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Interview with Brian Patton of Eyehategod

Fathers of sludge Eyehategod will be heading out on the road soon to cover your town in a thick, smelly layer of toxic slime. That's what sludge is, after all. The world is waiting on pins and needles for the next album; in the making for over ten years now. This is not a Guns N' Roses deal though. The musicians in Eyehategod are very busy with their other bands like Down, Arson Anthem, and Soilent Green to name a few. I was able to catch up with guitarist Brian Patton before the tour is unleashed to talk about the upcoming album, how crazy things get on tour, and amazing shows possibly heading your way. A transcription follows.

Buick Mckane: How are you doing today?

Brian Patton: I’m doing good. Can’t complain. Just hanging out, everyday bullshit. Yeah, it’s great.

Buick: Sounds awesome.

Brian: I’m A-Ok myself. It could be a lot worse. Mike [Williams of Eyehategod] sent me a Youtube video of a band called…what was it? I can’t even remember now. It’s a video of a bunch of people in wheelchairs running around singing. So it made me feel really good about my life.

Buick: How is this album coming along that was supposed to be out a while ago?

Brian: Well, yeah, it’s one of those records that’s kind of been, you know, well over ten years in the making. But it’s coming along good, we’re almost done. We’ve got enough material, once everything kind of gets pasted together, probably for the whole record, and we’ve got a good five, six songs done; ready to roll. So we’re chipping at it slowly, but it’s coming along really good. We wanted to spend a good amount of time on the writing with this record, you know. And we’ve got a lot of riffs we put on the side here and there, you know, because we want each one to be good. So we’re going to go in there with an abundance of stuff and just record, and put whatever comes out best on the record.

Buick: Do you think it has a chance of being released this year?

Brian: I mean, it’s a long process, I’m sure you know, as far as putting a record together. We don’t even have a label yet, so we’re kind of shopping around right now. We’ve got a few offers from people and we’re just weighing our options. And once all that gets worked out, we obviously need to record it. And there’s a good three months or so before once it’s recorded and delivered to them that it’s going to be out. So hopefully it’ll be out, we’re shooting for around the end of the summer of next year or sometime next year hopefully.

Buick: Ok, and are you going to play any of the songs from that album before it’s released at shows?

Brian: Yeah, we already have. We’ve played a few here and there, it just depends on the vibe of the show and stuff like that. Every now and then we’ll throw one out. But I’m a big fan of hearing when the song’s out live before we go record anyway, so hopefully once Mike gets a little bit more familiar with them and he gets his voice out as far as what he wants to do, you know, whip them out just to feel the songs out because songs change. The more you play them live, the more you feel the parts out, and it’s better for recording. Yeah, I’m sure we’ll play them live.

Buick: That’s cool, and you’ve been touring a little bit the last two years more than you have been a decade ago, but how do people react at shows in other places, maybe because they haven’t seen yall in a very long time?

Brian: It’s great, I mean, we’re playing in front of cats we played in front of back in old days and there’s a whole bunch of generations of new kids that come out and see us. So now complaints from this side. The shows have been better than they ever have been. You know, more packed than they ever have been, and the crowd reaction sometimes is pretty overwhelming, so things have been going really good. We’ve only been able to do, like, little spurts; a week here, a week there, couple of weeks here, couple of weeks there. But, you know, we try to hit a couple of major cities we know we do really well in, and they haven’t disappointed yet. I don’t think we played a bad show since we started getting back and really been rolling. We played a show in New York, it was on a boat and they oversold the show by probably a couple hundred tickets. And, you know, once you’re on a boat you’re pretty much trapped, so it was just wild. We could barely stand up when we played; people were just…yeah, it was insane. We had to have these really large individuals stand in front of us to keep the people off of us. But yeah, shit, people go nuts. It’s one of those things that, I have a feeling that since we haven’t been around in a good bit and people have been wanting to see us that when they finally get a chance to and we show up, they like to enjoy themselves.

Buick: I saw that video form the boat show, and it looked absolutely insane.

Brian: Yeah, it was an experience to say the least. Yeah, I think after the first note, Mike was laying on top of me, I was laying on top of the drums, and we were just floored. We could barely even play, make it through it.

Buick: I was in the front for that Paul Webb’s Music Store Show and it was pretty messed up just in itself, and hot.

Brian: That was a fun show, it was lowkey, and it was a free show. And to be honest with you, it was so blistering hot and suffocating inside of that place that we could barely even get through. Mike I think gave up after about the third song; it was just one of those shows. And we’ve had a few here and there, I mean, ventilation and air-conditioning is a beautiful thing.

Buick: It is. And that Spellcaster’s show was pretty damn hot too. I was trying to get them to leave that damn door open to get some air in, but that would have made it not metal I guess.

Brian: Nah, it would have made it totally metal for me. As long as I could breathe, you know, it’s good.

Buick: And all the costumes. Anyway, we’re pretty spoiled here, we get to see yall regularly. I am in NOLA, by the way. Are yall going to do a NOLA show again before or after the tour?

Brian: Well, I don’t think we have anything set for in New Orleans. We’re doing a show in Baton Rouge in January. But as far as before this tour in December, we’re pretty locked in. So I’m coming in right after Thanksgiving, and then we head out, the holidays make it a little more difficult, but right after the holidays then we tour for a couple of weeks. Then Joey has to head to Detroit and do his family thing with his girl and her family and all that. So after that, we’re not really doing anything til after the first of the year. And then I think we’re doing a fly out gig to Syracuse, maybe New York and somewhere else, and I think we’re shooting to put Baton Rouge in there because we had to cancel a show in Baton Rouge recently. So we’re trying to make that one up. So after that, you never know. I mean, we did the one at Halloween so we probably won’t play again in New Orleans til sometime in late January or something like that. Maybe we could something after the tour in January if we can do that when we all fly home, but that’s kind of…you know, New Orleans isn’t one of those places that we book two or three months ahead of time.

Buick: Of course, you could do one spur-of-the-moment and still have a lot of people show up.

Brian: Yeah, yeah. I mean I think One Eyed Jacks was mentioned at one point. You know, we haven’t played there in a long time. And so I think that was mentioned to play there again because that’s always a fun time.

Buick: I’d like to see yall in Baton Rouge because I like to see the weirdos that show up in places that aren’t New Orleans.

Brian: Yeah, you’ll have your opportunity because I think we’re playing there on the 14th or something like that, which would be the weekend before the 21st which is when we’re supposed to be flying out. So I think, it’s still not concrete yet, but that’s what we’re shooting for. If everything works out with the Syracuse show and the New York stuff, it will definitely happen.

Buick: I guess at the Spanish Moon, right?

Brian: I imagine. Yeah to be honest with you, I don’t have it in front of me right now, so I’m not exactly sure, but I’m pretty sure it’s the same place we played the last time we were there, that I do know. So, I’m pretty sure that was the Spanish Moon.

Buick: I’m not going to badger you about it, but I just have one question about Soilent Green. I was hoping there might be a show soon; I heard a rumor. But is there anything new coming out or any shows planned at all?

Brian: Well right now, there’s nothing, like, in the works, but we definitely intend to. So it’s just one of those things that Ben’s just getting off the tour cycle with Goatwhore, I’ve been a little busy with Eyehategod, Tommy’s been busy with Crowbar. So we just really haven’t congealed with everything quite yet. But we plan on doing a new record, we plan on trying to go out to Europe right now in April. And more than likely, we will play at home before then. I know we’re going to cross paths a couple of times with Goatwhore and Crowbar both playing with us on this stint in December. And once I meet up with Tommy and then Ben, we’ll work all of it out; try to get things nailed down a little bit. It’s just kind of hard because Tommy’s been recording Crowbar’s new record by the time I was in town, then he wasn’t even in town. So we haven’t had a whole lot of chance to just hook up and get moving. But, you know, we will.

Buick: Yeah, I think you have three dates together at the end of the tour, that should be a lot of fun.

Brian: Oh yeah, it’s going to be a blast any time we play with those guys. The more you see hometown faces, the better it is when you’re on tour; that’s no lie.

Buick: Right, do yall drink more when that happens too?

Brian: Drink more? No, not necessarily. I mean, I do my fair share of drinking and stuff with or without them. But, you know, it’s definitely a good reason to drink and have a good time when those guys are around. You know, we go back so long that whenever you’re playing out of the city there’s a lot of the bullshit’s not involved because it’s a little bit of home; you feel like you’re playing in New Orleans. We’ve done entire tours with Crowbar, Soilent Green, and Eyehategod together and it was one of the funnest things ever.

Buick: That might be something to do again.

Brian: It would be. It would be. You know, I wouldn’t be against it, that’s for sure. But right now we’re trying to possibly work out a thing with High on Fire and Crowbar might be on that as well. But, it’s kind of weird political bullshit thing that we’re having to deal with, so we don’t know if we’re going to do it or not

Buick: That does sound like a pretty great tour. Is there anything else you would like to say?

Brian: Beyond the fact that hopefully people keep coming to see us, and we love playing music so happy times. Beyond that, nope not really.

Buick: And buy the album whenever it comes out.

Buick: Well yeah, I mean, yeah. Even though most of our crowd will probably end up stealing it somewhere, and that usually how it happens. I know I usually do. But if you do buy the album, you get nifty artwork with it.

Buick: There you go, that’s the best part.

Brian: Well second best, the music’s supposed to be the best.

Buick: Well, if you’re trying to buy it….thank you so much.

Brian: Alright no problem. Anytime.

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Emily is an avid supporter of the New Orleans scene, often filming shows and conducting interviews with local bands to help promote their music. She also runs her own site dedicated to the New Orleans scene, Crescent City Chaos.

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