The_Network Interview Review
by Billy Gamble
Thrashpit's Billy Gamble interrogates The_Network's axe-man Kevin Howley. See what this spastic math-metal magician has to say about band-moniker thievery, modern American culture, and hitting the road to tour!
Billy Gamble for Thrashpit: The album is called This is Your Pig's Portrait, what does that mean?
Kevin Howley: It's a metaphor as far as a metaphor goes. We think that America is based on consumerism and it is eating away at our resources. People sugarcoat things and we just decided to paint a portrait of it with this album.
Thrashpit: So would you say that is what the album is about?
Kevin: There are a lot of different things on the album. But it does have certain themes within it. Themes like love, being pissed off about a lot of things we have to go through. We're pissed off about our jobs, work, and pissed that we get stuck in these 9 to 5 routines. So I guess these themes are translated in the song titles and how the songs sound.
Thrashpit: You guys are about to start a tour with Cassius, Ed Gein, and Architect. Tell me about how that ended up taking place and what are your thoughts?
Kevin: Things just kind of snowballed, it's weird. We leave next Friday. This weekend we're going up to Montreal, trying to get money to support the tour and then we're going to do a couple shows with Architect. It started off with Gaza, and then Architect is coming out with an album at about the same time as us and we listened to there stuff and thought it fit in really well with what we were doing. Ed Gein said they'd do the first few shows and Architect is on the whole tour. Our CD release show is going to be amazing as far as we're concerned. We're playing with the Red Chord and a bunch of amazing bands which we're excited to see. The lead singer is actually on our album so it's good to do shows with those kinds of people.
Thrashpit: Is this your first tour?
Kevin: No, we haven't done a lot of tours; we've been around for 5 years. We're not really a big band. We didn't have anything before it and economically didn't think it work. We didn't think that people would be into it. We'd do weekend shows and stuff like that. We'd go to Florida occasionally, but nothing that lasted very long. But we really just want to get on the road and get the word out about this album.
Thrashpit: Why did Nate Johnson (bass) have to step down from the upcoming tour?
Kevin: He wasn't able to make this tour so we got Shane Frisby (of Cannae). He [Nate] couldn't do the tour because of financial stuff. We have an understanding that he is still in the band and we're still going to be working together. We're just trying to do it however we can.
Thrashpit: I noted Jedi Mind Trick was mentioned on your myspace, will The_Network be bringing the rap-metal bridge back to life?
Kevin: [Laughs] No! That is the other guitar player Kevin; he is really into those guys along with some of the other guys. We've always been into them. We saw them in Boston and the transition between kids running around in mosh pits to this was defiantly a different experience. But no, I don't think we're going to be bringing the rap metal connection back.
Thrashpit: Tell me about the concept behind your cover art.
Kevin: The idea for the album art is this worker who is disgruntled and just fed up with his daily routine. The artist took it to photo shop and made it look great. But it was a lot of work and we are really happy with the outcome and it's really impressive.
Thrashpit: How was the decision made to have multiple singers?
Kevin: It wasn't really a decision; we didn't sit down and talk about it ;it just kind of happened! We have a lead singer and I back up with Nate Johnson whose voice is incredible. It's kind of difficult when deciding who is going to do what. But we try to make it sound the best we can and really heavy. We just want to make it sound right. But for the past 4 years we've been playing our asses off just trying to get our album out and make it sound good. We just crafted a lot of stuff around and experimented a lot to see what would sound good.
Thrashpit: If you could tour with any band past or present, living or dead, who would it be and why?
Kevin: Alright, I'm going to give you one answer. I'm going to break it down even though I could give you a million---Bob Marley, just because the message that would go out with that would be great. The musical diversity would be great and I hope people would receive it well. There a million bands I'd want to tour with but I'm just trying to break it down.
Thrashpit: On your website you say you're influenced by mainly old-school spazzcore instead of current musical trends, so what are your thoughts on metal in 2007?
Kevin: I think that there is a lot of good stuff coming out. I mean the first bands we were into were Earth Crisis and Inside Out and all the old stuff and since then the music's changed so much. We go out on the road and say "holy s*** they're so many good bands out there!" The style of music, people push it further and further and from that comes amazing stuff. 10 years ago kids that are 16 and are going crazy on guitar maybe because the boundaries hadn't been pushed. But of course there is a lot of horrible stuff out there too (laughs).
Thrashpit: Have you gotten negative feedback from people in regards to sharing a band name with another band called The Network?
Kevin: Yeah I guess, in 2002 we started The_Network, and there was this other band called Green Day. And we got confronted by some guy "Oh who are you to call yourself the Network?" But they're several bands with the same name and not to be beating a dead horse or anything but we did have the name first.
Thrashpit: How did you guys get Jonny Fay (the Red Chord) to produce the album?
Kevin: Jonny was good friends with Nate. He was in Dead Water with Jonny so they were friends. So we went up to the studio, put down our money, and just started the album. We weren't in that big of a rush and told him whenever he had time and eventually it all came together. Like I said before this stuff kind of really just snowballs. I mean Nate joined the band; he hooked us up with Jonny, and after putting out thousands of demos and 5 years of trying it finally came together.
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