Metal band dying for longer shelf life

Sean Ammerman


Good Music for Bad People Tour:

Every Time I Die

Playing with High on Fire, The Red Chord and the Esoteric

Where? Peabody’s Down Under

When? Tonight, 7 p.m.

How much? $17

Stater rating (out of four): ***


Flipping through music channels like MTV2 or Fuse, one is likely to see Every Time I Die’s new video for “Kill the Music.”

The metal band, which formed out of Buffalo, N.Y., in 1998, has been promoting the video extensively on “Headbangers Ball” and other shows.

The video features tough guy Michael Madsen (Sin City) as a pop video director who whips a band member into submission after he refuses to succumb to Madsen’s orders.

“Every time a kid comes up to me they say how amazing it is,” said Andy Williams, ETID guitarist who doubled as the video’s screenwriter. “You think about that dude and the roles he’s done – it’s ridiculous that Michael Madsen would be in a video I wrote.”

The video signifies a new stage in the band’s life. After two well-received but under-heard albums, ETID’s third disc is its first to get a major distribution deal by label, Ferret Music. This means its music will be available in major chain stores like Best Buy and Target, a feat the band is proud of.

“If you’re a musician, you should want people to hear you,” he said. “If old people want to listen to us, we’ll play to 70-year-old people.”

The new album, Gutter Phenomenon, features many of the band’s familiar trademarks – thrashing guitars, hyperactive rhythms and screaming vocals with an occasional hook. But for this album, vocalist Keith Buckley wrote his lyrics at the same time as the band. This helped create an album that flowed better from start to finish, Williams said.

“It made it easier to write and made us feel like we all worked together,” he said. “It makes the music more complete.”

Williams admits the process to get the perfect sound was sometimes exhausting. As someone who never took music lessons, he compared his need for making the perfect guitar part to having an obsessive-compulsive disorder.

“I literally beat myself up in the studio,” he said. “There’d been times where I just wanted to quit guitar, just because I wasn’t playing the part good enough.”

The title Gutter Phenomenon refers to an old nickname for rock-and-roll given by those who believed it would bring society’s downfall.

“We wanted to make a record that could be classic,” Williams said, “but have the provision of today’s recording technology.”

If there is one thing Williams detests about the current hard rock scene, it’s the low shelf life of so many of its bands. Groups such as Staind or Godsmack strike it big with one album, he said, but by the time they follow it up, their audience has already moved on.

The band hopes that it won’t be forgotten the way its peers have been, Williams said. ETID brings its chart-worthy music to Peabody’s Down Under tonight.

Contact ALL correspondent Sean Ammerman at [email protected].