Every Time I Die’s Andy Williams on His Father: ‘He Was the First Guy to Buy Me a Black Flag Record’
Every Time I Die just released ‘Ex Lives,’ their sixth album, and besides garnering rave reviews, it also entered in the #25 spot of the Billboard Albums Chart. Recorded by Joe Barresi (Tool, Queens of the Stone Age), ‘Ex Lives’ finds vocalist Keith Buckley, guitarists Jordan Buckley and Andy Williams, and drummer Ryan Leger, coming together to create the most forward-thinking album of their career.
Noisecreep caught up with Williams to talk about the new record and the unique approaches he took in the creative process.
How important has the critical reaction to the new album been to you?
It means more for me personally to hear it from the kids than to read it in a magazine. With the fans it’s always pure and real. But that said, when critics you respect like it, when magazines you read like it – that’s cool. I get stoked when I hear people like our stuff, how can you not? And I mean, this time out, a lot of people from all over are telling us they think this is our best record ever.
What did you listen to growing up?
Lots of basic punk. When I grew up it was before all these genres, you know? There were like just four things you could be [laughs]. But it’s all just rock and roll. I mean, the Sex Pistols were just writing faster Rolling Stones songs. And the Ramones were like a bubblegum pop band on steroids. But it’s all just rock ‘n’ roll. Growing up, my parents exposed me to a lot of music. They were very open-minded. My dad was a big Rolling Stones guy, but like I’ll play him a band like Torche today and then he’ll come with me to see them. He was the first guy to buy me a Black Flag record. And he took me to great shows, like Sonic Youth, Nirvana, and even Henry Rollins. At the Rollins show, I think the Beastie Boys opened up. This all really helped me develop my musical tastes growing up.
You guys have been at it since about 1998 – how do you survive when so much has changed around you?
Good question. To be honest, I think the biggest thing is that we never cared about what other people thought. We cared about our band, that’s it, very simple and efficient. Making our music. And so we still work with the same people from years ago, our road manager, our merch person – we just keep it honest and simple. Everything is homegrown. We never let things get taken out of our hands.
Are you excited about this current tour?
Yeah, and it’s interesting, two of the bands (The Devil Wears Prada; Oh, Sleeper) are devout Christians. A few months ago I was thinking about becoming a Satanic priest. And like, we still all get along because we respect each other. They’re totally different than me, but we’ve never judged bands we travel with. Those guys are awesome. If someone is good to me I’m good to them.
Wait – a Satanic priest?
Right. I read a lot and it’s something that intrigued me because it is very anarchist, not really to do with Satan or anything, it’s more about anarchy, which is something I’m really into. I just started to wonder if I could actually do it, to achieve that status. I’d read about it, and I just thought it might be kind of cool. But I’ve decided that right now, I don’t have enough knowledge. But I may get back to it. I’m very much about pushing the boundaries. In fact in making this album I channeled a lot of anger and energy into the music, and so becoming a satanic priest sometime might actually help me discover new things, too.
What else did you do in the creation of the new record?
Well, I like to challenge myself big time, physically. Recently I bought a cheap $30 raft and went to Lake Ontario and paddled as far out as I could. Like three miles. And I did it at about one in the morning. No lights, no horns or sirens or anything – and I had to find land. I easily could have died. My oars broke!
So you look to create total anarchy for yourself.
Right. I love it! That’s what I do! And it comes out in the music. It helps push me. Another thing, I read about the great jazz player Ornette Coleman, how’s he’d write, then take heroin, then re-write the music while he’s high. Now I don’t drink or take drugs, I never really have. But I did just start drinking coffee. And so for this album, I’d write, then go drink two pots of coffee, then go re-visit the music. And it really made things more intense and original and that’s probably what I love best about this record. The energy that came out. Another thing I wanted to do was 500 pounds in a dead lift. Channeling all my anger into that at the gym– so I do the lift- then go back to guitar and I’d be in good shape because I’d accomplished something big. Lots of weird energy on this album.
Every Time I Die’s ‘Ex Lives’ is out now via Epitaph Records.
Tour Dates w/ The Devil Wears Prada & letlive.
3/20/12 – Austin, TX – Emo’s East
3/21/12 – Tulsa, OK – Cain’s Ballroom
3/22/12 – Fayetteville, AR – The Stone Pony
3/23/12 – Nashville, TN – Rocketown
3/24/12 – North Myrtle Beach, SC – House Of Blues
3/25/12 – Raleigh, NC – Lincoln Theatre
3/27/12 – Norfolk, VA – The Norva
3/28/12 – Allentown, PA – Crocodile Rock
3/30/12 – Providence, RI – Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel
3/31/12 – Buffalo, NY – Town Ballroom
4/01/12 – Indianapolis, IN – Egyptian Room
4/22/12 – Worcester, MA – The Palladium (New England Metal and Hardcore Fest)
Watch Every Time I Die’s ‘Revival Mode’ Video