For some reason As I Lay Dying felt like torturing themselves this summer. In addition to throwing down every date on 2012 Mayhem Festival, the So-Cal Metal Blade band took it upon themselves to book shows on the festival’s off days— powering through 23 in a row during their longest stretch (to be exact).
I snagged As I Lay Dying guitarist Nick Hipa at the Denver stop of Mayhem to talk about the band’s marathon schedule, their new album Awakened and how Twitter is taking over the music industry—whether they like it or not.
Paige/AR: You just got off stage at Mayhem and its considerably cooler today—do you guys have any tricks for how to beat the heat during summer festivals or do you just chill on the bus?
Nick /AILD: The heat isn’t that bad, you can endure it. It’s just the rain—when its cold and rainy I find it the hardest to get into because your arms are soar and you don’t feel like playing. Yeah, there are no tried and true tricks other than staying hydrated and not staying in the sun all day before you play.
Paige/AR: At what point on a big tour like this do you get exhausted? Is there a point when you’re just like, “I’m over this”?
Nick/AILD: I think that point is going to come around the middle. The tour is only eight days in and we’ve only had two off days. We do 23 shows straight—there’s more off days on the tour but we booked off shows. So I think somewhere in the middle there we’ll start getting tired but that’s just the way it is, you know? I don’t think it’s that hard for us to get sleep so as long as we’re sleeping and resting well, we’ll be fine.
Paige/AR: Now last time I caught you guys you were doing the small venue tour. Do you prefer the smaller, more intimate venues, or do you like the big stuff like Mayhem?
Nick/AILD: You know what, it always depends on the crowd. We’ve played small shows where the crowd wasn’t as awesome as we were expecting and at the same time we’ve played larger shows where everyone was acting like it was a small club show. So as long as the intensity and the vibe is there, we’re fine with whatever. We’re just happy to play.
Paige/AR: Now, social networking and crowd/fan interaction is a big part of being a band right now. Are you big into Facebook/Twitter—do you guys get down on that?
I think there’s a balance that you have to figure out. I think, for us, we try and engage with fans as much as we can. I try and respond to everyone who posts on my Facebook or I try and update my Twitter
and Instagram when I can—but just personality-wise we’re not exactly the type of dudes to just throw ourselves out there.
Paige/AR: You guys are kinda reserved…
Nick/AILD: I think we’re kinda private to a certain extent. We share funny things, like things that we think are cool—we’d rather do less than do too much. We definitely realize the importance of it and management is always telling us how important it is, so luckily there are people that have jobs that are based on doing that. We try and find that middle ground.
Paige/AR: So, obviously you guys are on Mayhem right now but what’s in the immediate future and the long-term future for As I Lay Dying?
Nick/AILD: The immediate future is our album coming on September 25th—that’s what we’re on this tour promoting. After that, when the album’s out it’s just the whole tour cycle and doing circles around the earth.
Paige/AR: As I Lay Dying always leans towards the heavier side, but is their anything different or unexpected with the new album, Awakened?
Nick/AILD: I can’t say that there’s anything that’s going to shock anyone— I mean, it sounds like As I Lay Dying. We’re really proud of it because I feel like this is the best 11 songs that we’ve wrote—it’s a very well written record, it’s so fast-paced. My way I describe it—it’s jam after jam. There’s no filler so by the time you get through the album you’re like “Man, that was quick—I can listen it again”. Again, this is just my take on, so hopefully fans will be able to hear that as well.
— Paige Montgomery, Alternative Revolt Magazine