Andy Gerold: Opiate For The Masses
Who the hell is Andy Gerold? I know you HAVE to be asking yourself this RIGHT NOW, so let me tell you. Andy Gerold is the lead guitar player for Opiate For The Masses-no he isn’t distributing free heroin, he plays guitar for the Phoenix Arizona based band that scored the Vans Warped Tour on their first swing. You will be seing OFM this summer-so I thought you should know something about the band. -Their first full length album is called The Spore which HAS to be related to something other than warts, because warts just don’t sell do they? -Andy is a nice guy, and I will be catching him at the Hi-Fi Buys in Atlanta at the end of July. I’ll bet next time I talk to him he is going to have a lot more to say, but here is what he said this time:
MI: What is your birthday?
Andy: June 13th, 1978.
MI: Tell us about how the band got together.
Andy: We’ve all been in the Phoenix, Arizona music scene for a while now and we’ve all known each other since High School and Junior High and we’ve all been in different bands as well as some of us being in the same bands. All those bands split up and we somehow found our way together.
MI: Who are the band members?
Andy: Ron Underwood is the singer, Jim Kaufman is the other guitar player, Elias Mallin is the drummer, and Ryan Head is the bass player.
MI: Describe your music to us.
Andy: It’s like Faith No More, Nine Inch Nails, Tool…. We’re heavy but we do have keyboards sometimes and programming sometimes but we’re more rock like Faith No More and Tool than we are industrial.
MI: How did you come up with the name for the band?
Andy: It’s a quote. Carl Marx once said “Organized religion was an opiate for the masses” so we thought that was cool and took the tale end off of it.
MI: How did you guys end up on the Warped Tour?
Andy: I think our lawyer hooked that up. I’m not too sure how we got that.
MI: Tell us something you think people should know about each member of the band.
Andy: Ron is a nut. He’s crazy on stage and he’s crazy off stage. Ryan is the quiet one. He’s good at meeting people and talking to people. Elias is the shy guy. He likes to sit in bed and smoke cigarettes and he likes chocolate milk.
MI: What is the most memorable show you guys have played live?
Andy: We played in Illinois and that was a really good show. We actually got an encore, which is weird for the opening band.
MI: What is your favorite track off the new album to play?
Andy: Heaven. It’s the heaviest one and it has really cool loops in it. If you took that song it describes exactly what we do. It’s a nice mixture of heavy metal rock and a nice mixture of loops.
MI: What is the most fucked up thing you’ve seen on tour?
Andy: One of the other band’s roadies could take a shit on queue and he let a log go in his pants and he let it drool down his leg and onto the floor.
MI: Have you ever inhaled?
MI: What are your thoughts on legalizing drugs?
Andy: I do not think that drugs should be legalized.
MI: What do you think about Kelly Osbourne going into rehab?
Andy: More power to her.
MI: What concert in the world do you fantasize about playing?
Andy: A huge festival overseas where there are 500,000 people.
MI: Where do you get your inspiration as a musician?
Andy: I get it from a lot of different things. I’m into classical music a lot, guys like John Williams and Bach and people like that. Rock inspiration is more along the lines of Adam Jones from Tool and both of the guitar players in RadioHead are a humongous influence on all of us. Old School Metallica with Kirk Hammet was a huge influence also.
MI: What do you parents think of your career?
Andy: They think it’s really good. They are really supportive. My dad and my step dad both play guitar so I probably picked up a few things from those guys.
MI: Where were you when 9-11 happened?
Andy: I was sleeping and my girlfriend at the time was watching TV and she came into the room screaming. I got out of bed and watched TV and it was the most unbelievable thing I’ve seen.
MI: If you could design a memorial for the victims of 9-11 what would it be?
Andy: It would probably be something along the lines of a medley between the Statue of Liberty and the American flag. A huge statue would be cool.
MI: What do you think about the US involvement in the Middle East?
Andy: I think it’s necessary to do what we’re doing in the Middle East right now. A lot of people are protesting the war and they want peace but what they don’t understand is that terrorists don’t care about that. They will kill everyone regardless if you want peace or if you want war. I think we’re really lucky to have Bush in the White House doing what we need to do.
MI: What single album has had the greatest influence on your life?
Andy: Well, there are two. I would have to say Aenima by Tool and Downward Spiral by Nine Inch Nails. Those two records changed everything for me.
MI: Give me your thoughts of Arnold being governor of California.
Andy: I think it’s absolutely fantastic. He’s a great personality for the state.
MI: Do you think the Kennedy’s had a push behind him getting into office?
Andy: Probably a little. There’s always something on the backburner. I don’t think there was anything shady about it.
MI: What is your opinion of George W. Bush?
Andy: I think he is absolutely fantastic. Most of the people I’m around hate his guts but I think he’s doing a good job.
MI: Who do you think the greatest guitar player of all time is?
Andy: Hendrix. In the little amount of time he played he made such a huge impact on the way people play guitar.
MI: If you had your CD player on right now what would you be listening to?
Andy: Right now The Rat Pack – At The Sands Hotel is in my CD player. It’s really cool cause they sing and stuff but they do comedy and it’s really funny.
MI: If you were stuck on a desert island and could only bring 2 people, 1 book, 2 CDs, and your favorite bottle of liquor, what would they be?
Andy: I would bring a bottle of Jagermeister for sure. I would bring George Washington and Benjamin Franklin. They would be the two most interesting people to sit down and chat with. For a book I would bring something funny. The two CDs would be Aenima and Downward Spiral.
MI: What about the world pisses you off the most?
Andy: The fact that it’s the year 2004 and we’re still fighting battles and war. There is absolutely no reason why the human race should be fighting. I know it’s necessary now but I still think it’s fucking retarded.
MI: Do you see another attack towards the US?
Andy: Most likely. It’s not going to be as big as the WTC but I’m sure it will be something.
MI: If you were God for a week what would you change?
Andy: I would play jokes on people.
MI: Do you believe in psychics?
Andy: No! That’s a bunch of crap.
MI: Have you ever had a paranormal experience?
Andy: No. Never.
MI: Do you believe in reincarnation?
Andy: I believe that it’s possible. It’s a good theory. I believe that energy can be transformed from one medium to another. If that’s the case then energy from one human can be transferred to another human.
MI: If you were in reincarnated who would you like to have been in your past life?
Andy: Benjamin Franklin.
MI: What else do you do besides play music?
Andy: Absolutely nothing at all! All I do is play music. I surf the web every now and then, watch a little South Park, and read and write.
MI: What is a group from the 60’s that has influenced you?
Andy: The Beatles.
MI: Growing up who was your hero?
Andy: My parents. They are amazing people. My mom is an independent and strong woman.
MI: Whom would you like to dump a bucket of flesh eating ants on?
Andy: Osama Bin Laden, all over his ass.
MI: What do you consider your greatest achievement in life?
Andy: Fulfilling my goal in life which is to be a touring musician and I’ve fulfilled that.
MI: If you had a million dollars to give to charity what charity would it be?
Andy: Probably to the Salvation Army.
MI: What is the worst job you’ve ever had?
Andy: When I worked at Pizza Hut. It was horrible.
MI: If you could have lunch with anyone, living or dead, who would they be?
Andy: George Bush so I could ask him a bunch of questions about what’s going on.
MI: If you were a super hero who would you be?
Andy: Batman, because he’s cool and he’s human and he kicks ass!
MI: What message would you like to send to your fans?
Andy: Just keep rocking and rolling!
MI: What is your favorite lyric from one of your songs off the new album?
Andy: There’s a song called Illusion and he says “The successful institutions are the best of all illusions” and I think that’s a great line.
MI: What is the band’s web site?
Thanks Andy. Good luck on The Warped Tour, and we WILL catch you LIVE very soon!
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