LIFE OF AGONY
BROOKLYN, NY…..home to tons of musical artists including… Type O Negative, Lou Reed, Steve Stevens, Richie Havens (he’s a big deal kids) and LIFE OF AGONY!
Formed in 1989, they bring unbridled, raw, in your face RAWK! Their music is brash, unapologetic and full of swagger A mix of textured/heavy guitar work, perfectly tight rhythm section and spot on vocals cutting through the fray. LOA have experienced a number of line-up changes, record company shenanigans, children’s books and a lead singer who is/was transitioning from male to female. In other words, never a dull moment.
Friends, this may be your new favorite band.
Here’s the catch: They aren’t new at all….for those who already know these guys…enjoy…for those who are hearing them for the first time..you are welcome.
Greetings from Colorado and from Metalheads Forever. This is a pleasure. I know you are busy these days, so let’s get to it.
The vocal style and sound has evolved over the years. This is, presumably, in part part to gender transition. Vocally, who/what have been some of your biggest influences? How would you describe the development of your music overall?
Although I’m the guitar player in the band and not the lead vocalist, I believe I can still answer this… When a band like us writes and plays very organically, your surroundings and experiences in life play a heavy role in your current sound. We’ve never stop evolving as a band from day one. Our influences definitely come through in our music and we’ve never been afraid to allow that to happen. What’s unique though is that the members of Life Of Agony have always had such a broad range of influences from different styles of music. Mina (our vocalist) has sited David Bowie, Annie Lennox, Roger Waters, and Robert Plant as influences in the past. I know that list is a lot larger now so, maybe you can do a follow-up interview with her and get the scoop on some more of her current influences. Overall our music has always stayed true to the way we felt at the time we wrote it, and we’re very proud of that. We’re blessed that we have this outlet to vent and express ourselves, and at the same time connect with others through music who feel the same.
You have broken up and reunited twice now. With each regrouping, your sound has evolved. If you absolutely had to, how would you envision your sound in say….6 years?
That’s hard to say, because once again we all don’t know “where we will be” spiritually as a group and as individuals. One thing for sure is that we will still be creating and sonically you can always expect fury mixed with beauty.
You don’t strike me as a band that will play well into their 50’s or 60’s. Sadly, LOA will have an end day….how do you envision your last gig?….and then what? I know you all have side side projects and interests. Can you elaborate on them?
Well, of course I’ll have to disagree with you. We just spoke about the sound evolving over the years, so to say we won’t play well into our later years is just a bad prediction. Our fan base has steadily grown over the years and it seems they are just as hungry as us for more LOA. I don’t believe they are going anywhere, and I can tell you that we aren’t either. We all have projects outside of LOA as well as families and other personal business ventures. For me, I know I will never stop playing and writing music. It’s been a passion of mine since I was only 13 years old. I have a side project called Zire’s War and I also produce, record, mix and engineer music for other artists. Recently I’ve partnered up with a couple companies to start writing and composing for TV and movies.
I saw an interview with Mina from a few months ago. She said, “We all borrow from each other. Originality doesn’t exist.” Now…just me talking…I have to agree. I think people put their stamp on what is already established–depending on where they are in their world. Where do you see LOA weighing in—in the lives of tomorrow’s artists?
We’ve had quite an effect already on the last generation of bands and artists! I’m constantly surprised when a band who is even bigger than us comes up to me and says, “What’s up man!! You’ve been a big influence on us!” This has happened many times and it’s always so cool… Bands like Disturbed, Five Finger Death Punch, Drowning Pool, etc. Rob Halford told us one of his favorite records to listen to at the gym is River Runs Red… Pretty cool.
Looks like you’re performing at a handful of events. Any plans for a full on tour? And more importantly, will this include Denver?
Over the next few years we plan on hitting as many cities as we can, both in the US and worldwide, and hopefully some twice over. I love Colorado and even had the thought to move out there some day.
Your latest effort, A Place Where There Is No Pain, has been playing constantly at my house. I enjoy “Bag of Bones” and “Dead Speak Kindly.”…and the whole is great, honestly. Tell us about this fabled “pain free” place. Also, what is the story behind “Little Spots of You?”
Well you’ll be happy to know Bag Of Bones and Dead Speak are in our set this year! The title of our record is just another staple in the bond and relationship we have with our listeners. It basically is saying your safe here with us to be who you want to be, no judgement will be made and your free to express yourself openly. Most people in the world are suffering on the inside from repressing feelings and not expressing themselves. All that built up toxicity eventually will turn into physical ailments. So once again, with our record title, we’re saying come join us in this room we have here, let go of the pain and express as you wish.
If you had to choose just one song that sums up the LOA sound, what would it be?
That’s way to hard since our material is so diverse… But I can tell you that the song “Broken Valley” comes very close for me. So does the fan favorite and “anthem like” tune “Underground”.
As a band, what is your proudest achievement? To the other end, is there a moment you wish had gone just a bit differently?
Well to do not just one but two US tours with Ozzy Ozbourne was def a highlight in our career. There have been so many great moments and shows to be proud of… All of the records we’ve released always felt like big achievements each time, so they’ve always been proud memories to reflect on. On the flip-side I guess there are some moments I do wish would’ve gone different for us. One being just recently on a festival called Summer Breeze. The band was up against a bunch of distractions that day, and we all didn’t put our best foot forward when it came to performance time. It was something we never do since we’re always giving %200 percent onstage all the time. I can guarantee that won’t happen ever again, and it definitely was a learning experience for us all.
MHF Magazine/Craig Obert