See evil, hear evil, speak evil.


The important thing you need to know about this interview with As I Lay Dying, is that I managed to get a quote from Dean Learner of Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace into it, and also used the euphemism ‘Balls-To-The-Face”. A nice touch I thought.

Previously published in TOTAL GUITAR magazine in 2007:

Guitarist: Nick Hipa (far right)


Sent from above and preaching the word of pounding metal.
Nick Hipa

Who are they and what do they sound like?
Where have you been?! Since 2001 this furious quintet have been setting arena’s ablaze touring with the heavy hitters of metal including Slipknot, Deftones and Gallows. Coming on like a whirling dervish of balls-to-the-face rampant metal, and the Gothernburg sound all over them like knockers in a wind tunnel, AILD are definitely worthy of their MTV2 ‘Metal Gods’ status.

The riffs from the new album aren’t standard metal. Where’s the influence coming from?
“Randy Rhoads and Dimebag were my favourite growing up, and of course Metallica. Then I started getting more into underground music.” Says Nick mischievously. “There’s a noisecore band called Melt Banana from Japan and their guitar player is one of my favourites right now. Extremely innovative stuff! Obviously I still have a deep love for metal guitar playing, but it’s the ones that make me scratch my head that I’ve been getting into a lot lately. You hear dudes that can shred all over the place – and although I think it’s cool – it doesn’t move me as much.”

With an ever increasing popularity, what’s the secret in AILD’s recent sound?
“We’ve just matured a little bit, and I think individually everyone has progressed as players. We’re all capable of doing more things so we’ve incorporated that into the song writing, and we just tried to mess with our conventional formula. When I listen to the album it sounds like we’re an older and smarter band. It’s definitely the album I’m most proud about so far – as it should be!”

An Ocean Between Us sounds brutal! How was it with Adam from Killswitch Engage on production duties?
“Yeah he produced the album and it was awesome!” Says Nick proudly. “It was intimidating at the same time too, cos we’ve been friends with Adam for so long and he’s also a brilliant musician. Being in the studio with someone that good…well, you can’t sneak anything by him! If you don’t get something right, he’ll make a face like he’s absolutely disgusted!” Laughs Nick. “Working with Adam was very light hearted though, we had a lot of laughs in the studio and still got the work done. I think that’s part of his gift.”


FOR FANS OF: At The Gates, In Flames, Shadows Fall.

KEY KIT: Ibanez Artist Custom Guitar, Krank Revolution 1 Head, Mesa/Boogie 4×12 Rectifier Cab, Maxon 808 Overdrive Pedal.

OUT NOW: An Ocean Between Us (Metal Blade)



Interview: Gary Sutherland © 2009.