I went to see Job For A Cowboy when they dropped by in April at The Opera House in Toronto. I sat on some stairs with Jon “The Charn” Rice to ask him some questions about their new EP Gloom and his busy drumming schedule.
You’re a week into this tour, how’s it been so far?
The Charn: Really good actually, we’ve been playing these shows. Just got into Canada yesterday and played Montreal and now we’re here. Already did New England Hardcore and Metal Festival. I think most of the shows have been sold out so it’s been going very well so far.
So Jon, you’re called “The Charn”. Where did that name come from?
The Charn: [laughs] This is a super nerdy story. I flew out to audition with the band in 2006. My name is Jon and there’s already a Johnny so as soon as they told me I was going to be in the band they were like “we need to come up with something different”. I already put up my audition videos as “Charn” which is half my screen name. It’s an awful awful story, but yeah, it sort of stuck.
So now you’re “The Charn”. So you have a new EP coming out Gloom can you give us some details about this release?
The Charn: I believe it’s coming out at the end of May on Metal Blade Records. It’s a digital release. We have a revamped lineup with the addition of Tony our new guitar player and Brett had left so we have Nick from Cephalic Carnage and we just wanted to put out and record something with the new lineup and see how it turned out. It was really fast and grindy. We are pretty excited about the EP.
So how many songs are on it?
The Charn: Four songs, all relatively fast. Pretty straight forward death metal stuff.
Where did the name Gloom come from?
The Charn: That’s funny, as soon as we had the concept of doing the EP and writing and recording we had joked around it would be funny to make the Gloom EP based off the Doom EP and reworked the name and it stuck. So now it’s funny cause we know kids are going to come up and be like “Are you going back to the deathcore sound?” It’s like nope, it is as far away from that as we can possibly get in the constraints of death metal. It works well as a name I guess.
So you decided to record with Jason Suecof again, why him again and not try someone new?
The Charn: As soon as we went to Jason the first time and had our recording process done with him it was so comfortable and easy to work with that trying to go with someone who you’re not as comfortable with just doesn’t make sense to us. Jason loves working with us and we love working with Jason. It worked out very well where he had some time in between doing a couple of records to come in and do the EP. I think for us it was a more logical choice to go with him then someone else.
I watched the drum cam footage of you jamming a track. Are you playing any of the new songs from it on the tour?
The Charn: Yeah, the one, the drum cam video we put out is actually the track we play live right now.
What’s the name of it?
The Charn: “Signature For Starting Power”. It actually is everyone in the band’s favourite song on the record so it was a no-brainer to come out and play that. We released “Misery Reformatory” I think a week and a half ago and we are playing this new song live. I believe next week we will be streaming the EP online. But yeah, that’s our favourite song to play and its super fun and got a lot of melodic parts and really weird death metal riffy awkward parts.
Is there a good reception from the fans?
The Charn: Kids have been pretty stoked on it from what I gathered. They don’t know the song so it’s hard for them to freak out about it when we play it; but kids have been pretty excited about it.
You recently started playing with The Red Chord. How has that been, pulling double duty for two bigger Metal Blade Record bands?
The Charn: It’s a weird situation cause we had a bunch of time off and they have been hard up for drummers with Brad leaving, then Mike came in and he had recently left. Those dudes are the funniest band I’ve ever met in my entire life and to be touring with a band I’ve been a fan of since 16 or 17 years old, it’s really cool. They are kinda slowing down at this point and obviously, Job, we tour so much so it’s hard to work two things in. It’s super fun touring with them and super good guys to be with on the road.
Do you have plans to tour with them coming up?
The Charn: No, but as it is right now I am doing double duty so if they decided to do anything, I am the dude; it just worked out really well.
Another project you drummed for is Austrian Death Machine, are you still doing that?
The Charn: I actually haven’t done that in a year and a half or two years now. We have talked about doing stuff in February but it didn’t work out but they were going to try booking some shows in April but obviously I’m out with these guys for that. Obviously still good friends with Tim and all the guys from that band. See them quite a bit when we cross paths.
Back to JFAC, are you guys working on a new full length album now?
The Charn: Yeah, we are actually. There are three rough songs right now and as soon as we get off this tour we are going to continue writing for the new record and go into the studio around August or September and attempt to have it out at the end of 2011. New stuff is in the works at the moment.