Interview with God Forbid: Jersey’s Metal Titans

God ForbidGod Forbid guitarist Doc Coyle is checking his band’s MySpace page when I call him for our interview. The guitarist works from his NJ home, completing tasks for God Forbid’s management company, which also handles the careers of fellow metal bands like Fear Factory and Mnemic. But Coyle is also gearing up for a busy winter for God Forbid, who are embarking on a headline run that’ll take them through January and February 2007.

If you know anything about God Forbid, also featuring guitarist Dallas Coyle, drummer Corey Pierce, singer Byron Davis and bassist John “Beeker” Outcault, you are well aware that the five piece has a wonderful, sarcastic sense of humor. Despite having had an admitted chip on their shoulder in the past (Coyle says “We felt snubbed because we never became as big as bands that we came up with; every big band out there right now has opened for us at least once, like Trivium, Avenged Sevenfold, Killswitch Engage”), God Forbid are much more settled and content with where they are in their career. They are happy to make a living off the band, and to continue to write the music they want to write. As for their first Aquarian cover nod, Coyle says, “In our entire career, we’ve never been on the cover of The Aquarian or even East Coast Rocker. I am happy about it, sure, because it’s better late than never, bitches!”

What’s new and exciting in the God Forbid camp?

Well, we have taken the last six months off from touring, with the exception of a month-long run in Europe. We were going to headline in November and December, but the agent booking it was moving slow, so we decided to push it back to January and February. We made the bill better, booked it way in advance. It’s ‘The Chains Of Humanity’ Tour, with Goatwhore, Mnemic, Arsis, and The Human Abstract and Byzantine split the tour. One of the last shows will be at The Starland Ballroom.

Touring in winter is tough!

It’s a necessary evil. You have to go out if you want to stay busy. You have to tour in other parts of the country, where it’s not as cold as it is on the East Coast. If you spend four to five days in Texas, Florida and California, it’s not that bad! I wind up skipping some of the winter that I would endure if I stayed home.

True dat. Any words for the kids who are going to come out to the Starland show next month?

A lot of people in Jersey will talk to us about our older material, like Reject The Sickness and Determination. And when Determination came out, no one got it, but now everyone wants to hear songs from it. It’s like, ‘Wait, you didn’t care back then, but you are interested now?’ [Laughs] But, now we play our home territory in a big venue. Most bands get big on their home turf first, but we did it backwards, so it’s a special thing for us to headline at home now. I thank everyone who comes out. We do have our most dedicated fans right here. That’s a cool thing. We might shoot a DVD at that show, as well. It’ll be a long set, with a light show, making it a rock concert, as opposed to a show!

God Forbid are not exactly a Jersey band anymore, with Beeker and Corey living in PA…

That is where we are from, and that’s where we hang out most of the time. We expanded our base a bit. We rehearse right over the border in PA. That’s cool, too, because you can get away from distractions. It’s like an hour and 10 minute drive for rehearsal. It’s John’s house, but it’s like the band house, to some extent.

What’s the plan for a new album?

We are going to take our time with the next album. Our last album, Gone Forever, was written in two months, and we banged it out every day. I am very happy with how it came out, but I want to take a different approach this time. It’s important to me to really tackle this next album as the people we are today, as people and as musicians. We’re going to write, listen to it, write some more, change things. It gives you different perspective that way. We’re one of those bands that you can say whatever you want about us, but we’ve held true to our commitment to putting out quality, and to grow and do new things.