Not heard of INCITE? Not to worry, you soon will. The Phoenix based thrashers are planning on taking the metal world by the balls with their sophomore album ‘All Out War’, which is out now via minus HEAD Records.
In part one, Richie took us through the beginnings of INCITE and their struggles, in part two we discuss how tight the band is as a unit, the premature departure of previous guitarist, Diz and why Richie would happily play a nudist colony.
Continued from PART ONE
So, it took five years for your first album and just two for the next?
Yeah, it was a very crazy time.
And who did the artwork for All Out War? Why didn’t you ask Max, he’s an artist isn’t he?
You know, Max has always been great with his album covers and he always takes his time but he doesn’t do them personally, he always brings in an artist that he will work with. Ours is always done by our drummer and me. I’ll sit down with him and we’ll come up with the concept of what we wanna do and both of the records have been done like this.
So you’re an artist too?, I can only do stick men..
I can’t draw, but I can do the concept and my drummer is great for putting it together and making it all flow very good and has the great ideas with what kind of fonts to use, shadows, you know all the different things that make it special and bring it all together. I always want him to do that ’cause I think when we’re doing it the way we’re doing it, it’s as real as it could ever be.
You know, we know what the music’s about, we know what the songs are about and if you bring someone else in? you’re just trying to have a cool picture at that point.
So you really just want to keep everything within the family..
Totally, yeah. I mean, he [Zak] designs the merchandise too, we do our own websites..
Do you? So you have techies in the band as well?
Yeah, me and the bass player do the site. We are a complete unit. We do it all. We’re Soulfly’s tech too on this whole tour so we can pay for our bills to make it out here.
A major line up change happened not too long ago, very recently actually as Diz your previous guitarist left to be a dad..I’m pretty sure that wasn’t planned at you guys age..
No, No. Not at all..
So how has that impacted on the album, the planned live shows and then finding and bringing in Gene Macazan? Did he bring different sets of qualities or did you deliberately look for a new guy that was very similar to Diz to keep the sound of the album and live set the same?
See like, Diz, you know, he was more of a quiet person. He enjoyed mostly the writing of the music rather than doing the touring and the taking pictures and all the other stuff that goes along with being in a band.You know I think all that got to him. You know we had just finished the recording of the record and went out on a US tour and about half way through the tour he told me that he was going to be a father. And you know, we were then all….(laughs) like..we were all back in that place.. that place that we were just before writing the record!
(I start laughing as Richie has thrown his hands into the air and started shaking his head looking incredibly forlorn with a very wry smile) Sorry for laughing, but you looked so very cute and bloody exasperated at the same time..
(laughs) Yeah, it was like..You knowwwww? We were right where we wanna be and then (shrugs)..but I think in the end it was for the best. He’s gonna go home and he’s gonna be a great father and we are all still friends, there was no bad blood in the end of it and he wrote two of the most amazing…I couldn’t be any prouder of what he wrote. With Gene? I think Gene brought youthfulness to us all. You know we’re all 28..
(I raise my left eyebrow menacingly)
(laughs) That’s not old or anything, but Gene is 21 so he is on such a different wavelength than us that it brings that comedy in, we don’t have the guy walking round all piss faced all day any more, you know bands asking, “what’s up wit’ your guy?” (laughs)
(I start sniggering)
Well that’s how Diz was, you know.
Yeah, I guess he just wanted to be home..
Yeah man, you know he was just closed minded to it all but that’s still cool, I totally respect what he wanted to do. But now Gene’s here, our live shows have never been better. He has brought that fourth person that we always needed live.
A Baby Tigger in the band…
Yeah, exactly, it’s not the held back Diz hiding in the corner any more, it’s a guy out front that wants to be there. I’ve never seen anybody learn…and come into his own as fast as Gene has. I mean, we knew him for about a week, we tried him out for about another week, and then we were on tour. I think that’s the best way to learn, you can spend all day in a jam room and that doesn’t mean nothin’ by the time you get out on stage.
We just told him, “Look dude, just go watch us on YouTube and see how crazy the three of us are and that’s what we want out of you” He never shied away from it, not at all, and that’s when you get those moments when you think it was meant to happen.
He’s out here going through everything and he just loves it, never had a mad look on his face and it’s fun to rock out with him live. I’m really excited to see where he’s gonna bring the music to. He’s got a lot of the same styles as Diz, he plays his music perfectly and they guys can feed off each others vibe so I think it’s gonna be really cool to maybe see if it takes the band into another direction.
To keep on evolving, keep on truckin..
Yeah, it’s important to us to not keep making the same album over and over and over and over. You know it’s important to keep the bass, which is the basis of the groovy thrash but also to keep adding to it. You know, like with solos on All Out War, different drumming, or even more assertive bass so I think it’s going to be an interesting process.
You know that’s one thing about Incite too, we’ve never cancelled because we’ve been sick, if we’re sick we still play, if we’re hurt we still play. I remember singing two shows with a completely broken jaw wired shut and still to this day I don’t think I’ve ever sounded as gnarly as I did that time…
(I descend into laughter)
Yeah, there was like foam shooting out everywhere, it was crazy! (laughs), you know? Zak, his first tour, he came down with pink eye, an ear infection, a nose infection and strep throat. And he did three weeks of touring like that. Never once did he come out half assed or complain about being sick. I think that’s what we all kinda do for each other, we all fire each other up.
Speaking of your live performances, you’ve had massive amounts of injuries haven’t you..even needing stitches from one incident, what the fuck?
(Laughs) Yeah, I was singing with Soulfly in the Czech Republic and I slipped on the stage and got up, then looked down and my knee had like a baseball size hole in it. We rocked the whole show and the next day I was out there singing with a cane!
Nice! So you’re also a self taught vocalist, and you need to look after it on tour, what’s your method?
I smoke a lot of cigarettes and a lot of weed. That’s really about it. (laughs) When I first started singing, I would lose my voice after the first show and I wouldn’t have it the whole tour, it was like “is this ever gonna change?” (laughs) I’m not the one that sits at home and practices, I don’t sing until I walk on stage! We don’t even jam at home. I don’t practice!
Oh that’s surely gotta be difficult, not even practising!
Well it used to be very important to us, but now we feel like we’ve been with each other so long that we just know what to do. Touring is just about getting in your groove, after you play a couple of shows you get locked down and everybody starts flowing nice. I’m sure I’ve been very fortunate that I’m not losing my voice now, in fact I’m sure if I went to a Melissa Cross or some other to get trained they’d be like “You’ve done everything backwards!” But it works for me and that’s what’s important for any vocalist. You just learn!
Eventually you go from singing with your throat to singing with your gut. It’s a transformation. Even when I lost my voice, you still get up and do it, we don’t make the money to just cancel a show, even if it sounds like crap and my voice sucks. But I don’t lose it any more now, it’s really cool.
So, Richie, why should people listen to a relatively new thrash band, and give the album ‘All Out War’ a spin?
Because finally there is a new young band sparking interest for people, it’s not that I disrespect anyone that came before us because without them we would not be here, but you can only go to a festival and see Metallica, Slayer, Slipknot, Megadeth…Motorhead…like SO many times, I mean come on..
(laughs) I harp on about this more than you realise. Who is gonna headline these festivals in ten years if no-one gives bands they haven’t heard before, a chance? I want to help emerging bands get heard, there’s some amazing shit out there right now, Incite included…which as mentioned, I have had on repeat since the first play, it’s great that Sepultura have taken two emerging bands on tour, regardless of any family tie..
Exactly, it’s the same bands year after year after year after year. When are any of those big bands on their…ending line, gonna like, start helping the new bands? I always say, why is it that Metallica always do a Big Four gig just to prove that there are only four big bands out there that have been around for twenty years. Why not take you, and twenty other bands that no-one has ever heard of so you can be instrumental it taking metal forward into the future?
Without that it’s gonna be gone. It’s too hard to start a band these days and live, and do what Metallica, and even Sepultura was able to do back twenty years ago in this climate, it just kills me when I see those tours over and over with the same big bands. It’s doing nothing for them in the long run, and you know, it will do nothing for us. They had help at one point, and these new bands all need help too. When I saw Sylosis get on the Lamb Of God tour in America? I was like, thank GOD for that. Because that’s what we need.
The biggies just don’t wanna step down..
No of course not, but that’s one thing I love about Max though, throughout his career he has never taken a huge band out to tour with him, it’s been like ‘Bleed The Sky’ or ‘Straight Line Stitch’ or any random bands he likes, you know, us for example. He’s always giving people a chance.
It would only take just one word of recommendation from someone like James Hetfield to help launch a band…
Yeah, but all they want is for you to go give them fifty thousands dollars to go get on their tour. And I mean, who as a great new metal band has that kind of money to buy on to a tour. I couldn’t give you a thousands dollars right now, but (goes into a happy high pitched voice) “I’d love to tour with you!” (laughs) It blows my mind, ever since Ozzfest really ended, people have lost their way into finding new bands, you’d see the second stage with twenty bands you’d never heard of and that’s where we got bands like System Of A Down, Incubus, Slipknot, Disturbed..
Yeah, and Gojira! We don’t have any tours or festivals like that now, we only really now have the Monster Mayhem Tour in America and every year it’s the same people. It’s either Marilyn Manson and Slayer, or Slipknot and Rob Zombie. When is it gonna open up to the rest of us.
Could that be in part a responsibility of the fans too though and not the quality of the bands? I mean, I see free gigs that no-one attends in London, I see gigs costing three quid with 5 people in, and it seems fans just don’t want to shell out for a gig or festival UNLESS one of the Big Four are headlining…Damnation Festival for example, they only charge thirty quid and you get like, 15 really good quality mid level and emerging bands, but still people complain saying “it’s too fucking expensive”…a vicious circle perhaps?
See that’s when it comes down to the Metallica’s. You can have two stages, where you have your ten huge bands on the main one but then you have the second one set up so that people can get a chance to go experience something new. Even just wearing their T-Shirt on a photo shoot, see you’re wearing a band T-shirt for this..
I always wear band T-shirts..
Yeah, things like that, or even just mentioning their name to friends or press, anything helps a new band. It just seems that a lot of people have forgotten how hard this is.
I take it you have girl fit T-shirts?
Oh yeah. We never forget about the ladies, we got booty shorts too.
I’m not sure I could wear a pair of those to a gig, it would be all sorts of wrong at my age…But yeah, girls. So we are pals on Facebook, and luckily I don’t stalk you, not even rapey face once, I’m very proud..
(laughs) No I know, I know. She’s my girl! Come on, send me a mail, message me, just don’t poke me, (laughs) I mean, what is that? what’s the point? (laughs) I’m not that weird, come on.
(laughs) But in your rather special situation as both an artist and also being family of a rather famous artist, have you had any seriously scary stalky moments from female fans? I know about the guy that lived in your back garden for a year, but apart from HIM, have you had any others either online or in person?
Yeah, I mean they come, but I try to just let everyone just do what they want on my Facebook, so if you want to stalk me, stalk me, I don’t care. I got a lot of other stuff to do so it’s not gonna bother me too bad, but if I make you that fired up then I’m happy about that cause obviously I’ve touched something in you that makes you get what I do and that’s quite cool to think that someone out in the world can think of you like that.
You do realise that when I type that up you are now going to get thouuuuuuuusands of messages..
(laughs) Bring em on, bring em on! I’m always accessible to everyone. Like at shows, I’m always at the merch booth and people are always able to find me and they can ask me anything. Although some come up blatantly and have me sign an autograph and then they say ok, so seeing as you’ve signed this for me, you need to take me to Max now. I’m like, ummm…ok I try to work around it when that happens, but it’s just the way it is and I can take it all on. Hopefully I won’t have a stalker hanging out of my tree taking pictures of me but if she’s hot, I’m cool with it (laughs)
(laughs) Speaking of hot stuff, if you had to shag one of your band, who would you choose?
Shave? Shave one of my band? (laughs)
No, shag. Shag one of your band…
Shag..ohhh, SHAG..oh my goddd! one of my band? (laughs) Ok, probably Louis, because he’s what we call like, the Matador, he’s the Mexican, Spanish looking hunk that the women just love. We always make fun of him, we’re like man you should pose for a picture in Playgirl, full spread dude. Mike Honcho, it’s funny we always crack jokes about him being the suave guy in the band, but he does whatever he can to not be so metal!
Ok, so now I’m picturing an INCITE Playgirl shoot, if you were offered the chance to play a gig in a nudist colony, but had to follow the rules…would you do it?
Ah definitely! I’ve got nothing to hide! I would love it, it would be fun I think! We’d just come out with like, socks on and a watch and just walk on and rock out, I think it would be great! (laughs) As long as everybody else is naked!
Can you imagine though, it would be an ugly sight, you know, especially if we’d all been on tour for 7 weeks, I wouldn’t wanna go anywhere near that.
(laughing uproariously) I am now picturing you all naked, not bad for the end of an interview situation! Last question, what do you want to find under your Christmas tree this year from Santa?
Ooooh. ..Um…hopefully a gold plaque for “All Out War” (laughs) Nah, I dunno, I’m kinda old now for Christmas though, so I’d like to put gifts under other peoples trees this year, the best gift for me is to have my new album coming out and to be so proud of “All Out War”.
Thanks so much for your time, dude. It’s been a pleasure!
“ALL OUT WAR” IS OUT NOW on minus HEAD Records and I highly recommend the album if you want to be thrashed to within an inch of your life.