Every Time I Die with Four Year Strong, Polar Bear Club and Trapped Under Ice
7 p.m. Saturday
8001 S. Eastern
$15 advance, $18 door
In 1998, Every Time I Die dug a deep metalcore trench in Buffalo, N.Y., with “The Burial Plot Bidding War” EP. The hole got deeper and darker as the band laid waste with 2001’s “Last Night in Town” full-length, an acclaimed 2001 album that sketched a framework of furious, discordant guitars; technical tempo-swapping start/stops; and front man Keith Buckley’s frantic stream of consciousness-styled lyrics.
The group’s latest, 2009’s “New Junk Aesthetic,” is Every Time I Die at its most concise. Over five studio albums, Buckley’s voice has diverged from his mind and today his sneer rings clear, giving listeners a more intelligible sampling of the singer’s sick sense of humor and a better taste of his tongue-in-cheek sensibilities.
Oklahoma Gazette: The Epitaph label rep said you guys were in Canada “with no phones.” Either he’s lying, you’re up to something, or our great northern neighbor is a worse “port of call” than the “ghost town” you yell about in “Who Invited the Russian Soldier” (a new song about death, callousness and keeping up appearances). Explain.
Keith Buckley: Our drummer, being Canadian, and our tour manager, being responsible, have phones on them. It saves an inordinate amount of money not drunk texting if you just turn your phone off when you’re on international soil.
OKG: Why do you “give yourself away,” Mr. Buckley? And why do you “bleed so easily” (as per the lyrics on “Marvelous Slut,” another song about death, the small difference between God and Satan, and 1,800 miles of skeleton-filled interstate)?
KB: The first answer is because I have very low self-esteem. The second is because I’m a hemophiliac.
OKG: Your voice seems increasingly clean, and “New Junk” seems like it has the least junky vocals thus far. Is this a conscious effort or just a natural progression?
KB: A little of both. I’m kind of like the Benjamin Button of our little touring world: The older I get and the more I drink and smoke, the cleaner my voice gets. But I also enjoy singing. Writing melodies is a lot more fun and challenging than just covering everything with angst.
OKG: Musically, ETID has a reputation for rapid tempo/time changes, chainsaw guitar riffing and flak-cannon drum bursts. “New Junk” is a lot of the same, yet it sounds more “compact,” like you’re melting song elements down in a furnace. Were you after a specific metal alloy with “New Junk,” or did you just hammer and pound away?
KB: Just hammered and pounded relentlessly. Insert your own sexual innuendo.
OKG: You guys said some not-so-nice things to say about Mike Novak when he quit via text message last summer (your statement lamented his unsocial nature and likened playing with him to accompanying a “drum machine”). How’s Ryan Leger working out? Is he “hungry” and “intense” enough for you, Keith? Huh?
KB: Ryan is amazing. The band’s mental health has been restored to full strength. He plays with intensity, he appreciates the opportunities this band has and he’s interesting.
OKG: When was the last time ETID was in OKC and what ” if anything” stands out when recalling that show?
KB: That is a great question, and since I don’t know the answer, the second part answers itself. Ha-ha-ha.
OKG: Have you started writing and banking material for a sixth album yet?
KB: I’ve begun the “note-taking” portion. Jotting down ideas and lines that come to me for future use. That’s the first step for me. As far as music, nothing cohesive, but that’s not to say the guys don’t have ideas for riffs.
OKG: The “Ebolarama” video (in which the band performs in the middle of a dank rink, encircled by skating fans; mayhem ensues) leads me to believe ETID would make a splendid guest at my fantasy skating party. Who are you bringing for couples’ skate and what song are you going to play during limbo?
KB: I won second place in a limbo contest in sixth grade, so I’d bring the first-place winner. Her name was Mary. I don’t remember her last name. I guess if I could pick any song, it would be something by 2 Live Crew, to really get into that party vibe.
OKG: Fill in the blank: Right now, Keith Buckley is …
KB: … angry that he had to pause the movie he was watching to do an interview.