Obituary's John Tardy Talks Touring, Music, and New Music



Death metallers Obituary have been around for almost 30 solid years since their formation way back when. Over the course of their musical career they have released various albums, toured relentlessly, and just doesn't seem to want to stop doing what they do. Frontman John Tardy who is 1 of 3 original members hence Terry Butler who is the bassist and new comer to the band as of 2010, had caught up with me to discuss his life on the road, upcoming touring schedule, and says that their upcoming ninth album will see the light of day sometime next year.


1. How amazing do you think 2012 has been for you as a band so far?

John:  It's been great actually we had a real fun year got to play a lot of shows and festivals playing with Slayer and Lamb Of God, all kinds of stuff. Just keeping busy and having a lot of fun. It seems every year it keeps getting bigger and better so we just have fun with it.

2. What's new in the recording of your music?

John: We were suppose to have an album done already but hadn't gotten around to finishing it up so we haven't had the time to finish it up. We did have the time off but we got busy doing other things spending time with family and friends out finishing on the boats and stuff like that, so we never got around to it. But we do have one we just need to put things together and record it. Since we will be out on tour this September and possibly November and then Europe in December this year is shot to getting it done. So we'll get it done it in time for the summer of next year.

3. If you could have a headbanging contest between you and the other guys who would win?

John: Wow that's a crazy question I definitely wouldn't want to go up against Corspegrinder (George Fisher vocalist of Cannibal Corpse) I'd probably pick someone like Tom Araya of Slayer so maybe go against him and then him and I can go drinking after tossing it around a few times.

4. You are about to start a fantastic headline US Tour with Broken Hope, Decrepit Birth, Jungle Rot and Encrust. If you could think of one thing you would like to accomplish the most through that tour what would that be?!

John: Obviously make it home in once piece. But we're really excited. I'm always getting fan email from fans asking when are we going to tour at home. So it makes the shows get bigger and more exciting and I'm looking forward to all of the good shows closer to home for sure.

5. What have you done to prepare yourselves for the tour?

John: We came up with this crazy idea to play songs off our earlier records. So we got our first three albums so Don (brother/drummer) so we worked on it and then we looked at each other and re-learn all of these songs again. The one's we had played before it had been a while. So we picked 6 songs off each of these albums covering most of the material. So it was challenging but we're getting tight and will be cool so it's going to be fun.

6. How easy is it to keep the motivation going on a daily basis for Obituary?

John: It can definitely be challenging but you look to your other members to get yourself pumped up and motivated. We don't sit there on stools it's extreme music so it takes that motivation to get yourself going and look to the other guys for that energy. I do always get emails from fans and those positive emails do keep you going too and we're all looking forward to this tour. It takes a little bit of time but I guess the closer the time comes it makes you have to get out there and just do it.

7. What are you looking forward to about working with Broken Hope, Decrepit Birth, Jungle Rot and Encrust on your tour?

John: I always tell people about this job is getting to meet big bands and other bands we always run into them befriending them. A lot of them I haven't even toured with them but bands like Jungle Riot and Broken Hope we have known for a long time so seeing them get back together is cool. So anytime the bands get together for the first day you're friends for a long time so that's always good.

8. Once the tour in the USA is over what do you have planned afterwards?

John: We're doing this tour in September and then in November may be going to Central America and then in December going to Europe so we're busy for the rest of the year. Then afterwards going back and finishing up this album.

9. Is there any song that when you play it live on stage makes your adrenaline levels kick in and make you want to go hyper?

John: There's usually a lot of them but when you start the night off with that first song you know what reactions you want from the audience. whether it' d be fast or slow. It seems we always end the night with the song "Slow We Rot" when that song kicks in it gets the biggest and most violent so that's always good.

10. When it comes to performing each and every night does the time stand still or does it fly by when performing?

John: We've always liked to look at it like we work about 23 hours a day and that 1 hour is spent performing on stage. So a lot of the time's everything you do flying, traveling, being bored, whatever it may be you go through that winds up being the hardest part but once you hit that stage and play for the fans we don't have to worry about anything we just play for the fans and that's how we look at it.

11. What is one special effect that you would want to use or see during your shows?

John: Well if we could have a bunch of naked girls on stage that would be cool but it doesn't quite fit into what we do. (Laughs) Ideally for us we don't always get to bring the production of what we would like to do. But the things I would like to do would be to have better lightening, some effects to dress things up a bit. It just gets kind of tough so a lot of the backdrops we even have we can't even use at times. Like bands like Slipknot the show's that they have are big and great so if we could have one like there's being so big each and every night that would be awesome.

12. What about stage props what items would you want to use?

John:  Ya know dry ice and flames are hard to beat! (Laughs)

13. What has been the biggest banner that you have used during any of your tours?

John: I think some of the biggest one's we've used for the festivals are probably 30 by 20 in size there huge around 50lbs I try carrying them around but they take up so much space and have to be in their own suit cases. You only get to use them during like two festivals and they just hang around afterwards but we do it.

14. Have you ever thought about playing a prank or joke on the audience for example since you're a metal band you come out on stage with acoustic guitars and then break them and just return to yourselves that's a creative but funny idea.

John: That would be quite funny right there. Come out with some acoustic Obituary come out with acoustic guitars, bongos, tambourines, would be funny. I could definitely see the kid's faces they would definitely be thrown a loop for that one.

15. To hear your songs played on radio, music videos on the internet and TV - how amazing does that make you feel?

John:  It's always weird especially for me being a singer. We don't have the huge budgets to do the types of videos we'd like to so we just pick a concept and do it as best as we can. But it does get weird looking at yourself and at the old stuff you have done. Like if you walked into your parent's house with some old friends and saw a picture of yourself when you were in the 8th grade and you wonder what was I thinking or why was I wearing that back then? But in the end you're stuck with what you did so that's how it goes.

16. If you could tell people who haven’t heard your music before why they should check you out right now - what would you say?!

John: A live show. For us live is far better than any album we have ever done. You get it more and there's probably a ton of people out there who would listen to our record and not get it. But the ones who do see us live understand it than the other way around. So for me it's one of those things, I want to change if some people were walking around and were dragged into a bar and saw us play they'd likely enjoy it more.

17. You guys have been around for almost 30 years do you ever sit back and actually think back as to "wow" I'm actually doing this. What run's through your mind?

John: It kinda of does we're all still pretty young at heart so we don't do stuff people typically our age would be doing. We could go and not do a album for like 5 or 7 years. So one album it was 7 years between them so I was doing interviews and ran into some people and how much of an influence our music was, like Slipknot, Pantera, Lamb of God, it wasn't until then that we got back together and it fell through it was nice to hear so we've been moving forward from then on.

18. You guys have toured a lot over the years but where hasn't Obituary set foot in?

John: We were talking with the guys of Lamb Of God who were just playing in India so that would be a cool place to go too. We get lots of offers to go to Indonesia and haven't been. There's so many places even in the U.S. that we haven't been too. But we've been fortunate to go to the places we have been. It's a great thing to be able to do and visit places and meet people. Like this last time we had 3 days off in Amsterdam which has a good friend of ours living there so we got to stay there see his family and how he lived his everyday life. It's a cool insight whether than using the airports and what not it's very cool.

19. Anything else you'd like to add or say to the fans?

John: Well mostly this tour is the biggest thing on our plate for right now. We just have a lot of shows coming up so we're just looking forward to getting back out there and having fun with what we do.

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