Interview with Drogheda guitarist/vocalist, Buddy Mitchell14th July 2013
I have known Buddy Mitchell for close to 20 years. When I first joined IB, summer ’94 my first show was in Ohio, with Drogheda on the bill. I became friends with him, as well as the rest of the band. Hysterical and down to earth individuals that are good, honest people. Last time I saw Buddy was back in 2003, when he was at MDF with their former bassist, Dan Haynes and hanging out again was great and it was killer having them see me back with IB for 1 song at that show. Back in the early 90’s the band was playing a mix of death metal with industrial influences. Their compilation album, from ’94, combining their earlier demos, on Wild Rags, is still one of my fave underground cds to this day. The band changed their style after that adopting a crust/grind sound that really suits the band well. Their 2011 release ‘Thug Anarchitect’ is so fuckin’ killer that if you don’t have this in yer collection than you’re not a grind fan and should probably be taken out back and given a hospital job. That year it was one of my fave releases and I noticed a tone similar to Wormrot and through and through ‘Thug… grinds and punishes until the very end. If you’re a sadist, like me, you then press repeat and allow the beating to continue until the cd stops or your fuckin’ stereo overheats from sheer brutality. This band knows their grind and how to string memorable songs together so it does not sound like a blender. So sit back, put on your Cowboys…ooopss, I meant your Browns jersey and see what Buddy had to say regarding Drogheda. Then
go out and buy all their cds!
Interview with Drogheda guitarist/vocalist, Buddy Mitchell
By Frank Rini
Well, the line up has basically been the same for 2 years. Dan Haynes retired in Aug of 2011, we tried a new bassist for a while after Dan retired, but it just didn’t work out, so Derek moved to bass and basically put us back
to the “classic Drogheda” 3 piece formation we had for the majority of or career. We are always writing new material. We are slated to have a 10″ come out and we are beginning to work on a full length for another label as well. We have a stockpile of songs, riffs, lyrics and ideas, thankfully, so were ready to do just about anything release wise. We run our own studio as well, so recording ideas and/or songs is no problem. It’s a pretty good set up.
2. Back in the early 90’s you had more of a death metalish sound and then you went full blown crust/grindcore. Why the shift style? How does it suit the band now?
We always had a lot of blastbeats, but we experimented more back then. There were more doom and industrial elements in the mix then. But my first love was always speed and grindcore fit that bill for me and I just stripped it down and went with it. This style fits this version of the band so well. We have a drummer who is hell bent on being the most extreme motherfucker out there….Mr. Evan Thomas, constantly working at his craft to get more skilled and extreme and does ball sack tricks you need to see to believe! Derek Easthom is our bassist, who is a longtime friend and excellent musician with the sickest grinding tone going. It’s the perfect storm. We are all thrilled with how things are going.
3. How did you initially go about starting Drogheda, at the start of the 90’s?
Our old singer, Dennis Fuldauer, came to us with the name. We had a real drummer, John Roddy, then he quit pretty early into in and we went with a drum machine. I knew whatI wanted musically, which was something unique and a little left of center, and I think you can certainly hear than on the early demos. It just evolved from there, and became more and more grind as it went.
4. ‘Thug.. Was so outstandingly brutal and vicious, I love it from start to finish. What goes into making a good grind album and how do you differ from other bands? Since Dan is not in the band, who is going to lay down the brutal low tones for you guys now? Are you going to be able to do those killer tones or are you eliminating them and just sticking with this high pitch screaming?
Just good songs, like any other kind of music. I think because we actually structure our songs like 2 1/2 minute pop songs is what sets us apart. We don’t try to jam 15 riffs in a song. We try to make it a memorable grindcore song, period. Evan has layed down some low vocals and back ups on some tracks, but we really haven’t tried to replace Dan vocally. My vocals have actually changed a bit. More of a midrange sound, as opposed to screaming insanity…haha.
5. What are your show plans for this summer? Any travel plans expected outside the Midwest?
Everything is just now coming together, so stay tuned.
6. Any memorable touring war stories and where was the best show you played, where you received the best response?
The New Jersey Deathfest a couple of years ago was really good. We’ve played with Exhumed, Wormrot, Phobia, etc….all which were great shows. As for war stories, they are all over youtube and facebook. Puking off of the hotel balcony, nuts on fire, passed out on the front lawn of a hotel, etc haha.
7. What guitars do you own and how do you get that crusty guitar sound?
All I use is BC Rich guitars and to get that tone it’s a Sovtek head and a 5150 cab. That’s it. No rack effects or anything. I do use dragonfire pickups in all my guitars as well. Anger and the rock and roll spirit….that’s what gets that sound…
8. What are some good eateries near where you live? Any places ever featured on Man vs Food, that we can visit, after seeing Drogheda destroy a crowd? What do you do in your spare time, other than being a part time surgeon of grind?
All kinds of places, unfortunately I don’t have the bank to go to half of them…haha. Melt in Cleveland has been on tv. As has Hotsauce Williams. If I’m not at work, I’m trying to practice or write with the band. Work and band covers it, howeverI do watch sports. I love my Browns!
9. What else do you wish to accomplish with Drogheda, musically and professionally speaking and any final comments for our readers?
Just to keep having fun with it. At this point(and my age ) a world tour would be great…I ain’t getting any younger. But we’re having a great time with all of it. Just keep writing, recording and playing the occasional show. Thank you Frank! It’s been an honor doing this for such and underground legend!