THE SWORD Frontman: METALLICA 'Actually Care' About Their Support Bands

Brian Giffin of Australia's Loud magazine recently conducted an interview with J.D. Cronise of Austin, Texas metal luminaries THE SWORD. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Loud: "Apocryphon" is something more of a personal record than "Warp Riders", isn't it?

Cronise: Yes, and I've been saying that in interviews since we started doing them for this record, but we're on our first week-long break from our tour right now and after a month of playing the songs live, it's even more so. I realize now how much more of a personal record this one is than the previous ones. In a weird way, it's a lot easier to play the songs from this record because it's not... not that there aren't plenty of songs from our other records I don't love to play live, or whatever, but when you're onstage performing music that is a little bit more personal — from the heart, if you will — it's definitely a different experience than just getting up there and kind of telling stories that are not really relatable to your own life. It's definitely different.
Loud: Do you ever get tired of being compared to BLACK SABBATH?

Cronise: Obviously, we all love BLACK SABBATH. BLACK SABBATH was definitely a starting point for influences for this band, along with a few others. That's kinda how I feel is the best way to start a band. Come up with a group of other bands that you're trying to sound like in the beginning so you at least have some direction, and then if you're doing it right sooner or later, you'll develop your own voice and your own sound incoporating those influences. But it helps to have some templates in mind when you're starting a band, but you have to develop your own sound and not just stick to that template, otherwise you're just going to be a clone. At this point, I get it. I get the BLACK SABBATH comparisons, and it's funny because we've gotten those comparisons ever since the first record, but this one probably sounds technically more like BLACK SABBATH than any of our previous ones! But that being said, there's an entire genre of music devoted to bands that sound like BLACK SABBATH! It's not anything new or anomolous that we're influenced by them. There's hundreds and hundreds, if not thousands, of bands that try to do nothing more than sound exactly like BLACK SABBATH. They're a great band, and I don't think it's a bad thing to be compared to them.

Loud: You've been out with METALLICA a few times. They're really choosy about who they take on tour with them, so what's it like? I've heard a lot of great things about how well they look after the bands that tour with them.

Cronise: Yeah. It's fantastic. We haven't done shows with every old-school, legendary heavy metal band, but we have played shows with a few of them, and they are far and away, from top to bottom, the coolest. METALLICA themselves, their crew, the entire operation. It couldn't have been cooler for us. They asked us how much money do we need to do this tour. It wasn't a matter of, This is our offer. Take it or leave it. [It was] "We want you on the bill, what do you need to make this happen?" I don't know of any bands that do that. Especially the older heavy metal bands. They're kinda cut-throat. A lot of them are kinda checked out when it comes to the current music scene and they just don't care! They have their hits, they have their fans who've got their tickets regardless and whoever goes on before them is completely irrelevant to them. But METALLICA actually cared. They care that people enjoy the show from beginning to end and they care about what's going on in the music scene now. That's a rare and awesome thing.

Read the entire interview from Loud magazine.

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