This is the band’s first material with new guitarist EZ Ian (from Ends In Tragedy), and Dying Scene had the chance to talk with frontman Vic Victor about this, as well as many other topics, including their music video for “The Way of The Road”, life on the road, and the band’s songwriting process.
You can read the interview in its entirety here.
Koffin Kats just finished up a couple of Midwest Record Release shows before getting set to fly across the pond to Europe for a month long tour. Check out the list of tour dates and locations here.
DS: Your new album, “Our Way & The Highway”, hits stores next week, your first release on Sailor’s Grave Records. What can fans expect?
Vic: They can expect 14 new songs from us. We wanted to write a really driving rocking album.
DS: What sets this album apart from your previous albums?
Vic: The mix on this album is pretty much the mix I’ve been waiting for over the last 8 years. Finally it’s locked in. Every record we put out we try to make different from the last. This one is no exception.
DS: In October of 2011 you signed to Sailor’s Grave Records, from Stomp Records. What was the reason for the change?
Vic: Stomp are good folks but it wasnt working out. The distro was weak and for as much as we are out on the road supporting a release we expected a label to push hard from home base. Enter Sailor’s Grave.
DS: How have you enjoyed your time there so far?
Vic: Really digging working with those guys. For once I can say that we are all on the same page and they push us as hard as we push them. An indie label is only as strong as the bands it maintains.
DS: The band made a music video for “The Way Of The Road”. Why did you choose that song?
Vic: It’s a pretty straight forward jam and the idea for the video was to have a straight forward basement jam. No frills. No fancy visual effects. Just get in there and do it.
DS: What can you tell us about the music video making process?
Vic: It was fun… the song played over a boom box and we did our thing for about 30 takes. Then the whole mess of footage gets edited to make us appear to be cool.
DS: Koffin Kats have made several music videos, which one was the most fun to make? Are there plans to make any other music videos in the near future?
Vic: That was our first video that we have ever done. The rest of what can be found have been made by other folks. Certainly appreciated by us though! As we do everything out of our pockets, time and money will deem if we do another video.
DS: January 2010 original guitarist Tommy Koffin leaves the Koffin Kats citing knee/back issues. Is there any animosity? Do you still stay in contact?
Vic: He should have cited his vaginal issues too! Contact? I’m waiting on that stinky bastard to get his ass off work and get over to the studio we are at right now to lay down some guest vocals on a Mentors cover we are recording. Yeah we are all still really close, unfortunately. Oh. Tommy if you end up reading this online in the future… eat shit because I know you’re not really going to bring over that Jager.
DS: Any talk of Tommy coming back, or has he called it quits for good?
Vic: Ian isn’t going anywhere and I dont want a 4 piece band. The way we roll with being far from home most of the year isn’t Tommy’s bag anymore.
DS: EZ Ian replaced Tommy on guitar in 2010. How has he fit in?
Vic: Well I can say he doesn’t suck and he puts up great with road abuse. Works for us!
DS: What are some of the major differences you noticed between Tommy and Ian? How many people vyed for the position?
Vic: Actually Ian was one of the first and really only people we called when Tommy dropped the bomb on us. He was also Tommys first pick. Ian and Tommy both have their own distinct styles of playing, they also have their own brand of gross body stink.
DS: Is Ends In Tragedy [Ian’s band] on hiatus? What is the status with them?
Vic: Ian says we take up all his time and now he can’t have any fun in other bands. Hahaha. He’s looking at me right now… I don’t think that was the right answer.
DS: In a previous interview, you mentioned the songwriting process for “Our Way & The Highway” happened relatively quickly, even though the influences for the music and lyrics stemmed from over the past couple of years. Please talk a little about this.
Vic: Yeah I compiled notes and little guitar riffs along the way. When it came time to hit the basement and start the real writing process there were already a lot of ideas to launch songs off of. If a complete song doesn’t come quickly to us we throw it out and move on. Thats always how we have written Koffin Kats songs.
DS: In a previous interview, it was mentioned that you were holding a contest to name your tour bus, but it was subsequently cancelled. Why did you cancel it, and can you tell us a little bit about how you arrived upon the name Eagle Hawk One?
Vic: Never really cancelled it. Never really looked at it as a huge deal. Our website offered us to ask a question and see results, so that was Ian’s idea. We change the name of the rig all the time haha. Eagle Hawk One just screams freedom and pistness. Life on the road. Currently we are calling the bus The Icebox because we froze our asses off over this last weekend of CD release shows in Michigan. No heat. Probably wont fix it either.
DS: You are getting ready to go on tour in the next couple of days, playing a couple of Record Release Shows in the Midwest before embarking on a month-long European tour. What are you excited most about for these upcoming tours?
Vic: We are just really excited to get this album out there. We are very proud of it and its wicked that we will be able to see reception of it not only stateside, but in Europe as well. Plus we love being out on the road. Last year was 230 something shows… this year we are pushing for 250.
DS: Do you have a favorite place to play in Europe?
Vic: Every time we go back I pick a new favorite place haha. Spain is quite the party and usually has a good wild crowd for us.
DS: Vic, you put on a great, intense, live show, sometimes ending up in cuts and injuries. What is the worst/scariest encounter that has happened while on stage?
Vic: The worst one to date is after i drank a pint glass of Jager before going onstage in Dallas. Bad idea… the set kicked in.. the blackout kicked in.. i woke up with E-Ball yelling at me because I had fallen through the drums. Learned my lesson on that one. No really scary encounters… there’s always an element of danger and you or someone could get hurt with having an active live show. That’s entertainment!
DS: (follow-up) Have you ever fallen off your bass while balancing on it?
Vic: Of course! At least once a week… these days I can land any bass snafu and almost look like I meant it though. That’s not true.
DS: Back in October of 2009, I interviewed Tommy before your show at The Uptown in Oakland, and comically asked him, “If you could put your balls on any monument in the world (historical, cultural, etc.), what would it be and why?” Now let’s get your take.
Vic: It’s not a monument but yet a place I would gladly taint with my goods throughout the whole city. The Vatican. Hell I’d tea bag the Pope’s hat. Yeah. I’m an atheist. The thought of tea bagging the popes hat is no more silly then the thought of organized religion itself.
DS: Anything else you’d like to add?
Vic: Thank you to anyone who took the time to read my banter. You can find all things Koffin Kats at www.koffinkatsrock.com … We are on the road all year so we hope to see you out there somewhere!!