Bible of the Devil | Interview with Mark Hoffman & Nathan Perry
Bible of the Devil's "For the Love of Thugs and Fools" is a refreshing old-school metal album. Unlike a lot of albums that are totally serious, these guys want you to turn the album up. Check the album out after this interview with Mark Hoffman and Nathan Perry of the band.
First of all, I just wanted to say I really enjoyed your latest album "For the Love of Thugs and Fools", it was refreshing to hear some old-fashioned metal in the vein of Priest and Maiden! Can you give a bit of an introduction to the band for those who don't know of you? I was surprised to find out long you guys have been around for.
Mark Hoffman - We have been around since 1999 playing fist-pumping riff-rock anthems for the rad folk. Hearts have been broken, beers have been drunk, and countless eardrums battered along the way. I guess it started because we wanted to get even more laid.
Nathan Perry - Quite simply I see what we do as arena rock not being performed in an arena. I realize that most bands hang it up after a few years once responsibilities creep in but what can we say, we're not most bands. We are gluttons for punishment clearly! But as long as people keep coming to see us act like fools night after night, I can't complain. Seriously though, this is what we love to do, so we're doing it, simple as that. We have been around for a long time because it feels good and we believe in it. Hopefully more people will figure it out.
The band name is so fitting for a classic style metal band. Who came up with it and how?
M- The memory of picking it is foggy. It was probably to make people mad. We were much younger then! But seriously, I am glad that you think it is fitting. We have garnered so much confusion and shit for our name over the years that it is exhausting. All these simpletons with no sense of humor ask if we are satanic, or black metal, or something. It is astonishing to me that in this day and age people can still be shocked by something as mundane as a band name mentioning the devil. I mean, grow up. It's Rock n' Roll, baby.
A lot of people are probably going to take one listen to "For the Love of Thugs and Fools" and write you off as another retro band ala Cauldron. Do you consider yourselves a retro band?
M- I don't consider being called "retro" a negative thing. Most "new" music is utter shit, so if we are accused of being stuck in the past then so be it.
N- I think we have more to offer than that, and it would be cool if people took the time to give the record a few spins before passing judgement. But sure, lots of others may listen to 8 seconds on a website and move on, it depends what kind of listener you are. We're a heavy Rock n' Roll band. I am not concerned with whatever 'cutting edge' happens to mean at any given moment. Everything old becomes new again. We do what we do, we have a ton of melody in our songs, we don't yell a lot, and we try to put on an entertaining live show. If that makes us retro in some people's eyes, ok, sure. Fuck a duck. People over-think this stuff too much. It's Rock and fuckin' Roll for Christ's sake, loosen up.
One thing I really enjoyed about the album was the feeling that it should just be cranked up and listened to at full blast! What do you think it is about old school heavy metal that makes it so appealing?
N- I will always love the kind of music we play because this is my 'roots' music. This is what I got into playing guitar for. I like to hear clean vocals and heavy guitar-based riffs. It's the music I hear in my head most of the time. It gives you a strut when you walk the streets, it's tough!
M- That is the whole purpose. It should be fun and memorable, making you want to drive fast, party hard, chase ass, and maybe pick a fight.
Who other than Maiden and Priest are your influences?
M- Well, clearly Thin Lizzy are always an inspiration, but members of this band all have pretty impressive record collections. In the van you might hear Warren Zevon. You might hear Slayer. Hey, you might even hear Steely Dan.
Speaking of those two bands, a lot of fans have talked a lot of shit about Maiden and Priest's more recent releases while some (like me) think their newer stuff holds up almost as well as their "classic" era material. What are your thoughts on this?
N- You can't stay in your twenties forever. Your choices are to quit playing, to Cobain yourself, or to carry on and keep creating. You are not going to be the same person you were then, and bands change as time goes on. That's a fact, kids. That's going to make the music sound different, unless the goal is to make the very same record over and over. If the music still has power and integrity it is still valid in my book. Whether or not it is good to the ears, that's up to the listener. Would these people prefer that Maiden and Priest stop releasing records? I'd rather hear said records before passing judgement. You'll only cheat yourself out of possibly good shit. And there is a lot to be learned from the older guys.
Any plans for a tour? If so, when and where?
M- We just did a whirlwind two-week tour of the U.S. We are preparing for Europe in the Fall, with much in-between and to follow.
What are your plans to get the word out on Bible Of the Devil?
N - We're going to do what we usually do and tour all we can while we're still young and good looking. Who knows, maybe find some other ways to get people to hear our music. Any ideas for us? Maybe we could get those Glee people to cover our music. I sure would love to buy a motorboat!
M- We will keep Rocking whenever we can. Either you will jump on board or you won't.
How do you feel about the current state of rock and metal in general? Sad or do you think it's doing well?
M- I view it as I do the folk tradition. It will always carry on. What is important is to add to the canon by writing memorable songs. If you are just out to make racket and go away, then you ain't going to last long or be remembered.
N - Really, at this moment I feel like heavy metal is as popular as it has ever been. I just wish things weren't so segregated. I enjoy listening to a wide variety of rock and roll, and I think a lot of other people do too, but they often shut themselves off in these narrow genres instead of sampling from all over the place.
I really appreciate your time and hope the album does well for you. Anything else you want to say?
M- Thanks so much for the kind words. Support heavy Rock n' Roll!
More info at: www.bibleofthedevil.com