I recently had the privilege of doing an interview with Chris, vocalist from The Famine. Enjoy the interview, and I hope you learn something new!
ChrisTheFamine: Long overdue. Here you go.
MattIVM: Let’s start off by stating your name(s) and role(s) in The Famine.
ChrisTheFamine: This is Chris McCaddon and I am the vocalist. Mark Garza is the drummer, Andrew Godwin is the guitarist, and Nick Nowell is the bassist.
MattIVM: So, what’s been happening with you guys between the collapse of Embodyment and the formation of The Famine? Were you guys involved in music at all, or did you have other jobs?
ChrisTheFamine: We all went our separate ways and decided to do other things. I moved around a bit with my wife, living on the Los Angeles and Seattle for a while, now we live in New York. While in Seattle I was in Demon Hunter for a few years. We all still have careers and jobs. Unless the band can support us and our families, I don’t see that changing.
MattIVM: Along with the release of your new album, inevitably, will come comparisons to Embodyment. While The Famine plays enterely different music, there naturally isn’t a way to avoid it. Is this something you’re dreading and will try to avoid, or do you welcome those comparisons?
ChrisTheFamine: I can’t really say I care either way. It’s going to happen regardless of us what we say.
MattIVM: Having previously been on Solidstate Records, what are the major differences between then and now? Are there many familiar faces and old friends around? Does the label still operate the way you remember it?
ChrisTheFamine: The major difference is now they have more money! They can give bands the budgets they wanted in beginning but couldn’t. The label is still run by people that love music, buy albums, and care about their artists. It’s a tight family.
MattIVM: What was it like working with Andreas Magnusson on “The Raven and The Reaping?” Was he easy to work with, and what would you say he added to the over all record? Did any members of the band have any experience with him prior to this record?
ChrisTheFamine: None of us had worked with Andreas before. When it came time to start looking for a studio and producer his name came up. He was one of the first ones we contacted and he immediately was excited about the record. What we loved about working with him is his attention to detail. He loses sleep at night, like the rest of the band, if the guitar tone isn’t blowing his hair back, or if he should see if this or that mic would be better. He was awesome.
MattIVM: As it says in your bio on the Solidstate website, your songs are have a more structured feel to them than anything you’ve done before. Is that something that came naturally, or did you have to work at it?
ChrisTheFamine: It definitely came naturally. I mean, we didn’t want an album full of riffs but wanted to write songs. In our early days of playing together we often got accused of having an album’s worth of riffs in one song, I think we just got bored easily.
MattIVM: The Raven and the Reaping. I’m sorry for the cliche interview question, but how did that title come about? Personally, even if it doesn’t have meaning, I like it alot. Also, even more specific, what is the meaning of the song “Stitched In Plastic?” I have a personal interest in that, but I couldn’t find lyrics or meanings when I searched for them.
ChrisTheFamine: The album title came after the album was recorded and mixed. We had no idea what to call it and a metal album certainly can’t be self-titled! After just going over the lyrics we came up with the title. It does represent the duality represented on the album, the raven being inherited sin, bad judgement, substance abuse, corruption and the reaping being the act of turning a new leaf and overcoming those things. Stitched In Plastic is basically about those who are elected and given power and forget those that put them in that position.
MattIVM: Would you say the record has an overall lyrical theme? If so, do you work to make it that way on purpose, or does it just happen. Is it easy for you to find inspiration for the lyrics to a song?
ChrisTheFamine: Not really. We all contributed to the lyrics so there wasn’t a single source but they all do somewhat tie in together. Personally I think finding inspiration to a song is extremely hard, its about the inspiration finding you. I can’t just sit down and say “this is what this song is going to be about.”
MattIVM: Well. We’re at the point where I ask you the question that every Solid State/Tooth & Nail band gets asked sooner or later. Is The Famine a “Christian band,” or Christians in a band? Do you purposely incorporate your faith into your songs, or is it something that comes naturally from a Christian mindset?
ChrisTheFamine: You can call us whatever you want. We are a metal band and wouldn’t label ourselves anything but and honestly don’t care what people label us. Our faith isn’t forced into our music, nor is it an obligation. It is embedded in the fabric and is who we are.
MattIVM: Why do you play music? Is there a specific feeling that you get when a certain thing happens that brings you to realize that music is what you’re supposed to be doing? Something involved in the music-making process that brings satisfaction which nothing else can bring?
ChrisTheFamine: I play music simply because I enjoy doing it. I can say that’s true for all of us, especially metal. It’s such a raw, emotionally charged form of music. Fans go to shows to air their frustration, to leave their job behind for that moment — there is nothing else like it.
MattIVM: Are there any venues that you remember specifically from the Embodyment days that you are excited to be able to play at during the Storm The Gates of Hell Tour? If so, which ones? Are there any you haven’t played that you’re particularly excited for?
ChrisTheFamine: I’ll be honest, I don’t think we played any of these venues!
MattIVM: What do you guys do when you’re not playing music? Video games? Football? Any hobbies or pastimes that you spend a lot of time on?
ChrisTheFamine: Mostly working and spending time with our families. I do enjoy videos games and maybe spend a bit too much time playing them.
MattIVM: What, within the musical realm, are you most stoked for for 2008, be it a certain tour, or album or what not?
ChrisTheFamine: Mastodon’s new album.
MattIVM: What is your favorite album of 2008 thus far?
ChrisTheFamine: That’s tough. I’m really enjoying the new Trenches stuff which I’m not supposed to have, Hate Eternal “Fury and Flames”, Origin “Antithesis”, Radiohead “In Rainbows”, The Mars Volta “The Bedlam in Goliath”, Nine Inch Nails “Ghosts I-IV”, they’re all up there.
MattIVM: Does The Famine need prayer in any particular areas from the readers/writers of IVM and I?
ChrisTheFamine: You can pray for our safety, the safety of every band on the road, and the loved ones left behind.
MattIVM: Last words/final comments?
ChrisTheFamine: Sorry it has taken me so long to reply to your questions!
There ya go folks. I hope you liked it, and don’t forget, The Famine’s album The Raven And The Reaping releases on May 27th.
Interview Done By Matt B