The band released their debut full-length album, Between Here & Lost, on January 22nd. They recently ended The War Of Change Tour with labelmates Thousand Foot Krutch, The Letter Black and The Wedding. Click here to find out more about this tour and Love and Death in a show review I wrote.
Bassist Michael Valentine took some time out of his busy touring schedule to answer some questions I sent to the band via email. I was able to talk with Michael about the new album, the above-mentioned tour and rumors about Brian “Head” Welch possibly rejoining Korn.
Click right here to read my entire interview and check out some live photos I took at a recent show.
I read that the band formed in 2009 when Brian “Head” Welch had open auditions on YouTube. Tell me about the auditions and how the members were chosen. I read that guitarist JR Bareis was actually auditioning for another band.
Michael Valentine: Everyone sent in videos and Head and his old manager narrowed it down to people for live auditions. JR came way later but yeah he was trying out for TFK (Thousand Foot Krutch).
I’m sure you’ve been asked this a lot. Obviously there is gonna be some similarities between Love And Death and Korn. What are the differences?
Head has grown a lot since he left Korn but his style was the root of Korn. The differences would be the other people pulling it in a different direction.
How did you come to decide on “Love And Death” as the name of the band?
We just threw around a bunch of names and ended up with it. It represents everything we’ve been through as a band.
Love And Death just released their first full-length album, Between Here & Lost, in January. You also released an EP in 2012. For those who have not yet listened to the new album, could you tell me about it? Is the album heavier than the EP or Brian’s solo album?
The new album is heavy but we took a more melodic approach. it was a team effort creating the new album and we couldn’t be happier with the way it turned out.
Reading down through the album’s track list it appears that the titles of the songs seem to correlate together. Is there a specific theme to this album and if so, what would that be?
When someone finds God it seems they get very happy, then life comes back in…Just because you are walking with God doesn’t mean that life is full of roses. Haha. This album is the struggle of questions and events that happen to everybody at times.
Your song I W8 4 U features Mattie Montgomery, vocalist of For Today. What was it like working with Mattie Montgomery? How did this collaboration come about?
He is super awesome. We were wanting a sound that is raw and brutal for this song…His name came up and the rest is history.
Let’s talk about your cover of Devo’s Whip It. I have to admit that when I first heard that you did a cover of that song I had to laugh. I grew up in the 80’s and hated that song. Then I listened to your cover and I almost couldn’t tell it was the same song. You did an awesome job with it! What made you decide to cover Whip It?
Head was wanting a new wave song…most new wave songs are funny when I look back at them. I had the same thought as you when he first told me, then I heard the riff and thought to myself, “We can pull this off.” I think he was in the shower when he came up with the idea.
I’ve seen the music videos for The Abandoning, Paralyzed and Chemicals. They are all very creative. How did you go about choosing which direction to take when making the videos?
Each video was by a different director. We would read the script and say “Yeah this will be really cool” then we would go and shoot the video. It sounds fun but videos are really hard and long and very boring haha…but at the end of which they turned out pretty sick.
Tell me about your tour with Thousand Foot Krutch, The Letter Black and The Wedding. Is there any particular city you’re most looking forward to playing at?
We knew all the bands before we went out with them. EVERYBODY is sooo cool!! Night after night of great music!! I am excited about the Machine Shop in Flint, MI. That place ALWAYS brings the energy!! It NEVER lets us down.
What can fans expect on this tour?
Four GREAT SHOWS from four brutal bands.
Will you be playing a lot of music festivals this spring and summer? Which ones are you most looking forward to?
YES and the dates are still coming in…Honestly I am looking forward to EVERY SINGLE ONE!! It is going to be a wild summer.
Rumor has it that Brian will be joining his former Korn bandmates for a couple shows this summer. Are there going to be more shows with Korn in the future? At this time, how much of a possibility is it that Brian will rejoin Korn? What would it mean for Love And Death if he were to rejoin Korn?
Brian isn’t going anywhere, he fits in Korn and I believe he needs to be there…but L&D is his baby…He will never leave it. This is not his side project, he has proven it can stand on its own. This year is gonna be insane!!