Interview with Lazarus A.D.

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Taken on June 6, 2009 at the Beaumont Club, Kansas City, Missouri.
I should note that this was a pretty difficult interview to transcribe because everyone was talking all at once and at times it was often really hard to figure out who was saying what…so, it should be noted that whenever anyone from the band is talking, I just generalized whoever was saying it by writing “LAZARUS A.D.” Enjoy!!

WULF: The new album rules, the songs are definitely really exciting, really catchy, and the production is really fucking good. The vocals especially stand out to me. (Jeff,) How do you keep your vocals in good condition…or do you?

LAZARUS A.D.: He sucks a lot of balls!!
(laughs all around)

WULF: Well because you know, some people say “oh, I eat a lot of chocolate before I (sing)” or “I smoke a lot of cigarettes.”

LAZARUS A.D.: There’s a right way and a wrong way to sing, you know what I mean? And I guess I do it the right way. That’s all there is to it, and as far as warming up goes, (I do) half hour sets (and) I don’t really need to warm up any longer than that. Same techniques as if you were singing opera. It’s the same exact shit. You sing from the diaphragm.

GRYM KYM: Don’t drink milk.

LAZARUS A.D.: As far as drinking things before you go on stage, some people drink tea or coffee, you know, it’s all bullshit. Room temperature water is the only thing that’s good for you.

WULF: I read a lot of metal magazines, and one thing I read was about the guy from Rhapsody and he was like, “It’s all bullshit, I smoke cigarettes, I drink beer, it doesn’t matter.” You’d think he’d be all like “before I go on stage, I do yoga for 48 hours or (something).”

LAZARUS A.D.: He’s probably swallowing somebody’s nut or something!
Seriously, singers who are conditioned as shit have swallowed a shitload of that. Freddy Mercury and Rob Halford, you never hear of those motherfuckers having anything wrong with their voice!

WULF: That’s true man! Alright, question number two, fellas.

LAZARUS A.D.: For sheezy.

WULF: This might be a dumb question, but…what’s the scene like as far as metal goes in Kenosha, Wisconsin? I read on that that’s where you guys are officially from.

LAZARUS A.D.: Weren’t there a bunch of older bands, from the 80’s and shit?

WULF: I looked up info on the city on Wikipedia, and it said that the punk scene there was pretty strong.

LAZARUS A.D.: It’s very big.

WULF: It said something about “kenocore”?

LAZARUS A.D.: Kenocore. That’s it, yeah we know about that.

WULF: What about the metal scene?

LAZARUS A.D.: It was pretty big for a long time but the thing was they destroyed themselves, they were so fucking stupid. They shut down all the venues out there, they ruined all the venues so no one could play anywhere. And then what happened was that you could only play one place, and we just started playing metal, and we were just better than all the other bands we were playing with. So when you’re playing one place, and we’re the only band who can draw, we ended up creating a scene of our own because that’s the big thing. If we chose you to play with us, you’d have a good show, if we didn’t play with you, you were fucked because there’s only one place to play, and we’re playing anyway.

WULF: How did the punks ruin themselves…were they too rowdy or…?

LAZARUS A.D.: They would trash venues! They would break shit, they’d get drunk and they’d fuck shit up, underage drinking too…that’s all it was, just a bunch of 14 year-old kids getting drunk and thrashing shit up…and places said “no, you ain’t playing here no more”. But some people are still die hard. I think it has a lot to do with the parents who grew up playing punk never grew up at all, and had kids, and that made them who THEY were. ‘Cuz we know that a lot of the original kenocore stuff, a lot of our good friends are like their kids. We know people who do the “khcp” or whatever it is, “kenosha hardcore punk”, it’s this little emblem…we know so many people with kenocore and that emblem tattooed on them.

WULF: I figured if (I’d seen it on) Wikipedia, it must be something.

LAZARUS A.D.: It’s definitely real. I didn’t know it was that popular.

WULF: Honestly, the only reason I know about Kenosha was because…y’know, Weezer, the “Buddy Holly” (music video), they’re probably not from there…

LAZARUS A.D.: Apparently one of the actors went to (some school there). Well, Al (the fat guy from Happy Days) went to (school in Kenosha). Happy Days was actually filmed out there in Milwaukee. Weezer’s video was done in like the Happy Days thing, or whatever. Al’s in the video- and they say, “hey, we’re Weezer from” or, I don’t remember what it is-

WULF: Kenosha, Wisconsin’s own, Weezer…something like that.

LAZARUS A.D.: I don’t remember hearing that! They’ve actually been out there (in Kenosha) a lot.

WULF: When it comes to Chicago, does Kenosha count as (being in the Greater Metropolitan Area of Chicago)?


WULF: I’m a history nerd, so I’m all about geography and shit but one of the things I read was like Kenosha is what…like, an hour (outside of Chicago)?

LAZARUS A.D.: It’s like, 60-70 miles. We’re directly between Milwaukee and Chicago.

WULF: Yeah, I didn’t know if like Kenosha was its own thing or if it was part of the Chicago scene.

LAZARUS A.D.: All the people who work in Milwaukee and Chicago, live in Kenosha. Honestly, most of the bands who are even from Kenosha don’t make it was far as Chicago or Milwaukee. I’m surprised you know as much about it.

WULF: Well I was really geekin’ out, y’know… is essentially my wife. Anyway, going a little off-topic, what is the craziest band that you’ve toured with so far and-

LAZARUS A.D.: What do you mean by crazy?

WULF: Well, the follow-up (question) was “any good stories off the top of your head?” Any weird black metal bands? Swedish bands?

LAZARUS A.D.: Within Chaos. We have to mention that.

(The band starts talking all at once, someone mentions Amon Amarth)

GRYM KYM: Why was Amon Amarth crazy?

WULF and LAZARUS A.D.: ‘Cuz they’re from Sweden!

LAZARUS A.D.: They’re vikings!

GRYM KYM: I mean, I love those guys, but-

LAZARUS A.D.: They were cool dudes, they were awesome. They’re different, let’s just put it that way. They drink…they don’t drink a lot of beers…like they’ll sip on beers just to chill, like a soda, but then they’ll drink like (does an impersonation of a badass viking taking a bunch of shots) and just fucking pour you up like “you want a shot? You want a shot?” And pour you a half a glass of whiskey. “Do you have anything to chase it with?” “No, drink it.” Every beer that we had that we tried to offer them, (they would be like) “Piss. Piss.” “You want a Heineken?” “Fuck that American Budweiser.”

WULF: Did they make fun of you guys for being from (Milwaukee, Wisconsin)?

LAZARUS A.D.: Yeah, ‘cuz those are all of our beers and they’re like “piss.”

WULF: Well that’s what I like, I like lighter beer.

LAZARUS A.D.: I like Coors Light a lot.

WULF: My Dad makes fun of me, he’s like “goddamn it!”

LAZARUS A.D.: And Unearth, they’re insane.

WULF: They’re pretty crazy when it comes to partying?

LAZARUS A.D.: Everyone’s great. Every band has their own little personality, but I’d have to say Within Chaos, they’re this band from Texas, they’re pretty badass.

WULF: Within Chaos?


WULF: I’ve never heard of those guys.

LAZARUS A.D.: We were just staying at their house last night!

WULF: Really?

LAZARUS A.D.: Yeah! They’re from Ft. Worth. Was it two nights ago? Yeah, that’s right. Ft. Worth.

WULF: So those guys are just nuts?

LAZARUS A.D.: Crazy drunks.

WULF: Any good stories?

LAZARUS A.D.: Way too many stories. Any story we would bring up wouldn’t even be something worth saying because there’s something that’s even crazier that would happen the next night.
You just have to hang out with us. That’s all I would say. We get asked that question a lot. You get on our level and it’s retarded or it’s not retarded. Either we’re going to bed early or something retarded is going to happen. That’s what it is, there’s never (anything) in between, it’s either we’re going to bed early, or we’re chilling, or…”what the fuck just happened?”


OK OK I got one!! So we’re in New Orleans, and we’re all gettin’ so shitfaced and we’re all at the bar, and Eric Peterson, the guitar player for Testament, is so gone, he doesn’t know what’s going on, and he doesn’t know where his bus is, and I don’t know where his bus is…we had been smashing absinthe all night talking about guitar amps and all sorts of shit-


Crazy shit, crazy shit, right? It was a rough night. So here I am, trying to find (Peterson’s bus), and he’s an older dude, he’s probably as old as my dad…I’m a young dude…and I’m trying to get this man back to his bus, and I’m calling the tour manager trying to figure out where he’s parked, (Peterson) is calling the tour manager screaming “where the fuck am I?! Where the fuck are you?!” Yada yada yada, and it’s just great, we grab a cab, which I paid for, get him to the bus finally, and then, because I was so wasted I was trying to get this guy who, I mean, this is one of my idols that I’m dealing with, I’m trying to get him back, I’m still so shitfaced and I’m running out of energy, it’s like 5 in the morning, sun’s coming up…I end up spending the night on the corner of a hotel in the nice streets of New Orleans, Louisiana. Ghetto as shit. This black security guard comes up and pokes me and is like “bro, you can’t sleep here man, you gotta get up.” I have no idea where I am, it’s like 6 in the morning all of a sudden I somehow find our merch guy who’s in the casino still. He’s the only one who knows where the bus is, or where the hotel is. He brings us back to the bus, gets the rest of the band and gets to the hotel, everything’s cool. I talk to Eric Peterson in the next couple of days (and he said) “I owe you big time dude. I don’t remember anything that happened.” Which is crazy dude, it’s nuts, you get so drunk and you don’t know what’s going on. This was 4 or 5 days ago.

WULF: Oh really?!

LAZARUS A.D.: It’s a good time though!

WULF: Wow, I was thinking like…

LAZARUS A.D.: Yeah, like this week. Like I said, that’s literally off the top of my head. If it’s a really great story, none of us can probably remember it. I think if we think hard enough we could come up with something but there’s SO MANY. And they’re so long. There’s so much that happens. If there’s four people that don’t remember then there’s one person that’s real bitter.


Our roadie who looks Mexican got too drunk and passed out and we actually got stopped by border patrol a few weeks ago, and he wouldn’t wake up he was so trashed.

WULF: Oh no! (laughing) Yeah, I read a lot of magazines, (and) I read one thing about how a lot bands complain about the Canadian border control.

LAZARUS A.D.: We haven’t had any real problems. They bring the bus in and they put us in a room where we couldn’t see and they searched our bus, but that was it.

WULF: Yeah, I guess bands have problems when roadies have sketchy pasts, or something.

LAZARUS A.D.: Well now you have to have a passport. It was June 1st when they announced that you have to have a passport or you can’t get out.

WULF: Weird. Well question number 5, obviously thrash is a huge influence, but what is your opinion on the new wave of thrash that’s sweeping the underground? I’m sure you guys get this all the time. Do you consider yourselves a part of this scene?


WULF: I would say you guys are a lot different because it’s not just like, 80’s retro, there’s modern influences.

LAZARUS A.D.: That’s true. To me, I would say that I don’t think that we’re necessarily part of it, but all the people who are part of it kind of take a peace of us and take a slight part of the music we play part of that fucking wave, and I just think that we’re lucky enough to kind of catch those guys ‘cuz we’re catching everybody else. That’s just a small section of our music I think. A lot of those bands sound so fucking like just 80’s rip-offs. Like from the Bay Area, like at that time. It sounds like dude, your guitar tone sounds like it was recorded on vinyl by (inaudible) or whatever the fuck his name is. We’re thrash obviously, but we kind of put our own influences in, and it is what it is. You want to group us in? Cool. I think we’re going to persevere over that once it’s all said and done, ‘cuz I think we sound different than any of the other bands. Yeah, a lot of people have told us that. (There’s) all these bands that are coming back, thrash is back, but you guys stand alone. It’s cool.

WULF: I agree with that.

LAZARUS A.D.: That’s what we want to hear. We’re trying to sound a little different. We’re not trying to come out with an album that could have came out in 1984. We (want to put out) an album with influences from 1984 that could have come out in 2010. You know?

WULF: What do you guys do during your down time on the road?

LAZARUS A.D.: You’re lookin’ at it.

WULF: Movies, books, hangin’ out, partying?

LAZARUS A.D.: I saw some movies.

WULF: Videogames?

LAZARUS A.D.: Not too many videogames. Not too many books are read.

WULF: Role-playing games?


WULF: No role-playing games?!

LAZARUS A.D.: First-person shooters man.

GRYM KYM: Halo!?

LAZARUS A.D.: Call of Duty! We used to be big into Halo, now I can’t do it anymore. Now it’s Call of Duty, forever.

WULF: (Grym Kym’s) pretty good at Halo, I kind of suck.

GRYM KYM: I’ll kick your ass.

LAZARUS A.D.: Our production assistant wants to challenge me in Halo, I’ll smoke her though.

GRYM KYM: No, I’ll challenge you. The name’s “Lady Blood”.

LAZARUS A.D.: I gotta touch up some skills before I do that, I don’t want to embarrass myself.

WULF: A lot of video games then?

LAZARUS A.D.: Not really, like movies, video games, just bullshit, sleeping. To be honest, there’s a lot of pot-smoking going on.


WULF: Well that’s what I was going to say, I mean sometimes it’s kind of sketchy, like “you guys want to smoke some pot?” And then they’re like “no” and then you’re like “oh…”

LAZARUS A.D.: “Me neither!!”


GRYM KYM: “I was just kidding!!”


WULF: OK, cool.

GRYM KYM: I think (the rest of the interview questions) kind of suck.

WULF: Well, she asked-


WULF: If somebody offered you 500 dollars to cut your hair off would you do it?

LAZARUS A.D.: Hell no!

GRYM KYM: Good, I wouldn’t either.

LAZARUS A.D.: I couldn’t do it! Are you kidding me?

GRYM KYM: Sorry it was a bad question!

LAZARUS A.D.: 500,000 dollars, we could go into the studio for a couple months! Yeah, 500 grand, that’s a different story.


GRYM KYM: 500 dollars is a lot to me, though.

(Joe from Live Evil Productions walks up)

LAZARUS A.D.: Hey this is my buddy Joe from Live Evil. Baddest promoter in town, man! He does the Riot Room shows over there.

WULF: The Riot Room is my favorite place to go for metal.

LAZARUS A.D.: This is THE MAN to hook it up in Kansas City if you’re going to play a metal show.

WULF: OK, gettin’ down here to the end, but what about…family? Is your family supportive? Do they enjoy metal? Are they like, “Oh! Satan music!” What’s your family like?

LAZARUS A.D.: Oh, hell no! They love it! They love the shit!

WULF: They like it?

LAZARUS A.D.: Dan’s Dad is the number one Lazarus fan of all time! Hands down! Hands down! Everyone likes to see their child succeed. He’s crazy. He’s intense.

WULF: Is he a hardcore metal fan? Like from back in the day?

LAZARUS A.D.: Not really, he likes like Metallica and shit like that…he’s into classic rock and shit.

WULF: I know about how (your album) was remastered by James Murphy and all that stuff, but among you guys what would you say was the most difficult track to record on “The Onslaught”?

LAZARUS A.D.: “Forged in Blood.” Definitely.

(the band starts to debate, Jeff says “Lust”)

WULF: Why?

LAZARUS A.D.: Because there were so many vocals. Your breathing patterns have to be spot on. You can’t miss a beat.

WULF: I see.

LAZARUS A.D.: “Forged in Blood” for me, just ‘cuz the rhythms were so hard, and there’s this solo part I do at the end that’s absolutely retarded-

(a joint is passed around)

LAZARUS A.D.: Anyone want to smoke? Anyone? Anyone?

(passes me a joint)

WULF: I quit, but I mean-

LAZARUS A.D.: I quit too!


GRYM KYM: You guys inspired me to smoke more weed ‘cuz of earlier!

(lots of coughing and laughing)

WULF: Well, that’s all the questions I’ve got, that’s it!

(we hang out for awhile, we decide to continue the interview a bit longer)

WULF: Alright, (Grym Kym) asked (while we weren’t recording) if Jeff was angry when he sang…

GRYM KYM: I didn’t ask that!!

LAZARUS A.D.: Yeah, you take everything you have in your life, and you’re pissed off, you’re from Wisconsin, it’s cold nine months out of the year, you’re shoveling snow, ain’t no jobs, ain’t nothing going on, and we drink a lot of beer, smoke a lot of weed, sit there and write some angry music, and it’s fun to play live. And when we come to the shows, the kids have the same aggression inside them, so we when they come to the show, we let out our aggression, they let out their aggression, it just bounces back and forth and the more they get into it, the more we get into it, and that’s how it rolls.

WULF: Where would you say is your favorite place to play?

LAZARUS A.D.: Milwaukee. Definitely. A lot of bands will tell you that that is one of the best places to play. It’s the best place for us because it’s like our home town.