Lethal Affection Interview
Written & Produced by Meryl "LJ" London
Edited by Rachel Rosell | Photos by Nicole Harissiadis Photography
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Meryl “LJ” DeWitt: Your hometown of New Jersey is one that's gotten a good amount of love in the rock scene. What's your opinion on the local scene? Favorite venue to play?
Joe Percario: We have had both great shows and awful shows in and around New Jersey. I think some of my favorite shows we’ve ever played have been at the Mexicali Live in Teaneck and Championship Bar in Trenton. I often hear people talk about how you have to “support the local scene” or “keep the scene alive”, but I feel like few people truly adhere to that mentality. I don’t personally want to continue being a local scene band; I want to travel, experience the world, and share our music with as many people as are willing to listen.
Nick Kashmanian: The isn’t much of a scene at the moment but our buddy Corey Pierce (formerly of God Forbid) is doing his damnedest to build one. Championship Bar in Trenton is fun to play, as are Dingbatz in Clifton and Starland Ballroom in Sayreville.
LJ: Who's been your favorite band to play/party with so far?
Nick: I’ve gotten to party a bunch with bands like Children of Bodom and Bullet for my Valentine, among others, which is always fun. Locally, we get along great with the bands Burial Mound and Negative Sky and those dudes are always fun to party with.
Joe: We’ve played with a number of fantastic bands, and it’s always great to converse with other like minded individuals. I think my favorite band we’ve played with is probably between Diecast and Blackguard. We did have the amazing pleasure of playing with the legendary Dio Disciples and Lynch Mob, but I don’t even consider us in their league. Favorite band to party with is a toss up between Burial Mound and Blacktide. Those guys are all fantastic dudes.
LJ: Drink of choice?
Joe: I like a real whiskey sour or most IPAs. I like trying different beers, just nothing lite. I try to drink a lot of water as well, but that’s far less exciting. Most good stories don’t start with you downing a liter of water.
Nick: Anything whiskey. We have a good relationship with Coldcock Whiskey, which is an herbal-infused whiskey,. You all should give it a taste or two.
LJ: Most outrageous drinking story (that you're willing to tell)?
Joe: Most of my outrageous drinking stories I don’t really recollect. I know recently I’ve fallen asleep while Nick, Noah, and I were playing an acoustic set. I know from third parties that I punched Noah for joking about my ex-girlfriend, apparently I kept playing guitar though while I was asleep, poorly, but still, a feat in and of itself. I also carried a keg across town in college once, I think I took it on the bus with me too, I woke up hugging it. I’ve blacked out a few times during our shows, but I tend to not do that anymore… there’s a lot more, but it takes serious thought to recollect things you don’t recollect.
Nick: There’s quite a few, but most of the outrageous ones are pretty fuzzy. One that sticks out was driving Alexi Laiho home from a bar and getting hopelessly lost in Central Park while cranking the Heartbreak Station album from Cinderella. That dude is such a badass.
LJ: Have you ever "lost" one of the members of the band right before a set? If so, where was he and how did you find him?
Nick: Plenty of times, especially with our old bass players. Actually, just recently our other guitarist, Joe, got too drunk and passed out on stage through a whole set. We didn’t physically lose him but he was pretty far gone mentally. Boozing is a good time, isn’t it?
Joe: I’m pretty sure the band lost me and I lost myself before we played with Diecast the last time. We were drinking a big bottle of Jägermeister with them and I don’t know where I ended up. We’ve misplaced an old bass player a few times, if I recall correctly, he left during the intermissions of one of our sets before. I found him and got him back, but he was pretty upset. Fortunately, Will is very professional, and the only thing he’s lost is his sanity, but I can always depend on him to not get lost before a gig. I didn’t really mention where anyone was found. I feel like most times people lose themselves in our music, in the moment, and they try to not let go. In this life we only have one shot, and no one wants to let the opportunity slip by that may only come once in a lifetime.
These New Jersey natives are pumping out some classic metal sounds, reminiscent of bands like Alter Bridge and Black Stone Cherry. Combining faithful melodies with classic grinds, I bring you Lethal Affection! Recently I had a talk with their two fearless shredders.
LJ: 3 albums you want to be buried with?
Joe: I don’t want to be buried. I want a pyre to be raised at my death. With me though, I’d want them to pull up a copy of Roxio and burn a copy of Tribute by Ozzy Osbourne – Randy is essentially the reason I play guitar, and this is a one of my favorite live albums with some of his greatest works. After that, maybe Follow the Reaper by Children of Bodom – They’re one of my all time favorite bands, and this is the album that got me into them. And I could never forget a work that is very meaningful to me; I'm a huge metalhead, but it's not all burning churches and pillaging villages. I actually play classical guitar as well, not as much as I used to, but one of my favorite albums ever is Julian Bream’s A Bach Recital for Guitar. Julian Bream is, without a doubt, one of the premiere classical guitarists of the modern era. Any lover of classical guitar will enjoy this CD and Bream's highly stylized and precise renditions of some of J.S. Bach's most memorable and complex masterworks. So there you have it. I love a lot of albums, but these three are a pinnacle in my selection.
Nick: Judas Priest’s Painkiller, because that album shreds and has always been my favorite album, Iron Maiden’s Somewhere in Time, because Maiden has and will always be my favorite band, and Guns N’ Roses’ Appetite for Destruction, because it reeks of sex, booze, balls, and amazing songs.
LJ: What would be your dream lineup to be apart of?
Joe: I would love to open for an Iron Maiden tour. I see them every time they’re around anyway, so it would be especially nice to watch them from the side stage after finishing a set. I could dream.
Nick: Headlining a bill that includes Maiden, a Zeppelin reunion, Priest with KK back in the band, and the reunited Guns lineup. We’d probably get booed off the stage but that’s my pipedream bill for sure.
LJ: You do have a few songs recorded, but do you plan on having any new releases in the near future? If so, can you give us a hint to what they might be about?
Nick: We recorded an album recently, and are just waiting on the final mixes to come through. We had Corey Pierce produce it and Chris “Zeuss” Harris mixing it. The songs are sounding killer and we can’t wait for everyone to hear it, and hopefully dig it. The songs have some huge drums, shredding guitar, and some ridiculous vocals from our singer, Noah Simon.
Joe: Nick vocalized the plan pretty well. We have a full-length album that we’ve been trying to release for a bit now, it’s finally getting finished by Zeus. I have a few of the songs, and I think they sound fantastic. I wish I could give you a date, but I can’t wait for the day to share what we’ve worked so hard for with everyone. When we have a solid release date, I’ll make sure you know of it.
LJ: Finally, is there any last facts, statements, or words of wisdom you'd like to leave with your fans?
Joe: I haven’t really accomplished all that much yet, so it’s hard for me to impart wisdom on others. Life is hard for the most part, but as long as you enjoy yourself it makes the good things all the more worth it. Always do what you love, even if it’s in between things you hate. Just make sure you make time for those things, otherwise you might miss it.
Nick: If you’re trying to become a successful musician, be ready to get financially screwed over, have your heart broken many times, have any hopes of success dashed many times, but also be ready to have the most fun of your life because playing rock and roll with your friends is the greatest shit in the world.