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Poison The Well - 07.02.09

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Poison The Well - 07.02.09There are several reasons why Poison The Well deserves respect. The first being that they're likely more fierce than you, but that's no matter. We're fluff balls too. The real reason they deserve respect, and get it too, is for snippets like this quote: "Fuck money, fuck fame, fuck trends and go into it with aspirations of creating music and art with meaning and integrity." Or maybe this one too: "This band has always done whatever it wants, and it's going to continue like that."

Read more of what Brad Clifford has to say about being a hardcore heavyweight and the band's new album,
The Tropic Rot, in the interview below. Many thanks go to Derek at Solid PR, Ferret Music, and of course, Poison The Well.


First of all, can you tell me your name and what you play in the band, for the record?

Brad: I'm Brad Clifford and I play guitar.

Let's get right into The Tropic Rot because we're just a few days away from the official release date. Are you pumped or has the excitement of an album release worn away over the years?

Brad: We're so pumped for this record it's absurd. We're all really into how the songs came out, how it sounds, the layout, everything. This record is us putting our absolute best foot forward in so many ways, and we're buzzing with excitement in anticipation of everyone else being able to hear it.

Why the name The Tropic Rot? I'm digging it.

Brad: It has a lot of different meanings, depending on who you ask. Everyone has a personal take on it. To me, it speaks a lot about being in a physical or emotional or geographical place that a lot of people perceive as paradise, but the reality of it is a lot different. That mixed with my feelings about where I was during the time we wrote the record.

The album was produced by Steve Evetts and somewhat out of the blue after J. Robbins couldn't work his magic due to a family emergency. How did this transform the recording process?

Brad: I can't say what it would have been like to work with J, but I imagine Steve's style is vastly different. Ultimately, I think working with Steve for this record was a blessing in disguise, and sonically exactly what this record needed whether we knew it or not. We'd love the chance to work with J in the future, but we're all really stoked on how The Tropic Rot came out with Steve.

Since you'd spent the past two records in Sweden - how did being stateside change recording for you? Why not head back in with Lövström and Henricsson?

Brad: Money, time, and progression. We had to get this one hammered out and going to Sweden wouldn't have been too much of an option with this one, plus the comfort of recording at least in own country was something I think all of us needed at that point. Also, I think it was time to try something else. This record has a different sound than any other, and working with someone who would be a fresh take for us was something we wanted to help complete the vision this time around.

And I've read in interviews that The Tropic Rot turned into a summation of the PTW sound of sorts - it has a bit of everything you've done and it'll be a record that your long-time followers should be able to appreciate. So, that said, was this the goal all along, or did this collection unfold when you started writing?

Brad: We definitely didn't write the record to appeal to any certain people, just kind of set goals for ourselves and decided we wanted to write a record that had a lot more energy, had some deep hooks that would sink into your brain, be dynamic, and push us all at our respective instruments. We created music that we wanted to hear, and wanted to play. I could see the standpoint of it being a catalog-summation to a certain extent, which I'm totally into, but I definitely think we brought a few new things to the table too. Things feel very different with this band lately and we're all really into it.

Do you think fans of Versions will like The Tropic Rot?

Brad: I think so. It's still pretty heavy on the artistic flourishes like Versions was, maybe in a little more of a blended way.

What are some of your favorite moments on The Tropic Rot?

Brad: When Jeff screams "keep your arms up, the vultures will soon be here to carry us home" on "Without You and One Other I Am Nothing" gets me hyped every time. "Antarctica Inside Me," is one of my favorite songs on this record... I don't know. I've been listening to The Tropic Rot almost every day for the last 6 months and I'm still so into this record. It's too early for me to choose moments I guess, I'm still so fuck yeah about pretty much everything.

Poison The Well has been around for upwards of ten years now. I think it's safe to say you guys are alums of the hardcore world. Thoughts on that?

Brad: It's an honor to be a part of it. It's always sweet to see bands really commit to music and being creative and relevant for so long in a sea of here-today-gone-tomorrow. Being in a full time band definitely isn't easy, and people who can stick it out get my deepest respect.

Can you remember a certain moment or two in your career when you realized that you were seasoned veterans?

Brad: When bands that we tour with say that they used to listen to Poison the Well when they were 13, then it kind of sinks in and we feel like we've been around the block a couple times.

You guys have become an inspiration for younger hardcore bands. Did you notice a switch in mentality as you aged as a band?

Brad: Not really, it's just been kind of an unconscious thing of "we're friends, we want to make music together, and this is what we do." I guess with age less attention gets paid to trends and blah blah blah. This band has always done whatever it wants, and it's going to continue like that.

What do you think is the most important thing for a young hardcore band to do when they start to make music?

Brad: Be down. Fuck money, fuck fame, fuck trends and go into it with aspirations of creating music and art with meaning and integrity. Be stoked and be friends. That's what I want to see more of. It's not easy, but it's rewarding. If you're truly down for all that, whatever you create will never be a failure.

What keeps your head help high?

Brad: Knowing that I'm beyond lucky to be able to do what I do, and do it in a way that I feel is right.

What kept you together in the times when many of the heavyweight hardcore groups disbanded?

Brad: Just being friends and the urge to make music with them. Having that makes all other trials and tribulations pale in comparison.

Any plans on a 10th anniversary release for Opposite of December?

Brad: The anniversary passed already, but there's still a lot to sort out with Trustkill with that record. Once that's all done, I'm sure a special edition thing will be done. We've talked about it, and thought of ways to do it to make it special. Hopefully it comes together someday soon.

And there's a DVD in the works, according to one AP.net users? Can you give us any details on this?

Brad: We're still filming a bunch of stuff but haven't started assembling things for a DVD just yet. We'll probably round out some touring for The Tropic Rot and then start telling some of the PTW story with delicious hi def.

Future touring plans?

Brad: We're currently on the 10 for 10 tour with a lineup that's absolutely insane, then Japan in October, some club shows in Australia after that, then Europe/UK with Rise Against and Thursday.

Can you give us some recommendations for bands or artists we may not have heard of? We freakin' love recs at AP.net.

Brad: Bands I'm stoked on right now... Red Knife Lottery from Milwaukee, Wolves in the Throne Room, I'm really stoked for the new Rise and Fall record, William Whitmore, XO Skeletons, Jesu, yeah, listen to all that!

Brad: Thank you for the interview!!!! We really appreciate it and love AP, and so does my cousin who is on there 24 hours a day. For real.
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 19
07:25 PM on 07/06/09
#2
be mine
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Isn't this dude like new to the band? Aren't the majority of the members new dudes? He talks like he's been in the band since the beginning. Am I wrong here?

Either way, I'm stoked for the new album, and the only decision I have to make now is to buy a physical or digital copy.
07:41 PM on 07/06/09
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CellarGhosts
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Awesome interview, thanks for posting this, Julia!

Hi Brad!
07:58 PM on 07/06/09
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Wait_For_It
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Awesome interview, thanks for posting this, Julia!

Hi Brad!
I love his shout out to you, haha.

Good interview.
08:00 PM on 07/06/09
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I love his shout out to you, haha.

Good interview.
Me too, haha.
08:09 PM on 07/06/09
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Brad has been in the band for a few years now. That aside, he's been around for a long time, so he's no stranger to the territory of being in a band, DIY, and respect. He once shredded in one of Milwaukee's best, Since By Man.
08:45 PM on 07/06/09
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awesome interview. hope i have enough duckets to pick up Tropic Rot tomorrow. I absolutely love this band.
09:35 PM on 07/06/09
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Brad has been in the band for a few years now. That aside, he's been around for a long time, so he's no stranger to the territory of being in a band, DIY, and respect. He once shredded in one of Milwaukee's best, Since By Man.
ehhh still a bit weird how he describes it. whatever, the record is pretty good!
11:09 PM on 07/06/09
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Brad has been in the band for a few years now. That aside, he's been around for a long time, so he's no stranger to the territory of being in a band, DIY, and respect. He once shredded in one of Milwaukee's best, Since By Man.
He was in Since By Man? I was unaware. Badass. Speaking of badass I just bought this off Amazon and am listening to it now. Isn't technology crazy!?!
12:03 AM on 07/07/09
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Awesome interview, thanks for posting this, Julia!

Hi Brad!
ah, you're the cousin? how dope.
05:00 AM on 07/07/09
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Great interview!
06:42 AM on 07/07/09
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Hahaha great shout out to Chris. Good interview!
01:31 PM on 07/07/09
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ah, you're the cousin? how dope.
Ha, yeah. I try to be modest about it and not really bring it up on the boards just because I don't want to come across as "swt brag guy" or what have you haha, but I am definitely psyched for him.

Hahaha great shout out to Chris. Good interview!


ehhh still a bit weird how he describes it. whatever, the record is pretty good!
Well, I think a lot of these questions he sort of had to answer on behalf of the rest of the band, you know? It's all good though.
01:47 PM on 07/07/09
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Ha, yeah. I try to be modest about it and not really bring it up on the boards just because I don't want to come across as "swt brag guy" or what have you haha, but I am definitely psyched for him.
cool brag, dude.
01:47 PM on 07/07/09
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Haha. Well played.

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