Every Time I Die
Article By: Paul Wideman – www.bareknucklechoppers.com
Originally Published In The May 2013 Issue Of Cycle Source Magazine
Back in December, Nic and I, along with Rockin’ Beers, Floater, and Gotta Go Joe went to the Firebird in St. Louis to catch the rowdiest, and in my opinion, the most talented band to ever walk this earth: Every Time I Die. ETID has been writing and touring together since the late ‘90s and they are tighter than ever. If you’ve ever been to the Firebird, you know it is a little venue with low ceilings. The crowd got so wild that Keith Buckley, the lead singer, had to ask the crowd to be careful not to f**k the ceiling up, so that the stage diving, crowd surfing, and all-out mayhem could continue without pissing off the Firebird’s owner too much. ETID is definitely one of the hardest, fastest, most inyour- face bands of the last 10 to 15 years, but there are a few things that set them apart. To me, the biggest one is Keith’s thought provoking and often witty lyrics. You can actually learn from his writing; it’s a veritable history lesson. Jordan, Keith’s brother, adds to the band twofold, both as a guitarist as well as contributing much of the band’s album art and merchandise designs. Andy Williams shares guitar duties and empties bags of tacos with merciless abandon.
Stephen Micciche rejoined the band a year or so ago to play bass once again, and Ryan “Legs” Leger came on board shortly after New Junk Aesthetic was released in 2009. The entire band will blow your f**king mind. Many people I know that were never into this style of music cannot get away from it now; it’s infectious. As talented and high energy as these guys are, they are beyond nice and humble. They are always hanging around after the show, signing autographs and just bullshitting with the fans. Very cool guys. After the show, I caught up with Keith for a few quick questions.
CS: Keith, thanks for taking a few minutes to sit and talk with me. Before we get to some more, uh, probing questions, can you fill us in on the current goingson with Every Time I Die.
KB: In about 24 hours we head to Australia to play the Big Day Out Festival, which if I had to compare it to something Americans are familiar with is like a Lolapalooza. There will be a lot of bigger bands we have no business sharing the stage with. It should be interesting.
CS: Your lyrics have always blown my mind. Besides obviously drawing a ton of influence from the literary world and history books, where more precisely, do you find influence for your writing?
KB: Everything comes from personal experience, which in this field of work is never boring or uninteresting. I’m just an observant person. I spend a lot of time in my head which isn’t good except when you have devoted most of your life to writing. Everyone has a unique take on what they’re going through. I’m just lucky enough to be in a position where people are interested in mine.
CS: Do you and the guys write much or even talk about new material while on the road? Or do you usually wait till you hit the studio?
KB: We wait until we absolutely have to, like when the studio session is booked. We work well when given a deadline. If we aren’t, I don’t think any of us would voluntarily sit in a practice space and stare at their instrument in silence. There has to be a purpose.
CS: Sounds like my approach to my magazine obligations. It was cool when you stopped the show for a minute tonight to clear the way for more stage diving and all-out chaos. A lot of bands would shit their pants if that was going on around them. This definitely sets you apart from many other groups. Do you guys still get excited and fired up when you find yourself in the middle of a particularly rowdy crowd? I mean, is the rush still there? Kinda like you’re part of a party rather than a show?
KB: Yeah, it’s an incredible experience. It always feels like the scene from the Matrix where bullets have slowed down and you see them rippling through space. It’s not often I get “in the moment,” but on stage that’s all there is. Time slows down. It’s awesome.
CS: A few years ago you put out a video of you riding your new bike throughout SoCal. Do you still have the bike, and do you ever find time to ride?KB: I unfortunately don’t have the bike. I’m home so rarely that it was just sitting in my driveway so I sold it to a friend who gets much more use out of it. It’s still in the family though. I can ride it when he’s not using it.
CS: Do any of the other guys ride?
KB: They ride roller coasters.
CS: What is on the horizon for Every Time I Die? I saw you have a ton of tour dates overseas already locked up for next year.
KB: Yeah, it’s just more touring. It’s the only way to stay afloat as a band that doesn’t sell millions of records. We’re not getting royalty checks so if you want to keep food on the table you have to never be home long enough to sit down at your table.
CS: You guys have been putting new albums out at a steady pace, but it is always brutal waiting for the next one. Any talk of a new album yet? Sorry man, I know it’s not even been a year yet since Ex-Lives.
KB: No, nothing yet. I like Ex-Lives. We all do. We don’t want to put it aside just yet. We’re still celebrating it, trying new songs to play live, and gauging which ones go over better than others. The refresh rate is so fast nowadays that sometimes really amazing music gets lost in the bands rush to constantly give their fans something new. We’re in no rush.
CS: Alright, a couple easy ones: Which one of your albums is your favorite?
KB: People always say the newest one, but I really mean it. I love Ex-Lives. It feels very close to me.
CS: I feel that. I’ve found with so many bands over the years the first two albums are usually all that are really any good. After that they get more into “hit making” and lose the soul. Ex-Lives and New Junk absolutely rule. It seems like you guys are really hitting your stride. There’s new stuff, but the old ETID is still very evident.
KB: Thank you!
CS: What song do you never get tired of playing?
KB: “The New Black” CS: And which song gets the crowd f**king nuts more than any other? KB: “We’rewolf” is always fun to play. I always see beer cans go flying when that one starts. It’s a very party song. People act like little kids. That makes me happy.
CS: Keith, thanks for taking the time to talk with Cycle Source, and thanks again for putting on yet another great show. Can’t wait till the next one!