As a band that helped create a genre as well as equate a city with a sound, EYEHATEGOD have always remained humble anytime words like "legend" were thrown around to describe them. The thing with legends is that they grow stronger in time and over the years; word of mouth has been kind to the band. New Orleans' EYEHATEGOD is bigger now than they ever have been in their 25 plus years as a band. Pretty impressive seeing as they haven’t released a full length album in almost 15 years. Most people who know the band have a story to tell or they heard a story about the guys. Whether it was them playing nothing but feedback to a bewildered White Zombie crowd during their opening stint for the arena metal band in the mid-nineties, being banned from a certain venue for attacking a promoter with a barstool or cleaning out entire small towns of their drug supply, these stories spread throughout the metal community over the years, usually through a game of one up-manship, establishing them as one of the most notorious bands around.
Certainly not the first band to be surrounded by myth and lore, EYEHATEGOD’s staying and growing power ultimately comes from the music. No one riffs like Jimmy Bower and Brian Patton. Drummer Joey LaCaze grooved and held it together with numerous bass players throughout the years, doing so impeccably with Gary Mader over the past decade. Singer Mike IX Williams has always been able to encapsulate the ruins of life through his lyrics and vocal delivery. All combined, the music is the most genuine, distressing cacophony of sound around.
Black Sabbath mixed with Black Flag with a little bit of Skynyrd & the element of Blues thrown in there, Bower once said of the band’s sound. In 2014 that style might sound somewhat commonplace. In 1988 it most definitely was not. The band’s second album, 1993’s Take as Needed for Pain is the pinnacle album that other bands of this genre try and reach. Today, EYEHATEGOD sounds as fresh and innovative as ever. When the band released its first new track in over a decade, New Orleans Is The New Vietnam, it was clear that nothing about the band had changed. The band was touring more than they ever had and used the time and energy together to work on an album’s worth of songs. At the end of 2012 they were ready.
The recording process for the new album started with producer Billy Anderson back in the fold (he recorded 1996’s Dopesick). The session saw both producer and band not quite on the same page and at the end, the album was unfinished. A few months later, the band reconvened at longtime friend Phil Anselmo’s home studio with producer Stephen Berrigan (Down). Both Anselmo and Berrigan helped draw out the missing pieces to one of underground metal’s most anticipated albums in years.
EYEHATEGOD, the self-titled album will be released on May 27th with partners, Housecore Records (North America), Century Media (Europe, Australia and New Zealand) and Daymare (Japan). Mixed by Sanford Parker (Voivod, Corrections House, Nachtmystium), the album was entirely put together and financed by the band. After 25 years and collectively having dealt with just about every record label out there, big and small, EYEHATEGOD wanted complete control. They got it.
An unexpected tragedy occurred shortly upon returning home from a recent 5 week European tour in the Fall of 2013, percussionist Joey LaCaze passed away due to respiratory failure. An outpouring of condolences and tributes spread online. Enough can’t be said of the loss felt by the band, family and friends. Fortunately, LaCaze’s drum tracks were captured by Anderson and appear on the album, creating the definitive tribute for the member of the band that encapsulated the best just what EYEHATEGOD was all about; seriously not taking yourself too seriously.
New Orleans native, Aaron Hill (Mountain of Wizard, Missing Monuments), took over for Joseph LaCaze without missing a beat, both figuratively and literally. EYEHATEGOD hit the road after wrapping up the album and plan their most exhaustive touring to date in support of the new album.
Recently Williams spoke to NPR and reflected back upon their career:
"We were kids when we first signed to Century Media. Back then in 1989, all of us were in other bands then; EYEHATEGOD was a side band for all of us, so we just signed it thinking, "Free trip to Europe!" Thinking that would be it. I never would've thought 25 years later I'd be playing sold out shows…the things we've been through since then -- it's just amazing, great times and bad times, but it's all life experience."