Check out the song: “Beyond Our Suffering”
When you hear the word ‘metalcore’ one of the first bands that comes to mind should be As I Lay Dying. Hailing from San Diego, California, AILD are one of the metalcore monsters who helped to create the genre; and will surely be one of the last to survive. The band was asked to join the Heavy T.O and Heavy MTL festivals that transpired on July 23rd and 24th respectively. I had a chance to sit with Guitarist Phil Sgrosso and chat about recent activities and their upcoming 10 year anniversary.
How’s your day been going so far?
Phil: It’s been going good, I woke up at around 1 o’clock for lobby call and came right here. Got myself a lot of rest last night.
What bands are you most stoked to see today?
Phil: Ohh man… hmm, my buddies in Times Of Grace. I haven’t seen them since their inception, and Opeth always puts on a good show, but overall the line up of the whole day is really good.
You guys are playing in Montreal tomorrow. How is the metal scene out there compared to here?
Phil: I think Montreal is crazier, not to say that Toronto doesn’t love and appreciate music, but it just seems like Montreal has a crazier personality with the people at the shows and the whole energy there. We love the fact we get to play both places, Canada has always been really good to us.
Is it weird to be on the same stage as some of the genre’s most iconic bands or are you used to it by now?
Phil: Well it was pretty amazing to be playing with Motorhead, but if you go over to Europe they have a lot of these types of festivals. We feel fortunate enough to be on the same bill as these iconic bands and see a band doing what we are doing 20 years ago, it’s quite inspiring.
On a scale of 1-10, how awesome are you?
Phil: Hahahahaha. Well, I’m going to keep it humble and say 7 to 9.5 depending on the day.
Now your newest record The Powerless Rise, it was produced by Adam from Killswitch Engage who is here today in his new band Times Of grace. He also did your last record An Ocean Between Us and so many other records from other bands have been done by him. Since you’ve worked with him, what is it that makes him such a great producer?
Phil: Well he’s a great musician first and foremost and when you are in the studio and you are unsure about the arrangements or phrasing, pretty much anything like that, it’s really great to have someone there you can trust to make those parts the best they can and that is crucial for us in the studio. We don’t like having someone around who just says “ahhhh that doesn’t work, try something else.” It’s nice to have someone who can present an idea. Adam also has a very strong work ethic, you know he’s always on the road with multiple bands and doing multiple projects so it’s really nice to have that structure of someone who can keep everything moving along.
The last 2 records you have created, I personally feel have taken such a different turn from your releases before. The newest almost seems like a hybrid of all your past releases. Do you feel the same?
Phil: Well personally I think as a band we are a bit biased on it, but that’s defiantly the idea, to keep our sound consistent with what we have done in the past but to keep growing, presenting new ideas and keep the music interesting for the listeners.
Check out the song: “Anodyne Sea”
The song off the new record called “Condemned, The Gunfight Mix”, what the fuck? Haha!
Phil: So when you are in the studio with a guy like Adam D, he likes to keep things fun and he’s always adding sound effects to all these songs along with taking our mess-ups and making them more obvious just for the rough mixes. For this song though, we didn’t have a guitar solo and Adam constructed this gunfight laser battle going on during that part to crack us up. Eventually the solo was put on, but I originally wanted to put the song on iTunes without the solo so people can hear just a crazy gunfight but ya, it was just you know, something funny.
If you were to go to jail for something, what would it be?
Phil: Probably for taking a piss in public… I’ve been close a few times.
So what does the band have coming up after Heavy T.O?
Phil: Well tomorrow we have Heavy MTL and after that we fly out for a show in Colorado next week. After that we go to Europe for a bunch of festivals and a few headliners, followed by a tour with Amon Amarth in Europe. Around the end of the year we want to put on a U.S headlining tour to celebrate our 10 year anniversary as a band, so in December it’s looking like it will happen. We are getting all the bands confirmed for that right now and we really want to make it special for the fans. 10 years as a band is a feat for us and we really want to give the fans a great show. We are also releasing an album this year that will include 3 new songs, a bunch of cover songs like Judas Priest and Slayer, a few remixes of artists we wanted to redo our tracks like Ben from Dillinger did a song. So we are really excited for that to come out.