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A Dirty Dozen with JOE RANDAZZA from EYE OF THE DESTROYER – September 2020

| 26 September 2020 | Reply


According to a recent press release: “New Jersey death metal outfit EYE OF THE DESTROYER have announced that they will release their new studio album, The Wolf You Feed on October 9th via their High Potency imprint. The record serves as the follow up to the band’s highly acclaimed 2019 effort Baptized In Pain, which received high marks from outlets like Metal Injection and saw regular airplay on SiriusXM’s Liquid Metal. Led by multi-instrumentalist Joe Randazza, who performs all of the instrumentals and vocals for The Wolf You Feed, Eye of the Destroyer is a furiously focused project that aims to bring the scathing animus and unshakable resolve of the Hardcore genre into the dire times faced by the millennial generation.” We get Joe to discuss new music, influences, and much more…

a little about your latest release.  What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through?  Are there any hidden nuggets the band put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

The Wolf You Feed is about the battle that takes place inside of all of us. It’s really good vs. evil at its core. I was struggling with addictions, childhood trauma and loss at the time of its writing. You may not pick up on it during the first few listens but it’s somewhat of a concept album. At first glance it may seem like misplaced anger or songs about struggle and don’t get me wrong it is all of those things but it’s truly about being on a path and hitting that fork in the road. You can choose to feed into the negativity or you can do the work and fix yourself. I wanted desperately to be happy and this record really pulled me out a dark place. One of the songs on the album, “Weight of the World” is for the real die hards. Some of the riffs in that song have been scattered throughout stuff people have probably only heard live for the last 3 years. So if it sounds familiar that is why!

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

My father was a musician. I remember him having band practice in our living room and all of his weird 80’s punk rock friends. He was a part of the CBGB’s scene that really took off during that time period. My relationship with my father has been rocky at best and often times short lived. I was blessed with his name as I am the 3rd. Believe me that’s a blessing and a fucking curse all at the same time. I always wanted to be like him, well like a version of him, that I fantasized was real. So I knew at a really young age I was going to be a musician at some point in my life. Later on in the early 90’s I became obsessed with Hip-Hop and my sister was a collector. She was hardcore. We would memorize every song on the radio and she tasked me with hitting record when the good shit came on. That obsession really lit a fire in me and made me realize music was to be cherished. I craved more and that really opened the flood gates for me.

3. Building on that, is there a specific song, album, performer, or live show that guided your musical taste?

When I was first getting into Metal I didn’t really like it at all. Most people give you this story about how they were destined to be a metalhead and fell in love. Well for me it was an acquired taste. I started out with Nu Metal and Crossover because the hip hop element was there and it was easier for me to get into. Bands like E-town Concrete, Downset, Hatebreed and even Dying Fetus really struck a chord with me early on. They had this rugged and raw element to them that just really intrigued me. I was very angry at the time. These bands really gave an outlet to a kid who was coming from a fucked up situation with no real way out. The New Jersey Hardcore scene of the late 90’s early 2000’s really shaped my musical tastes and had me set on where I was headed musically.

4. Who would be your main five musical influences?

Naughty By Nature, Johnny Winter, Jimi Hendrix, E-town Concrete and Slipknot. I know I am a fucking weirdo. At some point you gotta own it haha.

5. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be, and why?

It would have to be Terry Date. It would be a dream come true to work with a guy who has had his hands in literally most of the bands I love. He is responsible for bringing some of the best work out of my favorite bands. I really feel like working with him would do nothing but positive things for the song writing, the process, the vision and just the big picture.

6. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before? What is the one comparison a reviewer or fan has made that made you cringe or you disagreed with?

I would describe us as a metallic hardcore band. We have often said we are hip hop influenced death metal which I think works too. Depending on the album cycle. We have always been considered Deathcore which I don’t really agree with but I learned a long time ago that you are what they say you are and arguing doesn’t do shit except for waste energy!

7. What’s the best thing about being a musician?

To me the best part is writing the song. Just being able to release everything you have kept inside. Being a musician for me is all about the release. Sometimes things come out when you are writing a song and you look back at it and say, “I didn’t even know that was in there” or “Where the fuck did that come from”. The introspection that comes from being a musician is what’s made me completely addicted to it.

8. When the band are all hanging out together, who cooks; who gets the drinks in; and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

Back before Covid-19 kicked the entire worlds ass we used to spend most of our time playing shows. Kaufman is usually heavy into the drinking but honestly, we all fucking are! Speaking of singalongs we recently had a moment where we started writing 80’s power ballads while drunk. I hope that some of the recordings see the light of day because there is comedic gold there for sure. We are all equipped with Nj Medical Marijuana cards and well versed in the art of the shit talk. We are rarely bored when we are around each other and have been told we are a lot of fun to tour with.

9. When was the last time you were star struck and who was it?

I am a huge wrestling nerd. I mean I have been watching since I was a little kid and I am just as enthusiastic about it now as I was then. The last time I was star struck was being in the presence of Diamond Dallas Page. DDP. I don’t even really know why cause this shit doesn’t normally happen to me but I could not talk to him. I just shot him a bang and kept it moving. The wrestling marks will know what I’m talking about!

10. If you weren’t a musician, what would be your dream job?

I kinda have my dream job already. I, with my wife, co-own a soap company and I have been able to give bandmates jobs and do what I love every single day. It’s probably the most fulfilling work I have ever done besides music. The instant gratification is there and its very similar to writing a song when you invent a new product and create something with your hands.

11. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over”, even if it didn’t change your current situation?

When I was a younger I was in a band called Years Spent Cold. I dedicated a few years to the band and really blossomed as a writer. The chemistry I had with those guys was unlike any I have had before or even after. We just gelled so nicely together creatively. We were dead set on being the heaviest band possible and I think we really achieved that goal. I left the band to attempt to reconnect with my Dad and its something I regret to this day. If I could go back I would have stayed with the band and saw it out till its final show. The guitarist Josh and the drummer Steve were some of the best dudes to write music with. I miss the experiences we had together. The chemistry was fucking undeniable.

12. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

I would go back and be a part of the recording of Slipknots self titled. I imagine it was like taming a wild beast for the producer. So many personalities and an almost unlimited amount of talent and ideas. I feel like a lot of magic was made on that record. It set the tone for a generation of music and its overall just an extremely iconic album. The record means the world to me. It got me through a lot of tough times in my life. I attempted suicide right about the time that album came out. I used to listen to it at full blast and it really got me through so much man.




Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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