Adam Pierce of All Shall Perish... he's not a lazy bum

A new album, a massive tour, All Shall Perish are hardworking metallers...

Adam Pierce, drummer of All Shall Perish (ASP), has just swapped the sunny weather of ‘Cally’ (that’s California for all you non-Americans out there) for the pissy rain of Portland, Oregon.  But despite this, he’s in a jolly mood and can’t wait to rave about the band’s new album This Is Where It Ends (released 26 July in the US, 29 July in Europe).

So, Adam, what can we expect?  “It’s a mesh of all of our albums; we threw Hate, Malice, Revenge and The Price of Existence and Awaken the Dreamers all in together and there’s something for everybody.  There are definitely fans that just like The Price of Existence and then there are the fans that just like Awaken the Dreamers, and then there are the fans that love all of our albums.  We definitely wanted to make it a fan album and definitely make it something that everyone would be into.”

Adam and guitarist Francesco Artusato are relatively new to the band but it’s ASP’s fourth album, is the band hitting its stride now? “Definitely, although this is my first album with the band; I joined a year ago, replacing Matt (Kuykendall) , the old drummer, and it’s also the first album with Francesco who replaced Chris Storey, so we definitely feel this is the most united version of All Shall Perish that the band has seen, and we’re really excited to get the album out there.  Obviously me and Francesco have done several tours with the band in the past year but this is our turn to showcase our talent and writing ability with the new record – we’re stoked to be able to play a lot of this new material coming up on this next tour”

Oddly last month the guys did a signing session & benefit gig with Josh Barnett (American wrestler) – wasn’t that a bit of an odd combination? “Yeah, it was.  He contacted our label actually; he was a big fan of the band – he listens to a lot of the heavier metal music and he wanted to put together a benefit show for Japan.  We wanted to do it too and he wanted us to headline and he got a bunch of other bands including Animals as Leaders and Abysmal Dawn, and we played for free and all the money raised went to Japan.  Josh hosted the event and it was a lot of fun.  We did a signing session earlier that day with him, he was a great guy and the whole time we played he was in the mosh pit just throwing kids.  It was intense ‘cos you know, he ‘s huge – just watching him destroy these little 16 year old kids; we were like ‘Oh my god!  Go easy on them!’” Rock & roll wrestling in the mosh pit.  Awesome.

What’s you attitude towards the band being labelled as death metal/technical grind/death core?  “I never really bought into the whole labelling of bands.  I’ve always just considered it metal, or black metal or maybe thrash.  I think now it’s got to a point where it’s just ridiculous, it’s almost at a point where you make up a label to represent your music.  I guess it’s fine but the band as a whole has never really bought into the whole death-core label that we’ve been pegged as in the past.  I definitely think the new record is going to squash that because while it has something for everybody, I definitely feel it’s a strong death metal record, and I don’t think that kids who necessarily like to use the label death-core might not be as into it but like I said; there’s something for everybody on it.  I never really bought into it (the labels) and I just consider it death metal” He cracks up laughing at this point.  Labels for jars, not for music, people....

On the new album, what tracks stand out for you?  “Track 4, Pure Evil is one of my favourite tracks on the record, and In This Life of Pain which is the last track; I’m really excited about that track because personally I listen to a lot of black death metal and doom metal and that song has a lot of different elements that were new to the band while still keeping with the All Shall Perish feel.  I definitely feel it’s a very ‘doomy’ track, especially to end the album on, and I really like how the album ends on that note.  It’s almost a summary of everything.”

ASP are touring the US in July and August with a huge number of bands including Disturbed, Godsmack and Megadeth – When will ASP come back to this side of the globe?  “We do have plans to get over to Australia and Asia by the end of the year.  Obviously the US is a big one for us but we do love touring all the other countries.  We toured Mexico last year and we always have a blast.  The US tours are fun but for us it’s really about getting over to the other countries; it just seems so surreal that you can be thousands and thousands of miles from your home and people know your music and recognise you.  It’s really astounding. So hopefully we’ll be there by the end of the year but if not, definitely the beginning of next year”

 Are there any bands on the upcoming tour that you can’t wait to see?  Anyone you’re a bit of a fan-boy for?  “I never really listened much to Disturbed or Godsmack but growing up in the States, those bands got a lot of airplay, and a lot of the kids I went to high school with were into those bands and they thought that that was heavy metal and the heaviest thing ever so it’s kind of surreal for me to be 25 years old and touring with these bands that I used to listen to on the radio.  I’m very stoked to be on tour with Megadeth – that’s insane to me; Kingdom of Sorrow, Hatebreed and Crowbar, it’s going to be awesome.  I’m a huge Crowbar fan so I’ll definitely be side-stage every night watching those guys.  It’s going to be pretty nuts and obviously we’ve got other friends with Machine head and Suicide Silence so it’s going to be one big party”

Does the band like to freak out and go hard-core before or after gigs?  “We definitely have our fun but we take our performance seriously, we may have a few beers before we go on stage, we don’t go on stage hammered and blacked out drunk by any means.  It would be unfair to the fans.  We take what we do very seriously, on stage and our performance...  A lot of the elements of our music are very technical and kids are looking to us to really pull off these parts live and the last thing we want to do is disappoint them and give them a bad show.  We usually leave the partying till afterwards.  Myself, I might get drunk maybe twice a week but the hang-over is the worst part; that next day is always brutal.”  Sorry Adam, I’m sad to say the hang-overs only get worse...

What do you enjoy most, touring or writing and recording?  “I honestly really love being out on the road; I love meeting new people and just having the experience.  From a musician’s standpoint I learn so much just from being surrounded by drummers and countless players.  I seem to take something from every tour that we do; it might be a drum lick or a certain technique or just the way a band presents themselves on stage, it could be a friendship, whatever it may be; there’s always something that I can take from the tour.  While I do like the recording process and the writing process, we tend to do that on the road as well, we try to keep the writing juices flowing, if you will, so while we are on tour we are continually writing and talking about concepts and ideas for songs.  It’s kind of mixed in together and I kind of love them both.  Recording would be my least favourite because it points out all your imperfections so you get to beat yourself up a little bit...but that’s good because it makes you grow as a player so I really shouldn’t say that I hate it by any means - but spending five days in the studio, doing ten hour days, it’s pretty strenuous.  But it’s definitely rewarding having a finished album in your hands.”

Which bands get you fired up?  “From a musical standpoint, a big inspiration for me, not that you can tell on the record because the drumming is so far off, is Watain (Swedish black metal outfit).  Their latest record Lawless Darkness, I got that at the start of our writing process and it just inspired me to write a lot of the tunes on the new record.  It gave me that drive and was a real motivation”

So what’s it been like, as a relatively new member of the band, being a part of the creative process?  “With me and Francesco just joining the band, we were kind of uneasy about how the writing process would go just because we were unsure if the older members were used to writing a certain way.  Throwing two new people in the mix, it could be great or it could be really bad so we were kind of nervous about what was actually going to happen but honestly, we all just fell into our places really naturally.  We all started writing independently while we were on tour in Europe last year so we wrote down our ideas using Guitar Pro and some notation, and once we got home we all just sat around and passed around ideas and everyone just started feeding off each other.  For instance, Francesco would send me a guitar riff and I’d put drums to it and then I’d send it back to him and then he’d send it to Ben (Orum – Rhythm Guitar); there was this back and forth  and it just kept growing and growing into a song.  But there were also songs that were independently written by Francesco or Mike Tiner (Bass) but for the most part, most of the songs were an all round collaboration with everyone”

Outside the band Adam dabbles in a spot of graphic design and illustration, and he’s actually designed a few of the band’s shirt designs.  He likes to muck around in Photoshop  and Illustrator, playing video-games and generally “being a bum”.  So what are you playing right now? “Halo Reach – but I’m pretty excited about the new Batman and Duke Nuke ‘Em games”

So what are ASP’s post tour plans? “Keep pushing out albums.  Maybe do another tour, possibly a European and/or US headliner, hit Australia, Asia, Mexico, and South America then back into the studio”

The boys will be pretty busy so there’ll be no more bumming about.