Jimmy Bower is a founding member of several of the most important metal bands over the past three decades, including EYEHATEGOD, DOWN and SUPERJOINT RITUAL – now just SUPERJOINT due to legal reasons. This year on November 11th the latter act will finally release their highly anticipated third full length album entitled “Caught Up in the Gears of Application” via Housecore Records, which is owned and operated by none other than the group’s legendary lead vocalist, and Bower’s fellow DOWN cohort, Philip H. Anselmo (Ex-PANTERA). The heavy punk sound that was heard on the first two albums is very evident on the debut single, “Sociopathic Herd Dillusion”, that was recently released.
THE METAL DEN’s Randy “Rocket” Cody has conducted a phone interview with guitarist and drummer Jimmy Bower for his loyal Den Headz around the globe.
ROCKET: How’s life been treating you?
JIMMY: I’m doing good.
ROCKET: I’m just going to ask a few basic questions on your background before we start chatting in depth about your bands and whatnot, okay?
ROCKET: You were born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana, correct?
ROCKET: Were there any other members of your family besides yourself who played music professionally?
JIMMY: No, that’s the weird thing. Nobody in my family really plays music. They were just fans of music. But my mom’s side of the family was from Lake Charles and my dad’s side was from Lafayette.
ROCKET: Do you recall your first rock concert?
JIMMY: Yeah, the Rolling Stones. Tattoo You tour. You know… that was the first big concert.
ROCKET: What instrument did you pick up first?
JIMMY: Drums. I was in a band in third grade at school… and I played drums. Third thru like sixth grade. Then I kinda gave it up. I got a drum kit for like my twelfth birthday… and then I never looked back, man. I grew up next to… when I was growing up this guy next door was a big punk rocker. He turned me on to a bunch of cool music. I don’t if you remember the band THE RED ROCKERS… he used to work for them. This was like in the late seventies. He was a crazy motherfucker.
ROCKET: Do you recall how you and Mike Williams met up for the first time and decided to start jamming together?
JIMMY: I met Mike at early shows and stuff and even back then he was in a band called SUFFOCATION BY FILTH and he would just pace back and forth and yell “Y’all are fucking stupid!” The first time I saw him live I thought he was a great front man. And he had a cool voice… and we became really good friends. And kinda just went from there.
ROCKET: Now your band EYEHATEGOD has an upcoming tour with DISCHARGE and TOXIC HOLOCAUST set to launch on Oct. 6th, and you will be taking out LAMB OF GOD vocalist Randy Blythe to fill in for Mike who is under the weather.
JIMMY: Yeah, Randy is helping us out.
ROCKET: I know you just did a couple gigs with Phil Anselmo filling in, is that hard to pull off after being so used to playing live normally with Mike and doing those songs with someone else?
JIMMY: It’s definitely difficult but you’re talking about Phil Anselmo and Randy Blythe. Both are really seasoned singers and know what they’re doing. Both are close personal friends of Mike’s.
ROCKET: I wanted to ask you…. how did the term “Sludge” first become associated with EHG? And do you agree that is how it should be defined?
JIMMY: When we first started out and doing interviews with people they asked what we felt we sounded like, and I said if you fill a pool with peanut butter, you know, and are trudging through, and so somewhere somebody came up with the word ‘Sludge’. We fucking hate it. Personally, I think it’s pretty stupid. But then again, I guess…it’s a word people associate with our sound. We just consider ourselves a heavy blues band… you know if anything. To me Sludge is just as stupid as Grind or Death or Thrash… it’s like unintelligent adjectives, you know.. but that’s me being picky, man. I can be anal so.
ROCKET: Who in the band came up with the name EYEHATEGOD?
JIMMY: The first singer. A guy named Chris Hilliard.
ROCKET: Okay, shifting gears. Let’s talk about the new SUPERJOINT album titled ‘Caught Up in the Gears of Application’. Y’all are still working on that currently or is it in the can?
JIMMY: It’s in the can. It comes out November 11th. On Housecore. We are really happy with the way it came out. It’s been fucking eleven years.
ROCKET: Yeah, the last time I saw you guys in concert was in 2003. Anaheim, California you played a short show. Phil threw the mic down after six tunes and said “Write your own fucking songs!”. (Laughs)
ROCKET: The next night – at the now closed House of Blues Sunset, I’m standing next to this big African American bouncer near the side of the stage. And he didn’t know who you guys were. I said I was at the show last night — and being they cut the show short.. a riot might break out if they do it again, so be ready! I could feel a crazy ass vibe in the room… so I looked at my homey and… man the whole thing of it is you guys blew me the fuck away! You blew this guy away. You played like 11 or 12 songs or whatever. I walk up to the black bouncer after the gig and asked him “So what did you think?” And he said “They were bad ass.”
JIMMY: Oh, cool, man… That’s a cool story.
ROCKET: I been a fan since day one.
JIMMY: Very cool, brother.
ROCKET: You guys plan on doing a world tour or just hitting the US?
JIMMY: I know there was talk of going to Australia and doing some stuff with King Parrot. I think around January we will be starting the US tour.
ROCKET: Okay, I need to ask you about DOWN, brother, and what’s the status there? Are you working on another EP to release anytime soon? I know Pepper is back with COC for the time being.
JIMMY: Down is one of those bands, you know, everyone’s in bands… so we’re taking a little break. And hopefully we will get back on it soon.
ROCKET: And you are also preparing to release a solo record, is that correct? I read about that someplace online I forget where. When is that going to be released? If I understand right it is a country album, is that true?
JIMMY: Yeah, I am hoping to get that out here soon. It’s just something I have always wanted to do.
ROCKET: Do you have any special guests?
JIMMY: No. I am gonna try and do as much of it as I can. Some of it will have a country feel. I can’t play fiddle… but uh… I definitely might get some people to play on it.
ROCKET: What artists do you enjoy listening to in your time away from touring and the studio?
JIMMY: I listen to old Outlaw country. To me that is just an extension of the blues.
ROCKET: Were you always into that kind of music? Or did you get more into it as an adult?
JIMMY: No, it’s my first love. My dad was into Outlaw country. So it just really rubbed off on me. To me, it’s a real type of music. I really dig it a lot.
ROCKET: Thanks for rocking this out with me. Best of luck with your music. Any last words for the fans?
JIMMY: Check that Superjoint record out. We spent a lot of time on it. And tried to just pick up where we left off. We think we did a good job on it!