Chris Martin fires the Q's to Goatwhore's James Harvey...

The new album, Blood For the Master, is being released on Valentine’s Day. Was this intentional or sheer coincidence? Personally, I can think of no better Valentine’s gift than a new Goatwhore album.

Actually it is pretty much a unique coincidence.  Metal Blade has a release schedule and it just worked out like that, pretty cool though.

Was there any particular driving force behind the writing of the album?

None other then just getting together and doing it…

Coming up in the NOLA scene, what are your recollections of the band’s beginning? How did it happen?

Sammy got the band together way back when; At that point it was a totally different line up. Ben joined soon after and things started to get going at that point.  This was around 1998 I believe.  

I will freely admit that I am a tremendous fan of the band, but the band’s name caught my eye first. Who and how did you come up with it?

Sammy came up with it a long time ago.  There are mixed stories as to where it actually came from…but yes it is an eye catching name.  To me being a fan of the band years ago before I joined, I never thought twice about it – I knew the guys from before and just being in the New Orleans/southeast music scene…I’d been hearing the name for the last 10 years.

Being a fan, and seeing you live several times over the years there’s a strong connection between the band and the fans. What is it about Goatwhore that connects so powerfully to their audience?

We are a 'live' band...we prefer to play live and up close with the audience. In the ideal situation, we feed off a crowds' intensity, and visa versa.

I’m not a follower of the extreme metal scene as much as others might be. I’m a rabid fan of a handful of bands, but not so much all of them (I know a few others that fall into this category.) What is the appeal of Goatwhore? Is there something structurally different about your sound that sets you

We don't really fit 100% into any category...these days there is so much bullshit 'genre splitting' and other subdivisions of exactly what type of metal you play, etc.  We have varied elements and I think that keeps things interesting and our sound sets us apart from alot of other bands.

What drew you to this style of music? What are some of the influences you had musically growing up?

I’ve always been a fan of heavy metal, when I was younger I got heavily into death metal, then started listening to a lot of black metal…nowadays I listen to some black metal and a lot of classic stuff, a lot of Priest, etc.  

Your lyrics paint a dark image. Do they hold personal meaning for the band or are the simply telling stories of darkness and brutality?

I guess you could say they tell stories of darkness and brutality that have personal meaning for us! Some things are references to real life thoughts and issues that we have.  

How do you prepare for writing a new album?

We just jam and work on material in the rehearsal room really...sometimes if it is a productive session we'll go out and have a drink...also if it is unproductive...ha ha
Are there any bands currently out there that more people should hear? I spread the word around for Goatwhore as much as possible.

I don't really tend to keep up with much new music, but I can tell you there are many awesome bands we have toured with including Exhumed (new record is badass), Havok (had never heard of them before touring with them, they are killer thrash), Black Anvil is really cool as well.

You guys have some of the best t-shirts available. Who designs them?

Ben does the Tshirt designs and layouts. He uses a mixture of artwork, and we have a few artists who do things for us.  The new album cover art was done by Jordan Barlow in New Orleans and we will use some of that for new Tshirt designs.

Once the album is out, what’s on the agenda for the band?

Touring...we'll be on the road when the album is released, then for another month.  After that there are plans for Europe, Australia, and more US touring in the works.

What’s the craziest thing that’s happened on the road? I know this is a stereotypical kind of question, but I’ve always found it to be interesting to hear.

Depends on what sort of 'crazy' you mean.  If you can imagine it it has probably happened.  

Name a band you guys would love to tour with, either opening for them or having them open for you.

Slayer and Motorhead

Other than line-up changes, Goatwhore has remained fairly consistent musically, though a certain maturity has come from a song writing stand point. Is this a conscience thing or just coming from the fact that Blood. For the Master is your 5th release and a natural maturity tends to happen?

Yes the song writing has evolved, I think at this point everyone has more input and can think constructively when writing.