You would probably lose your mind trying to go over the many music genres that exist. It isn’t all just pop, hip-hop, rock, and metal anymore. There seems to be a subgenre for anything and everything. Maybe you want to listen to some stoner rock, or some sludge metal, or even doom metal. Or perhaps you would like to give a listen to progressive metal, black metal, and why not give Viking metal a chance. The fact of the matter is, we label our music so we can describe it to others and so we can categorize our own collections.
I am all for having labels and descriptions of the music I listen to. In fact, it often makes discovering bands through Pandora and Spotify much easier. And as our moods change, so does our taste in music. Maybe one day I will have the urge to listen to some death metal, or doom metal. The very next day I may want to put on some alternative or classic rock. Diversity is good for music. While one record may keep us relaxed, another will pump us up.
I had the opportunity to talk to Mike Scheidt of Yob and we discussed the necessity for diversity in his music collection. The singer/guitarist also touched upon his playlist for his current tour with Enslaved and how various genres keep him going on the road. Topics of conversation also included record collecting and what it is like to not only cherish the music of some of his favorite bands, but to share the stage with them as well. Check out what Mike had to say below:
Clearing The Path To Ascend was released back in September of last year. How was it to translate those songs to the live setting?
It’s been great. Actually pretty easy. Before we go into the studio, we make sure we can play the songs in their entirety tight enough to record them. So when it comes time to playing them live, we had already taken the time to really experiment and get everything done. So far, it’s been really good. We took these songs all across Europe and a handful of shows in the States, and it has gone really well.
Have any of the songs changed or been tweaked as you trekked through Europe?
A little bit, sure. As we play them live, the vocals may hit me differently and I tend to just go with it. I usually go with the moment and I’m sure the other guys do the same. But we are pretty careful in terms of staying true to the songs to the best of our ability. The changes are often subtle.
You have previously stated that this record was rather cathartic to write. Does it have the same experience live, or has it formed its own atmosphere and energy?
They are growing and changing for sure. As we go on, the songs take on different meanings. People have been very vocal on what the songs mean to them, which is really cool too.
And from what I understand for this tour, Enslaved reached out to you? Have you played with them in the past or is this your first time hitting the road with them on the same bill?
Yeah. Well we played Roadburn with them in the same year, and that was the first time I was able to actually meet them. I’m not sure if we were on their radar before then, I don’t know about that. But I’ve listened to them, maybe not as far back as Frost, but around the time of Eld. I really loved that record. That and Below The Lights are a couple of my very favorite albums.
So it must be pretty crazy to share the stage with them across the U.S.
Yeah, it’s great man. We are going to just show up and do our very best for each show. It’s awesome to be able to enjoy their sets every night.
What’s great about Yob is that you guys are music fans at heart that happen to make killer music. You recently spoke of buying cassettes and vinyl for some of your favorite bands in the past. Do you still keep up with your music collection?
What was the latest addition?
Let me see here. I got some older stuff and some newer stuff. I got Battles In The North by Immortal and also Fire And Water by Free. I have been looking for that one on vinyl for a while. I also just picked up the most recent Usnea and Atriarch records. I’m getting stuff all the time (laughs).
Do you look for different colors or splatters on the vinyls? Or are you solely just looking into getting the physical vinyl for your collection?
No, I don’t worry about that stuff as much. I’m not a collector to that extent where I am looking for anything of that nature specifically. I just want a collection. My iPod is great because it has allowed me to take music with me without needing to have a backpack full of CDs. But it is not my collection, and neither is my computer. I’ll take the music however I can get it. I don’t care about only having vinyl, CD, or the digital file. But if I have it on my iPod, I will want to find a way to add it to my physical collection, whether it be the vinyl or CD. The digital is really great for when I want to listen to something in the van.
What’s on your iPod for this tour? Anything that pumps you up or that tones down the craziness of tour life?
It really depends on the day. Lately, I have been listening to a lot of mid-era Depeche Mode and also the new Perdition Temple album that came out on Hell’s Headbangers. I also have a number of Alan Watts’ spoken-word CDs. Between Depeche Mode, Perdition Temple, and Alan Watts, I think I’ve got a fair amount of variety (laughs).
And how is the prep different for a tour across the U.S. compared to the European leg you did last year?
In terms of the States, the gigs are typically farther and the drives are usually longer. And in Europe, they take pretty good care of the bands. Not that it doesn’t happen here in the States, but you will be on your own a lot more over here. We grew up here, so we never had any sense of entitlement or had any idea on how we were supposed to be treated. When we first ended up in Europe, we had no idea it could be like that (laughs). But at the end of the day, the music and show comes first and that is where all of our energy will go to. Whatever the environment is, we will always make it work.
How did your rehearsals go for this tour?
We all live in different cities, which makes it a little tricky. We have also been playing together for quite a long time. So we built up such a momentum from playing together that the rehearsals aren’t too tough and everything tends to go rather smoothly.
And you recently tracked vocals for the upcoming Vhol album.
Vhol just finished recording and are in the process of mixing the album. It’s pretty crazy. It is definitely cut from the same cloth of the first record and the production is really stellar. But it has expanded and changed a bit too. Some of the extremes are more so. There may be more black metal moments, more punk moments, or even beautiful harmonies. I think those are a bit more under the magnifying glass this time around.
What’s next for you and the guys in Yob for the rest of the year?
As for the rest of the year, we have a few festivals that we plan on doing as well as heading over to Australia for five shows. We are doing Maryland Deathfest and also Stumpfest in Portland. We have a few other cool shows that are planned throughout the year that are regional. We try to have a pretty good balance between our working and family lives with the band. We might go out on the road for five or six weeks at a time and then take a break and do it again. But we have plenty of things for the rest of the year, so I am sure we will be busy.
Yob and Enslaved will take the stage at the Gramercy Theatre in New York, NY on March 21. They will then head to Philly on March 22 and perform at Union Transfer. Clearing The Path To Ascend is available now. For more information, go to yobislove.com.