Metal Realm recently conducted an interview with STRAPPING YOUNG LAD guitarist Jed Simon. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow:
Metal Realm: First off, let's talk about STRAPPING YOUNG LAD. What is going on with the group? Are SYL on hiatus? Done?
Jed: Good question, haha! Nothing is going on right now, we are all doing our own things at the moment...myself and TENET, Dev [Devin Townsend] and ZILTOID, Gene [Hoglan] and his DVD, Byron [Stroud] and ZIMMERS HOLE (I'm in on that one too). So, I hesitate to say either "hiatus" or "done." The fact is simply this: I don't know. Whichever way it turns out though, I'll be happy with that. It's been fun, and opened a lot of doors for me. I'm not the "sit-around-being-mopey" type, ya know...so if it's done, that's fine. There is a lot of gusto left in this soul, so I'll always find something to do. Regardless of who I'm playing with, music is the supreme motivator!
Metal Realm: The current TENET project has been getting a lot of buzz. I know a lot of people are really interested in this. What can you tell us about TENET?
Jed: I'm glad to be finally getting it done. I signed with Century Media almost four years ago, and due to SYL being very busy, I couldn't give it the attention I thought it deserved. So I waited, and I'm happy I did, it's come out far better than I'd hoped. TENET is to me, in a word, therapy. I've harbored much anger since I was a young kid, and this was the vessel with which to get that anger out. Details aren't necessary, the lyrics will speak clearly enough I think. Musically, it's everything I love about heavy music. Guitar, bass, drums, vocals, and nothing else. Pure old-school aggression. And no keyboards! Being an old fart, my school was '70s hard rock and '80s speed metal...with a heavy dose of '90s death metal. Wrap it up and you've got TENET. It's also killer for me to have the return of ripping guitar solos!!! I miss that shit, and while I've played lead before, I still consider myself a rhythm dude. And with Glen [Alvelais, ex-FORBIDDEN, TESTAMENT] puttin' the boots to the solos on this album, I'm really fucking happy about it. Really happy.
Metal Realm: You are currently living in Philadelphia. I believe, right? How is it compared to living in Canada? You like it?
Jed: Yes I am. South Philly yo! Haha! It's a real experience living here, and so completely different from Vancouver. It's a great place and I'm happy here, but my heart will always belong to Vancouver. I miss the mountains, the trees, the absence of litter, and of course my '604' peeps. I think for me the best thing about this town is the food...there is a large contingent of Italians and Italian restaurants in South Philly, and I love Italian food. Let's just say I've gained some weight since I've been here! There are a lot of real cool little 'hole-in-the-wall' bars here too. Me and my wife love being able to go out and get some food and drink, shoot some pool and listen to THE HAUNTED on the juke. It's also nice to only have to drive an hour or so to New York, or a little more to Baltimore or DC. We see lots of shows, and I get to visit with many of my touring buddies frequently. And of course...Cheese-steaks!! Now, while many will got to Pat's or Geno's, I think the best steak I've ever had is at Tony Lukes! Philly is a good town, a fun town, but like I said, my heart belongs to Vancouver.
Metal Realm: Vocals, you have said you are going to give them a shot with TENET, how are you coming along with that? Is this something you always wanted to try?
Jed: Yeah, they are done. And it was the most frightening thing I've ever done. It kicked my ass, to be blunt. I have a whole new appreciation for what it takes to stay on top of your voice. I got sick about halfway through, and it sucked because my voice completely changed. At least there was plenty of other work to do while recovering. Doing these kind of vocals was tough as nails. If this goes on the road, you can be sure I'll be practicing like crazy to get the throat in shape.
Read the entire interview at www.metal-realm.net.