Published Sep 24, 2007Those still expecting the Reverend Steve Austin (vocals/guitar/criminally insane mastermind) to recreate In the Eyes of God (arguably TITDs most popular work) just better get over it. Three full-lengths later, the Reverend has continued to push, frustrate and challenge as only he can. Sure, double-opus Sadness Will Prevail might have worked better for non-believers culled to a single disc, and Kiss the Pig attempted to outdo Austins past extremity but faltered slightly in execution. However, with a new drummer (Derek Roddy, ex-Hate Eternal) technically able to propel Austins dementia (a problem for the last few releases) and his longest serving bass player (Chris Debari), this line-up seems Austins most stable in years, at least for the moment. "I.E.D. opens the record on a ferocious note, letting listeners know where hes coming from both personally and musically. Its a track that wouldnt sound out of place on classics like In the Eyes of God or Temple of the Morning Star. And, musically, Axis of Eden sounds like a combination of the strongest attacks/mediations from TITDs last couple records. Relocating his band and recording studio/compound to Nashville, and starting his own label (Supernova), seems to have refocused Austin. Axis of Eden is arguably his best, most concise work since his landmark Relapse records, even if it doesnt surpass them.
Is there a theme or concept to Axis of Eden?
Steve Austin: Life in the USA right now.
Where do you see Axis of Eden fitting into the TITD musical canon?
Its the peak of my lifes work.
Youve recently uprooted your compound, moved, started a label and had a number of life changes. How have these affected TITD and yourself?
It took two years and a load of hard work and long hours. It made me stronger.
Weve talked before about your desire to be a "freedom fighter for the real. How difficult is that in todays musical climate?
Its just me being me.
Tell me about the impetus to start Supernova Records. What is the philosophy of the label?
Destroy stereotypes and expose genuine new music.
What were you able to do differently with Axis of Eden than previous TITD records?
Express humility without the fear of being vulnerable.
Weve talked about the importance of "real emotion in TITDs music before, and as an element lacking in the underground. Is that difficult to maintain after all these years?
Just me being myself as always. (Super Nova)