| August 29, 2012 | Comments (1,142)

On Saturday afternoon of Heavy MTL, I had the pleasure of sitting down with Job for a Cowboy’s bass player, Nick Schendzielos.  Nick told me about his other band, Cephalic Carnage, talks about travelling and makes a good few jokes in between.  This interview was one of my favorites, just because Nick has a really good sense of humor that makes him really easy to talk to – just read below to find out why!



Erin: Earlier this year, you released your new album “Demonocracy”.  Do you feel it was well received?

Nick: Yeah, really good, yeah, we’re really, really happy with the response from it, and we’ve been kinda payin’ attention to the album sales and stuff, and as far as that goes, we were even happy with that.  It’s kinda tough to maintain an upward slope in terms of the album sales, and especially if you’re a band like us, who pushes the promotion of the record, whether you pay us for it or not.


Erin: Have you ever considered doing the pay-what-you-can releases?

Nick: That’s a really good idea, and I don’t think we have done that yet, but I really think that I would definitely push the band in that direction, because I really think that like, you’ll end up getting more, you know?  And it’s cool that way, maybe some awesome fans who’ve been around forever and have that money will give like… fifty bucks.  And that will make up for the fans that can only afford to give five.


Erin: Yeah!  For sure, it’s becoming a really popular tool in the music industry right now, especially with the direction that the Internet moves us in.

Nick: Most definitely.  This band has always owed a lot of its success to the internet, the Myspace thing, being able to get that large of a following that fast, you know, that kind of stuff just wasn’t doable in the older days, I think it would be really difficult to do that, so you know, that’s a big plus.  However people find a way to get into us via the internet, that’s cool, you know?  Like I know that I don’t always have the excess cash to be spending on records, it’s not always possible.  But I would definitely be able to do like…three or four bucks for every album I get.  That’s feasible and realistic.  I think a lot of people would be like “three bucks?  I’ll buy your album for three bucks!  It’s a drink, it’s a coke!  That’s fine, it’s cool.


Erin: Well, it’s definitely one of the topics that I’m interested in within my field of study – you’ve already outlined how it’s impacted your album sales, but what about your relationship with your fans?


Nick: You pretty much have like… direct access to them, and it’s not like you can answer every single comment or tweet, but with like Facebook, you have direct access.  Anytime someone sends something – via messenger or wall comments, not everybody sees it, but usually everything gets seen, you know, direct interaction with fans, we’ll ask you know, like we’re goin’ on tour, what songs should we play, or like, what songs do you want to hear from the new record, and then you can get a good sense of that.  Your interactive fans, those are the ones that really give a shit, you know, about your setlists, and you can ask that now.


Erin: Yeah, for sure.  Well I guess, also as a sociologist, I really dig the album title.  Can you tell me a bit more about that?

Nick: I think Johnny got that from a Muse song, or something…!  But it just fit the whole… he is really politically motivated when it comes to his lyrics, so you know, there’s a lot of the record that’s looking at all of that and we needed a one word description to tie the album together, and I think that there were a couple of things that got thrown around, but that was the first thing that he said, and usually when you’re doin’ album stuff, it takes a little bit longer to do that, and it’s a bit of a pain in the ass, and sometimes you gotta delay the release because you can’t think of anything.  And when that one came up, everyone was just like… yeah.  It’s friggin’ awesome.


Erin: Yeah, I’d have to agree.

Nick: You know, like a government run by demons.


Erin: Haha I love it.  How has the tour been going?

Nick: Really cool, this is actually like, only my fourth show of the tour, but the tour has been going for about two and a half weeks.  But my girl was in an accident, so I had to stay back home with her.


Erin: Oh no, is she okay?

Nick: So much better!  So we had Gunface of the Red Chord filling in for us, which was really cool, cause I met up in New York, and he rolled with us until last night, so it’s been great to hang out, he’s such a good kid, so that was really cool.  But what I’ve seen of it, and what they told me has been really cool, pretty much sold out every night, and really killing crowds, all these bands, at least on the Summer Slaughter tour have all toured together before, so it’s a big travelling circus of friends.


Erin: Any highlights?

Nick: Mmmm… I think a couple kids got highlights, Johnny used to have highlights, but we told him that we didn’t think that it was very metal of him, you know what I mean.


Erin: Haaaaahahaha, oh my goodness.  You’re funny.  Of the tour, maybe?

Nick: Oh yeah right!  THOSE kind of highlights… ha ha I’m just kiddin’, I knew what you meant.  Yeah, the highlight of the tour so far has definitely been that set, for sure.


Erin: Oh, really!  I caught half of it, but, I had to meet with Trivium, I think.  So I missed the end.

Nick:  Oh cool!  Our front of house guy used to be their front of house guys.  So we’re kinda tight like that.


Erin: Okay, cool!  What are your favorite places to go when you’re on tour?

Nick: Aw, man… Earth.  It’s got some cool shit to explore.  I think my personal favorite, as far as my desire to be a traveller goes, and wanting to get around and see the world and different cultures and different languages and all that kind of stuff is uh…Japan… Japan is one of the most exotic, crazy, cool, different places that you could go.  Australia and New Zealand are cool… all over Europe and Russia, Mexico is awesome, I almost got to go to Iceland, but I really want to go to Iceland, for sure.  I used to play in a band called Cephalic Carnage, and they just went over and played over there, I couldn’t make it because of the same thing, but they said that it was amazing, and the pictures… are like… Oh my god.  So gorgeous.  Yeah.


Erin: Yeah… I can’t wait to get there… if that ever happens…. Hiking extravaganza!  So yeah.  You guys have undergone a few lineup changes since the band began, how do you deal with this process?  Is it difficult to let go of new band members and integrate new ones?

Nick: Well, I think that it’s just a common thing for bands, you know, it’s like relationships, it’s like a four to five person marriage in a way, so it can be difficult, it’s probably difficult on the tail end of whoever’s leaving, because you have like… the honey moon phase, when there’s a new member coming in, you know what I mean?  So I think it’s like when one member leaves, it’s replaced with a more upgraded musician.  It’s not saying that the other stuff isn’t good, but it’s like… you know…  like Tony, our new guitarist is phenomenal, and every time someone gets replaced, we kind of up the musicianship of the band, and it can sometimes make a band better.  You know?


Erin: Definitely.  How do you feel about the evolution of the sound of the band over the past few years?

Nick: I dig it.  I really dig it.  I wasn’t a huge fan of the early stuff, then a feel like the newer stuff, especially for me, you know the last full length and the EP before that, for me it was the nature of playing the instrument that I play, I wanted that to be a specific way, and I think the new record is really cool, because it gave me the space that I needed sonically, in addition to what I actually play.  I can hear the bass.  And I feel like with a lot of metal bands it often takes the back seat, and I really dig the stuff.


Erin: Well, I was once a bass player myself, so this is something that I can definitely appreciate. 

Nick: Were you really!


Erin: Yeah, a few years back.  I found it was always really hard to be heard as the bass player, in the music.  I can definitely relate.

Nick: Awesome, very cool.


Erin: So you guys started as a band pretty young, like seventeen, right?

Nick: Yeah, they were sixteen, I was a little older, I’m the oldest, I’m the dad now, because I was the youngest in my old band, so yeah.  They started when they were sixteen, I remember when they came out, too.  So, yeah, it was great.


Erin: So in that sense, you grew up alongside your fans. 

Nick: Exactly, you can clearly see the first group of people who were in high school when like, we were in high school, so they’re like lifelong fans, they’re there no matter what we start making, right.  So even if we started making like… pop punk…. They might still be there.


Erin: Yeah for sure.  How has that influenced your sound at all?

Nick: You know, I’ve got to say, that which this band, anyways, which is cool, that it hasn’t.  The band is writing whatever the band wants to write, and if the fans want to stay along, that’s cool, but this isn’t one of those situations where we’re like… keep your fans and stuff… cause you gotta make them happy, but I dunno if that’s the right way to put it because like… they SHOULD be happy, because it’s in the evolution of the music, um, but as far as a shift in the genre goes… you know for the breakdowns with lots of space, and more notes, and more traditional metal riffing.. all breakdowns all the time.


Erin: Do you have any plans or projects that you’re working on?

Nick: Yeah!  I’m still doing Cephalic Carnage, and we’re working on a new record.  And I was kinda thinking about doing a solo bass record, that would be pretty cool.  I have a Youtube channel, that’s just like me playing bass… sometimes I’d make a Cephalic play-along,  or a Job play-along, but that can be boring to just watch someone sit there and just watch the bass player the whole time, so I just throw in some comedy or whatever, so that’s pretty cool.  Check it out. I’m pretty weird, so yeah.


Erin: Well I definitely will!  I won’t have internet for a little bit, but when I get it, I will have a look for sure. 

Nick: They get wackier as they go along, it’s probably not even bass anymore, it’ll be a sketch comedy show after a little while… we’re actually going to transfer the entire band, and Job for a Cowboy will eventually just be a sketch comedy/reality show.  The music will be secondary.


Erin: Yes man, go for it, it’ll be funny.

Nick: It’ll be hilarious.
Erin: Any words of wisdom?

Nick: Uh…yeah!  I would say…. Think about it.


Erin: Think about it.

Nick: Actually I wanna rephrase it.  Or add to it.  Whatever you’re about to do… don’t do it.  Okay?


Erin: Hah!  Okay!  Well, thank you so much for meeting with us, and giving us your time!

Nick: Don’t worry about it, that was actually so much fun.  Very nice!


Click below for more about Job For A Cowboy:


And click HERE for Nick’s Youtube page!


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Category: Interviews