Here at SWNK we pick the music we wish to review from our to-review list. We receive loads of emails from bands that request to be reviewed (unfortunately we can’t keep up with the amount of request we receive) and offer some of their spare time for an interview. When working through those e-mails I usually listen to the bands that request a review. Blood Days sounded like something I needed to review. When reviewing the EP some questions popped up and I felt that an interview could be interested. Joe D Foster was kind enough to take the time to answer my questions. He has quite a history in hardcore, but for this interview I wanted to focus on Blood Days. With that in mind: here’s what he had to say.
Blood Days is a new band, but with a lot of experience on board. If I understand correctly the coming together of the line-up that recorded the Last day on earth EP was turbulent. Please give us some insight on the history.
Blood Days was conceived by me and the bass player John Lorey a few years ago. He was my best friend in high school and also played in Unity with me. We kind of reunited after many years and I was really happy to do this with him. He is in my opinion one of the best musicians I have ever played with. We had a different singer in the studio with us at one point but that didn’t work out so we were kind of stuck. About a week later my friend Jae Hansel hit me up on Facebook wanted to hear the cd and to find out how it was going. I told him what happened and he said he would love to do it so it just worked out pretty good. He is awesome and I feel this is the best lineup I could ever ask for. Everyone gets along and we all have a lot of fun at practice and writing together.
Regarding Jae; you’ve got a sound that’s easily recognizable. Loads of people will link it with Ignite. Now you’ve picked a singer who has a voice and vibe that is pretty similar to Zoli’s. Did that weigh in in any way in introducing Jae in the band?
Not at all and I don’t think he sounds like Zoli. There was never a goal about a certain type of singer but if there was it would have been to not sound like Zoli. I knew there would be times the music sounded like maybe Ignite, but there is only one Ignite and there is only one Zoli and he is the master. I am so happy I got to play with him and all those guys all those years. Best times of my life. I have always been a big fan of Jae’s, not just vocally but even more for his thought process, his passion, his intensity when singing live and the person he is. So much energy and PMA. He is really fun to be around and I am thankful to finally have an opportunity to work with him.
There was never a goal about a certain type of singer but if there was it would have been to not sound like Zoli.
Is Blood Days a project or a band?
Blood Days is 100% a band, NOT A PROJECT. We are 11 songs into our full length and looking forward to touring the east coast, Europe, South America etc as soon as possible.
In my review I have some critique on the production of the EP. What are your thoughts on the production?
Ya, you’re really mean, LOL. No, overall we are really happy about it. I am glad it’s out and thankful for everyone who hung in there, especially John Lorey, who has been at this with me since the beginning, Gavin for the great artwork and holding it down and having a great memory, Jae for being an awesome person and Casey for being my guy, Coretex, Irish Voodoo, Sven and everyone that has believed and supported us. We have just begun…
What will you do different next time in the studio? In order to live up to my high expectations regarding production values… 😉
LOL, we are really just focused on writing the new music now, I think we have about 11 new songs that we really like and were are going after 13 so we are close. I haven’t really thought to much about production etc. It’s going to be a band decision and we will all make that decision together when the time comes.
I haven’t really thought to much about production etc. It’s going to be a band decision and we will all make that decision together when the time comes.
What are the plans with Blood Days? You’ve got some music out, the next logical step would be (relentless) touring. Or in other words, are we going to get a chance to see Blood Days live someday soon?
Of course, relentless touring is not the plan because everyone has big responsibilities now but ten days here and ten days there is the protocol.
If you’re planning on touring in short bursts I assume you’re aiming for the summer festivals, am I correct?
Not necessarily. I would love to do a small club, low door price tour over festivals if I had a choice. It’s cool to play festivals and see all your friends etc, but I enjoy the intimacy of smaller of shows and lower prices. Hopefully we can work that out. I would like to tour with Miozan, Done Dying, Zero Eight One from Napoli, Italy, Mouthpiece, World Be Free, Sven the one man band and of course Ignite. That would be fun and weird at the same time. LOL
As far as promotion goes, I was surprised how little I could find about Last days on earth. So I’m guessing here: how’s the EP received and how come there’s so little fuss about your EP?
Ya man, no reason to fuss, find it, like it, don’t, it’s all good. We are just thankful that Joey from Irish Voodoo Records and Andy and Udo from Coretex Records put it out and we really appreciate it.
If I am correct you also have a surf-magazine. Can you combine that with touring?
It has really taken a back seat to my music. My passion has always been the two things and at different times in my life, one is stronger that the other but both never leave.
ya there are probably 50 plus songs written in this band with various lineups.
I can imagine you’ve got quite some songs that were written in the past but so far are not recorded. Are the songs you’ve recorded for this EP new, or did you get to record a couple of older ideas/songs? There’s times when I think this EP could have been released somewhere in the 90’s…
LOL, ya there are probably 50 plus songs written in this band with various lineups. Two are carried over on the ep and the other four are fresh with Gavin, Casey and Jae.
You’ve been active in bands that have a clear message. So how important are lyrics to you, personally?
They do matter to me a lot. I have always considered Jae a positive yet really deep thinking singer. Him along with Joe Nelson and Dan O’Mahony have always written things that express how I feel the best.
Just out of curiosity: what happens when a singer takes a stand in his lyrics you just can’t agree with?
That happened once and only once thank God. The lyrics were overtly anti God and I was not ok with that. The singer ended up dropping some lines and all. It’s a rare occasion and hopefully never happens again.
In connection to the message of the bands you are or were part of: a lot of projects you are involved in share profits with organizations such as Seasheperd etc. Please elaborate on that?
I have never done music to make money, so if there is a chance to help out a worthy organization or person with what I do that’s great.
Ya it’s dark but so are the times we live in now.
Here in The Netherlands there’s a lot to do about how much money the key-players in such organisations are making. There’s stats floating online with the exact amount per organisation. Does that kind of thinking influence your choice of organisation to support? What defines an organisation you wish to support?
I am not cool with an organization that is supposedly non profit based and supposedly trying to help make a difference in the world paying them selves tons of money. I now donate privately and anonymously to things I believe in. What Casey is doing right now through gofund me for Jon Bunch’s family is awesome. Sven did that to for Frank from Miozan and Surrender was Denied. There are more but those are the most recent that were close to my heart. The actual scene itself coming together on a global scale and helping each other.
The artwork of the EP is looking dark and sombre, while the music sounds rather positive. This makes me wonder: what’s the story behind the artwork of the EP?
I think it caters well to the title of the cd, Last Day on Earth. A guy dying and possibly writing out his will or thoughts for the final time. Ya it’s dark but so are the times we live in now. It’s really great to be in a band with such an amazing artist.
You’ve been around in hardcore for quite a while. Do you feel the scene has changed, if so, how and how do you feel about that?
It will always change and that’s ok. Everything will always change if you let it. Me and John set out to do this with no plan other than playing the kind of music we like playing. This is the kind of music we have always played and that is something we will not change. It’s what and who we are, it’s what brings us joy, it’s what we do no matter what everyone else is doing.
A lot of bands of yore are reuniting. A lot of them just for the sake of touring, but there’s more than a few that release new music too. What’s your view on this trend?
I am fine with it. So many great bands from the past deserve a chance to see the world. They gave us so much and it’s awesome that people who never had a chance to see them can now. Traveling is awesome and you meet so many great people and have a chance to make people happy.
Are you involved in more projects, bands at this time? What can we expect?
I recently played guest guitar on a track for a band from Napoli, Italy. Really great hardcore straightedge band called Zero Eight One. The track should be out in a month or so. I am also working on a project called Unity World Wide but other than that, Blood Days keeps me pretty busy.
What’s up with Unity World Wide, what can we expect from it? And when?
It is a process for sure! Eventually I would like torelease 5 7” with four songs per record. We would record all the music and send the songs out to different singers all over the world so we would have Europe, South America, Scandinavia, Japan, Ukraine, etc. We have the band in place now and have three songs so far. Also, we have already completed the Unity World Wide Austria edition. This project is a global world project for world unity with all the money going towards promoting unity world wide. We are researching organizations now and looking for the best ways to do that.
I’m looking forward to hearing from UWW and of course the new Blood Days songs. Thanks so much for this interview!