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Salad Days Magazine | May 25, 2024

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EveryTime I Die interview – original version

EveryTime I Die interview – original version
Salad Days

When New Junk Aesthetic came out, Jordan Buckley graced Salad Days’ pages, and now it’s Keith Buckley’s turn, Every Time I Die frontman, a real war machine in the last 15 years. Tour after tour, record after record, the Buffalo band built a solid reputation and quite a good popularity, and they absolutely deserve both.

SD: Let’s go straight in the dirt, which is the most embarrassing moment of this tour, and does that beat the other most embarassing moments of your life?
ETID: Ahah, I think our driver had the most embarrassing moment! The thing that we’re travelling with has like a little alley with three bunks, three bunks and then three bunks, and he was going to his bunk just to sit back down, Andy was sleeping and farted directly in his face thru the curtain!

SD: Ahah, this is a pretty male thing, tell me something which involves girls!
ETID: Honestly I’ve got nothing to tell. All of us are either dating or engaged or married, the only guy that is not is our merch guy, and the only thing that’s embarrassing for him is that he hasn’t yet met a girl! I’m sorry, I wish there was more dirt!


SD: I was wondering if you ever looked on the web to your homonyms…
ETID: Yeah, I had to find a picture for a magazine once, and I did google myself…

SD: Would you trade your life with some of these guys? There’s a librarian Keith Buckley…
ETID: Yeah, that would be interesting! I found one that was dead, so I don’t wanna trade that one!

SD: We have an Irish soccer player…
ETID: Yeah, that’s cool. I mean, how long, for the rest of my life?

SD: I’d say a few months.
ETID: Ok, soccer player would be great, I know soccer is huge in Ireland, I’d meet a lot of huge celebrities!

SD: An hotel builder?
ETID: No, I don’t think so, is he really rich? I don’t think that would be fun, maybe just for the money…

SD: Last one, an actor…
ETID: I know him!

SD: What I’d like to point out that he starred in a movie called Virgin Witch, which is not so special, but that was translated in Italian as Black Masses for The Swedish Virgins!
ETID: All right! Yes, yes! I’ll take that too! I’d take anything!

SD: I know you also used to write about movies in Alternative Press, so if you could make a movie out one of your song, which one would you choose?
ETID: I would say We’re Wolf, because it’s about turning into a party animal. Have you seen Teen Wolf?


SD: I know the movie, the one with Michael J Fox?
ETID: Right, it’s kinda like that already, I think it would be a little darker, it would be unnecessarily built for children, it would be a very adult dark drama about a guy turning into a party animal. The main character would be me or Laurence Fishburne, who was in Matrix, the blond starlet might be Scarlett Johansson, I’ll take her!

SD: I know you had that column, I know you had another advice column on Punknews, and you have your own blog, have you ever tried to write a full story, a novel or something?
ETID: Yeah, actually the other day I was just sitting around before the show and I had an idea for this story, it was like three pages and I just posted that on the blog. I just tried to put together a bunch of writing experiences about being on the road, and hopefully one day make a book out of that. They’re just the things going on day to day, it’s not very exciting but once I’ll go through it, I’ll try to find a plot to it and focus on that, it will take years.

SD: Who’s the one you look up to about writing? I mean prosaic writing…
ETID: There’s actually an Italian writer, Italo Calvino, which I love, but he was on a different level! I don’t think he was human, I read him and I would love to do stuff like that. Somebody recommended me one of his books, it was If on a winter’s night a traveler, I read that and I fell in love with it and everything he has done, I tried to read as much of him as I could. There’s Murakami from Japan that I like a lot, Dostoevskij…

SD: What about musical lyrics? Who’s the one?
ETID: When I was younger it was people like Thom York from Radiohead, I like a lot of the Beatles stuff. At the time I thought Thom York’s writing was really simple and effective, as far as weird cynical odd sense of humor, he was a big influence for me, his writing was kind of tongue-in-cheek, very sarcastic.

SD: I don’t know if you had a specific background in punk, metal, whatever, but when you started this band, did you want it to be strictly related to that same background?
ETID: No, I didn’t really care about that. I just kinda liked the fact that I was with people that would write whatever they felt, didn’t listen to another band to sound more like this or that, trim things of what they felt inspired by. I liked the fact that everybody went on with what they felt natural, it’s good.


SD: On your blog you also posted a nice thing about the Beastie Boys, about your feelings for them as a band, so do you like as you own band is perceived nowadays? Do you see people taking the good stuff out of your band, like you did with them?
ETID: I hope so! I think the reason we’ve gotten this far is because people look on our shows and realize we’re just trying to have fun, you don’t have to let that go, as the Beastie Boys did, they got old, they grew but they just knew how to have fun with music, experiment, do what they loved to do.

SD: How did the priorities in this band change over the years?
ETID: When you realize people are listening to you, you feel more and more like you have an obligation to either say something to them or exist in a way that you want to make sure (you’re) what you’re portrayed, you don’t wanna do anything to sell yourself short on anything. Honestly it became work to stay true to ourselves because there’s so much influence, with the internet people talking, you can read everything like “shit, they didn’t like that, we gotta do something different next time”, it’s hard to ignore that and stay focus.

SD: You’re also pretty good in being part of that game, you’re all on the web!
ETID: You have to, you evolve or you die. It’s just the way people communicate now, you really have to stay on top of things.

SD: Do you feel comfortable in writing what you do and know that everyone into your band reads that?
ETID: That’s the thing, I try not to do that, not really update with where I am or who I’m with all the time, I kind of use it like a way to keep track of a bunch of weird thoughts that I have, see how people react to them, you know, in 30, 40 years when I’ll be super old I can look back and see where I was, what led me to write that, it’s a kind of track record.

SD: Derek Hess told me he loves ETID because they’ve been able to stay at the top of their game for all these years. Which are the bands that couldn’t make it, that possible deserved it?
ETID: A bunch of bands! Poison The Well, huge band when we were coming up, they were at the top of their game, and they just fell apart. Norma Jean, I think they were cutting really close, they lost Josh, they kept on losing members, they were about to fall off, but we just saw them at a festival in Germany and they are still amazing. Converge is still up there…

SD: Which were the bands you used to go to see as a kid?
ETID: Hatebreed, Earth Crisis, Snapcase…

SD: All the chugga stuff!
ETID: Yeah! I lived in Buffalo, there was no huge music scene so we got what we could. A lot of music I liked came from Canada, but I don’t know if you ever heard any of those bands, like New Day Rising, Grade, those bands were huge for me, so was Elliot.

SD: Your last record was in the Billboard top 20 with 14000 copies sold and that’s good. You probably know better than me that this result 10 years ago probably meant a lot more records sold…
ETID: Yeah! It doesn’t mean anything anymore. I thought it was cool but it wasn’t like all of sudden we’d get a new van, buy cars, it was just “wow cool”. We found out in a gas station, in Nevada maybe…


SD: Did anyone really notice that in 99 they might have been like…
ETID: 80 thousand? And we would have had a plate or something, huge check… Too late, too late!

SD: Your sound still stands strong after more than a decade, is there any musical style near ETID which you saw getting old really fast? I use to think about Underoath for example…
ETID: As far as I was aware, they were the first to do it, keyboards, samples… I believe that when they started it was like “wow, this is great” and then everybody did it. And it was so technology oriented that you could program your parts and all you have to do was to push a button on the part you’re playing, it didn’t really take much skills, anybody could do it as long as you had a program and a computer. Underoath set a tone but as soon as people left time to it, they could do it better and faster and harder because technology was developing. I do agree, I feel like they started that but they got drowned out by so many other bands doing it.

SD: Also the mix of melodic vocals and growls, that kinda got boring after a while…
ETID: But that’s still big in America. We just finished the Warped Tour and there was ton of that.

SD: I guess you’re in the old generation Warped Tour bands, and that has a pretty low average age. Do you realize if kids come out to see you?
ETID: They do, which is good. The thing that I remember too, the reason they still like that sound, when I was kid I could get free music on the radio, and that would be soft, nice and slow, but I wanted something faster, heavier or harder, so the majority of the kids, they’re young and they wanna hear super soft vocals, see handsome men, but I think there’s a demographic of teenagers, 20 something, that wants to hear something aggressive.

SD: Has anyone, like labels or agencies, tried to market your band in some funny way?
ETID: No. Never. And I feel very happy about that! I hear stories about bands we know very well, I hear stories about how their image was supposed to change, Dillinger Escape Plan, Cave In… Cave In is a perfect example of a band that went away and shouldn’t have gone away.


SD: Cave In, that brings me to another question. Your Revival Mode, that sounds to me like a total Cave In song!
ETID: Do you think so?

SD:Yeah, in a good way. It made me wonder if you loved that band…
ETID: I love Cave In!

SD: And if you also love Voivod…
ETID: I never got into Voivod. Andy did, but I love Cave In. I didn’t really think about it, you just said it but I agree, but I was just planted deep somewhere in our subconscious. Cave In, they tried to polish them, they sent them on tour with the Foo Fighters and then they fell off. Bands like DEP, they just said no when they tried to change their sound a little bit and they’re still around…

SD: Can we say that Eighteen Visions maybe played the game a little further?
ETID: You can totally say that for sure. But James, I don’t know if he was playing a game, I really think he’s that way and likes that, and he’s still that way, very handsome, well dressed dude, nice haircut.

SD: You have been also the first underground band which I saw making a jeans! How did that happen?
ETID: Ahah, yeah! A guy who liked our band from Indonesia became super wealthy making clothes, and he was just “I’ve loved your band forever and I wanna do something with you guys for my clothing line, how about jeans?”, and we’re like “Jeans!”, so we did it!


SD: If history repeats itself, next is the baggy fit, so what will happen to the ETID jeans?
ETID: No! No! If the baggy jeans comes back, then in 15 years our jeans will come back!

SD: Do you know how it went?
ETID: I don’t know, the label is called Peter Says Denim and they’re out in Jakarta, they’re awesome, we just went there for the first time and the clothing line is huge over there, but I don’t really know if he keeps track of that.

SD: How it was touring there?
ETID: Awesome, scary maybe. Very good response, very crowded. We went to Bangkok, Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore. In Jakarta it was the only place where I’ve ever had to have a security walk me thru a crowd because people were trying to touch me like crazy, take pictures, security really had to put me in a van! We were sitting in what was considered the backstage area, we played and it was great, we went backstage and there was only a door and a window and it was like the all venue was trying to come backstage, so the tour manager grabbed me, rushed me thru the crowd, pushed people off, and the van was pulled up, doors open, jumped in, it was awesome!

SD: Which is the record the record that brought you to be a singer in the first place?
ETID: Pearl Jam’s Ten. I’ve always loved my dad’s music growing up, James Taylor, The Beatles, Pink Floyd, I always loved the music but never was like “I wanna do that”. When I got into Pearl Jam’s Ten, I was like “I wanna be a singer”, that’s it, that’s what I wanna do with my life.

SD: So what went wrong when you started singing, because you know you don’t really sound like him!
ETID: No! No! I don’t know! Once I realized I wanted to be involved in music…

SD: Bass? No!, drums? No!…
ETID: Ahah, No, I wanted to write, I knew I loved writing a lot, so to be a singer was the best choice!

SD: First record you bought?
ETID: You mean with my own money? It was NWA.

SD: Ok, first good record you bought!
ETID: Ahah, Nirvana Nevermind.

(Txt by Marco Capelli; Pics by Rigablood x Salad Days Mag – All Rights Reserved)

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