Devil’s Interview with Ryan Butler of Landmine Marathon

Landmine Marathon are a death/grind band that have been around for a few years. Many of you probably wrote them off as another female fronted band after lead singer Grace Perry did a “Hottest Chicks in Metal” shoot for Revolver Magazine. This is no sappy goth band and it’s definitely not Lacuna Coil. Yeah, I know you’re thinking that they must be some kind of Arch Enemy knockoff-nope, try again. This is the real deal, heavy as hell and more like Napalm Death than Nightwish. Their latest album “Gallows” shreds to pieces most of the death metal that comes out nowadays.

First of all huge congrats for getting onto the Orion Fest! It must
be a dream come true to be on that bill. How did this come about? Were
you handpicked to play by Metallica themselves or was there some other
way that this came about?

The fest’s talent buyer approached our booking agent. They made an
offer and we took it! The talent buyer let us know that James
Hetfield had requested us, which is a totally amazing feeling. We owe
a lot to several friends for making our presence known to Metallica.

Your latest album “Gallows” was amazing. In my opinion it’s even
better than your last album (which also kicked some serious ass) How
has the general reception to it? Better than Sovereign Descent or
about the same?

All the reviews have been great and I feel it is our strongest
material to date. Everything just kinda flows together well. The
outpouring has been the most popsitive we’ve ever received.

Is there an overall concept to the album or no?

All the lyrics are based on old European Folk Tales that were meant to
scare children. Grace’s lyrics were so brutal that someone from our
label said “Grace, if you ever need someone to talk to, we’re here”.
haha.

How has the whole thing with Grace appearing in the Revolver
hottest chicks issue affected your career? Do you feel that you guys
have gained anything by her doing it?

It’s been good overall. It brought a lot of attention to the band and
she made sure that she wasn’t gonna be half naked in anything. Not
only would that misrepresent us, but it would misrepresent her. She’s
a jeans and a t shirt type of gal and Matt and I grew up very punk.
So, we’re not fans of the rock star silliness or overly sexist stuff.
There’s definitely been some detractors, but overal, it was worth
doing.

I saw the video for “Beaten and Left Blind” and it was insane! You
guys put on a really crazy performance and the rest of the video was
really intense. Who came up with the concept? You guys or the
director? How did the shoot go? Do you feel that videos are still
needed in this day and age to promote the band or do you do it more to
give the song a visual concept? The video made the song much more
powerful for me.

The concept was all Grace. The shoot was awesome. We did all the
scenes of us playing here in Arizona. And all the acted stuff and
Grace by herself was shot in the Bay Area. I think that music videos are
totally vital with the way that EVERYTHING is on the internet now and
very visual. Unfortunately, labels don’t have the budgets for them
anymore, but we found ways to make it happen and other bands are, too.

You guys have an obvious Napalm Death influence. How did you like
Utilitarian? Have any of you listened to it?

I’ve bought it and gave it a spin. I thought it was great. Not a
huge variation from their last few, but very good. I’m listening to
Harmony Corruption as I type, though.

I was surprised to read in an interview (I forget where) that Grace
is a librarian. How do her co-workers and patrons who know react to
her “moonlight” job? Do any of the patrons get freaked out knowing
that Grace is in a death metal band?

She was a circulation Librarian at the Tempe Public Library, but they
laid her off several years ago due to budget cuts. I don’t think most
people knew.

What’s been your career highlight with Landmine so far?

Being asked to play a fest by James Hetfield. That’s pretty much the
highlight of my career.

I’ve read in past interviews that you guys are all vegetarians.
What led to that choice of lifestyle, did a particular author such as
John Robbins or Harvey Diamond influence this or something else?

Our new drummer is not and our last drummer gave it up right before he
left the band. It was is an individual choice and it just kinda
happened that the majority of the band does not eat meat. Like I
said, Matt and I grew up on a diet of hardcore and punk and grind. In
the early 90’s, it was odd to meet someone in the scene that wasn’t a
vegetarian, it’s just how it was in the scene. Now it seems to be the
opposite. I know that Matt and I both have read John Robbins books
etc. I was vegan for 8 years before I was in the band and have been
vegetarian since the early 90’s. Matt is still vegan and has been
trucking on that for years as well.

What did you feel was the best tour you’ve done so far and why?

Man, I have no idea. There’s been so many great ones. A recent one
with Skeletonwitch and Withered comes to mind. I’ve done so many in
the last twenty years it’s hard to put a finger on one as the best. I
think a lot of my early DIY tours in the 90’s before Landmine were
probably best for me as they were just so footloose and fancy free,
but we still have a blast on tour.


Anything else you would like to say or make known to the readers?

Thanks for the interview, and we’ll be on the road for a US tour in
June/July. Try and check us out if you can!

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