Based out of New Jersey, Toothgrinder makes noisey hardcore (with plenty of Mastodon-style breakdowns) that is incredible when experienced live. And, lucky you, the are currently on tour. So head over to their Facebook page for dates and info. Their new album Nocturnal Masquerade is out now on Spinefarm Records. You can pick up a copy here on whatever your preferred media format is. To learn a bit more about the band, here is drummer Wills Weller (sweet name) to tell you more.
How did you first get into playing music and have you achieved the level of success that you always hoped to achieve?
I receive my first drum kit when I was two years old. My Dad was a guitar player so he started to take me to band practice and shows at a young age. I would sit in and jam with the band all the time. My parents were always encouraging me to be as creative as possible and introducing me to every type of music/art I could ever imagine. I started playing music because of the feeling it gave me, it was fun and I don’t think that will ever change . As for successes … Well that is just enjoying what you are doing every day.
What’s the most you have ever debased yourself to get your band onto a show, into a magazine or otherwise promoted, covered, debased and praised? If you don’t have a story please tell us any embarrassing story.
Have you seen the faces I make while playing the drums live… That’s embarrassing enough for me!
What do you see as some of the great things happening in metal and what are some of the worst things happening inside the scene right now?
Some really great things are the constant boundaries that are being pushed musically. I see so many incredibly talented people in the genre! I don’t see to many negatives about it honestly. I’m also fairly new to the business so maybe just give it some time hahaha.
It seems that now everyone has a passion for some causeand that those people are very open about displaying their passions. This is probably a very, very good (and progressive) thing socially. What are some of the most important issues (social/political/humorous/etc.) for you and how do you insert those issues into your music? (This question is especially appropriate for you since your music is quite an outlet for your physical and emotional pains).
I like when people are real about things. When they play music or paint a picture, you can see they really believe in what they are doing. It really shows in the end product for me. I feel the same way about our music. We are all super passionate about it, and when we’re on stage that’s when it really comes out.
What, or who, got you into metal and how old were you?How did your family take the news?
I was in about 6th grade and at the lunch table my friend gave me oddly enough a Killswitch Engage record (the band that I’m currently on tour with). I took it home and showed my Dad who played in a punk band. I got the “Dad approval of coolness” and then basically dove deeper into the genre and sub genres of heavier music.
What’s the stickiest you have ever been?
After a show in August last year in a steaming hot club ( temperature wise) I had to immediately load my drums out after we played into equally as humid and gross feeling weather outside. Also 2nd song in I spilled my water …. so at this point I’m just really thirsty, sweaty and I guess sticky.
What advice do you have for aspiring music critics and outlets out there? How can we all better serve the genre in the eyes of a hard-working musician?
It’s wonderful when people take time out to ask questions and help promote all the hard working people out there. I like when people ask interesting questions. It lets you know they really took the time and were excited about the interview.
What’s your goal? You guys thinking world domination? Maybe saving a continent? Maybe invading one? Any interest in starting a cult? Do you guys have day jobs or hobbies you want to share? Whatever it is, please let us know.
I think if we started a cult they could help us take over the world. And we would always have guaranteed people at our shows. It’s a win win for the whole group!
Finally, when you’re not listening to, writing or playingmetal, what are some of you favorite albums to listen to currently? (Feel free to include non-metal)
My current driving rotation for this tour is as follows (in so specific order)-The Budos Band “Burnt Offering”-Joywave “How Do You Feel Now?”-Team Sleep ” Woodstock Sessions, Vol. 4″-Pink Floyd “Animals”-Jay Z ” The Blueprint”-Jimi Hendrix ” Electric Ladyland”-Ghostface Killah “Fishscale”-Radiohead “OK Computer”-Snarky Puppy “We Like It Here”-Earth “The Bees Made Honey In The Lions Skull”
Much thank to Wills Weller for his time. And best of luck on tour!