Hey all you Wetwork folk. Synod is, of course, killer. I would like to thank Doc for doing the interview for the website i used to write for (found in full below). We've got a new website goign on now, so maybe we can arrange an interview for this one as well at some point Abrasive Rock: First of all, lets start with a bit of the band history. If you could give us a brief background on how the band started and all that. Doc: Sure. The band started about ten years ago. Bryan Mallon, the guitar player, hes the founding member of Wetwork. He started it. They released an album called Temple of Red, and I believe that was about seven years ago, something like that. Ive been in the band myself about three years, almost going on four. I joined on New Start Human, that was their second album. The album was already finished, and I just basically made an appearance for vocals. And that leads us to today. Abrasive Rock: And now you have the new album out. How do you feel that this album differs from the past albums? Doc: I feel it differs because theres a whole different chemistry behind it. Theres a whole different set of people writing on this one. Bryan was pretty much the only one who wrote on New Start Human, but the old line-up was on that as well. As it goes for the four piece that we are in now, I believe Bryan was pretty much the main writer, but on this new album, all four of us have our own inputs on the album and the chemistry is a whole lot different than before. I feel it just took it into a completely opposite direction than what it was. Abrasive Rock: Where did you guys come up with the title of the album, Synod? Doc: Well, we threw around different titles for the album. Bryan was the one who came up with it. He happened to come across it because I think he was thinking well, the album has a large religious content that we were discussing, so he was kind of looking for something to explain that. It kind of has that essence. He came across that word Im not totally sure where he came across it, but I think he kind of came across it and he thought Oh my god, this is it! This is the best and we all thought, you know what? This is the best thing for it. Abrasive Rock: You mentioned the lyric thing. Where do the lyrics come into play? What kind of influences were there in writing the lyrics? Doc: I wrote some songs and Bryan wrote some songs, but amazingly enough we both had the same kind of inspiration. We were both kind of reflecting on our thoughts and our impressions of the Catholic church, and we just ran with it but it seemed to be a very recurring theme that was really on our mind and the driven force behind everything that we were trying to think of at that point. We both kind of ran with it and it just happened that we were both kind of right on almost the same wavelength. Abrasive Rock: I havent had a chance to look over the lyrics yet. I got the impression both from reading about the album and listening to it that it did have a strong religious theme going through it. Does this just apply to the Catholic church or is it something that you feel can apply to any organized religion? Doc: It can apply to any organized religion. For sure. Abrasive Rock: Lets talk about the cover art. Who did the cover art first of all? Doc: Mattias I dont know how to pronounce his last name [Laughs]. Hes from Sweden. His website is Prog Art. Abrasive Rock: Oh yeah, he does a lot of artwork for a bunch of different bands. Doc: Yeah, he does some really killer artwork that we were looking at beforehand. Lucky for us, our label, Krankenhaus, had gotten ahold of him and he was available to do something for us, so we were really happy with that. Abrasive Rock: Yeah, I wasnt 100% sure. It looks like his artwork, so I was curious. Yeah, hes a killer artist. Doc: Oh, hes amazing! He was like ok, throw your ideas at me and he listened to the album and he kind of went with it and, wow! Thats all I can say, the mans a genius [Laughs] Hes very, very cool in the fact that.. you know, some artists are very touchy about their art and they dont want to add additions or anything like that. He was really good. He would show us the picture then say ok, this is what I think so far. If theres any changes that you guys want, let me know. We were just like wow, holy crap! We dont know the guy or anything but he didnt seem like one of those guys thats like Heres my art! Its perfect the way it is! [Laughs] Abrasive Rock: He just doesnt do bad work. I havent seen anything from him that sucks [laughs]. So now a little bit about the band set-up. The way you have it set up, you only have one guitarist for some fairly complex stuff. Does that ever become a problem that you only have one guitarist as opposed to two? Doc: No, no. I think Bryan likes it because it gives him a chance to challenge himself. Theres a lot of things where it would be nice if there was a second guitarist, because theres certain added things that would kick ass, but of course theres things that sound better with just one, so I think he kind of challenges himself to fill in that second guitar as hes playing the first. Abrasive Rock: So basically make the best of it? Doc: Right, exactly. Weve talked about it a couple years back, we talked about getting a second guitar player, but then we decided we didnt want one [Laughs]. Abrasive Rock: [Laughs] Thats a good enough reason right there. Doc: Yeah, exactly! Abrasive Rock: Normally I dont ask about stuff in the press release because normally the fans dont really see it, but I had a few questions about it. First of all, the comparisons were all to male fronted bands, and I dont want to bring gender into this as an issue because youre an amazing vocalist, but was there a conscious decision to compare yourselves to Bloodbath and bands like that, and is it a goal not to be lumped into bands like Arch Enemy and Opera IX just because of the gender? Doc: I think the reason why the comparisons are all male is because vocally, myself, I listen to predominantly male music and that is my influence. I cant say that I can reflect any of the other female vocalists. The only other female vocalist I could say that about would be Dawn Crosby from Fear of God. But anybody else, I couldnt because they are good bands and all, but I dont listen to them. The guys and I, we all listen to male fronted bands so thats why they use it as a comparison. Abrasive Rock: Has the fact that you guys are a female fronted band ever an issue at all? Or is it something you guys go with? And again, Im not trying to make it an issue [Laughs] Doc: No, its ok. We just try to go with the flow of things. We definitely do not want it to be a spotlight thing because I just see myself as being somebody in a band. I am just a singer in a band and it doesnt matter if Im a male or a female. Im just a singer in a band, you know what I mean? Sometimes theres other bands that weve played with that have female singers and sometimes people feel like its a competition. I am not out there to do that, I just go out there to do my thing because I just want to do my thing and I dont really care about the whole territorial thing. Abrasive Rock: Also on the press release, and I dont know if this was from you guys or the label, but it had specific spotlighted, recommended tracks. I was curious why youd want to spotlight three specific tracks from the album? I dont want to go into which ones those are because I think the whole album kicks ass and it deserves a fair listen to everything, but why pinpoint tracks? Doc: You know what? This is horrible for me to say but I didnt know that they spotlighted the three tracks. Do you know which ones they are? I know you just said that you didnt want to mention them [Laughs] Abrasive Rock: Off the top of my head, Im not 100 percent sure of these, but I think they said Heavens Advocate, Nature of Repention, and the Servants of Twilight. I think that was it, but Im not 100% sure. Doc: I dont know. I dont know if David was Abrasive Rock: Maybe it was the labels call? Doc: Yeah, Im not sure if that was us. Ill have to talk to Bryan about that. I think that was actually Daves because hes the one that did all the press kits. And I should be reading those before I talk to people, Im sorry [Laughs]. I apologize. Abrasive Rock: Oh, no problem. I just ask because the whole album is I didnt notice any particularly weak tracks so I didnt know if there was a reason for that. As far as touring for this album, in our emails back and forth youve mentioned that youve done a few shows here and there. Is there any plans for a full tour or are you just doing shows around the area? Doc: Right now were just doing one-offs. Were trying to cover as much ground as possible without making major excursions. Were hoping, were going to see how things go and were hoping that early 2006 to get out and do something, but we want to see how things go and what we can get together. Its definitely something were looking into because we really want to get out there. Abrasive Rock: Again, kind of to revisit the one guitarist thing, but this isnt limited to that. This is more the whole band. How do the songs work out live? Again, theyre very complex compositions. Is there ever a problem, do you have to re-arrange parts or do you just go out there and do what you do? Doc: No, we just go out there and do what we do. We kind of make it a point that, if were going to write it and put it on the album, we make sure that were able to do it live. Abrasive Rock: So its all totally feasible stuff then in the live situation? Doc: Oh yeah, totally. I mean, some things are obvious studio tricks, its obvious that we arent going to do those live [Laughs]. I mean, theres a couple of things like that, but otherwise we just make sure the stuff that is on the album or anything we record is stuff that we are going to be able to do live. We want to make sure we are consistent with that. Abrasive Rock: Off the topic of the album, how do you keep your voice in shape? Doc: I constantly try to improve it, so I try to do vocal exercises. I try to improve my breathing because that really helps out a lot. I guess I sometimes listen and try to think of ways to improve, but also I try to make sure I keep consistent in keeping my voice and practicing, making sure I keep it strong and my throat is ok with whats going on [Laughs] Abrasive Rock: Have you had any formal training, or is this just naturally what you do? Doc: Well, Ive taken vocal lessons. Obviously not metal [Laughs]. They werent metal vocal lessons. Ive had vocal lessons and Ive done a variety of styles of music like pop music, mainly pop and adult contemporary. So Ive trained in that area, so Ive taken things I have learned in that and Ive moved them over into metal and made them work there too. Its helped me out. Abrasive Rock: So I take it you arent just the metal girl? You have interests in other areas? Doc: Oh yeah, I have pretty eclectic tastes. Abrasive Rock: Thats cool! Ok, I just have one last question for you, and this one comes with a bit of a warning. This is the question we ask every band to see who will answer it. Doc: Ok [laughs] Abrasive Rock: Given the chance to wipe one hard rock or heavy metal band off of the face of the earth, who would it be and why? Doc: [Laughs] Oh man! Oh wow, thats loaded. Abrasive Rock: Yeah, thats what we try and do [Laughs] Doc: Hmm I think I would take oh man. Abrasive Rock: You can take your time. A lot of people are more put off by being put on the spot with the question. Its tough to come up with something off the top of your head. Doc: Yeah. Hmm. One of those 80s hair metal bands I think would probably be the best. Im just trying to think which one. I want to say Def Leppard. I really dont hate them at all, but if I was to do without one band, just one band that was to disappear, it would be them. Abrasive Rock: Ok. Thanks a lot for taking the time to do this interview. I really appreciate it. Is there anything you want to send out to the readers of Abrasive Rock.com? Doc: Just please check out the album and hopefully youll like it and thanks for the support. And thank you for taking the time to interview us.