Anyone fancying a southern metal fix more in the vein of latter day Pantera meets Maylene and the Sons of Disaster than Weedeater and Eyehategod would do well to check out Tennessee’s I Am the Law. The band released their sophomore EP Hymn of the Vulture digitally back in February but are set to release it on CD format this week through Junecrow Media so if you missed out the first time, now’s your chance if the physical format is something held dear. This EP is five tracks of groove and shred that pulls from a bevy of influences but is at all times an aggressive kick to the jaw. We recently had a Profile chat with vocalist / guitarist Brandon Howard to get a behind the scenes look at the band so head below to see what he had to say.
How did you first get into playing music, and have you achieved the level of success that you hoped for?
All of us picked up an instrument back when we were in high school, not together of course. The band formed in 2015 though. As far as if we have achieved the level we wanted? We are happy with the progress that we have made so far but would like to get to the point where it’s sustainable as a full-time job.
What’s the most you have ever debased yourself to get your band onto a show, into a magazine or otherwise promoted, covered, and praised? (If you don’t have a story, please tell us any funny/embarrassing story.)
Probably the couple of times we bought tickets to a show we were playing to meet a ticket quota to play.
What are some of the most important issues (social/political/humorous/etc.) for you and how do you insert those issues into your music?
The band as a whole has no political or religious leanings, while we as individuals keep it out of the band and the music. All the songs we write come from mostly a fictitious manner, usually me combining stories and creating new ones. But if the band should stand for anything it would be the total acceptance of everyone provided you’re a decent human being that doesn’t try and hurt others. We want people to come to our shows and have a good time, maybe learn something about their scene and just party!
What, or who, got you into metal and how old were you? How did your family take the news?
Metal was always a part of the family, from my dad listening to AC/DC, OZZY, etc. It spoke to who we are, but two albums really did it for me, the first is Metallica’s Black Album, I had that on cassette tape and wore it out. The second was Zao Liberate Te Ex Inferis, that changed everything for me and made me seek out more bands like them.
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?
Recognize the hard work that these bands are putting in. Too many times have I seen and experienced where we are just pushed aside and not taken seriously because we’re not a national touring band. We are working so hard to get to that level and get our work recognized. Hopefully it really takes off and then shows us what we’re doing is worth it. As far as how to help serve the genre, build each other up. Build your scene up, that will draw people in and get more fans and the scene to grow.
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.
The goal for us is that this band be our full-time job, it pays the bills and we get to make music we like. Of course, becoming the next Metallica or even one of the big four would be nice! Kind of a pipe dream but who knows? Being a band with longevity and a steady fan base is the main goal. Starting a Cult would be fun too! Hahahaha. For day jobs: Brandon works in the music industry as a sound engineer, pro audio manufacturing and console repairs. Chris owns a tattoo shop, Tempest Tattoo Studio, and he is also an artist and piercer there. Nic works in I.T. dealing with people who don’t know how to use their computers, Brian is a security guard for Dell and holds the place down.
When you’re not obsessing over your own material, what are some of your favorite albums to listen to currently? (Feel free to include non-metal)
Man, there’s so many at the moment: Zeal & Ardor is a big one for me and Chris. The Native Howl is some crazy thrash grass (you read that right). Mastodon’s
Emperor of Sand is freaking great. I’ve been listening to a lot of MATSOD, Rob Zombie, & The Showdown.
What is the 12-month outlook for you or your band? Any specific events on the horizon that the masses should be aware of?
We’re in the middle of re-releasing Hymn Of The Vulture and the music video for “Appalachia Burning” is looking sick. After all that we’re hard at work on the third EP, Dance Of The Southern Witch, which will be even darker. We’re also going to be hitting the road more but, in the meantime, we have shows coming up with White Swan featuring Mercedes from Kittie, and a show with Doyle from The Misfits.
Summarize your band in exactly one word. (Disclosure: If you include additional words, we will select our favorite for the final publication.)
Many thanks to Brandon and I Am the Law for their time!