[imgleft]http://i25.photobucket.com/albums/c95/dillthedevil/aspintie.jpg[/imgleft]By Philip Whitehouse As you read this, death metal/hardcore quintet All Shall Perish should just about be catching their breath after a 32-show European tour with Bleeding Through, which was rapidly followed by an intimate 5-show headlining tour. Phil caught up with the band in Birmingham to discuss the torture of women, fresh approaches to setlists and the importance of finding a place to take a dump while on tour. Priorities "...later we went to the strip club while chris told us we were sinners and stayed in the van, the lady on the pole knew all shall perish and had seen the video on demand, she was only star struck enough for 10 bucks off the lap dance, but sadly we arn't ballah enough to drop 30 bucks on blue balls." - Extract from All Shall Perish's online tour blog. "You read that?" All Shall Perish rhythm guitarist Ben Orum laughs incredulously, when I ask him what happened to the online tour blog that used to detail the band's encounters with over-zealous security guys, malfunctioning drum triggers and surprisingly accomodating mothers of fans. "Mike was in charge of the tour blog, and it kinda got really hard to keep up with it." All Shall Perish bassist Mike Tiner has been sitting close by while I've been chatting with Ben, as the band relax backstage at the Barfly in Birmingham before their headlining show. On hearing me ask about the tour blog, he comes over to throw in his two cents; "Here, let me show you something," he says as he rummages around in his pocket, eventually producing something that looks like a cross between a mobile phone and a Star Trek tricorder, "you ever seen one of these before? It's a Blackberry. We like these in America." He then begins entering the words he's speaking onto the screen, to demonstrate the laborious nature of the process. "If you could imagine doing this, and typing out as much as I did, on this fucking thing? It takes forever to write on these fucking things. We spend every day tired on tour, and, you know, when you get places you're either thinking about taking a shit or beating off, so..." So you had to get your priorities right? "There just wasn't enough time in the day. Well, there was enough time, but not enough coherent, rested-up time." The band are due for some coherent, rested-up time after this tour though - they have an extended break booked, to link back up with their families and get set writing the next album. "We're definitely gonna be spending some family time," says Ben, "I'm married with a kid." "Yeah, he's married with a kid, and three of the others of us have had girlfriends for so long, that it's just like we haven't signed the papers yet," adds Mike. No groupies then? "We leave that for the singer," deadpans Mike. Shock and Gore I have to admit, it came as something of a surprise to hear that most of the group are domesticated family-man types, considering the brutal physicality of their music and the decidedly painful nature of the band's music video for The Price Of Existence's opening track, 'Eradication', in which a young lady in a chair is systematically tortured as the video progresses. "I wanted it to go further, man," Mike says, with somewhat worrying enthusiasm. "I wanted the guy to put cigarettes out on her, fuckin' jam a syringe in her neck, but we couldn't do it." Really? "We couldn't clear that for broadcast," explains Ben. I offer that the censors must have missed the fact that the girl was never tied to the chair, and in fact walks off screen under her own steam at the end of the clip, offering a more psychological interpretation of events. "You caught that?" exclaims Ben, seeming impressed. "Dude, no-one - you're the first person that's noticed that so far," Mike adds, also looking pretty shocked, "everyone else just thought it was a B horror-movie." I ask if there are any plans for any more music videos, whether off the current album or for future works. "Yeah, if our label will help us," Ben confirms. Mike's less confident, though; "There aren't many places to get metal videos shown any more, though. MTV are dropping Headbanger's Ball in a couple of months, Fuse are dropping their show too -" "- Headbanger's Ball's going? I thought they were just dropping Jamey [Jasta, Hatebreed vocalist and current Headbanger's Ball host - PW]?" cuts in a surprised Ben. "Well, they're phasing it out." Mike says. So, looks like YouTube's going to be more or less the only place for metal music videos soon. Audience Participation "This tour's a little more intimate than the one we just did," Ben offers when I ask him how the intimate, five-date headlining tour is going compared to their recent, extended jaunt with Bleeding Through. "The crowds are definitely a little more receptive." For 'receptive' in that sentence, read 'dangerous to themselves and others' - All Shall Perish have something of a reputation for igniting pits that endanger life and limb. "A girl broke her hand the other night," Ben says, seeming unsure as to whether to be concerned or flattered by the fact. "We came out and gave her a free shirt." I enquire about Justin, the fan who acquired a skull fracture at an ASP show last December, who was pictured on the website; "Justin's actually doing good now! We visited him in hospital, took him some merch - so kids, now you know, if you get injured at our shows, you get free shit!" All Shall Perish have a pretty short set tonight, as the venue is putting on a club night straight after the gigs - so, the band has just enough time for eight songs or so when they hit the stage. "I reckon we'll just let the crowd decide what they want to hear," Ben laughs. I suggest having the crowd shout song titles and playing the one they hear loudest. "Yeah, that'll do it," Mike agrees. "Setlist? What the hell's a setlist?" Sensing an opportunity, I decide to get my request in early and ask if the band could slot in personal fave, 'Laid To Rest', from first album Hate.Malice.Revenge. "We'll play that eight times for ya." Mike quips. At this point, drummer Matt Kuykendall looks up, amused; "What, just play that eight times, and that's it?" Without missing a beat, Ben adds "Chances are, no-one would notice." Mike, warming to the theme, impersonates vocalist Herman Hermida introducing the sixth song of the set; "We've got two more songs - 'Laid To Rest'!" and then mimics the crowd's group expression of puzzlement. "We could play it backwards," Ben adds, "'Rest To Laid'!" Divine Inspiration It's nearly time to wrap things up, so I ask about what's next for All Shall Perish. What can we expect from the new album - is anything written yet? "Nah, I'm not really into writing on the road," Ben says. "There's too much going on all the time, there's no time to sit down and really focus. I'm the kind of guy that really prefers to get into a room by myself, really explore shit on my own, then get back together with these guys and play them some stuff." So, does this mean Ben's the main songwriter? "Well, I'll work on a riff, then try to find time to sit at a computer... But I'd say we all put in our fair share." Ben explains. "If someone doesn't like something, they've definitely gotta make sure to speak up and do what they can to make it work." Ah, I've heard of this before - past interviews with the band have seen reference to the internal dynamics that ensure only quality riffs make it onto All Shall Perish tracks. The Shit Filter. "He knows about the Shit Filter!" Ben exclaims. I ask whether there's some kind of treasure trove of abandoned material as a result of stringent application of the Shit Filter. "Well, if someone were to find our secret computer," Ben begins, tantalisingly, "they'd find all sorts of riffs and ideas that'll never be used. You'd find riffs from a long time ago that are on our album, and just random stuff, all over the place." But enough about discarded material - what about the next album? "It's gonna be phat... dark... and heavy. And hopefully everyone will like it," Ben describes. "You're also gonna see us on a lot more tours next year." Mike has a more definite plan for the future; "Basically, we're gonna be working on sounding exactly like Underoath. Hopefully, that'll work out great. They're doing good, anyway." Amidst the laughter that ensues, Ben adds; "Yeah, we're working on converting all our religions to Christianity so we can sell some records." On that note, I leave the band to go check out the support acts soundchecking, mildly disturbed by the remote prospect of a freshly Born Again All Shall Perish hitting our shores next year. Official All Shall Perish Website. Official Nuclear Blast Records Website.