photo by Shelley Jambresic
Age of Evil, newcomers on the metal scene, are most likely one of the youngest groups in their genre. Their debut record got them recognition in the European rock scene, allowing them to tour Germany and England. With their new EP just being released, and their popularity growing, it’s only a matter of time before this band climbs it’s way to becoming the best at what they do. I asked the vocalist, Jeremy Goldberg, a few questions about his band and what the past few years have been like for him.
Jade: Since you first started out in 2007, you’ve gained a lot of success fast. For your age, this is quite impressive. How does this feel for you as a band?
Jeremy: It feels amazing, you know, we’re really grateful for everyone who’s helped us along the way and all the opportunities we’ve been given. And we feel that as we get older and better, there’s just no stopping. So we’re really excited to see what happens in the future.
Jade: I know the band is two sets of brothers, but can you explain how the two met and got AOE started?
Jeremy: Yeah, absolutely. Well, it kind of started before we were even born. My parents and Ziff’s parents had been running into each other a lot, like, on honeymoons or in the grocery store and places like that. And they decided that “if we’re going to keep on running into each other we might as well become friends.” So all of us were kind of born around the same time, within 3 years of each other, and we’ve known each other pretty much our whole lives. We grew up together, and we were pretty much inseparable growing up. When Jordan, our lead guitarist, was about 7 years old, he and his brother both picked out their instruments and then we followed after them. When we were young, we always knew that the four of us would do something together, and at an early age, we knew that that was going to be the four of us in a band. Our music has changed styles over the years since we started, it was kind of more of like a classic rock band, then a punk band, and now a heavy metal band, traditional metal band.
Jade: Are there any challenges in having brothers together in a band?
Jeremy: I think that the pros definitely outweigh the cons. Like when we tour, I think it’s good and bad. You know, because we’re so tight as a group, and we’ve known each other for so long, you know how to deal with certain situations, better than a lot of bands. And we learned to deal with each other at an early age. So while we have our normal brotherly fights or stuff like that, little arguments here and there, it’s usually resolved within a couple hours or maybe the next day. So nothing that I see that could ever trouble the band in the future.
Jade: Do you ever get criticized on your age, saying you’re too young to play or understand this genre?
Jeremy: I don’t think we get criticized, I think people are more intrigued in how such young kids know this kind of music. And again, our families have a rich, musical upbringing also. The Ziff’s, their parents where always going to Van Halen and Ozzy concerts when they were our age, and had them playing piano when they were young. So music has kind of been in our family, and I think that’s a big reason why we were introduced to it, just because it’s been in our family for so long.
Jade: That was actually my next question. What were your roots in music? How did you get interested in it as a career?
Jeremy: Well Jordan and Garrett, like I said, they picked up their instruments first and they both actually started with piano, like their mom. And then Jordan fell in love with Randy Rhoads of Ozzy Osbourne and he picked up the guitar. And when he picked up the guitar it was kind of natural for him. Him and his brother are both naturally gifted in that sense. Then, me and my brother followed them, and we have to work a little bit harder to keep up sometimes. But yeah, that’s how it got started, we were really influenced by guitarists. So when we were young and starting out, Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin and Santana and of course Randy Rhoads and people like that really inspired us to write music and play music.
Jade: Has there ever been a time where you said “I don’t know if I want to do this,” or ever thinking of giving up?
Jeremy: I don’t think so, not really. I mean, I might have had those feelings if it wasn’t with the other guys, if it was other people in the band that I wasn’t as close with, but for us, this is just a lot of fun. When we were touring in Europe, we were there for 60 days, all four of us. Sometimes you have those moments where you’re frustrated or you feel like maybe this isn’t right, but when I’m doing this with my brothers, I don’t feel that way. So for the most part, none of us feel any kind of emotion like that.
Jade: Speaking of the European tour, after your first album was such a hit that you had the opportunity, what was you’re favorite part in the experience? How is it different from touring in the U.S.?
Jeremy: My favorite part of it was the reaction that we got the first time that we went to Europe. We were invited to the Banger Head Festival two weeks before it was going to happen, and we were only scheduled to play the warm-up session before the festival, and we got such a great crowd response at the warm-up show that they wanted us to play on the main stage of the festival. So for me, and I’m sure the rest of the band, that was really exciting for us. And the European audience live and breathe metal and heavy metal and heavy rock, so the audience there is totally different sometimes than the U.S. We haven’t done a whole lot of touring in the U.S., but we do plan on doing that in 2010, so I can’t really say too much on what our experiences have been in the U.S. But the thing is, whenever we play live, we always get a great crowd response, wherever we play, which is good.
Jade: That’s pretty crazy to be a band from Arizona playing in Europe before they get to play in the U.S.
Jeremy: Yeah! I mean, it’s kind of funny. The market out there is different. A lot of bands do start out in Germany and Europe and then make there way to the U.S. I think to become successful in the U.S., you have to be playing some of those Rockstar Energy festivals or Ozzfest to get a lot of recognition. It’s not impossible, but it’s pretty hard to start out in the states and build up a following in your state and move it from there. It seems pretty hard for most bands today. So yeah, Germany and Europe has definitely been good to us.
Jade: How did the decision to make an EP come about? And are you planning on also releasing a full length album?
Jeremy: We were not planning on an EP actually. We were able to record the EP between tour dates in Europe this summer. I think we had more songs to record, but we just felt that the EP was the best way to show people and our fans where we have been coming from and how we have evolved from our first album; the cover songs show that fun side to us, and what we sound like live. So I think the EP was a good package of what Age of Evil is all about right now, and the full length will come in the next year or so. So I’m looking forward to that full-length. It’s a preview of what’s to come.
Jade: On “Get Dead” you covered Skid Row & Judas Priest. Was this a group effort, or did one person say “I want to do a cover of this…” and you all agreed?
Jeremy: It was kind of both actually. Garrett, our drummer, suggested both songs, I believe. The reason we chose the Judas Priest cover is because last year we were in London, playing with Girlschool and we wanted to play a song that the fans there would appreciate, so we thought, what better than to play a Priest song? And then Garrett came up with “Electric Eye.” And that song turned out really well live, and we knew that with our tone and our vibe, and our aggression and attitude, that the song would translate really well on a recording. So about a year ago, we knew that we were going to record “Electric Eye.” And on the other hand, “Slave To the Grind,” we had an extra day in the studio over the summer, and we didn’t know what to do and we didn’t know what to record. Then, again, Garrett said, “Why not cover “Slave To the Grind?”” So in that same day, I pulled out my phone actually, and we learned the song off my phone, and recorded it that same day too. We only did a couple takes for the drums, guitar and vocals, and really just busted the song out in one day, we just wanted to get that raw attitude in there and we were not focused on getting the song to sound 100% perfect, every little thing is polished. We just wanted that energy and attitude. So that song was completely different from the Priest cover, and I think both of them turned out really well. And sometimes the songs that you don’t expect to…do end up really slammin’.
Jade: Your sound is very unique to what’s out there now. You’ve named some, but what bands have inspired you and your sound?
Jeremy: I’d probably say Iron Maiden and Ozzy Osbourne. Over the years our influences have expanded to a lot of different genres, not just metal. More bands like Boston, Whitesnake, and Foreigner and all kinds of bands. When we were first getting into metal, it was pretty much the typical metal bands you would think of like Megadeath, Maiden, Black Sabbath, Ozzy, and Metallica. All those kinds of bands. But it’s definitely expanded over the years.
Jade: At this point, you’ve only begun your musical journey. What are your goals for the future as a band?
Jeremy: Well, our main goal as a band has always been from the beginning to just be the biggest and the best, total world domination. And if we ever find an alien race, we want to rock them too. But right now our current goal is to be touring in the U.S. and places like Canada and Japan and Brazil. And then working on our next album. We just want to be one of those bands that kids are inspired by, just like Iron Maiden and Ozzy Osbourne was for us.
Jade: What is planned next for Age of Evil?
Jeremy: Next is finishing up the next album. We have enough material for it, for the full-length, but it’s about finding the right producer and the right people to do it with. All the technical stuff. And then again, the same thing with touring, we’re really working on getting us on tour. And that again is finding the right band to do it with, or the right timing, or the right countries. So we pretty much go where the hot spots are and we’re always writing and working on improving our sound. I mean, that’s pretty much the plans for now. Those two things.
Jade: Thank you very much for talking to us.
Jeremy: Yeah, no problem.
We would like to thank Chipster Entertainment for allowing us time with Jeremy. For more information on Jeremy and his band Age of Evil, you can go to: http://www.ageofevil.com/Welcome.html.
Other solo picture of Jeremy shot by Shelley Jambresic.