Eyehategod wsg Ringworm and Enabler
The Pyramid Scheme, Grand Rapids
June 14, 8 p.m.
$18 advanced, $22 day of show
It's no secret that the best metal bands are apt to get rowdy both on and off stage, but in the '90s, New Orleans-based sludge metal outfit Eyehategod put other bands to shame. Notorious for its violent live shows, which often involved broken glass, blood and sweat, the band nearly got kicked out of a studio when vocalist Mike Williams slashed his hand while trying to record the sound of glass breaking. The band proceeded to write messages on the floor with the blood, something the studio manager was not happy with.
“He got there the next morning, the guy running the studio, and called our record label,” Williams said. “He told them that we were insane and they needed to get us out of there as soon as possible.”
While the band members now refrain from smashing bottles onstage, they strive to maintain the same intensity they've had throughout their 26-year career. Williams points to his early interest in punk rock as an inspiration for keeping the band's ferocity intact.
“Metal is a little bit more technical, but punk rock, it's all about the feeling, it's all about the passion, the emotion and the aggression,” Williams said.
Eyehategod's self-titled album, released on May 27, is a testament to the fact its members still have the same intensity from their youthful days and show no sign of slowing down. The record also contains the final recordings of their original drummer, Joey Lacaze, who died last year, causing many fans to question whether Eyehategod would call it quits. The event was devastating, but for Williams and the rest of the band, the next course of action was obvious.
“We didn't sit around and have a meeting or anything like 'Oh, what do y'all want to do?' That didn't happen,” Williams said. “We just automatically knew we were going to keep going.”
With the recent addition of Native new Orleans drummer Aaron Hill, Eyehategod is on the road again, and the band is as focused and persistent as ever.
“We're all in other bands, and we take the other bands seriously when we're in that mode, but I don't know. ... Eyehategod is just something that we love,” Williams said. “It's brought us a lot of misery and it's brought us a lot of happiness at the same time. It's just part of our lives.”