Obituary – Keeping Things Groovy

Sunday, 26th October 2014

Dead Rhetoric: It’s a testament to you guys that you can still do that, 25 years in.

Peres: It’s hard, I mean you can’t make everyone happy and we aren’t trying to. We do what we do; you either like it or you don’t. The music scene, like metal in general, needs a band like us, because everyone’s doing blast beats and not too many bands doing the old school, “punch you in the head” death metal. When we do a festival, we stand out in the crowd every time. It’s great; it’s fun to be able to do that.

Dead Rhetoric: I was thinking about that, as Obituary is one of the more legendary death metal bands, but compared to Cannibal Corpse and Suffocation, there’s not nearly as many that try to blatantly rip you off.

Peres: Yeah, it’s cool. People like to go really fast all the time it seems like. They haven’t been laid enough [laughs]. They are so technical playing, it’s like break it down a bit and put some groove in there. Put some soul in, that’s kind of what it is.

Dead Rhetoric: Does it ever seems surreal to see what you’ve accomplished over the years?

Peres: It’s crazy and definitely not expected. I’ll never forget the day, I was at John’s house and I was on my way from work or something and we saw copies of Slowly We Rot on vinyl. We thought “sick!” and that was all we thought. I wasn’t even twenty yet, and I was like, okay, let’s go get a drink. We didn’t even tour for that album that year, I think we did the Milwaukee Metalfest and went to Mexico for one show. We didn’t do a proper tour until the next summer. We were already done recording Cause of Death and it was being pressed while we went on our first tour. We were like, no big deal, opening up for Sacred Reich in the US and we were destroying every night. We still didn’t really know what we were accomplishing I guess. All we could think about was drinking a beer. It wasn’t until later that summer that we started realizing that people liked us. It really wasn’t until we broke up, and I made my side band Catastrophic; that’s when I think I noticed that we were influencing people. We were all caught up in the moment, jamming for 8-10 years, and then when we took a break and went on tour and we [Catastrophic] were on packages with a lot of younger bands and a lot of them were up my ass a lot. Not in a bad way, but I remember my singer Keith [Devito] was talking and I said it was weird that everyone wanted to talk about Obituary and he said, “yeah, they love it. People love Obituary.” I didn’t realize we were influencing all these motherfuckers. At first, it made me kind of nervous; I didn’t realize what we had then.

It is surreal I guess. We are definitely humble about it. I go fishing and I’m a redneck, I don’t give a shit. We have fun; we make it fun. If you watch us live, we are so laid back on stage. We bang our heads and all that but in between songs we are getting a beer, sometimes throwing jokes at each other, then we turn around and throw another heavy song at you.

Dead Rhetoric: Talking with a number of older bands recently, one of the re-occurring themes is that the “party every night” touring mentality has changed over the years. Do you feel it’s gone the same way for Obituary?

Peres: We have a good time. You’ll never be on tour with John Tardy, from day one, and see him party hard because he has to sing and he’s really mellow about it. But when he’s at home, he’ll drink 18 Budweisers every day. When we have a day off, he’ll drink some beers and hang out, but day of the show he’ll go to bed early, take naps and shit. Before we play, I’ll pound a couple beers to get warmed up and we pound ‘em on stage. Every once in a while, we’ll raise hell until 3 in the morning on the bus, but not every night. There’s always a buzz being caught. I mean I do that at home still.

Dead Rhetoric: You’ve got a number of tours coming up: Carcass and then the Death DTA tour. You guys are keeping busy right into 2015 at this point?

Peres: Yes, the album’s coming out now. And the US tour starts right when it comes out so it’s perfect timing. So we will do about 6 weeks in the States, then over to Europe. We are trying to work out some South American stuff and the Pacific, which may be later in 2015. Do a few festivals in Europe, and then maybe next fall do a full European package thing. Maybe a couple old school death metal bands, like Napalm [Death]. We’ve been trying to do something with Cannibal Corpse for about 8 years, but we are going to set up something cool for Europe in 2015. We are going to work the hell out [of this record] on the touring circuit.

Dead Rhetoric: So with a band like Obituary, that’s been around for so long, where do you go from here? Are you going to be releasing things at your own leisure basically?

Peres: I don’t see us rushing out to record a new album in a year in a half. It’s like we said earlier, it’s overkill just to keep pushing out albums. A DVD maybe in between, nothing’s set in stone obviously. I’d like to open a restaurant. I’ve got a food truck and barbeque business that I’ve been doing and it’d be nice to do something normal. But I haven’t started writing by any means. If anything, I’d like to try to record a Catastrophic record; they’ve been asking and [it’d be nice to do] something different before the next Obituary.

We are going to try to do a video for sure. We’ve done some quick stuff, but we are trying to put out a video for a second song. An MTV video, which there is no MTV. I was like, why are we making a video, what’s the point? Youtube? Yay! But I guess a lot of people get to see that.

Dead Rhetoric: Back with your first few albums, were you putting out videos with the intent that they would be on MTV?

Peres: I don’t even know to be honest. We did one for “The End Complete” and it got played a lot on Headbangers Ball and we sold the shit out of that. It sold like 100,000 copies in America and it was because of that. That’s the power of that shit. I guess we kind of knew that they [MTV] would play it on Headbangers Ball because they came to a show during our Cause of Death tour when we were in London in 1991 and they filmed us playing “Turned Inside Out.” It was cool. Today it’s different. MTV is useless.

Dead Rhetoric: It seems in the last few years that metal has come back a bit in the US but there’s no outlet to put it on those channels anymore because they just play garbage all the time.

Peres: I think they have That Metal Show, but I don’t it really shows metal so much as just being douchebags talking. I don’t even know what it is; it’s not even metal dudes 90% of the time.

[With the upcoming video] I guess we are going to use some studio stuff we recorded and some live shots we got from Rock Hard and the summer festivals. Just to have a video out there on Youtube, and any other outlets. Later on we’ll get a more proper video.

Obituary official website

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