013 Eyehategod

On August 23, 2013, EyeHateGod drummer Joey LaCaze passed away after finishing another successful tour with the band. He died from respiratory failure, as he’d been a longtime asthmatic. We’ve always wanted to do an EHG episode—one of the very first bands we talked about covering, actually—and though this is not exactly the reason we wanted to do this episode, we tip our Slayer ball caps to the fallen drummer of one of our very favorite bands. Joey was also active in Outlaw Order and Clearlight, but we stick to his tried-and-true EHG output for this episode. (Joey’s page on the EHG site.)

Joey La Caze hammerin' skins back in the day.

Joey La Caze hammerin’ skins back in the day. (photo from Facebook)

“Depress,” “Man Is Too Ignorant to Exist,” “Left to Starve” from In the Name of Suffering (1992, Century Media)

EHG’s original band name was original band name was Snuffleapagus on Acid (!). 1992’s In the Name of Suffering was their debut album after recording two demos: Garden Dwarf Woman Driver and Lack of Almost Everything (the latter of which is named after a Charles Bukowski poem). It was recorded at Festival Studios in Kenner, Louisiana for $1,000, and the band had no idea what to do in a real studio, so they “went with instinct.” The album was first released on a French label called Intellectual Convulsion, and reportedly they pressed around 2,000 copies, gave the band members five copies each, then promptly disappeared! Century Media offered to re-release it and send them on tour in Europe with Crowbar. This album really helped to define the “Louisiana sound,” as it mixed punk rock with doom. This strain of metal was started by Exhorder, who first combined thrash with doom metal.

“Blank,” “Shop Lift,” “Serving Time in the Middle of Nowhere,” “Southern Discomfort” from Take as Needed for Pain (1993, Century Media)

Mike Williams’ favorite album title of any band, Take as Needed for Pain was released in 1993. EHG had finally reached the apex of their Southern hardcore blues sound that they’d been striving for. The album was recorded at Studio 13 in New Orleans, which was on the thirteenth floor of an abandoned department store on Canal Street. Mike was homeless at the time, having been thrown out by an ex-girlfriend, and was “living” in a flea-infested space above a nightclub on Bourbon Street. They toured with Buzzov*en, White Zombie, and Corrosion of Conformity. Most of their live set, to this day, comes from this album, as it is the favorite of most of the band. The remaster includes six bonus tracks compiled from their hard-to-find seven-inches on Bovine, Slap-A-Ham, and Ax/ction Records (“Serving Time” and “Southern Discomfort” are two of them). Back in the day, these singles served as amazing holdovers for fans while waiting for new material between full-lengths.

Jimmy Bower can barely control his axe.  It is possessed by a thousand demons.  (photo by Diana Lee Zadlo of MetalSucks.com)

Jimmy Bower can barely control his axe. It is possessed by a thousand demons. (photo by Diana Lee Zadlo of MetalSucks.com)

“Dixie Whiskey,” “Lack of Almost Everything,” “Peace Thru War (Thru Peace and War)” from Dopesick (1996, Century Media)

Mike Williams had moved to NYC to write for Metal Maniacs magazine with his then-girlfriend, editor Alicia Morgan (then vocalist for doom band 13, who did two split singles with EHG) and was taking a Greyhound bus back and forth to New Orleans to practice and record this album. Alicia even co-wrote some of the lyrics on this album. Dopesick was recorded at Side One Studios in New Orleans with Billy Anderson and Pepper Keenan at the controls. This album had a slightly different sound from the previous two records, but it still dripped feedback-laden blues that was now the signature EHG sound of sludge metal. The band toured extensively in bigger venues and stadiums with White Zombie and Pantera.

Unsettling artwork in EHG's typical collage style.

Unsettling artwork in EHG’s typical collage style.

“Jack Ass in the Will of God” and “Self Medication Blues” from Confederacy of Ruined Lives (2000, Century Media)

Before this album came out, Mike Williams quit the band briefly in 1998 while on tour with Acid Bath and Crowbar. In the interim, Century Media released the Southern Discomfort compilation in early 2000, with the Confederacy album following in September of 2000. EHG’s first and only live album, 10 Years of Abuse (and Still Broke), was released in 2001. Confederacy was recorded at Balance Productions in Mandeville, LA and produced by Scott Fortman, guitarist for Ugly Kid Joe and owner of this studio.

“Age of Bootcamp” from Preaching the End Time Message (2005, Emetic)

Preaching was a second compilation of previously released tracks from various splits, soundtracks, etc. “Age of Bootcamp” is taken from the 2002 split with Soilent Green on Incision Records. Also included on this album are three demo tracks of then-new songs that were to appear on their next full-length, recorded in 2005.

“New Orleans Is the New Vietnam” from New Orleans Is the New Vietnam 7” (2012, A389)

 

“New Orleans Is the New Vietnam” was in their live set for a year or two. Joey did a great must-hear interview with our friend Teabag Stallone & Lizardmessiah on Core of Destruction Radio in February of 2013. According to Joey, the new EHG record called Possession with Intent to Distribute, and he stated that he’d finished the drum tracks for fifteen songs at the time of the interview. Metal Archives lists that the band is now signed to Housecore Records, Phil Anselmo’s label. Joey had also been working for years on independent noise projects and had “thousands of tapes” of sounds that he used! His last project was called Solemn Sickness Continuum and had opened for Mike’s Corrections House with Scott Kelly (Neurosis), Sanford Parker (Nachtmystium), and Bruce Lamont (Yakuza). Joey spoke candidly about wanting this project and others released this year (2013), so who knows what we may see for sale in the future?

Here’s to one of metal’s greatest drummers, Joey LaCaze (1971-2013)! May he rest in peace. Joey’s family set up an account for the benefit of his daughter, Lilith LaCaze. Checks can be made payable to the Lilith LaCaze or Joseph LaCaze donation fund at any Capital One Bank in any city. Click here to find a Capital One bank near you.

Tags: Eyehategod, EHG, Joey Lacaze, Mike Williams, Jimmy Bower, Teabag Stallone, Lizardmessiah, Core of Destruction, Outlaw Order, Clearlight, Take as Need for Pain, Dopesick, New Orleans Is the New Vietnam, Nola, Confederacy of Ruined Lives, In the Name of Suffering, Century Media, Emetic, A389, Lilith

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