Artist : Battlecross; Guitarist Tony Asta
Location: Knitting Factory, Reno, NV
Interview By: Robert Gross
Thank you for sitting down with us for an interview tonight, how are you?
I’m doing great man, high-five! “High Five”
You guys have a great new album, ‘Rise To Power’. I am totally raging on it. I have a question about the cover art. Who did the art?
This dude from Europe, his name is Péter Sallai, he does a lot of great stuff. He did ‘Sabaton’ and we kind of latched onto that. It’s how we found out about him, through them. He also did the cover art for ‘Crimson Shadows’ latest album. We loved that so much we were like, “Dude we gotta go for this guy!”
We got some shirt designs from him that were fantastic, some of the best stuff we’ve had. Everybody likes the shirts and they buy ‘em, so that’s a good sign!
His art has become part of that visual image. We really wanted to bring that out on the new album ‘Rise To Power”, so we hit him up and he was all about it! We gave him a few ideas and he just ran with it. Any other time we worked with an artist it was something we would like that was already done, or we had to really critique it. With Peter, he just came right out and we immediately liked what he was doing. He is an awesome artist and I gotta give him props!
Cool, I will check him out! I was curious and didn’t see the artist on Wikipedia.
Check out the ‘Sabaton’s stuff and ‘Crimson Shadows’.
You guys have been touring hard with ‘GWAR’, ‘Born Of Osiris’ and ‘Butcher Babies’.
Yeah, ‘Butcher Babies’!
Didn’t ‘GWAR’ kill the ‘Butcher Babies’?
Yeah, they killed them. They died! They got eaten.
I thought the meat sandwiches tasted a little better this year!
Yeah, they were a little extra tasty! They are a great gang, by the way.
How is it touring with ‘GWAR’? Is it Insane?
Yeah, absolutely. They are a bunch of really nice guys. Very professional, down to Earth cool dudes. Everyone is very respectful toward each other, and like I said, very professional. It’s awesome to be part of something that’s strait.
It’s not, you know “Who knows what’s going to happen today!?” We’ve been on tours where the headliner would just kind of wing stuff and it affects everything, making it a miserable experience. We are just happy to be part of something good, and of course we are huge fans! Especially our Bass player, Don. He’s like the number one ‘GWAR’ fan, so he is in heaven every day. In fact he is sort of working for them. He is one of the slaves that runs the pumps to squirt the spew. He is on cloud 9 helping those guys out.
Man, that would be great to be a ‘GWAR’ slave for a day. I don’t really have a slave body, though.
You never know, it could be anybody! I don’t think the discriminate.
I don’t think I could wear a slave bikini.
Naah, just throw on a loin cloth!
Another question on touring. You have done a lot of tours in Europe. I know the metal vibe is way more intense in Europe. What are some differences you see in Europe shows?
My first impression is when we went over there the first time with ‘Killswitch’, ‘Trivium’, and ‘Miss May I’. That was in February of March of 2014. Immediately what I noticed was everybody gets there at the beginning. It’s not the trickle where people show up, then a bunch show up for the headliner. They want to see the whole show. In Europe, it’s just like what they do, they live for that! It’s not every day that their favorite band, like ‘Killswitch’ comes to town, so it’s a special event.
Our website has been talking about Shock Rock all month, and you are touring with a Shock Rock band. What Shock Rock bands have influenced you?
I’m not die-hard into Shock Rock, but I love ‘GWAR’. They are the band I would reference. The first time I saw them was… A long time ago, probably in the early 2000’s. We opened up for them, and it was the first time I saw ‘GWAR’. I had to get right up front and wear a white shirt! It was shocking to see them cut heads off and boobs off, it’s very special, nobody does that! So amazing! They are also an awesome band, their music is fucking bad ass.
Do you have any Halloween plans?
We are playing in Denver on Halloween night. I don’t have any plans really. I was going to be Count Cockula, I wore a cape and a dick as a hat I found at Party City, but all that stuff is really hot. I don’t know how ‘GWAR’ does it.
How ‘bout you? Are you dressing up?
I have a Kool Aid Man costume I call the Cruel Aid Man costume.
Dude, that is awesome! “High Five”
After this tour is over, what are your plans?
After this tour we are off for about a week, then we go back out for a week, but I can’t say what it is because it’s unannounced. Look for things to come.
Awesome interview, thanks for talking with us Tony!