If you’ve ever wondered what rock stars and road crew do when they’re killing countless hours on the road between cities and shows, load in and load out, the truth is it’s a lot of boredom, a little sleep, and usually a ton of great moments and memories with close friends. At least that’s the way it is in the Drowning Pool camp. Sometimes amidst all the rock and roll revelry and empty beer cans a song is born, and less frequently, a new band. Such is the case for Even the Dead Love a Parade.
I wrote that paragraph three years ago on the heels of my interview with guitarist Matt Raffaele and bassist Stevie Benton. Benton is of course a member of Drowning Pool, and at the time Raffaele, drummer Clint Litton, and guitarist D. Braxton Henry were all part of the Drowning Pool touring unit. Vocalist Jordan Condery became the final piece of the puzzle that is Even the Dead Love a Parade. The guys had just put out a demo version of their EP, and Drowning Pool was about to release Resilience. Fast-forward three years and Drowning Pool has dropped another fantastic new record, Hellelujah, and Even the Dead Love a Parade have finally released the re-recorded, revamped debut of their own five song EP. This time, Sevendust’s Corey Lowery got involved in the project and the results are outstanding. The band also recently signed with the EMP Label Group owned by Megadeth’s Dave Ellefson. Over the July 4th weekend, I caught up with Raffaele to talk about all things, past, present, and future for Even the Dead Love a Parade. He also takes us through all five tracks on the debut EP, as well as chatting politics and serial killers.
This is like deja vu all over again. You and I talked about this EP three years ago. What’s taken so long to get this music out?
“Well first of all, that just goes to show you how far ahead of the curve you are [laughs]. You know what? It’s so weird. We toured a little bit. We started working on other songs. We got a bunch of nibbles but never really a record deal per se. I don’t think that deterred anything, but Drowning Pool wrote a another record and did another couple of tours, and Braxton was out touring, and Clint was touring. We kind of regrouped a little bit I guess you would say, and we re-recorded those tracks, and just tweaked them a little bit. I think sonically it made them sound a lot better. We did the vocals with Corey Lowery who’s just a stud, and it got remastered by Tom Baker who is also a legend in the field, and I think that might have made the difference. Maybe it was timing: We wanted a metal label and EMP which is Dave from Megadeth [signed us], and it’s been awesome ever since. Probably, all things happen for a reason.”
The first thing I noticed with the new EP is the cover art on it. It’s a bit ballsy especially since you’re a Dallas-based band. Who came up with that idea?
“I found that somewhere and I loved it. I thought it was poignant. I thought it was ballsy. It definitely represents where we’re from. For me, I’m a murder buff and a true crime sort of guy. So is Jordan. I’ve been interested in the Kennedy assassination since I was a kid. So I saw that and I was like, yeah let’s do that. So we kind of morphed it and made it our own.”
And of course there’s that twisted, tongue-in-cheek underlying theme where the band’s name is Even the Dead Love a Parade and Kennedy was shot in Dallas during a parade.
“What’s funny is I thought about that afterwards but you’re only like the second or third person to bring that part of it up. But I always think that same way too. And it’s got to be the most talked about snuff film ever, cause that’s what it is. You know, the Zapruder film. I’ve only really had one person come up to me that was offended by it [the album cover], and I’m like have you ever seen the Zapruder film? ‘Well, of course.’ That’s apiece of history. We live in Dallas. Right now I’m like 10 minutes from Daley Plaza. I go by it every day. So obviously i think about it a lot. It’s pretty crazy, especially now when our world is so much different. It is so insane right now. Those incidents in Orlando. We live in a far different world, but the reality is the government, the whole conspiracy–that totally exists. It’s crazy.”
It’s interesting that you mention the historical aspect of it, because if you think about it, history is written by those in power. Even though there is not a living person with a working brain that I know that believes Lee Harvey Oswald killed Kennedy, that’s what is written in our history books. A hundred years from now, who is ever going to know differently?
“No, and it’s almost like our government decides what history is going to be. It’s just crazy. I feel like we are super lucky here in the states. We have a lot of luxuries, and I feel like this is one of those things you pay for–like swallowing something like that, that’s one of those things that you do to kind of afford the luxuries you do have. As crappy as that is to say. It’s reality. People know what happened. They just turned a blind eye and followed the sheepish path, but at the end of the day, somewhere in the back of their brain, they know.”
One of the new tracks on the EP is “Sex Tapes and Snuff Films”. Tell us about that song.
“We’ve been writing songs. So we have a batch of songs that are going to go onto the full length in 2017. So we felt like we had released those four songs that are out there so we were like let’s throw one more track on EP so there’s something new. And that song to me, honestly, is my favorite. Probably because I’m a little more close to that one. I wrote a majority of the riffs for that, but Jordan did all the lyrics, Stevie did all of his stuff, and Braxton took my ideas, and him and Clint just molded it into what it is today. We have a video in the can for that one too. Which is pretty rad and goes with our motif of murder and all that that implies. So I love that song and it goes over good live.”
I’m fascinated with serial killers, and I think if I were to ever form a metal band again I would name it Helle Crafts after the first woman killed with a woodchipper in Connecticut in 1986.
“So that happened in Newtown, Connecticut. I’m going to go ahead and connect the dots for you. I was born and raised in Newtown, Connecticut. I was born in Old Greenwich, but that’s where my grandparents lived and about two miles from my house is the bridge where he chipped her. Actually he didn’t do it on the bridge, he went down to the bank to chip her. But, I lived in Newtown and the school that I went to as a kid, like grade school, was Sandy Hook. So that was the school I went to as a youngster.”
You can check out the full interview with Matt below as he goes track by track through the EP, gives us an update on what to expect from the full-length record, and his thoughts on this year’s political circus. You can also check out the band’s “Heart Poacher” video.