“Bucky,” you said, voice wavering. “It isn’t what it looks like.”
He looked down at the sapphire before throwing it back in the duffel bag. “Then explain it to me,” he said, anger simmering.
You looked down at your feet and crossed your arms over your chest. You weren’t sure what part of the story to tell him. But you didn’t want to lie to him either.
“Julian didn’t hide the bag behind the dumpster like I had said,” you sighed heavily, looking up at Bucky’s angry face. “He buried the bag in an empty lot across the street from the jewelry store. I’m still not sure why he had really told where it was, but he wasn’t lying. I went there that night and dug it up.”
Bucky was staring you, barely blinking, “Why?”
“I’m a writer,” you shrugged. “Curiosity is our… thing.”
He dropped the bag on the bed before rubbing his forehead with his metal hand. “Why do you still have the bag?” He asked, looking at you again. “What were you planning to do with it?”
“I had fully intended to turn it over to the police,” you said, stepping closer to Bucky. “But I got scared. I didn’t want them to think that I was a part of the robbery. The longer and longer I had it, the more it made me look guilty.”
“Well now I know why those men were after you,” Bucky said snidely.
You reached a hand out to him, but he stepped away. “Bucky, please don’t…”
He shook his head at you, “You had so many chances today to tell me the damn truth.” The hurt was clearly etched on his face.
This is the (fortunately) minor aftermath of me being hit head on by a cop this evening: some skewed handlebars and some likely front tire damage, I managed to catch myself before hitting the ground, so I’m free of injury, though VERY rattled. I’ve gone 12 years in the cities on bike without a single collision, so I SUPPOSE it was only a matter of time.
Story time: It’s just after 11 PM, I’m downtown, ultra bright helmet-mounted LED lamp on brightest setting (it casts as much light as a car headlight), rear lights on, stopped in a left hand turn lane at a red light. I note a cop SUV cruiser with his headlights off at the intersection, my headlamp shines on his cruiser. I turn my head forward again, notice he has started making a left hand turn. Too late, I realize he is turning WAY too sharp and is headed DIRECTLY AT MY FACE: before I can back up and swerve out of his way, he hits my front tire hard enough to knock my bike and me backwards, I lurch backward off my bike as it falls, but I catch my balance before I can hit the ground. He gets out, and I instantly note how nonchalant he is acting: There’s no air of apology, he asks if I’m okay, I respond, “I think so…” I’m starting to get angry, but I’m keeping it in check somehow. He says he didn’t see me there, and this is where I can’t help but ask: “You mean you DIDN’T SEE my SUPER BRIGHT LIGHT?” I ask him, and I’m sure there’s no way he can’t detect my dumbfounded incredulity. He gives me the lame excuse I couldn’t begin to expect: “No, it was turned away from me!” A fucking lie, since I had it pointed directly at him as he approached. I thought about raising hell and challenging him on his undeniable ineptitude. He asked again if I was okay, I snapped, “YES, I’m FINE.” and started pushing my bike away from him. I should have asked for his badge number: there’s no excuse for running right into someone’s goddamn face and then casually blaming you for having the nerve to be exactly where you’re SUPPOSED to be.
What worries me most is that it won’t be the last time he hits someone. That’s the thing that actually angers me, not that he hit me, but that he clearly has minimal regard for his actions and isn’t keen on accountability. And he’s behind the wheel of a hulking SUV. Fucking YIKES.
A fine start to a 7 day work week. I have half a mind to call the precinct tomorrow. The bike will probably be going into the shop just in case.
This happened a few years ago but is honestly a very proud moment for me.
So I’m driving home from my parents house and it’s about 530-6 oclock in the evening on a beautiful summer night. They live in a small quiet suburb and I’m only a few towns over so the drive is usually pretty nice and peaceful.
However these towns tend to breed entitled pricks and bored teenagers. I must have ran into the hybrid of the two. As I was making my way down a 25mph (I was going about 30) road toward the center of my parents town, I see one of those small Honda hatchbacks in my rear view that is really low to ground and decked out with all kinds of stupid shit. He’s comin in hot and I’m thinking he’s going to blow by me or something. Nope, just gets right on my ass and at one point I’m pretty sure he even tapped my bumper. I can see the stupid smirks on the faces of the driver and passenger.
We come to a stop sign and I do my best to do a FULL. COMPLETE. STOP. I reach over, pull out a cigarette, light it, and enjoy a drag before I start to move again. Must have taken at least 10 seconds. May not seem like a lot but next time you’re at a stop sign, wait ten seconds and you’ll see how long that is. Anyway, this aggravates him as he barely stops when he comes up to it and continues to very dangerously tailgate me.
So now I try the brake tap. I pull up a little to give my self some room and hit the brakes forcing him to slam on his. I found it funny cause he had to swerve to avoid collision. He still does not heed his aggressive driving.
Now we get to the big 4 way intersection in the middle of town. 2-3 lanes at each stop. He pulls up beside me. I must have really scared him with the brake tap because he looked very flustered and wanted to say something to me. He rolls down his window (all my windows and sunroof were all ready open seeing as it was so nice that day) and looks at me. I look at him. I was expecting some sort of verbal insult so I made myself ready.
“Hey you faggot piece a….”
Before he could even get that well thought out statement out of his mouth, he was already choking on the lit cigarette butt I flicked directly into his mouth.
When some of my friends and I were younger and would just be hanging out, we made flicking cigarettes a game. We would set up little cans or targets near one of our habitual smoking places and we all became very good at it. Now, I knew I could hit him in the face, but I did not expect to get it into his mouth. But I don’t feel bad in the slightest.
THE BEST PART:
So while he is dealing with his new ashy dinner, I turned left (left turn lane). He must have missed his turn to go while dealing with the cig so other cars started crossing the intersection. I’m sure he was fuming mad so he peels out, cuts across to make a left and almost hit 2 cars in the process (at least it looked like that through my mirrors).
I see him make his way onto the street I was on. But right behind him was a cop who must have seen him commit about 12 moving violations as he cross that intersection. I see him pull over and I drive away feeling like a boss.
Sorry Mrs. Drives-Like-a-Jerk, lawyers really are allowed to fire their clients.
(warning: long story)
This happened about two years ago when I was working as a paralegal for a small personal injury law firm. I was on my way to work and stopped in one of two left turn lanes waiting for the light to give me the go ahead. I started to turn when the lady (hereafter referred to as Mrs. Jerk) next to me realized she was in the wrong left turn lane and cut me off to get into mine, almost making me crash into her. I barely managed to avoid slamming into her (or her slamming into me), and she pealed off, quickly accelerating past the speed limit. A few seconds later I see her ahead of me, trying to change lanes again, and crash into someone else’s car.
I pull over and call the police. The poor high school girl Mrs. Jerk had hit was shaken but alright, but Mrs. Jerk was raising hell, screaming and cussing. When the police arrive, I tell them what I had seen and gave them my information. I didn’t think anything else about it until six months later.
Shiro: Now when people make fun of me, I deserve it. Uh, I do. When people get mad at me now, it’s all my bad. I’m a terrible driver. I know nothing about cars. I meant to learn about cars, but I forgot. Nothing that I know can ever help out with your cars ever. Unless you’re like, uh, “Oh, I got a flat tire, does anybody here knows a lot about the Cosby Show?” “Oh perhaps, I can be some assistance.” I’m one of the worst drivers I have ever seen. And I just want you to know that if you are in highway behind me. Uh I hear you honking. And I also don’t want me to be doing what I’m doing. I don’t like that I am in that lane either, but i sure like to get out of it. I was on the highway in Texas recently. Highway filled with 13 years old, and I was on the far left lane. And as I was in the far left lane, it turned into a U turn, a U turn only lane. And I started to make a U turn. Then I panicked cause I didn’t want to make a U turn, so I put the car in reverse. And then merged right back on the highway. The best thing about that was that after that, cars were pulling up, and looking over to see who just did that piece of shit move, expecting to see like a hundred year old blind dog whose texting while driving and drinking a smoothie. Instead they see a 49 year old, healthy man, trying his best.
Friend's car gets egged by another driver, harsh retaliation immediately follows.
This happened a year or so ago when my friend was driving another friend and I around town on a typical day or whatever. We had just gotten a fuck ton of fast food from the drive-thru (because we’re stoners) and we were stopped in the left turn lane of an intersection when some dickhead in a blacked out Navigator or Aviator SUV nailed the side of my friend’s car with an egg while making a right turn at that intersection.
I didn’t think much of it, because I was sitting on the left side and I wasn’t paying much attention to detail, but my friend wasn’t having it. He instantly peels out of the left turn lane and to the right where the SUV had taken off.
The driver of the SUV obviously made a huge mistake thinking he could get away with this, because he pulls up to the next intersection’s left turn lane giving my friend the golden opportunity to equal punishment in an equal manner. As my friend is making his move and he wields his fresh milk shake with his right hand, he suddenly notices the passenger window open.
The driver glances over to the right and even before his eyes had a chance to widen, SMACK. The milkshake travels from window to window, and broke square on the bridge of his nose and all over his blacked out interior all in the same time as my friend took off to the right at that intersection in the same cocky manner as the asshole did at the last. Looking back through the rear window, I think he had to remain stopped to process the defeat he had just been dealt.
The Inns of Court are only open 12.30-3:00 in the afternoons, M-F, no bank holidays, so plan to be there at noon. The entrance to MiddleTemple Lane is just where the Strand becomes Fleet Street, to your right if you’re walking towards Fleet Street. You will think you aren’t allowed to enter because a long barrier reading NO ACCESS or something like that stretches beneath the entrance archway, and there is a man sitting inside a booth like a sentry on the lookout for eager explorers. It definitely puts you off.
Rest assured, however, that the sign is for CARS (they may not enter) You are free to stroll past Scary Man, as long as you are properly dressed (no trainers/tennis shoes, hoodies, that sort of thing) and you must behave yourself in a very dull fashion or they will throw you out. You cannot shout or run around or ride a bicycle or spin like a top and cartwheel across the gardens in a short skirt. These are LAW COURTS! You must behave. You won’t care, though, because the place is so fabulous even I behaved myself and that is extremely unexpected.
Inner Temple and Middle Temple are connected by a multitude of labyrinthine passageways and courtyards and Narnian portals and the allotted two and a half hours will pass very very quickly. My BFF and I went to Inner and Middle Temples one day and Lincoln’s Inn and Gray’s Inn (the other two) the next.
Lincoln’s Inn is easily reached from the Gothic Revival glory that is the Royal Courts of Justice building, on the other side of the street (the Strand). Follow the enormous building until you can turn left up ChanceryLane, which may be my favourite street in the whole city it is EXTREMELY EXCELLENT! Walk up and down that first (you’ll see the back of the Tudor Lincoln’s Inn building- it’s the oldest of the law courts, founded in 1422); then at the bottom of the street turn into Carey Street and begin your explorations into glory.
Gray’s Inn is north of Lincoln’s in Holborn, and isn’t as attractive or thrilling as the other three; but the others I would rate my number-one- can’t-miss London attraction.
Sorry Mrs. Drives-Like-a-Jerk, lawyers really are allowed to fire their clients
happened about two years ago when I was working as a paralegal for a
small personal injury law firm. I was on my way to work and stopped in
one of two left turn lanes waiting for the light to give me the go
ahead. I started to turn when the lady (hereafter referred to as Mrs.
Jerk) next to me realized she was in the wrong left turn lane and cut me
off to get into mine, almost making me crash into her. I barely managed
to avoid slamming into her (or her slamming into me), and she pealed
off, quickly accelerating past the speed limit. A few seconds later I
see her ahead of me, trying to change lanes again, and crash into
someone else’s car.
I pull over and call the police. The poor high school girl Mrs. Jerk
had hit was shaken but alright, but Mrs. Jerk was raising hell,
screaming and cussing. When the police arrive, I tell them what I had
seen and gave them my information. I didn’t think anything else about it
until six months later.
One of the paralegals at my office was incompetent and couldn’t
follow the simplest of directions (I will call her Bimbo). It wasn’t
long before Bimbo was fired. As luck would have it, I got saddled with
her clients. Yay me. One of them was a super annoying woman who would
call at least three times a day wanting an update on her case, demanding
to know when she could expect some money for her “debilitating
injuries”, and if she could get a loan (she was apparently under the
impression that we moonlighted as a bank). When we told her there was
nothing new to report (because it can take a while) she would start
screaming at us, telling us that “we weren’t treating her right”, and
that she would fire us if we didn’t get her the money she felt she was
I finally got all of her medical records and bills and sent a demand
package to the At Fault Party’s insurance company requesting they pay X
amount to our client. Now, for those of you who don’t know, a personal
injury lawyer will step in to represent you if someone causes an
accident and hits you. We will negotiate with your insurance (UM) and
the At Fault Party’s insurance (Liability) to get you as much money as
you need because insurance companies can be pretty scummy. But if YOU
were the one to cause the accident then tough shit. Shouldn’t have been
driving like an asshole. Well, the At Fault Party’s insurance sends back
a later stating that they had never received anything from us notifying
them about this accident. Bimbo had never sent them a notification
letter. Therefore, they would not respond to our demand package until
they had received said letter and a copy of the accident report (because
bureaucracy!). So, I pull the accident report to send them a copy and
what do I see but my own name listed as a witness. Confused, I quickly
read through the report and realized that our client was Mrs. Jerk.
Mrs. Jerk told my boss (Mr. Lawyer) and Bimbo this sob story about
how she was an innocent victim who had been hit by this wild, out of
control teenager. And because neither Bimbo nor Mr. Lawyer bother to
read anything until the last minute, took her at her word and stuffed
the accident report into the file without bothering to look at the
particulars of the case. For months I had to deal with this woman’s
bullshit and now I was finally free. I quickly brought up the problem
with Mr. Lawyer, who quickly scheduled a meeting with her.
I stood outside the door and listened as she screamed about how we
weren’t allowed to fire her, that it was “illegal” (sorry lady, it’s
not), and that we were terrible people and blah blah blah. Mr. Lawyer
kindly told her that although he wasn’t able to help her, he knew the
name of another lawyer who could. This lawyer was Mr. Asshole, who was -
as the name implies - an asshole. For almost an entire year, Mr.
Asshole would send us the most ridiculous clients he came across (my
favorite was the man who insisted that his surgeon had implanted a
listening device into him and wanted us to take his case, despite the
fact that we did not practice medical malpractice nor any other type of
law that involved the insane ramblings of smelly rednecks). So, my boss
thought it would be appropriate to send this supreme bitch to Mr.
Asshole and let him deal with her.
In the end, my boss and I both got our petty revenges.
Based on a prompt from one of those AU meet cute (or in this case, meet ugly) scenarios: I hit you with my car and I was the only one visiting you at the hospital.
Kurt likes to think he’s a pretty good driver. He’s been drivingsince he was old enough to reach the pedals, after all. With a mechanic for a
father he’d learned all there was to know about road safety and treating your
vehicle with care and respect. Only, when he moved to New York, it suddenly
seemed to him that he’d been driving in empty, spacious roads with zero
obstacles and no difficulty level all his life. Either that, or the drivers in New York had
learned something completely different from what he had.
It’s been two months since he moved here and this is the third
time he’s forced himself to brave the steering wheel. He clutches it with the clear sensation that at anytime he’s
going to be rear-ended for stopping at a red light. And, oh god, the cabs. The
cabs are the worst.
He’s pretty sure he needs to turn left a few blocks ahead, so
despite his complete fear of the left lane, he turns on his blinker and checks
the rear view mirror before he starts tilting the wheel. It’s at that exact
moment that a cab zooms right past him, honk blaring, and Kurt doesn’t even
think. He just swerves right, and- well- and he hits something.
Summary: “There were many theories concerning the multiverse, but Peeta’s favorite was the idea that the universe was infinite, so there were infinite worlds, worlds born from every decision each person made.” Three universes, three decisions. Everlark.
(I promise there will be a resolution for every universe.)
As soon as Mr. Mellark turned left onto Victory Lane, Peeta knew he was fucked. He had assumed his family would be going to Sage to celebrate his mother’s birthday. It was her favorite restaurant, and their usual pick.
But he knew, without a doubt, that they would be dining at the Gilded Rose tonight. There were plenty of restaurants in this part of New Haven, but fate was going to screw him over. He wondered if his mother somehow knew about Katniss, if she was doing this on purpose.
(He often confused fate with his mother. Both were omniscient, and both were out to get him.)
Sure enough, a minute later, Mr. Mellark pulled into the parking lot of the Gilded Rose.
“You finally lifted the embargo on this place?” Peeta asked, leaning forward into the front seat.
“I can’t hold a grudge forever,” Mrs. Mellark replied.
Peeta disagreed. His mother was a champion at holding grudges. She still hadn’t forgiven him for spilling grape juice on her Valentino when he was seven.
She probably never would. Every time he held a glass of wine in her vicinity, she brought it up.
The valet opened the door for Mrs. Mellark, and Peeta realized it was Gale. And of course, Mr. Mellark had handed off the keys to Peeta with a mumbled, “Tip him well. I don’t want him denting the car.”
So Peeta forced a smile, his cheeks bright red, and said, “Hello.”
“Good evening, sir,” Gale replied, staring straight through him.
Peeta gave him the keys and a ten-dollar bill, and Gale nodded at him. For a moment, they knew each other, and it was as easy as when they hung out after hours, two beers open, Katniss draped over Peeta’s lap.
Then, the familiarity disappeared, and Gale slid into Mr. Mellark’s BMW and drove away.
Peeta knew better than to expect a warm greeting. Gale understood the situation, even if he had never had to pretend before. It had been two years since the Mellarks had visited this restaurant.
In fact, the last time they had all been there was the first time Peeta saw Katniss.
My truck, endearingly dubbed “Grandpa”, is totaled.
On my way to an early-morning meeting, another vehicle encroached into my lane, and as I swerved to avoid it, I hit a patch of icy road. I fishtailed across two lanes of traffic for about 100 yards, struggling to maintain control of Grandpa’s trajectory, but it was of little use.
I struck a Jeep stopped in a left-hand turn lane. The driver of the Jeep and I managed to pull over together to a safe spot to exchange insurance information, but as soon as I stepped out of my truck, I knew something was wrong.
I began to experience tunnel vision. The frozen ground came up to meet me as the woman in the other car looked on with startled confusion. I managed to say, “I’m having a panic attack” before I slipped away into a state which made everything around me fade out.
When I came-to, the woman with the Jeep was kneeling with me, hugging me gently, saying in a soft, level tone, “It’s okay. You’re here. It’s okay.”
I worked to control my breathing, pressed my hands against the frost-covered gravel beneath me, and took a moment to ground myself before I stood and addressed the woman. I apologized briefly for my breakdown, then retrieved my insurance information before snapping photographs of both our vehicles.
The woman’s Jeep was in remarkably good condition, all things considered, and she was able to drive away from the scene without a hitch. I however, was not so lucky.
Grandpa was towed back to a body shop in Lincoln City, and I had to get a ride home from a friend.
My insurance covers medical, but it won’t cover the truck itself. I am now without a vehicle, living in a tiny town in the middle of nowhere, with no means of getting myself to a doctor or chiropractor, let alone allowing me continue my work with the rescue.
My truck was Pack West Wolfdog Rescue’s main vehicle for hauling animals, picking up deliveries of meat, and toting the ambassadors around for photoshoots and educational events. Without a suitable transport vehicle, our rescue cannot exist.
I’ll post updates as we figure out a possible plan and explore options. Until then, I need some space and time to reflect on things for a while. I’m not okay. I’m hurting and experiencing a lot of mental/emotional distress over this, but at the same time, I feel incredibly, deeply numb. Your thoughts and kindness are greatly appreciated, but please don’t feel bad if I cannot respond for at least a few days.
(From 2003, soon after Waking the Fallen was released)
I hear you just got into a bit of a car accident? Yeah, my first one. I was in the left-turn lane, reading a magazine, and when the light turned green, I took my foot off the brake and bumped the Mercedes in front on me. I was in my girlfriend’s SUV, so it didn’t hurt her car at all, but it did some damage to the Mercedes. It was just a little bump, but we had to stand around for over an hour and involve the cops and insurance and all that.
I interviewed Thrice as well for this issue. Both you guys were on Hopeless (or SubCity, the charity-supporting imprint of Hopeless), and both of you “came up” together in roughly the same area, right? They’re from Irvine and we’re from Huntington Beach, which is about 20 minutes away. We didn’t really know each other until we were both signed to Hopeless. The first time we ever played with them was the Warped Tour.
One of the similarities between the bands is really good guitar players. In a world of knock-off indie pop and dumbed-down nü metal, Thrice’s math rock and your Swedish metal influence finally give future guitarists something to work on. And you’re all pretty young, right? I just turned 22. But we’ve been playing for a long time. And we’re into a lot of different bands across the board. For Waking the Fallen, we kind of went back to the stuff we grew up on - Pantera and Iron Maiden - and tried to do something different with it.
You reference Iron Maiden? While certainly they’re the backbone of the duel guitar riffing, your sound brings to mind In Flames, At The Gates, Soilwork, Arch Enemy, and more contemporary European metal. Iron Maiden influenced In Flames and all of them, and they still have it - I just saw them a couple nights ago and they were awesome - so I reference the originals. Also, so many bands are playing that style now, and a lot of them aren’t really going anywhere new with it, even though I still like the records, so if I had to reference a band as an influence, I’d go with the originals, the guys who stilldo it the best, and that’s Maiden.
The piano and string section I compare to Faith No More, because it’s not Ben Folds, The Beach Boys, or Borknagar, but seeing as you’re the vocalist, what are your vocal influences? Axl Rose. He might not have the greatest voice in the world, but he had so much personality… For the roar, you can’t beat Phil Anselmo of Pantera. And I love Bruce Dickinson and James LaBrie from Dream Theater. I take a little something from each, even though I really don’t sound like any one of them, and maybe you couldn’t even tell that’s where it came from when listening to it.
What about Mike Patton and Chris Cornell? I’m a huge Mike Patton fan, and while I like and respect Chris Cornell, he’s not a favorite or really an influence. He’s probably one of the best singers of all those guys, he’s just not my personal favorite. I like vocalists who create their own style, and who no one else really sounds like. Mike Patton, Axl Rose, and Phil Anselmo all have distinctive, original styles, even if a lot of people did try to copy them later.
Song-wise, we also greatly respect bands who are diverse and distinctive; bands who changed up the style a lot and keep you listening to the entire record. Bands like Queen and Mr. Bungle or System Of A Down. They break it up, try different things, and when we sat down to make this record, we wanted it to sound really different from song to song, to keep it interesting. We’re all into so many different styles of music, we wanted to incorporate as many elements as possible from all the different genres and time periods.
Your last record, Sounding the Seventh Trumpet, was good, but it wasn't nearly this diverse. It wasn’t as focused. And it was more rushed. The songs weren’t as picked apart and analyzed and put back together to create an interesting listening experience. The last record had a million parts, but a lot of them didn’t lead anywhere. We were really into early Metallica and Pantera, but we hadn’t really gotten a handle on songwriting yet, I guess…
Did you get into the thrash and speed metal of the late ‘80s? You mentioned early Metallica, what about Exodus and Testament? I hear some Testament in your band… Our drummer was really into Testament. I was more into Anthrax, Slayer, and Megadeth, and everyone bags on me for not worshipping Testament. We just got off a tour with Shai Hulud, and they were freakin’ out on me, making a list of Testament records I had to go out and getimmediately.
You’ve mentioned a number of “old school” influences, which is great, because nothing pisses me off more than hearing some kid dismiss a band entirely because “that’s the shit my older brother listened to, I want something new,” not realizing a lot of young bands just water down what’s come before until you’re left with, like, Saves The Day and Static-X and a thousand other also-rans. Ahem… But what new singers do you find interesting? Who do you consider your peers? A lot of the new singers sound the same, so when I listen to their music, I listen to the music and don’t get much inspiration out of the vocals… But I think Children Of Bodom has a great singer, I’ve been hearing a lot about Strapping Young Lad, even though I don’t know too much about them. I heard the guitarist of Children Of Bodom quit, just before their U.S. tour and everything…
A lot of post-hardcore (or whatever) bands try to do the clean vocal offset by hardcore roar, yet their singers can’t sing very well, and their roar is pretty generic. Who do you think is straddling that fence well? Melody-wise, I got into it with Bad Religion and NOFX, because it wasn’t as big and elaborate as, say, Queen, but there were still strong melodies and a lot of harmonies. And while they’re kind of a Queen rip-off, I’m a big fan of Blind Guardian. They do huge harmonies, and I wish we could do the same, but we didn’t want to get too out-of-control with the vocal layering. While we like layers and keeping it diverse, we want to keep it heavy and hit hard, so we watch not to overdo it with harmonies.
Blind Guardian? Wow, wouldn’t’ve thought to reference them… Love that band. We actually played with them once, at The World in NYC with Symphony X. It was amazing. We’re way too heavy for that crowd, but it was a lot of fun. That’s one of the “problems”: We tour with so many different kinds of bands because a lot of promoters don’t know what to do with us. We played the Warped Tour, next year we hope to play Ozzfest, and we’ve gone out with Mushroomhead, Shadows Fall, and Tsunami Bomb. We don’t do great in front of a lot of crowds, but we do well in front of a lot of different kinds of crowds, ya know? We’re too different for everyone to like us, but we’re different enough for some people in any crowd to like us. We don’t really fit neatly in anywhere, so we just do our thing… And luckily, it kind of took off, and it’s getting easier the more we get established.
We aren’t a “scene” band, we don’t play for just one type of crowd. We never wanted to be a scene band, because when the scene dies, your band dies too. We did pretty well with Mushroomhead and Shadows Fall, because those bands bring in the people looking to see a show, kids wanting to go nuts. We don’t just jump up and down and shout, and we don’t just stand around looking at our shoes and play complicated riffs, we really put on a show, and we really try to get people moving. We’re still pretty young, so we’re stuck in with a lot of scene elitism, and that’s not at all what we’re about. We got into music pretty young, and it’s our lives, ya know? We live and breath and sleep metal, but yeah, we’re a lot younger than most of the bands we tour with. We started in grade school, and we’ve worked and practiced really hard, and we listen to so much different stuff that inspires us and pushes us to get better, but we’re finally getting to the point where we’re pretty happy with our songwriting and playing skills.
I hear that your next record is already committed to a major… We signed with Warner Bros. Some people know about it, but we’re really trying to get attention for this record and build it up on our own before we admit we “sold out." (laughs)
How’d that come about, seeing as this record just came out? We had the record done, and got a publishing deal with a guy who worked at EMI. We wanted to keep it quiet, but word spread really fast in the major label world, and we felt comfortable with Warner Bros. The point of being on a record label is getting the CDs into stores, and they can do that for us.
While I like Hopeless and review most of their records, Avenged Sevenfold was always kind of a weird fit on the label… Totally. It worked for us as well as against us. They really did a lot for us, but we needed to get out beyond the punk world that Hopeless works so well. We needed the whole package, and that’s something only a major can do for you. We talked with Glassjaw and The Used, and Rancid is on Warner Brothers now, and all of them were happy with the label so we went with them.
Isn’t Disturbed on Warner Bros? Yeah, and Linkin Park. Disturbed was acquired by Warner Bros when Giant folded into them. Our manager is actually the one who signed Disturbed to Giant…
I’m not really a fan… Neither am I.
I wish you'd play with more nü metal bands and show them how to play and not just "groove” that one riff they lifted from Pantera… We do really well with the nü metal crowds, but yeah, a lot of the bands just throw whatever chords behind the vocals and call it a song. If you wanna hear groove, go listen to Pantera, cuz then you can also hear Dimebag solo his brains out. Most groove-oriented nü metal is boring as hell…
Another point of interest (kinda) is “the look.” I didn’t realize you were so Gothed out… Aside from thinking you must be 25 or 28 to be able to play like you do - not to mention have such a deep understanding of a couple decades of great rock and metal - I expected either a bunch or long hairs or a less-stupid variation on the funny hair and piercings look of nü metal… Yeah, a lot of people are surprised by that. We get in front of Shadows Fall’s audience, and at first they don’t know what to make of us, but we love those guys, and their audience usually really gets into us, once they get passed the fact that we’re young and look different. It’s a new generation, and most of the metal kids deal with it pretty well, they’re pretty open to it once we start to play.
As much as I don’t really care much for them, Davey Havok of AFI kinda paved the way a bit for the “dark punk look.” I’ve been an AFI fan since their first album. (tape ran out, but we had a great talk about how the West Coast always loved AFI, but until recently, the East Coast didn’t give a shit. I personally warmed up to them with Davey’s Misfit side project, Son of Sam. And then, of course, talk turned to how much the Misfits rule, and how hardcore punk and metal and powerful melody and harmonies have coexisted and ruled in the past, but ya gotta dig back to a great band like the Misfits to find a reference point)
Not to harp on it, but what made you sign to Hopeless in the first place? We were on a label called Good Life in Europe, and Hopeless heard the record and offered to re-release it in the States. We knew we needed to be on a label that could get our record in stores in the U.S., and Thrice was on Hopeless, so we did it.
So this is the first record you’ve done specifically for Hopeless? Yeah.
What was the time lag between when you recorded Sounding the Seventh Trumpet and when Hopeless reissued it in the U.S.? About nine months before they picked it up, but it took them a while to actually get it out. The real time lag was between last record and this one: About three years.
That explains the huge leap forward in songwriting, playing, style, and overall craft… Totally. We knew it was going to be a huge leap, because we matured a lot - personally and as songwriters - and the first record didn’t have our lead guitar player. He came from the Music Institute and can play anything, he totally shreds, and when you add that to the band, it really helps. He has a really good understanding of a lot of types of music, and he brings a lot to the band.
Doing the math, that means you were about 18 when you recorded your last record? 17, just turning 18…
To make a record when you’re 18, then to live and grow for three very developing years without recording… …was killing us. We toured a lot. And we always had to explain that the record we had out was no longer representative of what we were doing. We didn’t feel right playing most of those songs anymore. So we had to take a break from touring and write. We took a four month break, and at the end, we had 16 songs written. Every day at my house, even if after sitting there for 12 hours we only got one riff… We also got hooked up with Mudrock (Godsmack, Puya, Chimeria).
So there was a three year lag, during which time you grew a lot as people and musicians, and now things are really happening very quickly for you… Definitely. When this record was done, our publishing company made a couple copies, and suddenly everyone was calling our management. Our management wouldn’t make copies for people, but he brought people into his office and he played it for them. It was sick how many people went through that office. Honestly, if all this didn’t happen, we would’ve been really disappointed. We knew we had an album in us that was good enough, that people would really respond to, so we just had to work on it and make that album happen.
What did you do during those three years? Well, when the record got re-released - as I said, Hopeless took a while - and then the record needed to be out for at least 10 months before we could record another album, and then we got offered a lot of great tours that we couldn’t pass up. We also needed to hook up with a good producer who could teach us something… We had a few meetings with Mudrock and got really comfortable with him, so we knew he was the guy we wanted to work with.
Mudrock used to live in Boston, as did Brian McTernan, who produced both the Thrice albums… I have another connection for you: We worked with Teppei, the guitarist of Thrice, on a lot of our preproduction and demos at For the Record in Orange County. We’re all friends now, and he works there, and we wanted to go in and record some stuff to work it up before going into the studio with Mudrock. It’s all connected…
We met on a sunny day but it doesn’t count because they’re all sunny. When it rains here, it feels like an outdoor shower on vacation, voyeuristic and exotic, both clean and dirty, like something you can roll in. But it was sunny the day we met. I remember the look on his face when I walked into the bar because it felt like I was supposed to remember it. He looked uncomfortable and surprised. He looked like I do now.