All Murder Photography by Rebel Photo
So, Big, Beefy Brandon, how did you begin banging the skins?
Big Beefy Brandon: My friend Mitch, from Suicide Silence, had me play and try out for his band Breakaway - which eventually turned into Mitch and my band, called Dying Dreams. I was always into music since I was a kid. I started off playing bass and guitar. I didn't take drums serious until 2003. I'm natural. No lessons.
No lessons? Really? You're quite good. I've read and heard many a mortal compliment about your drumming in Impending Doom
Big Beefy Brandon: Thank you, Maris. I mean, Impending Doom has always had great drummers, but I'm confident in the fact that I bring a very professional sound to the band. A lot of Impending Doom's drumming has been known to be very flashy. Well I like to keep it as solid as I can and as "groove" as I can. I honestly have some of the best musicians in my band and they definitely add a spark to my drumming. In other words, they bring the creativity out of me. Brook is awesome with his structure, David is a great drummer and helps elaborate on what he thinks would be cool, and Cory.....he's the jam. Him and I have always clicked at music. (We're like) two peas in a pod. So ya, I think the band itself brings out my professional element and not just myself.
Why did you leave your last group?
Big Beefy Brandon: Well I was in a position where I could see myself slipping into the old person I was, such as cussing, anger, hatred; just a bunch of bad news. I didn't want to go that route, so I made the decision that I needed to focus on what God was telling me. So I left the band on a leap of faith (it was a GOOD band myspace.com/darasuumhc, and I loved it and loved being in that band). I gave up what I loved, to listen to what God wanted. Because of that, he blessed me and I'm in a better position than before
So when did this morph into you joining Impending Doom?
Big Beefy Brandon: I came to be in the band in December of '09. I listened to the new material for a week and practiced for seven hours a day, for a week, before the studio.
Oh...so you did drum on the new CD?
Big Beefy Brandon: Yes I did. I was offered a position because their drummer had to leave for other things and it was right before the recording, so I came to be the new drummer at a great time. I'm fortunate too
Since this is such a cool gig, did you have to pretend to be a fan of the band, to improve your chances of being asked to join?
Big Beefy Brandon: (Laughs) No. I hated "Nailed. Dead. Risen." We've all been friends for years too, but I would even say it to them about it. They obviously did something right or they wouldn't be where they are today. I liked "The Serpent Servant" the best. Great album.
What was your experience of accepting your mortal God, Jesus of Nazareth, in your life? Where were you, how old were you...etc?
Big Beefy Brandon: I've grown up around Christianity my whole life. I was baptized at six years of age in Anaheim Ca. I think when you get baptized and you're so young and innocent, the real acceptance comes when your old enough to understand what is going on.
Then, have you always been in Christian bands?
Big Beefy Brandon: I wasn't always in a Christian band. That came later for me.
What secular, mortal bands influenced you?
Big Beefy Brandon: Man, that is the hardest question! (Laughs) I grew up on Metallica and Megadeth. Later on, I was into Sepultura, Slayer, Slipknot, Korn and Deftones as well.
Were you a fan of any of the early, extreme Christian bands like Vengeance Rising, Mortification or Tourniquet?
Big Beefy Brandon:I loved Tourniquet (laughs).
For some of Christian faith, getting to comment on my predilection for penis makes them feel better about themselves. So, how do you feel about the homosexuals of the world? ...and more specifically, something topical like gay marriage?
Big Beefy Brandon: Well, I love someone that's gay as much as I'd love anyone. I don't feel they should be treated different. I just don't like being hit on (laughs). Ummm...gay marriage... Well, honestly it's none of my business. I can't judge - only God can. Christian or not, I personally believe that a man and a woman were made for each other, but that's just my opinion. It's as much a belief as a gay person believes a guy and guy, or girl and girl can be together.
On your Facebook page, you made reference to being irritated by people that don't believe in God.
Big Beefy Brandon: It's not that I'm irritated. People can believe whatever they want - it's their choice. I just recently picked up a book called "I don't have enough faith to be an atheist" and it had some good, non-biased facts. The author isn't making it an all Christian point of view, but rather, "OK, I want to journey and dissect every question and everything that is fought about in modern day society". He wants to show that "Hey, I respect what you believe in, but look at these interesting facts." And whether your Christian or not, they are mind blowing facts
Do you think most of the kids at Impending Doom shows care about the band's beliefs, one way or another? Or do they only care about the music?
Big Beefy Brandon: I think there's all kinds and mixtures of beliefs. We're not playing shows and telling people that we're about to change their belief system, but rather, let it be known that our God, Jesus Christ, loves them and that's that. Not "Hey, your going to hell, you need to be saved". I just don't really believe in that approach. I know that's not Brook's approach either
Since he's the only founding member of the group, does he have a certain vision he tries to maintain for Impending Doom, that you have to all follow or he'll kick your ass out of the band?
Big Beefy Brandon:(Much laughter) No, it's not a "kick your ass out" ordeal at all. Obviously, being in this band, we need to strive to maintain the best possible relationship with Christ as we can. It just doesn't mesh being a Christian band with that one person not having the same beliefs. Brook's vision, as well as ours, is to just show people the love of Christ. Brook explains it well on stage, as well stating "I don't care if you hate me, my band or our beliefs love you and respect you.." And....well....that's it in a nutshell man.
What were some highlights from the Thrash and Burn Tour?
Big Beefy Brandon: I'd honestly say that out of the 75 people being on this tour, everyone was amazing. Every band and crew member was just incredible. Definitely one of those tours that was hard to leave. And of course all the kids have been amazing. Great reactions every night.
How much of the new CD did you play live?
Big Beefy Brandon: Two songs. "The Great Fear" and "Violence'"
Is there a fear that the title of your new CD might give a less mature, mortal Christian the idea that violence is a good thing? I mean...it sounds very Metal and works for the undead, but does it conflict with the idea of peace and the power of God being loving?
Big Beefy Brandon: This album title does have a hang up with it being called "There Will Be Violence", but the concept is exactly what it says....there will be violence. Its about the end days approaching and for any mature christian they need to know that. Its time to wake up.