Sounds Of The Underground is in its second year, with a bigger, better lineup that’s certain to bring out droves of metalheads and moshers. Every style of metal is well-represented on this nascent tour. The bill consists of hot metal bands like Trivium, Cannibal Corpse and In Flames, to name a few. San Diego metalcore monoliths As I Lay Dying have happily nabbed the headlining slot for this year’s edition of SOTU, which hits the parking lot of the Starland Ballroom on Saturday, July 15.
AILD are essentially road dogs who have been touring to support Shadows Are Security (Metal Blade) for well over a year now. They did Ozzfest last summer. They enjoyed a tour of duty on the second annual Taste Of Chaos this winter. It’s obvious that huge tours are something AILD are prone to doing and they get a great response in front of huge, hungry crowds. Given AILD’s metallic bluster and melodic sensibilities, they could have easily chosen to spend their long, hot summer of 2006 on Warped Tour or they could have returned to Ozzfest. But they chose to do the upcoming Sounds Of The Underground because they wanted to headline as well as return to their roots. It’s a smart business decision for the band and the tour’s owners, as well as for the fans.
We grabbed some time with frontman Tim Lambesis, who revealed his excitement about the tour, as well as how pumped he is to watch Gwar. He gave us a sneak peek into what’s in store for his band after they wrap their stint on SOTU. Read on…
How excited are you to be headlining the second annual Sounds Of The Underground?
It is a huge honor for us because there are so many amazing bands supporting the tour. Cannibal Corpse is legendary in the death metal genre. They’re the first band that comes to my mind when I think of extreme music. In Flames is, of course, legendary in their subgenre as well. Ask anyone to name the first band that comes to mind when they hear the phrase ‘melodic metal,’ ‘Swedish metal’ or the ‘Gothenburg Sound.’ The answer is always In Flames.
However, the band I’m most excited to play after is Gwar! They have a semi [truck] full of just their stage set up and equipment. That says enough to get me excited about their live show. Like their music or not, it doesn’t matter when they are shooting fake blood all over the crowd. So, the short answer is I’m stoked to be headlining Sounds Of The Underground!
Why did you choose to do this tour over the many other summer tours that AILD would fit, including Ozzfest and Warped Tour.
Since our record has been out about a year, we thought this summer was perfect timing to show what we can do as a headliner. We were one of the sidestage headliners on last year’s Ozzfest so we’ve been able to reach new fans already. Now it’s time for us to show appreciation back to our own fans and give them the best show we can. Warped Tour is something we would like to be a part of in the future when the time is right.
What do you think SOTU offers metal fans that maybe other tours don’t? Why do you think that a kid who can attend only one summer tour this year should go to SOTU?
Sounds Of The Underground is the best tour for people who want to get bang for their buck. The ticket price is low and there are so many good bands on the tour. You never have to worry about sitting through some crappy band who got on the tour because their label paid for it. You also don’t have to worry about politics because this tour is by name 100 percent about supporting the underground music scene.
What are AILD’s plans for after this tour? Are you going to write another record? Take some time off?
We need to start writing for a new record but we can’t really do that until we have some time at home to get our heads on straight. Hopefully we’ll be going into the studio this December. The major tour we’ll do before recording is a European/UK tour with Bleeding Through and Bullet For My Valentine.
What bands are you most looking forward to seeing on SOTU this year?
For sure, Gwar, like I was saying earlier. It’s like a movie and concert all in one. After that, I would say The Black Dahlia Murder. I think that sometimes they go over a lot of people’s heads but both their music and their strange humor is something I really enjoy. There are some bands like Converge and Killswitch Engage that join the tour for a little bit as well.
What are you summer tour essentials? What are five things that you pack in your suitcase/knapsack that you absolutely cannot live without and why?
This year, I’m trying some new stuff because I don’t want touring to get so routine. Good food is always the hardest thing for me to find when I am away from home so now I’m bringing an electric wok that my aunt bought me. Second would have to be my laptop to keep in touch and record new ideas. Third is my cell phone to call everyone back home and the last two are my iPod and some good books.
What else have you got going on, in terms of production gigs?
The tour with Bullet For My Valentine and Bleeding Through will be about six weeks all through Europe and the UK. We’re really looking forward to that because it will be a bigger tour for us overseas. We’re getting pretty used to bigger tours in the US but our overseas packages have been somewhat limited until now. If we have some time, I would love to do some touring in Latin America as well.
Catch As I Lay Dying headlining the 2006 Sounds Of The Underground tour at the Starland Ballroom parking lot in Sayreville on July 15 and the Tweeter Center on the Waterfront in Camden on July 16. For more info, check out asilaydying.com and soundsoftheundergroundtour.com