Interview By: Natalie Perez
When it comes to the term “champion” what can be said about it? What indeed makes a real champion, and who can become one? Does it only relate to sporting events or can it expand into other categories such as music?
In this case it does for these upcoming metallers known to the music world as Thy Will Be Done. The music they’ve accomplished to create and call their own makes the music that more enjoyable. Vocalist, J Costa, spoke to me about how the band got into music along with the formation and their newest album that’s out and about their current touring plans and future plans altogether. This is an act that will be hard to follow up on and shall not be one missing out on either…
NP: The name of the band, Thy Will Be Done, is interesting to say the least, and sounds as if there’s a story behind it. Where did the name come from and what’s the story?
J: There is a lot of reason for it. We’ve gone through a lot of line-up changes and the music was getting a little more epic and little bit more heavy and at the time we had a lot of names written down on some paper and one of them was Thy Will Be Done it just kind of reminded us of the old days like bands like Testament and Exodus those names are just so timeless and just so powerful. I’ve seen people who know the consultation of it. The phase itself is just a wonderful thing you just got to remind yourself sometimes do you believe in faith to it kind of fits well and seeing it fit into place.
NP: Can you briefly summarize how the band formed and what you do in Thy Will Be Done?
J: I’m the vocalist and I also write all the lyrics and do 95% of all the music arrangements I do write some of the music too. We use to go by the name of Cobalt back years ago. I’m the only original member and Eric, our bass player, has been with me for 10 years and several years ago is when we changed the name. Just evolution of the band, ya know.
NP: Your lyrics are infused with heavy detail and raw emotion. What is it that normally gives you inspiration when writing lyrics and is there a concept behind the music you create?
J: Well, I think a lot of inspiration comes from everything around you; rather it’d be history or current events, obviously anything personal I want to write in lyrics that anyone can get something from, and this is exactly what I’ve been signing about and want people to get something from no matter what.
NP: Your new album “In Ancient of Days,” is out. How has the reactions been thus far? What can fans expect when they listen to your music?
J: The reaction has been really well; a lot of people who love the first record are just dumb founded like “Wow, I didn’t think you could get any better?” People are just diggin’ it! We took the first record and really dialed it up; you can hear the real maturity of the band. You can really hone the sounds, and with the new guitar player on board, you can expect a lot more metal.
NP: How do you think you will affect the music scene you’re a part of? What are your thoughts on the growing popularity in the scene?
J: Its tough because we don’t fit on any tour we play on, we are kind of the odd-men-out, but we kind of like it that way. Sometimes it’s a burden and sometimes it’s a blessing. Right now in the constant of music, I think what’s happened is that people feel so comfortable catering to people, to a crowd’s reaction by playing what the masses are accustomed to. I’m not trashing it, but having a general label, or a costumed thing, is not what we want to do. We are a band playing what we like.
NP: You have a music video for the song “Earth’s Final Embrace,” can you give a brief summary on how it all came together?
J: When it came down to do a video, I really wanted to do “Earth’s Final Embrace.” I really feel that, that video, which we did with David Borski kind of all came together rather quickly. We had just came back from Japan and set up that day for 5 or 6 hours (of shooting).
We had gotten this room within the rehearsal building where we were practicing. The landlord had let us borrow the room, and didn’t charge us for it. We had a couple of ideas for the video and the director took it from there and did the editing magic to it.
NP: Many of your songs are so hard and intense that I’m sure they translate well into a live setting, taking on a whole new life in front of a live audience. How does it make you feel when the emotion and power that you envision in the recording studio, comes to life while playing in front of a crowd?
J: I love I live for playing live! Those 20 or 30 minutes on this tour, all the driving or parking the little things, you instantly forget about them. It’s just so rewarding.
NP: What are the upcoming plans for Thy Will Be Done?
J: We are doing this Thrash and Burn Tour right now with DevilDriver, and after that, we’re actually going to Europe for 4 weeks with Earth Crisis and Sworn Enemy; that takes us to the end of September early October. When we get home, we’re doing a CD release show with Hatebreed, and from there, we kind of have an open schedule. I’m hoping we can fill that schedule in sometime soon and do some stuff.
NP: How has Myspace and the internet impacted your band and do you think downloading helps or hinders artists?
J: It’s a double-edged sword. I’m always one for people if they want to download music and pay for it, and I’m all about downloading for free and not going out and buying it, but… You’re hurting the band and then the band’s label is not making money, and then the band is not getting on tours, and then the band is dropped from their label due to poor sales numbers, so…
People who really love their bands, go buy their records!
The internet has helped. Myspace has been great, but it takes a lot longer to get back to people sometimes, because we don’t always have internet access while out on the road but I really try my best.
NP: What’s the toughest lesson you ever learned in the studio and on the stage?
J: That I’m human and nothing is going to go exactly as planned. No matter what, we have to constantly remind ourselves why we do what we do.
NP: What bands would you like to tour with and who’s been your favorite to tour with this far?
J: It’s been an honor to be on the road with DevilDriver. I’d also like to tour with Black Sabbath, that’d be amazing, or Metalllica, or a re-united Sepultura. There are so many… Testament, Machine Head! We did a show with Machine Head and Arch Enemy that was great.
NP: Every band has its musical influences. What are some of the other bands and artists that have greatly influenced you guys and your music?
J: We listen to everything from rock to bach; industrial, classical, we listen to everything! We’re influences are everything from Black Sabbath, to early Metallica, Slayer, Testament, Misfits, Danzig; bands like Suffocation, Death, Tool the Allman Brothers, Pantera, etc.
NP: What’s your reaction when a fan tells you a very meaningful statement like, “Your music changed my life?” Has this ever happened to you?
J: It just happened and it gives me goose bumps. That’s the part of love, I don’t know what else to say other than I feel really appreciative and blessed to make someone feel the way I do when someone has gone and inspired me. It just makes me feel amazed, and it’s not about money or anything like that, if somebody really got inspired by something I did then, wow! That’s the ultimate goal with music; making music for someone else and making it sound like something.
NP: All of that passion that you play with must be tough on you physically. How do you prepare for the physical demands of a tour?
J: It’s tough since I do all the driving. I don’t get much sleep or rest, I eat the healthiest within the band, and prepare myself with breathing exercises before each show.
NP: Anything else you’d like to add?
J: Yeah, it’s been awesome meeting you and awesome meeting everyone we have so far, I hope this is the first of many shows out on the West Coast.