ScenePointBlank: What does With Passion mean to you?
With Passion: It's the process of our musical creation.
ScenePointBlank: How did you get hooked up with Reflections Of Ruin?
With Passion: They'd been watching us for a while and we hooked up with them after a show in Half Moon Bay, they contacted us by e-mail.
ScenePointBlank: How did recording with Zack Ohren at Castle Ultimate go?
With Passion: He's amazing, he really knows what he's doing.
ScenePointBlank: Any funny stories?
With Passion: Zack didn't get our lingo and he didn't know who Rawnie Thruster is. The b button on his NES pad doesn't work because he replaced the buttons with SNES pad buttons.
ScenePointBlank: Who is Rawnie Thruster?
With Passion: A good friend of the band'he's a secret we can't reveal his identity.
ScenePointBlank: Main influences for this album coming out?
With Passion: At The Gates, Kalmah, Dimmu Borgir, Origin, End This Day, Cryptopsy and video games soundtracks.
ScenePointBlank: How did you go about writing In The Midst Of Bloodied Soil?
With Passion: Lyrically: I write about life experience and people that pass away that continue to live on in my life, and I transpose it in a more'battle theme. Musically: The foundation was set with Shaun and Jacob and then everybody else contributed their own texture to the songs. We use our imagination to write soundtrack-style-themes to battalions riding off into sunsets after victory'and javelins are going to be implemented into our next album.
ScenePointBlank: How does the keyboard get implemented?
With Passion: Brandon joined the band about a month before we recorded and wrote the keyboard parts over the music, he also added a rich overtone and another level of technicality to our music. Brandon wrote the whole first track.
ScenePointBlank: What does In The Midst Of Bloodied Soil mean?
With Passion: It's imagery of casualties on the battlefield.
ScenePointBlank: Have you started to write the next album yet? If so, what direction can we expect from it?
With Passion: We have about two songs written for our full length, it's going to be just more triumphant and more technical than before'more of everything that was good before. There will also be more keyboards.
ScenePointBlank: Where did the idea come from playing guitar and sniping people with the guitar?
With Passion: It came from playing this arcade game called Silent Scope, I love to see the victim's eyes as I strike fear into them before they fade away and fall in battle.
ScenePointBlank: How did With Passion become a band, how did you all meet up? How did Andy get into the mix?
With Passion: Shaun and Jacob were originally in Athena And Hades and started With Passion as a side project, Jacob did this because he was unhappy with the material that Athena And Hades were creating, Shaun did this because he was held back from creative control. Sam then joined next after being introduced by a mutual friend. We went through several bass players before deciding on Mike. Andy joined in August '03 after they lost their previous guitarist. Brandon is the latest addition and he's only been in the band since the end of March. The guitarist before Andy, Jeff, left due to personal differences between the band and him.
ScenePointBlank: What distinguishes With Passion from the other upcoming metal bands?
With Passion: Definitely our live performance, we work just as hard on our live performance as our song writing.
ScenePointBlank: Favorite Wet Hot American Summer quote?
With Passion: 'Raunch saturation point'
ScenePointBlank: To the drummer, how do you train to play the drums so fast and for so long? Thoughts on triggers?
With Passion: I just practice as much as I can... and that's basically it, playing a lot. I do some exercises that focus on endurance, not necessarily lifting weights though. I like triggers in general, but not so much on the snare, I like them live too'especially on the bass drum. I prefer it a lot over not using them. I actually trigger my bass drums now.
ScenePointBlank: What does metal mean to you?
With Passion: It's a precious mineral that you find in the ground.
ScenePointBlank: What was your first metal album you bought?
Mike - Cannibal Corpse -Eaten Back To Life
Shaun - At The Gates - Terminal Spirit Deity
Sam - Metallica - Master Of Puppets
Andy - Death - Symbolic
Jacob - Kalmah - Swamplord
ScenePointBlank: How have video games influenced you as people and your band's sound?
With Passion: Sam's not good at video games so he doesn't like them. Andy and Jacob - 'Video games are very important and are a big part of life, but we don't have as much time to play them as we used to' Shaun is inspired to write triumphant music because of video games, especially RPGs. They put Mike in a good mood.
ScenePointBlank: What's the furthest you've gone to play a show?
With Passion: Los Angeles.
ScenePointBlank: Any funny road stories?
With Passion: No more Mexican food on the road.
ScenePointBlank: Any upcoming tour plans?
With Passion: From June 12 - 27 we're going to be touring the west coast and hopefully Japan soon. We will be touring with Light This City and Dead Elizabeth. Dates will be posted on our new website. We also will be having some shows with PsyOpus, Into The Moat, and Caliban soon
. ScenePointBlank: What would your ideal show that you would play with bands currently together?
With Passion: Dimmu Borgir, Kalmah, The Number Twelve Looks Like You, and Evergrey.
ScenePointBlank: Of bands broken up?
With Passion: At The Gates, As Hope Dies, and Botch.
ScenePointBlank: Any local bands worth checking out?
With Passion: Light This City, Dead Elizabeth and Beneath The Ashes.
ScenePointBlank: What have you been listening to lately?
Mike: Hamartia - To Play The Part
Sam: At The Gates - Slaughter Of The Soul
Jacob: Cryptopsy - None So Live
Andy: Now It's Overhead - Fall Back Open
Shaun: Brand New - Deja Entendu
ScenePointBlank: Do any of you have any side projects?
With Passion: Andy and Sam have a band called Andy And I, Mike has two, one is called Hot Chocolate Kiss and the other one is called as I Live And Breathe. Shaun plays acoustic guitar by himself. Brandon has another band called Drop Seven.
ScenePointBlank: What's more crucial? Emperor or At The Gates?
With Passion: We can't decide.
ScenePointBlank: Metallica or Slayer?
With Passion: Metallica.
ScenePointBlank: Rhapsody or Dragonforce?
With Passion: Dragonforce.
ScenePointBlank: Any last words?
With Passion: IRO!
Interview conducted over the telephone by Zed.