Ahead of their headlining performance on the Sophie Lancaster Stage at this year’s Bloodstock Festival, James Weaver and Eddie Sims caught up with Sammy Duet from US blackened thrashers GOATWHORE to talk about their performance as the last band at Bloodstock Festival 2016, any future plans and their upcoming 20 year celebration as a band.
So you guys are headlining the Sophie Lancaster stage tonight, what can fans expect from that performance?
Sammy: A lot of very heavy metal, very evil heavy metal.
You’re the last band to close Bloodstock, have you got anything special planned for the set?
Sammy: We’re just gonna do what we do y’know, we never really plan to do anything special. We’re just one of those barebones kind of bands, we just go out there and do what we do y’know.
In terms of the set-list balance is it going to be mostly new material or mixture of?
Sammy: It’s going to be a mixture of a lot of different stuff, like from every album we’ve ever made. We’ve got like 75 minute of play so.
And it’s been the last day of Bloodstock, have you had a chance to see any other bands?
Sammy: I haven’t got to see anything yet.
Still setting up?
How does it feel to be playing after SLAYER on the main-stage?
Sammy: It’s kinda making me a little nervous, it’s like even when we play shows in the United States, y’know like a small club gig, before you go on stage somebody puts on Reign In Blood. Nobody wants to hear you after that, they wanna hear fuckin’ Reign In Blood.
It’s been 2 years since your last record, Constricting Rage of the Merciless, how have you found the reception for that album?
Sammy: Excellent, a lot better than I thought it would because we did a lot of different stuff on that record that we didn’t really do in the past. I didn’t expect it as well as it did, the fans accepted it that much and it was awesome – we’re really happy about that.
Since it’s been two years are you working on a follow-up?
Sammy: Yep! We have pretty much all the music written and then we’re going to start working on lyrics and stuff like that when we get home from this. Maybe fix a couple of arrangements in the songs and stuff y’know, just small stuff.
So is it too early to tell when the expected release date is?
Sammy: No, we go in and start recording in October, so maybe early next year possibly, if everything goes smoothly.
Next year it’ll be 20 years of GOATWHORE, have you already starting looking ahead for something special performances to celebrate?
Sammy: I think about it every now and then but it’s like “what are we gonna do?” [laughs], I mean this is what we do.
With your style you really nail the black metal influence, and also with death metal and thrash. How much focus do you spend on each sub-genre of metal?
Sammy: We don’t really think about it that much; we go with what feels right in the music y’know. We don’t really say “well we’re gonna write a black metal song”, we just, it’s like putting a puzzle together. Whatever pieces sound good together then that’s what we use.
With metal really now, a lot of bands crush sub-genres and influences, do you believe that helps GOATWHORE appeal to more people?
Sammy: Absolutely y’know, because if you’re stuck in one sub-genre, you’re only going to appeal to those fans. Instead of spreading across the board and making that sub-genre more powerful with fans of another sub-genre.
Bloodstock is often referenced as the best heavy metal festival in the UK, is that legacy carried over to America? Have you heard anything about this festival before coming over?
Sammy: Oh yeah, yeah we’ve definitely heard about Bloodstock y’know, when I heard we were playing I got super excited because it’s a big deal for us.
How are festivals like this different to ones in America?
Sammy: There are no festivals in America, I mean we have OzzFest and things like the Maryland Deathfest and stuff like that but it’s still a lot smaller than this. This is completely, this is its own entity, and this is going right.
So in a way do you feel like the European scene is a lot healthier for metal bands? Compared to the States?
Sammy: In the States it’s getting a lot better, y’know metal is definitely in a good place right now in the United States. As far as the scene is coming back and people are supporting the bands and stuff. Metal’s never really like, in the United States it kinda fades in and out whereas here it just never stopped, it’s always been strong here.
Since you’ve been in a band the ways fans communicate has evolved a lot with social media, how much of a factor is it when you’re out on the road?
Sammy: It helps a lot, when we’re touring in the United States we play in a lot of shitholes and stuff, you play with a shitty promoter that’ll put a flyer this big [gestures small size] on the back of a fuckin’ bin. So I mean social media has its place to let the fans know that you’re coming to the show.
And lastly, what are the rest of your plans for 2016?
Sammy: I’m just gonna go home, I think we’re doing a two week run right after this when we get home – then we’re in the studio in October and that’s what we’re really focusing on. We’re not really worrying about playing too many shows until the records done.
Constricting Rage of the Merciless is out now via Metal Blade Records.
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