Joe, thank you so very much for taking the time to answer a few questions before your big show at Alchemy in your hometown on Friday, March 6!
What date did you form ABSENCE OF DESPAIR and has it always been or was the project under a different name?
Absence of despair could possibly be the oldest runnin Rhode island metal band right now. Started back in 2009 we are still full swing under the name of AOD and have no plans of letting up anytime soon.
Has your lineup been the same from the beginning or have you gone through a transition?
The band has gone through some transitions I joined about 6 years ago to be the front man rob joined not long after. Tyler and dill are OGs. Corona virus scared Mikey off so we are looking for a full time drummer now.
Introduce yourselves; instrument; how you all met; where you came from, etc.
I’m Joe, I like to yell at people, I had the opportunity to try out for this band years ago and beat out the competition woot woot I am currently living in Warwick Rhode island where we have started hosting band practice. I had been writing songs by myself for years when I asked a mutual friend between me and AOD if he knew any musicians tryna get down and he sent me to AOD where I now happily reside.
Tyler- “Bang addict” OG guitar daddy on my left
Dillion- “you son of a bitch” OG guitar daddy on my right
Robert- “Old and probably wasted” supposed to be bass, not sure what he actually does.
Tell me about your first EP titled “Monster : Reborn” which was released on August 18, 2015. Where did you record it and who was the producer?
Monster Reborn was actually the bands second ep but technically the frost one with me. We drove out to spider studios in Ohio and lived in a hotel for two weeks to record the CD. It was super fun it was my first time in a major studio leaned and insane amount from tony gamalo our producer. Just so happens that the Patriots were in the super bowl while we were there. We are Patriots fans, everyone in that hotel knew it. One of my favorite moments of musical career was actually getting to hangout and work with Mark Hunter from Chimaria. Huge inspiration for me and he was mad chill.
Got his phone number so I shoot him text every now and then saying what up.
How has your work with “Desolate” which was released in September of 2019 differ from that of your first album? Was it easier to write?
This album was a blast. We knew we wanted a full length so we locked ourselves in a tiny room for months and jammed away. We weighed the options of different studios and producers but we decided on Josh Schroeder at random awesome studios and I’m glad we did. Josh was able to help us take our ideas and bring them to life. Always had an answer for ever idea. We drove out to Michigan and stayed there for about 3 weeks. We lived with one of the most incredible people I’ve ever met. Don is full of great words of wisdom and insights and I hope we get the opportunity to stay with him again. The CD its self was on the easier side to write because of how eager we all were. We had been riding on the monster ep for so long we were ready to step up our game. We lowered our running and stepped our melodies to bring you Desolate.
Tell me about the single track “Bite My Tongue”. What is the message behind the lyrics?
Bite my tongue is about different forms of anxiety from car rides to making the right decisions. Our goal was to produce a song that represented the driving force of AODs riffs mixed with a catchy chorus that we all could relate too. I think we did just that.
What is your favorite song to perform on stage? What song gets the crowd going?
My favorite song to play is ESC we usually play it in on r first two songs and it gets me all jacked up on mountain dew. As soon as I say it never ends! We are moving! I love it expect it in all our sets. I would say it gets the crowd going along with Godkiller and skin.
How does it feel to be opening for BARBARIAN this Friday?
Barbarian is an awesome band. One of my top five for local Rhody bands. Beside there killer tunes they are homies. We have been working with those guys for years in between different bands and venues. Definitely keep and eye on them they were saying new stuff coming soon and they bring the noise.
Of all the names on the Friday lineup, do you know them all? Which ones are your favorites and where do you see them in 2 years from now?
I love these last two questions. Yes all these bands on this line up are straight fire. From the best of up in coming to our boys we’ve been raging with for years the line up is stacked!
Quarantined is a younger band with a ton of potential bringing that new age hardcore sound I can’t wait for the guys to drop some music. Go see them.
Okami, love the name, love the band. We have had the pleasure of playing with these guys in our last few home shows and God damn I hope there is more to come. They bring the breakdowns the bring the riffs and have insane energy live.
Def one of my new favorites.
Patient 0 is one of those bands that mean more to me then they know! We have been playing along side these guys for years and some of my first memories of being in the metal scene is playing with these guys. They crush it live Every time there music is sick , they do insane covers, they are awesome guys. Dave is a huge resource for info and has helped us out with our tech, so definitely check them out some of the hardest working dudes in our area.
Omni is a new one for me. I know some of the guys from other bands but never heard this one. Gotta say super impressed. I like the name and the sounds is crushing. Super heavy, insane vocals, and definitely a bunch of moments that make you say, damn that smacked. Check them out I can tell big things a re coming for these guys.
Two years from now AOD and these bands listed above are gonna be on a major international tour together putting our little section of the planet on the map. We’re coming for you 2022.
What are your biggest influences in music and in life?
I love Slipknot. I love heavy metal. I love people places and things that are happy.
Bring happiness and peace to the world around you. Work hard play harder. And when all else fails. People=shit
What are your plans for 2020?
What a year already! Honestly we are just trying to hit the road. Our last run was in October and it was a fun one but there are still so many places we haven’t played desolate live so that is the plan. Of course we are grinding away at home. New music, new everything really. We are taking a skies the limit attitude this year. For so long bands tend to follow the same path of flow but we’ve done that for so long we want to bring something fresh to our…ummm musical journey. All I gotta say is get your desolate fix in while you can then get ready for our next step in metal evolution.
Have I left anything out?
Tour dates, videos, all the content you can think of is either coming or out now on our social media platforms! @absenceofdespair @joereynoldsaod give us a shout we love talking to everyone and making new friends. May is looking good so keep an eye out for those dates we are making moves and bringing the noise!
Thank you for your time!
Thank you this has been a great interview!