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Feb. 23, 2022

Interview with Nekrogoblikon

We had the pleasure of interviewing Nekrogoblikon over Zoom video!

The self-proclaimed "Best Goblin Metal on the Planet" known as Nekrogoblikon have announced their new album The Fundamental Slimes and Humours. The album will arrive April 1....


We had the pleasure of interviewing Nekrogoblikon over Zoom video!

The self-proclaimed "Best Goblin Metal on the Planet" known as Nekrogoblikon have announced their new album The Fundamental Slimes and Humours. The album will arrive April 1.

"We're excited to finally release 'This Is It,' the second single from our upcoming albumThe Fundamental Slimes and Humours," the band says. "This was the first song that got completed during the writing/demoing process, meaning it's also the one we've been waiting the longest for you all to hear. Hope you enjoy it!"

Los Angeles, California's Nekrogoblikon are melodic hard rock pranksters who deploy gnarly death metal earworms filled with crafty hooks, claw-pumping choruses, lightning-fast riffs, and over the top, EDM-style keyboard flourishes. With their ostentatious goblin hypeman John Goblikon, the band takes cues from hyperbolic horror-metal enthusiasts like GWAR, Finntroll, and Dethklok, while maintaining an affable, self-referential sense of humor. The group's early outings, like 2007's Goblin Island, were largely low-fidelity affairs, but by the early 2010s, Nekrogoblikon were operating at a far higher technical level, and employing a rotating cast of talented players.

Founded in 2006, Nekrogoblikon self-produced their debut album, the relatively lo-fi Goblin Island, in a basement. The LP was released in 2007, and an expanded lineup was quickly assembled to help flesh out the fledgling group's audacious live shows. The more technically proficient Stench arrived in 2011, and included the single "No One Survives" — the video written and directed by Brandon Dermer (Panic At The Disco, Every Time I Die, Diplo, Dillon Francis) became a viral hit, and landed the band festival slots at Download Festival in the UK and Rock Im Park/Rock Am Ring in Germany. The Power EP was issued the following year, and in 2014 the band joined Limp Bizkit on the Kerrang! Tour. In 2015 they released the concept LP Heavy Meta via their own Mystery Box label, and in 2018, Nekrogoblikon issued their fourth studio long-player, Welcome to Bonkers, which was followed by extensive touring including performing on the entirety of the final cross-country Vans Warped Tour and Summer Slaughter. In between touring stints, the band (along with Brandon Dermer and writer/actor Dave Rispoli) released 3 seasons of RIGHT NOW, a comedic talk show starring band mascot John Goblikon. The series features a wide array of high profile guests including comedian Bobby Lee, The Used, Keith Buckley from Every Time I Die, Wes Borland from Limp Bizkit, and Joe Trohman from Fallout Boy.

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Transcript

1 (27s): hello. It is Adam. Welcome back to bringing it backwards. A podcast where both legendary and rising artists tell their own personal stories of how they achieve stardom. We had the incredible opportunity to hang out with Alex of Niekro goblin icon. Over zoom video, Alex is born and raised in Sacramento, and he talks about how he got into music. Picked up a piano at a very early age, was putting piano lessons around six wasn't, all that stoked on the piano, but very grateful that he did learn that around 12 years old, he picked up the bass play that for a little while. Eventually started playing guitar. He moved to Santa Barbara to attend college at the university of Santa Barbara, and that's where he met the other guys. And <em></em> when he first met the guys in Niekro GovCon. 1 (1m 10s): They had their first record done. It was up on MySpace, but they had never played any shows or done anything with it. So he joined the band, they played their first show. They had a little traction ended up graduating college, moving to Los Angeles to pursue a career in the music industry. Not necessarily with the band, just kind of seeing how that would go. And they shot a music video that ended up going viral, which was the first time we saw John , who is the goblin that is on stage with them to the stay. And he hosted a really funny talk show called right now, but his first appearance was in the viral music video that came out for the song. No one survives the video did so well, obviously went viral. 1 (1m 51s): They ended up using John GovCon as the height man, so to speak for the band and right after the viral success of the song as well, they were getting these big festival offers and they're able to kind of ride that wave for a little while. He told us about touring with limp biscuit, the turning point for the band, which was around 2018, when they released welcome to bonkers all about the system of a down cover, they released a over the pandemic and all about this brand new record, the fundamental slimes and humors. You can watch our interview with Alex on our Facebook page and YouTube channel at bringing it backwards. It'd be awesome if you subscribe to our channel like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and Tik TOK at bringing back pod. 1 (2m 34s): If you're listening to this on Spotify or apple podcast, we'd love it. If you hook us up with a five-star view, that would mean so much and just follow us there as well. That'd be great. 2 (2m 43s): We'd appreciate your support. If you follow and subscribe to our podcasts, wherever you listen to, 1 (2m 49s): We're bringing it backwards with Niekro gobbler con, thank you so much for doing this. I really appreciate it. Of course. Thanks for having me. My name's Adam, and this is about you, your journey and music, and we'll talk the new record as well. 3 (3m 1s): Sounds good. 1 (3m 2s): Sweet. Awesome. So, first off, where were you born and raised? 3 (3m 6s): I'm from Sacramento, originally Sacramento, California. So yeah, lived there for first 18 years of my life moved down. What's college of Santa Barbara, where I met one of the members. Who's no longer with NACCHO gravel con, but that's how I initially joined when I was 19. And then, you know, we, we all moved to LA like about six years later, five or six years later. So living in LA now 1 (3m 34s): I'm originally from San Diego. Awesome. I know, I know. I mean, it's funny because people think California, I recently moved to Nashville and that's like, oh, like, oh, from San Diego, like, oh, so is that is like, if you say like San Francisco or Sacramento people assume it's like sorta close, I'm like, no that's plus hours in the car, you can drive to like six states. 3 (3m 55s): Right? Yeah. People don't realize how big it was to say California's. 1 (3m 58s): Yeah. So your, you grew up in Northern California in Sacramento. What was it like grabbing Sacramento? 3 (4m 4s): I can't really point to anything particularly notable, you know, it seems like it's pretty, you know, I grew up like kinda suburban area. Yeah. Like, you know, we, we, we, we wouldn't get shows a whole lot because we weren't like, at least, you know, it's become a little more of a more concert market now, but it felt like back then I always had to, I would drive like two hours San Francisco to see shows to see a lot, like yeah, 1 (4m 30s): What's the festival they do out there now. Aftershock aftershock. There is, yeah. That's rather that's their right. I mean, the, they always get, 3 (4m 39s): Yeah, it is awesome. And I think it's, I think the U S is finally starting to kind of pick up where, where Europe's been for a very long time, which is kind of like these creating these insanely huge destination festivals that aren't really located in like a big city, but like, it just, you know, but it'll be somewhere where people will drive hours to be there. So it kinda like that's, I think that's, what's starting to finally become popular in America, which is cool. 1 (5m 5s): Yeah. Cause that's that hasn't been around very long, so yeah. I'm sure you're out of Sacramento at that point, 3 (5m 9s): Right? Yeah. I hadn't, yeah. I haven't even been to an aftershock yet. It'd be cool to, or maybe play one, if any, 1 (5m 17s): Watching 3 (5m 17s): This, 1 (5m 19s): You guys fit the vibe obviously for that lineup. 3 (5m 22s): I like to think so. 1 (5m 24s): Yeah. That's awesome. Okay. So you traveled quite a, you know, you'd have to go San Francisco or Oakland or whatever to see shows I'd imagine. Yeah. Okay. And how did you get to music? 3 (5m 35s): You know, so the first like music I really enjoyed was like, I never followed bands or anything until I was like 11 or 12, I think 10. Yeah. Around that age, before that I was like really into video games. And so I was like, I would like the music that was in the, in video games in the game. And like I would buy a movie soundtracks and shit. And so I think, and then I discovered bands and stuff. Like I started getting into the offspring and then like later, like corn and Metallica and stuff. And I think, but, you know, eventually I kind of found my way to metal that musically sounds like it could be video game in music as well. I think, you know, and I just have her children of Bodom and in high school, and that felt like it was kind of, it reminded me of something. 3 (6m 19s): I didn't know what I realized that it was somebody, the melodies kind of were things I had already liked from video games in the sense and everything. So it kind of like, so finding my way to, to a band, like Nicola con felt like it was par for the course, you know, 1 (6m 31s): That's interesting to think about yeah. Cause there, there is a lot of similarities in certain metal and like the songs that we're in, in video games, especially back 3 (6m 41s): Years ago. Yeah. Yeah. Those, yeah. Just like those really great melodies. Like those composers were great and you know, I like, I feel like it went overlooked for a long time. I think he started to sorry to pick up more now with all these different niches exploding, but yeah. 1 (6m 56s): You say like, is there anything like that stands out as far as like a game or like a movie soundtrack that you bought and were like, oh, like this song was on it. And I, like, I heard this song in the game or in the movie and I bought it cause like some videos like Madden or like the FIFA games are like notorious these like great soundtracks. Right. 3 (7m 15s): Tony Hawk, Tony Hawk. Yeah. I definitely, I definitely heard a lot of like in terms of discovering bands like Tony Hawk, I think was like the first time I heard what paints, I just go, I think like suicidal tendencies. I first heard about Tony Hawk. I think they were on it. Yeah. 1 (7m 32s): Punk rock bands that were on there. Yeah. He was on that first one. 3 (7m 37s): I loved privacy. Yeah. Privacy. That was a huge fan of private. So yeah, I think, yeah. 1 (7m 43s): And what about playing a guitar? Like what was the first instrument I learned was that guitar. 3 (7m 49s): What I learned was it was a piano at like my parents put me in like piano lessons when I was six. So I had some kind of, you know, I didn't have a, like, you know, I didn't have a passion for it yet. It was just kind of like, all right. Something I have to do, but I'm glad that I started that early with music. So I feel like when I, by the time I picked up bass and guitar, when I was like 12, I kind of, there was something that felt familiar about picking out notes and learning stuff and, and you know, and I already learned how to read rhythms and everything. And so I felt like it gave me a little bit of a head start. So for 1 (8m 20s): Sure. How long did, how long did you play piano? I 3 (8m 23s): Was kinda on and off for it because I didn't really want to, you know, I was forced to quit and then come back to my parents. Well, let's try it again. All right. Yeah. 1 (8m 32s): Yeah. I, that was my next question. If, if you like, you know, if you felt like it helped and it sounds like it did as far as like now in your, in your career. 3 (8m 41s): So I interpret it, you know, maybe it, maybe it didn't actually, and I thought it did, but 1 (8m 47s): Kind of the base of everything. I mean the piano can play anything. Right. Both harmonies and, and the baselines and everything. 3 (8m 55s): Yeah. It was a in, because you have to kind of like, you have to be, have a certain degree of kind of limited dependence with it. Kind of what you'd be playing on the bass clef could be just completely different than what you're doing, like a lead on the right hand. So I feel like that that probably helped out too, especially, you know, bass and guitar. You're east, just one of those. Sure, sure. 1 (9m 14s): Yeah. That's it? Yeah. It's kind of, it's a whole band in one, one instrument. Yeah. In a sense. So you said bass and guitar. What was first the bass or the guitar? 3 (9m 25s): I first picked up bass cause just cause it was, it felt like everyone else was playing guitar. I'm like, well, I don't know a lot of basis, so I'm going to, but then I, like, I just naturally I felt like, you know, I started hearing it, especially getting into bands that were doing solos and leads and stuff. I was like, man, I wanna, I want to do more of that. So, so I only, I think like a year or two after I picked up bass, I also got a guitar and then, you know, ended up, ended up playing guitar obviously more like professionally. I still love bass though. You know, 1 (9m 56s): Did you play band in any bands in high school or prior to that? 3 (9m 60s): I was like, you know, w I have bands that like, you know, we'd like get together jam and maybe write a couple songs, nothing in high school that ever got, got to play life at all. Oh really? Yeah. I never got to that point with too many disagreements with people I worked with. And, and then like, and when I got to college, I like started a metal core band that played maybe like two or three shows, something like that. And then very shortly after we've got, like, I got into Becker, gravel con, which had existed for about two months prior to me, to me joining. So yeah. I've been with it since then. Yeah. 1 (10m 38s): Since then. Yeah. So you went to UC Santa Barbara and he said, yeah. Okay. And did you go there for music or just go there because you wanted to go there? 3 (10m 47s): I wanted to go there. I, my, my parents didn't want me or they were highly against me, majoring in music. Cause they're like, you can't make money doing that. We're not sending to, you see schools to learn music and they're, they're not entirely wrong, but so, but I always wanted to play music. I was hoping that like, when I got there, I would meet other musicians. And, and especially if it's like a beach town, you said you didn't have a lot of metal happening. It was like almost no metal. So it kind of, I had this like huge need to find out anyone. I could find that plate that listened to metal at all and could even kind of play. I was like, let's, let's start a band together. You know, let's let's we gotta do something. 3 (11m 29s): And that I eventually found my way to, to Tim who had started the band with Nikki, our, our singer. And he's like, yeah, we're on, you know, we want to turn that they had done the first album, goblin island, just the two of them. And they had a, they'd released it on my space at the time. And they were like, we need it. Well, we will want to make this a full band. And you know, like, so like I got invited to play. And so I in February, 2007, so that's, oh, this month that makes it 15 years that I've been there. Wow. 1 (12m 1s): That's incredible. That's incredible. Like I've I know it was a UC Santa Barbara pretty well. Did you live in like, I love Vista. I did. Yeah. Okay. That's quite the city. Yeah. Was that where you're playing in your band? Like where'd you guys play shows there? So 3 (12m 17s): Yeah, we would just, we would do backyard shows all the time and we would just, and it, whenever there was live shows or you normally walk by here, reggae, whatnot, and then just these weirdos fucking we'd buy a keg of beer just to get people to come to the show. We're like, no, one's going to come to, you know, just see a band for no reason. So we're like, all right, we'd all pitch in, get a keg there and be like, Hey, there's, there's a keg here. Also, we'll be playing music, you know? And it, it kinda, it kind of picked up, it became this kind of odd phenomenon where it's just this random, like Nordic sounding goblin metal band, just in the middle of this beach town, full of reggae. And it started to kind of develop an audience. And we started having like people coming out, like we have like two, 300 people out in the backyard just like chugging beers and knocking each other out in a pit and stuff. 3 (13m 1s): So it developed a kind of traction. It didn't, you know, it took a long time for that to go anywhere beyond that. But even initially it had some kind of it had this pull through. 1 (13m 12s): Yeah. I mean, it's totally different than anything. I would think when I think of Santa Barbara, especially like Aila Vista, it's like, yeah. It's like acoustic guitars and like surfing and totally all in that culture. And then to have a band like yours, be there, but what a brilliant idea to have the keg, because the weird thing about people that are listening to don't know, I live it's the basic, you just w you can be walking down the street. If you hear like a party going on, it's just like open door. You just like, Hey, you just walk in and it's complete 3 (13m 39s): Chaos. 1 (13m 41s): It's like, you don't have to be invited. You just really, like, the doors are open and you just walk in and you're like, maybe somebody will be asking for a few bucks at the door to drink off their keg, but it's not like anything organized. No, 3 (13m 54s): It's really vetted. Just all right, come on. 1 (13m 59s): That's so rad though. Okay. So you guys did that for, I mean, through college, you, so once you actually, how did you meet the guys that started it? How did you meet Tim? 3 (14m 9s): I met Tim. So yeah, the dude I had started a metal core bandwidth. His name was Dan. And so he and Tim were kind of in the same, the same class and they had known each other, they had been in a different band together. So with such a small kind of handful of metal heads in the city, he was kind of quite obsessed you with a few, if you worked with someone who was into metal, they had worked with at least someone else. So it was through D Dan was like the link between me and Tim and, and yeah, we, I remember like the first, like I joined the band and with two weeks before the first gig, anyway, I had like five songs to learn. And it just kind of like just trial by fire, just, you know, jumped right in. 3 (14m 50s): And, and yeah, so we, we had, w we, we kind of stayed at that kind of local college level, you know, for about, we moved to LA in like 2000, what year is it? I think 2011 to 2011, we moved to LA. And that was kind of like, you know, I, both me and Nikki both were, were, we weren't even sure what was going to happen with the band. We wanted to keep doing it, but we knew that we wanted to work in the music industry in some capacity. We, we were for sure, wanted to music. I, so I started interning at a record label where I got hired and Nicki kind of went to work for publishers and worked in studios. 3 (15m 30s): And so we, you know, we didn't really, we kind of always had high hopes for the band. We always put a lot of effort into it, had a lot of fun doing it, but yeah, I don't think, I don't think we ever expected it to be where it is now, you know? 1 (15m 43s): Right. Wow. Okay. So you finished college at UC Santa Barbara and then moved to LA, regardless of the band was going to continue on or not. You wanted, you went down there. Yeah. 3 (15m 53s): Right. I knew, I knew that, Hey, like, you know, I, you know, we always hope for the best of the band, but it's like, I know for sure. I definitely like music is the, the industry for me, this is what I care about. So I'm obsessed with it. So I'll find a place for myself here somewhere. 1 (16m 7s): Okay. Okay. When did a live show turn into what it is now? I mean, when did you get, you know, you have the goblin and like everything that's kind of happening within the show itself. Like what? That, that probably, and maybe correct me if I'm wrong. Was that happening when you were at Avista I'm playing those shows and Santa Barbara? 3 (16m 24s): Not at all. No. And it was interesting. So like, yeah, we always, because, you know, we, the, the band, the like Tim and Nikki's idea to start the band was as like a joke. Like they thought it was a funny thing. Like, what if we just made a, an album just about goblins and like, you know, Tim had a bunch of leftover rifts from his, his, another death metal band he had. And, you know, and so like, he wanted to start on a project and they just, over the summer, they just like made this album just like very tongue in cheek. They, you know, and so thematically, the thing was always like, like all, like, felt like a meme to us, you know, starting out, like, it was just a joke, but, you know, but musically, we cared, like we had, you know, like we put a lot of work into practicing. 3 (17m 6s): We made ourselves a lot better musicians to, to write and record better and better material as, as we went on. But there was like live, there was like, when we'd do battle the bands and everything, there would always be like, well, you guys are kind of, half-assed in this goblin thing. Maybe you guys to dress as goblins. And we're like, ah, you know, I could see there were right. It's like, yeah, that makes sense. But I, you know, it was also, it was so not us to like, suddenly just be completely, you know, like coming out of a suit. We like, we have to always be breaking the fourth wall in some kind of way. And like, there was for us to just kind of be totally like, drink our own Kool-Aid and just wear a goblin. 3 (17m 46s): It, it felt like he was betraying the initial, like reason for the band starting. So we kind of didn't, we didn't know what to do, but we're like, well, let's just keep playing shows. There's a little bit of interest in us and we're having fun doing this. And then we played a show that like, there was like 10 people there, like up in the valley. And one of my coworkers came to the show and he brought his, his neighbor who was a good friend of his named Brandon Dermer, who he was an up and coming director and saw the show and just was floored. Loved. It came up to me after the show. He's like, I don't know how this room isn't totally packed. 3 (18m 26s): I really want to make you guys a music video. Like, you know, like, what's your email, I'm going to send you my reel. And, you know, he sent it to me and it was like, he he'd already been working with a comedian, John Lish, wad. He'd already had some viral success with, with comedic videos. So I was like, okay. I felt like, like, dude, this, okay, this guy is like right up our alley. He understands, you know, the, the kind of the humor side, the self-awareness side, but he's really into the music. And so he, he eventually pitched us this idea of, of, you know, he was like, you know, at first I was thinking maybe making some kind of goblin war video, but I realized how self aware you guys are and where you're coming from. And I was like, thinking, maybe we just have this kind of a goblin who like exists in the human world and just like has a day job. 3 (19m 10s): And he goes to work and like, he has a crush on the girl and like, he can't get his shit together. And he's, you know, like, and what do you call it? And pitch that idea. I was like, that's totally in line with how I, what I feel like this band represents. And he knocked the video completely out of the park and it was, and he, he pulled every favor he had and, and, you know, and that, that video went viral. And then suddenly we had this goblin that was just this emblem for us. So I was like, all right, well, let's, let's try bringing this guy out live now. Let's, let's just get 1 (19m 40s): Started with the music 3 (19m 41s): Video, the music video. Yeah. So like the music was there, you know? And so that was already our second album, but the song was four. So we've already established our style musically and everything, but this kind of contextualized everything. And so suddenly we're just like, have a Scoble and then, you know, like, so we're like, yeah, what do we name him? Like he had John gobble con you know, that's, that's that sounds funny. So suddenly we had to like, yeah, just, we then melded the band to this new character that, that suddenly it communicated so much. So, so quickly just with that, that goblins character. And it's like, yeah, this is kind of like, this represents the kind of dudes we are, this, this whole funny gimmick thing you, so that that's, that's really where we're like the neck of GovCon we're known as today that started in 2012 with that video. 1 (20m 28s): And how quick that was with no one, no one survives the studio. And I'm curious, like, how did you, because the same guy plays the goblin too now. Right. I mean, it's yeah. Dave, he's still the goblin. And was he did, did the director like cast him or like, how did, how did you find him to kind of, because what he does is so good. I mean, I was even watching the show that like the talk show that he, you know, he's got Bobby Lee on, or even like Caden cross, who was in that first video. And just like how funny and how quick it is, like, is that, that was, he like cast it in, like, how did that, how'd you find it? 3 (21m 6s): Brandon and David had already been working together on a few other projects. And yeah, I know, like they both had lived in Chicago before. I don't know if they knew each other back then around them. I'm fuzzy on that, but they had already begun working together and, you know, had a, had a good working relationship. And yeah. When, when he, when Dermer thought of the idea for this goblin that he's like, yeah, Dave was, was his first call. He's like, it's gotta be Dave for this. So, so you haven't worked out for, yeah. It worked out for them, worked out for us, you know, like, cause the video also launched, launched to Brandon's career to, to huge extent. Cause that, that got him discovered by Diplo and suddenly he started getting, you know, now he's, so he's been, he's done music videos for such a variety of artists now and he's he's has, and he has, you know, films coming out like he's, he's doing really well. 3 (21m 55s): And it's, it's interesting that this was this one video kind of launched both the band and band here and Dave too. So it, it, it was really a monumental moment. Definitely that, 1 (22m 7s): Wow, well, what's, what's interesting. Or what says something about the band is like, if that, if you guys would've put this together and the band wasn't any good, right. I mean, like you said, we're kind of like a jokey, like meme was like, like a mean band in the beginning. Like that was kind of the idea, but that only works as if, if the music works and the music is good and that the people playing the music is good. Cause if your band sucked and you're like, oh, I've got this, we've got this great idea of people would be like, not interested, you know, it wouldn't never land. 3 (22m 35s): Right. Thank you. And I do feel that way too, where it's like, if for some reason, cause you know, some, I think you look at a band like us and you're like, okay, clear. Like it almost looks like, oh, they just thought of the goblin gimmick idea first and then decided to write music around it. And I feel like, because that's what I would think if I was thinking as an outsider. But I think if, if we had done it that way, I feel like the music wouldn't have been as kind of uniquely inspired itself and been a little too try-hard so I think like the way, the way it all came about with, with kind of meeting brands in and him kind of providing this missing piece while we were already making music, just for the love of it and the fun of it. I think that that that's what made it sustainable. 3 (23m 17s): I think. Yeah. I think we could have done any song with that video concept than he would have blown up. But the ability to still be here, putting out music and continuing to develop a fan base and getting, becoming a bigger and bigger band, I don't think we would have been able to do that if our heart wasn't with the music from the beginning, you know? 1 (23m 34s): Yeah. You wouldn't have done, you probably wouldn't have been able to keep the longevity cause there've been in the video. Oh, there was this one viral video that was really funny. And then, you know, no one cares anymore. Right. The next viral video hits. So the next 3 (23m 46s): Hole happens. Yeah, exactly. And a viral video is like, no one, because there's so many videos, we've all seen them like, oh the video is great, but you know, it doesn't cause you to be invested in a band, you know, it's just kinda like, it's a great video. All right. Next. Yeah. So the challenge really was when that first happened, it's like, okay, we gotta like, Beatstars (24m 1s): Do you agree? Lil NAS X is one of the biggest artists on the planet with old town road. What have I told you? They bought the beat for old town road for 30 bucks on beat stars. And the song currently holds the record for the most time ever spent at number one on the billboard hot 100 chart, beat stars is the world's number one digital music marketplace to buy and sell beats. Beat stars is free to use for beginners and bringing it backwards. Listeners can also get a free one month pro subscription to open their own virtual music store with code bib that's beat stars.com/bib to get started on beat stars. Beatstars (24m 42s): Beat stars also allows music creators to sell their products worldwide. 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Listeners can also get a free one month pro subscription to open their own virtual music store with code B, I be bringing it backwards. Listeners can go to beat stars.com forward slash B I B to get started on beat stars. Huge shout out to beat stars for sponsoring this episode. 3 (26m 7s): Keep up with this. So we got to just start pumping out more music and like, you know, refining the music, making the music, just yeah. Making it and make it continue to grow with this, with this goblin on the internet. So yeah. 1 (26m 21s): Last question on the, on the viral video, I'm just curious how quickly did it kind of start to rack up? 3 (26m 27s): It was like, I remember on day one, it was like 10,000. Wow. Was already more than I any much more than we could have anticipated, but like by the end of the week it was that like 600,000. Cause it hit the front page of Reddit. And when I saw that happen, I'm like, oh shit, it's going to be a thing. It's going to have thing. 1 (26m 48s): Wow. That's huge. That's so big. And then once the video is going viral and it's like, okay, now we've got the, we've got to make this into a live show. We've got to get them to come out and do this. Did it take much convincing to have Dave joined the band is the goblin. 3 (27m 4s): It, it took it a little bit. Yeah. We had to, it was a lot of discussions figuring stuff out. We had our first tour offer ever upon doing that. We we're like these festivals in Germany and the UK. So it was like really like there wasn't much of a ramp up, like the way most bands have to that where you've played playing clubs shows for years and you solely grew it. And it was like playing the corners of the dark bars for like seven years and then suddenly bam, we're playing download fests. And so we brought, I remember for that's where we brought Dave and, and, and Brandon, Brandon shot a bunch of footage. The, we have a video for the song power Corp that, that term, that DerMarr was shooting on his phone on stage with us while we were playing at, at rock at the German festivals, rocking park and rocket ringing and that download. 3 (27m 52s): And so that, that was a kind of a huge kickoff to it. And yeah, like shortly after like think like what maybe six months later, seven months later we were on tour with limp biscuit, the UK and you know, so we had these kind of crazy things you wouldn't expect for like a kind of melodic death, metal sounding bands, the kind of situations you wouldn't find yourself in, if you didn't have, you know, this cold goblin thing going on. 1 (28m 16s): Yeah. But I mean, obviously the music again speaks for it too, because that's interesting. I didn't know. And I'm glad you answered with that. It's cool that you guys got, you know, those, the download festival, those gigs right away. Because I would imagine I was imagining you guys going, okay, now we got to go play this little bar in the valley, bring the goblin out and kind of try to get him like, you know, like they're like, oh, is this the band that had the virus, one of those things, but that's rather that it was able to kind of elevate the way it did from 3 (28m 48s): Yeah. That we were able to strike while the iron was hot, per se. Yeah. Sure. Sure. 1 (28m 54s): So from there, I mean, you do get signed to a record label out of that. 3 (28m 58s): We've been doing this all ourselves this whole time. So I run a, you know, we had some label interest when that video first came out and it's just kind of like the, the amount that was like the, the deals weren't good. And you know, like, you know, we had some funds to put in ourselves and it was just like, well, let's fuck them. Let's do this ourselves. You know, like the royalty rates were like, you know, fucking insulting that it is. So we just decide to do it ourselves. So I, I handle all the business side of it. Like, you know, I basically run our late, I run our one band label. 1 (29m 32s): Right. Mystery box is the label that you guys created. Right. Okay. So I, I wasn't, I wasn't sure if that was on everything you did was through that. Then as far as 3 (29m 41s): Like, we, we didn't name it and an entity until like 2014, 2015, but, but essentially everything we've done is self-reliance we handle everything in house and yeah. 1 (29m 53s): Wow. And was it, w w where was it difficult to kind of follow up that the success successes like that first big record, big song, and it's like, okay, now we still have eyes on us. Do, is it, you know, how are we going to continue this? Or was that just, not even a thought, like we've yeah. Keep acquiring fans. Let's just keep, 3 (30m 12s): It was, it was super, it was tough. Cause we weren't like that. We weren't used to the pace that we would have to be at to, to keep up with that. So we had, we had some, like some hiccups and some like, you know, I think we definitely lost momentum a little bit and had to kind of start up from, from ground zero to build it back up again and reinvent ourselves. Cause we, we just, we were so used to being kind of weekend warriors with it. You know, we all had jobs or school or whatever, we'd come back from work and whatever time we had we'd we'd practice and play a couple of bar gigs, you know, so suddenly turning this and so a main focus of our lives and just going, like going fully hard on it. And, and consistently with it, that was like a thing that we had to adapt to. 3 (30m 55s): And then that led to a lot of member changes because that then suddenly it split the band into like, okay, are you going to go be a band guy? Or are, do you still, do you want to keep your life the same? So that, that caused, you know, we had to, we, so that's when we started having more of a revolving door of musicians, we've kept the same lineup now for like, I think five or six years. So it's, it's consistent now, but that during around 2014, 2015, that was a, a big time of uncertainty and trying to make sure we like met the expectations of the newest revise video, tried to try trying to follow up with it while still growing as a band and not phoning it in and, and trying to be creatively satisfied with it. 3 (31m 36s): It was a, it was a mess. So to, to be totally honest, but yeah, the good thing is when we kept at it and we like, and we persisted and even at times where like, I think after, after the heavy metal cycle, it was like, definitely like, is this worth it or reach it? You know, we're almost not sure we were going to keep going and, you know, yeah, we were, we weren't sure. Yeah. Cause it was, you know, it obviously it's tough financially it's and you know, there was a lot of, there was yeah, a lot of uncertainty, but we kind of decided to, just to just, you know, go even harder on the next album, Nikki, who started the band with Tim, he steps it up huge and, and wrote the full album for welcome the bonkers that came out in 2018 really and row. 3 (32m 23s): And he's always been to me, he's always been like the most gifted songwriter that that's been in the band and you know, that he, he was being honest. Like he was being really, he was trying to be a good band, made me like, oh, we should all write ideas and everything. And eventually it was kind of like, you know, you write the best shit. Me and my manager both were, our manager were like telling him, you know, like you should just, you should just write the whole album. Like you've, you've got it. Like your, your shit is always the best. And, and that, that was a huge change. When we released welcome to bonkers 2018, we got to tour warped tour on it. He got, we did summer slaughter on that album. Then we had the material we had in hand that definitely we kind of, we climbed out of the, kind of the whole we'd gotten ourselves into. 3 (33m 3s): So it's not a point where, oh yeah, I was gonna say that, that, so that we kind of repeated that at least that organization of, of work for this newest album. So we're like, okay, that works so well, we use the same producer, Jason, who kind of who is at this point, feels like an additional band maybe with the band. Cause we worked so well together. So it kind of be, we had to cut. So, you know, to, to as that. So this is all extremely long-winded way of saying, yeah, it's like to take, to keep up with the, no one survives video. It took a lot of steps back before taking more steps forward. It's like kind of to get this back to, because now it feels like it's, it's consistent with where it was when in 2012, when that video dropped. 3 (33m 44s): So then we had a lot of, a lot of soul searching to kind of get back here kind of. Yeah, sure. Yeah. 1 (33m 51s): Yeah. Because I would imagine it gets rough. It's like, especially if you still have to work another job or you have to do these other things, it's like, you're trying to juggle like, is this gonna really work or like 3 (33m 60s): Right. It's worth putting our time into and losing our Saturday over and essentially came back to, yeah. You know, like this is, you know, this is like, this is a really awesome thing. And we just have to dial back on the things that don't make this as awesome. And yeah. And yeah, 1 (34m 18s): With the, with the, with not the new record, but the one prior to that, when you know, stuff, when, when Nikki wrote the whole record, how did that change as far as like a live setting and, you know, fan base, was it, did it just grow even more at that point? Or was there like a big milestone or turning point there that you remember? 3 (34m 34s): It seemed like the material definitely seemed to resonate better. Like the street, the songs were streamed a lot more. It was like, it, it it's, yeah. The songs just, you were all kind of very hook oriented and yeah. They translated live really well. And it was like, it was a perfect album to have in hand when getting the opportunities we were getting like, like warp tour and summer slaughter. So it felt like we were more easily able to convert fans, you know? And then, especially in it, like I said before with the goblin thing, it's like, there's, we definitely want to prove to people that, that we're musicians is just as much as we are entertainers with. Right. So it's like, yeah, we know like, you know, and we're even been told this, we've been told this by people we've worked with we're like that. 3 (35m 20s): They're like, you know, at first I thought I wouldn't saw your set at the festival and I thought this was gonna be some lame thing. And then you guys are super fun and you're actually all like competent musicians. And it was actually, you know, so I feel like we've, we've learned to defy expectations of what, of whatever cheesy thing you think this might be. And maybe, yeah, it is so it's cheesy, but at least if we're going to make it cheesy, let's at least provide some kind of, you know, 1 (35m 46s): Exactly there. I mean, at least of what I think the reason why it's successful is because of the, the, the music is there and that you guys are great players. If it was just, like I said, some, some guys goblin and then the songs weren't there, then it would have been a viral video that just kind of came and went. Totally. Yeah. Well, tell me about, so where were you guys at when the pandemic hit? I know in 2020 you released the system of down cover, which is rad, but before that, were you on the road and have to, you know, were you rushing back to the states or like, where were you at? In the beginning half of 2020, 3 (36m 22s): We were in Europe with, with a band called glory hammer. And so we'd done a string of headline dates in the UK and then met up with them and doing direct support on that tour. And I was so like, we got back in mid February, I want to say. So like, and the pandemic hit just like two, three weeks later. So it was like, see, you're home. At least we got, we got home. We started to hear mumblings about this Corona virus thing. And we're like, that sounds crazy. But you know, kept on, we get home and we had festivals and everything planned for that summer, which obviously got canceled, but it did, we were already, that was the last, that was meant to be the last tour of our album cycle. 3 (37m 3s): Okay. So it was kind of, we were already ready to get back in and, and finish up a new album and yeah, chop suey that came out that we'd already chop suey, we'd begun recording like a year before. It was like a, you know, it was idea. We had like, I'll be so cool to do a shop sweet cover. And we, we started recording it and we hadn't, you know, it was, the idea was we're half half there. It, it, it wasn't yet this kind of like EDM metal mashup that it is now and something was missing. So we kinda, you know, we, we kind of started on it and just, we weren't sure where to go with it cause we didn't want to just, we didn't want to do a straight forward cover. So we, we were sitting on it and then the pandemic happened. 3 (37m 45s): And would you agree? Beatstars (37m 47s): Lil NAS X is one of the biggest artists on the planet with old town road. What if I told you they bought the beat for old town road for 30 bucks on beat stars. And the song currently holds the record for the most time ever spent at number one on the billboard hot 100 chart, beat stars is the world's number one digital music marketplace to buy and sell beats. Beat stars is free to use for beginners and bringing it backwards. Listeners can also get a free one month pro subscription to open their own virtual music store with code bib that's beat stars.com/bib to get started on beat stars. Beatstars (38m 27s): Beat stars also allows music creators to sell their products worldwide. Everything from beats loops and sound kits to vocals lyrics, graphic design, and more dozens of top charting songs from the past few years, or actually made on beat stars or created by beat stars, producers. Like I mentioned, Lil NAS X, old town road, as well as CJ's woopty Soja boys. She make it clap. And many, many more beat stars has helped pay out over $150 million in music sales to hundreds of thousands of musicians, whether you're an independent artist, singer, songwriter, rapper, ANR, or label, there are millions of beats available to you on beat stars in any genre or style. Beatstars (39m 13s): If you're interested in writing songs, but you don't play an instrument or produce beat stars is the perfect place to start. Stars also offers music distribution to dozens of streaming platforms for less than $20 a year for unlimited song releases, beat stars is free to use for beginners and bringing it backwards. Listeners can also get a free one month pro subscription to open their own virtual music store with code B, I be bringing it backwards. Listeners can go to beat stars.com forward slash B I B to get started on beat stars, huge shout out to beat stars for sponsoring this episode. 3 (39m 52s): You know, suddenly the only way to, for us to kind of be seen and heard was just to release more music. And it's like, Hey, we've been sitting on this thing. Let's like, you know, let's finish it and put it out. And so that, that really helped us kind of like stay relevant during the pandemic. I feel like because it was, that was a really tough time to, especially at wa I feel especially bad for bands that had just completed an album. And we're about to go on tour the pandemics Pilbara, and then suddenly they don't have that opportunity to promote their album and where they're holding 1 (40m 22s): Up the year and a half 3 (40m 23s): Writing it forever yet. 1 (40m 25s): And then it's like, well, we've wrote a whole other album. And then of course now, Okay, so you had just finished with the album cycle. You guys put out shops Sui. And when do you start writing this, the new record that's coming, it's coming out in the beginning of 3 (40m 40s): April 1st, which is a 1 (40m 43s): Perfect day for that for your banner. And 3 (40m 46s): When I found out April 1st was April. Yeah. What I thought that April 1st hell on a Friday this year, which was the music release day. I was like, we have to wear a neck around week that's low-hanging fruit. We got to take it right. But Nikki had been writing for, for the new album since I think, right? Like this is it. He started writing right after we got off of work towards 2018. Wow. And he, and that one was like, all right, we definitely have to use that one. We were all, we all loved that song. And, but he, he probably wrote like between like 30 and 40 songs for the album and, and total like, you know, not all completed, completed ideas, but most of them already had like, you know, at least a verse and chorus already in the bag. 3 (41m 33s): We had a lot to work with, which we're not used to. Usually it's like, all right, here are the 10 songs we completed or, you know, this time it was Nikki kind of had, yeah. He had to just a surge of creativity. And I think coming back from tour where he misses working as, you know, writing, you know, in his, in his studio, I think it like coming back into her, like he, it makes him hungry to, to write again. I feel so. And that was 2018 was such a heavy, like probably our heaviest touring year yet at which compared to most bands is not very heavy, but we still toured about did at least over a hundred shows that year. So was like for us as a lot of shows. 3 (42m 14s): So I think that he couldn't wait to get back and just, just get back to just writing, you know, and not sleeping on a, on a fucking tour vehicle or bus 1 (42m 25s): When it came to recording the record. Was that difficult at all? Or when you started working on the recording process, were you able to kind of get together and rehearse the songs and then, 3 (42m 35s): Oh, it was down. It was interesting because the, so the, the, the pandemic hit and then I decided to go stay in Florida with my girlfriend and our producer. Jason also lives in Florida. And so like, and there was a time where it was like, all right, like let's try to limit travel as much as possible. It's, you know, everyone has to live in a bubble because we, everyone didn't know what was going on with the pandemic gage it. But I was like, you know, but I was talking to Jason and we hadn't even fully decided to track listing for the album. We hadn't, we hadn't done the normal pre-pro process. You know, like I attract a couple of things, a couple of demos. 3 (43m 17s): And, but it was just kind of this decision, like everything's at a standstill and we're bored and I just hit up Jason. I was like, and we were like, should we just start? Should we just start recording? Like, we're not done writing, but what also we're going to do. And like, you know, Nikki hadn't written more ideas yet. And we were just kind of staring at this dislike pile of ideas. And I was like, well, let's just, let's start recording them. You know? And so it was like a lot of like back and forth, like, I'd go over Jason's we would record like, you know, like maybe four or five songs and guitar. And some of those songs were not even complete. They didn't even have an outro yet. We're like, all right, let's record, what's written and then track it, hear it. And then that would inspire. 3 (43m 57s): Nikki's like, oh, here, but maybe I thought of an outro for this song based on that, based on the recording of that you guys did of the song. And so it was a very piecemeal back and forth process that I would recommend, but the results were great. So, you know, who knows maybe, maybe we're like, Hey, let's, especially, let's see how the album does, but you know, maybe we're like, Hey, maybe that's exactly how you have to do every single album. But yeah, it was, it was recording bit by bit and assessing, and the, okay, now we have these about these kinds of songs we need, we another, we needed a happy sounding song. Cause we always have fun, major sounding songs when that girl albums, you know, they're like, all right, what else, Nikki, what else do you got? 3 (44m 40s): You know? And so we do, we wanted to make it a really like, just diverse, listen, I don't like it when like two songs on an album sound too similar or, you know, so we, we wanted it to be yeah, every song to really have its own theme and really be its own thing and not be redundant. And S and while still giving everyone what they've known to love about Niekro, you know, all the I'm like, I definitely, I'm always like checking out our streams and saying, all right, what songs are you doing? What are fans listening to? You know, you know, so it's given me a good idea of what people truly love about Niekro and it's, and a lot of it's what I love about macro. So it was, it wasn't terribly hard to kind of whittle down exactly what songs to use together, but 1 (45m 24s): It wasn't hard to, like 3 (45m 27s): There were, there were definitely standouts. There are ones that I just wanted, even in demo form. I wanted to keep listening to over and over again, I'm like, that's a, that's a sign we should, we should roll with those. So that being said, Nikki wrote a ton of awesome stuff that, that didn't make it on the album. So, you know, there's always a possibility of besides or 1 (45m 46s): That's cool. W was it, do you feel like there's less pressure on this record because of the fact that, you know, it's not like you have to get something ready for a big tour and well, at least at the time, there's nothing really, there was an awful lot going on. Yeah, it was. 3 (46m 0s): And thankfully, because we put out shops, so we, that bought us more time to keep working on it. Yeah. I think the main pressure, the main pressure we felt was just the pressure to just completely outdo ourselves and, and, and just crush the last album. And so that's ultimately, that's where it all comes down to, and being such a, like a unique band, it never feels like we're competing with another band. You know, there's no, there's only, there's only one gobble metal bands like us that does this style. So we're the only, our only true pressure competition is all right. We got to just make it even better. Silly gobbled metal records, you know? 1 (46m 39s): And where did the, like I was saying, I really, the YouTube show that you guys have with right now, like that, is that a concept that kind of came out of with, with what you guys are doing with the band? Or was that just something that he decided to go out? Cause that's, it's fun. I mean, it's really funny. He's like, like I said, he's quick and the production value of it is like, perfect. And there's the subtle like jokes, like with the, you know, the, the Chili's egg rolls and stuff. Like the stuff like that, like I think are so funny and like, is that, is that something you guys all kind of write together? 3 (47m 9s): So it's, it's primarily Brandon and Dave that write it. Yeah. So they get to there and they found out the, the talk show idea back in like 2015. And we did our, a couple of pilot episodes and, and like a lot of it's like addition to like the Chili's stuff is so much of a star the same way the band started, which is like a series of jokes that we allowed to go too far. Like, wouldn't it be funny? Like, like, you know, just like, like what if John Golconda con just like, loves Chili's idea. Brandon came up with, and we just, we just kept rolling with it and kept posting it and just getting persistent about it and like tapping Chili's on the shoulder, on Twitter and everything. And then they eventually started embracing it and hooking us up with gift cards and swag. 3 (47m 52s): So it's just, it's another just silly joke of, wouldn't it be funny to turn to life because we just decided to go for it. 1 (47m 60s): Yeah, no, that's so funny. It's the content. The one I watched earlier was with Bobby Lee. I love that he's from us. He, he, he he's older than me, but he grew up in the same area that I grew up in San Diego, but he says something he's like, dude, did you get these egg rolls? Cause I'm going to be on the show. And John GovCon goes, oh, you're from the south, from the south west. He's like, oh, these are . Yeah. That's so funny. And 3 (48m 32s): That was too. Yeah. That wasn't planned at all. 1 (48m 34s): Yeah. Oh, this is a lot of that just off the cuff, him just kinda going. So he, 3 (48m 39s): He comes up with, with like certain questions that are just like, all right, well, would this guest, you know, have to hit on this? Like, this is this, this is too funny of a joke. Like 1 (48m 50s): I was just going to freak out when they hear me going off like this. 3 (48m 56s): Luckily, everyone seems to understand that, you know, it's a comedic show. So, you know, no one comes on taking themselves too seriously or anything, but, but the the interactions and where, where are these? The episodes go is, is all just based on the chemistry between Dave, whoever the guest is. And, and S some of the, some of the funniest moments are just not planned at all. They just happen. And like the, the first time, like the first time, like his set started falling apart, like in the first two, I think it was in the very first episode like that wasn't planned. Like, it just like running actually fell off. And it was funny. Like, it says this falling apart, 1 (49m 33s): It just make sense. And it works. It's almost like to me, I was like, oh, they must have just planned this because it's funny. Like, 3 (49m 40s): Then we started planning it after that, after the first item fell and we thought it was funny. We're like, all right. We maybe like, everything has, has to be a thing that keeps happening. Can't get his shit together. And his set keeps falling apart. 1 (49m 52s): Oh, man, that is so funny. Well, what for when the record comes out, you're T you're doing a tour to support it. 3 (49m 59s): Yeah. So it should be in all of June, we had a lot of different plans for when the tour would be even, you know, the pandemic and new variants. It was like, all right, everyone's no, one's going to show us. Everyone's freaked out. Let's put this back kind of thing. So, so June seems like it, June is when we're slated right now. I don't, I can't imagine that getting pushed back any further because I have an album to sports. So yeah. So it's yeah, June in the U S and then hopefully Europe is good for this for right after that. Cause we, we have a few festivals around on this year, so hopefully those all still happen. 1 (50m 32s): That's exciting. Are you doing the headlining tour? Are you supporting somebody in the United States? Us tour will be headlining. I said, I thought, okay. That is awesome. 3 (50m 42s): I'm excited for that. 1 (50m 43s): Yeah. Awesome. Awesome. Well, thank you so much for doing this, Alex. I appreciate your time. Thanks for having me. Yeah. I love the video. And of course I haven't had a chance to hear the record, but I liked the song that I've heard thus far and I can't wait to hear the rest of it. And what you guys are doing is just so awesome. And so it's hilarious, but it's all, like I said earlier a few times, just like the, the music, if the music wasn't there and it didn't make sense, then it wouldn't ever be, you know, where, where it is now. But I have one more quick question. I want to know if you have any advice for aspiring artists. 3 (51m 13s): Hmm. I guess like a lot of things to say. I think, you know, the best thing I could say honestly, is to just put a lot of time into your art. That's, that's really, there's, there's so many different takes tips and tricks to get ahead, but like, you know, it, everything begins and ends with the music. So, you know, if put, put the most of your time into just your craft and what you, what you're making and make it and, and put an insane amount of time into it. And that's like, that's the best thing you can do. I think, and that that'll, that'll get you further than networking. All the other stuff that comes with it, that stuff helps do those things as well. But I think that as long as your priority is on your art and your presentation and, and on connecting with people via that specifically more than just, you know, tic talk and whatnot, I think that's gonna, I think longevity wise at that you'll have a better career 5 (52m 34s): Family. It looks a little different for everyone, for some it's mom and dad, for others, roommates who feel like family and for others, it's their significant other, their golfing buddies, your children, a high school soccer team, starting lineup, and a look, they're all taking you up on the offer to stay for dinner, really testing the limits of that phrase, the more the merrier, but no matter where you call home, Geico makes it easy to bundle and save on home and car. And Sharon's easier than making three frozen pizzas and assorted frozen veggies into a cohesive meal.