Interview with Byron Davis of God Forbid
Band Photo: God Forbid (?)
I recently had the chance to conduct an interview with Byron Davis of New Jersey metal outfit God Forbid. The band was playing a gig at a small bar called Whiskey Tango that I frequented for the better half of a decade. So, before their set at the venue, located in the northeast section of Philadelphia, I was able to pick Byron’s brain a bit.
I’d also like to point out how gracious the guy was when setting this up. I literally e-mailed him about a day and a half before the show to set up the interview. He was quick to reply and quick to solidify details, something I’m not used to. After the interview, he was also kind enough to stand around and shoot the, well you know, with me for a while. It’s a nice change from being rushed doing some interviews to find the singer of this band just relaxed and polite. You can read the full interview after the jump.
Mike (CorrosiveMind): How is the writing for the next album coming along?
Byron Davis: It’s going really good. We’re actually going into the studio in December.
CorrosiveMind: With Matt Wicklund as the new guitarist (ex-Himsa), taking over, has he changed the music’s style at all? Or has he pretty much picked right up where Dallas Coyle was before he left?
Byron: He’s definitely made the band move forward more because he brings the ability to have duel-solo’s. He’s always writing which is a plus. He’s very knowledgeable about his instrument and music theory, too.
CorrosiveMind: You guys aren’t on Century Media any longer, right?
Byron: No, we finished our contract obligations. We’re free agents right now.
CorrosiveMind: Does being free of contract obligations relieve any pressure on meeting deadlines or on musical direction?
Byron: Some shit isn’t really different. I wouldn’t say it’s more or less pressure. It frees us up to experiment further than we already have, you know? You always want to write something better than you did the last time around. You pretty much have to put that pressure on yourself, but we’ve been together for so long. It just kind of falls into place. Right now, it’s just trying to come across a little bit different and better than some of the newer bands out there now.
CorrosiveMind: Does the band have plans to get a new record deal or are you going to self-release with the way the record industry is going these days?
Byron: Well, if the money is right then we’ll get a deal. At this point in the game, the money has to be right, though. It’s not about greed at all, it’s just that there’s so much work that goes in to a band. We don’t want to record, tour etc… and still have to work a 9-5. I think it’s time for some payback.
CorrosiveMind: Do you enjoy playing smaller venues like The Trocadero here in Philly or Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, New Jersey more than small bars like this? (The show was at Whiskey Tango, a great up-and-coming venue in Northeast Philly)
Byron: I like them both for different reasons. I think it’s all dependent on where the actual show is. In certain towns smaller places do better than larger ones. It all comes down to the vibe, or the feeling, of the place. I have no problem playing any venue; whether it’s a big place, a small place or some one’s backyard. As long as we have fun.
CorrosiveMind: You guys came from the same area as bands like 40 Below Summer, E-Town Concrete and Ill Nino; did that create a family atmosphere? In other words, did it make it more of a competition or was everyone kind of helping each other out since you were all in the local metal community?
Byron: There’s always going to be competition. As far as with Ill Nino, we never really played with them until way after the fact that we were both signed. Even though we all pretty much came from the same scene, we never really mixed with each other. The only band we really played with was E-Town Concrete and another called For The Love Of. Basically, that was it. We heard of all of them but didn’t play together. In the beginning we played more hardcore shows and VFW halls and college halls.
CorrosiveMind: If you could say any one person or band influenced you to become a singer or even a musician in general; who would it be?
Byron: There are four dudes that I think are amazing and definitely were an influence. Tom Araya, Philip Anselmo, Bruce Dickinson and the fourth one is on a little bit of a touchy side. That would be Bob Marley, though. As far as what we do, the first three were the dominant reasons why we all kind of started a band.
CorrosiveMind: If you could create your own tour of local and/or underground bands that don’t get enough attention; who would you bring out on tour with you and why?
Byron: I can speak of one, for sure. This band called Ashes Of Your Enemy. They’re a new band. As far as local bands, I don’t really know many off of the top of my head. I don’t get the chance to see too many local shows, so that’s kind of hard to say. Actually, Mutiny Within is another band I’d like to pick. We played a show not that long ago with them before they got picked up by Roadrunner. There’s a good amount of bands in Jersey and that’s really what it’s all about; keeping New Jersey alive as far as the scene because places are hard to find for shows. Music as a whole has completely changed since, even, we started. So, to be a part of it still is pretty special to me.
CorrosiveMind: Choose one person for each option: Who would you fight? Who would you bang? Who would you have a beer with? They can be anyone alive or dead, also.
Byron: I try not to fight anymore, man. Fighting just leads to more violence afterwards anyway. There’s no one I’d really even want to fight right now except for maybe the people in Washington D.C. You know, get some of my money back. Mother fuckers are spending it on all kind of bullshit. As far as sleep with, I mean, there’s plenty of chicks out there who are mad hot. People who I’d like to have a drink with are probably those who I already have had a few drinks with. I’ve had drinks with quite a few cool cats. I definitely cherish those memories. As of right now, I think I’d like to have a drink with Snoop Dogg.
CorrosiveMind: Just a drink? You wouldn’t want to smoke some weed with the guy, too?
Byron: Nah, I don’t think I can handle smoking weed with Snoop Dogg. I definitely would be in just a clusterfuck or a daze if I did that. That shit just puts me in, well, not a good space.
CorrosiveMind: Who would you rather have sex with between: Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Lindsay Lohan, Lil Kim or a random girl from Jersey?
Byron: Katy Perry, she’s alright. She’s not all that. Lil Kim, she’s a dirty ho; so that would be pretty fun. Lady Gaga, I’m still not sure if she’s a woman or not. For Lindsay Lohan, I’d like to bang her cause she’s a lesbian. It’d be fun; she can bring her friend with her. That would be a good ride.
CorrosiveMind: Since you brought up Washington; you wrote Anti-Hero about Bush and his administration’s flawed policies and agenda’s. What is your opinion on Obama and the state of the US overall?
Byron: I think Obama is the Anti-Christ, honestly. Politics is such a touchy subject, because it could go either way. I just think at this stage in the game that we are, as a country and what’s going on in the world, it’s time for a new revolution. Whether it’s anarchy or whatever the next phase will be, we definitely need to clean-house. There’s a lot of money being wasted. There are a lot of opportunities to advance our country in a positive way that are being missed. There’s a huge homeless problem, a lot of unemployment. Everything that could re-stimulate our economy is being used overseas right now and it needs to come back. America is just become a country that is almost a third-world country in a sense. Because we don’t do anything; we want everything to be done for us and we want handouts. We need to sustain our power as a global power. I’m not necessarily saying that we need to go Communist or Socialist or anything like that. I just mean that we need to focus on what’s going on here on the home-front than what’s going on overseas. If the right actions aren’t taken, then there’s going to be situations where people will go crazy like they’re starting to today. Things will definitely change one way or the other. My hope is that it’s for the better than the worse.
CorrosiveMind: If you weren’t in God Forbid now, what would you be doing with yourself?
Byron: Dude, I’ve asked myself that same question for a long time. To be honest, I’d probably be invisible. Just working and being totally under the radar. I’d be self-absorbed with making money and just relaxing. I think that’s what I’d do.
CorrosiveMind: If you could have a movie made about God Forbid, from the beginning up until now; who would you want to play the band members and yourself?
Byron: That’s a tricky one. I love movies but I don’t stay up on the actors. If we were to include Dallas in this even though he’s not in the band now; I’d definitely have Jeremy Piven play him. Dallas was just that chaotic and so is Piven in almost every movie I’ve seen of his. With Doc (Coyle, guitar) I’d probably get Vin Diesel to play him in the movie. That’s because he looks just like Vin Diesel. Corey (Pierce, drums) would probably be played by Fred Sanford if he were still alive. Beeker (John Outcalt, bass) would probably be played by Robin Williams from the Mork and Mindy time period. As for myself, I don’t even know who could play me (laughs). It would definitely have to be a black dude who is big and scary looking.
CorrosiveMind: What about George Clinton? He’s not really an actor but he’s a big black dude who also has dreads and is a singer.
Byron: Nah, I wouldn’t pick George Clinton man. That mother fucker has got crack head tendencies. I love the dude to death, but I ain’t a crack head. So, I can’t have someone affiliated with the genre of crack, playing me. I don’t think I can pick someone who can do me and my total insanity. I guess it would have to be Redman. Definitely Redman, because he’s kind of out there but still pretty level. Oh and it would have to be a mini-series, not a movie, because I don’t think you can fit it all into a two and a half hour film. It would have to be an hour long episode, for at least fifteen to sixteen episodes to get it all in there and have it make total sense. That’s the way I think it would go.
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