Bible of the Devil Interview with Nate Perry and Greg Spalding
Greg: Yes it has! This will be our first tour in four and a half years and we are all looking forward to it. This is only a nine show run, but most of it is in the south as the folks down there have been great to us over the years.
WW: I know that you guys have a new 7″ split coming out. What label is it on? Who produced it?
Greg: This one is self-released by us and has Leeches of Lore on it as well. It’s hard to find labels willing to release 7” these days so we just took it upon ourselves to do it. We still like the format and BOTD’s 7”s usually end up as collector’s items so it’s worth it. Our friend Joe Irizarry produced it at Top Scrap Studios right here in Chicago. We think it’s a nice gateway leading into the full-length that we’ll start recording later this year.
WW: You guys have done a number of 7″ splits over the years with a variety of bands. Who decides which bands to collaborate with? Which 7″ are you most proud of?
Nate: It isn’t anything scientific, we have made friends with a number of really good bands over the years, and whenever we have something coming out we try to split costs and expose our fans to a cool band, and hopefully it works the other way too.
WW: So, For the Love of Thugs and Fools (2012) was your last full length album. Are you guys working on another offering any time soon?
Nate: We’ve never really stopped working on new material, but this time around I think we’re really taking time to figure out what works and what doesn’t.
WW: There’s seems to be longer and longer gaps between records. Is there any reason behind this? Or is it just, LIFE, in general?
Greg: Yeah, life catches up with you sometimes. After years of burning the candle at both ends, we needed to pull back a bit. You also realize that making money in a rock band is like squeezing blood out of a stone. Making an actual record costs money and since we haven’t gotten rich, it sometimes takes a little longer to do it right!
Nate: We’ve been through some pretty big changes, personally and musically, and each of us in the band took some time to tend to our personal lives a bit. Without boring anyone with the details, we are all better off for easing up on the gas pedal a bit.
WW: What do you guys do back home when you’re not doing BOTD stuff?
Nate: Well, we live pretty normal lives really, with wives, careers, kids, pets, those sort of things. Those things are nice, too. Not to shatter the illusion of integrity, yeah, but when you consider how long the band has been together, add that up and that puts a couple of us in middle age territory! As much as I admired Lemmy, I don’t think most of us mortals could hack going down that same path, which is probably what it would take to make a band named Bible of the Devil into a source of significant income! What I’m saying is, enjoy what you get from us and don’t miss the show when we come to your town!
WW: Are you guys still involved with Cruz Del Sur? If so, what do you like the most about working with them?
Nate: We’ve had nothing but good experiences with them. We’re just taking one thing at a time now, which means we’ll finish a record and then figure out who wants to work with this hit-making machine. Who wants some?
WW: I know you’ll be touring in 2017…any places you are looking forward to revisiting? Will you be touring Europe as well?
Nate: Always love coming back to Texas. No plans for Europe this year unless someone throws an obscene amount of cash at us.
WW: How does your reception differ in Europe versus the states? Favorite places to play there? Do you tour Europe more than the US?
Nate: Fans in Europe just seem to appreciate the art of pop music more, and have more respect for the artists. Not only that, but the clubs in Europe feed you and give you a hotel room to sleep in after the show, even on the underground level. With few exceptions, all of that comes out of your pocket touring the US, so you sometimes avoid eating well or end up sleeping on people’s floors to save money. So maybe we play better in Europe because we’re fed and well-rested?
WW: Will you guys be playing any festivals this year?
Nate: Every time we play, it is a festival.
WW: What’s up with the Alehorn of Power? Do you put it together?
Greg: Yeah, Alehorn of Power has been the brainchild of BOTD since 2006. The idea was to make it a rock fest that catered more towards the listenable side of rock and heavy metal. We think it has succeeded on several levels with many great bands that have participated and look forward to its 10th anniversary next year.
WW: How do you think you have grown as a band from album to album?
Nate: I hope that, when people listen to our recordings there is a sense that we just get… better. Better songs, maybe better recorded performances. We’re certainly better at editing ourselves. Everyone has their own favorite records of ours, but I hope there is at least a general sense of progress!
WW: How would you describe BOTD’s writing process when it comes to new material? Or has it varied / changed over the years or from album to album?
Nate: We do have some fresh blood in our guitar player Chris Grubbs, and he’s done a lot of writing and creating for our new material. Chris and I worked on a number of songs previous to his joining the group, and we used a majority of those ideas for the new songs. The way it seems to work is that Chris, Darren or I will bring in a few ideas and riffs that work well together. Then all 4 of us will arrange it, offer suggestions, figure out what the structure of the song is. After a number of weeks we can usually tell if it’s good or if it’s bad or if it’s shit. Vocal melodies come next, and lyrics come last, and are subject to change up until the point that they are officially recorded.
WW: I read in an interview that the recurrence of the term / theme of “Night” started as a result of an ongoing gag / game with San Francisco’s Slough Feg. I kind of love them too! Can you tell us more about that? And will the game continue?
Nate: I think we started our fixation with “the night” before we met Slough Feg. The real story is in the song “I Know What Is Right (In the Night)” on Thugs and Fools because that song was written specifically to make Slough Feg crack up. One morning on tour when both bands stayed at the same house, Mike from Slough Feg grabbed someone’s crappy acoustic guitar and started to make his own “song” about the night. Soon everyone joined in to make suggestions, which was hysterical and truly a moment where you had to be there. When the tour ended, I wanted to commemorate that moment, so I went to work getting this written. The only part I remembered from this “song” was the title and “Oh YEAH,” but I think it gets the point across, and Slough Feg loved it!
We’ve been making “night” songs for so long that it is a habit I can’t break. There is a brand new song featuring “Night” in the title because of course there is.
WW: You guys have been together 17-18 years now? To what do you attribute BOTD’s staying power?
Greg: Ha! That’s a long time in rock and roll years! If anything, it’s the songs that keep you coming back. Everything we’ve done and continue to do is of maximum fun. If it wasn’t, we’d would have stopped a long time ago.
WW: What do you like about the music scene in Chicago? Dislike? How do you think it has affected your development as a band?
Greg: Chicago has always been a place where you can get into most any kind of music you like. It’s also still relatively affordable to live and hold a job to still be able to do a band. If anything, there are too many bands here at the moment and things have gotten a bit diluted. BOTD has always fallen in the too rock for metal people and too metal for rock folks category. In that sense, we’ve never really had a “scene” and that alone has probably been a good thing for the band’s continued existence.
WW: If BOTD had a mission statement, what would it be?
Greg: Keep it Ultra and stay out of Hard Club.
WW: I know I’ve asked you before about your musical influences, and it’s also pretty obvious by your music. Is there anyone that you are particularly digging currently?
Nate: I wish I were more into modern music. I constantly find music that is new to me for inspiration, but it might be 20 or 30 years old! I’d like to be more forward-looking, but at this stage of life I enjoy what I enjoy. I want to be the kind of band that I would dig walking into a club and seeing. There are some young bands around like Beggars from Columbus, OH that are doing cool stuff. I hope there are more young bands who can rip your face off out there.
WW: What are BOTD’s plans for the future?
Greg: Well, hopefully getting this new record out soon and re-releasing some of the past albums on vinyl. Other than that, we’ll be hanging out in Chicago keeping it awesome. Come out and pay us a visit!
Bible of the Devil are:
Nathan Perry: Vocals, Guitars
Greg Spalding: Drums, Loathing
Darren Amaya: Bass, Vocals
Chris Grubbs: Guitars