Having started life as an OC hardcore band, Throwdown have evolved into an entirely different beast.
Between lifting weights and listening to Pantera, bass player and all round nice guy Matt Mentley was able to have a chat with us.
Interview w/ Matt (bass) of Throwdown
By Cameron Chambers
Thanks for your time today
No problem man
Where are you holed up at the
We are driving and making our
way to San Diego.
I know you guys are nearing
the end of the Warped Tour, how was it for you guys this year?
Really cool man. We’ve um, been
really surprised with the…
*** Thanks to the fine folk
at an unnamed “TELecommunications” company, the call actually dropped
out at this point ***
Sorry about that mate, you
I was just saying we’ve been
so surprised with the turn outs every day. There were a lot of people
showing up to our stage to check us out so it was really cool.
Over the last couple of years,
Throwdown have jumped on a lot of metal tours, who gives you guys the
better reaction these days – Warped Tour kids or the metal fans?
Um, I dunno. It’s different
between the two but Warped was something that we really wanted to do
because it’s a great opportunity to play to different kinds of kids
and hopefully make ourselves some new fans.
In less than a fortnight, you
guys are hitting the road with Machine Head and Arch Enemy
– what are you most looking forward to from that tour?
I think it’s going to be really
cool man. We’ve toured with Arch Enemy in the UK before so we already
know those guys. We’ve all been Machine Head fans for a long time
as well so it’s going to be a good tour for us and just a great tour
“Venom And Tears” has only
been out for a couple of weeks – what’s the reaction been like when
you’ve played your new tracks live?
It’s been really good man, we’ve
had a great reaction overall. We weren’t too sure what was going to
happen because it’s definitely a new direction for us but it’s been
really good so far. Really positive!
Can you tell us a bit about
the writing and recording process for the new record?
It was just really collective
man. We all brought in a lot of ideas and we went over absolutely everything.
We had about 6 months to write and work on a lot of stuff.
We gave ourselves plenty of time
and tried not to throw anything out… we really wanted to give everything
a chance. We really let all our influences into the time and gave ourselves
a chance to work everything out.
Why did you guys decide to
work with “Mudrock” as opposed to a more traditional metal producer?
Well, we were looking for a different
dude and he was the most interested in what we were doing out of all
the people we talked to. I think we wanted to step up the overall production
a little bit and we felt he was going to be able to give it a different
feel from a metal producer.
It’s obviously still a metal
record. It’s still really heavy but Mudrock was able to give it the
feel that he’s able to give rock bands, and that’s something we
probably wouldn’t have been able to get from someone else.
Plus, he’s based in LA which
was cool because we didn’t have to leave home to record. We were able
to go home every night which was great.
The Pantera comparison is something
you guys seem to get a lot of these days.
Was the change in your sound a conscious thing or did it just naturally
evolve given the amount of line-up changes Throwdown have been through?
It was honestly a really natural
thing. We’re not living up to anyone’s expectations… we weren’t
concerned about sounding like the Throwdown of the past. We just wanted
to let things happen in the writing process and didn’t want to worry
about sounding like anything else that’s out there. We just wanted
to sound like us and that was it.
Who or what were your biggest
influences while you were putting “Venom And Tears” together? Both
from a writing AND production point of view.
Personally, I don’t like to
listen to heavy stuff when we’re writing. I tend to listen to a lot
of mellow music. You probably won’t hear any of that in our record
but we’re influenced by a lot of different stuff.
I try not to listen to any heavy
bands when we write so we don’t rip anyone off, ha ha. We just go
with whatever comes out.
Turning the clock back a couple
of years, Throwdown were essentially the new kids on the metal block.
Do you think the “Ozzfest” crowd has embraced you guys a bit more
Yeah definitely man! I think especially
with this record… we’ve had people who were saying they weren’t
too sure about us but that the new record changed their opinion of us.
We feel more embraced by that
world now more than ever!
What’s been the most memorable
Throwdown so far?
For me, it was definitely when
we did Ozzfest. It was the first big tour we’d done at that point
and it was just such a cool experience. It was so different from what
we were used to at the time.
These days we do a lot of festivals
but at the time that one was so pivotal for us.
stories from Warped Tour this year that you’d like to share?
Nah dude, we just hang out, ha
ha. One of us is married and Dave is engaged. The other 2 guys have
girlfriends as well so we keep it pretty mellow.
What’s in the works once
the Machine Head tour is all wrapped up?
Well, Dave is getting married
so we’re probably going to have a small amount of time off before
we hit the road again.
We’re looking at doing some
overseas stuff as well but we’re not too sure yet, so we’re just
talking about it at the moment.
Who are some bands you think
kids should be checking out if they aren’t already?
There’s this band on the Warped
Tour called Evaline, they’ve done the Taste Of Chaos tour as well.
They’re just a really cool bad that I’ve been really stoked on.
When can we expect a return
visit to Australia?
I dunno man… hopefully really
soon! We’d definitely love to come back. We always have a good time
when we’re there!
That’s about it Matt, anything
else you’d like to add?
Nah, I think that’s it man.
For more information on Throwdown