UNEARTH Frontman Remembers DIMEBAG

Patrick Douglas of The Culture Shock recently conducted an interview with UNEARTH vocalist Trevor Phipps. A few excerpts from the chat follow:

The Culture Shock: I see you guys are hitting the road overseas next month. Do you get excited with that looming on the horizon or is it tedious to have to go overseas?

Trevor: I love traveling. That's a huge perk of this job. We get to travel the world for free, you know what I'm saying. It's heavy music, so we're not gonna get rich on it, but we're getting all this experience just traveling the world. We're hitting Japan, Australia and New Zealand and right after that we're going to Europe. It's amazing to be able to travel the world and play music for people that dig it.

The Culture Shock: A lot of people out there may not realize that you guys have been touring like crazy for a long time. How different is it for you to finally be the headliner on many of these tours as opposed to opening the shows?

Trevor: I prefer headlining because the majority of the crowd are there for you. They know your material. They'll sing along. It's not like you have to win the crowd over 'cause they're there for you. It's more like a straight up party for us to play. We play an hour, we play 11 songs, it's just a great time. That being said, I love to open for bands to try to win over and try to impress people who haven't heard us before. Like an Ozzfest was such an important thing for a band like us to do, 'cause we're not gonna get radio play. So the best we can do to expose our music to people is to play for people who have not heard of us or haven't heard us yet. I enjoy both, but I definitely prefer headlining.

The Culture Shock: What's been your stand-alone favorite moment so far?

Trevor: That's a tough one. I'd say there's a few. Just playing on Ozzfest in '04 with SABBATH and SLAYER and PRIEST was rad. Touring with DAMAGEPLAN in '04 was also an amazing thing. I got to hang out with Dime and Vinnie for several weeks. To form a friendship with those guys who were the main part of my personal favorite band of all time, PANTERA. Just touring all around. That's a huge thing for me. Like I said, I love traveling. I love meeting new people and I love playing music for people that enjoy what we do. That's a huge highlight for me. I'll keep doing it forever as long as there's people here.

The Culture Shock: Speaking of Dimebag. Actually I spoke to you during that tour when you were with DAMAGEPLAN and you told me a story about Dimebag getting you completely shitfaced …

Trevor: (laughs).

The Culture Shock: I also spoke to Dime a month or so after that and asked him to recall that story and I'll just read you what he said. He said "He came up and told me that he prides himself on drinking everyday and he was ready to go and he was ready to fire up. I started lightin' him up with a couple doubles man. Next thing I knew he had to get carried out and then I found him out in the parking lot sitting in the car passed out and we woke him up and gave him another double and he's kind of eased off ever since just a little bit."

Trevor: (laughs)

The Culture Shock: It's a good story, man. How proud are you to have had the opportunity to spend time with Dime and have stories like that?

Trevor: Extremely proud, man. Like I said, that's my favorite band of all time. It's kind of nervewracking to meet somebody that you kind of looked up to as a kid growing up. He was more than I thought he would be. He was the coolest guy on the planet. To get to form a friendship with him, that meant the world to me. I feel like I'm doing something right, if I'm getting experiences that make me this happy in life. To be able to meet a guy like that and become friends with him is just amazing. I'll always cherish those times with Dime. That's a pure tragedy of what happened. I think about it almost every day. I wear the bracelet every day in his memory. I wish we could all turn the clock back and change what happened. He's an amazing person and I'll always think back on the good times.

The Culture Shock: Your style is similar to PANTERA meets IRON MAIDEN. A lot of people make that connection. What is it about this band, in your opinion, that makes it unique from other bands in this genre?

Trevor: I would say that mixture hadn't really been done when we first started doing it. We definitely have some of the hard core elements in there too. The HATEBREED style is in there as well. You can try to make yourself unique by writing what comes from the heart. People are gonna say you're different, people are gonna say you sound the same. We feel that we create totally, original heavy music. Of course, we have our influences. We have our old thrash influences, bands like TESTAMENT and early METALLICA, ANTHRAX, stuff like that. Obviously we're fans of PANTERA, HATEBREED, IRON MAIDEN as well. There's a whole range of different musical influences that we all grew up with. Metal's been around for 35-plus years now. So, there's a wide range of different styles of metal that we're all fans of. I think it works its way into our writing style.

Read the entire interview at www.thecultureshock.com.

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