- Interview at Hellride Music www.hellridemusic.com
by Chris Barnes
Tearabyte take one part Bay Area thrash throw it in a blender with some
classic metal and puree into a finely blended contoction of sonic mayhem.
Mead brothers have been an underground metal fixture for years, playing
bands such as Decrepit Minds, Knightmare, Flys on Shit, Prime Evil and even
stint in GG Allin and the Scumfucks. That's a lotta rock n' roll. Chris
Barnes talks to the Mead brothers.
Hellride Music: Well the new album has met the Hellride Music standard for
"Ass Kicking". Which really doesn't mean shit, but I did enjoy
the hell out
of the album. How does the new release, Embrace Oblivion differ from 1999's
Doom Generation? 2002's Tearabyte has a different lineup than '99's, right?
Al: The new album does have a new lineup, Dave Bolch, and Paul Schlager
stayed in LA where Tearabyte originated and went their separate ways not
after Doom Generation was released. I relocated and spent the next two years
rebuilding the band. The music has also taken a different sound and style.
Kevin and I have been playing since childhood and have always been very
musically, and have played in bands before this (Decrepit Mind) With Embrace
Oblivion we wanted to develop our own signature sound, and play in the styles
of all the old bands we grew up listening to and blatantly defy the current
nu-metal trends and I think we achieved this with the new CD.
Kevin: That is a question Al should answer since I was not in the band for
Hellride Music: I mentioned in my review of Embrace... that you guys touch
a few styles, all of them metal and all of them old-school. Al, God bless
for not singing like you gargle with Draino. And from the band pics, none
you guys are wearing backward baseball caps, wallet chains or baggy pants.
That's a plus too. When you guys look back, who are some of the people that
have influenced Tearabyte in terms of sound, attitude, etc. and why?
Al: We are definitely METAL, and a mix of all of the good old school bands
but with our own twist as well. You hear the influences, but it's not a
carbon copy either. We feel we've taken it a step further. As for the vocals,
I can sing like all the cookie monster bands too, but then we'd be chasing
the trend and we wanted our own signature style like when you hear any of
great old school bands in the first 5 seconds of vocals you can tell who
is even if you never heard the song before. They all had a unique quality
about them that made them stand out. As far a clothes, (I'm wearing the
ones I wore 15 years ago) we don't get ours at the mall, and we don't hang
out at the food court. Leather & Denim have always been the best metal
Trends may come and go but the true hardcore's will stick to what they know.
As far as influences that's tough cause there are so many. I guess start
the original masters: Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Motorhead,
then the birth of thrash/speed metal: Celtic Frost, Slayer, Megadeth,
Metallica, SOD, Venom, etc, mix those with old punkers like Dead Boys, Fear,
Circle Jerks, etc.-and a dash of the Mentors & GG Allin you'll hear
all of these and more laced throughout Embrace Oblivion.
Kevin: Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Megadeth, Metallica, Slayer, Nuclear
Assault, Overkill, Testament, Violence, Sacred Reich, Black Sabbath, were
I think we have been playing for so long and have so many influences that
style of playing is spread out. On Embrace you can hear so many different
influences. I think that is what I like best about this band. We do what
want. I play how I want, Al plays & sings how what he wants and Jeff
how he wants. I still dress the same way I did 15 years ago, t-shirt, jeans,
leather jacket, and boots. I'm not one for styles, clicks, fashion, or fads.
Hellride Music: You guys produced and mixed your own album....looking back
the writing, recording mixing and overall production of the album, are you
happy with what came out of your efforts? Would you change anything?
Al: We're pretty happy with it, the only thing we would have done
differently, if it were possible, would have to been endorsed and had better
quality instruments, amps, drums. Since the recording we've acquired a lot
new gear that we wish we had when we did the album. Overall, we think it
out great and we can't wait to start the next one which will take us to
next level in many ways.
Kevin: I was happy with it. I wish I had my new gear for it but, it came
pretty good. But, all in all I am very happy with it. It is the best thing
have ever done.
Hellride Music: Al, you and your brother have been in and out of bands for
many years... Knightmare, Decrepit Mind, punk project Flys on Shit, the
amazing Prime Evil and various side projects. We both know that the music
business sucks -what keeps you guys coming back?
Al: I think you have the wrong Prime Evil. Our CD was never released
nationally, we did however have great success playing around the LA area
94' through 97'. Check out the Boneyard on our website www.tearabyte.net
info on all of our previous bands with free downloads (when they work).
What makes us keep coming back? We do it cause we love it!! It's all about
the love of the art. Our childhood dreams we never let go of regardless
the failures each new band we've joined or started is what keeps us going
gives us hope that someday it'll all be worth all of the suffering and
frustration.....or we'll die trying!
Kevin: Actually, I left the biz for 5 years. When Al first move to Texas
was married, and had not played in while. But, after a quick divorce I was
playing again. It took a little while to get our shit together but, I think
it was worth it. Our current drummer used to be in Decrepit Mind with me
we have been friends for over 15 years. So I think its more than just a
for us. You have 2 brothers and a good friend of over 15 years. Another
is when we started playing we did not intend to even release another CD.
just wanted to play and maybe do a few parties. When we hooked up with Tim
(owner of Screaming Ferret and long time friend.) Again, that was when we
started thinking CD, tour, all of the above.
Hellride Music: From all your collective years in metal, what's the single
most rock n' roll experience you've ever had? Any "Hammer of the Gods"-like
hotel trashings or intercourse with multiple groupies?
Al: For me it was the first time I banged a groupie in the dressing room
in 85 or 86 on new years eve in Boston. We opened up for Blue Oyster Cult
that night and when they played "Godzilla", I gave her AL-Zilla!
Kevin: I've never really had one of those moments. Although I was a roadie
for Al's band at the Blue Oyster Cult show and all in all it was quite the
party. But, I was not in the band so. Kev goes without.
Hellride Music: Kevin and Al - Who can kick whose ass?
Al: I don't know, we get along pretty good for brothers, I'd say we'd have
be a tag team and kick someone else's ass. Teamwork is what we, and all
SFW bands demonstrate, we're like brothers we stick together and fight for
the common goal.
Kevin: When we were younger Al always would win. But, it was quite the duel.
We have not had an asskickin' fight in a very long time.
Hellride Music: What's next for the band in 2002?
Al: Rape, Plunder, Pillage, and Rape (we like rape). We're playing Metal
Nation 2002 in Raleigh NC June 29th put on by Snakenet Metal Radio and
Milwaukee Metalfest July 27th. Plans for a fall tour are in the works, check
our website frequently for updates www.tearabyte.net