Victoria Anderson recently caught up with Goatwhore‘s Ben Falgoust for a quick chat about life as Goatwhore‘s frontman, touring, life away from the band and much more. Ben Falgoust is one busy man. He’s currently touring the USA with New Orleans based band Goatwhore, a task he’s no stranger too.
How is touring treating the seminal front man of one of the best metal bands in the USA?
“It’s not bad. I think we done it a lot. I think this go ’round we’re not gonna do the US so much; try to tour more outside the US, like Europe, Australia, Japan because we haven’t focused much there before in the past. Anywhere is good. We really don’t mind. We tour a lot.
The thing about the US and Canada is we have our own van and trailer so it’s easier to jump to do tours where as overseas we have to put up money for flights and it’s not always feasible financially for us. We’re trying to work around that. We’re going to Europe in May with 3 Inches of Blood and we’re going pretty much cover our flights. Hopefully things do well. It’s the price you gotta pay sometimes.”
So much for the glamorous life of a rock star. It’s not all parties and wine and women and song. In fact, Ben relates that being on the road can be a bit hard.
“You don’t get to see much. It’s into the city that you’re playing, and you unload, hang at the venue a little while to get everything set, the show goes on and at the end of the night you leave and go to the place you stay or you drive to the next town. Every now and then you have a day off to go and see something and you try to plan it out. Most of the time it’s pretty quick. I usually make a list of things for if I ever get a chance to go back to these places after touring to actually go see something. It’s really cool. It’s just sometimes you don’t see much.”
Ben goes on to tell me some of the things he’s interested in seeing when he’s not busy fronting Goatwhore.
“Obscure shit I’d like to see; the Catacombs in France. There’s different little things here and there you never knew about and you kind of run into them on the road. There’s all these cave national parks in the US. I’m interested in cave stuff. That’s what peaks my interest, just like the catacombs in France.”
“When we went to Australia we got to do a few little things. We went to a Koala preserve and they had kangaroos and stuff. That was unique. You just walk out into this open field thing and they’re all out. You can walk up to them and feed them. It’s like nothing they would do in the US as far as a “zoo type” feature. That was cool. I did have this interest after I went to New Zealand. I heard there was this shark tank thing. You go into this cage and they have a huge migration of great whites down at the south island of New Zealand. I always wanted to go into a shark cage with the sharks. Some people think I’m fucking crazy for that. In Canada there’s a park where you go way up north where the polar bears are and you can go out there in this big machine and you get to see them. Different things like that. ”
“It’s all about money, time, getting back to it. Like I said, being on the road there’s no chance of doing any of that. The thing about being on the road is when you can get a little time to kind of sleep you fill it in and get it because a lot of times you don’t get to. Everything gets into a cycle. It’s like go go get there. Sometimes you get into venues early and it’s like now what and you wait for the doors to open. Hurry up and wait but everything gets going and the end of the night comes an you throw everything back in the trailer and BOOM you’re off to the next thing.”
Obviously being on the road entails a lot of work. The stress of being far from home, locked in a van with the same people for weeks and months at a time can be maddening. Being on the road is not for everyone. Ben Falgoust has being doing it a very long time.
“I just got used to it. You learn that through touring. You hear of bands that members leave because they are just not fit for the whole touring thing. It’s the truth. Either you can do it or you can’t do it. You kind of just adapt to it; work around it. Some people just, they’re like, “Fuck that. I want a comfortable situation, my own bed, my own house, not having to deal with a van with four or five to six guys with different attitudes.” You just work around it. For me, I got used to it I guess.”
“When I first got into it I was really excited about it. I still am excited about it but as you get older you’re like, wow, this is kind of crazy to be forcing your self into this. I guess you build this like tolerance and you get used to the whole idea of it and you work it out. I mean you have good days and you have bad days just like being at home and work. You go into work one day and it’s just not a good fucking day. Then some days you go in and it’s awesome.”
“I have to say my doing this is at least there are more days it’s actually good than bad. Some people working their 9 to 5 job and five days at work are bad and the two off days for the weekend are good. It’s got its good points and bad points – being on the road.”
Funny thing is, Ben’s had a 9 to 5 job as it were. He spent ten years in the restaurant business. He says it wasn’t anything fancy, a Chili’s Bar and Grill and an Outback Steakhouse. That’s right, one of the best front men of the twenty first century had a job. That’s a good thing! Ben Falgoust has an amazing work ethic. He says:
“I can’t do the restaurant business any more actually. I got to that point I did it for ten years and it was fun when I was there. But it got to the point where I couldn’t enjoy it any more. It curbs your food interest, too. You’re always around it, you’re always dealing with it so. I felt like I was eating less. Here it is again. I got sick of it always being … I used to work a lot – it was always around.”
Ben still has a job. When he’s not on tour or in the studio with Goatwhore, he’s back at home in New Orleans working. Falgoust, like everyone else, has bills to pay and being in Goatwhore doesn’t cover day to day living expenses.
“I work at a frame shop. We do pictures, mirrors, things like that. But we do bulk. We do for like hotels and casinos and stuff like that. We do some small personal customer stuff, but most of our work is hotels and casinos so we’re dishing out 2500 pieces of a framed picture. But it’s cool because it’s like a warehouse. I have a stereo, crank music, work on a saw, putting together things. It’s kind of artistic in a way but not really. Like when you’re doing the assembly line thing it’s not as artistic than when you’re taking on a customer and it’s unique. I like it. It’s fun. I can frame my stuff for free pretty much. All I have to do is pay for the supplies and go in there on my off time and put it together.”
Did he just say “off time”??!! Does Ben Falgoust actually have off time? There are only 24 hours in a day – 7 days in a week, and Ben seems to fill it all to the brim. Even on so called “off time” Ben is busy.
“I want to catch up on other things that I’m interested in. I have a mountain bike. No that we have mountains in Louisiana. I uses it to go riding around and sometimes we go places and I ride it. If I have some free time – not on the road and not at work I’ll leave town and try to go see something that I had in mind when I was on tour. Not much time to fit anything else really. I do have a lot of things I want to do but I am kind of limited.
If I could become a time lord I’d be set. I’d just freeze it and do all the stuff and unfreeze it. In all honesty I can’t really come home from this (touring) and not work because I have things I have to cover financially. If I had the ability to just do this (Goatwhore) then I would, but this doesn’t quite cover it. Sometimes you go out and it’ll cover your bills for like a month. Sometimes you go out and it doesn’t cover anything and you’re in a rat race to catch up. And that’s what I do when I’m at home a lot of times. I work a bunch prior to a tour and get myself ahead when I go out on the tour. It’s not like this over bearing something to try and cover so when I get home it falls back into place. The cycle keeps going.”