IT’S “20 QUESTIONS WITH CROSS” DAY!
The band I got on for today has two core members, Clint Spain and Steve Cater. They brought in Trevor Edwards on drums recently as their third core member. Working together they created their own genre Horror Crossover, mixing Hardcore Punk with Thrash, Black Metal, Death Metal, Grindcore and Sludge Metal. All that combined with horror movie samples. After their third local show they did open for Decapitated. The band was formed in Birmingham Alabama, 2014, by Clint Spain and it’s called Kamikaze Zombie.
Cross – Kamikaze Zombie. How did you come up with the band’s name?
Clint – The band name came about when I was at work. My friend Regan and I were passing names back and forth and she said, what about ”Kamikaze Zombie?” I loved it. Little known fact – the band’s name was Monster Zero for about a week, but it just did not feel right.
Cross – How did you and Steve meet?
Clint – I met Steve through mutual friends while in high school, then later around 2005, we started our first band together called Throne of Blood. The sound was much like other bands of that time, but we were young, and it eventually fell apart. So, when I was trying to start Kamikaze Zombie up, I knew Steve had to be the guitarist. He and I just gel and he is a fantastic guitarist with a crazy ear. He hears things I would never hear or think of in a million years.
Cross – How much did opening for Decapitated helped the band, Clint?
Clint – Opening for Decapitated was huge for us. It gave us a leg up and put us in a lot of faces early on. We had only played three shows as a band at that point, and it was definitely – a springboard and allowed us to build the relationship we have now with local promoters, which is worth its weight in gold when trying to get your name out there. In hindsight, I think we were luckily to have the foresight to see the opportunity at hand. We busted our ass on that show. So that the promoter would want to work with us again and it worked.
Cross – Kamikaze Zombie’s first album “Night of The Nuberus” came out in 2017. Great artwork from Shawn Knight (Child Bite). What caught my eye was the name of the songs in this album. “Eraser Head”/Lynch, listed second song in the album, “In the Mouth of Madness”/Carpenter’s, fourth in the album, just to name a couple. Do you guys name your songs after your favorite horror movies or, what fits with the lyrics?
Clint – Actually – It’s a little bit of both. I write lyrics with a theme in mind. Almost all my lyrics are written metaphorically, but then there is the rare occasion that I write exactly what the title suggest – like ManHunter and the Story of Jane Doe. Both are Hannibal Lecter inspired.
Cross – “In the Mouth of Madness” has this Scaccia feel from his work on Rigor Mortis – Slaves To The Grave. There’s a Negative Approach feel in “The Story of Jane Doe” and the album ends with my favorite line ever “Listen to them, children of the night, the music they make”, courtesy of Bela Lugosi in the last song of “Night of The Nuberus”. I think I’ve been a Crude Mutant for years I just didn’t know it. (laughs)
How did that nickname for your fans happened?
Clint – Wow! I love hearing what different people hear in our music. The Crude Mutant idea came about as a possible name for the band. As I mentioned above, we were Monster Zero for about a week, then we changed it again to The Crude Mutants, until we came up with Kamikaze Zombie, but I liked it so much I didn’t want the name to go to waste. So, I was thinking about it at work one day and I though how Pantera are the Cowboys from Hell, we could be Kamikaze Zombie The Crude Mutants, and from there I just ran with it to include our fans to make it feel more inclusive, like now they are a part of something.
Cross – I like that. How was/is to work with Mathew Washburn? (best known for recording Mastodon.)
Clint – He is a gem! Matt is a world class guy. We have done two full lengths and an EP with him so far and it just gets better every time. He knows his stuff and he makes you feel comfortable like you’re at home, but he will also call you on your bullshit, which we love.
Cross – You guys released your first music video for the song “The Story of Jane Doe”. Would you like to share with us your experience on that?
Clint – That was an interesting time. We had no clue what we were doing. It was the first time we had ever done something like that, so luckily my dear friends, Ben and Nadia Robertson, did know what they were doing. They both went to school for film and have their own production company, 1931 productions, where they have made some pretty awesome gothic horror films.
Cross – “The Destroyer of All Things”, Kamikaze Zombie’s second release. The whole album kicks ass but if y’all need a start… “Prometheus”, “Devil’s Night”, “Into The Nothing”, great solo at the end. What gears do you guys use? (mic, guitars, and all that stuff.)
Clint – Yeah, Into the Nothing, Steve wrote the whole song and killed it on the solo. He called me up and was like dude, come check this song out. We recorded it on my ipad and that night I wrote lyrics to it while watching Return of the Living Dead.
Gear – Steve has a few different Guitars. Right now, he is playing a Jackson, but he also plays Ibanez SG’s which he has recorded all our albums with. He plays a Randall 300 head with a B52 480-watt cab. Trevor plays a Tama 5-piece drum kit with iron cobra double pedals and Sabin cymbals. I don’t really use anything special as far as vocals go, but I do use a jam-man loop pedal for samples for our live show.
Cross – That’s a great movie you used for inspiration there. As I mentioned at the beginning of this interview, you guys got Trevor recently in your band. Does that mean that from that moment on it won’t be just you and Steve making the songs?
Clint – Yeah pretty much – it’s no secret that we have had a revolving door of members. Through all of it, Steve and I have been the only two constant members and have kept music writing and major decision making to the two of us, but now Trevor is equally involved. He has been a breath of fresh air for both Steve and I, and he helps keep things fun.
Cross – Awesome! You guys have opened for many bands. I’m a Die Hard fan of, to name a few… Philip H. Anselmo and The Illegals, Superjoint, Eyehategod, Crowbar, Goatwhore, Cannibal Corpse. How does it feel to play with bands you’re a fan of, Clint?
Clint – It’s pretty amazing. I never thought in a million years that we would have gotten to open for so many bands that we look up to. It’s mind blowing, but at the same time it keeps us humble and grateful to have people supporting us and hungry because we have seen the other side of the fence and want to be there. It has been a real eye opener to see how much work is actually involved to be at that level. There are so many fan boy stories I could tell you, but I think the best one might be this one. After we opened for The Illegals, we were at our van (the old child bite van btw) and Phil walked up to us and asked how we were doing and then he said “you guys kicked ass,” gave us all dapps and walked inside where he and The Illegals absolutely destroyed the crowed. We were on tour and made the drive from Chicago to Birmingham just to play that show and left that night for Kentucky. The rest of that tour, we were running on pure adrenaline. Honestly having Phil give us prop was all I needed. I can die a happy man.
Cross – You couldn’t have picked a better story for this interview. In 2020 you guys gave to your Crude Mutants a Halloween present to inspire them through those difficult times we dealt with and still are… “Fiends of The Night” an EP of songs from bands that have influenced Kamikaze Zombie. Were these songs what you guys were listening to mostly in 2020?
Clint – Yes and no. Some songs like the Cro-mags and Agnostic Front were fan request. Others, like “Last breath,” were ones that we felt strongly about putting on the album because Steve and I both lost family members to Covid and wanted to let our fans know they are not alone. The Crowbar song was going to be “All I had I Gave”, but we decided to do something for the hardcore Crowbar fans and go with something more underground.
Cross – I’m sorry to hear about that.
February 2020 was your guys last show with Child Bite, due to Covid-19. You guys are back playing live right? You already had two shows this month. How is it going and how does it feel to play live after so long?
Clint – Well, our first show didn’t happen because the van broken down on the way, but we got it fixed and back on the road. The second show, we just played this past Saturday, and it was fantastic. It’s a little weird playing out since people all have their opinions on Covid. Some like to levitate above everyone with their big red cape, judging people for things they have deemed unacceptable – while doing things – others self-appointed heroes have also deemed unacceptable. Then you have the people that have thrown the baby out with the bath water, not wearing a mask at all or anything. I feel it’s somewhere in the middle and at the end of the day where is the line? People are going to judge you no matter what you do, so do what you feel in your heart is right. We have all been vaccinated and wear our mask while in public and follow the guidelines that have been put in place by the state that we are playing in. We would not do anything that we felt uncomfortable doing either for our own safety or our fans. That being said, our next show is on May 22nd at Furnace 41 in Atlanta Ga.
Cross – I wish I could attend. Kamikaze Zombie have been part of Full Terror Assault festival. How different is to play in front of that many people compare to small crowds?
Clint – The biggest difference for me is how impersonal the crowd feels. Like It’s just a bunch of faces and you’re up on this stage that’s a few feet above everyone. You learn real quick that the things you do in a smaller more personal setting don’t work, so you have to learn on the fly, new ways to get the audience into you. I’m grateful for any opportunity we get, and Full Terror is one of the best festivals ever! But I love the hardcore in your face smaller shows the best.
Cross – Are you guys working on a new album, EP? When can we all expect to listen to some new tracks?
Clint – Well actually, we are going into the studio this weekend, 4/25, to record the first single of the upcoming new album. We are also putting out a new music video for the Dark eyes of London. We have a few other things coming down the pipe, but I can’t announce them just yet.
Cross – That’s fantastic. Clint, you founded the band in 2014 but I’m sure your interest about heavy music didn’t start then. Can you describe your journey with album titles?
Clint – Oh Wow! Well not counting music my mom played as a kid, my first album I got into on my own was Pump – Aerosmith and Appetite for Destruction – Guns N Roses. Shortly after that I bought Ride the Lighting – Metallica, and it just got heavier from there. I was round 11 or 12 at that point. When I turned 14 I got La Sexorcisto – White Zombie and then Vulgar Display of Power- Pantera and Obedience Thru Suffering – Crowbar. I was also getting into Slayer – Reign in Blood, and they turned me on to punk, and my whole world change. Black Flag – damaged and Minor Threat – discography were anthems of my teen years. I also have to mention Antichrist Super Star – Marilyn Manson. That album was big for me, growing up an atheist my whole life, it was hard being a kid in the south.
Cross – We kinda went through same bands/albums. They say music saved your life. Would you like to tell us a bit more about it?
Clint – Well music replaced my dad. He was in and out of prison my whole life and died in prison when I was in my twenties. Music helped me get through all of the growing pains. It also gave me a place to focus my anger. It kept me from going down a similar road as my dad, which given where I grew up, I could have easily done so.
Cross – I’m glad you let music guide you to better things. Can you name five of your favorite horror films?
Clint – Ok this is a hard one. I’ll try to pick from a few different genres.
Slashers – Halloween
Gothic Horror – Frankenstein
Zombie – Dawn of The Dead (Fuck the 2001 bullshit)
Supernatural – Suspiria 1977
Psychological – this might be my favorite genre, so I have a tie. The Shinning and Manhunter.
Cross – Omg! I had couple Horror Film interviews last year and you’re the first one who knows and loves Argento’s Suspiria, one of my favorites ever. I know I mention it any chance I get, I just want people to check it out. A masterpiece that and all the other ones you named there. You practice Kung Fu, right?
Clint – Yes! Wow, you have done your homework. I have Study 8 Step Praying Mantis kung fu and TaiJiquan for 20 years. Next to music, martial arts has had the greatest impact on my life.
Cross – As the one who writes the lyrics for Kamikaze Zombie, how much do you like to read, Clint?
Clint – Well before I took a job as a college instructor, I used to love to read. I spent a large part of my 20’s in bookstores, just reading everything, but after I had to read paper after paper and all of that, when I got home it was the last thing I wanted to do. I loved comics as teen/young adult too. I have a large collection of books and comics, but I haven’t read any of them in some time.
Cross – Is there anything else you would like to add for your fans out there?
Clint – Thanks for the constant support and buying our merch through 2020. It really helped. We have a lot of cool stuff planned for this year. If you want to help support us or any band and are wondering what the best ways are to do it, here are few things that can help a lot. These are all things anyone can do; we know not everyone has money to blow on merch and we would never want you to put yourself out for us.
Follow us on Spotify, also make playlist with us on it, and share with as many people as you can.
Follow us on youtube and share our videos.
Share our bandcamp and follow all our social media accounts.
These things can help us a ton and does not cost anything.
Cross – Thank you for your time, appreciate you brother!
Clint – Thank you for reaching out and helping spread the word. Thanks to all the Crude Mutants and we hope everyone stays healthy and safe.
YouTube Channel – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmiT9PJtcns95Ph1bJuWUJw
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/kamikazezombieband/
Bandcamp – https://kamikazezombie.bandcamp.com/
Web – KamikazeZombie.com