“Rock is dead in
Suiciderock: Who had the idea for the
name "Isabelle's Gift" and why did you choose this name?
This question haunts us. We started as
more of a punk band years ago and at the time one of the members was worried
he's caught a sexual disease. We kept referring to it as a "Gift" as he was too
broke to visit a doctor at the time and have it looked into. Our upcoming and
first gig was with a big influence of mine, AntiSeen, who's fans are pretty
brutal, so we added the "Isabelle's" to make us sound more effeminate. I still
hate the name and think it makes us sound like a hippie band ... but we're sort
of stuck with it now.
Suiciderock: Can you reveal a bit more
about the band?
Chris: Yeah, oddly
enough, most of us are from the deep South here in America. Each guy has a
slightly different background in how they got into music. We've definitely got
somewhat of a Southern sound, but we mix it with Punk ethic and aren't afraid to
put poppy hooks over really heavy music. While not sounding anything like Faith
No More, we've got a similar approach as they used to have ... blend the best of
what you dig from all kinds of music. We're never done with a song until we're
all happy with it, which seems to happen quite easily. I had a very abusive
childhood, so almost everything we do is pretty dark. I guess we're sort of like
Lynyrd Skynyrd if they had been listening to punk and stoner rock. On our site,
there's a small clip of a song called "Downer" from the forthcoming album. It's
one of the slower songs ... but you'll get the idea. This line-up is totally
different from the previous recording.
Suiciderock: Ville Valo from H.I.M. did
backing vocals for "If I Die tonight" on your album "American Idle". How did you
get in touch?
Chris: Jimmy Pop has
been a friend of mine for years and turned me onto HIM right after they saw 'em
overseas. We were both basically running in the same "family" of people. I was
just as shocked (being such a big fan) as you guys would be when I found out he
was interested in coming in and lending his voice to our record. No point is
acting cool about it ... I was very exited.
Suiciderock: Did you have a good time in
Chris: I hate being in
recording studios. We're a live band and I'd much rather be jamming than doing
overdubs or trying to make something sound perfect. It's a necessary evil for me
in this business. We feed off of intensity and you just can't get that live show
feel while recording.
Suiciderock: What was it like to work
Chris: Amazing. Picked
him up from the airport 2 nights before. I got to hang out while he recorded
some stuff before he came in and did our song. It's disgusting how beautiful
that cat's voice is in person. Every take was pitch perfect. I remember thinking
how bad he was going to make me sound on our own record (LOL). He was a
sweetheart to us in the studio and we got some really great takes from him. We
picked the song (If I Die Tonight) that sounded farthest from what we've heard
him do before. I really dug his Turbonegro cover and wanted to use the same
concept, take that amazing voice of his and put it in a different environment.
We're very into the edit of the song that I have here at the house. As a fan, I
wanted to make sure we didn't cheese out and overuse the fact that he's in the
song. His parts really make it a much better track.
Suiciderock: How long did it take to
record the album?
Whiskey, Weed, Bam Margera and Jimmy Pop, uh, I don't know ... three months
total I think. It's all kind of hazy.
Suiciderock: Who produced American
Chris: It still hasn't been
produced. We've got the rough edits all finished but as American fans of HIM
have seen, sometimes things get a little clogged up in the record industry. Our
release got moved back and we're waiting for the word from above now. It sounds
like summer, so we're touring and writing new stuff.
Suiciderock: In July 2004 you opened up
for the Bloodhound Gang. What was it like to support such a famous
Chris: We love those guys, so
it's a lot of fun. We've toured with 'em several times in the 'States. We tend
to scare and/or piss off the average Bloodhound fan. We have a very different
sound and at times I think it's a bit heavy for some of those cats. We've got
quite a few stories about me going into crowds to fight during sets. I think Jim
digs that I give his crowd a hard time. Can you give us a imagination what a
live show of Isabelle's Gift would be like?
Depends on the show. We're
intense. However I feel going into a show....that's what we go with. Some nights
are parties with strippers. Others end with me covered in blood because of
broken bottles and razorwire. True emotion will move any gig.
Suiciderock: Are you able to pay your
rents with your music or do you still have other jobs?
We're in between. The band have part
time jobs in between touring and recording.
Suiciderock: Are you planning to come to
Europe to perform there as well?
Chris: I'll blow the first promoter that gets us to Europe.
Rock is dead in America.
Suiciderock: What are your plans for the
Chris: Just like every other
garage band out there, we want to save rock n roll ... or at least help end this
Nu Metal shit.
Suiciderock: What does success mean to
Chris: That my drug dealer calls
back on time. "Dude...I should have it in another hour..."
Suiciderock: Your worst experience as a
Chris: I got stuck in a
recording studio with Corey Feldman for a night. There was also a blizzard in
Boston on one of the tours that really sucked.
Suiciderock: Your greatest
Chris: To bring back the
"old-school-everybody helps each other" attitude in the pit. It's all jocks in
the 'States now, running around hitting each other as hard as they can. Fucking
Suiciderock: Anything you regret until
Chris: There's not enough room
on the web. I tend to learn pretty well from mistakes...but come to enough of
our shows and I'm sure you'll see us do one too many Jagerbombs at some point
and suck like a porn star. The shows where we drink way too much and trash shit
are always the worst the next day.