JOB FOR A COWBOY’S JONNY DAVY: THE METALSUCKS INTERVIEW
The buckets of internet venom spewed at Arizona death metal titans Job for a Cowboy have seemingly made them stronger: the noticeable shift in sound and focus between their debut EP, Doom, and their debut full length, Genesis, is the sound of a band evolving nicely. While Doom is mired in the genre-shifting madness that was the style at the time, Genesis is serious fucking death metal, a nod to their scraggly-haired forefathers while looking to move onward to new terrain. With another full length due this year, the band show no signs of stopping.
Jonny Davy stands at the front of Job for a Cowboy as their manic, gutter-throated vocalist, firing up the devoted hordes that flock to the band’s countless shows. In an interview conducted in the pizza place next to Club Hell in Providence, where his band would later take the stage that rainy Sunday night to one of the most ridiculously adoring crowds I’ve seen, Jonny espouses about the band’s music, his interesting lineage, and thoughts on the band’s passionate – both positively and negatively so – reaction from the metal community.
How’s the tour going thus far?
The tour has been really good.
Yeah. All the shows have been amazing. I never would have expected it.
You guys are headlining…
Have you headlined a lot of tours before?
No, not really. We’ve done a couple. We’ve done two or three.
I don’t think it really makes that much of a difference. I think the bands that we tour with have an influence on us. Seeing how bands work live has changed us in the way that we play and think. It would be a lot different if we were sitting at home and didn’t see what other bands are doing. So I am sure it would be completely different.
Speaking of completely different, Doom and Genesis are two vastly different sounding records.
Can you explain why?
We wrote Doom when we were like 15 or 16 years old. Then we went on tour after that, and that’s when everything kind of hit. We had a couple of member changes and just touring and progressing and growing up and developing better taste in music. When you are 16 or 17 that’s when you start to learn about metal and that’s kind of what happened there.
You kind of grew up along with your fan base.
What changed in your tastes? What are you into now? What really changed you?
Oh, the name dropping question. I listen to everything. As far as metal goes, I listen to the new Psycroptic a lot. If I had my iPod now I could tell you. I don’t have it on me. I just try to keep up with everything in the death metal scene.
So basically you’re just trying to keep up with your market?
Yeah, I guess our market and our peers in the music scene.
You guys are working on a new album, right?
Is there going to be a drastic shift with this one and Genesis?
It’ll be a little bit of a shift again, but nothing too drastic. We definitely are coming in with new influences with the next record. It’s still early on, but it’ll sound a little different than Genesis for sure. We’re just learning from our mistakes and nit picking everything and evolving as a band.
I don’t know. We got a new drummer [Jon Rice], and it’s going to be his first time recording and playing with us. It’s been going awesome so far [The band has since announced the departure of guitarist Ravi Bhadriraju and named Al Glassman as his replacement. -Ed.]. It’s still really early in the works. We just have pieces of the puzzle laying around. We’re just going to have to put it all together at this point. I don’t know it’s hard to say. I don’t know how to pinpoint it.
Is it going to be a concept record?
No, I don’t think we’re doing a concept record. I think with the next record we’re going to go a bit more into politics. I want to write about parts of the world that are fucked up. Like in Northern Korea is blocked off from the entire world. It’s its own little society. I’m just trying to pinpoint and find little things that are going on in the modern day and age. There are things that are so fucked up and nothing is really being done about it.
Your band has a large number of detractors. All of them are ridiculously vocal and obnoxious from what I’ve seen. Why do you think that is?
I don’t know. It’s kind of humorous to us at this point. I think it’s just the death metal scene and people are becoming more elitist because the genre started out small and when the bands break out of these walls kids are like “What the fuck? I don’t want anybody to know about my music.” I think that’s the whole thing. I think if I wasn’t at the point that I am right now, I would be the same way. Being in a band really gives you a perspective on things, with the touring. It happens with every band that gets recognition. You just have to roll with it. The bigger you get, the more shit you get.
You guys are significantly younger than most of your peers. How do you think that has helped, or does it make a difference?
I think it definitely makes a difference for us, because the kids realize how young we are and younger kids can get into us. I think for younger kids it is harder to attach themselves to someone in their 30s or 40s. So it might be easier for them with a band that is around their age group. It might make them think that they can do it, too.
What do you think about the state of things in this country right now? Do you think they’re fucked with no hope?
I don’t know. I think when it comes to America, in the political sense, a lot of people are just kind of ignorant. They know who they know. I have been raised on politics. This is going to sound completely stupid, but my great grandfather was actually the president of the Dominican Republic.
Yeah, so I was brought up in politics my entire life. I think when it comes to America, I just think it would make things a lot better if people paid more attention and studied what was actually going on. That’s the only thing I can say about Americans. They just don’t give a fuck about anything in the political world.
Or at least not anything that doesn’t directly effect them.
Where do you see Job For a Cowboy headed? What do you guys see coming up in the future? Where do you guys want to take this?
I don’t know. Probably a lot more touring in the future. We always set goals as bands. Like a few years ago we never would have expected to be where we are now. Even a year ago. We just came back from the main stage in the biggest metal fest in Europe. In Wacken we played in front of 50 or 60 thousand people. That is probably the highlight of our band right now. That was probably 3 or 4 months ago. After that I don’t know what other goals we can set.
I don’t know what you can do after playing the main stage in Wacken.
Yeah, but we definitely keep trying to set goals. Like I never know where this band will go, but I’m surprised with where it’s gone already. So it’s cool.
That’s cool. Anything else you want to add?
Download our record. If you like it, buy it. Our next one will be out hopefully in July. That’s it!