Pathology Interview

Hello Ricky, I would like to ask you about your band because the people have to know what you are up to. Are you okay?

Yeah, definitely. Thanks for having me!

I know that you are not a founding member and you joined the band later, but could you tell us something about the band’s past in a nutshell? Who are you and what level of destruction are you capable of?

Yeah, so I joined the band about 4 years ago. It was after the reformation of the band. Dave was getting the band going again, and he was the creater and the founder member of the band from the begining. And kind of long story short Dan was contacted by Dave first ’cause Dan was also playing in a touring band called Condemned and I never met Dave at this point, but I knew Dan from a touring band that I was in about 10 years ago. And they started to get some jams going and learning the songs, and when they needed a bass player, Dan contacted me and I was full in. So I met the guys and it sorta went from there and from day 1, from the first day that I met Dave it was just like we were best friends. A couple months after that, we ended up at Obie, it was a friends of Dave’s for a long time. Something like 15 years. And Obie have been on tours with him, and we felt that he was the best guy for the vocal job. It was really cool to bring Dave and Obie’s friendship into the band and mine friendship with Dan, because we just became brothers together. We vibe really well together, we play really well together, we know each other’s musics really well, and when we play live, we really trust each other musically. So I think it elevates our live performances, because we don’t really have to worry about what other people are doing, how are they gonna perform. It’s been an awesome musical experience with these guys.

You switched labels, and you are at Nuclear Blast. What do you think will change in your lives regarding the label? What did Dave tell you what could you achieve with the 11th album?

It’s so crazy to get the Nuclear Blast contract. It’s honestly a dream come true, because every metal daydreams and hopes that one day they will get on Nuclear Blast. For me and maybe for some other guys as well it’s still kinda like a shock. It’s such an honor to be part of the Nuclear Blast family that out out so many killing albums in the last 20 years. Nuclear Blast came to see us play on our first tour that we co-headlined with Aenimus. And they come to see them play, because they just released their first album with them, and the came to see us play in LA, and they were pretty stocked. So they talked to us afterwords, and I think Dave’s been talking with Nuclear Blast in I think the „Awaken to the Suffering” and „The Time of Great Purification” days. We’ve been talking to them for a few years, and they came us to see at our Narcotic Wasteland tour at the Whiskey a Go Go. They wanted to see how „Reborn to Kill” did, and we were pretty happy about how that album did, and then the pandemic happend, they offered a contract, and it’s really exciting. I am really excited for our future with them. They are really into the promotion and the tours that Nuclear Blast bands get on, all the different offices on the world that opens the doors for more international fan bases and fans. I am really excited to see and excited to grow with them. We’ve got a lot of proving to do, but I think we will be able to to them justice.

You never played the most sellable type of music let’s say, but you sticked to it, and I assume you don’t desire to be the most popular thing. Why do you love this style of music so much with the guttural vocals?

The music that I am really into metalwise is hardcore and deathcore, and I grew up listening to punk when I was in middle school. When I was 11 years old. And I remember that me and my buddy we were skateboarding, and he was really into bands like Minor Threat and AFI. So I got into punk at a really young age, and that buddy of mine was a drummer, and as we got older he started to listen to more East Coast, New York and Jersey style hardcore stuff. Like this band called Blood for Blood and a few other ones. So I started transforming, because we were best friends so my taste developed with his, and then I started getting into Boston bands like Unearth and some metalcore bands. I remember being in high school and someone gave me Cannibal Corpse’s Gallery of Suicide or something like that. When I heard that, my mind was blown. I never taught metal could go that direction. It kinda opened that door for me. And then I got into death metal stuffs like Love Suffocation and a bunch of bands like this. And then started to morph into some deathcore stuff, and I have a broad range of metal stuff. I like them all. There’s a lot of speedy blast beaty death metal stuff and a lot of ambient metalcore kind of things, like more atmospheric. So yeah, I love it all, so it’s cool to be in a band like this, because we can make it as heavy as we can and we experiment with a lot of stuff. Especially with this new album I think we made something really outstanding. It’s great to be in a band with all these brutal people. It’s awesome.

Since you are a bassist, I would like to ask you how much skill does it takes, to make it in a band like this? I am a bassist myself, so no offense. How is it different from Heavy Metal? What do you think what should the upcoming bassists prepare for?

Good question. I’ve been playing for a long time, I’ve been playing since I was 16 years old. I started playing guitar first, and then my friends’ band needed a bass player and I was 18 at that time, and I just played bass from there. And there are a lot of people saying not to play bass as a guitar, and I understand that, because it’s more like a rhythm instrument than anything else. It can fill a lot of space and the guitars can go on top of it, and there is a lot of ways to play bass. On this album I tried to switch it up and I played a lot of bass lines where the bass mimices what the guitar does. A lot of tremolo picking and fast technical stuff. Guys like Alex Webster from Cannibal Corpse and that guy from Necrophagist blew my mind a long time ago. I actually had the pleasure of meeting Necrophagist, because I played with them in LA in 2005. And to see him play, I forgot his name unfortunately, but seeing him play live is really inspiring, because he is just on a whole other level. In my opinion he is one of the best metal bass players of all time. And I tried to incorporate more stuff that goes paralell to the guitars and also with my own low end flavour on it. I still have so much to learn. I want to get better at sweeps stuff like that, I am not really good at it, and I like the bass player from Origin. He is doing some really nice sweeps and it sounds really cool when he does that with the guitars. And Beneath The Masker, these bands really incorporates that sound of playing exactly what the guitar players are playing, but also having your own style with it. I think it’s a really cool approach for a modern metal bass player to be able to do both of those.

How was the 12 songs of „The Everlastint Plague” made? What was the most interesting thing about the process you that would like to share with the fans?

So this album was a lot easier to write than „Reborn to Kill”, because that was our first album that we all wrote in and wrote together. So even tought we were touring before we wrote ,,Born to Kill” we still didn’t know our writing styles. We all have our own little home studios where we can write riffs together and then bring it all to the table. I still play some guitar, but not very well, but I can play some 7 string deathcore riffs and I enjoy writing chuggy breakdowns. Dan is so good at everything, and Dave plays guitar as well. So for our first album we kinda sent each other stuffs that we all wrote individually and comig up with a few ideas on the spot. For ,,Everlasting Plague” we already knew how this process works, so it was a lot streamlined where we get together in our rehearsal studio and we write riffs on the stop and kinda just come up with ideas right there. And then we’d get a bunch of stuff which we would send to Dave. It’s a really cool process, it forms the songs in a much simpler way and we all get to participate with our ideas. It’s really fun for me to write my own music. Even if it’s not for the band. I like to plug in to my logic and write a cool drum beat and write some good stuff to it. And to be able to take those things that we thought nobody would hear end up on our album, and that album is going to be released by Nuclear Blast is awesome. This album was so much easier and more fun to make, than „Reborn to Kill” because of the way we found each other’s writing styles.

A commom theme of your songs are murded, torture, addiction etc. Would you like to talk about why you choose these topics?

So Obie is the one who writes all the lyrics. There is a lot of problems like that around the world. It’s the white elephant in the room I think we can say that. Like addiction. I live in San Diego, and since the pandemic has happened all the murder and the gun violence rates risen. I think he wanted to touch on a base of every topic that people might not want to talk about, kinda talk about the stuff that’s going on in the world. You know, we are just a death metal band from San Diego, but it’s cool to be a band that talks about these things, because a lot of people suffer from addiction. The intro song of the album „A Pound of Flesh” the need of plastic surgery and the social media’s and the world’s influence on looks. Both on women and men. There is a lot of need from people to get all these things done to try to fulfill this idea that society has put in imagewise for you, to be attractive or feel good about yourself. He adresses that in the first song. And I think that it was a great idea. You go on Instagram and everyone is posting mean or filtered pictures of themselves. Like you need to have a certain body style to feel attractive or to be attractive in todays world. But that’s just not the case. People are beautiful and people need to love their bodies. Not only that, but addiction and murder and a lot of other stuff that he talks about are real world problems. I think it is really awesome how he did that.

Were you able to make all your imaginations come to life with this album? Can we say it’s one of your best albums so far?

Thank you! I think we tackled a lot of the ideas we had initially for the album. The band has always been in that brutal death metal, slam kinda genre catagorie, and we love brutal slam death metal, but I feel the band has been moving in a different direction. To a more death metal sound incorporating new layers and other qualities to the music. We wanted to bring an album that is kind of really touches bases with all the genres. We wanted to make an album that not only our older fan base likes, but also we wanted to bring in new fans. We would want to attract new fans into the game that might have never heard us or maybe are more into deathcore or modern death metal or just modern metal. We tried to attract more people to like our band. And I really like how in the last few years touring incorporated bands from different genres. They will have a slam a brutal a death and a modern death metal band there. And right now the Dying Fetus and Terror tour is going on. And it’s cool to bring different genres of bands to a bill that brings so many different fans to the shows, and that just grows the fan bases of all the bands. And it kinda brings a family vibe to these shows, because metal is a huge community, it’s a big family. So to be able to open those doors is awesome. And that’s what we were trying to do with this album. Just tried to bring in some genres that we like, trying to make something that isn’t limited to just one genre, and I think we were able to do that. We are happy with how this album came out.

It must be near impossible to plan ahead in terms of concerts. Do you think if the world finally settles into a normal state again would you be able to play a lot of shows? What are you hopes for summer?

Yeah, so we were initially trying to go on tour this fall, so I think we are gonna have a tour initially right now. This was our plan a few months ago, but with the current state of everything we decided to wait. Especially with the album release and we made sure that it’s ready to go and everything. We made a whole new set. Pretty awesome, it’s my favourite set so far. We have some really cool stuff in line that we’ve never done before for our next tours. So we just want to make sure that we are fully prepared for the next touring schedule, because with Nuclear Blast behind us I know that it’s gonna be a really exciting touring schedule. We decided not to tour this fall, because we have been confirmed for a Europe tour for next year for the spring time. We are really excited to go back to Europe. I personally love to play in Europe. So many of my best shows and so many friendly people and beautiful countries and awesome musical experiences to be over there. So we are excited for that. And we have another US tour which is in the making. Pretty sure it’s just getting booked in the moment. I think the booking agents are finalizing the dates. And then we have some not finalized international stuffs. Hopefully that’s gonna go down next fall. So we definitely have a good year of touring ahead of us next year. I am looking forward for that.

What are your goals for the future? Does Pathalogy has any big dreams?

A big dream of mine is that I’ve always been fascinated by the European summer festival schedules. I would love to be a part of the festival tourers, I think that would be amazing. Like the summer festival tours. And there is a lot of other countries that would be really cool to go to. Like the scenes in Australia and Asia, I hear it’s amazing. It would be really amazing to bring our music over there, and to just continue to grow and to take the band to the next level. These are my personal goals, but to reach out to as many people and as many fans as possible.

By the immense amount of screams in your music I took a wild guess and I thought you must do some chill activities as well. Could you tell us a few things you do besides music?

Yeah. Currently at the moment I don’t do it, but for a few years before I was in Pathology and in the first 2 years when I was in Pathology, I was really into the sport fencing. I fenced for almost 4 years, and love it. I still follow it in depthly, it’s my favourite sport. I stopped to focus on the music and to focus on what I was doing, but in the near future I would like to get back into it. I enjoyed it a lot. I am really into poker as well. I like to play poker, I like to watch poker, I like to watch high stakes poker. Those are some little hobbies that I am into.

Ricky, thank you for your answers. I hope you have a great day and that you will make another 11 albums. Take care!

Thanks for having me. I appreciate it. It’s been good to talk to you. And I am really looking forward for getting back to Europe early next year and I look forward to meeting you, and come and hang out.

The interview was taken with Ricky Jackson on 18.11.2021.

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