By Alex. Published on 1/17/2014.
After nearly two years on the sidelines, Orange County, California hardcore/metal unit Throwdown has returned. The band will release a new album next week and we thought this would be a great time to catch up with vocalist and band leader Dave Peters.
You guys seemed to disappear for 18 months or so prior to beginning work on the new album. Where did you go?
Nowhere. I think I left California once during that time.
Throwdown hasn't released an album in over four years; why only 28 minutes of new music?
I barely have an attention span for an album over 30 minutes these days. If a band I really like puts out a record longer than that, I'm still probably not actively listening to it start to finish in one sitting. I don't know what that's a function of, but it just seemed arrogant to be that way with records I listen to but not ones I record.
I wrote 11 songs and it felt done, so it was.
You've seen a lot of members come and go over the years. You're the only member left from the Haymaker days (save for session drummer Jarrod Alexander). Is Throwdown essentially a Dave Peters solo project at this point?
In 2006 I was the only member left from the Haymaker recording. I wrote and recorded the lion's share of music for Vendetta, Venom & Tears, and Deathless, so not much is new under the sun with Intolerance. And Jarrod knows it's only a matter of time before I learn how to effectively use a drum machine.
What happened to guitarist Mark Choiniere?
Was there a conscious effort to infuse more hardcore into the new album?
There was a conscious effort to write harder, shorter, more decisive music. So...yes.
What do you say to those people who said that Throwdown went from a hardcore band to a Pantera cover band?
The album most celebrated as hardcore by people younger than me (from what I can tell anyway) was much more influenced by Sepultura than Minor Threat. I suppose it's just tomato/tomahto with what we describe as "hardcore."
Prior to the recording of Haymaker, the remaining founding members of Throwdown were writing songs akin to Deftones, Hoobastank and Taproot. The music I wrote for Haymaker and beyond steered the band in a direction more familiar to fans of some of my favorite bands-- Pantera, Hatebreed and Slayer. So, I guess I should say... you're welcome?
At one point Throwdown was a full-time band; that's obviously not the case anymore. Was it simply a result of getting older and needing more stability, or was it the result of changes in the music industry and record label problems?
Both, but more the former than the latter. Touring more days of the year than not to make ends meet just wasn't for me in the long run. "Stability" is a relative word in this case, though, and there are guys older than me in comparable bands that are grinding it out quite happily and successfully on the road.
Had we not struggled with labels (Trustkill aka Bullet Tooth), declining CD sales, expensive gas... all the things that entitled band guys whine about ad nauseam, then the decision to hit the brakes on touring would have been delayed by maybe a couple years.
It seems like most of the old Orange County hardcore/metal stalwarts (Bleeding Through, Atreyu, Eighteen Visions, etc.) saw significant success but were eventually chewed up and spit out by the industry?
Were they, though? That's a more compelling story, but I don't think any of the bands you listed, or Throwdown for that matter, experienced a to-scale arc or timeline dissimilar to most touring bands out there. They each garnered a fan base, had a crescendo, and then went on to play to their core fans in the wake of it. Sure, some chose to break up at one point or another for various reasons, but it's a copout to blame "the industry" for a band's decline or ultimate dissolution.
If a band can carry on after an integral member DIES, then they can do so when CD sales are down or a label jerks them around. It's a choice.
Since you've joined the band, Throwdown has toured the world, had charting albums, played Ozzfest... what has been a career highlight for you?
Hearing a big crowd screaming along to our songs at Download Festival in 2006.
And, of course, how about a low point?
Hearing a Throwdown riff in an A Day To Remember song in 2013.
If 2002's Dave Peters had gotten into a time machine and traveled 2014, what would he have been most shocked by?
The continued use of the word "stalwarts" by metal/hardcore websites and magazines. And the Chillow™.
Along those lines, what music industry advice would you give a young Dave Peters if presented with the opportunity?
I'm assuming this is a Marty McFly type scenario where the time with my younger self is limited and/or ill-advised by a scientist. So I probably wouldn't bother with music industry advice, and instead stick to things like investment tips, sports bets and obtaining patents for important inventions that have yet to be considered. Or maybe just suggesting potential career paths that don't involve pissing into an empty Dasani bottle inside a moving vehicle.
How about a little word association? I'm going to throw out a few names... give me a word or two in response.
Hatebreed – Pit
Max Cavalera – Riff
Keith Barney – Horse painting
Dave Mandel – Class act
Avenged Sevenfold – Pyro
Scott Vogel – (More) stage dives
Ben Dussault – Handsome / Hangry
Pantera – G.O.A.T.
Straight Edge - Yes
Josh Grabelle – No
Sharon Osbourne - Laundry
After touring in support of Intolerance, how likely is it that you guys go into hibernation again?
It probably won't be another 4-year radio silence, but I don't know.
Aside from Throwdown-related activities, what's next for Dave Peters?
I'm fly fishing for steelhead this weekend with my brother. If we don't catch anything, we'll probably eat Del Taco.
Oh, by the way... when is that split with Poison The Well coming out?!
I'd like to tell you "soon," but we've had it remixed seven times now and just can't find the right vibe. Something's missing. For now, we've collectively agreed to step away from the project and revisit it in another 12 to 14 years.