This is the second installment of Sloan's chat with the super-humorous Exhumed. To read the first part, click here.
The massive interview with Exhumedís Matt Harvey and Wes Caley continues. The band jokes around more, talks about their next album, DVD and rubber shirts. Also, you might be surprised who their dream tour would be withÖ
Blistering.com: How much in-fighting is within the band? I mean, you two obviously seem to clash heads quite a bit [laughs] and seem to want total control of the music.
Matt Harvey: [laughs] Oh thereís a lot of egos in this band.
Blistering.com: Pink Floyd had their legendary ego squabbles with the music and creativity. What about Exhumed? How many violent fights are there because you want your ideas more than the others?
Wes Caley: [laughing] Oh, thereís none of that. Seriously.
Harvey: We used to back in the day when we were stupid kids. But these days, if somebody doesnít like a certain part or song, we just scrap it. Weíve written so many songs both individually and collectively that we donít have that emotional attachment to it. We donít give a fuck that way. We work really hard on our music, but if someone doesnít like it or it doesnít work for the other guys, you just have to trust the people you jam with. The bottom line is that I wouldnít jam with anyone whose opinion I didnít respect enough. If Wes said a riff that I wrote sucks, even if I thought it was great, if he thought it sucks, it probably sucks. When that happens, Iíll come back to it later and, sure enough, it was a shitty idea. Thatís all part of the maturation process. You gotta trust each other.
(A security guard approaches us)
Security Guard: Hey guys - we canít have you drinking out here in the parking lot. If Metro [Las Vegas police] comes by and sees you, theyíll shut down this van and give you guys big tickets
Harvey: Ok, cool. No problem.
Caley: Sure, weíll get rid of it.
Security guard: Thanks guys.
Blistering.com: Youíre supposed to tell him, ďHey, weíre in the band!Ē
Caley: Yeah, that stuff doesnít work with us. It never does. [Wes and Matt collectively groan and mumble under their breaths as they put the contraband back into the van].
Blistering.com: You guys said you have a bunch of other songs you didnít use or couldnít fit onto All GutsÖ Does this mean that you have enough to write another album and get one out relatively soon?
Caley: Well, no, I wouldnít say that. Thereís enough for some 7Ē stuff in the future but as far as a whole new album, no --
Harvey: [interrupting] Basically, before we split up. Iím sorry, not to totally interrupt you.
Blistering.com: How rude. Seriously.
Caley: I know. See? Rock star.
Harvey [laughs] I thought I could do it more concisely. Before we split up, we were working on a DVD. We are going to try and finish that and itíll have an audio component from some songs that didnít make it onto that last album as well as some re-recorded older stuff and some new cover songs. Thatís the next thing that we are going to work on. And then weíll work on an entirely new record. I doubt weíll use any of the songs from this last one on the new one because I think they are all sort of in the same temper as All Guts, No Glory so when we start the new record, we want it to have sort of its own character. Each record should be its own thing.
Caley: Conceptually and sonically, itís going to be its own thing.
Blistering.com: When you guys do create something that works, do you visualize it working better in the live setting or on record? What is more important for you when rehearsing new songs?
Caley: For me, itís all visceral and thereís really no thought process. Whatever works. If it sounds good, cool. I donít know what your style is.
Harvey: Honestly I donít think about that. For this tour, we only did three new songs off the new record and how we determined that was which three songs Relapse released first on the internet for the album (laughs). Thatís how we did it. That was really how our decision making process went.
Caley: Yep. We did a lot of tours before the record even came out. We were kind of putting them in there one at a time because we didnít want to bum out the fans. We wanted to play as much of the classic shit that everybodyís used to. We didnít want to be dickheads and play just all new stuff because thatís not fair to the fans.
Harvey: I figured that if I hadnít seen a band live for six or seven years, I wouldnít want to hear the whole new record. Iíd want to hear a lot of the old stuff so we try to respect that. After a couple more tours, Iím sure the set will shift in favor of more new stuff.
Caley: Itís going to change all the time depending on the crowd response, what we feel like doing. Itís an amalgamation of those things. Whatever works, you know? You get up there, you play, and you see what works and what doesnít work. Thatís how it goes.
Harvey: We really try to be as under-analytical as possible.
Blistering.com: My personal favorite song from Exhumed is ďOpen the AbscessĒ and every time Iíve seen that song played live, it seems like thatís the general fan favorite. That and ďDecrepit Crescendo.Ē Is there anything that even though the crowd loves it, youíre just sick and tired of playing?
Caley: Well, not for me personally because I havenít been playing these songs since í92 [laughs loudly, along with Matt].
Blistering.com: [laughs] The question was aimed more at Matt.
Harvey: [laughs] I donít know. For me, I love ďThe Matter of SplatterĒ and itís usually like one of the crowd favorites. Itís either the first or second favorite for the crowd. I like it, but thereís this one riff thatís in there that I just donít like. Our old guitar player Mike [Beams] wrote it. Itís a great song and itís fun to play, but that riff that he wrote just annoys me. Had I written it, I would have written it differently so itís easier. So I donít know if I donít like playing it, but that one little part is physically annoying to play. As long as the kids like what weíre playing, thatís all that matters because weíre doing it for them. Iím not trying to be up there and only satisfying myself. As long as what weíre doing gets the kids moving and going crazy, weíre doing our job.
Caley: The record we did was more for us, what we wanted to do. Itís what we like doing and we do that part mainly for us. So when itís done, we then incorporate what we think the kids would like and if they like, then cool, thatís what we go with. Itís always about them when we play live. If we play songs and they donít give a shit about our music. WellÖ I hope they give a shit [laughs loudly again].
Blistering.com: Well, the whole point is to hopefully write something good so they go and buy the CDs [laughs].
Harvey: [laughs loudly] Yeah thatís kind of the idea, to you know, have them buy our music.
Caley: Yeah, I hope they care. It would be like Slayer going out with a new record and then playing three songs off the new record, and then playing like 20 old songs. Thatíd be ridiculous. We donít have as long a career as Slayer or whatever.
Harvey: We basically have to disengage our egos from it all. The setlist that I would want to play is not the same setlist that weíre playing. The setlist that the kids want on the internet is the best gauge of fan response so thatís the setlist we play. We are here for the people who are paying money to see the show, so itís sort of a no-brainer. It just seems like the most obvious thing ever. If someone gives you money to go and do something, you try to make them happy? I donít know, it just seems kind of obvious.
Caley: And itís not just a business thing, either. These people are to see us and if this is what they want to see, theyíll see it. Itís respect and appreciation. We arenít going to be assholes.
Harvey: If weíve been around for 20 years, weíre not going to come out with a subpar album full of Marilyn Manson outtakes. Like, you know, other bands in the genre who will remain nameless.