Justin Donnelly of The Metal Forge recently conducted an interview with NEVERMORE guitarist Jeff Loomis. A few excerpts from the chat follow:
On touring with DISTURBED:
"We just got home yesterday after doing a forty-two day European tour! (Laughs) It was really awesome dude. We went on tour with Chicago act DISTURBED, and it was interesting to say the least. We were the support band of course, and we went out with them for about a month. Every show was pretty much sold out, so it was really cool for us. It was a chance for us to expose ourselves to a new and younger audience. I think we accomplished that. I mean, when you're a support band, it's really different. You have to look back to the times in the past when you yourself saw big acts like JUDAS PRIEST or KISS, because that's where you saw all the underground acts. They're the bands opening up for other bands. It can be very difficult, even when we're in that role. With that in mind, we went out there with the intention of really trying to blow away DISTURBED! (Laughs) But you know, a band like DISTURBED is very good at what they do in regards to production and the lights, plus they also have very good songs, so it was a challenge for us. We're more of an underground metal band. We hoped that the DISTURBED crowd would like us, but I'll tell you the truth, there were some nights where the crowd was so quiet! (Laughs) I mean we're a lot faster than DISTURBED are, so it was a different crowd to ours. I guess we're more of a thrash band really. But the whole point of us going out on tour like that was to gain more fans, and expose ourselves to a younger audience, and that's exactly what we did. All in all, it was a really good time.'
On their recent DVD shoot at the Zeche Club in Bochum, Germany:
"What was supposed to happen was we were going to film a show before the DISTURBED tour was to begin, but [Warrel] Dane was sick the first time we were supposed to film the show. He couldn't put in one hundred and ten percent for the show, so we had to cancel the shoot. What we did was rescheduled the show, and it virtually happened like a week ago. We filmed it, and it turned out really good. I haven't seen the footage yet because it happened all so quickly, but I do have a CD of the audio side of things. All I can say is that it's very raw at the moment. We just went up there on stage and played the music. There are some mistakes here and there, but nothing that we can't fix in the studio a little later on. But having said that, we all want to keep the recording a little raw sounding, so that it honestly reflects what we're like live. Andy Sneap is going to take all the master tracks that we did and put it in 5.1 Surround Sound and shit like that. He'll make it all brutal sounding like it's supposed to be, so it's going to be cool. This is one of the things that NEVERMORE has always wanted to do, and our fans deserve to see something like this."
On his upcoming solo album:
"I plan on recording the album around January. It's something that I've always wanted to do my whole life. Everybody is always asking me when I plan to put out a solo album, and now there are definite plans! (Laughs) My album is pretty much going to consist of instrumental kind of stuff. There won't be any vocals on there. It's going to be purely shred kind of stuff. I have already lined up Neil Kernon as the producer. NEVERMORE used him for 'Dreaming Neon Black' (which was released in 1999). I work very well with him in the studio. We've been buddies for such a long time. He knows how I work, and I know how he works, and it's good to know and work with people like that."
On musicians that he will use on the solo album:
"I wish I could give you names, but unfortunately I haven't signed a contract with the guy that's going to be playing drums on the album. All I can tell you is that he's one of the best drummers in the world. That's all I can say! (Laughs) I had a lot of names in mind when I was thinking about drummers for the album, but when it comes to drum gods, I really only have one favourite. I'm a drummer myself. I started off on drums when I was very young. I love to watch drummers more than I do guitar players! (Laughs) So the choice was very easy for me, and fortunately, the guy that I asked said yes immediately. That's all I can say. He's fucking phenomenal. That's all I'm going to say! (Laughs) He's a goddamn genius. I can't wait to release this album."
Read the entire interview at www.themetalforge.com.