozzfest show this summer. I recently had the opportunity to catch up with frontman Trevor Phipps to get the lowdown on the latest from the band.
K: How did you first get involved in heavy metal music?
T: Since I was a kid it has always been some form of rock music. My father would listen to a lot of classic rock, getting me into the music. I remember the first album he bought me was Kiss: Dynasty, which I got really into ~ to the point where I was imitating the band. From there it was just a natural progression to heavier and more intense music. From Iron Maiden to Anthrax to Earth Crisis ~ and my personal favorite, Pantera.
K: It seems the music you produce has also evolved in this progression, would you agree that your latest album is also the most intense?
T: Absolutely. We’re finding more and more acceptance in the metal community for the heavier sound, which is great for us because that is exactly the sort of music we want to be playing. I’m very proud of our new album, it’s definitely our best thus far and also our heaviest.
K: Your first music video off the new album is of a song called “Giles” ~ why did you choose this song?
T: We feel the song does a good job of summing up the record. It’s a pretty
classic sounding Unearth song, but it also lets on to the darker, heavier sound
in the new album.
K: How else is the new album different from your last; The Oncoming Storm?
T: This album is far less political. We have strong views about the failure of our leaders and environmental degradation, but we don’t want to preach. Creating awareness is good but for this album we wanted to focus more on personal issues.
I’ve got demons and personal struggles like anyone else and this album gave me
the chance to get a lot of sh*t off my chest.
K: You guys are doing Ozzfest this summer, what’s this I hear about Canada?
T: Our first Ozzfest stop was in Seattle on June 29th. So we decided to do a Western Canadian tour as a means of working our way out there and hitting
some spots that we don’t get to play too often. A lot of kids out there are totally starved for live metal music which makes it that much more worth it for us.
K: This summer Unearth has an expanded role in Ozzfest, how is this different from 2004?
T: In ‘04 we were on a rotating schedule with Ozzfest, where we weren’t playing on an everyday basis. That was tough because as part-timers we would often get slotted in at the 9:00 AM slot. You always get psyched up for Ozzfest shows, it’s a great tour, but you don’t always want to scream your balls off before breakfast. This year is better because we’re there for every show and as regulars we take turns with the earlier shift.
K: With all 5 band members hailing from MA, you must be looking forward to the Aug. 1 Ozzfest show at the Tweeter Center in Boston.
T: Yeah, playing at home is always an experience. All our friends and family come out for local shows. We’ll have fifty people backstage having a barbeque and drinking beers.
K: Despite doing two tours and releasing a new album this summer, you somehow found the time to guest-host Headbanger’s Ball recently. You seemed very
natural on-air, have you done the show before?
T: That was actually my fifth time on the show, only the first time to host though. But as much as I’ve gotten more comfortable with being on-air, it’s definitely been a work in progress. I remember my second time on the show ~ Vinny Paul from Damage Plan asked me a question and I sort of just froze up like Cindy Brady. I just blanked out, they actually had to reshoot the scene. Eventually though you come to the conclusion that there’s really nothing to be nervous about.
K: So what does the future hold for Unearth?
T: I’ll tell you one thing, we’re not going to do is compromise our sound. The last thing people need is another cheeky pop icon. This isn’t about getting rich and having a fancy sports car. At this point our only agenda is playing heavy f*cking music.
Visit www.unearth.tv to get more details.
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