Interview With Lost Lady Saloon
Montana death metal act Lost Lady Saloon have described their music as “The diminishing sound of spurs walking away from your bullet riddled cadaver.” I caught up with three members of the band just before a practice session, as they prepare for their first live show next month, and discussed with them why they chose a cowboy theme for their music and how they came together as a band.
xFiruath: Montana is a state that isn’t very well known for metal. How are you guys finding the metal scene here and what kind of reaction and support are you getting?
Casey: We’re trying to make a metal scene. It’s been there kind of before, but it disappears, it’s kind of gone now.
Kevin: There’s a few people that are trying so we just kind of connect with those people and go with it.
John: Well, where I’ve seen we’ve got the feedback so far is from MySpace, and it’s cool because people are actually like “That’s fucking metal!” and people get excited. The nature of comments that people leave are like “That’s real metal” or something, as opposed to the off brand metal or whatever. I actually think that, here in Great Falls anyway, it’s either country or death metal.
xFiruath: Wow, those are two polar opposites.
John: Yeah, I don’t really see much other stuff at all. It’s definitely a perfect place to start something. I’m from Iowa and that was one of those places where it wasn’t known for metal or anything at all, but at the time that it wasn’t known for metal Des Moines was like going to be the next Seattle with the metal scene and everything, it was there, and I could see that happening here.
xFiruath: Get something off the ground?
John: Yeah, there’s a lot of that underground feel here.
xFiruath: How did you guys initially meet and decide to start a band?
Kevin: We were in Blood On Ice.
Casey: We were together in a band before, well at least two of us were. We tried to carry it on, you know we kept checking out new members or trying to find new musicians.
John: I had an add up at Rod’s Music (a local guitar shop).
Kevin: We found Sunil (Lost Lady Saloon’s guitarist) on the internet shortly thereafter and we’ve kind of been…
xFiruath: Just rocking it ever since?
Kevin: We’ve waited about a year…
Casey: Yeah it’s been pretty slow going but now in the last couple of months we’ve really started to progress and get together more.
xFiruath: I understand that you were looking to add a ragtime piano player, is that still going anywhere?
Kevin: Well it would be cool, but we really just wanted it for one song, it would kind of give that whole cowboy vibe in the song.
John: That was actually how Kevin pitched the band to me, that it was a death metal band about cowboys and basically had a western theme, and I was like dude, I’m going to be honest, I don’t think that I really have anything that I can contribute to that, I mean I’ll try it out, but you might think it’s just the most ridiculous thing you’ve ever heard, but hey, at least we can make friends!
Kevin: And ever since then I’ve eaten so much vegetarian pizza at your house.
John: God you lack “hick”.
Kevin: I do.
John: You need way more “hick”!
xFiruath: Lost Lady Saloon obviously has a very wild west feel, what made you want to go that route?
Kevin: Clint Eastwood. Well, at least (DVD) chapter 22 in “The Outlaw Josey Wales”. I read it and was like, Lost Lady Saloon? Sweet! And there it was. We kind of had it as a joke and it stuck.
John: Kind of like me. We have a funk bassist who likes Incubus.
Kevin: Wow, I’ve never heard of a funk metal bassist.
John: You love me.
xFiruath: So what made all of you originally want to start making music?
Casey: Shit, absolute boredom. I was thirteen and I was so bored as kid, and I just loved the guitar. I just wanted to play it so bad.
John: I played trombone, and that was the loser instrument pretty much. I had no friends, so somewhere around thirteen I was like fuck you all and my stepdad played bass and to this day is probably the best bass player I’ve ever met and probably ever will meet. He’s in Cedar Rapids and does that for a living, and so he sold me my first twelve watt amp and shitty Ibanez, that actually didn’t turn out to be that shitty, it’s sort of like an antique, but I just started working my way through an elements one book or something because I could read bass cleff from the trombone. I think from thirteen to sixteen I started my first real band and I probably played bass like eight hours a day in my room, because that was the coolest thing I could find to do.
Kevin: I played tuba, but I can’t play that in a death metal band.
John: No you can’t.
xFiruath: Well why not man?
Kevin: Well I was thinking about it but I’d need like nine grand for a tuba, and I quit there and it was like man, what could I do? I could deep throat (referring to death metal vocals), I could always deep throat for a death metal band! I thought it was better to call it that.
John: That was the first band name wasn’t it?
xFiruath: What is your songwriting process like? Does everybody do it or just one or two people handle that?
Casey: Thus far.
Kevin: It’s really just been Casey and Sunil.
Casey: When we start playing more we’ll probably write more songs together.
Kevin: We put some music together and I’m usually like what could we do for some lyrics? So I’m like OK, going to watch a movie now, hey look trains! Some poker matches, gotta make it metal, OK poker matches to the death, got it.
John: Right now Sunil and him have been writing stuff, and for me I work better with stuff I just write down or listen to at home, figure things out, pretty much just do the same thing but with a totally different language. Eventually I’m sure I’ll bring some stuff to the plate.
Kevin: He speaks Japanese bass.
xFiruath: What album do you guys find yourselves listening to most often, and what draws you back to it again and again?
Kevin: (Death album) “Sound of Perseverance”.
John: Britney Spears’ first album.
Casey: That band that Thomas Lindberg played bass for, like Backstreet Boys or whatever.
Kevin: Either that or “Crowned in Terror” by The Crown.
John: I think it’s probably actually a Tool album for me. I listen to either “Aenima” or “Lateralus” or “Undertow” probably once a day. For me it’s the mood that I get out of it, that’s the reason I keep going back to it. It’s like a fully involved activity when I listen to it. It just distracts me from whatever.
Casey: When it comes to metal I just listen to like Suffocation like “Pierced From Within”. Spawn of Possession, either of the Spawn of Possession albums are pretty sweet.
John: For me also Mudvayne “L.D. 50” and Slipknot’s first album, I listen to that religiously.
Kevin: (Covering his mouth with his hand as though whispering) It’s not his fault.
John: Fuck you man. For me, Mudvayne’s first album was kind of my vision for doing music when I first started, that perfect album that I never wrote.
xFiruath: What do you think is the best metal album that’s come out so far this year?
John: I like that Origin a lot.
Kevin: Yeah I was going to say Origin. That’s fucking insane, “Antithesis”.
John: I’ve also enjoyed Meshuggah’s “Obzen”. I just got that a couple of weeks ago and that’s, as always, a pretty fucked up and cool thing.
xFiruath: What do you think is the silliest thing that has happened in the history of metal?
Casey: Black metal. (Everyone laughs)
xFiruath: Now was that a blanket statement or…
Casey: It is.
John: Fred Durst.
Kevin: I don’t think that even falls under the category of metal.
John: He’s pretty silly. What’s that one, Horse The Band, that’s the silliest thing.
Kevin: Actually I’m thinking of Vaginal Chicken from France. I’ve got them as my MySpace song, Vaginal Chicken. I don’t understand it because it’s all in French (mimics death metal screams in French accent). Woah, he’s just so angry.
xFiruath: Whatever that vaginal chicken did, it pissed him off.
Kevin: He’s like, I’ll fucking smash you, you vaginal chicken!
xFiruath: If you guys could pick any one band to go on tour with, who would it be?
Casey: It would be cool to go on tour with Slayer just because they are fucking Slayer.
Kevin: Yeah, people like carve Slayer’s name in their arms and foreheads.
John: For the music I’d go for Mt. Helium, they used to be known as The Apex Theory, just because they are one of my favorite bands. That or Tool, just because it’s ridiculous.
Casey: Or Opeth or something.
Kevin: Opeth would be sweet.
John: Well Tool if I got to talk to Maynard every once in awhile because that would be fun, I’d just like to pick that guy’s brain a little bit.
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