Ahead of their European tour with Skeletonwitch and their first ever appearance at the 15th anniversary of Inferno Metal Festival in Norway, we catch up with New Orleans’ Goatwhore. Drummer, Zack Simmons, talks to us about the upcoming tour, Inferno, Norway, the different scenes and album sales.
Dom: You are embarking on a tour of Europe along with Skeletonwitch and Mortals this spring. Are you looking forward to it?
Zack Simmons: Definitely. I’m glad we are getting back to Europe so soon after our last tour over there. It’s a solid bill and I know fans will definitely be pleased.
Dom: Have you toured with these bands before? Do you get along with them?
Zack: We’ve toured with Skeletonwitch in the US numerous times as well as once in Europe and always have a great time with them. We did a one off with Mortals earlier in the year and they were great as well. It’s pretty rare to see people not get along on the road because we are all there to do the same thing.
Dom: How different is touring Europe to touring North America? Is the travelling part of the tour more exhausting in America than Europe due to the vast distances?
Zack: It’s all pretty exhausting after a certain point. North America and Europe both have their up and down sides so it’s just a matter of adapting and going with the flow. The European venues and promoters seem to take care of bands a little better but touring the States is more familiar since it’s home for us.
Dom: During this tour you will also be making a stop at the prestigious Inferno Metal Festival in Oslo, Norway. This will be your first appearance there if I’m not mistaken? Are you looking forward to it?
Zack: This will be our first time playing the Inferno Festival. The line-up for this year is great and I hear it’s a very well-run, organized festival. I’m definitely looking forward to it.
Dom: This will be Inferno’s 15th anniversary. Are you looking forward to seeing any bands perform there? Or perhaps meeting people?
Zack: It’s always good to meet new people and see old friends at these festivals. Enslaved and My Dying Bride are playing the same day as us so I’m looking forward to watching them. Hopefully, I’ll have time to catch some other bands as well. I haven’t seen the full schedule yet.
Dom: Although you haven’t performed at Inferno before, you have performed in Norway. In the metal world, that country is mostly known for its black metal of course. Do you feel that whenever you are there?
Zack: It’s not very apparent on the surface even though I’m aware of the history of it all. I guess it would be the same for a Norwegian coming to Tampa, FL expecting death metal Disneyland or whatever. It comes down to a period of time where likeminded individuals created a movement that was very special. Norway is one of those places for sure.
Dom: What were your overall impressions of Norway?
Zack: It can be very cold and very expensive. On the other hand it has beautiful scenery, history, and people.
Dom: You, however, come from New Orleans which has its own trademark sound and metal bands. Considering that you have your own unique cultural backgrounds, have you ever felt out of place when in Norway or in any other place outside NOLA?
Zack: Not at all. That’s the cool part about traveling while playing music though. You get to experience and learn about other cultures and people while sharing music which is a universal language.
Dom: New Orleans is mostly known for its “southern metal” – Down, Crowbar etc. You, however, differ from those bands in sound because you took a faster and more extreme attitude to the music. Do you feel like your music represents NOLA in a way? Does NOLA and its culture play an important role in shaping your sound?
Zack: New Orleans is a tough town and I’ve seen it eat people alive. I’m a firm believer that your environment and your personal experiences subconsciously work their way into your music. I think our sound embodies the darker and more sinister aspects of this city.
Dom: Are you pleased with how much Goatwhore albums sell?
Zack: I’m definitely pleased to sell the amount we do because there are so many bands out there and so much for kids to choose from. The market is definitely a bit over-saturated and people don’t have unlimited funds to buy ten new releases every week so people have to pick and choose what they buy and even what shows they want to go to. I feel lucky that enough people buy our records but if it were one or the other, I’d rather they come see us live to get the full experience.
Dom: What is next for Goatwhore after Inferno Festival and the tour with Skeletonwitch?
Zack: After Europe we’ll be setting our sights back on the US to do a proper headline run since we haven’t done one yet for this new record. After that I’m sure it will be time to start writing again.
See Goatwhore on tour in Europe:
4/3 Oslo, NO – Inferno Fest
4/4 Motala, SW – Kulturakademin
4/6 Copenhagen, DK – Pumpehuset
4/7 Hamburg, DE – Hafenklang
4/8 Osnabruck, DE – Bastard Club
4/10 Tillburg, NL – Roadburn Festival
4/11 Manchester, UK – Sound Control
4/12 Dublin,IL – Voodoo Lounge
4/13 Glasgow, UK – Ivory Blacks
4/14 Birmingham, UK – The Oobleck
4/15 Sheffield, UK – Corporation
4/16 London, UK – Underworld
4/17 Brussels, BE – Magasin 4
4/18 Koln, DE – Underground
4/19 Paris, FR – Covent Garden
4/20 Angouleme, FR – La Nef
4/21 Madrid, ES – Sala Lemon
4/22 Barcelona, ES – Sala Razz 3
4/23 Lyon, FR – MJC O Totem
4/24 Zurich, CH – Dynamo/ Werk 21
4/25 Milan, IT – Lo Fi
4/26 Rome, IT – Traffic Live
4/27 Innsbruck, AT – p.m.k.
4/28 Munchen, DE – Backstage
4/29 Leipzig, DE – Conne Island
4/30 Berlin, DE – Magnet
5/1 Wien, AT – Arena
5/2 Prague, CR – Exit-us