Every Time I Die Highlark

“We’ve kind of always had the ethos of ‘a riff is a riff’ so it should be heavy at any tuning. Most of these bands have to tune down to be heavy.”

Every Time I Die is often considered the icons of Metalcore, and it’s for good reason. They bring a uniqueness that separates a band from another even within the same genre. If you are a little bit older like me and miss the days of “Good Warped Tour Music” or if you just want to listen to an awesome heavy band, we’re all in luck. ETID have a brand new album Low Teens due out September 23rd! I met up with guitarist Andy Williams to shoot the shit, talking music, tattoos and what it’s like to play for a “new” audience.


SONIC HIGHLARK: So, do you watch the Game Of Thrones by any chance?

ANDY WILLIAMS (GUITAR // EVERY TIME I DIE): Yeah. I’m not caught up on the current season but I’m caught up – everything but the actual last season.

SONIC: Awesome, one of my writers is a big fan of you guys so when I got the interview I asked him, “You want to ask them something?” So he said, “Seriously, ask Andy this.” There’s a character called ‘The Mountain’ on the show.

ANDY: Yeah, yeah.

SONIC: He’s basically an ultimate badass character, right? Apparently that role was recast 3 times already. So he wants to know if you have an interest in …

ANDY: In being the …

SONIC: Exactly!

ANDY: I mean if they offered it, yeah. The thing is the guy that they have now is a seven-foot, 400-pound guy and I’m a six-foot-three, 230-pound guy.

SONIC: But he believes that you’re the ultimate badass and therefore should play that role.

ANDY: Awesome! I would love to play that role.

SONIC: HBO I hope you are reading this interview!

ANDY: That dude is awesome. Came back from the dead.


ANDY: Spoiler alert!

Andy Williams The Mountain Game Of Thrones Highlark
Can we make this happen guys?

SONIC: After Ferret you guys went to Epitaph, what was the – I guess the reason behind the move?

ANDY: I think it was just kind of time to try something new. We had done – I think we were on Ferret for 10 years at that point or something like that. We were the oldest Ferret band and they were kind of going in a weird direction. They had just got bought up by a major and that just has never been our thing. It was just time I think and they understood it. At that time the owner of Ferret broke off and started his own management company so we are under their management. So we stayed with the family, just not on the label.

SONIC: Right, that’s totally cool. On this Warped Tour there are a lot of bands like you guys, bands that have been playing for a really long time. Does it feel different?

ANDY: A little bit different. I think we definitely stand out. We have a speed that other bands don’t – everything is kind of mid-tempo for the most part out here. We play fast and we have breakdown stuff but we like to tune up. We’re not like drop A or something like that. You know what I mean?

SONIC: Right, right, I never thought about that.

ANDY: And we’ve kind of always had the ethos of ‘a riff is a riff’ so it should be heavy at any tuning. Most of these bands have to tune down to be heavy.

SONIC: Yeah, it’s true.

ANDY: That’s me talking shit.


SONIC: And what about the crowd?

ANDY: They’re just younger, that’s it. I feel like it’s a little more of a challenge. It’s not an ETID crowd. If we do like a club tour, majority of the kids are going to be our kids where they know what to expect. Out here, you kind of have to start in a hole and you have to dig your way out, which is kind of awesome. At first, kids are like “Oh, what is this?” And then if they’re still not moving four songs in we know we lost this one, but usually the kids are moving two songs in. They kind of get a grasp for it the first song, and then the second song they’re like, “Oh, Okay.” Then by the third song, they’re going, “We’re with it!” So it’s kind of nice. We’re really energetic, so even on that they just enjoy seeing a bunch of guys on stage giving their all. The payoff is there.

SONIC: Are there some bands that are on this particular tour that you’ve known for a long time?

ANDY: Oh yeah.

SONIC: Right? There has to be!

ANDY: I think The Story So Far, we’ve known since they’ve been a band. Four Year Strong is another one – we’ve been a band for 20 years. A lot of these bands, we’ve literally seen grow up but Four Year Strong, they played our Christmas show in 2006 or something like that, maybe 2005. And I think they started not much before that. Yeah. All these bands, I mean we played with them at one point in time. It’s wild. But yeah, Four Year Strong is probably the one that we’ve known the longest. We toured with them before and they’re great guys, some of our best friends.

SONIC: What about new bands out here? Are there any bands you hear and go, “Oh, that’s cool.”

ANDY: Old Wounds is on this tour. They’re amazing. Yeah, I kind of like to keep up on that stuff. There’s a band called Harms Way that I’m really into right now, also Twitching Tongues. It’s hard to think of too many since I haven’t had time to listen to all the music on this tour. I’m trying to think of some more. Young Guns is cool, they’re on this tour.

SONIC: Yeah. Actually I just interviewed them before, but they mentioned you guys.

ANDY: Yeah, they’re great.

Every Time I Die Highlark

SONIC: You’ve been playing for almost 20 years at this point. Does the music get the same type of reaction as far as fans go? What kind of vibe do you get?

ANDY: Yeah. I think without us being like low tuned and ripping off Meshuggah, it’s kind of a hard sell because we do have faster songs and our stuff is very dissonant.

SONIC: Well, that’s kind of what’s cool about you guys.

ANDY: Yeah, yeah, yeah. We try to be Black Flag. It’s like there’s rock in it and there’s punk in it. There’s metal in it, everything kind of in one. I always thought we did a pretty good job at it. It’s just hard to not have that low trudging Meshuggah feel when 20 of the bands on tour have that feel. You know what I mean?

SONIC: Yeah, that’s kind of interesting though. I never thought of it like that. I just like whatever I like, but there certainly is a formulaic element with the newer bands. I used to go to so many shows all the time, but all the bands had a unique element even within the same genre. I think there was more variety then I guess.

ANDY: Of course. If you think about Warped Tour, like in 2006, that was the very first real Warped Tour we did. In 2003, we did it but we did only two weeks. But in 2006 it was so eclectic. There were so many different bands. There were few heavy bands, few Ska bands, Punk bands. Everything was very – it was eclectic whereas now everything is kind of geared towards that newer crowd and then you have the older bands like us. We kind of get some benefit off of that because it’s like, “Okay, hey, check us out!”

SONIC: And those bands probably look up to you guys.

ANDY: Exactly. And it’s cool. It’s funny because there’s a band called Wage War on the tour. They’re really young kids and every day it’s just really funny. We’re like their tour dads. They’ll ask us “Hey, do you know where I can go take a poop here?” and I’m like “Oh yeah, there are clean bathrooms over there.” It’s kind of awesome. They’re a great band too.

SONIC: That’s great! So before I let you go, we cover a lot of tattoo artists on our site. You got space for any more?

ANDY: Oh yeah, I got some space. I mean almost my whole back is open. I try to keep stuff open just in case.

SONIC: Yeah fit a nice back piece in. Do you tend to go to the same artist or are they all different?

ANDY: A lot of different guys. There’s this – a buddy of mine named Craig Chazen who’s fantastic and he’s out at Brooklyn. I don’t know what his shop is called but his name is Boxcar. They call him Boxcar.

[Craig “Boxcar” Chazen tattoos out of Electric Anvil Tattoo in Brooklyn]

SONIC: I have to check him out.

ANDY: He does a lot of shit like clowns and stuff like that. It’s funny that he’s a really good friend of mine but he’s also the guy that I want to tattoo me the most.

SONIC: That kind of works out.

ANDY: Yeah, the timing is just hard. When I’m in New York, I’m only in New York for like a second. We play a show and then take off. It has to be when I have time off and I can go hang out with him. He’s a weird dude and I’m a weird dude. I like a lot of weird stuff. I don’t drink. I don’t do drugs or anything like that. I would go to like a wrestling show or something. But yeah, he talks about this Russian bathhouse all the time that he goes to.

SONIC: For sure, it’s awesome man! It’s in the city.

ANDY: Yeah so you know it, it’s like the oldest Russian bathhouse.

SONIC: Yeah, Financial District.

ANDY: Cool, and he’s like, “Dude, you got to come down and do this man.”

SONIC: He’s right, it’s awesome.

ANDY: I want to get tattooed and then hang out in a spa.

SONIC: That’s actually a good idea, tattoo and spa. Cool man. Thank you so much!

ANDY: Awesome. Thank you bro.


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Every Time I Die Highlark
Andy Williams

Photos © Anita Maksimiuk. All Rights Reserved.

Jorge Teran Highlark

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