Interview with Dave Peters of THROWDOWN September 23, 2011

September 25, 2011 by: admin

September 23, 2011


Dave Peters (Vocals)

Orange County, California

By: Shauna O’Donnell

Hi Dave thanks for talking with me today. How are you?

I’m good, thanks for having me.

You are going to be headlining the very first ‘Brawloween’ tour starting on October 21st. This is a west coast tour that lasts only eleven days. You guys haven’t made any live appearances in two years. What were you guys doing during that time off?

We were kind of laying low and spending time with our families. It’s a tough rime and kind of a weird time for bands that are our size. We are not a huge band that can coast off of one record for a long time and tour non stop. We were touring so much over the past several years that we kind of wanted to go on a little hiatus, take some down time and so we have done that. We really kind of had a lot of demand from the fans to do some shows, so this year my friend and I thought up the whole ‘Brawloween’ thing. I think every year we are going to try to do this ‘Brawloween’ tour. This year we are going to start off kind of small and see how it goes. We will see what happens for next year as well.

Oh! So this tour was your idea. That’s cool!

Yes, it was.

What inspired this tour?

I love Halloween and I love a good pun. I just wanted to do something fun that was like a branded tour. We wanted to do something that was a little different. In the past we have always had a lot of fun doing the Halloween shows over the years. Back as early as 2000/2001 and even before that we did some Halloween shows where we would dress up and do funny stuff. It was a lot of fun. I got nostalgic thinking about that and how much fun we had. There are not usually a lot of tours running in that little time span. Summer tours are wrapping up and bands are laying low. I think it will be a really cool thing and I’m hoping it turns into something a little bigger. Next year and the following year we can make a bigger event out of it.

Do you think this will be the beginning of another tour cycle for you guys?

I don’t know. I do want to make a record. I have already started writing quite a bit of it, at least the music aspect of it. I need to sit down and talk to the label and management about when we would release a record, but I don’t think we will head out. This will just be a fun thing. It’s a bit selfish, it’s a thing that we are doing for ourselves and our long time fans. We will be playing a lot of older songs too, but as far as a full tour cycle, that remains to be seen as we kind of nail down when we would want to put out a record.

I bet after two years you are excited about getting back on the road.

It’s cool, yeah, but it’s kind of nerve-wracking though. When touring is such a routine and a compulsory thing, you get in the van, you get out, you wake up in a hotel or bus, you get used to it for so long. You never think that the idea of playing some shows would be a nerve-wracking thing, but with all that down time it is kind of weird. For the first time in a long time, I’m thinking “I hope I don’t screw this up.”

You are going to be fine. It is cool that you are only doing the west coast because very few people do a tour just on the west coast. The Midwest is so popular now and it seems like that is where everyone tours or they go national.

Yeah, we are kind of envious of New England bands and New York bands. If they want to do a short tour, they can play ten different states. I was like “Oh, we are going to go to Reno huh?” It’s like the next state over, but it’s a lot of hours away. As far as logistics go, it is a bit more of a nightmare than booking a short east coast thing. Bands out there have the advantage of doing little weekend things, but out here if you want to go out and play an extended weekend, then you are just playing in California. To make your way up as far as Portland, it’s a hell of a drive and a hell of a lot of planning involved as well with that. Yeah, it’s cool, we are happy to do a little west coast thing. Obviously being from here, getting to play all these places close to home will be a lot of fun.

What I admire about what you are doing is you are letting the fans pick the set list too. You are letting them get involved with what they want to hear when you are doing a show for them.

Yeah, it’s cool and it is interesting. It’s tough to gage what people really want to hear. You can ask people what they want to hear and you will have some people that will say “I want to hear this one obscure song from your demo.” It will be something that we maybe have never played live. You begin to wonder if a lot of people want to hear it or if just a handful of people want to hear it. If you are on Twitter, that is a good place to let us know what you want to hear. I check that a lot. We have had a lot of people respond there. We are trying to build a set list that focuses more on our older songs from 2005 and earlier. We haven’t nailed down all the songs that we are going to play yet and we are still taking a lot of requests from fans. I hope everybody realizes that when I say we are taking requests, it is not like they can shout from the Foosball table in the back of the room. We are not that prepared and we probably have seventy-five songs.

Don’t you love the people that yell out “Freebird”!

Yeah, “Freebird”, Play Slayer! I almost want to learn all of the Reign in Blood record so if anyone ever shouts Slayer, we will stop playing our songs and just play Reign in Blood and leave. We are trying our best to accommodate people, but you are never going to please everybody, so we are just going to try and play a set that is a lot of fun and the songs that everybody knows the most. We are trying to not be selfish in that regard and play songs that are newer and that we really love because they are something we just did a year or a couple years ago. We are trying to play some of the older songs that we haven’t played in years. We will see how it goes. Everybody says “Play old stuff!” It’s funny, we have done that in the past and kids will say “Play stuff from Beyond Repair!” so we will play three songs from Beyond Repair and they look at us like we are standing on the stage naked or something. They are like “What are these songs?” We are like “Goddamn!” They say one thing and do the other. Maybe the guy who knew the old songs didn’t show up. (laughing)

Like I said before it has been two years since the fans have seen you. What do you anticipate the turnout to be like at the shows?

I have no idea. I think part of me wants to believe that whenever you have an extended absence then people are more eager to see you. We played so much before that it was like if there was only a hundred kids at some random city in the Midwest, we were happy with that. If we come through a town x amount of times a year, I wouldn’t come see us five times a year. Hell. It has been a while since we have played Southern California. I think it will be cool and we may pull some people out of the woodwork that haven’t gone to see hardcore bands in a while. I’ve got a really good feeling about it, but maybe we will play Chain Reaction in Anaheim and it will only be our friends there, but we will play Jerry’s Pizza in Bakersfield and it will be packed to the gills. You never really know, there are so many things to consider.

Well I’m going to come to one of the shows and I will bring my friends.

Okay, good, we will at least have you and at least four other people maybe right?

HaHa Exactly!

We will throw two songs each out to every one of you.

Okay cool, I will be the one in the back making the requests.

Yeah, by the foosball table, that is perfect!

You’ll be going out with Carnifex, First Blood and Suffokate. Have you played with these bands before? I didn’t think you had.

We have never played with Carnifex or Suffokate. I’ve know Carl from First Blood for years. We did a tour with Terror. Have we played shows with First Blood? We may have done a full tour with First Blood. It sounds bad that I don’t remember that, but we have done so many tours that I can’t remember. I definitely toured with Carl a number of times when he was playing in Terror years back. I think it will be a lot of fun. We had different ideas for the line-up of this thing. This is obviously no slight on the bands that we have going on the thing, but we were hoping to make Earth Crisis a part of this thing and it just didn’t work out because of some last minute things. I got a chance to listen to a little bit of Carnifex and Suffokate. Not that they are super new bands, there are bands starting every day, but I’m always kind of weary when I listen to “new bands.” I was stoked to hear them. It will be a decent mix and I think kids can get into that.

I’m glad to hear you are making new music. Hopefully that comes along and maybe we can hear it next year?

I don’t want to write any checks I can’t cash here, but it would be awesome if in the first half of the year we could get a record out. Much like these shows, we really kind of want to play to people that have supported us for years and I really want to write a record that is a little more stripped down and raw. I hesitate to ever say that it will be like any other record we have done, but it will be something that cuts to the bone a little bit more and not quite as technical as the last couple records.

Hopefully there will be cowbell on the new record.

Yeah, we can play cowbell anywhere. We can do just a whole track of just cowbell at different time signatures. There is always room for cowbell.

There are some bands out there that are doing things on the side such as clothing lines, writing books, acting, owning their own labels and producing for other bands. Do you have interest in any of that?

No, when it comes to music, I like to just focus on the music. To be honest with you, when I am able to take a breath, sit back and look at things from a bird’s eye view, I find that when I’m least happy involved in music is when I am doing some element of business or something that is peripheral to the actual music. I think that happens a lot. Some guys do it right. At least Jamie Jasta can go out there, host an MTV show, do three bands and it all kind of works. I think a lot of guys out there are not cut out for that. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not. I don’t want to spread myself too thin. As far as hardcore metal goes, I love just working on doing Throwdown and making records when we can, when the timing is right. There are a lot of other kinds of music that I listen to out there. I’d love to be involved with something like that. I’d love to do a project, but you will never see me doing my own t-shirt line and I’m not going to make my own cereal.

Cereal? That is a good idea.

Yeah, you know what? I take that back, I think I will probably make my own cereal because who doesn’t love Capt Crunch.

You can do a spin off of Cheerios.

I’m good with puns, I will tell you that. I will come up with something good. When it comes to music, I just like to focus on just that element and enjoying it. That’s what makes people jaded, it’s when they are doing something that they love and it starts to feel like a job. You have to pull back a little bit and make it not feel that way.

I think all of us have experienced that at some point in our careers. I know I have.


Do you remember what it was like going on tour for the first time?

I wish I could go back to that. I can’t tell you enough. I am able to sit down and really focus on certain silly events whether it was running out of gas or leaving someone in a mall. We didn’t have cell phones back then.  We would realize two hours later that we were missing someone. When you do those things, you think about those things and you start to reminisce, it sounds sappy, but it is very nostalgic.  You wish that you could return to that, but you really can’t. You only get to do things for the first time, one time. It feels fresh and new for only that period of time. When you do anything over and over again it starts to feel like routine to an extent. My personal goal is to get as close to that as I can and enjoy it on my own terms ten years later.  It’s more like fourteen years later from when the band started. Those were good times, so if you are in a band, you are getting in some crummy van, you are wishing that you could be the guy that is maybe not in the bus but in the Dodge Sprinter, just be happy with whatever you are doing and that you are actually on a tour. That is the advice that I can give to any band. Be happy that you have any opportunity at all to get out there and play some shows that somebody will show up to. That is the heart of it all.

One of the toughest things for young bands nowadays is finding a way to get on the road and tour. It is mostly due to either not knowing how to do it or not having the money.

Yeah, it’s a bizarre kind of time. It’s a different climate for music in general. A lot of things have changed and I can only imagine being a band just coming out. In a lot of ways, you have a lot of things at your disposal. You can make a record with ProTools on your laptop. You know, you could steal ProTools (Laughing), put it on your laptop and make a record that sounds better than some of the records that people pays thousands of dollars to make in the 80’s or early 90’s. At the same time there is just a flood of people that have a band, everybody has a song on the internet, a Facebook page and a fan site or whatever. It’s tough to compete with that and it’s tough to get people behind you. It’s tough to find a label and the labels are scratching their heads too all the while. It’s a weird time; I do not envy those kids that are just starting out right now.

You said it perfectly. I feel the same way. It is very tough. When people ask for advice, it is almost like you don’t know what to say anymore.

Yeah, I don’t know what to say without sounding like Mr. Gloom and Doom. People are like “I want to start a band.” I’m like “Ugh! That is the worst idea!”

You are like “What’s your second choice?”

“Can you do anything else, like ceramics?” Everybody needs a good ashtray. Get into something that you will be appreciated for.

Exactly, leave your mark on the world with a nice ashtray.

Right or open a Mexican food restaurant, there are two on every corner in Southern California and they are all doing fine. Carnitas!! That is the way to go.

Well, on that note, I wanted to thank you so much for the interview. It was awesome talking with you. You are an awesome guy. Before I let you go would you like to add or say anything?

Thanks for having me. I hope to see everyone at the shows. I apologize if they are not terribly close to you, but we will try to make it worth the drive if you come out. If you have any requests for these shows, then hit us up on Twitter or Ah! You will figure it out. We will try to play whatever songs. Actually before I go, if we play these old songs, we get out there, we take the time to relearn these things and kids stand there with their arms folded not knowing what we are doing, we are going to have a back up plan. We are going to learn an entire 311 record and we are going to play it as punishment for everyone who said they wanted to hear these old songs and then just sit there and look at us. So, we will play all those crappy 311 songs and I’m not afraid to make a point here. I will do that, so do not say you weren’t warned.

That sounds like a plan, thank you so much Dave.

Thank you very much!

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