An Interview with Bible of the Devil by Wendy WWAD
M: Mark Hoffmann: Vocals, Guitars
N: Nate Perry: Guitars, Vocals
WWAD: You guys just released your 6th album, For the Love of Thugs and Fools, on Rome-based Italian label, Cruz Del Sur. How did you guys first hook up with them?
M: Basically, Mike from Slough Feg steered us toward Enrico and Cruz Del Sur Music. After three records with Cruz, it has really helped us reach bigger destinations. We’d love to find a label in the US, but do those exist?
WWAD: Haha! How does your reception in Europe differ from here in the States? And do you tour Europe more often than America?
M: We are going to to Europe for the fourth time this Fall. We’ve done the States countless times. It doesn’t matter what country you are in, a Sunday or Monday night almost always sucks, but if you are overseas, it is always at least interesting.
N: We still tour America more but Europe is very good to us. We get a good reception and the clubs take pride in treating bands fairly. U.S. club owners should go over there for a month and learn a thing or two.
WWAD: It has been 4 years since your last release, Freedom Metal, what have you guys been up to?
M: Real life went on. But we still were touring and cutting singles and demos pretty often. Not exactly sitting on our asses.
N: We’ve been playing shows, writing, touring, pursuing the success of the band, all while trying to maintain places to live. I guess 4 years is a long time but it’s not like we’ve been sitting around eating hot dogs and farting the entire time.
WWAD: How does this most recent offering differ from previous albums?
M: It’s a pretty dark record, but as catchy as possible. We have always prided ourselves on big hooks and bombastic performances.
WWAD: How has urban life in Chicago affected your sound and/or subject matter of your songs?
M: In a big way on this one. There is some really personal stuff involved in this record. This is a very tough city to deal with and still keep your shit together sometimes. This is a bit of a tribute to that.
WWAD: What do you like the most about the Chicago music scene? Dislike?
M: It seems like we are pretty well-respected here at this point and we get a lot of good shows. I like that. I just don’t like a lot of other local music.
N: The best part is that it is a large city so if you do the work you should be able to cultivate some kind of following. Also there are lots of places to play. The scene can be pretty clique-y but since there are plenty of options you are free to go your own way as we have. I used to live in Syracuse, NY which is very small, and there was a stretch of about 8 months that there was literally no place to play. No live music clubs were open and everyone was afraid to even have house parties. I’d hate to have to live somewhere like that again.
M: It varies, sometimes a semi-complete idea comes in. Sometimes we ‘jam it out’ for a couple months or mash a couple of ideas together. There is no set method, really.
N: It has changed over the years. Lately I’ll come in with a solid musical idea that I’ve worked up or recorded on my own, and then we all bat it around until it turns into a song. Then lyrics get put on it. Sometimes we jam but not as often.
WWAD: Would you say that For the Love of Thugs and Fools is a concept album album?
M: We have stuck to a concept before, but no, I wouldn’t say that all of these songs unite in a singular concept.
N: There are a few consistent themes that run through it, but I think one would have a hard time creating a Broadway musical out of it. I don’t know, maybe someone could pull a story out of their ass, but honestly it really isn’t there. The songs belong together thematically but that’s as far as it goes.
WWAD: Producer, Mike Lust, has produced a few of your albums. How did you guys originally hook up with him and what do you think he adds to BOTD‘s sound?
M: Mike is a good pal. Big Kiss fan, and likes to party. We are a natural combination.
N: Mike had recorded my old band Mil Mulliganos which also featured my brother Matt Perry. That band shit the bed and died and Matt and I both joined Bible before the recording of Tight Empire. Once we were ready to go into the studio Matt and I suggested Mike. I knew Mark and Greg would get along with him. Mike, like Sanford Parker, is someone we trust to help us get the best possible performances in the studio. I’d say Mike’s sound is a bit looser and open, while Sanford’s is much more precise. In other words, Sanford has his signature sounds, such as the drums, down to a science, while Mike seems a bit more open to trying wacky shit. I think Mike’s approach suited this batch of material pretty well.
WWAD: So you guys are heading back to Europe this fall with Zuul…are you looking forward to it?
M: Definitely! Crashing Europe with a bunch of Southern Illinois lads. What can possibly go wrong?
N: OOOOOOOOOOOHHHHH YEAH.
WWAD: What are your top 5 tour destinations, whether places you’ve been before or places you haven’t played?
M: Well, we did not get to take in much of Germany last time over there, but we will be doing some dates there this time. Also, the plan is to also play at least one show in Greece. That sounds like it will be incredible.
WWAD: What makes BOTD unique?
M: Good, bad attitudes, undeniable purpose, and fun-hate!
N: Our stunning good looks, of course.
WWAD: What’s up with your obsession with “the Night”?
M: The Night is when shit gets real. You can write about The Morning if you are Kris Kristofferson or The Velvet Underground.
N: Almost everything awesome happens in the night. Most of the boring and mundane things in life occur during the day. You go to the DMV during the day. You go to the nightclub and do crazy shit at night. It is just that simple.
WWAD: If you could meet anyone, alive or dead, and hang out with them for a day, who would it be?
M: Well, everyone says Jesus or Hitler or something like that. I would want to hang out with my long-deceased Grandfather who flew many tours in a B-52 over Germany, survived, and then died tragically in a test flight over Ohio after the war. A true American bad-ass. I look almost just like his old photographs.
N: I would love to hang out with John Wilkes Booth for a day. He’d be dead, of course.
WWAD: If you could be reincarnated as an animal what would it be?
N: A pussyhawk.
WWAD: If your house was on fire and you could only rescue 5 albums, what would they be?
M: 1)Thin Lizzy: Bad Reputation, 2)Rainbow: Rising, 3)Black Sabbath: Volume 4, 4)The Stooges: Funhouse, 5)Warren Zevon: Excitable Boy.
N: If my house was on fire I probably would not grab any albums because I have an irrational fear of being burned to death inside a house that is on fire.
M: A balance of determination and insanity, first and foremost. Most other aspects of life are boring as Hell. Why not keep Rockin’ if you can make it happen?
N: Being completely emotionally detached from any form of human contact is a plus.
WWAD: Who / what first inspired you to pick up an instrument and start playing?
M: Ma was a piano teacher. I thought that was uncool and picked up guitar instead. Still kind of regret that. Could have done both.
N: I was inspired to pick up guitar so that I could get girls more easily. Anyone who says different is lying. Or a straight female. Or a gay man.
WWAD: What does the rest of 2012 hold for BOTD?
M: Well, the aforementioned European jaunt, possibly East Coast and/or Texas. We shall see what unfolds.
WWAD: Final words of wisdom?
M: Unless you are from South of the Mason-Dixon Line, please never wear shorts or a hat on stage- unless you are the drummer.
N: What has 9 arms and eats pussy? Def Leppard.
Bible of the Devil are: Mark Hoffman (Vocals / Guitars), Nathan Perry
(Guitars / Vocals), Darren Amaya (Bass), Greg Spalding (Drums)
For the Love of Thugs and Fools
1. Sexual Overture/While You Were Away 6:02 2. Out For Blood 5:28 3. Anytime 4:20 4. The Parcher 5:28 5. (I Know What Is Right) In The Night 5:16 6. Raw & Order 4:31 7. Can’t Turn Off The Sun 5:14 8. Yer Boy 4:52 9. Night Street 5:07