Michelle LaRose talks to Paul Romanko and Jason Bittner for Metal Masters
Photographs by Michelle LaRose
Hi. Welcome to Metal Masters. I hope you’re enjoying the show tonight. Tonight’s special guest is Shadows Fall. I have the honor of speaking with Paul and Jason.
Jason: Fourth record. Third for Century Media.
MM: The last time I talked to you I had brought the album in to you, The War Within, to have you sign it and you guys were like, “Where’d you get that? Where’d you get that? I want to see that!” Is it normal for the media to have it before the band gets it?
Jason: Sometimes. Unfortunately. We get the recording before everybody does but you got the finished product before we did. It was interesting to actually be able to see that record.
MM: You were one of the last bands to tour with Damageplan. Where were you when you heard the news? How did it all come down for you?
Paul: We had been with them two days prior. They were doing dates, going back to Texas. I was asleep actually and someone I knew who was at the show called me and said, “Crazy things are happening.” It was a really hysterical message I got on my phone. After that I got about thirty-five phone calls. I was up all night on the phone with people calling. A lot of my friend’s thought that we were still there, what’s going on? It’s a really screwed up situation.
MM: It is. It’s very screwed up. With a situation like this, are you more aware when you go on stage, of your surroundings? Are you a little scared that this could come up again?
Jason: I’ll admit that when it happened, that was definitely something that went through my mind and I thought a lot about that. But on this tour it’s been different because Slipknot’s security is so tight because of that incident unfortunately that I don’t worry about it really. Maybe I should think about it a little more but I’ve found when I go out on stage, I’m not really thinking about things like that. All though I will say it was very weird the night that we played Columbus because it was three months to the day after it happened. That was really a strange evening.
Paul: Yep. We’ll be playing second on the main stage.
MM: It’s my understanding that bands have to pay to be on Ozzfest?
Jason: There’s some on the second stage there are rotating slots that are pay slots normally. We fortunately don’t have to deal with that this time around. You pay the first time.
MM: You pay the first time out but when you come back as a guest, not necessarily?
Jason: Number one; if you’re lucky enough to come back a second time, usually that’s how you’d hope that things would work. The first time we did it we paid a lot of money to be on it. It was definitely worth it for us.
MM: You toured Australia?
Paul: Prior to this in February we were in Japan, Korea and Australia. It was a cool trip. Japan was like the forth time over so that was a blast. Korea and Australia were for the first time. It was cool. A lot of times now when you get into that routine of touring you don’t get to see too many new things. You end up going to the same clubs. Going to new country’s and stuff is pretty killer.
MM: Did you have any time to actually check things out?
Jason: In Australia we did. We were there for ten days and we had five shows. We had time to do all the little touristy crap.
MM: All right. We’re going to check out a Shadows Fall video right now. What Drives The Weak right here on Metal Masters.