Currently you are on tour with We Came As Romans. How has the tour gone so far?
The tour has been excellent. We are on day ten right now and it has been killer. We have been having an awesome time and the shows have been out of control. We started out in Cincinnati and went down to Florida where the shows were just insane. We went over to Texas and met up with a bunch of bands that we have toured with before and did some festivals. We went and did SXSW. We played with Asking Alexandria and Trivium and a bunch of bands we have played with before. Texas ruled and now we are here in California, so it’s awesome. Yesterday we were in San Diego and it was great. We had an amazing time. Tonight we are very stoked to play the Grove and I hope that the crowd can keep up.
So the crowds have been good then.
They have been excellent; yeah the crowds have been amazing on this tour. They are super stoked and energetic. It’s been very welcoming, so it’s nice to come out and do that.
I read that you guys have toured in twenty countries. Is there anywhere you haven’t been that you’d like to go?
I’d really like to go to Japan, we have never been. We actually had a toured lined up to go there at one point, but it fell through. That is definitely one of my main destination hotspots. We have been to Russia, all over Eastern Europe, Europe and we have been to Australia twice. We went over to Australia for the first time with MachineHead, Hatebreed and Bleeding Through, which was a killer tour to be a part of. We just went back last summer and headlined.
Where do you enjoy going to the most? Where do you get the biggest reaction from fans?
You are asking us to choose favorites right now? I love everywhere, but the west coast is always amazing to us. California has always treated us like we are at home. Of course, New York City and our band having the background coming from there, every time we play there it is absolutely nuts. The same goes for California and Texas. It would be unfair for me to choose one spot because we have so many amazing fans everywhere. We can be playing a show in Boise, Idaho and it could be completely off the chain, so it all just depends on the day, how the crowd is feeling and how we are feeling.
Yeah, but overseas they love metal.
Fuck yeah! It is insane. European fans are crazy! Being a heavy metal fan feels like a full time job to a lot of people over there. Even though they might have full time jobs, there are people that are just like “Metal! I’m obsessed with metal!” It’s awesome, I love to go over there. We are going over there to do the European festivals this summer. A lot of Americans probably never heard of some of these festivals, but over there they are fucking enormous. It’s our first time doing that after doing six runs of club tours, so we are very amped for that. It is going to be awesome.
You guys are getting ready to release your fifth full-length album, Slave To The Game on April 10th. Are you showcasing new songs on this run?
Mark: Yeah we are going to play one song "Protoman" off the new album and shortly we will probably be playing the second one.
Mike: We are just playing the one song “Protoman” and we just shot a video for it, which should be out anytime. We are promoting this new record and it actually comes out on the last week, so this whole time we will play new songs for the fans and give everyone a small taste and hopefully people will go to the record stores on April 10th and not straight to the Pirate Bay or wherever it is that you go download music. We do appreciate it.
You worked with Joey Sturgis once again on this new record. What have you learned from working with him?
Okay, Joey Sturgis is a wizard. He works so fast that it is hard for me to keep up with what he is doing. I’ve learned a lot. He has an incredible mind for music. He is just like a guru, he knows everything. It goes incredibly smooth. The dude knows what he is doing.
Did you do anything different this time around? Did you experiment with instruments or sounds?
Mike: I did a lot of fun stuff with creating samples and things like that. You’ll hear like weird noises throughout. Joey does a lot of that as well, but in the demo stages I started messing around with synthesizers and things like that. I got some neat ideas and effects going on that were integrated into it and you will hear. Overall things went smooth. We had done Speaker of the Dead with him before, so we were familiar with the recording process and how things were going to work. We made sure that we went in with our shit completely together and we had demos and everything ready. We had two weeks to learn everything. Basically when Jesse and I write riffs (all of us write riffs) we use drum programming software, so we can basically create ideas for drums and no matter how outlandish they are, Mark has to learn them. We are guitar players and we are trying to make the guitar riffs sound cool, we don’t really know what we are doing with drums. Mark took them and made them sound spectacular.
Mark: It is the equivalent to Animal from the Muppets. That is basically what a guitarist does when he programs drums. There are arms flailing everywhere and the drummer has to piece it together.
Do you ever do anything on purpose just to see if he can play it?
Mike: YES! He does it though. There was one insanely challenging fill that I worked on and I was like “There is no fucking way it is not going to happen.” Then I got a video because I came in later, I wasn’t there for the drum tracking, but I was getting videos sent to me saying “Here’s the fill!” I was just like “That’s insane, I’m stoked!”
Did you have any guest spots?
Mike: We had one song with Tom Green from Sleeping Giant. He actually came in and did a track. He helped us out with some guest vocals. It’s interesting, it’s not really a song per say, but I think the Emmure fans will be stoked with what we came up with.
Do you find that each album is a learning experience?
Mike: Absolutely, everything is a learning experience no matter what you are doing. I think it is definitely the case with writing and recording records because you learn what works, what doesn’t and how much work goes into pre-production, which is a huge thing. We realized that the more we get together in the early stages and get our work done, it’s like doing homework for a test. If you show up to the studio with nothing then you are going to have some parts that obviously sound contrived and that sucks. We come in trying to do the most we can, so for us it is really important to get the work done beforehand. Now that we know exactly how to do it and how Joey expects his tracks, it works out really smoothly and it is great.
Mark, how did it come to be that you joined the band?
Mark: Well, I was in this band called Crossfade, we were on some off time and I was working in a cranberry field.
Mike: I didn't even know you did that. Is it true?
Mark: Yeah, I was in a dump truck at the time and my friend Bubble called me from Europe and I missed the call, so he text me that Emmure was looking for a drummer.
Mike: Bubble is from Devildriver?
Mark: Yeah and I gave them a call to see what they had to offer. Things looked good and I like the idea of being home again and being close to family and friends. I decided to leave Crossfade and join Emmure. It was that easy and that quick.
Mike: Hell yeah, it has been great!
Thank you so much for the interview.
Mike: Of course, thanks for being cool. Thank you so much. I had a great time.
Was there anything you’d like to add or say?
Mike: Pick up Slave to the Game on April 10th! We worked really hard on it and we are really proud of it. I think all the Emmure fans are going to be really stoked on it, so please buy it! Buy a shirt too!
Emmure Tour Dates:
w/ We Came As Romans & more
03/27/2012 - Portland, OR @ Hawthorne Theater
03/28/2012 - Seattle, WA, @ EL CORAZON
03/30/2012 - Salt Lake City, UT @ SALTAIR PAVILLION
03/31/2012 - Denver, CO @ The Summit Music Hall
04/01/2012 - Lawrence, KS @ Granada Theater
04/02/2012 - Minneapolis, MN @ Cabooze
04/03/2012 - Joliet, IL @ Mojoes
04/04/2012 - Grand Rapids, MI @ The Orbit Room
04/05/2012 - Toronto, ON @ Opera House
04/06/2012 - Montreal, QC, CA @ LA TULIPE
04/07/2012 - Worcester, MA @ Palladium
04/09/2012 - Portland, ME @ Port City Music Hall
04/10/2012 - Clifton Park, NY @ Northern Lights
04/11/2012 - Philadelphia, PA @ THEATRE OF LIVING ARTS
04/12/2012 - Baltimore, MD @ Rams Head Live
04/13/2012 - Pittsburgh, PA @ Club Zoo
04/14/2012 - Toledo, OH @ Headliners
05/19/2012 Asbury Park, NJ @ ASBURY PARK CONV. CENTER, BAMBOOZLE