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Jeff Loomis (Nevermore)

Interview with Jeff Loomis from Nevermore
by Katerina Kladisiou at 27 October 2005, 9:45 PM

After Nevermore were done touring the U.S. as part of Gigantour this year, the time had come for this Metal monster to devour Europe. A few days before their 2 live performances in Greece (15-16 October), our usual female Nevermore-reporter Katerina spoke to guitarist Jeff Loomis on the phone. Behold...

Hello!

Hello .How Are you?

I’m fine, thanks. What happened the other day?

What do you mean?

Two days ago, I was waiting for bassist Jim (Sheppard) to call but he didn’t…

I have absolutely no idea. Sometimes when he is busy doing stuff, I take over to do things. The tour was very busy so I guess he didn’t have the chance to call you. I’m really sorry.

There’s no problem, since you called now. How is This Godless Endeavor going so far?

It’s going really well. I think this is our best selling record so far.

Which is your favorite song?

My favorite song…I think that probably my favorite song right now would be Born, the very first song of the record.

How was the European tour? How did the audience react to the new songs?

Excellent. Everybody seems to know the lyrics and all the words and stuff and everybody seems to sing along. It has been quite a positive reaction so far. All the shows were quite amazing to us. We played in places we had never played before like Alaska and Ireland.

Which was the best place you played on this tour so far?

It would be really hard to say. All the concerts were very good. Actually last night we were playing in Lewisburg and that was probably one of the greatest shows.

How was at Gigantour?

It was really an amazing opportunity for Nevermore to go out and do that tour. We were the very first band in the main stage to perform, so usually every day we went on very early like 4 or 5 o’clock in the afternoon, so there were a lot of people still showing up. At the same time I really think that this pushed Nevermore to the very next level in the U.S. And I think that we have gained a lot of new fans. Just by the response of how this tour went, I think that is going to happen again next year. We’ll see what happens, but we definitely want to be a part of this again.

By taking part again in Gigantour, or touring alone in the U.S?

Well, I don’t know. After Gigantour and the European tour, we’ll go home and are going to take a week off. Then we are going to tour with Opeth. This is going to take three weeks and then we are going to do another week by ourselves headlining and then take some months off and we may come to Europe again. Well, after that, I don’t know. We are going to try to go to Japan and South America as well. So, there is a lot of stuff going on right now. We just want to keep touring and promoting the new record as much as we can. We are having a great time doing this right now.

You’ve never played in Japan before?

We haven’t played there yet. I don’t know if this has to do with the bad distribution that we have over there. I’m not certain, but we are really going to try to perform in Japan, because I’ve heard that we have a lot of fans. We had the opportunity once to do it but somehow it didn’t happen. I’m hoping we’re going to get there sometime in 2006.

How was the response of the people at Gigantour? Did people come to talk to you and tell you that they didn’t know you but they really liked you and stuff like that?


That’s very true, yes. Because everyday after playing we had to do this thing called the FYE signing. FYE is basically like a music distributor and is also a store were you can buy CDs, so we did autograph signing everyday and so many people came up to us and said Wow, I’ve never heard your band before, I’ve never seen you live but I’m going to buy your disc. That is all that you really need to hear. Then you know you are out there for some purpose. We are really happy that we gained so many new fans there.

But, isn’t it a little bit strange? You are from the U.S but you are more recognizable in Europe…

Yeah, I don’t know why that is. I think that, our music is so diverse, every record that we do is so different. Maybe it is hard for U.S. fans to kind of soak in everything. But in the new record I really think that people are really taking the opportunity to listen to it, and you know, they can tell that we are a really good, honest American Heavy Metal band. We have no tricks or anything like that. We just plug in our instruments and play. We are a simple band. Well…I just don’t know why that is. I think that we are going to have equal amounts of fans in Europe and in the U.S. It’s just a matter of time really.

What do you think was the best and the worst thing that happened to you during Gigantour?

Well, the best thing? I guess, just being able to hang with Dave Mustaine \[Megadeth], and talk about the music business and stuff like that, being able to sing Happy Birthday to him on the very last show, which was really cool. The worst thing that happened on the tour? I really can’t say that there were really any bad things that happened on the tour. Everything that happened on the tour was totally awesome.

How was it with the other bands? Did you know any of them before?

Yea, lots of times when we are playing festivals in Europe we have the opportunity to meet other bands. So we have met Fear Factory before. Symphony X, I’ve seen these guys before. I know Mike Romeo, the guitar player, very, very well. Dream Theater, I’ve never seen these guys before but I did meet John Petrucci \[guitars] for the first time when I was in N.Y. doing the magazine photo shift for the magazine Guitar World and he was really, really cool. But we didn’t have the chance to meet a lot of these bands before Gigantour.

And this weekend you’re playing in Greece. How, do you think, people are going to react to the new album performed live?

I think that they are going to go crazy. Actually we had a bit of a problem last time we played there with Jim Sheppard. He had health issues and we were thinking if we should continue on and play, and we finally did. This time I think that we are really going to give the fans the opportunity to see what Nevermore is really about. I think that the fans are going to go nuts. We are always looking forward to coming back to Greece because we know we have some of our best fans there.

How do you feel when people ask you to play some of your old songs an not from your newest releases?

Well, you know, it gets difficult when you have seven records out, to pick which songs you want to play for a show, that’s why we have that poll at our website where the fans can ask which songs they would like to hear. We look at that and we try to add these songs into our setlist but you can’t please everybody (Laughs).

What about the Nevermore DVD? Have you started working on that yet? Do you know what will be included?


We have already started the recordings in U.S. at Gigantour. A friend of ours come out to a lot of the shows, documented a lot of the stuff that goes on, the Nevermore camp and stuff like that, a lot of backstage stuff, sound checks, shows, traveling, being on the road and stuff like that. It will be a lot of behind the scene stuff and also a lot of live concerts as well. It’s in the process of being worked at the moment, so I can’t give an exact release date except that it going to be out probably sometime early in 2006,which is definitely the right time for Nevermore to release something like that.

Do you have any projects?

Yes, I’m actually going to be working on a solo album for, probably, Century Media, I’m not sure. I’m trying to find the right musicians to put together, to complete the project. It basically going to be an all-instrumental kind of thing. So I’m really excited about that. I wanted to do it for a lot of time. And a lot of the fans have been asking for this also, so I’m pretty excited about that too. It will be released probably sometime around the middle of 2006.

Which are your favorite bands and do you have any influences?

Of course. I listen to a lot of the Swedish movement that is going on right now like Arch Enemy, Meshuggah and Dark Tranquility. I really love this stuff. I really get influenced from Michael \[Amott - guitarist] of Arch Enemy because we are really good friends. My guitar playing, his guitar playing…have a lot of similar qualities, I guess you could say but you know, he is really a great songwriter and I definitely get inspired from how he is playing.

Do you use the Internet? Do you have any favorite websites?

Em…I like my site (Laughs) www.JeffLoomis.com. I guess every musician wakes up with a cup of coffee and reads BlabberMouth (www.blabbermouth.net). It’s like a Heavy Metal newspaper at the morning and I like to read that sometimes. Ultimate Metal forum is pretty cool too.

Do you download songs and what is your opinion about that?

Well, I think it’s wrong when people go immediately and download all your records. I don’t see a problem by maybe downloading one or two songs to get an idea of how the album is actually going to be. But, downloading the whole album and ripping off the band, after their being in the studio working their asses off for so long, I think this is bad. Just don’t download the whole record and then give it to all your friends. You ruin the music industry in that way. If you want the bands to make new records you have to help them.

Ok Jeff, thank you so much for this interview. Some last words for your fans.

We are definitely looking forward to come to Greece. There’s probably going to be two of the best shows of the tour. We can’t wait to come there and perform. Thanks for the interview!



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