Every Time I Die pack separate but equally powerful punches
By: Derek Scancarelli
When Evert Time I Die took stage at Upstate Concert Hall on Mar. 11, that notion was pounded into the heads of everyone in the venue. Yes, one could say the Clifton Park venue imploded when the Buckley brothers and the rest of the crew took the stage with force.
ETID is a band from Buffalo, NY, that formed in 1998, when some UAlbany freshman were 3 or 4 years old.
Whether critics decide to proclaim the band’s genre as metal, hardcore, punk or southern inspired, there is no doubt that it is one thing, bad-ass.
It was without reservation that vocalist Keith Buckley took off his hat to Ted Etoll, venue owner and long-time local entertainment businessman, calling him a legend in the industry.
The crowd was ready after watching The Acacia Strain, Vanna, Hundredth and No Bragging Rights bring some serious heaviness. While the fans were moshing and climbing on-stage, the ASP was in the green room with Jordan Buckley of Every Time I Die, doing a pre-show interview.
As Jordan slammed back some pizza, we got to talking. Here’s what he had to say.
ASP: ETID has played shows all over the world. Do you feel like Albany is almost like a hometown show?
Buckley: When we first started doing shows outside of Buffalo, I remember Albany. We used to play Valentines a lot. The cities that we played before we ever toured, Albany was one of them. We used to drive down here to play then just turn back and
head back home.
ASP: You guys have been a band since 1998. How does it feel being in a hardcore band for 15 years? You guys definitely have withstood the test of time whereas many others haven’t.
Buckley: No, they don’t. And it feels cool. But then again, some bands don’t even realize that they haven’t stood the test of time and they just stick around anyway, so it’s hard to tell. But, this tour’s great, so it makes me feel like we did it.
ASP: Ex Lives came out almost exactly a year ago. How was the response been?
Buckley: Great. Yeah, there are still songs on it that we don’t play that I wish we did. If it were up to me we would play the whole thing every night. But, it’s not all about me, it’s about the kids, and I’m sure they want to hear old stuff.
ASP: Would you say it’s a more mature album?
Buckley: I don’t really know if mature is a good word at all. We kind of act like a bunch of animals when we play it, and then the people that hear it act really weird and wild and break things and do really crazy things. It was always funny to me when people say it’s mature, because there’s really not anything mature about it. We don’t have real jobs, we didn’t write it in nice clothing or a clean room. I think it’s really good, but our mission statement hasn’t really changed, so it’s just a better version of what we’ve tried doing for the last 15 years.
ASP: “Underwater Bimbos from Outer Space” and “I Suck Blood” are both creepy videos. What inspired them?
Buckley: Keith worked on the first one just by himself pulling really weird stuff off the internet. I’m surprised he didn’t kill himself because that thing is
depressing. He had to find the clips, edit them, and make them go along with the music. I liked it, but I definitely wouldn’t want to watch it hundreds and hundreds of times like he did, so I don’t really know what he was inspired by. The second one, I think he wrote too. It came out and I remember kids on the internet just didn’t understand it and got really upset because they didn’t understand it. But, I don’t know, a chick falls in love with her stalker. How is that, not- but kids are pretty stupid.
ASP: You and Keith are brothers. Does that add to your chemistry on-stage and in the studio?
Buckley: No, because he gets the music after it’s done. He doesn’t even come to band practice. It was kind of just me, and Andy, and Legs, and we just give Keith finished songs. It’s like a one-two punch. Separate punches, but equally as powerful.
ASP: You guys have played with countless bands spanning different genres, from Gwar to New Found Glory. What is it about your music that makes your fan-base so diverse?
Buckley: I don’t know but I really like it. I really like not having to say no to a tour. We’re going out with Hatebreed and we just did Warped Tour. We just went over to Australia and did festivals with the Red Hot Chili Peppers and The Killers. The best tours for us are the ones where the bands don’t sound the same. Like this one, I think when you hear each band you know who is playing and you’re not ever confused by it. I think it’s definitely nice to fit, but you’re not completely out of left field. We don’t want to be ironic like “Isn’t it weird that ETID is on this tour?” I want it to make sense but still stick out.
ASP: Your father is a professor at the University of Buffalo. What advice would you give to UAlbany students who are pursuing a college education but still dream of being in a successful band?
Buckley: I wouldn’t really give them any advice, I think that my situation was
very unique and it took a lot of balls. You ever watch Deal or No Deal and Howie Mandel is telling you how it’s all about timing and guts? I was doing okay in school and okay in the band and I had to choose one because I don’t like half-assing. I was in high school when I started the band, but yeah, I decided I had to pick one and I thought that I could always come back to college but couldn’t come back to the band, so that’s just a decision I made. I wouldn’t recommend that decision because I don’t know if your band is good or if you’re doing well in college. It was the right decision for me, but I wasn’t going to be a doctor or lawyer. I was an illustration major which is something that sticks with you throughout your life; you don’t really have to go back to that. It worked for me, that is all I know.
ASP: What was it like transitioning labels from Ferret to Epitaph?
Buckley: I think we owed Ferret four CD’s and we gave them four CD’s. As soon as that was done, Epitaph called us and it was very smooth. We didn’t really have to hunt down anyone, they were just kind-of waiting for us. You don’t really say no if Epitaph says they want to put their records out for you. We work together very well.
ASP: Are drawing and art big parts of your life?
Buckley: It’s pretty solid right now. It gives me something to do, definitely at home. It’s pretty much all I do when I’m not on tour. It’s probably all I’d do if I didn’t tour. It’s a nice little blend, it gets a little annoying when I go a long time without doing it. I get a little twitchy and I like to be productive and I hate to just waste time, so if a week or two goes by and I haven’t really worked on anything I get real antsy.
ASP: Do you paint or just draw?
Buckley: I do paint, but I have to be at home to do that. I can’t bring paints out on tour, we tour in a van. I’ll just bring some pens and paper and even that gets in the way because the paper is so big, but I make do.
ASP: How is it being married and being on the road?
Jordan: We’ve been married for two years. She came out to the last couple of shows. I’m glad I met her on tour because if I didn’t, I kind of have leverage. It sucks a lot of the time, but it’s how we met. If I never toured I never would have met her. We went to California and my friend hooked me up on a blind date with her after our show, she had no idea what my band was, and he was just like, “You two are going to get married so I’m going to introduce you two,” and he was right. So every time it sucks and she wishes I was home I remind her that if I never toured I never would have met her. I’m glad I met her then. I see people who are single now and it seems like such a headache, with websites that show your f*ckin dick pics and just creepy people online catfishing everyone. I’m just so lucky I got in before all of that internet weirdness started, like hounding chicks before you even get to meet them. It seems like a lot of work so I’m glad I didn’t have to do that. I don’t have that time or luxury.
ASP: Can you tell me about your brand JBWW (Jordan Buckley World Wide)?
Buckley: I was drawing a lot of stuff and the internet is pretty cool because it’s free advertising slash free exposure. I started putting my drawings on MySpace or something and people really liked them. It just is my way of being able to get drawings to kids that can’t go to an art gallery and pay like $1,000 to hang something on their wall. The kids who like my drawings aren’t really the kids who’d have the ability to do that. Maybe I could get that crowd eventually if I just went home and had solo shows and group shows and worked on art shows non-stop, but that’s not really in the books right now. What’s in the books is just drawing stuff and sticking it on stickers and t-shirts and hoodies. Kids can spend $20 on a shirt; they can’t spend thousands on a framed original. It seems like a happy compromise on how I can stay busy, get it out there and how I could make a couple bucks too while I’m doing it. You want to see your efforts come to fruition and you want to see a pay-off, this kind of has all of that.
ASP: What have Every Time I Die never done as a band that you would still like to? Anywhere you haven’t played or any bands you’d like to play with still?
Buckley: We’re going to South Africa. I’ve never been to Mexico, but I hear that you shouldn’t, like people disappear there. I’ve been to Alaska but I went there on my own. I’ve been to Hawaii but I’ve never played a show there, I’d like to. Maybe Poland, I’d like to visit my ancestors. Otherwise I’m very satisfied with where we are at. I think bands that don’t enjoy that and just look for the next step, 1) they never get there. And 2) they don’t enjoy the step that they’re on and a couple of years down the line they are wishing that they are back at a spot that they spent wishing that they were at another spot. I’m very grateful and appreciative of what we are and where we are and if it gets bigger than that’s cool. As long as kids keep coming to our shows and acting like animals I’ll be fine and I’ll keep doing that for the rest of my life.