David E. Gehlke of DeadRhetoric.com recently conducted an interview with singer John Tardy of Florida death metal veterans OBITUARY. A few excerpts from the chat follow below.
DeadRhetoric.com: What was the tipping point in terms of you doing something like this? Your relationship was Roadrunner wasn’t always so rosy, but with Candlelight you were a priority, at least.
John Tardy: Yeah, we thought about it back then. It was one of those things where we talk about it and talk about [it], but don’t really do anything. When it came time to get an album done, we were always like, “Okay, let’s sign.” Obviously, because of those contracts we signed withRoadrunner early on, that music is just gone. I couldn’t print up a copy of“Slowly We Rot” if I wanted to and start selling them. That’s a sad thing. And to think back then as teenagers signing those contracts, we had no idea to ask attorneys to look them over to see that it was a pretty standard contract. Come to find that signing something away from an entire lifetime doesn’t seem “standard” to me. But, those days are gone and we’ve learned a lot from that, so, the stuff we did with Candlelightwas all licensing, so that music comes back to us. That was a good thing that we got the music back and were in control. Two different things.Candlelight could have done a lot more — I don’t think they had enough albums pressed when the first album [2007’s “Xecutioner’s Return”] came out. When it got to the stores, there was one copy per store, and they were gone. If you’re lucky enough to get the kids to go down the store, that’s one thing, it’s another if you get them to go and it’s not in the store so they have to wait a month, so by that time, they could download it. A lot of things have changed from when we first started to now. We could take the master from the ten grand that I was talking about, and we could do a digital-only release, then you don’t have to do anything. Then it really doesn’t cost you anything — that’s not what we really want to do. We’ve been talking with Century Media a lot. They’re really cool dudes and seem interested in working with us on any level, which is cool. If we could get some backing and get some cash in our pocket, we could do a lot more with this record. If we fall a little short, and need help to get some kind of distribution deal or help with pressing or something like that, we could probably get a much better deal for ourselves and maintain control of the record. Then we could get someone like Century Media to help with us on the marketing end because it seems like they have a really long reach.
DeadRhetoric.com: From the sounds of it, you will be working withCentury Media in some form for the upcoming album? Is that correct?
Tardy: It is. We’ve talked to them a lot the last couple years, even for them to do the album. When we told them the initial plan to do the album by ourselves, they offered to work with us on any level we wanted them to. Those guys are really cool. Any time you see a metal band on Century Media, they usually give them a pretty good shot in marketing. We’ll see. We’re working hard to get funding one way or the other and the Kickstarter was a really good start.
DeadRhetoric.com: What’s the progress on the new album?
Tardy: We really are — which is why we went ahead and started with that campaign — we’re going to have the master done in December. We’ll be recording in November. Most of the songs are done now; we only have a couple more to put together. We want to get about 13 songs ready; have 12 for the CD and have one in the wings to do something as a bonus. So we have the bulk of those things done; there’s probably five, six, seven of them that are nearly complete, and another three or four where the structure is really there, we have some filling in to do. There’s a couple more we have to put together. We’re doing our best and we’re trying to get them all done. Before we jam them, we want to give ourselves a month of just playing them time and time again, getting the feel for them and really feeling them out to make changes. That way, it gives you some flexibility to make changes, so the more you hear them, the more flexibility you have to make changes. That’s where we’re at. We hope to finish writing soon. Be done recording in November, mixing in December, and bam, have the thing out next year, and get the campaign started in January.
To read the entire interview, go to DeadRhetoric.com.