Interview with Job For A Cowboy guitarist Bobby Thompson

- Jul 19, 2007 at 07:23PM
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One of the biggest deathcore bands this year happens to be Phoenix, Arizona’s own Job For A Cowboy. Since recently signing to Metal Blade Records, the band’s popularity has begun to skyrocket, resulting in a very successful chart debut for the band’s debut full length album Genesis and a spot on this summer’s Sounds of the Underground Tour. Although Job For A Cowboy has only existed for about five years, the band’s music has greatly evolved in that time as Genesis shows a maturity not evident on the group’s two prior EP releases. The band is currently in the midst of some very hectic touring that will not let up until the new year. Recently we caught up with the band’s guitarist Bobby Thompson to talk a bit about what’s going on with Job For A Cowboy. Here’s how it went:

Job For A Cowboy has existed for about five years now. How did the members originally meet and the band come together?
Bobby: Well we started the band about three years ago in high school, the singer Johnny and myself started the band and we met through a friend of a friend and like he came over and practiced with me and we just started talking and then like things started moving along. Then we came up with the name Job For A Cowboy, it's a random name, it's suppose to be like a joke thing. And then that whole myspace thing happened, I don't even know how that whole thing happened but it just kind of happened and the next thing you know, we're on our way....

I'm sure you've gotten this question a ton but I couldn't find an answer to it. Where does the name Job For A Cowboy come from? It's unique to say the least....
Bobby: Yeah, Job For A Cowboy is more of a joke because we didn't want like typical names you know like with blood and dying and stuff like that so we were just like, why not just go with Job For A Cowboy? There isn't a real meaning behind it, it's really just a joke.

After two successful EP releases, you guys are finally releasing your debut full length record Genesis this month. Now that it's just about out, how do you personally feel about the record?
Bobby: On Genesis I'm really stoked about it man, like the music came out exactly the way I wanted it to. Doom was more of a disc that we just put it all together and I think we were like 15, 16 years old and we didn't really plan out the riffs and the structuring and stuff like that. With Genesis, I took the time to write each riff and that was pretty much it and like the drumming, we wanted it to be more fast paced, more death metalish and I'm really happy with the way it came out.

One major difference evident on Genesis in comparison to your EP releases is that the vocals have stepped away from what people have called pig squeal type vocals. Why did you decide to step away from this style and do you think it's a step in the right direction for the band?
Bobby: Yeah Johnny did not want to do that whole pig squeal thing just because we wanted to grow as a band and be more mature. We thought the best thing to do was become a more mature band and that's one thing that we strayed away from is the whole pig squeal and stuff like that, we just wanted him to be a straight death metal vocalist and that's what he felt like too. And on top of that, we wanted everything to be more fast paced and more aggressive except for we have like a Doom song too and we just wanted to be a more mature Job For A Cowboy rather than the old, spastic, all over the place, not really having any idea what's going on in the song Job For A Cowboy.

What was the writing and recording process like for Genesis? When did you start writing, how long did you write for and how much time did you spend in the studio?
Bobby: We got home from the U.K. in mid-August and like we had September to late December to get this thing done so we pretty much had three months. And at that time, we were finding a new drummer as well so like I was stressing out man, I was getting grey hairs and like losing my hair. And then it was a three months process of just writing material and then after we got in the studio, it was about three weeks, we started in the studio in mid-December and then it went until the first week of January so we had about three weeks. We did it with our friend Cory Spotts, he mixed it and then it was just like a pretty slow process, we would just go in there for twelve hours a day, just hammer stuff out, we did the drums first for like a week and then three of us in the band, the bass player, second guitar player and myself would go in there and just do a song a day and yeah it was a great feeling man, it came out the way I wanted it to so I'm pretty stoked about it.

I wasn't able to find the answer to this, but who produced Genesis and why did you decide to go with them?
Bobby: Cory Spotts produced it, he's a friend from back home, he's worked with us before in the past and we've always gone with him so we just had him do it again because it's all natural.

What is your personal favorite track on Genesis and why?
Bobby: My personal favorite track is probably "The Divine Falsehood," I think that's track eight [actually track nine]. I like that song because it's just like way different from anything else on the same disc. It's just like a slower song, it's just really simple man and I'm just really down with that song the most, it just has more feeling to it.

Recently in January, Job For A Cowboy added a new member in drummer Jon Rice. How did the band first meet Jon and why did you pick him as your new drummer?
Bobby: John gave us a video that had him playing one of our old songs and then he showed us that and then we thought it was pretty damn good and we're just like, this kid seems cool. So I started talking to him and he seemed like a good kid so we flew him out to Phoenix to try him out. He came out here and he learned our whole set in about three days and we had to leave for tour, but as soon as he started playing with us it just felt natural, he's an awesome drummer too and I'm glad he's part of the team now.

Was he part of any of the writing and recording on Genesis?
Bobby: No he was not. No, he just came in, he learned everything and things here and there he would change up with his own style but I mean for the most part, he just played pretty much exactly what we wanted him to.

Looking at your tour plans for the rest of the year, they are hectic to say the least and they include a run on the Sounds of the Underground Tour. How did you get to be added to this huge metal festival?
Bobby: Well uh, I don't even know how we get on these festivals but I'm stoked to be apart of them. We have a lot of touring coming up too in the next year and uh, I'm stoked to go on "Sounds" this year man, it's going to be awesome!

Not too long ago, you guys signed a record deal with the very prominent metal record label Metal Blade Records. What attracted you to signing with Metal Blade over other labels?
Bobby: Well they flew out to Phoenix just to meet with us and they bought us dinner and they just tried their hardest just to get to sign us. Then we went down to the Metal Blade headquarters in California and we spoke with them there too and we just felt like it was a more homier environment, like they took care of us and they pretty much wanted to make us a big priority and that's what we cared about too. And they wanted us to express ourselves musically the way we wanted to, they didn't want to change us and that's what I liked. Because we had a few labels that wanted to change our sound and we were like that's not for us, this is what we want to do, this is how we want to do it.

So far you guys have got some hectic summer tour plans set. What does the band have planned for the fall and into the new year?
Bobby: Well after Sounds of the Underground I think we're going to be doing some secondary market dates and then after we're going to be going to Australia then after that we'll be doing a headlining tour of major market states in the U.S., it's going to be a big tour and I'm really excited for it and I can't say who it involves right now, but it's going to be an awesome tour. It's going to be a hectic year!  [ END ]
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