Interview With Jeff Thomas Of Deliver Us From Evil
The great white metal hope out of the safe and friendly mid-west confines of Evansville, Indiana, better known to their diehard underground fan base as DELIVER US FROM EVIL, have not relented one nano-second in their all-out pursuit for heavy metal glory. They have been simply destroying each stage, even going as far to make sure that each new show they perform is a bit more destructive than the last. The impressive metal unit seems to run on mutant-type powers, in the mind's eye of this music critic. I have yet to see one other unsigned metal act, throughout the entire world this year, that can bring such a radical technical explosion and completely original approach to their songwriting. I recently was able to get some questions in with their bassist, Jeff Thomas.
Rocket: So are you originally from Evansville, Indiana?
Jeff: No, actually I grew up in Orlando, Florida. My parents moved me to Indiana when I was 16. I wasn't too happy about it then, but now I'd have to say it was a good deal. It was quite a culture shock for me as you could imagine moving from the city into the country. I was used to things like being able to see a punk show, metal show, and go to a rave (yes I was into the rave seen when I was a kid) all in the same day. But I digress, I'm here now and if I was still back home, I wouldn't be in Deliver Us From Evil.
Rocket: Right on. Now when did you first start playing bass?
Jeff: Well, to be honest I've only been playing bass seriously since I've been with this band. I've actually been a guitar player my whole life until now. I've always liked playing bass for fun but now it's also a challenge, and I like that!
Rocket: Do you play with a pick, your fingers or both?
Jeff: I play mostly with a pick but I do use my fingers where I can. I would use them more but I have the "SHAFT" to thank for that (refer to the picture on my myspace). To explain a little further, my middle finger on my right hand has been broken since I was 13 so now it's permanently stuck in one position. The whole nickname thing started in high school thanks to my buddy Mike Vig.
Rocket: What kind of basses are you playing live and in the studio?
Jeff: Right now, I'm using an Epiphone EB4 four string. It's the Epiphone version of the Gibson SG fourstring at half the price, ha! I love it though it's got a great feel and sound plus I've always been a big fan of solid bodied guitars and the SG body style in general. Right now I use it on stage and in the studio cause it's just so versitile.
Rocket: What kind of amp rig?
Jeff: For a rig I'm using an Ampeg SVT classic with an 18" Peavey Blackwidow for my sub tones and another 18" PA speaker in a homemade box that my father built for the higher tones. Kind of unconventional I know but I'm not really a conventional kinda guy, and besides it sounds great for metal!
Rocket: Killer. What kind of strings have you been using lately?
Jeff: Nothing but DR high beams for me. Out of all the strings I've tried I've found them to be the best. I believe that the gauge is 105E, 85A, 65D, and 45G. They are really comfortable and sound sharp even after a lot of shows.
Rocket: Tell me now, who are a few of your biggest bass playing influences?
Jeff: "Geezer" Butler from Black Sabbath for sure. He always had such a great sound and his playing was top notch especially when he was doing instrumentals with Tony.
I would also have to say John Paul Jones from Led Zeppelin, that guy could get around on a fret board and his technique was incredible plus he could keep up with Bonham, enough said. I would also have to say Ryan Martinie from Mudvayne. His sound on L.D. 50 is crazy and the way that he plays is incredible. If you've never really listened to the stuff he's doing on that album, take the time it's worth it. And of course, Rex Brown from Pantera, and Down. I could say tons of things about Rex but sometimes less is more and the fact is he’s the man that’s all there is to it.
Rocket; You can't go wrong with Geezer and Rex. So I know this band is working on some new material. How's that going?
Jeff: All I can say is, I think that it's all coming out great we’re getting the sounds and the feeling we want and that’s all we can really ask for. As far as what can be expected, that’s easy. A great album full of ass kicking metal!
Rocket: Right on. I for one cannot wait, brother. Tell me what's been your favorite metal album for 2006 so far?
Jeff: To be honest, I don’t keep up much. So I’m not really sure what’s come out so far this year. I know that probably sounds funny, but I’m kind of an oblivious person and I don’t really end up hearing about new music until it isn’t new anymore. The only thing that I’ve heard recently that I liked was the stuff that Lamb of God has posted off of there new album but I’ve only heard a few songs so I can’t speak for the whole album, but so far they get two thumbs up.
Rocket: Yeah, I've had the entire album since it's release date now... and it's mind blowing overall. Tell me who are some of the other local acts in your area that you're impressed by.
Jeff: We’ve shared the stage with a lot of good bands but I’ll name a few here and I encourage everyone to check them all out on myspace. Life’s Tragic Curse, Shatter the Odds, Daath, Southern Cross, Exesion, Blood Tribe, Dixie Deathwish, and Yakuza.
Rocket: Gotta love that Southern Cross. Hell yeah. Jeff, I like to have fun with the next question. What's the funniest thing that's ever happened to you on stage?
Jeff: I think the funniest thing that’s ever happened to me on stage would have to be the time I got so drunk at the show that I kept taking the mic away from Brent and saying stupid shit to the crowd. Then, right after the show I puked behind my amp. I think Alex even got some of me puking on tape so if he did that could be some great footage for the next DVD, HA!
Rocket: Haha. That's classic! The bass player letting it loose!! So what are some of the upcoming shows for this band?
Jeff: As far as booking shows we’re kind of on hiatus right now so we can finish up the album. We’ve got a few local shows over the next couple of months but that’s it. For those of you that would like to know when and where we are playing check out our myspace, www.myspace.com/deliverusfromevil.
Rocket: Well, brother, thanks for taking the time with me. And I wish you and rest of the guys in the band nothing but the best on your steady rise to the top. Give a shout out to your biggest supporters.
Jeff: First, to our close friends of which we have to many to name thanks for everything. I’d also like to thank the other bands that have helped us out along the way like Blood Tribe, and LTC. Of coarse to our fans I thank you for liking our shit. Lastly, I would like to sincerely thank all of our parents for supporting everything we’ve done thus far and helping us in any way that they could.
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