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Zimmers Hole - An Interview With Byron Stroud
For the second time in history, the insane perverted metal circus named Zimmers Hole has landed in The Netherlands for two gigs with The Devin Townsend Band and Strapping Young Lad. Zimmers Hole's bass player Byron Stroud took some time to sit down with Metal Rage reporters Mat-Core and Napalm Lex to discuss Zimmer, the tour, the band, pissing on stage and having sex during metal concerts. Enjoy! [b]How are you doing?[/b] I'm great man. [b]So how's the tour going so far?[/b] It's been great man, the responce has been killer, so it's been really good. We had a sold out show in Paris, and in the UK it was really good, Way better than we've done before. [b]What do you think of the dutch gigs?[/b] We've played Holland quite often, and we love it. It's a lot like Canada, the people are really friendly and the weeds good, haha. [b]How did Zimmers Hole come about, where did you come up with the idea of a parody based band?[/b] Well it's funny, cause it started out like a total joke.I was in a band that had just recently broken up, back in Vancouver, and I was room-mates with Chris, our singer for Zimmers Hole. A guy called me up, he said he had a show with a band called 'Gore Guts', who had canceled, and he needed a band to fill in on this bill. The show was on a Friday night, and it was monday then, so we basicly had five days to get a band together. So I said sure, hung up the phone and turned to my room-mates and said, let's throw a band together for a show on Friday, hahaha. Luckily Jed (Simon -red) was there , and he wanted to write some songs, and Steve walked in and I asked him if he wanted to play drums and he was like "uh, ok", and that way we drew together about ten songs. How we became a parody was by taking riffs from other bands. [b]So when did you decide you wanted to record 'Bound By Fire' then? When did it get that serious?[/b] Well we just had fun playing together, and we thought the first show we did was really funny, we broke a bunch of tv's on stage, did a bunch of funny shit on stage, you know. So from then on, every saturday we get together and drink, smoke some joints and write these funny songs. And we did that for a year, just hanging out and jamming. Then Devin (Townsend -red) came back from working on this project in the UK, and when he came by one day when he was in Vancouver he heard us play and he fucking pissed himself. He was like "i'm going to record you guys!, and we thought that was a great idea so we did it. We took all the ideas we had, cause we didn't really have any set songs, and it together in studio and out came Bound By Fire. But that was a total mistake, haha. It never ment to happen. [b]I'd like to ask you about your singer, Chris Valagao. Since he has such an amazing voice, does he have any other bands he sings in?[/b] No, Zimmers Hole is the only band he plays in.But yeah, he's amazing and he should be doing lots of other things. He does all of Devins back ground vocals, that why they sound alike.. But he's been in a few other bands along the way, but he really enjoys doing Zimmers Hole. Plus he has a job as a special effects artist. Thats where he gets the suit and all the props from. So he makes good money on the side, he doesn't need the music full-time. He'd like to though. His dream is for Zimmers Hole to be huge.. He's a little sick right now, he's lost his voice a bit actually. That's the other bummer about it, he's a killer vocalist but he seems to lose his voice on tour. He pushes a little to hard because he isn't used to touring . [b]What's the current status of Zimmers Hole, are you writing new material, is there goin to be a third album?[/b] Yeah there's going to be a third album which we are probably going to put out on century media records who were quite interested in it. Jed's been writing new songs, but we've only sat down to work on the opening track, we've jammed it out a few times, it's killer. Jed's so full of music at the moment, he's got like twenty songs. So I'm a little behind on that one, haha. But we're planning to record in in Fall. [b]I've heard some rumours through the Internet that there's going to be a re-release of your first album, Bound By Fire, Is that true?[/b] Yeah it is, you can buy it at the merchandise table tonight. It's got a bunch of bonus tracks on it that were demos from legion of flames, the songs that didn't make it to the album. It's got the cover art we wanted to have originally, but we couldn't afford it at the time. [b]I have some questions about the latest album, Legion Of Flames, first of all: If you compare Bound By Fire to Legion Of Flames, the latter seems to have a better production and overall sounds fuller and better. What made you decide it had to go one step further? Or was it more natural progress?[/b] It was definitly natural progress. With Bound By Fire it was more us having a bunch of ideas for songs and Devin saying, let's record this. With Legion Of Flames we had a definite plan in mind of how to do it. We finished the songs, knew the order of which the songs were going to be in. We had more of a vision for the record. It was just the band growing, we'd been a band for six years at that point, so we had a better idea of what we wanted it to sound like. [b]About some of the lyrics on the album: The songs 'Evil Robots', it sounds like an attack on Kiss and Metallica, is that so or is it just joking around?[/b] It is an attack, haha. 'Cause they're fucking milking it. Kiss came to Vancouver and played like five times in two years. And everybody was like "come on, give me a fucking break man, you're pathetic." The first time it was really cool to see the make up and everything, but by the fifth time I couldn't fucking care less. And with Metallica, they were once the greatest metal band in the world. They inspired everybody, now they're just fucking shit. They're complaining and bitching all of the time.It's just bullshit, right? [b]I agree. About 'A Thousand Miles Of Cock', where did you come up with the idea for that, is that actually a personal story (LOL)?[/b] no I wish it was man, haha. It's about our rehearsal stage in Vancouver, there's lots of hookers outside of it. And one night we saw this hooker and we were like 'wow she's pretty hot! How many miles of cock do you think she's seen?' And it just started from there man, it just snowballed. We went inside, we laughed about it, and wrote the song. Thats the kind of band we are, if we have this funny idea we just have to write a song about it. [b]The same question about the song 'Mushroom Matress', who is that about?[/b] It's about Chris, our singer! He'd get drunk and like pisses everywhere. The song on Bound By Fire, 'waste of towels' is also about him pissing, haha. He'd be pissing on the rehearsal floor, and we'd be wiping it out with towels. So it's basicly about him ,cause he's a total drunk sometimes. [b]About 'This Flight Tonight', the song doesn't have any lyrics in the booklet, but only the scentence 'you should all know this one'. But we've never heard of it![/b] Oh really? Well it's a song by Canadian folk singer Joni Mitchell, and then Nazareth made the song pretty popular in Canada.That song was allways on the radio when we were going out. If you didn't know the song, you weren't going out, ever. But we're all in our early thirtees now, so this is about fifteen years ago or something. And we asumed that everybody would know the song, but a lot of the younger kids out there like you don't know it.. So that may be a little mistake on our part then. [b]You've got a song called 'Gay Song', but the lyrics in the booklet seem to be diffrent than what Chris is actually singing. Why's that?[/b] Yeah that's right. Well we did the song and all of the time Chris was going "fuck these lyrics suck, they don't make any sence.." Then we were finished recording and mixing the song, Chris came in and said "I wanna redo the vocals on that song, but we said he couldn't do it. So Chris decided he'd put the lyrics he wanted in the booklet. And we said "yeah whatever, go ahead", haha. [b]About the hidden track that comes a couple of seconds after the last song. You've actually got a choir singing the lyrics "I'm fucking a cunt, he's fucking my cunt", where the hell did you find women to voluntairly do THAT?[/b] Well it's Jed singing the vocals, and we had girls come in. Gene (Hoglan -red)'s girlfriend is one of them, and a friend of hers. They loved doing it, and it kinda turned them on, pretty weird, haha. No I'm serious man, Jed was in the room with them and he came out and said "Dude! the girls are actualy getting turned on!" they were rubbing up and down and fucking getting it in to it, man. That song is one of the funnier I think. You know, Gene Simmons (Kiss -red) has actually heard that song. And he thought it was cool, he liked it. Too bad we didn't play him evil robots, hahaha. [b]I wonder if he'd apreciate that, haha. Allright, I don't know if you can answer this one, but to me it seems that one thing is defenitly be missing on Legion Of Flames, your making fun and Parody style songs of many genres within the metal scene, thrash, black, death.. But the one genre you seem to dislike, the so called Rap Metal is missing. Why not make a good joke about that?[/b] Because we just don't like it. We don't even like playing the style, man. A lot of the stuff on Legion Of Flames is stuff we really like. Even the Metallica riff we took (Master Of Puppets -red) we really like, it's a great riff. But we changed the lyrics saying "fuck you man, that shit is gay". But i think a lot of that rap metal stuff sucks. And besides there's a band in Australia called Blood Duster, and they had allready done it. So it had been done allready and it wasn't really natural to us. [b]About the future of Zimmers Hole. You said there's going to be a third album, but after that is there going to be more?[/b] Yeah definitly. I think Zimmers Hole will lose a bit of the comedy along the road because we've been doing that for so long. We'll do one more record a bit like Legion Of Flames, it might not have quite so much comedy on it. [b]So after this upcoming album, if there's going to be a fourth, it is going to be a more serious, down to earth metal album?[/b] I think it would be, yeah. It would be natural progression, cause that's the way it's going any way now. It's not really planned or anything, it's just the way things are happening. We're all good players and killer musicians. We want to be taken a bit more seriously down the road, especially when things slow down with Strapping Young Lad, we want to take Zimmers Hole to the next level, and we'd have to get a little more serious with it. But it is natural progresion, you can tell by the songs we wrote towards the end of Legion Of Flames. If we keep writing songs like 'Death To The Dodgers Of Soap', we'll have an okay future I think. [b]You are currently touring with The Devin Townsend Band and Zimmers Hole, and being the bass player for both bands, isn't that exhausting?[/b] Yeah, I've been a lot more tired on this tour than I've ever been on other tours for sure. But I like it, and I'll have it no other way. I get to play in what I think are the two of the coolest metal bands in the world at the same night, every night so it's worth it. But yeah it is exhausting and I do sleep a lot more now, haha. [b]This one just popped in my mind, why didn't the Strapping Young Lad line-up team up for the new Devin Townsend Band record?[/b] Uhm, we decided to seperate ourselves. In the past we had done Devin's music, played the albums live a lot.. But we just thought it was confusing to the fans. And Zimmer was beginning to get some populairity, we'd have some time to do Zimmers Hole when Devin was working on his Solo Project. In the past Zimmers Hole would suffer because we would have to do and Strapping and Devin Townsend Band, that way we didn't have any time for Zimmers Hole. But I do miss playing Devins music live, because I do like a lot of his stuff, but it's better for me to put my focus on Zimmers Hole, because it's more personal for me. [b]Do you have any stories you can share about funny or weird stuff that ever happened during the shows you played in the past?[/b] Hahaha [b]Like Chris pissing on stage...[/b] Yeah he'll do that tonight, haha. I remember the first time Chris came on with his big prosthetic cock, pouring alcohol out of it during the set. The first time we did that I was like, "fuck dude, that's just sick!", girls in front were grabbing it and sucking on it while he was shooting wodka out of it you know, so the girls would be going hard on it, than even dudes would grab it and suck on it.... Seeing that for the first time just made me piss my pants man, haha. But there are lots of stories you know, like with Strapping, people were having sex in the front row, people stagediving on them while this girl is getting tag teamed by two guys in the front row... Crazy shit like that you'd wish it happened all the time, haha. --For a brief moment I couldn't believe my eyes. While Byron was talking about people having sex during metal concerts, this enormous dude entered the door, ankles big as a beer keg, stoned as fuck, looked at us in a weird way and said "Oh.... Interview?!" and left... It was minutes later that I realised myself that that stoned dude with his enormous legs was none other than one of the most briljant drummers in the world, Gene Hoglan.... We continue to wrap up the interview... [b]Besides metal, what music influences you?[/b] As far as writing metal, all the old thrash metal from the eighties influences us, cause that what we grew up with right.. But we're also inspired by seventies rock like AC/DC.. And that's Zimmers hole right there, you take some eighties metal and some seventies rock and you mix it all together and you've got Zimmer. [b]Allright that was the final question, thanks for your time man, awesome![/b] You're welcome, hopefully that was good enough! Have fun tonight! [b]Interview By: Napalm Lex Mat-Core[/b]