Job For A Cowboy

author AP date 17/02/10

Job For A Cowboy have been building quite a name for themselves over the last couple of years through their mass-appeal death metal and relentless touring. We caught the band for an e-mail interview in 2007 to hear their thoughts on the new album and the band's status as a MySpace sensation, but felt that with the recent release of their new album "Ruination", there were more thoughts to be shared and words to be spoken, so we caught the band for a face-to-face interview on the London date of their ongoing tour in support of Lamb of God. As we boarded the band's tour bus, it was evident that the band's bassist, Brent Riggs had been smoking up, which of course boded for some interesting, intellectual responses to our inquiries. Read on to find out more...

RF.net: So can you start off by introducing yourself and your role in the band?
Brent: I'm Brent Riggs, I play bass in Job For A Cowboy.

RF.net: How's the tour been going so far?

Brent: The tour's been pretty awesome. It's only the fifth day, every single show almost sold out or sold out, and we've had a great reaction. All the bands have been doing really well. Good vibes.

RF.net: Since 2007, things seem to really have picked up for you guys - from an underground sensation to thousand-strong crowds and sold out shows across the world. Did you ever anticipate this kind of success?
Brent: When we first started, no. We didn't really anticipate anything. We were literally just trying to write music that we liked to play and if the kids liked it, that was awesome, if they didn't... you know? We're just grateful to be getting such awesome tours, and we're still slightly heading in the direction of up.

RF.net: Tell us a little bit about growing up in Glendale and what inspired you to form Job For A Cowboy.
Brent: Well, growing up in Glendale, Arizona... It's really hot and dry, everybody's boring, and there are way too many Christians everywhere. Nobody knows what the fuck they're doing with their lives. A lot of drugs in Arizona right now. I'm trying to think where I should take this...

RF.net: You mentioned the Christian background - is that something that pushed you in the other direction?

Brent: In high school, being atheists, and all being into music, you know, we started jamming in local bands. Us being atheists and being raised in a Christian community kind of fueled our emotion to create such hateful music - or not hateful, but grim music.

RF.net: The band name, as far as I understand, was kind of an accident, right?

Brent: It wasn't an accident, it was just a really childish band name that they came up with when they were 15, before I joined the band. That's the story: they were 15 and they were stupid.

RF.net: When you put out "Doom" EP, you were still young teenagers, and you're still one of the youngest death metal bands around. What benefits and disadvantages has your age brought?
Brent: We started recording albums when we were 16. We were 18 and 19 when we recorded "Genesis", and 21 and 22 when we recorded "Ruination". I honestly believe that we are still growing as people, our minds are expanding and we're still growing up and maturing. I hit puberty after "Doom", and I can't do high screams anymore. Jonny can still pig squeal but that whole girl scream on "Entombment of a Machine" - that was me, and I literally can't do that anymore because I hit puberty. So yeah, we're still growing up, and our next album is gonna be that much more mature and hopefully... tasty.

RF.net: You have a large number of extremely vocal detractors, as well as a large following of extremely diehard fans. One could say you either love Job For A Cowboy, or you hate them. What do you think has caused this divide?
Brent: That divide has been caused by really shitty kids liking our music, and then really cool kids saying "those kids suck, I fucking hate that band." That's honestly how I perceive that situation.

RF.net: Consequently Job For A Cowboy's music tends to be categorised as deathcore. How do you feel about that tag, deathcore?
Brent: Well, I believe that our first album can fall into that category of deathcore. But obviously since breakdowns form the core part of deathcore, our last two albums were not deathcore and we are kind of just doing our own thing now. If you want to keep calling us deathcore, then that's your mistake, you know?

RF.net: How do you feel about being associated with the scene?

Brent: You know what? They're just immature kids who like our music. So if they're buying our albums and coming to our shows, we can't really be mad at them.

RF.net: Let's make it interesting and find out what bands you would compare Job For A Cowboy to.

Brent: You know, we're kind of part of this movement of bands. Bands in our genre are like The Black Dahlia Murder and... I have to be careful which bands I pick. We're definitely not too much like Lamb of God, and I hate being compared to Despised Icon and other deathcore bands like that. The Red Chord?

RF.net: Do you feel that MySpace has been an important factor in your success?
Brent: Yes, it has been, and this is fact. That's how our whole buzz started. When we recorded "Doom", we put it on our MySpace page and got all these fans and friends out of nowhere - thanks to MySpace.

RF.net: You released a new album last summer, "Ruination". How do you feel it sits next to the other two records?
Brent: In relationship to our album catalog starting from "Doom" and ending, say, ten ears from now, "Ruination" sits exactly where we need it to be. Our next album is going be a lot different, and "Ruination" is a good transition from "Genesis" to whatever we're going to do next.

RF.net: Do you have any idea what direction you will be taking your sound on the next album?

Brent: Like I said, it's only going to be more mature. There's going to be newer vibes to it. I don't know if it's going to be all technical, or if it's going to be more chilled out and lazy. I think it's going to be drug influenced, that's all I'm going to say. I ate mushrooms for the first time recently, and it opened my brain.

RF.net: At least in my opinion "Ruination" is more straightforward death metal than the previous albums. When you were writing the album, were you intending to appeal to a wider audience and hopefully shed that deathcore tag forever?
Brent: While we were writing the album, we made a conscious decision to make sure that all the songs on the album sounded different from each other. That's pretty much what we had in mind as we were recording it. Everything needed to sound different, you know? Everything needed to sound like nothing else. And then we just wrote our riffs. That's really how it went down.

RF.net: On this new album you introduced two new members, Al Glassman and Jon Rice, to replace Ravi Bhadriraju and Elliot Sellers on guitar and drums respectively. What did these two new members bring into the recording process?
Brent: Al brought the majority of the riffs, and Charn brought... vibes, you know? For me as a bassist, working with Charn in comparison to our last drummer, he's got a lot more feel and a lot more groove - more mature of a drummer. So our next album is going to be even more mature. We're growing up.

RF.net: You mentioned that you didn't want to be associated with Despised Icon, but I guess that's inevitably going to happen when you bring in their guitarist...

Brent: Yeah, we didn't think about that when we picked him... (laughing).

RF.net: As far as I understand, Ravi went to medical school, right? So his departure didn't have anything to do with his being drunk on stage in Munich episode?
Brent: What happened with that was that he's Indian, and his parents wanted him to do something real with his life eventually. Even if he was just playing in a band right now, he knew he was going to have to go to college eventually. And to be a doctor it's like ten to fourteen years or some shit, at college. He realized that the sooner he starts college the sooner he's going to become a doctor, and basically he had enough of the touring life.

RF.net: Can you tell us about that Munich incident just for shits and giggles?

Brent: What happened was we were at the Hofbrau Haus, a giant famous beergarden in Munich. A group of us went over there in the afternoon and they serve liters of beer. I had two and Ravi had two and apparently - we were on tour with Unearth at the time - all the Unearth dudes wanted to go back right before we went on stage and Ravi got dragged along with them, fucking idiot, and had three more liters of beer right before he went on stage. And five liters of beer... It wasn't good. He started soloing, for like two songs straight he was playing random notes and our monitor guy was yelling at him through the monitors like, "stop playing, you're making a fool out of yourself, stop!" And Buz from Unearth went on stage and turned his amp off and then somebody grabbed him.

RF.net: And the show ended?

Brent: No, it didn't end. We played with one guitar, and halfway through our set with one guitar and bass, my wireless stack died on my bass, so it was just one guitar and drums for another two or so songs. It was not good.

RF.net: But something to tell your grandchildren, right?

Brent: Exactly.

RF.net: Death metal bands often write about horror, gore and anti-religion - what inspired you to write about politics and society and stuff like that?
Brent: Our singer takes care of all that shit, I'm not really in the whole lyrics process. But, we kind of did the anti-religion thing on "Genesis" and he felt like he put out what he wanted to and thought on that subject. Politics just came naturally because the election was happening while we were writing and it was all over the news and kind of fueled his fire to write lyrics like that. He wanted to put out his own thoughts on that stuff.

RF.net: His great grandfather was actually the president of the Dominican Republic, right?

Brent: Yeah, that's true!

RF.net: Right, so before we wrap this up, can you tell us what's in store for Job For A Cowboy in the future?
Brent: I guess that hopefully some epic albums that are more mature and musical, and drug fueled. Organic drugs - weed and mushrooms.

RF.net: Do you have any last comments for our readers, fans?
Brent: Smoke weed... (chuckling)

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