Metal Memories

Obituary's John Tardy on his band's retrospective tour.

SW: Can you talk a bit about the genesis of this tour and the fan-chosen set list?

Tardy: We just thought it might be a cool idea to let some kids come out and choose some songs themselves. I think we're going to stick to the first three albums, and I think The End Complete is coming up on 20 years now. I sat in the studio the other day and put on the first three records and started listening to them, and I haven't done that in a while. Some of these songs we've never even played live. It's a challenge for us too, because we're going to have to go back and learn some of these songs ourselves.

How have the records held up for you? Is it enjoyable to go back and listen to them again, or is it painful?

Especially the first two records, we were so young and we had no idea what we were doing. It's kind of like having some friends of yours going into your parents' house where there's old pictures of you up on the wall with braces and a strange haircut. Sometimes when I listen to it, it feels a little like that. But at the same time, Slowly We Rot is what it is. You've kind of got to live with it. But it'll be nice to go back and pick some of these songs that we haven't played for a while.

Do you do anything to take care of your voice—vocal exercises or anything?

A lot of kids will ask "How do you do that?" And I tell them to treat it like any other muscle in your body. Start off slow, build up strength slowly, and rest in between. In my case, it can be pretty easy to get into some hard partying every night, but I've got to lay back on some of that and get into a quiet place.

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