New Orleans' infamous sludge metal head bangers Eyehategod were in LA on Jan. 12th, to play a show with Cattle Decapitation, at Los Globos nightclub in Silverlake. Soon after, the band had plans to embark on a tour of Australia; Jan. 16th thru Jan. 20th. But things didn't quite pan out that way. The tour was called off last minute. "It was poor planning on the promoter's side," vocalist Mike IX Williams told the Weekly.
"What happened was, when we showed up at the airport and when there was literally less than one hour left before our flight took off, we found out there were only two tickets , when we have a crew of people," Williams says. "So we get the promoter on the phone and this guy tells us to just pay for the rest of the tickets out of our pocket, and that would have been at least 10 grand. There was no way we were going to buy our own tickets. It's just the most absurd unprofessional bullshit I've ever heard of."
Williams said he regrets missing the tour, especially for fans in Australia. "We apologize for all of our fans over there but it was out of our hands there was nothing we could have done about it," he says.
But the subsequent misfortune was actually a good luck charm in disguise for Eyehategod. "This all worked out for the best, for all of us, we made more money this way too," Williams says. "Of course, we also had a blast playing all these shows, meeting the fans, it was all so much good times, and all great shows here in Southern California."
The band, which also features guitarists Jimmy Bower, and Brian Patton, bass player Gary Mader and drummer Aaron Hill, played just over a week's worth of shows, sometimes with more than one show per day all throughout Southern California, from Ventura to San Diego, including two stops at the Observatory in Santa Ana on Jan. 18th, A day show in East LA on Jan. 19th, and two evening shows in downtown LA on Jan. 19th and 20th.
Williams said that this is the most shows the band has ever played on one tour in this part of California. We've played two shows in the area, LA and Hollywood, at the most over the years, maybe twice," Williams says. "We also have played in San Diego, and Corona in the past, but never all at once like this, and it was a great time, we all loved the fans and hospitality the shows were all so much fun."
In the middle of this string of shows in the area, Williams, understandably, like the rest of the band is still going through a period of grief. In Aug. of 2013, original drummer Joey LaCaze passed away in New Orleans. Though the band has gotten some critics to scoff at their decision to continue on and tour, they could care less what people think. Williams said that music, and playing live definitely helps him deal with grief, and help mourn. Of course playing music helps, but everyone's got their own way," he says. " I can't speak for everyone else in the band. But for me music helps. You gotta move forward. If you sit around doing nothing it gets to you. As heavy as a band as we are, we're all humans, and must move forward. Playing live helps me."
In terms of the set list, Williams said the members usually just improvise. "When we play shows, we just look at each other and ask. We say out loud what song we want to play. No one wants to write it down. It just seems more comfortable,"Williams says. " Sometimes there's a lot of bullshitting around on stage but it's never that bad. We're just having fun you know."
Williams says that Eyehategod is happy to be on tour, and is about to play a state (only one of two), which has legalized recreational pot use. "We're playing in Denver in three days but we played last year when it was still just legal for medical reasons," Williams says. "The other day in LA, some of the guys in the band actually got temporary out of state medical, they thought it was pretty cool. In my eyes, I don't see anything wrong with it should all be legal."
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As an established author, poet and former music journalist and editor, Williams said he has projects in the works. "I've got two more poetry books written-- it's just a challenge, just putting them together trying to get someone to publish them," he says. "And we've all talked about doing an Eyehategod book; it would have some tour stories, and mostly photos and stuff-it would be a cool history of the band. This is a project still in the works we're still taking to people about it, if it happens it will be down the road.
The band's tour of the West Coast is about to end, according to Williams, but Eyehategod is going to have a busy year. "We want to thank all of the fans that have stood by us all these years, and all our new fans as well," Williams says. "We've got stuff planned for the rest of the year, we have more shows booked in April. We might to Japan hopefully Europe but we want to put our new album out and then go from there."