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Job For A Cowboy - Detuned High Noon

Discussion in 'Metal Interviews' started by dill_the_devil, Apr 18, 2007.

  1. dill_the_devil

    dill_the_devil Music Editor

    Jun 6, 2001
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    Darlaston, West Midlands, England
    [imgleft][/imgleft]By Philip Whitehouse

    It's been a head-spinningly eventful few years for Glendale, Arizona natives Job For A Cowboy. Since the release of their 2004 demo, the band have been signed by esteemed label Metal Blade records, survived several line-up changes, toured relentlessly and begun work on their anticipated follow-up album, Genesis - all this while under the careful gaze of the mildly disdainful legions of over-serious internet-dwelling metal fans, mistrustful of the band's youth and their rapid ascendance to the world stage.


    I caught up with Job For A Cowboy's vocalist Jonny Davy and guitarist Ravi Bhadrigan backstage at Birmingham's Academy venue, previous to their gig supporting Unearth alongside Despised Icon and Daath. To kick things off, I asked whether there have been moments where the band have just felt entirely swept up by the rapidity with which things have moved forward for the band since their formation in 2002. "There's definitely been a few times when we've hung out and said to each other, 'Yeah, it's moving really fast.'" Jonny replies. Ravi picks up the thread; "Yeah, we don't really get why it's moving so fast, but we're really stoked." This doesn't come across as disingenuous, smug dismissal of praise, either - the pair seem genuinely taken aback by the reception they've received. A product of humble origins, perhaps? I ask whether anyone else from Glendale has ever made it big. "The only bands I can think of are, like, Jimmy Eat World..." offers Ravi, in an amused tone. "Yeah, Jimmy Eat World, The Bled, The Gin Blossoms..." continues Jonny, cracking the pair up with the mention of the latter. That little list of Glendale personalities perhaps shows that the area isn't renowned for its metal acts. Ravi agrees: "In Glendale, there's more of a hardcore, like, metalcore scene. Not so much death metal though."

    It seems a prudent time to bring up the subject of the band's development since their formation. I begin to do just that, starting to frame a question about the band's initial 2004 demo, at which point Jonny and Ravi start laughing almost nervously. Not that they have much to be nervous about - while the tracks on the demo do show a more metalcore-influenced version of the sound that Job For A Cowboy have become known for, it's still an enjoyable listen even now. It's a sound that the band clearly want to move away from, though. "I don't know man, we were only like, what, 15 or 16?" Ravi explains. "Yeah, we were 15 or so when we wrote that demo, and 16 or 17 when we did the Doom EP." Jonny continues - in the process prompting me to ask how old the band members are now, and discovering that I'm two years older than the oldest member of the band, a titbit that depresses me even now.

    Recovering my composure, I ask if we can expect a similar progression in sound from the Doom EP to Genesis as we heard from the demo to Doom. "Well, I hope so!" Ravi proclaims. "I mean, it's a way more matured sound now. I really hope the kids catch on to it, it's a way more mature sound." Jonny continues, "Yeah, maybe fans of Doom might possibly have a little trouble getting into the new stuff, 'cause it's a lot different." Throughout the conversation, it becomes apparent that Job For A Cowboy aren't content to rest on their laurels, but instead are intent on evolving their sound and making the best records possible. "We're really picky with everything," Jonny agrees. "We're really perfectionist with everything, the writing, the artwork, the studio process..." I mention that, compared to some of their contemporaries, Job For A Cowboy seem to downplay flashy instrumental pyrotechnics in favour of a more physical, pared-down approach to riff-writing. "It's all about being tasteful," Ravi agrees, nodding. "We'll put a little bit of flash in there, but it's all about being tasteful."

    That their sound has retained an impressive level of focus is particularly admirable, particularly considering the number of line-up changes the band have had to deal with. When questioned as to what it is that keeps necessitating the line-up shifts, Jonny answers "Pretty much everything." Ravi concurs; "Yeah, pretty much everything you could think of, personal conflicts, the whole entire deal, yeah." The search for a new drummer during the recording of Genesis carried its own drama as well. "Yeah, that was a really chaotic period, what with trying to find a drummer and writing the CD at the same time." Jonny explains. "We didn't have a lot going into the studio, like, a couple of songs in the works, we were just really stressed out. The main thing was finding a drummer." One thing that couldn't have helped proceedings was the curious incident of Andy Taylor, drummer of Kansas death/grind band Diskreet, telling UK extreme metal magazine that Job For A Cowboy were hounding him to join. "They won't stop calling," as he put it. Jonny laughs; "Oh, yeah, I heard about that." Not exactly the way it happened, then? "Err, no, not really." More laughter. Ravi tells the real story; "We actually just called him the once. He said no, and we said, 'Okay then'. He made a big deal out of it, for some reason." Jonny adds; "We knew he was really into his band and wanted to stay home, and we understood that - but he seems to have exaggerated it."

    Nevertheless, the situation was finally resolved when the band recruited Jon Rice. "Our new drummer's actually from Pittsburgh - we found him on the internet," Jonny says. On March 28th, just a couple of weeks after this interview took place, the band posted a news item on their website stating that work on Genesis was done. Rather than taking a rest, the band have continued touring. I took a moment to ask how this particular tour was going. "It's been great touring with bands who are older than us," Ravi enthuses. "Like, 27, 28, 29 year old guys - we've been learning so much from watching them." Jonny is equally pleased with the way things are going; "It's cool. We're all really good friends." When asked whether any particular shows from any of their past tours stand out, Ravi offers; "We love playing London, we love playing San Antonio too. California as well." Jonny continues; "In America, everywhere down South is always really cool. The last time we played in the UK it was London, and that was a really good one." Ravi adds to the love for the UK; "The kids are great over here, they're really into their music, I like it!"

    Beginning to wrap things up, I ask whether there are already any ideas for the next record, despite them having only just completed Genesis. Apparently, the band don't waste time, as Ravi reveals; "Yeah, I've got a couple of songs done, I've just got to show them to [Jonny], and we'll go back and forth." Jonny's eager to be more prepared next time round; "Yeah, we definitely don't want to get into the same disaster we did last time, having to write everything so fast. We definitely want everything done. We don't want another stressful situation." Well, with their line-up now (hopefully) intact, and their debut full-length due to drop on May 15th, fingers crossed that things will stay relatively stress-free for Job For A Cowboy for the forseeable future.

    Official Job For A Cowboy Website
    Official Metal Blade Records Website
  2. horde

    horde New Metal Member

    Sep 9, 2007
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    they are musically tight live, but nothing to brag about in the writing department.

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