Did you plan for such an extended delay between releases?
No, not really. What a lot of people don’t know is that our first record was already around for four years before it ever got released. We were constantly getting caught up on stuff that had absolutely nothing to do with us. People would want to sign the band, and then find themselves in financial trouble, as much of the industry did during that time. We just kept getting caught in the crossfire of it and never getting the record out. It was like, what the hell, dude? You could see that the fans were loving the music; you could see that it was selling; you could see that it was doing well on radio. It was a very trying time for us, but we were able to stick together and pull ourselves out the other side
How did the band change during that period?
Through that, you saw Joey and Blake at their best. Blake went on to producing and making time for other bands and bringing those elements back around to these songs. A lot of hard work, a lot of years of pain and suffering and real life hitting you in the mouth to write about. The songs are all very honest; they’re real-life stories. We all grew up and had families of our own so your perspective of the world and your life changes and a lot of things become more important to you.
Not exactly the MTV, rock-n-roll lifestyle.
The thing is, we were definitely living just day-to-day life, struggling, trying to get by below the poverty line. Trying to just feed ourselves and keep going. Through that, it’s not that we just relate to the fans, but we were living in the same place as them. So this is definitely a record I feel like people will relate to, even more than they did the first one.”
Does it feel like you’ve finally made it?
We have a lot of work ahead of us to get where we want. We really believe that this music is going to touch a lot of people. People measure success in many different ways. For us, it’s just people hearing the music and coming out to see us live. That will be the ultimate success for us, having the interaction with people that have gone through what we’ve through and had the adversities that life throws at you.
Doesn’t it seem like many new bands take success for granted?
That’s because they’re new bands. In October we will have been together for 10 years. We’ve inched our way, every step. We’ve fought for everything we’ve got. So, to be in this position, we definitely feel like, not just the guys in the band, but the people that get down in the trenches with us to constantly fight and keep believing, it’s a win for all of us when we blow this one out.”
With White Rabbit about to hit the stores, how do you feel about the end-product? Do you have any favorite tracks?
There’s a couple that I really, really like. “Ghost Town,” I really like “The Drug,” “Kick Ass” is one of my favorite ones on there. There is a song call “Change” that I think absolutely could change a lot of lives. There’s just so much. I mean, we’re all into sports and we work out, so everything has that competitive edge. When we were making this, we talked about leaving it all on the field, making sure that anything that was left in the basement that you needed to get out; anything that you were still holding onto came out. ‘Cause you never know when you’ll get another chance to say something important, so make every single one of them count. When I step back and listen to this record, I feel like it’s from someone who was, one, honest; two, poured everything out and didn’t hold anything back and three, got everything that they wanted to get out caught and captured on tape.
Will leaving everything on the field for this release make the next project difficult?
No, ‘cause there’s still a slew of shit (laughing). Unfortunately, you only get to put out 12 or so tracks on every record, so there’s a lot of stuff still left over. We sent the ones that were appropriate to tell the story that we needed to tell. But there is a lot of fun stuff there for the fans; we’re developing a comic strip that comes inside the record; you’ll get to see the other panels that Joey drew and we’ve been developing a lot of fun aspects that show our fans what we went through.
I noticed that you don’t have any posted tour dates past May 21. Will the band be hitting the road soon to promote White Rabbit?
Definitely, it’s constant for about the next 2 ½ years.
So you’re gonna turn into one of those bands that tour all the time?
That’s what we’ve always done. We grinded it out for over two years for the last record. We were only back home in Memphis for about 14 days over a two-year period.
That’s gotta be rough on the family.
It is, but we’re all really lucky to have supportive women and children and families. You’re only as strong as the ones who hold you up.
Sounds like a great lyric. (laughing)
Could be. (laughing)
Egypt Central supports Cold and Kopek at The State Theatre this Saturday, May 7; doors 7 p.m. $16.
White Rabbit is scheduled for release May 31.