In the approximately 30 years since their inception, Life Of Agony have overcome numerous lineup and label changes to put out five full-lengths, three live and two compilation albums. The alternative metal outfit haven’t let these transformations slow them down or define them, the now four-piece — comprised of Mina Caputo (singer), Alan Robert (bassist), Joey Z. (guitarist), and Veronica Bellino (drums) — are hot off the heels of a 25-year River Runs Red anniversary tour. With new music slated for 2019, Robert discusses their unflinching fanbase, recording plans, and how they make it happen 30 years later.
2018 marked 25 years since your debut album, River Runs Red. Did you ever imagine you’d be making music and touring for its anniversary more than two decades later?
When we released River Runs Red back in 1993, we were all beyond excited. You gotta remember, we were kids, man — we really didn’t know what to expect. We were touring everywhere for the first time. Experiencing new places and meeting new people. We had no idea the album would connect with people all over the world on such a deep, emotional level.
Still, all these years later, fans come up to us all the time saying that record saved their lives. It has been an amazing journey. It really is a blessing to be doing this for literally decades now, and I tell ya…in a lot of ways, it feels like we’re just getting started.
What were some highlights of the anniversary tour?
We’ve been out all year with this ‘Rise of the Underground’ tour and it’s been incredible. We just got back from Europe and it was insane every night. Packed crowds of smiles. We headlined with Billy Graziadei’s (Biohazard/Powerflo) new band opening up, and we actually jammed on some old Biohazard material together. Fans loved it…it was so much fun.
We just got back and teamed up with our friends [from] Sick Of It All for two special nights in New York and New Jersey. Billy is with us on those concerts, too. Believe it or not, LOA and SOIA have never, ever played together in 30 years! We’re finally making it happen! These will be classic, high energy, unforgettable shows. Probably the highlight of the year.
What do you have to say to fans who’ve come out and are still supporting the band 25 years later? Or people who’ve only recently found the band?
It’s amazing because we have a few generations of LOA fans now…older, original fans from the ‘90s and also their kids or younger siblings they turned on — plus all the new fans. The fanbase these days is very diverse, too. There’s a lot more female fans as compared to the old days. I think with Mina’s transformation and the addition of our new drummer Veronica Bellino, it’s opened up doors to new audiences. It’s such a positive wave of positivity, it’s been really great to see it evolve.
There’s been talks of new Life Of Agony music and/or an album in 2019. What can you tell us about that? Where are the influences coming from?
Yes! We’re actually almost done wrapping up the writing sessions for the new album, and it feels awesome. We have some very cool announcements coming on the album front very soon… the title of the record, artwork, who we’re recording with, and where!
Very exciting stuff. We start drum tracking in the beginning of the new year. We’ll definitely be posting a lot of updates once we get going.
How has the band’s writing and recording process changed over the years? Or has it stayed relatively similar?
This new album writing process is much more like how we wrote together back in the early days. It’s been fun and organic, and has just been flowing non-stop. We’ve been in a great headspace this entire year and really inspired. We’ve been pushing the ideas to their full potential and Napalm Records has been great about giving us the space and time we need to get creative. It’s been a pleasure working together.
Can’t wait for you all to hear it next year. A ton of energy and groove, with dark, emotional lyrics and haunting melodies like we’ve always been known for.
What were some of your favorite music releases in 2018? What have you been listening to?
A lot of great music came out this year…been listening to new albums from BillyBio, All Hail the Yeti, Sick Of It All, Madball and Clutch mostly.
What are you most looking forward to in 2019: music-wise and personally?
Definitely super excited about releasing our new album and touring in the new year. Plus, I’ve got some new books in the works for my ‘Beauty of Horror’ coloring series that I illustrated. It’s going to be a busy year, but a lot of fun!