Nick Hipa
As I Lay Dying

Ozzfest 2005
Email Interview
Interviewer: Karma E. Omowale

Jordan Mancino • drums
Tim Lambesis • vocals
Phil Sgrosso • guitar
Clint Norris • bass, vocals
Nick Hipa • guitar



























"We're just grateful that there are so many people out there who care about our band."


Big things are happening for San Diego's As I Lay Dying as they are currently working the second stage of this year's Ozzfest and just released a new album on Metal Blade entitled, Shadows Are Security. Expect more to come from this talented quintet. In this interview you can delve a little deeper behind the meaning of the new album, how the band is stoked to be on tour with In Flames...


Thanks a lot for taking the time in doing this interview.


Q: So why As I Lay Dying as the band’s name?

A: There is no profound meaning or literal connection with the William Faulkner novel, weNick Hipa of As I Lay Dying (Photo: Erika Kristen Watt) agreed upon the name because it sounds brutal.


Q: How is the Ozzfest 2005 going so far? How has the crowd response been?

A: Ozzfest 2005 is by far the raddest thing we have ever done. Aside from the phenomenal line-up of bands, the people who have been coming to these shows have been overwhelmingly receptive. Each time we step on stage we are aware that our performance will be a first impression to many of the drunk and sun burnt crowd, most who throw their horns after hearing a few songs. We are happy with the way things are going so far.


Q: I understand the band is influenced by the Gothenburg Sound, which bands have been the most influential/instrumental to you?

A: It’s all the obvious:  At The Gates, In Flames, Soilwork, etc. The Gothenburg influence is allocated generally between Tim and Phil, and not so much with the rest of us.


Q: Taking a stab in the dark, if you did pick In Flames, how does it feel to be on tour with them again on such a whirlwind tour?

A: In Flames is a great band to tour with; they are awesome musicians and fun dudes. They do have quite the poker fixation, which puts a lot of our spare time to good use.


Q: Which band is your favorite on the bill?

A: One is not fair, here are my three favorites: Mastodon, Rob Zombie, and [Iron] Maiden.


Q: Your new album Shadows Are Security [recently dropped on June 14th], how are sales?

A: The album has been selling well since it came out, although well to us is probably not a big deal to most. In the end, we're just grateful that there are so many people out there who care about our band.


Q: Since the band is DIY and primarily produced the album yourselves, why did you choose to go with Steve Russell again to co-produce Shadows?

A: Steve is a great guy who has musical opinions and ideas we respect. He had also worked on our last album so we knew what he was capable of.


Q: Are you satisfied with the way it turned out?

A: There are literally hundreds of things we wish we could change, little nit-picky stuff, and what not. Overall, though, I would say we are satisfied with the album, especially with the way Andy Sneap mixed it.


A: Judging from the titles, songs, and lyrical content, there seems to be a lot truthful raw emotions and beliefs, which are displayed on this album (and subsequent releases). What were some motivating factors behind the creation of this particular album?

A: A lot of the lyrical concepts came from our understand of relationships. Tim but a lot of thought into the inevitably of emotion and the necessity of logic involved to make them work; whether its between people or on a higher level such as faith.


Q: Is that a skull I see peering out from the crescent moon on the cover of the album? Who came up with the concept or was artist, J. Bannon, left up to his own devices?

A: It is indeed a skull and it was indeed Jake left to his own devices. We had told him the ideas behind the album and he took it from there.


Q: What is with the obsession with skulls, off Frail Words Collapse, the skull’s flaming.

A: Skulls are brutal and scary, just like us. Ha!


Q: On “Control Is Dead” was that written for a specific person?

A: I don't know if you mean lyrically aimed at someone or written with a guest vocalist in mind. Whatever your intention the answer would be no.


Q: How did you come to work with Dan Weyandt [Zao], Matt Mentley [Throwdown]… on the Shadows album?

A: We had befriended Matt and Dan through various tours we had done with their bands. Matt lives in OC, which is a short drive from where we were tracking the album, and Dan had just happened to be in town on tour. There were certain parts on the album we thought their vocal stylings to be appropriate, so we asked them and they said yes. It just all worked out.


Q: If you could collaborate with anyone else going forward, whom would you like to work with?

A: Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliot, there is no doubt in my mind she would take one of our tracks, put it down, flip it, and reverse it. It would be hot!


Q: What’s your favorite song off Shadows Are Security?

A: "Truth of My Perception" is my choice jam off the album. I like the thrashiness of it as well as the guitar solo.


Q: Who are some of your favorite bands in the scene right now?

A: My favorite bands in the scene right now would have to be Every Time I Die and Mastodon. Those are the two who stick out to me.


Q: So what is something AILD wants to do, that they haven’t done already?

A: I think it would be rad to do a world tour for several months. A serious world tour at that, I want to play in Russia, Hungary, China, Korea, Africa, Iceland, etc. Seriously everywhere they have electricity.



Speed Round of Questions


Evolution or creation? Creation.

What’s your mantra? Don't sweat the small stuff.

Since you are on tour, what is in your fridge at home? Everything essential to making a wide variety of smoothies: Orange Juice, Apple Juice, Pineapple Juice, Frozen Strawberries / Bananas / Mangoes / Peaches / Raspberries / Blueberries / Boysenberries, Vanilla Soy / Rice Milk, and an assortment of yogurts. I love smoothies.

If not music then what? Deep sea fishing.

What would your bandmates do if it weren’t for AILD? Be in other bands.

Which As I Lay Dying song would sum up your life in a nutshell? "Undefined".

Guilty pleasure song/CD/artist. “Careless Whisper" by Wham!

If you could commission a band to cover a AILD song, which song would you chose and who would cover it? I would like the Mars Volta to cover our song "Forever." The songs is incredibly basic and we've played it way too many times, if they redid it that would be the only  way I would actually listen to it if I wasn't playing it.

If AILD were a cocktail, what kind of drink would it be? A Flaming Homer, not Moe, Homer.

If stranded on a desert island, with whom would you like to be marooned with? The female version of "The Beastmaster." That way we would have a way to communicate with all the animals.

You can take one MP3 CD with you, which bands would you choose to fill up a 700MB disc. Fela Kuti, Femi Kuti, Miles Davis, and Mahavishnu Orchestra.

If your job was to interview bands, name one that you would want to interview and something you would definitely want to know about them. I'd like to interview Queens of the Stone Age just so I could ask Josh how he gets such a sweet guitar tone.

Any last words? If you are going to be in a noisy or loud environment, bring and wear earplugs,  you only get one pair of ears.


Thanks ever so much for doing the interview again!


I'd like to thank Nick for taking the time to answer this interview and to Adrenaline for setting it up.



Click here for photos of the band from Ozzfest 2005