Keith Carman of Canada's Exclaim! magazine recently conducted an interview with vocalist Mike Williams (EYEHATEGOD) of ARSON ANTHEM, the hardcore punk-influenced project also featuring drummer Hank Williams III (ASSJACK, SUPERJOINT RITUAL), guitarist Phil Anselmo (PANTERA, DOWN, SUPERJOINT RITUAL), and bassist Collin Yeo. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow:
Exclaim!: Do you have any aspirations for ARSON ANTHEM?
Mike: I'd like to inspire people. I can't say we're the first band to be doing this because there are a lot of bands that play heavy hardcore like a throwback to that era. I want to at least inspire people to seek out those older bands and do some research. That was such a great time for me growing up. I had no responsibility, running free listening to that type of music and riding my skateboard. Hopefully people who didn't live through it can do it vicariously. We have future plans and some new songs to record but first we just wanted to put out the record. Overall though, this is just about fun. The people who take it too seriously and say it doesn't sound like "Vulgar Display Of Power" don't get it.
Exclaim!: There's always backlash against a "new band" from established artists though.
Mike: Just because of the members of the band, people are gonna dig to find something to start an issue with. Phil's already getting the brunt of things. They kick down on him for no reason sometimes. It seems like some people don't even listen to the record before they judge. There's prejudice. I don't understand it. He gets these people who are jealous, hating on him or something. Some people hate for no reason.
Exclaim!: He is a magnet for controversy though, sometimes by his own actions.
Mike: Right. Sometimes controversy can be exciting but sometimes it's a pain in the ass. Sometimes I'd rather have chaos in my life than be bored but it can become too much. With the Internet now, everything is taken as fact. Rumours start and it's taken as truth, starting controversy. It's ridiculous. I don't get people who just bitch all of the time about what they hate. If they're doing that, they're bringing attention to it. Why waste your time? If you're gonna put energy towards something, support it. If you don't like it, ignore it.
Exclaim!: What do you have to say to detractors?
Mike: We just want you to listen and judge for yourself. We have a right to put out any type of record we want. Freedom of speech. I'm happy to be doing this now but at times I wish this band had been together in the '80s. It would have been taken in a different light. ARSON ANTHEM isn't that complicated of a concept. It's just raw, in-your-face music. I love a lot of different stuff but it's great to put out this record and say, "Hey, this is the kind of music that I love."
Read the entire interview at Exclaim.ca.