Interview with Boe Skadeland of Mobile Death Camp

The guys of Mobile Death Camp aren’t messing around when it comes to speed metal. They don’t need any special costumes, fancy backdrops, or some extensive light show to try and add to their live performances. Mobile Death Camp is in your face all bullshitting aside, METAL, which is just the way it should be, if you ask me. This three piece is made up of seasoned musicians, one of which happens to be Todd Evans, former bass player of GWAR. Todd decided to part ways with GWAR, and try something different, by switching it up a bit and going back to playing guitar, which is when he formed the awesomeness that is Mobile Death Camp. I was able to talk to Boe Skadeland, who plays bass for the band:

Amanda: I was wondering if you could give me a little history, of how the three of you came together to form Mobile Deathcamp.

Boe: Well, I’m the not the original bass player, there was actually another guy for a little while. Todd started the band because he was in GWAR playing bass for six years, and was pretty much tired of bass, and wanted to get back to playing guitar. He ended up getting a couple local guys from Toledo that he knew were players, got everyone together and started working on new songs and things like that. They did a little bit of touring with the old bass player, but then parted ways, due to a problem with drinking.

Amanda: Now this was back in ’08, correct?

Boe: Yea, so they ended up getting rid of him, and my other band and I were all friends with them, and played a lot of the same shows together. One night I got a call at four in the morning, and Todd was like ‘dude I need you to play’. They finished up the tour and when they got back in to town, we practiced for like a week together, and we’ve basically been on the road ever since, and that was over two years ago now.

Amanda: What do you think the advantages are, to being a three piece as opposed to having a full set up?

Boe: Definitely less personalities for one; it seems like with most bands, that’s the hardest part because everybody’s got their own opinion on how things should go. Usually in any band, there are at least two people that are always going to butt heads all the time. With a three piece, you definitely cut part of that out. It’s also way easier travel-wise. We’re traveling in a van with no trailer or anything.  One of the other bands on the bill tonight are a six piece, so they got six guys, an rv, and they’re pulling a trailer as well, which is killing them in gas.

Amanda: Ouch, that would definitely suck. How’s the label situation going for you guys? I know you had some issues with dead beat labels in the past.

Boe: We had a label about two years ago now, and we had nothing but problems with those guys. We finally ended up talking them into to just giving us a release from our contract, which they did. We actually knew the guy who owns Sacrifice Records, the label we’re on now, so it worked out pretty well for us.

Amanda: A little better this time around, I hope?

Boe: Oh yea, definitely. It’s a small label, but they’re working hard for us and that’s the biggest thing for me.

Amanda: What was the label you guys were on, or don’t you care to mention?

Boe: Actually, I always forget the name of it, because it was a branch off of a hip hop label. They wanted to break into the metal market, and did a horrible job at it.

Amanda: If they made that little of an impression on you, to where you can’t even remember their name, then they certainly must have done a horrible job!

Boe: Yea, basically they did nothing. Absolutely nothing, except tie our hands for six months, really.

Amanda: How does the amount of touring you guys do, interfere with your home lives? Are any of you married with kids?

Boe: None of us are married; I’ve got a girlfriend at home and a kid, and our drummer has a girlfriend. My girlfriend is amazing, his girlfriend is awesome, and we’re gone for really long periods of time, but they support us.

Amanda: Lucky boys! Tell me, if you could change one thing about the music scene, what would it be and why?

Boe: Honestly, I would take some of the cut throat in the industry away. Bands need to learn that they need support other bands. We get this a lot when we’re touring. Bands that open up for us will sometimes leave after their sets, and they don’t realize that all they’re doing is bringing down the scene entirely. You need to support one another, because that’s what it’s all about.

Amanda: Exactly. It shouldn’t be everyone out for themselves, we should be supporting one another, more like a family would.

Boe: Absolutely. I also wish I could get people to listen to all the great music that’s actually out there today, and realize how insignificant the majority of maintstream music is.

Amanda: So you’re referring to more of your MTV, top 100 songs and artists then?

Boe:  Most of your commercial stuff is…

Amanda: Crap?

Boe: Well, it’s not even that its crap, there’s just not a lot to it. I mean, besides maybe the vocals sometimes but besides that, there’s really not much to offer.

Amanda: No real talent instrumental-wise, basically?

Boe: It’s not that there’s no talent, it’s just that record companies tie everyone’s hands, and make them play a certain way. The big record companies are also the ones complaining now, about not making any money, but really they’re the ones putting themselves in that position. They’re pissing everyone off in the bands, and it just makes people go more of the d.i.y. way, or go to an indie label.

Amanda: Would you suggest to an up and coming band to go more of that route right off the bat, rather than trying to go out and seek a major record label?

Boe: The indie labels are a lot better than trying to go through a major. Indie’s don’t have the financial backings to tie a band down. It takes a lot for a label to be able to do that. If you’re signed with Universal or Columbia, or any of those bigger labels like that, a lot of the times those contracts are so big, it’s going to cost at least five grand in lawyer fees, just to have them look the thing over.

Amanda: So you’d pretty much be thousands in debt, before you even get your foot in the door, right?

Boe: There are a ton of great indie labels out there, willing to work with new bands. Some of the best ones out there, are either unsigned or under an independent.

Amanda: I completely agree. I know that you guys have toured with a lot of big names, but what band would you like to see live, that you haven’t yet been able to see, or play a show with?

Boe: One band I would love to see is not even a heavier band so we’d obviously never be able to tour with them, because it’s such a different style. It’s a band that that toured a couple years ago called Return to Forever. It’s actually a jazz fusion band, and oh my god are they amazing.

Amanda: Awesome, I’ll have to be sure to check them out. Well Boe, I just have one more question for you. If you could dig up one dead person and bring them back to life for a day, who would you choose?

Boe: That’s a tough one. I’d say without a doubt, it’d have to be my uncle Randy.

Amanda: Very cool. I ask that question to every band I interview, and everyone always says some major musician like Morrison or Hendrix, but nobody ever thinks to mention family.

Boe: Well yea, the first thing that comes to mind would be to pick somebody famous, but I’d rather spend the time with someone I love.