Every now and again, there’s a musician that makes a big impression in your life. For me, it was Marilyn Manson so it was quite an honor to interview Marilyn Manson’s former bassist and current touring artist of metal outfit There Is No Us, Andy Gerold.
The Metalist za’s Lav got to get chatty with Andy about working with Marilyn Manson, touring and what we can learn about social movements from There Is No Us.
Photo credit: Adam Messler
This question probably has come up a lot; but can you tell us what exactly was it like working with Manson?
It was a great experience. I got to travel all over the world and play some really big shows. Manson, and all the guys in the band, were a lot of fun.
And what was it like being branded as one of the most controversial bands of it's time?
By the time I was on tour with them I think that whole thing had died down. But there was one place were protesters were outside the venue. I don't remember the city. But I remember looking out the bus window and thinking "this still happens??" I think artists should try to push people's buttons in some form or another. Manson was really good at that!
How would you describe There Is No Us (TINU) to those who don't know the band?
We describe it as a social movement to expose the failure of the human race. Our medium is music. We touch on all different subjects including religion, drugs, politics, celebrity etc. The music is dynamic. The vocals are aggressive. We are literally screaming our views at you! TINU's songs are very much political as well as about themes of drug abuse and suicide.
Can you tell us a bit about the creative process that goes into the lyrics?
As an adult I care about what's going on in the world a lot more then when I was younger. So inspiration is easy when you see stories about kids getting murdered in school or another terrorist attack or electing a fucking idiot like Trump to be president. Some stuff makes you so mad you want to scream. That's where we hone in.
I sense that there is a theme of activism in TINU's music too - do you identify with the political climate in The States right now?
I think economic inequality is fueling a lot of frustration in the States right now. That, coupled with issues like nationalism, religion etc, allows for someone like Trump to get elected. A lot of people thought that since he wasn't a "Washington insider" that he would work for the average, everyday person. Of course they were all fooled. To think that Trump is the kind of person that cares about the average joe is absolutely crazy. Fortunately, we have elections every 4 years so let's hope he doesn't do anything that can't be reversed. Besides his Supreme Court appointment. More importantly, the Dems need to fill some seats in the House and Senate. We've had shitty presidents before and I'm sure we'll have them again.
In your years of touring; what has been the top 3 moments that have greatly stood out for you?
Well the first is definitely my 30 birthday when on tour with Manson and we played the Download festival. I've never played a show that big before. It was amazing. The second would be another Manson show, I forget where or when, but after a song or two I went to switch my bass and there's Slash a few feet away watching ME play. I'm sure he was paying more attention to Manson of course but whatever:) I grew up with his pictures all over my wall and now he's at "my" show. The third would have to be the first time I toured in a bus. Haha. It sounds crazy but when you've been in a van for years it's such a different experience. And are there moments or tours that you would rather forget? I've played my share of shitty shows. And done my share of shitty tours.
Apart from music, I've read that you write TV shows. Tell us a bit about that and what series/episodes that you have written.
I work for a publisher (Wild Whirled Music) that sells music to TV shows. So I have songs on shows and sporting events. I think the most recent songs have been on a show called Lucifer and a show called Impastor. It's so random that I usually don't know who used what until I see my BMI statement for the quarter. What other projects are you currently working on? I'm producing/writing an EP at the moment with a singer in Vegas (who shall remain nameless for now)
Is there anything that you'd like to add?
I just want to say thank you for your interest in me and my music. I really appreciate it. There Is No Us just finished our 2nd EP with the legendary Terry Date. We will be shooting a video for the song "Angels Face with Devils Hands" in May and hopefully releasing the EP shortly after.