Ahead of their excellent performance at Sound Control in Manchester (keep an eye out for our review of the night in our upcoming December issue!) we caught up with Goatwhore’s vocalist Ben for a chat.
So you’re currently on tour with Dying Fetus – how has it all been going so far?
It’s been going phenomenally. All the shows have been really really good – a really good response, really good crowds…really good everything! And not just for us too, for all the bands. Dying Fetus definitely has a solid fanbase out here and that’s a good thing too because it puts us in front of a lot of new ears and eyes, which is really awesome. But not only that, all the bands bring something a little different to the tour. From Fallujah, to Malevolence, to us and Dying Fetus, but the culmination of all that makes it really good and the audience is into the whole thing – all the way from the start to the end.
There’s been a few rumours floating about of there being brawls and fights, and everything generally being a bit unsafe at some of the shows – is there any basis to any of these rumours or are people blowing things out of proportion?
Well, you find that whenever you have a pit, someone will always get rubbed the wrong way; there’s always something like that. Like, people going “you shouldn’t do this!” or whatever, but you’ve just got to roll with it.
How do you feel the crowds have been?
Well I think they’ve been really good. I mean yeah, you do get your occasional person getting their panties in a twist, but overall there’s been no problems. Everybody is there for the same thing – even though the styles may change a bit between the bands, everyone’s there for the music and to have a good time.
Exactly! So which show has been the best so far?
I don’t know because they’ve all been really good! Dublin last night was really crazy, actually.
I’ve always heard that the crowds in Ireland are superb.
Yeah, they were really into it in so many different ways but every show has been good overall. Even in Holland – I remember in the past when we’ve toured Holland, people over there have been almost standoffish, but they were really good at that show too. I just think people are coming to this tour and are expecting the intensity from every single band.
And they’re of course getting it!
Yeah! Everyone’s ready even before they get in through the doors, they’re waiting and are ready for the whole night. It’s funny because when you tour in the States, the nights that are really important are Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The other days are somewhat questionable since people won’t come out because of work or school, but over here it’s like every night! Out here it’s like rock and roll doesn’t have a day of the week – it’s any day!
Over here Sundays tend to be the quieter nights because public transport doesn’t really run as late on that day.
To be honest, even the Sundays have been good! Sundays tend to be earlier shows, maybe because of the transport thing, but they’re still good and people still come out and they still drink, so they’re definitely out to have a good time still!
Have you got any interesting stories to share from the tour so far?
So everyone has been very well behaved?
(laughs) Overall! There was one night where the tour crossed paths with the Cannibal Corpse tour with Revocation and Aeon, and that night got…uh, a little rambunctious, shall we say? It got out of control in certain ways, a lot of alcohol was consumed and a lot of friends were hanging out! We’re all good friends with the guys in Revocation and Cannibal Corpse, and we know some of the guys in Aeon. So one of the guys will be “let’s have a drink!” and then another asks if we want a drink, and everyone’s having a drink so it all gets crazy!
That show was really good too, of course. I work merch, and some nights in the venues the merch is set up near the stage. It was a big place but we were all set up to the side so you could see everything. And the whole night was just awesome. It was a very long, interesting evening…waking up the next morning was tough, but it was really fun overall.
What do you like most about touring over here?
It’s our fourth time over here and the first few times it was hard because you have to break people in and a lot of people don’t really know who you are when you first come and are fresh. Even if you have records out, there’s so much coming out that you never know who hears what, but we got off on a good foot in the UK pretty much the first time we came over here and it’s definitely built up each time. In mainland Europe it was a little harder but I think things are starting to come together a little more and people are starting to open up to us and recognise us in some sort of sense. We’re actually supposed to come back in April, so we’re trying to hit Europe and the UK a little more, like we do in the States. I just want to get back in people’s faces and so when the next record drops, people will know and it will impact on them.
If you could tour anywhere, with any band, what would you choose?
A world tour with Judas Priest, Slayer and Goatwhore!
That would be seriously badass!
Yeah, it’d be pretty fucking awesome. We could play, then sit back, have some drinks and watch those bands every single night! It’s funny – I recently did another interview and they were asking who I’d like to tour with that I haven’t already toured with, and I was saying it’s unique because we’ve toured with bands like Celtic Frost and Venom. We’ve also done shows with Emperor, things like that, and those are things we would never have conceived back when we were younger and listening to those bands! We’d never have thought that we’d be in a band on tour with them! There’s lots of bands that would say they’d like to tour with these bands, so I guess the next step after those could be Judas Priest, Motorhead, Slayer or Black Sabbath, and that would be the pinnacle of everything.
If you could replace the soundtrack to a film with your own music, what would it be?
Man, that’s a hard one because I feel the soundtrack makes a movie! Maybe something like Night Of The Living Dead, or maybe one of those crazy-ass fucked up avant garde horror movies. I think our music would fit better with something like that. Like, I don’t think we should put our music to The Hobbit because it wouldn’t do it justice! It would have to be a disturbing fast-paced movie, one of those really sick ones!
If Goatwhore could put their name to a product, what would you choose?
Hot sauce. There’s a guy we’re talking to in the US who’s done High On Fire hot sauce and Eye Of God hot sauce, and he’s going to do a Goatwhore one actually!
That’s awesome, I can’t wait already! And my last question, what are your plans for 2015?
2015…in March, we’re going to be heading over to Australia and in April we have plans to come back out here, from April until the beginning part of May. Then at the end of May, we’re coming back over here to do Temples Festival and then after that it’s kind of open, so we’ll see how everything falls. Sometimes you just don’t know, and everything falls into place at points. There’s a lot of anxiety because you don’t know what’s going to go on, and undetermined outcomes, then everything just pops into place at the end!
As far as plans go, that’s what we have set up. January and February we may spend a bit of time throwing some ideas together for new material and stuff like that, and then just do the thing in Australia, come out here and then come back and do Temples Festival. Then from there, I’m hoping that this will maybe lead to a few more festivals out here – maybe Bloodstock or something in mainland Europe. We’d like to do some more festivals because it definitely gets you into a lot more people and get them familiarised with what you do.