by Eric Baylies
On Your Deathbed is one of the best and longest running heavy bands in New England. Some of the members have roots to hardcore and metal scenes stretching back 25 years. I had the chance to speak with On Your Deathbed singer Bob Mendell about everything from hardcore to L.A. Guns to pro wrestling.
Noise: Who is in the band and what do they play?
Bob: I, Bob Mendell, am on vocals, Caz Gadles is on guitar and vocals James Healy plays guitar and sings, Mike Creature plays bass, and Mike Geoffrion is on the drums.
Noise: How did the band get started?
Bob: Back in 2013 Creature and myself wanted to start a new project. We wanted to stick to the more metal and hardcore roots we had but with the newer style. We recruited some guys, and after a few months it didn’t work out with them. After brainstorming, we figured we’d reach out to some mutual friends that we always loved from our scene, Caz and Mike. We got together and everything clicked. They had some ideas already and we all worked on those, each added to it and we created our sound. Almost a year ago we had a guitar player leave, and we added James. He also came with plenty of ideas and we’ve been writing and becoming even more dynamic since.
Noise: What are some of the primary and secondary influences on the band?
Bob: We all have our own influences but I’d say specific bands would be Killswitch Engage, Metallica, Iron Maiden, Pantera, Slayer, Times of Grace, Hatebreed, and Sick of it All.
Noise: How do the songs come about?
Bob: Most of the songs start with one of the guitarist having an idea, a riff, or in some case a full song. Then we all work on it, change what we all agree sounds better if need be, then I come in and work vocal patterns, melodies, or other ideas in.
Noise: I know you toured a lot in other bands, are there any plans to tour with this band?
Bob: Yeah we have all toured with our respective former bands. We would love to tour. Just would have to be the right situation and circumstances for us. We all have our lives we’d need to make sure we had set too.
Noise: How many recordings does the band have out?
Bob: Right now we only have our self-titled EP out. It’s available on iTunes, Google Play, Amazon, and on CD. We recorded it with Dave Allen who has worked with Black Label Society, Rev Horton Heat, Sevendust and more.
Noise: Where did you record with Dave, was that around here?
Bob: We recorded at Solstice Studios in Stoughton, MA. It’s an amazing studio.
Noise: Any new recordings on the way and if so where will you do it?
Bob: We have plenty of material for a full length. We are currently weighing our options for recording again. We love the sound we’ve created. Now it’s a matter of figuring where to capture it.
Noise: What other bands are you guys in, and were in?
Bob: We all come from a variety of bands. I was in Drained, Closer Than Kin, Terror Rising to name a few. Some of Caz’s are Rebound and One Shall Rise, Geoffrion was also in Rebound and One Shall Rise. Creature was in Woodland Creatures and Drained. James was in Scarecrow Hill.
Noise: Where are you guys based out of, do you all live fairly close?
Bob: We’re based in Taunton, MA. We’re all from southeastern Mass.
Noise: What are some of best and worst shows you guys played?
Bob: We’ve been blessed with some amazing show at amazing venues. Lots of promoter giving us opportunities and us proving to them that we also in turn appreciate and are worth the chance. I’d say being able to play the New England Metal Fest twice, and now playing Rock and Shock coming up on our second time is huge. We’ve played the Providence Metal Fest a few times. Having the honor of sharing the stage with so many incredible national acts and locals is a true dream come true and we are gracious for it all. That being said I’d have to say our first New England Metal Fest was our best. Playing with Killswitch Engage was amazing. Those guys always kill it. Our worst? Well, I wouldn’t wanna trash talk, so I’d say anything not well promoted is gonna be a bad time. Bands, venues, and everyone involved has to spread the word about shows.
Noise: I’m curious how the L.A. Guns and Queensryche shows went, they seemed like such odd bills for you guys to play.
Bob: We actually are a pretty diverse band. We have our very heavy elements and we have our catchy melodic elements too. So we really can fit on most if not any heavy music bill. All of those crowds actually really embraced us and we got nothing but praise from everyone at those gigs. Some of those bands loved us too when they get the opportunity to watch us. We are all metal kids at heart. Just cause we don’t all play the exact same styles don’t mean there isn’t parts of what we do that we can’t all like. We just try to bring our best on stage and give anyone we play for a show they will remember.
Noise: What does everyone do outside of music?
Bob: I have my hands in lots of things. I work lots of conventions, horror and comic. I love doing makeup and acting for movies, shorts, and haunted houses. The other guys have tons of interests – family, our pets being all of our biggest.
Noise: How did your brief foray into wrestling come about? Are you still going to wrestle?
Bob: That’s a funny story. I actually have been a life long wrestling fan. I fade in and out here and there about how much I watch it, but I always keep up on it. So in the early 2000 I started training to wrestle for a few months. Learned some basics then having a baby kinda sidetracked my plans to keep doing that. Having some grit and contacts in the wrestling world I was approached to do some cross promotion with a band of mine at the time. Which led to me using my knowledge in the ring. Unfortunately the promoter and I had a falling out and at the time I was picking up with music again so I haven’t been in the ring in a while. I would love to do it some more though. Ha ha that wasn’t really that brief.
Noise: Thank you Bob. On Your Deathbed are always busy, so keep a look out for them in a pit near you!