|Interview by Burt Wolf with Kevin Mead, lead guitarist for TEARABYTE.
Interview done on 7-18-05.
CAN YOU GIVE A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE BAND? ANY PREVIOUS BANDS YOU GUYS WERE IN?
TEARABYTE started back in L.A. in 1998. My brother Al started it with a different guitar player & drummer. In
1999 he pretty much gave up on the band & moved to Dallas, Texas were I live. Then we just kinda picked it
back up again with Jeff Owens on drums. I hadn't played in awhile, but it didn't take me long to get back into the
WHY WAS THE NAME TEARABYTE CHOSEN AS THE BANDS NAME?
Al came up with it. Not too much meaning. Kinda like a TEARABYTE of data, but also like Tear A byte outa yer
WHO OR WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR INFLUENCES IN MUSIC & IN LIFE?
MOTORHEAD, JUDAS PRIEST, IRON MAIDEN, OVERKILL, METALLICA, DESTRUCTION,
SACRED REICH, too many to list. Other than that i listen to a lot of Classic Rock when I'm with my friends.
HOW WOULD YOU BEST DESCRIBE THE STYLE & SOUND OF TEARABYTE?
I'd say we are a Thrash Metal band. On "GLOOM FACTORY" I tried to be a little more modern, but it's mainly
Thrash Metal. Maybe MOTORHEAD meets OVERKILL.
YOUR ALBUM "GLOOM FACTORY" HAS BEEN OUT FOR AWHILE NOW, HOW WELL HAS IT
Ok. We had a few problems with our publicist in the U.S. And we never got to go to Europe to promote it so it's
only gonna do so good.
CAN YOU EXPLAIN THE MEANING BEHIND THE COVER ART & WHO DID IT?
I did the cover art. Unfortunately that was the plan "B" cover. The original artwork just didn't come out right. It
was supposed to be this factory with guys in suits going in & zombies coming out the other end. Oh well. I liked
the artwork on "EMBRACE OBLIVION" much better.
WHAT IS SOME OF YOUR LYRICAL CONTENT OF YOUR SONGS?
Mostly the negative side of things. I mean "Doom Gloom" is not a pick me up song. "Shred The Misery". A lot of
the songs were written after I broke up with my last girlfriend so they kinds go with that. Al came up with the
title of the CD "GLOOM FACTORY" one day just looking at me & I was kind of a mess at the time. But, ya
know what they say, "What does not kill you, makes you stronger?" That's how I look at it.
WHICH IS YOUR FAVORITE SONG & WHY?
I would say either "Shred The Miser" or "Romper Stomper". No real reason I just like em.
HOW DID YOU GET HOOKED UP WITH SCREAMING FERRET RECORDS? HOW HAS IT BEEN
WORKING WITH THEM? ARE YOU STILL WITH THEM?
Al used to be in a band called KNIGHTMARE with Tim Koukos, (the grand poohba of the label). And me, Al &
Jeff had known him for over 20 years. Yes we are still with them. They're great. I do some of the artwork for
them. I did the artwork for 2 NUCLEAR ASSAULT CDs, "ALIVE AGAIN" & the new one that is not out yet,
"3RD WORLD GENOCIDE"
DO YOU HAVE ANY NEW MUSIC IN THE WORKS?
Nothing right now. We are on a break.
DO YOU PLAY ANY OTHER INSTRUMENTS BESIDES WHAT YOU PLAY IN THE BAND? ARE YOU
I play drums, bass & guitar. Been playing 23 years. Al plays drums, keyboards, bass & guitar. He is classically
trained on keyboards. We are all self taught, except Al had 6 years of classic organ lessons
TEARABYTE HAS PLAYED A LOT OF SHOWS. WHERE ARE SOME OF THE PLACES YOU'VE
PLAYED & WHO ARE SOME OF THE BANDS YOU'VE SHARED THE STAGE WITH?
Too many to list them all. But a lot of shows on the east & west coast. All over Texas. As far as who we played
with, MOTORHEAD, OVERKILL, MANOWAR, SACRED REICH, but really too many to name.
OUT OF ALL THE SHOWS YOU'VE PLAYED DO ANY STAND OUT FOR ANY REASON? ANY
CRAZY ROAD/LIVE/TOUR STORIES YOU COULD SHARE?
I can't think of many. We are really all about business when we do shows. Although we do drink a lot after we
play. Al had a few Hammer Of the Gods moments with girls. But I was too drunk to really remember what
happened. The whole "Romper Stomper" song came from the New jersey Metal Meltdown a few years ago. This
big guy was just dominating the pit & I asked him if he'd wear a TEARABYTE shirt if I gave it to him. He
bought 3 shirts & all our CDs. And tore up the place. So we wrote a song about him.
WHAT DO THE MEMBERS OF THE BAND DO WHEN NOT DOING ANY WORK FOR THE BAND?
I'm a graphic artist & I also do IT work. I have 2 Harleys. I ride them around & get drunk a lot. Al is an Audio
Engineer. Jeff is an Industrial Mechanic. He also has a bike & gets drunk a lot.
ARE YOU INTO ANY OTHER STYLES OF MUSIC BESIDES WHAT YOU PLAY? WHO ARE SOME
OF THE BANDS YOUR CURRENTLY INTO?
Metal is my main thing, but I like Classic Rock, Reggae & Johnny Cash. He gets his own category.
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE MOVIES & TV SHOWS?
I like war movies like Patten. I like the history channel. I think reality TV sucks ass.
WHAT IS ONE THING PEOPLE WOULD BE SURPRISED TO KNOW ABOUT YOU?
I'm a Kentucky Colonel. I'm also an ordained minister. I built one of my bikes.
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR VIEWS ON THE WAR OUR COUNTRY IS FIGHTING & SOME OF THE
DECISIONS BUSH HAS MADE FOR THIS COUNTRY?
First politics suck & never talk about it when your drunk. War sucks no matter what! Support our troops! I
don't think we should have invaded Iraq. But we are there & we must be together & finish what we started. If
we pull out it will be worse than before. Bush, I don't know living in Texas that's a tough one. Republicans
generally suck for the economy & the average guy & have too much religious influences. But they're good about
guns & helmet laws & national defense. Democrats suck about guns, helmet laws & national defense, but they
are great for jobs, the economy & the average guy. Either way you lose & win. I've always been an Independent.
Cause who ever runs for prez usually sucks & it's a choice between two assholes with agendas. But, that's just
WHAT WERE YOU DOING BEFORE THIS INTERVIEW? WHAT WILL YOU BE DOING ONCE IT'S
Nursing a hangover from the North Texas Rock rally. When I'm done this interview I'll still be nursing my
WHAT CAN WE EXPECT NEXT FROM TEARABYTE?
I don't know. I'd like to get heavier. Have Al sing a little more powerful. Write more complex songs.
THANX A LOT FOR DOING THIS INTERVIEW. IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE YOU'D LIKE TO ADD TO
Thanks for checking us out & interviewing me.