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Orlando, FL

by Mike Hoy
I go through phases in my music listening, as I assume everyone does. The phases are incredibly wide in range; for instance, I spent the first ten days of March on a YouTube binge of Van Morrison and followed that with a four-day bender of every album A Day To Remember has released (and I'm currently listening to the Tony Hawk 3 soundtrack).
One thing remains the same through the turbulence of my changing preferences: I am ALWAYS down for a greasy, grimey, angst-driven rock 'n roll experience. I was raised on an eclectic mix of 90's rock and jazz and somehow I always come back to the deepest, darkest parts of musical genre. F.I.L.T.H embodies this for me...a powerfully putrid escape that, against all that is known, feels comfortable.
We were super pumped to share their unique brand of grime-metal in one of our recent boxes, and just as excited to ask front man Eric Mann a couple questions.
MH: I always like to lead with this question, roots are important. When was the first time you KNEW you were going to be a musician?
EM: I never really KNEW I was going to be a musician until the first time we hit the stage. F.I.L.T.H is the only band I had ever really been in. A few years back, we played our first show under a different name. I was nervous, irritable, and just ready to burst that whole night. When our intro hit on the stage and the curtain dropped...that was it. When I saw people standing in front of the stage, sweaty, drunk, and tired, but ready to hear some music, that was when the excitement really hit me and I realized that I wanted, I NEEDED this feeling to be a part of my life in some capacity.
MH: Hell yeah, trial by fire. It becomes addictive at that point doesn't it?! What is the first song you remember hearing?
EM: Since my dad was a Church of Christ minister when I was a child, it was probably As The Deer or some other boring church hymn. The first time I heard a metal song, though, was Unforgiven by Metallica. Even though my family tried to shelter me from "questionable" music, I remember being absolutely hooked on heavier music at that point.
MH: So is Metallica the best metal band making music today?
EM: That depends on what genre of metal you like. Nightwish will always be one of my favorite bands of all time, and they consistently put out amazing symphonic power metal. If you are into a really obscure, REALLY heavy genre, there is an amazing band out of Tampa called Recreant that adds violin to powerviolence/crust punk. Nothing More took the guitar riffs of Periphery and the vocal styling of Coheed and Cambria, and made it really applicable to the mainstream world, but without having to dumb down their sound or lyrical content.
MH: I'll make sure to check those guys out, I always love a good reco. You mentioned earlier a live experience changed your life as a musician...for those who haven't had the pleasure of seeing you guys live, explain what a night with F.I.L.T.H is like.
EM: A night with F.I.L.T.H is supposed to run the full spectrum of what metal is supposed to be. You'll see a creepy bald fellow in a strange neon green paint mask. You'll see a really long haired giant of a man wearing a green tie. It'll be a little frightening at first. But then the drinks start flowing, the groove to the music starts hitting, and the dancing girls hit the stage. Intermixed with the dancing girls and alcohol is an electric chair, lots of green lights, and fire. It's a lot of fun, a little bit scary, very welcoming, but also a little dangerous. Just the way metal should be.
MH: Completely agree! Let's close up shop...what's best part about what you do?
EM: Performing. Taking all the problems of every day life and completely forgetting it for 30 minutes to an hour and a half. Taking every ounce of energy, emotion, and excitement you have and laying it all on the stage. The sweat, the body aches, the ringing in your ears, it's all very cathartic and it makes you feel accomplished. Playing in front of hundreds of people or twenty people, leaving every ounce of everything you have on a stage is the best feeling in the world.
Until you wake up the next morning...
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