New Orleans masters of blackened death metal Goatwhore are hardened road warriors and have years of experience when it comes to touring and playing shows all over the world. The band released their last album Vengeful Ascension last year and have been touring it ever since and are still going strong around the globe despite a recent injury to vocalist Ben Falgoust that saw him break his leg but being the dedicated band they are, they really fused to give up and are still playing despite the singers limited onstage movement, proving that nothing will stop Goatwhores metal and their desire to play live! We caught up with the bands guitarist Sammy Duet on the Bristol leg of their European tour with Sepultura to hear how it’s been going. We talked about the leg break incident, bus troubles, touring with the legends that are Sepultura, past touring highlights, the new album and future recording plans, summer festivals, what music he’s currently listening to and if his previous band Acid Bath will ever do anything again in the future in a very entertaining chat.
You’re touring with Sepultura, Obscura and Fit For An Autopsy. How is the tour going so far?
The tours going fantastic actually. A lot better than I thought it would for us because as far as this bill goes, I could see us fitting in but I could also see us clashing a little bit with bands you know, we’re a little heavier. Everyone’s getting along great though and we’re having fun. The shows have been really, really good so I can’t really complain.
How did Ben end up breaking his leg and how’s he bearing up?
Ok, well we’ve been having massive bus problems this whole tour and I won’t say which company it’s been but we’ve had nothing but problems. We’ve got a big trailer at the rear if the bus and the trailer door, it’s a massive trailer door and one of the hydraulics had broken do when the hydraulics we’re working correctly, one guy could open and close the door easily. That was not the case when the hydraulic broke and it fucking hit Ben and knocked him out and broke his leg. I just remember coming outside and his foot was trapped under the door where he couldn’t get it out. He’s lucky to be alive really because that door us three to four hundred pounds.
Yeah I’ve seen how big it is outside!
Yeah, but he’s still going onstage and kicking ass you know. As much as he can be with one leg.
How have the crowds been with Goatwhore? As you mentioned you’re definitely the heaviest band on this bill.
It’s been taking a little bit but I think about halfway through the set, they start to warm up and understand what’s going on. There’s been a couple of nights where they didn’t understand what was going on but that was only a handful, maybe two maximum or three but other than that, halfway through the set, we destroy them and they have to submit!
Are you fans of the bands you are touring with?
I’ve been a humongous Sepultura fan for a very long time. In one of the first bands I was in, we actually used to cover a Sepultura song, we used to do Inner Self. It was more like a melodic thrash band but I think that’s what crossed us over to heavier stuff in that band because we had a singer that was singing clean, stuff like Flotsam And Jetsam then I would have to sing the Sepultura song because he didn’t want to mess up his voice!
What have been some of the highlights of this tour so far?
Oh man! I’m not sure!
Is this about halfway through the tour?
Yeah, we’re just about halfway through this tour. Munich was really awesome, Munich was fantastic. I’m trying to think, it’s been a blur! I don’t have a tour schedule on me so I do t really know the names of the cities half the time! I have to ask somebody, like where the hell are we! There’s no post in this bus to see where you are so I just go by what I remember but I remember Munich being really good and there was a couple of other ones. Warsaw was really good.
The tour finishes at the end of March, what are Goatwhores plans for the rest of the year after that?
We’re gonna go home and recuperate from this because Ben breaking his leg and the problems we’ve been having with the traveling situations, everyone’s not been getting rest properly so we’re going to go home and recharge the batteries, let Ben get better and then we’re coming back for festival season.
Do you know what festivals you’ll be playing?
Into The Grave, Summer Breeze. I haven’t seen all the dates yet but I think we might have four other ones and we’re going to be doing off dates with some other bands who I can’t mention right now but we’re doing a tour in between the festival dates.
You released your brilliant new album Vengeful Ascension last year. How has the album been revived so far?
In the United States, its been received very well. I’m very surprised because we took a lot of weird chances on that record as far as the music goes and stuff. There’s some stuff that we wouldn’t normally do that we just felt it was the right thing to do, you know what I’m saying. I was kinda nervous at first at how the fans would react to the changes we’ve made but it’s actually worked to our advantage. The fans are totally into it so I can’t really complain.
Are you playing much material from the album on this tour?
Oh yes! A lot of it. I don’t know how Metal Blade have been promoting the record out here or anything like that so we just decided to make the majority of the setlist, songs from the new album in case people don’t know that it’s out and just hit them in the head with it!
Have you got any plans to follow up the album yet or is it to soon after its release?
We’ve been working on stuff at home and we have roughly about four songs that just have the music, the guitar parts and the drums, what we do is because the bass player is from Texas, our drummer is from Arizona and it’s hard fir us to get together and jam a lot so I just sit at home and try to structure whole songs. That way. When the dudes come into jam and refine the songs, we have a set idea and if we need to change something, that’s fine. It just makes The whole process a bit quicker but yes, I have four songs finished.
Do you work on music on the road? I’d imagine it’d be quite hard with everything that’s go on, on this tour.
It’s almost impossible, I mean the way that we tour, we do t tour with any road crew or anything out here and in the United States as well so it’s kinda hard for us to put together the show for the night and then have some time off to relax and then work on music, it’s almost impossible.
You’ve been touring for many years now, do you still look forward to going back on the road despite its challenges?
Oh absolutely, this is what I live for basically. I live to play live. Getting on the road any chance I get, I always look forward to it you know, even though it’s a little bit more difficult for us out here, we make it work.
When you tour in the States do you do coast to coast and all over the country?
Oh yeah, we’ll do everything, we’ll do coast to coast. We’ll go to Canada for two weeks and just nail everybody.
Where are your favourite places to play live in the world?
Oh man, that’s a hard question cos we’ve done a lot of shows. My favourite place to play? Off hand, I can’t really pinpoint one because there’s so many! Chicago, Illinois is always really good, Los Angeles has been really good for us lately, New York City is always badass, those are just the highlights!
Do you have any tour rituals? Things you always do when you’re on the road to keep you sane.
Yeah but I can’t talk about that haha!
What would you say is the best tour that Goatwhore have ever done?
The best tour we’ve ever done is hands down was Metal Alliance 2014 where it was Black Crown Initiate, Inquisition, 1349, us and Behemoth, hands down that was THE best tour we’ve ever done, second would be probably the tour we did with Celtic Frost on the Monotheist tour because Celtic Frost is my absolute favourite band.
Awesome, I saw them on that tour and they were immense! I met Tom G Warrior too!
Yeah he’s a good dude.
What music have you been listening to on this tour?
I’ve not been listening to a lot of music on this tour because my iPod broke! I haven’t figured out how to put music on my phone yet but when I’m at home I’ve been listening to Cultes Des Ghoules, Coven Or Wicked Ways Instead Of Love, that’s a great album. As far as new stuff that’s probably the only one. Mgla is another new band that I’ve been listening to, their new album Exercises In Futility, that’s a great album. I don’t really listen to a whole load of new music. I stick to the things I grew up on, stuff like Venom, Celtic Frost, Bathory and The Plasmatics.
Venom Inc played in Bristol last week actually, great show!
Cool, October of last year, we did the Venom Inc tour. We did a tour of the United States with them, that was pretty fun!
You’ve toured with so many great bands but who would you live to tour with in the future?
Oh man, Judas Priest. Black Sabbath. Let me see who else, that would be the two big ones. That would be the only two that I feel after I tour with them, I would be like alright I’m finished! I can retire now and be happy. I would say Motörhead but that’s not going to happen and I’d say Slayer but that’s not going to happen as well!
Thanks Sammy and just one final question, I’m a massive fan of Goatwhore but also a massive fan of Acid Bath and have been for over twenty years.
Yeah, are you still in contact with the rest of the band and would you ever do anything again in the future?
Yeah, I’m still in contact with everybody. I do t talk as much with Dax as I do with the other guys because he’s doing his own thing, he’s really busy with his band but I still talk to Mike and Jimmy a lot and as far as if we would ever do anything together, I would absolutely be 100% into that but it’s not up to me to do that. It has to be the right thing to, I wouldn’t want to do it with a different member besides Audie of course that goes without saying. I’d want to do it with all the original guys that are still around and not half ass it with different members.