Interview: Ljubov Dzuzhynska
Photography: Tim Finch
Jason Evans – Vocals
Sean Hynes – Guitar, Vocals
Sam Yates – Guitar, Vocals
Lyn Jeffs – Drums
What’s it like to be you?
Jason: It’s all right. I enjoy it. I get to go around the world, play death metal to hundreds and thousands of people every year.
Lyn: How many did you just say?
Jason: Hundreds and thousands, not hundreds of thousands, fucking hell, we’re not Metallica. Yeah, we get to see the world, we get to play some awesome shows and we get to see awesome bands constantly. And then when I get home, I’m a dad, I’ve got two children – a boy and a girl. So I get to play with my kids and I do that constantly when I’m not on tour. I’m enjoying life at the moment. What about you Lyn?
Lyn: I’d say probably that if I could pick a life, I probably wouldn’t have chosen this. But I’m making the best of what I’ve got. I think I’ll get to a stage later in my life and look back and think, “eh, I’ve done all right actually’, yet I wouldn’t choose this in the beginning.
Is there something you would change about your past then?
Lyn: I wouldn’t have started playing drums. I’d probably sang instead. I think you have an easier job than me, Jason. But really, we feel privileged to be able to travel around and play in places like Ukraine. We never thought we’d be in places like this. Playing music at least.
Your first time here?
You know that Chernobyl is not far from here?
Lyn: We would like to go and see. But we’re going to Kharkiv tomorrow.
Jason: Yeah, it’s a bit out of the way, unfortunately.
What have you learned from your kids?
Jason: Patience, definitely. I’ve learned a lot about myself really.
I love being in a band. But being a dad is the best best thing in the world, nothing beats, it’s amazing.
I’ve just learned to chill out a lot more and be a lot more relaxed, patient.
And what have you learned from each other within the band?
Jason: You have to be if you’re in this band. It’s now been what? 14 years? 14 years into our career now as a band.
Lyn: The same people.
Jason: Yeah, we never changed any members or anything like that which is pretty rare. We’ve all grown up with each other, so we know each other inside and out. We know when to leave each other alone and stuff like that. We’ve matured gracefully, I would say haha.
Lyn: I think around each other we’re the most comfortable than around anyone else probably. We could just be totally who we are. Like Jason said, over 14 years you have a lot of ups and downs, especially not just with each other, but you know, just in general throughout life, and we’re there to support each other through different moments.
Jason: We’re a family really.
Lyn: But I too would say that it’s patience with each other.
Jason: The thing is, when you’re touring as much as we are now, you’re constantly in each other’s faces, so unless you have a lot of care for each other, it’d be really difficult. But we’re all really close so it’s pretty easy for us really.
If you had to choose between sex or music for the rest…
I can’t put my penis in a CD
so… There you go.
All right then. If you could travel in time, where would you go and why?
Jason: To where all the dinosaurs were because there is nothing like that anymore. I’d like to see something I’d never be able to see in my own time.
Lyn: I’d go forward.
Jason: Well then I’d go even further back than that to the beginning of the universe.
Lyn: And then we’ll definitely never meet haha.
If you could choose a book, cartoon or film reality, which world would you like to try and experience?
Jason: Probably, Game of Thrones or something like that. Or Conan the Barbarian. I like all the swords, tits, dragons and shit like that. That’s my jam, innit? That’s what I like. What about you? Something to do with football?
Lyn: Lost Boys.
Jason: But you’ve been to Lost Boys. We went to the dock.
Lyn: Jump off the fucking bridge.
Lyn: Be a Vampire.
Jason: You want to be a vampire?
Lyn: Yeah, why not.
What questions do you hate to answer?
‘Do you do exhales or inhales? What’s your vocal technique? Is it fry or is it false cord?’ I DON’T KNOW! I just growl into a microphone and it either sounds great or it sounds shit. That’s it. That’s as far as my technical expertise goes.
Lyn: Questions about technique, questions about equipment. Because there’s no right answer.
Jason: No, there isn’t. Everybody’s different.
What one person can do on something doesn’t mean that another person can do that on the same thing. That’s it.
Jason: Like with vocals, if people ask me for any advice, I’ll just tell them to warm up. Everybody’s body is different, so what works for me might not work for them. And I don’t want to tell them, ‘oh, this is how I do it’, and then they go home and try it, and hurt their throat or whatever. So I always say to warm up, warm down, stretch. And I don’t know, go on YouTube and watch a Melissa Cross video. That will help you better than talking to me haha.
What question would you like to be asked in an interview and what would your answer be?
Jason: Now that’s a good question.
Lyn: Any question that is thought-provoking.
Jason: If we struggle to answer it then that’s a good question. Like the questions you ask that are more about us personally rather than ‘when’s the album out?’ or ‘when are you playing here?’. Those are very standard boring questions. Nobody ever really asks us about us as people.
Lyn: We’re human too, awww…
Jason: Hahaha. But yes, questions about us as people, those are interesting and we don’t get to answer them very often.
What is your perception of love?
Jason: It’s just chemical imbalances, isn’t it? A primordial instinct n the brain that makes you want to procreate. Isn’t that what the books say?
Lyn: It’s different.
Jason: Well yes, it depends on what type of love it is.
I mean there is unconditional love which you have for your children where you’ll love them no matter what. You have to love them. Even if they murder someone. Yeah, you’ll be hiding that body haha. You brought him here so it’s your fault.
Lyn: We all love each other:
Lyn: Some more than others.
What is the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen or experienced in your life?
Jason: My kids. My kids being born and just watching them growing up. Other than that I’ve seen some cool things while tripping on mushrooms, although none of them were real haha.
Lyn: Liverpool winning the Champions League in 2005. It just wasn’t supposed to happen. fair play.
Jason: You love Liverpool as if they were your children.
Do you have ‘punishers’?
Lyn: A lot!
Please share some stories.
Jason: So many that I can’t even remember. The guy in Arizona.
Lyn: Oh my God… the guy with the fucking book.
Jason: What book? Oh, I remember! This guy just had a book and it just had loads of random questions in it and he was just going around hammering you with these completely weird questions that had nothing to do with anything.
What sort of questions?
Sean: Like if you would rather be a whale or a fucking whatever…
Jason: They were all literally like that. Or stuff like if you were on a desert island…
Sean: Would you take a carrot or a potato?
Jason: Yeah, shit like that.
Lyn: Or what was the worst thing that happened in your life and the answer was those fucking questions.
Oh, maybe we should hire him.
Jason: He was quite the character. America has the worst punishers, definitely. They have no barriers and you just find any reason to excuse yourself. And they go, ‘but can I ask you one last thing: do you do exhales or inhales?’. Oh, God. It’s just like that. But it’s fun, you take the piss and laugh. It keeps it entertaining.
Could you share some fucked up stories from touring?
Jason: Oh God, yes, we’re fucking cursed. Literally trying to get into your country yesterday we got refused at the border so we had to go back to Moldova, wait there for three hours.
Lyn: At a petrol station in the middle of nowhere.
Jason: To get picked up by a different car and then get back to the border and then they let us through.
Welcome to Ukraine! It sounds like the usual story here.
Jason: What else…
Lyn: We’ve broken down a million times. We broke down on our way home from Detroit. And the guy literally said about 20 minutes before: “I’m gonna get you home safe”.
Jason: Two minutes later there was smoke coming out of the engine. We parked up in some car park and then the police turned up. Then when we did that festival two years ago we broke down twice on the way to the first show.
Lyn: And then again we broke down in Barcelona in the 40-degree heat in the middle of fucking nowhere. We were like lobsters, and we’re British, so we have a hard time with that.
Jason: Just constant stuff like that. We played this festival, Berlin Death Fest and we all got shitfaced, and I mean seriously shitfaced. I remember I was drinking pints of double-triple fucking vodka orange juice and I couldn’t even speak properly. By the way, we don’t behave like this anymore. This is the reason why we don’t behave like this anymore. Anyway, the show was great, it was fucking fantastic. Then we got back to the hotel and we had bunk beds in the hostel and I’m on the top bunk and Sam is on the bunk below me. He’s immediately asleep and we turn the lights off. Then 5 minutes later I can hear the sound of water hitting something. I turn around and I can see Lyn on the level of my bunk bed and he’s pissing into the bunk underneath where Sam was asleep. He has no idea where he is, he thinks he’s in a bathroom so he’s just pissing and it’s going all over Sam. We started shouting, ‘What the fuck are you doing?’ and slapping him on the shoulder. He just blabbers something and runs out of the room. Lyn just pissed all over Sam. We turn the lights on and Sam is just well asleep covered in piss. We try to wake him up and tell him that Lyn pissed all over him. All over his face. Sam just goes, ‘it’s fine’. It fucking was not fine. We had to get him out of bed, pick him up. Brad literally picked him up like a baby and put him in a different bed. That’s why we don’t do things like that anymore.
Drinking is a young man’s game and we’re not young men anymore, are we?
What was your most memorable gig?
Jason: Bloodstock fest was good.
Lyn: I think Romania was good. That was the first massive festival we did really. The crowd was 7 or 8 thousand. We got there quite late, maybe an hour before we were supposed to get on stage. We were in a rush and we didn’t know anything about the festival and how big it was. We get there to the side stage, get all our gear, and as we walk out there is a sea of people.
Jason: I really enjoyed the last Manchester show. We played Milton Keynes once. It was us and Trigger the Bloodshed and we literally played to each other. There was no one else there.
Lyn: Once we played to 4 people in a 1000 cup venue.
Sean: That was more like..12 people.
Lyn: It was enough for the front anyway.
What about the most memorable gig you’ve attended as part of an audience?
Jason: Slipknot and their Disaster Piece tour.
Actually, the masks that Sid Wilson wears on the shows are made in Kharkiv where you’re headed tomorrow. It’s an art studio called Bob Basset.
Jason: Really? Sounds amazing
Lyn: At the Wembley stadium.
If you could switch genders for 24 hours, what would you do with that time?
Jason: I’d probably bang you [Lyn] and let you have a go after. I’m just going to push my vagina into his penis. But I don’t know. I’d probably take a 12-hour shower and set myself off. Or go and have a poo in the ladies’ toilet. Out of spite, if anything.
What was the wisest thing you’ve ever heard in your life?
Never let your dingle-dangle dangle in the dust.
Lyn: Be a footballer and don’t be a musician.
Sean: Don’t piss on Sam again.
Who is or was your biggest teacher in life?
For yourself or everyone?
Sean: No, for everyone.
What did you teach them?
Jason: To be better people.
Sean: Fuck off.
Jason: I don’t know, probably my nana really. I spent a lot of time at my nana’s house when I was growing up, so she had quite a big hand in raising me. She probably had the most influence on me.
What have you learned from her?
Jason: To be polite and nice. Manners cost nothing and I think that’s very true. So I’m always nice, I always say hello to people, I always thank them. That gets me through anyway.
Even answer a book full of questions.
Jason: Yeah. At the end of the day, the people that are called ‘punishers’ are die-hard fans and they’re the ones who are going to follow you to the end of the Earth wherever you play. I’ll always spend as much time as I have with fans, whether they punish me or not. We can’t do this without the fans, they’re the fuel. They keep the machine running.
Lyn: We’re the fuel.
Jason: We’re the machine. If fans don’t come to the show, if they don’t buy merch or don’t show support then you can’t continue, not in this climate. Especially for a band of our level. We’re not Bring me the Horizon, we’re not Slipknot or anything like that. We need these fans and I appreciate them more than anything, so I spend all my time with them. It doesn’t bother me really. I do enjoy it though.
Lyn: I don’t want to be impolite, but it’s easier for me to run away.
What was the most memorable question you were ever asked in your life?
Lyn: Why do you do this? Have you finished already?
Jason: Is it in yet?
Lyn: I finished before I started.
Jason: Oh I know a memorable question.
My daughter asked John’s stepdaughter the other day, about Jesus. So my daughter comes up to Sean’s stepdaughter, Ellie, and asks: “Is Jesus Christ real?” To which Ellie said: “Yeah”. Then my daughter replied: “But my dad says he’s a fairy tale”. And then Ellie turned around and said, quite blankly: “Well, that’s because your dad hasn’t had the cross on his head.” Ahaha.
How old are they?
What books and films would you recommend?
Jason: It’s obviously Terminator 1 & 2. Predator 1 & 2. And Alien. I like Alien 3 as well. Conan the Barbarian. The original Robocop, the director’s 18 rated cut. Total Recall. Starship Troopers as well. The Shining is fantastic. The new Joker movie is fucking brilliant. Dark Knight. The Thing with Kurt Russell. Lost Boys. The Devil’s Reject. The Crow. American Psycho. Seven is great. I could be here all day, there are fucking loads. Bronson. Dead Man’s Shoes. Human Traffic. Trainspotting. Oldboy. Another good Korean film is R-Point.
What about books?
Jason: I like Game of Thrones, obviously. I like Dexter books.
Is there a superpower you would like to have in real life?
Jason: Super-speed. If I could run fast, I could go everywhere. I could cheat at sports and be a fucking millionaire. I’d be well faster than everybody else. I’d be the Flash but without the shit costume. And you, Sean? The ability to grow hair back?
Sean: To want to know something and know it.
Jason: It’s called Google. We’ve all got that superpower mate.
Sean: It’s all a conspiracy.
Out of all the people you’ve met, who struck you the most in terms of personality?
Jason: We know loads. Within Destruction are great, Cannibal Corpse are the nicest people, Despised Icon are all great. Signs of the Swarm are absolutely fantastic. The Black Dahlia Murder are great. We get on with almost everybody.
What bands would you recommend we interview?
Jason: Ingested haha. Suffocation are a laugh. They’re crazy.
If you could meet anyone dead or alive, who would it be?
Jason: Freddy Mercury. I’m a big Queen fan. And Prince. I’d want to know about all those savage parties they used to throw with Elton John and whoever. That Bohemian Rhapsody film that came out was all good and all that but we all know it was way crazier than that. They didn’t show shit. Or I’d also like to meet any of the guys from Rolling Stones. Ozzy Osbourne – he’s fucking lived the life. Marilyn Manson definitely. He’s the last great rock-star for me. I don’t think there has been a legitimate rock star since him. He was balls to the wall.
What current trends annoy you?
Jason: Everybody being an absolute fucking madass basically.
The whole world is soft as shit now. People can’t joke about anything anymore, everybody’s offended, but not for themselves – for other people. Which is bullshit. You can’t be offended for somebody else because offense is subjective.
They call it ‘taking it personally’ because it’s personal to you. Of course, there are things that I find offensive, everybody finds things offensive, but I never try and stop someone from saying something because it’s offensive to me or offensive to somebody else. The way I look at it – either everything is okay or nothing’s okay. You can’t joke about one thing and then say, “Oh, no, you can’t joke about that because that’s offensive to me, but it’s okay. If I joke about something that’s offensive to you”. That’s bullshit to me. Everything’s okay or nothing’s okay. This whole cancel culture and shit like that is going on the internet now is just ridiculous. It’s fucking people sitting on the fucking Internet with too much fucking time on their hands wrapping themselves in fucking cotton wool. It’s fucking ridiculous. Everyone needs to fucking get some fucking balls. We got a show canceled in Canterbury because of our lyrical content.
Lyn: It’s fiction. If you can’t tell the difference between fiction then there’s something wrong.
What piece of advice could you give humanity?
Jason: Fucking end it now. It’s just getting worse.
People are fucking idiots. It’s fucking ridiculous. You’ve got so much fucking horror, like real horror, real injustice going on in the world all over the fucking world and yet people are fucking getting upset because people aren’t using the right words to describe someone and shit like that. Are you fucking real? This isn’t an issue. Kids are dying in Africa, people are dying in wars in the Middle East so it’s not a fucking issue if someone said something bad about someone and now they’re not allowed to fucking have a job because they made a joke about something 20 years ago on Twitter.
Like that guy who got canceled by Disney, the guy who directed Guardians of the Galaxy, right? He made some fucking daft edgy joke in 2011, right? Then people dug it up last year and got him fired from directing the movie. Are you serious? If you read it – it’s clearly a joke. Maybe a shit joke, but still a joke. The guy lost his fucking job.
Here is my advice to the human race – put your fucking energy into positive shit. Stop focusing on negative shit that you’re creating in your own mind. And if you want to have a fucking cause to fight for – go and make it worthwhile. Go donate your time, money and energy and help people who actually need it, who are struggling to live and eat. Put your time and effort in that.
That’s my advice.