MAMB: Up front, I should state that BFG has been my favorite all-time band for the past 18 years. There have, of course, been phases—such as my In Flames phase, or my Between the Buried and Me phase—but it all always comes back to Bound for Glory. Thanks for sitting down to answer questions for our readers! What has the band been up to thus far in 2016?
We have been hard at work on our new recordings. Due to work schedules and such, it has been slower than we had imagined it to be, but with the extra time comes more ideas. We are getting close to the finish line.
MAMB: Rumor has it the band has nearly two dozen songs in various stages of post-production for a forthcoming album, EP, and split release. When can fans expect the new full-length album?
We have recorded a ton of material so far. I would say we are about 80% of the way there. I am not too certain about its release date; I am hoping late summer, maybe early fall. A lot is riding on being able to get into the studio. You can expect a little bit of everything. You will hear a lot of influences from other albums, as well as some new directions. One thing for certain, it will not be boring or all sounding the same. Buckle up: it will be a wild “train ride”!!
MAMB: Furthermore, when are you planning to release the EP?
I think the label wants to release it all simultaneously. Its going to be like a combo of strikes.
MAMB: For fans who may not be yet aware, you maintain a BFG Facebook account at https://www.facebook.com/bigedbfg. Will you announce the release of the aforementioned albums through Facebook and other online channels?
That is not me at all. That is a fan page made by a gentleman in Europe. I am very honored that someone would do that. I could never do something like this. I am just a humble individual that likes to make music. I am sure he, as well as Joel and the label and other outlets, will make announcement through FB and other channels.
MAMB: Do you have any other social media or online accounts fans should be following? If so, what Twitter, YouTube, etc., accounts should fans be following?
No, not really. There are things here and there I guess. But I am just not a fan of social media. I am more old world. I will leave advertising and etc. to the label and people out there that are knowledged and like to do social media. I am more focused on making music than being a social butterfly.
MAMB: Similarly, will you provide ordering instructions for both digital and physical copies via social media? Or do you have instructions you’d like to include below?
:I am sure it will be provided. Just keep your eyes and ears open.
MAMB: In the digital age, many fans prefer to download new releases from their favorite bands. Do you have any plans to make the new material available through outlets such as iTunes, Amazon Music, BandCamp, BigCartel, etc.? What about material from your vast catalog from 1989 to this year’s new releases?
That is not really my department. I think the the “censors” would try to not let some of our material get out. It seems freedom of speech exists for some and for others it does not. I always thought music was just music?
MAMB: You’ve mentioned to me that the 20 songs recorded this year are very different from previous material. In what way, musically, do the new songs differ from past releases? Your past two releases (Feed the Machine and Death and Defiance) have featured a straightforward, aggressive, and, at times, melodic metal sound. Will fans get more of the same, or something decidedly different?
It will be a rollercoaster of aggression, classical, melodic and some straight old sounding material. You can never really pin point the direction the material goes in. I think that is mainly because the material comes from the heart and does not set any boundaries in the writing process. One thing I can tell you for certain is that there is some incredible hooks and material present. When you compose a song and it just sticks in your head, you know you have done your job well.
MAMB: Will the different releases (full-length, EP, and split) feature different sounds, or was the sound captured during this extended studio session fairly consistent across all 20 tracks?
This is going to be the kicker: we are going to convene and try to hammer out what goes where. It will be interesting to see what everyone’s thoughts are going to be. All of the tracks were recorded at the same time, so nothing will be different in that department. The rough is sounding awesome so far.
MAMB: Fans know that Joel has handled vocal duties more or less since BFG’s inception in 1989. Who is handling the additional guitar, bass, and drumming duties for the new material?
We have Drew on the second guitar, Wayne on bass, and Tony on drums. We have a couple of guest musicians that will be joining in on a few leads too. And of course we have some classical instruments that will be added by the Conductor. What is really great about the new recordings is that there are songs written musically by Wayne and Drew which bring in their sound to the mix.
MAMB: Fans of the band also know that Joel’s vocal talents have improved dramatically, particularly with 1999’s Last Act of Defiance through your latest release. What do you attribute his diversified abilities to most?
Joel likes many different styles of music. He has not boxed himself in with what he listens to. And he is very critical of what he does, so he puts a lot of effort in to his singing. It is all of these different styles of music we listen to that makes our style. Joels’ vocal improvement over the years has been incredible. I think we all have become “true” musicians in the sense, rather than guys that make angry noise.
MAMB: From 2002 (a split release) to 2011 (Feed the Machine), BFG was in a state of semi-retirement. What most motivated the decision to release the new album in 2011?
There comes a time when responsibilities outweigh things. We all had a lot of things going on in our life; we did not have the time and more important things were focused on. Also, the motivation was not there. If you are not motivated or don’t have the time, why go out and make something that does not have heart and soul as it should? I think the longing to play our material again, being we had more time and the fact that we found new guys that fit in perfect with us motivated the band again. We first got talked into playing a friend’s birthday party, and it honestly felt so good to play the old tracks again and to see the response, it was motivating to make the train roll again.
MAMB: Longtime fans know you’re passionate about your hockey. Who are you pulling for in this year’s Stanley Cup playoffs?
Hands down, I am pulling for the Penguins in this one. My teams did not make it past the first round.
MAMB: Who are your go-to teams, be they still in contention this year or not?
During the times after we lost the North Stars, my go-to teams were the Red Wings and the Devils. And still to this day I love both teams, along with my hometown team, the Wild.
MAMB: You’re also known for following combat sports. We’re mutual admirers of the Klitschko brothers; what other boxers and MMA fighters are you following these days?
I don’t follow boxing as close as I used to. But there are some really good boxers out there. One being Sergey Kovalev. This guy is a killer. Ruthless and powerful. He has that invincible aura to him. There are quite a few good MMA fighters out there. I have been enjoying watching the MMA fights. I really like the new UFC heavyweight champ Stipe Miocic. And my favorite will always be Cro Cop. Followed by Fedor. There are some guys that always bring the fights too, that make MMA exciting, guys like Cowboy Cerrone, Matt Brown, Robbie Lawler, these are the guys that don’t seem to play safe, they go out there to put on a show. I appreciate fighters like that.
MAMB: Who do you like in the Fury-Klitschko rematch?
It depends on what version of Klitschko shows up. If the hugging every 30 seconds Wlad shows up he will lose. If the old Wlad shows up, the one that was clinical and let his hands go, he will win. Kudos to Fury for getting in his head and winning that first fight. I like Fury too by the way.
MAMB: Our website statistics reveal that articles regarding your music are among our most popular posts on a regular basis. What is it like to have such a longtime, loyal fanbase?
It’s motivation. Without the fan base, there would be no BFG. They are our bloodline.
MAMB: Additionally, our statistics show articles about BFG are viewed just as much overseas (particularly Germany and Scandinavia) as they are in America. What do you attribute this international appeal to most?
The music industry in America has pretty much ruined everything in my opinion. The crap they permeate the air with has been like a “drug” upon the public. The public gets pounded and pounded from the radio to commercials to movies to the clubs with nothing but garbage and worthless crap which I can’t even call music. There is not talent to it. Just mindless profanity laced drivel. When you go to a club and you see people singing and “dancing” (if that’s what you want to call it) to songs with lyrics such as a guy rapping about sweat dripping off of his testicles it is only a testimony as to how stupid and retarded things have become!!! In some parts of Europe there still seems to be that like for traditional music. Metal and rock are 100 times more popular in Europe than in the US.
MAMB: What parting thoughts would you like to share with your fans? What can we all expect from BFG moving forward?
Always looking forward, never looking back!!! That is how the train rolls!!