Hailing from, Burlington, Vermont, Roman a four-piece hardcore/metal/heavy rock band, have just released their long awaited debut CD All Those Wrists, on Metal Blade Records. Raw, brutal and full of aggression, All Those Wrists assaults the listener from the first note and does not let up. For fans of extreme music this is this your ticket. Guitarist Justin Gonyea took a moment to answer some questions about the band and their new release.
Many of your songs are so hard and intense that I am sure they translate well into a live setting taking on a whole new life in front of a live audience. How does it make you feel when the emotion and power that you envisioned in the recording studio, come to life while playing in front of a crowd?
Justin: A basement in Colorado with kids shoulder to shoulder, right in your face. The place smells like dirty dude and is so hot you can taste people in the thick air. Every down beat sends your sweat flying onto other people and theirs onto you. All of a sudden your vocalist is being tackled by fucking savages trying to scream into the mic or down his throat, it’s hard to tell. Then the breaker trips and the whole place goes black and the only sound left is the kids singing along. You’re thinking to yourself “How the hell did I get here? I hope I can do this for a little bit and not go back to normal life.”
Different groups have unique ways of writing their songs. How do you guys go about writing your music? Is it a collective effort or is it more the efforts of one particular member of the band?
Justin: I write the music, but it would never sound the way it does without Kevin, Sean and Tom. Each one of them comes up with some new way to go about a part and inspires the songs to become something more. It could never be what it is without all of us, so I would say it’s a collective effort.
The name of the band Romans is interesting to say the least and sounds as if there is a story behind it. Where did the name come from and what is the story?
Justin: It’s taken from the lyrics in the song “The End” by The Doors.
Your new CD titled All Those Wrists was released back in June. Now that it has been out a few months are you still satisfied with it? What has been the reaction of the fans?
Justin: I’m still proud of it. I recorded, mixed and mastered the whole thing at a house in the mountains of Vermont. When your band does everything DIY, your album is like a baby. It matures to a certain point and then you release it and there’s nothing else you can do to it. You love it for what it is and take the things you learned on for the next one.
Give us some insight into the record All Those Wrists and the meaning behind its title?
Justin: Tom and I have walked a similar road. We both played in aggressive bands in our youth, separately, and we both took a break from it for a few years. This project brought us together and is the culmination of everything that built up over those years. “All Those Wrists” for me, is a metaphor for all the shit that is leading up to what you are working for.
What is the hardest part about being in a touring metal band and what is the biggest obstacle your band faces?
Justin: Hardest part is money. Gas money. Food money. Merch order money.
How has MySpace and the internet impacted your band and do you think downloading helps or hinders the artists?
Justin: Ugh, I won’t get into a rant about MySpace but I will say this: We live in an age where your band can get exposed to a HUGE amount of people without costing you anything. I think that’s a little bit of alright.
When you are on the road for a while I am sure you see and experience many different things you might not even have known existed. Are there any stories that stand out in your mind as being exceptionally strange or odd?
Justin: Sure. In North Carolina bees are really attracted to hot dogs. So if you don’t like bees, don’t hang a hot dog out of the fly of your pants and hang out in the woods.
When you are out on the road anything can happen and often does. Can you think of any disastrous events that happened while out on tour? How did you solve the problem?
Justin: We were headed through the desert between Vegas and Mexico and it was so hot that our van (Jennifer Vaniston/Vangelina Jolie) just turned off while going 70 down the interstate. We just kind of hung out at a gas station till a storm rolled in and cooled the desert off.
The public perception of life on the road differs greatly from the reality of it. Can you tell me a little bit about how you travel? (Bus, Van etc…) What accessories do you equip your ride with to make the time go by? What are the living arrangements like while on the road?
Justin: We just kind of go with the flow. Listen to music, read books and take in as much of the country as you can through a bug splattered windshield. We stay with random people, sleep in the van and go camping. We bring a grill and tent with us. We get along really well so we talk to each other a lot to pass the time on those really nasty drives.
What is the one thing you travel with that you just can’t live without?
Justin: Just my dudes.
What is next for Romans?
Justin: We’re writing and recording a lot of material. Who knows what shape or form it will be released in. [ END ]