Interview: Ben Falgoust [9th May 2012]

Before their gig at Moho in Manchester, we met up with Ben Falgoust, frontman of Goatwhore for a bit of chat about all things metal.

Jade: How is the tour going so far, are you enjoying it?

Ben: Yeah, the tours going really good so far, a lot of good feedback with all the bands in general. They all offer something different to the tour, a different kind of impact

Jade: It’s good to have diversity

Ben: It’s not too diverse, just within extreme music. Each band offers a different element of that. From 3 Inches of Blood to us to Angelus Apartriad and Havok, everyone has an extreme element from their different kind of genre within the extreme metal scene.

Jade: How are you enjoying Britain? Are the fans treating you well?

Ben: Yeah, so far so good. Two shows in and we still have about five to go and then we head back to mainland Europe and finish off over there. So yeah, everything is going pretty damn good so far.

Jade: How do you find the European crowds? Do they have a different atmosphere to the US? Do you notice any big changes?

Ben: Well yeah, I think that out here the people are more, nothing against America, but they are more dedicated. If they’re into it they have been into it a while, follow close-knit to it and keep it pretty much as close to them as possible.
Whereas in America there are a lot of trends and fads and things go and people come in and out of things. But out here and in Europe if you’re into metal you’ve always been into it and have it set for the rest of your life .Where in other places it’s more of a fad and people are in and out of it

Jade: Where do you like playing the most? Have you found somewhere you like playing more than others?

Ben: As far as that goes every place offers something different, as far as the interaction with the crowd and how we’re perceived as a band and everything, I don’t necessarily have a favourite, I have certain places that I had a really good time playing but that depends on how the crowd comes out and reacts, you can’t really set aside a city as being the greatest city to play or anything because we can easily go back to that same city and it not be as impacting as the last time.

Jade: Different groups of fans

Ben: Yeah, exactly, also it depends on the tour you do. Personally I’m out here to enjoy what I do be there two people of two hundred I’m still going to perform to the same amount as I would, no matter what. You can’t upset even the small amount of people that show up rather than making sure that you always have a huge number of people out each time.

Jade: Growing up, which bands inspired you to start a band?

Ben: There were a lot of different things, it varies in different styles from like Judas Priest to a band like Cro-Mags to Bolt Thrower, Napalm Death, Cannibal Corpse, I was into a lot of things when I was growing up.
All these little things within these bands have a role in what you want to do, what you want to evolve to do as far as bands go. And just certain aspects about them you want to pull off, like what they’ve done in a live setting or what they’ve done on certain records or what they’ve done as individual artists. It plays such a big role on how it influences you and everything.

Internally we have a lot of members that are into a lot of different things and we don’t like to pigeon-hole ourselves into one bracket, we like to be open because we are so open as far as metal goes. So when people ask us to explain what we are, we are like, we’re a metal band.
Of course people have their genres that people like to put things into and have labels to recognise things and sometime it pigeon-holes you into a spot and you have to work your magic to get out of that spot on a tour that’s a little bit different and get in front of that person that wouldn’t take the chance or the risk with you, you know, and try and work them over. You see these elements of these other bands in the past and those things help influence your music, the way you look at things and the way you do things.

Jade: Besides music, what do you like to do in your free time?

Ben: I don’t really have to much free time, I have a job at home when I’m not touring. I work in a frame shop, we do pictures, mirrors, work for hotels and stuff like that. When I go back home I go back into a regular job and do that and in the evenings we jam, work on new material. And I guess if there is any off time I probably catch up on sleep!

Jade: What is your song writing process when you come to write a new album?

Ben: It’s kind of mixed up sometimes, our drummer is from Phoenix, our bassist is from Pensecola, Florida, our drummer (Zak) will come in and he’ll get together with Sammy and they go over ideas and every now and then James will come over from Pensecola and he sits with those three. I’ll sit in every now and then to give an outsiders input and we’ll work things out like that, going back and fourth. Once things are solid in structure I’ll start putting vocals and vocal ideas on top of that.

But we’ll go to points where we’ve written a full song and you’re just like, this doesn’t quite feel like what we want so we’ll either toss the whole thing out or tear it apart and take elements from it that we really like and then we just move from there. I think a lot of bands do the same thing, I think it’s just the end result is different on how they approach it. We’ve never really started building a song around the lyrics; that would be something unique to do.

Sammy has a bunch of tapes with riffs on and we’d sit through and pick different ones out and start to structure them and everything. And now since we’re in the 21st century he’s been dropping them on to a computer so it’s been a little bit easier. Sometimes we can put together a song one day and it’s just that right thing, sometimes it takes two, three weeks to put a whole song together. Other times you’re just at that wall where you can’t go any further and you either need to step back and start something new or start at a different point.
Sometimes we’ve taken songs where we haven’t started at the beginning but started at the middle and then expanded the end, creating it from that point. Or we’ve found a riff that’s like a good ending riff so now let’s go backwards in a structure. You just fall into different ways.

Jade: How do you choose your set list when you come out on tour? Do you go through the back catalogue and go, ‘I’d like to play this one’?

Ben: Yeah, we kind of throw our ideas around and rehearse through it to see if it feels right. Some songs don’t come across live like other ones do and when you play it you can feel it, you can feel the impact and the energy behind it. So we kind of go in and pick things, we bracket packs of songs, no space in between.

We have three songs packed in a group or two songs and just do that and have minimal breaks to have more of an attacking live show rather than ‘here’s a song and here’s a break and here’s a song etc’. So we go through that process and all come together to agree which songs fit where and the whole set list.
We change the set list pretty often as we tour a lot, we don’t want to go out there and offer the exact same live setting as before. When you tour so much and people see you four times in one year, so it’s like okay, the saw the same set four times instead of having four different sets.

Jade: Do you tailor your sets to specific towns, cities or countries?

Ben: Not really, we maybe will do, like depending on the tour we’re on and the ands we’re with. Our music has variance in what we do so we can vary it to the tour we’re on. If we’re on an extremer tour then we will pull out more of the extremer songs and if we’re on more of a tour like the one we did with Devildriver we will try to get more adaptable songs for that kind of audience. Even though they are a metal band too they have different audience. We can’t change ourselves too much, we just adapt to whatever kind of songs we have so we will try to switch up of songs in accordance to that.

Jade: If you had a song that went well in a certain city, would you be more inclined to play it there again?

Ben: Yeah, pretty much. You know sometimes people leave notes on facebook or in our email requesting songs and we try to work that out, depending on what it is. If we’re half way on a tour and we can’t rehearse something we can’t. But we always take that stuff into consideration. There have been points where we’ve played a show and we did know a song but didn’t play it where people were asking and we had a little time left so we played it.

Jade: Thank you for your time.

***Photography by Jade Hunter & Taylor Seraph***

Advertisements

One Response to “Interview: Ben Falgoust [9th May 2012]”

  1. predictable questions.didnt really give me much of an insight,or new information on Ben

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: