Interview by Jack Arkell
Arizona’s Job For a Cowboy have never been a band who have united all metal fans in comprehensive praise of their work, nor have they ever had any interest in doing so. Always developing their sound, JFAC’s output peaked with the release of April’s ‘Demonocracy’, a record they are currently in the midst of touring.
Midlands Rocks’ Jack Arkell caught up with frontman Jonny Davy at the Birmingham leg of Dying Fetus’ ‘Womb to Waste’ tour to talk about the band’s future, the health of metal and professional wrestling.
MR: How’s the tour been so far?
Jonny Davy: It’s been pretty cool, we’re on day four or five now, it’s going really fast already.
Have the UK crowds been as responsive as you’d hoped?
It’s been pretty much what we expected, every time we come to the UK it’s always a blast. They just seem to appreciate bands from overseas, so it’s refreshing I guess.
Do you have any particular memories of touring England, and how does it compare with touring back home in America?
Honestly there’s not that much difference. I remember the first time we came down here, and it’s always a party atmosphere. We’ve toured with Cerebral Bore, Revocation and Dying Fetus before so it’s just a bunch of friends hanging out.
How different is it playing on a tour like this with three other bands as opposed to headlining your own tour?
There’s not too much of a difference, you play a shorter set and you’re on a bit earlier, but the crowd still seem to be up for it either way.
In Demonocracy you’ve created the band’s best album to date at a time in which the metal genre is said to be declining. What are your views on the health of metal and the new bands coming through?
I don’t see metal declining by any means, I’m curious of that argument. Obviously it goes in waves, we might be on a downward wave at the moment but the scene changes every five years or so. I think we’re in the process of something new, and we’ll see whether what’s popular at the moment has longevity in the next four or five years.
You tend to be pretty consistent in terms of releasing music, be it EPs or full-length albums. Are you writing anything at the moment or is it too soon after the last record?
We write a little bit here and there, we don’t write so much all the time. We kind of just wait and recover from the touring lifestyle before we start writing. But we have started talking about it, we have a load of ideas and we just want to keep moving and progressing. Writing is one of my favourite parts of being in a band in all honesty.
You’ve toured pretty extensively over the past year with the Destroyers of the Faith and Summer Slaughter tours amongst others, will 2013 be more of the same or do you plan on taking a break?
I think we’re going to tour until the summer, then go back home and start putting together the pieces of the puzzle for the next album. This is quite a light touring schedule by our standards, but nowadays you have to pick and choose what you do, no matter what genre your band is. You can’t afford to be out there all the time like a lot of bands were doing four years ago.
You’ve spoken in favour of file sharing in the past. What are your views on the news that Century Media are planning on suing 7,500 fans for illegally downloading Lacuna Coil and Iced Earth albums, and do you think that downloads are going to render physical releases obsolete in your band’s lifespan?
We were just talking about that actually. I think it’s ridiculous for anyone to be charged anything over double the amount that the album cost (if they are caught illegally downloading), but it’s just a really pathetic way for a dying industry to get as much money as possible. I think they need to figure out new ways to make money, it just doesn’t work anymore. I think anyone who agrees with what Century Media are doing is delusional and afraid of change.
As for downloads replacing physical music, I think they will. You can already see that at the moment, with iTunes sales increasing massively.
If money was no object, who would you get to play on a future Job For a Cowboy track?
We’ve never really went down the guest route before, but my favourite vocalist ever is probably Travis Ryan from Cattle Decapitation, so that would be pretty cool. I’ll ask him. Probably.
The guys in the band are big professional wrestling fans, yourself included. Given the choice, would you rather headline at Donington or have one of your tracks as the theme song of Wrestlemania?
I think that would have to be Wrestlemania, definitely!
What do you want Job For a Cowboy to be remembered for?
We’ve obviously had our detractors, the people who listened to our ‘Doom’ EP and made a judgement on us based off of that and nothing else, without even listening to our other material. But I just hope that people can realise that we’re a band who always made a conscious effort to try new things and keep on improving. So many bands in our genre find the safe zone and keep on doing the same thing over and over again. That works, but we always try valiantly to develop as a band.