Thriving Against All Odds: A Conversation with Second Death
Updated: Mar 26, 2019
Second Death's sound is heavy, earthy, and lyrically reminiscent of Dr. Dre for all the right reasons. Get a feel for what one of Georgia's loudest and proudest metal bands had to weather to get to where they are today.
Having overcome trailer park horrors, and painful bloodborne diseases, members of Second Death, one of Georgia's leading Metalcore Bands, tell all. Having been through the fray, who would have thought they would be this chill?
Jeremy (of Slime & Grime):I am sorry it is so fucking cold. It is just like that man.
Josh: honestly when we came in it was kind of warm in here, it was nice that we saw [ play 2 in 4 hours and it was like well it is kind of cold in here too but after going outside and coming back in it was like it is hot in here that is why I took my jacket off it is hot in here now.
Brian: Where are you guys in you tour?
Josh: Right now we had seven days left we were only out for 16 days so halfway halfway.
Brian: Is still dope, still dope.
Jeremy (of Slime & Grime): Right and you guys are getting to the breathing point the breathing point for just a minute yeah that was fucking aggressive that was heavy shit.
Josh: Thanks which is odd because like us as people are like the least aggressive people in the world.
Jeremy (S&G): so why aren't you plays guys playing smooth jazz?
Josh: I have! Why do not we play smooth jazz? One I am not talented enough to do that anymore any more as a vocalist or I was a guitar player and a drummer for like a really long time.
Jeremy (S&G): so how did you end up screaming like that?
Josh: This is actually the first real time I have never done this with a band with Second Death, the fat guy and the black guy we’re good! When I was a kid I dabbled a lot but I have a blood disease that causes like my bones to hurt all the time.
Jeremy (S&G): That sucks, I’m sorry.
Josh: If you have heard my old bands before. they are a lot more like a technical and instrumentally-
Jeremy (S&G): Shreddy?
Josh: Yeah and it now it is like, I do not know my hands just could not take any more I just could not take that shit anymore.
Jeremy (S&G): Because your bones in your hand hurt?
Josh: Yeah my hands hurt all of the time.
Jeremy (S&G): But how is your throat now?
Josh: Honestly like if we are touring constantly, it is not bad at all, but like if we just took the few months break and then as soon as I got on the road it was like oh God this hurts like why I do this to myself? But after awhile you start to figure out like I got three different versions of my vocals; So if I am gassed I have a certain way to do vocals- if I am really tired. Then if I am feeling really great and if it is one way that I really like. Then if I want to impress somebody I will get to the go to the studio.
Jeremy (S&G): What did we get tonight?
Josh: I think tonight was the feel-good thing, yeah.
Jeremy (S&G): It sounded real good, real deep.
Josh: I cannot remember where we were but it was, I think it was like Alburquerque, after I sort of was like yeah I am getting gassed. This is bad.
Randy: Yeah, you can kind of hear it in your voice.
Josh: And it was like, I am just going to do the studio shit now. And it is a lot lower and a lot more fake I guess you could say. I do not know that what that would be described as, but it is just like just like up in the throat as opposed to projecting.
Randy: I feel like it is coming from his midsection from but when he is talking about that, it is coming from like all of it, would like his throat is mixed with everything.
Jeremy (S&G): So you are like compensating.
Randy: What he does is art because, he is trying a trying to be able to do it every night you know what I mean? He has got to kind of cut this out because of the cold weather.
Josh: Tonight was actually not hard because I had a really cold water, which is really bad for the vocs, it is really cold outside and it is like, well, we will see which version we do tonight. And we just started and my mind just kind of has to figure out which.
Jeremy (S&G): Sure so it is like muscle memory?
Josh: Kind of, like, ‘oh no, I get to do it this way now.’
Brian: I like the hip hop and between songs, that is real cool. How did you guys come up with that?
Jeremy (Second Death): We change different songs every tour.
Josh: I think honestly, if we were to really discuss like what we listen to music wise the most, I really think it would really be hip hop.
Randy: Not so much me but everybody else. Like I am the least on that, you know what I am saying, but I still listen to all of that shit with everybody.
Josh: If I am talking current music, it’s like Post Malone, but old school music it’s Wu-Tang and Dr.Dre. I get this all the time, ‘you guys play metal music, but you don’t listen to metal?’
Randy: Yeah, I do not listen to like a whole lot of new rap or whatever but so all that shit we usually have in sets, if we’re going to play something in the car, I would rather be listening to that shit.
Josh: DMX! DMX is like my hero, dude.
Randy: It just embodies that hole like, I do not fucking care about nothing, you know what I am saying?
Josh: I think everybody has that kind of mentality with a certain type of music. Like we have to be the heaviest band. But we just play what we like and it is what we do. So hip hop is the music for us, especially lyrically, for me. It is a huge influence.
Jeremy (S&G) (To Jeremy (Second Death)): What about you, dude, what do you listen to?
Jeremy (Second Death): Meshuggah.
Brian: Oh yeah dude, Meshuggah fuck yeah. That is my that is my go-to band when I want to fuck shit up up.
Josh: We literally have such varied taste, like he (Randy) is like old school.
Randy: Just anything heavy really you know what I mean whether it is rap or this you know what I am saying.
Josh: So what is your favorite band?
Randy: My favorite band ever Pantera. Pantera, Slayer, Pantera do not give a shit about anything and you can tell in their music you know what I'm saying. Even if they give a shit about everything, their music does not.
Josh: Our drummer is Puerto Rican so he will listen to like Latin salsa Spanish music and salsa and then like beatbox. Like he loves beatbox, he loves absurd stupid beatbox music.
Jeremy (Second Death): It is so strange.
Josh: It is so weird, very odd. You have no idea what it is like to be woken up in the van at four in the morning to [crazy beatbox sounds].
Giovanni: Sometimes, dude, that’s the only serious thing that can keep me awake.
Josh: Do not ask him his full name.
Randy: He will spell all of it. He will literally do it, dude, do not do it.
Jeremy (S&G) (To Giovanni): What is your full name?
Randy: His full name is Giovanni Pierre Casanova.
Giovanni: I was meant to be a pornstar.
Jeremy (S&G): Why is that not that band name?
Josh: That is a good idea.
Randy: If that was our band name we would never fucking hear the end of any of it. Ever. Every shirt would just to look like his face in a different poster.
Josh: All Clark ever listens to is hip hop.
Clark: Old school hip-hop; Dre, NWA, Wu-Tang, some of it is like not real well-known, some of it will put you to sleep.
Jeremy: It was real slow back in the day it was just like groovy.
Josh: Yeah, it was it was thick, you know? It meant something. But as soon as Young Thug came out I was like God damn is this where we going now? That little (indiscernible mumble rap impression), I was like God damn, fuck this. This is not, I am not in it for this I do not get it.
Randy: He’s just old. A serious music switch got fucking turned off in 2014.
Jeremy (S&G): 14 was a good year though!
Randy: For Mumble rappers, yeah because our age difference is like a huge.
Josh: Like I am a decade older than him, Jeremy.
Jeremy (Second Death): Yep, I just turned 21.
Josh: I turn 34
Giovanni: I just turned to 30.
Jeremy (S&G): So you all in other bands?
Josh: We do not have time, we are touring so.
Randy: I have a family, so my other band for me is that.
Jeremy (S&G:): ‘I play fatherhood.’
Randy: That is the best band in the world you know.
Josh: And this year, God our tour schedule, when you first started our tour schedule it was
like we are not going to be home at first.
Randy: It is cool though it is like nice to try and balance your home life with this you know what I am saying. Like it is hard, but when you can find a balance, it is so sick, dude. You can do it. It is so exciting.
Jeremy (S&G): Is that a bit of trial and error?
Randy: Pretty much, yeah. I mean I'm try out one way, do what you have to do.
Josh: Yeah, I just got married and my wife just fucking hates it.
Giovanni: My girlfriend hates it too, man. No girlfriend is ever going to be like yeah go on tour. No, she hates it. But she does not exactly suffer because my girlfriend and I do not live near each other at all. She lives 3 hours away from me, so it is long distance anyway. She is like, ‘I do not want you to leave. Like, ‘Wait, we’re already going through this.’ It is the same shit. ‘I am going to text you. I miss you and I love you. That is it.
Jeremy (S&G): What was your blood disease called?
Josh: Oh, I have gout and neuropathy. Yeah, they suck and I am in a record book in Georgia I was the youngest case of gout that has ever been in Georgia yeah, I was 17 when I got it. It’s crazy. Yeah, so they say make fun of me a lot because I hobble. Well, not anymore. Well, back in the day.
Giovanni: I never did, we just made fun of him for being old.
Randy: He had to pick up a bad habit for his gout, though.
Josh: For me it was nicotine, because nicotine thins blood and since my blood thickens so it hurts all the time, so nicotine like- because I was straightedge until like a year ago. Then I immediately- and in America they just give you drugs pretty much. Like I got cut off from four major painkillers in a year because at one point I was on like 16 Vicodin a day.
Giovanni: We were like on tour and he would just be like just a pill bottles in the front of the van. He is not a druggie or anything, he is just in pain because it hurts you know.
Josh: So I started vaping for nicotine and I am pretty much on it 24/7. In my sleep even sometimes,
Giovanni: Which is nice because now he is not he is not hurting at all.
Josh: Like back then in the day I was limping almost everyday.
Giovanni: And he could barely walk. Because we had just spent the night at freaking Left Behind’s house, and like we were just in the snow like part of it was ice, but it was soft underneath the top part. It just fell through like, and he just started crying. He was just like-
Josh: PAIN GODDAMMIT!
Giovanni: His foot put a little bit too much pressure on it. It was terrible.
Jeremy (S&G): Did you try CBD or any of that shit?
Josh: CBD does not help. I cannot go on it because I was on too many painkillers for so long. I tried dabs and I went through a lot of dabs and it did not do anything. So right now so far what works is nicotine.
Jeremy (S&G): You feel alright though? You feel alright now?
Josh: Yeah, I feel pretty good until I hit the freezing cold.
Jeremy (S&G): Sorry again.
Josh: Yeah, it just sucks.
Jeremy (S&G) (to Jeremy (Second Death)): That is a fucking cool guitar, man.
Jeremy (Second Death): (Pointing to Randy) He picked it.
Jeremy (S&G): Good choice! Is that the one you tour with?
Jeremy (Second Death): That is my only one.
Jeremy (S&G): You do not need another one.
Jeremy (Second Death): I do have other ones, but the other one I do have we do not, yeah it is in that room in there and we do not even use it.
Jeremy (S&G): Like break glass in case-
Randy: Yeah he actually needs gear I do not. I switch all the time. This is the 4th or 5th guitar since I have been in this band.
Jeremy (S&G): Why is that, why do you keep switching?
Randy: I do not know.
Jeremy (S&G): You just get bored?
Randy: I am just never satisfied you know? Like as long as I play guitar, I am always going to want new shit. Always.
Jeremy (S&G): Is that just with guitar or just that-
Randy: No, it is just with gear. I have like four I own, four pads, but it is not a collector thing either because I just want- like, we are kind of loud now. It is a good setup, but it could be a lot louder, but no I just keep I just keep on getting stuff. It is like I see a deal and I am like, I mean here we go, yeah. I will take it. It is quality, so I mean, but it sucks. It sucks, yeah.
Josh: Closing last words of Jeremy, go!
Jeremy (Second Death): I love my friends.
Josh: I was hoping he was going to say the n word or something.
Jeremy (Second Death): Like that to all my niggas in Second Death!
Jeremy (S&G): And Fuck suicide. I liked that part.
Randy: Yeah, I like that too ask him to tell the story. Tell the story behind that song.
Josh: I used to tell that every night. I grew up in a trailer park in a very small town and a lot of drugs a lot of drugs. And one of my friends when I was 14, he got a gun and he tried to kill himself. He pulled the trigger and it like went out a part of his head that wasn't as necessary, so he survived. And it was just one of those things where it was like, we are all fucked up, and we are all like having all these issues. And you do not have the ability to like help each other, so he ended up killing himself later in life. It was like, so that song, it's like a reminder to myself, so if ever anyone is ever like going through this shit, that I need to be the guy who like says something, to be the guy. Because if we do not, who the fuck is going to? They are just going to give you drugs anyway. So I think drugs are not necessarily the answer all the time, and talking to the people is all the answer. So fuck suicide.