Josh Childers of The Showdown
Interviewed by BMer
This is the fourth album from The Showdown, and each album has a pretty unique sound. Tell us about the progression from Chorus of Obliteration to Blood in the Gears.
Our first couple of records were a reaction against what we were seeing in music that bothered us. Chorus was a reaction against bands with no chops playing breakdowns and calling themselves metal. On Temptation we were kind of rebelling against everything we were seeing in the metalcore and hardcore scene in general. It seemed like a lot of talk about brotherhood and a place to belong, but just delivered the same petty personal politics as everywhere else. Backbreaker we had been listening to a lot of thrash and Pantera, tried to combine some of the songwriting of Temptation with the energy and dynamic of thrash. Blood in the Gears is essentially the same thing but bigger. More melody, more dynamic, more groove, more speed. This is the record we have wanted to make all along.
Metal seems to be getting more and more popular, and the fans seem to be getting younger. When you reference influences like Pantera or Iron Maiden musically, do you find that some of your fans have never listened to the “older” influences? Think southern metal will continue to be popular with this new generation of kids?
I hope we’re carrying the torch forward, I’m all for progress but the classics are classics for a reason.
The new record Blood in the Gears is themed around the comparison of America to the fall of Rome. Can you break that down a little more for us?
It’s more about the consequences of empire in general. Basically i think the state exists to further its own existence. We may not be able to pull off the same expansionist wars as England or Spain were back in the day, but we’re still making our money on the backs of the people of the Third World. Their poverty is in more cases than not directly due to our foreign policy. Predatory loans, trade embargoes, political pressure…these are the modern methods of conquest. But every empire falls, centralized power eats more resources than it provides so on a long enough timeline it always happens. How long do we have?
The writing process for this record was a little different than the albums before where Josh Childers wrote most of the music, on this record Jeremiah and Patrick wrote the music. How was the change, what things worked and what didn’t?
It was a new experience, but we’ve all been friends forever and there wasn’t much in the way of conflict. I imagine we’ll be splitting the writing duties pretty evenly from here on out.
Any plans for a full-time drummer soon?
We’re playing with a guy named Isaac Harris from Kingsport, TN. He’s killing it.
According to the studio updates on youtube, David was taking steroids while recording his vocal parts, what’s up with that?
Haha, he had been sick so he was getting some cortisone shots to heal his voice up so he could track.
Will we ever get another album that sounds like Temptation Come My Way?
We love that record but that’s not where our heads are at anymore. Gotta keep moving.
Who were some of the guests that played or recorded vocals on this record?
Our buddy Cody Richardson who toured with us for awhile does a spot on Wolventhrone, and our buddy Chris Bazor from Jeremiahs other band Destroy Destroy Destroy did a verse on The Graveyard of Empires. Tried to keep it in the family this time.
How do you guys stay entertained while on the road?
The cool thing about touring is you really have no idea what’s gonna happen that day. Feels good to be free. That said, if i get bored i generally read or watch Sopranos.
What can fans do to help encourage you guys while you’re on the road (besides buying merch and coming to the shows)? Do you guys have favorites snacks or whatever that fans could bring you when you hit their town?
Energy drinks and coffee!
Can you talk a little about the song “Digging My Own Grave”? What’s the theme there, how did that song come about?
It’s just about living with your decisions. We chose to be poor and live in a rolling fartbox with 4 or 5 other dudes because it’s worth it to be free and play music. So we make the most of the benefits and live with the consequences. It’s been a long road but it’s been worth every minute.
What songs from Blood in the Gears are you going to add to your live set?
Right now we’re jamming The Man Named Hell and Heavy Lies the Crown. I expect we’ll add Bring it Down at some point. After that we’ll see.
Lastly, what are the touring plans going forward? What can we expect from The Showdown live?
We’re doing a cd release run starting the end of this month, several other possibilities throughout the year but none we can announce. Keep an eye on our Facebook and Myspace for updates, we’ve got some pretty cool things planned.