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Matt Pike (High On Fire)

Interview with Matt Pike from High On Fire
by Katrina Cannon at 06 March 2006, 2:56 AM

After almost a year, I caught back up with Matt Pike to get an update on what's been going on with High On Fire since we last spoke.  And even though Matt was a bit under the weather, he made himself a Hot Toddy, sat down and spoke with me to tell me about the past year and what's coming up next.

Since we last spoke back in February ’05, you’ve been doing a lot of touring. How has tour life been treating you?

It’s been a little rough, I had throat surgery on one tour, broke my wrist on another tour, this tour my throat’s acting up again, but it’s been good, it’s definitely worth it. I have a lot of fun outside of things being hard on you. I have a lot of fun and I wouldn’t take it for any other job.

So how did the Sounds of the Underground Tour go for you?

It was really cool. Everybody on that tour was pretty awesome. Personally I just made a shitload of friends. Like every touring band, that’s like kind of on the same stepping stone, like Lamb of God and down the ladder, it was just cool getting to meet that many musicians, party everyday and hang out. The drives were really long, it was a lot of fun, a lot.

Out of all of last year’s tours, which one was the best for you?

I’d have to say, probably the one where we went to Japan. All of them were really fun, some of the crowds were different from those who would normally listen to us. So we didn’t get the best response and that’s something weird that you’re not used to and if you’ve been doing this as long as I have, you expect everything to go right all the time and if you fuck up you expect people to be nice to you about it. If you get heckled for no reason at all, you could have cut off your head and thrown it at them and they’re not impressed. It kind of gives you a little humility, it makes you want to create even better music.

Anything out of the ordinary happen on any of them?

Yeah, actually, we were at a bed and breakfast and our sound man Phil (Sandbo), peed in the closet.  Me and Dez \[Kensel - drums] woke up in the middle of the night and he had come in from being out drinking. It was one night that I actually stayed in, which is rare; usually I go out. He came in and we heard this running water and I put my hand on the wall and was like Dude, did a pipe break or something? and Dez opens up this wardrobe type closet and Phil was in there with like hangers everywhere just peeing all over the place.  I caught him almost peeing in my boots another night after that and I yelled Dude, go to the fucking bathroom, what are you doing, if you pee in my boots I’m gonna kill you! (Laughs)

Tell me about the European tour that you had to cancel?

We did most of it but then I broke my wrist. We were touring with Mastodon and if you know anything about the history with us and Mastodon, when you get the 2 bands together, we just go ape shit. We’re a little mellower than we used to be, our old bass player was way more of a partier than Joe \[Preston - bassist] is. So we’d just egg each other on and do stupid shit but Mastodon are some of our best friends. One night we got really drunk and we all ended up dog piling and wresting and being stupid and I broke my wrist.  We had to cancel like 4 or 5 days. I was in deep shit. (Laughs)

Why tour a second time for Blessed Black Wings?

This is our first headlining gig in a long time. When we started, we headlined every fucking tour until we started getting support tours, so we did like a year and a half of just support tours. Now we’re on our own just to see what we’ve done.

I thought you were on a headlining tour when I interviewed you last time?

Yeah, actually that was the last headliner we did. That was quite a while ago.

Almost a year.

Yeah, and I think this album hadn’t even come out yet if I’m not mistaken.

Yeah it was out.

It had been out?

Yeah because I had asked you about it in some of my questions, ’cause it was coming out.

Oh well. (Laughs)

When do you think you’ll put together another album?

It takes me a while to write. I don’t like to throw just any filler thing off the top of my head, I like to really take a lot of time to compose. I have a lot of touring to do and I just finished this record with this band call Kovose (sic) that I sing and play a little guitar on, now I’m going to go home and tour the SXSW tour with them then I have a couple of weeks off and we have one more tour. Then me and Dez are going to start going into the studio all summer and try to get this done as quickly as possible.

Last time we talked you were trying to get Dez to work more with the double bass. Has that worked out any more since, although I still agree using the deep toms are more dynamic?

He’s thinking about it. I think this next album he probably will. His drum set is going to change a little bit.

Recently, you filmed a video for Monster Garage. How was that? How did you get that gig?

I don’t know really. Jesse James’ cousin and assistant loves us a lot so they talked Jesse James into having the song on. I haven’t seen it air yet or anything but it was pretty cool. We did that show and then we played their West Coast Choppers party. It was a lot of fun. Danzig played there and Doyle came out and they did a bunch of Misfits songs. It was with just a lot of these Punk bands that were really into it. They were all really cool dudes, except they were throwing fire crackers at us during the set which kind of fucked me up, but whatever, if I made a mistake on national TV in front of 6 million people, whatever. (Laughs)

Do you have any other major plans for 2006?

Just touring and working on the record over the summer. Maybe do a couple of festivals this summer in Europe during the summer time.

Any last words?

Not so much, just thanks for reading and listening.

Links: High On Fire Official Site



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