IT’S “20 QUESTIONS WITH CROSS” DAY!
This is my first time interviewing a drummer and thought was best to start this interview by revealing that fact. My first and last time behind a drumkit was probably in 2011 maybe 2012? When I’ve been left alone, at the bar I used to work at, adding the last touches on the visual part of the stage. Just a couple minutes before the band they had playing live that night, started their show. Needless to say, I almost ruined that drummer’s kit. (laughs)
The artist I got in for this interview has been behind the drumkit for a long time. Amazing skills! Brutal deliverance. He is the drummer for the evil thrash metal band Battle Axe Massacre, Larry Pike.
Hi Larry, thank you for being willing to do this interview!
Cross – As I mentioned, you’re the drummer for Battle Axe Massacre. Will get to the band soon. First, how did Larry end up being a drummer? When did the love of sitting behind the kit and killing it, start?
Larry – I started out as a jazz drummer in school in 1990. I kinda sucked at it for a couple years, but I just kept sticking to it, lol and after a few years I began to show a lot of improvement. It has been my passion ever since.
Cross – The first release of Battle Axe Massacre came out in 2013, called Kill Yourself… Or Die Trying. A really Evil, Heavy album. While I love the idea of the album cover being just the band’s name logo, I’m curious about the title. What’s the story behind it, was it a two song pick combination?
Larry – Kill yourself or die trying, is indeed two separate songs that go together. It came from a saying my friends were saying, “Be there, or die trying!”
Cross – Kill Yourself is probably my favorite track on this album and if I’m not mistaken you did the vocals for it and for the previous track, Seabrook. Uncommon for a drummer to sing. (Yeah I know y’all can name a few.) Have you been doing that before?
Larry – I’m a song writer and a vocalist as well, and I play guitar. I wrote and sang the vocals for Seabrook, and Kill yourself on the first album, as well as 3 others on the second record. I’ve been working on music with Adam Huge since we met in middle school!
Cross – I’ve only seen you behind the drums, I didn’t think you play guitar too. Awesome!
In three years from Kill Yourself… Or Die Trying, Battle Axe Massacre published the second album, The Phantom. I Liar, has this Portal kind of riffs. So dark and evil, fills my soul with happiness. Which of the songs has the most difficult drum part to play live? War and Rust sounds really busy. Sick song.
Larry – I, Liar is a fun song. I’d say one of our better songs. I’m so glad you enjoy it and love that it feels your soul with happiness. We just made a video for it, actually. It’s got a lot of parts and I put a lot of energy into it. That being said, it’s a tie between that and Seabrook as far as being difficult to perform live. It’s like turning a chore into pure enjoyment!
Cross – Was going to ask you later on about the video, Larry!! (laughs)
Talking about live shows… You guys did live shows before the album came out. Do you remember when and where was your first live show with Battle Axe Massacre and something you would remember from that night?
Larry – First show of Battle Axe Massacre was at a place called, “Plan B” in Portland. We opened for another band I was playing in at the time, called, “Hotter Than A Crotch!” We played a few originals, and a few covers.
Cross – Battle Axe Massacre got an official music video for Eating Eachother off Kill Yourself… Or Die Trying, in 2015 and another one for the album title track The Phantom. Something you’d like to share from those experiences?
Larry – Eating Eachother” turned out great! WE were a two piece at the time. Still one of our favorite songs today. The Phantom was way rad to film! I love the opening is a scene from, “Holy Mountain!” Our favorite bar was next door to our rehearsal space called, the Twighlight Cafe & Bar. That’s where we shot it. The bassist from my other band, “Roanoke”, filling in on bass for us.
Cross – Is there a possibility of a new album any time soon?
Larry – There are new songs ready to record. They are even dirtier, heavier, and harder than our previous efforts. We’re still working on who we will have produce it for us. The Phantom was engine-eared by Billy Anderson, so probably gonna have him do the new stuff. He knows our sound?
Cross – That’s good news!
You guys working on a new music video in what I heard. Can you spoil something about it, will it be a new track too? (you spoiled some earlier)
Larry – The new video is just about to drop, and perhaps it already has by the time you read this. It’s part a horror story and we filmed it at my place in the woods! The song, “I, Liar.”
Cross – When you mentioned it was going to be that song I felt like I just made a wish and it happened. (laughs) Any live shows? (I know many bands are struggling on that part because of the virus.)
Larry – No live shows for us for right now. It’s still crazy covid time, but when the time is right, you bet your pineapple curried ass, we’ll be back at it, haha.
Cross – (laughs) I knew you’re a huge fan of The Doors and Jim Morrison but I didn’t know until recently that you’re actually Jim Morrison for the The Doors tribute band, The DOORS of Perception. We’d like to know more about this project of yours. There’s not much to be found about it. Can you put some light on it?
Larry – I’ve been listening to the Doors since I was little. Started doing the Doors tribute a few years ago. Nice to change it up a bit, ya know!? We had the songs pretty tight, then covid came and screwed us out of shows. But it’s a temporary hiatus.
Cross – Hopefully we get to see you as Morrison soon.
What gears does Larry use and likes best, from the sticks, pedals, cymbals?
Larry – I have a few kits, but my favorite is my Tiger stripe WFL pre Ludwig kit. It’s a 26″ kick drum, 14″ Tom, and 18″ floor tom. I use a Tama snare drum. Zildjian A custom, and K custom cymbals. Tama double kick speed cobra pedals, and vic firth sticks.
Cross – Any advice for young drummers or musicians out there?
Larry – My son plays drums a bit, I always encourage him to practice a lot, and listen to what he enjoys and figure out patterns, repeat.
Cross – Practice makes perfect for sure. Can you name three or five albums that shaped your music taste?
Larry – ABSOLUTELY, MetallicA – And Justice For All, PanterA – Vulgar Display of Power, Skid Row – Slave to the grind, Sepultura – Chaos A.D., and ZZ Top, all day long.
Cross – What have you been listening to recently, Larry?
Larry – I Listen to a bit of everything. Usual Suspects, Superjoint Ritual, Dr. John, Goatsnake, Cardigans, English Minor, Trouble, Van Halen, The Doors, Hendrix, Beatles, Slayer, Alice in Chains…
Cross – Big fan of almost all you mentioned. In a short conversation we had, you said you like reading, what does Larry like to read?
Larry – Always reading something. Philosophy, autobiographies, anything Hunter S. Thompson. I’m reading a book called, “Secrets of the Talking Jaguar.” And reading Jim Morrison’s complete writings.
Cross – Is Larry a horror fan, can you name a couple horror films you like?
Larry – I love Horror! Creature from the Black Lagoon, any Vincent Price, Creepshow, Friday the 13th and so many more.
Cross – Those are cool. Price is pure magic.
Your first time attending a live show, what band was it? Last? One that really had an impact on you.
Larry – My first concert was Cinderella, The Long Cold Winter tour in 1989. Most recent concert was KISS with my son, last Friday! Most memorable, is definitely Skid Row with PanterA in Feb. 1992!
Cross – You had a really good spot there in the last one.
You have a great relationship with your son, inside jokes like Thing 1 & Thing 2… (laughs) How do you make it all work that good?
Larry – I love my son. We’re pretty tight. We have many fun adventures behind us and ahead of us. I’ve taken him to lots of shows too. His favorite band right now is Primus!
Cross – He’s is in a good path. What does Thing 1 & Thing 2 like to do when you get some free time?
Larry – Thing 1 and Thing 2! We travel, ride bikes, flip eachother’s shit, and he loves James Bond just like me. We watch those films over and over, haha. He wants to be an actor and pharmaceutical grower, haha he’s also damn near 18!
Cross – He sure can do both. Anything else you would like to add, Larry?
Larry – Check out my other band Roanoke! @Roanoke doom, I believe! We have some things in the works as well!
Cross – I’ll drop some links down below. Thank you for doing this interview Larry, It was really fun.
Larry – Thank you!