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Spider’s And Milestones With SCOOTER WARD From COLD

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Discovered by Fred Durst from Limp Bizkit early on in their career, US rock outfit COLD found themselves ahead of the game almost before they even started.

Following their self-titled debut album in 1998, COLD went on to release two now-classic albums in 13 Ways To Bleed and Year Of The Spider, striking gold with the singles Stupid Girl, Suffocate, No-One and Just Got Wicked and setting themselves on a path to rock immortality that has grown stronger by the year.

COLD will make their first-ever tour of Australia in October with fellow rock royalty ORGY, celebrating 20 years of Year Of The Spider and bringing their greatest hits Down Under for a long overdue run of three select shows.

Frontman Scooter Ward joined HEAVY to talk about the tour and longevity in the rock scene. We start by asking why the band have neglected us for nearly forty years.

Honestly, it’s been kind of hard to get over there,” he smiled. “We were switched around on different labels, and we had always wanted to come, however, the powers that be want you to play in designated areas. So we had always wanted to be there, it just never turned around. Now we’re more free to do what we want to do and we had the opportunity, so we took it.”

As mentioned, COLD will be celebrating 20 years of Year Of The Spider, so does that mean the band will be playing the album in its entirety?

“I know we were going to talk to the ORGY guys about it,” Ward nodded. “The thing about it is we’ve never played there before, and we have all this catalogue and music that people love from other records as well. So the hope would be to do Year of the Spider in its entirety and then do some extra songs as well for people. So that’s the goal. We’ll see how that works out.”

Playing albums in full generally poses a whole new set of difficulties, mainly because when an album is first recorded, there is generally little thought given to ever playing it front to back. We ask Ward if COLD would come across any such obstacles should they decide to replicate Year Of The Spider.

“Not really,” he said. “Throughout the years of touring, we’ve replicated those songs many times on different tours and different settings. Initially, when the record was put out, we did a Year of The Spider Tour, and we played all the songs so yeah, we’re familiar. The band’s familiar with all the songs and you know, we have just done a Year of The Spider Tour here in the States (where) we did 58 shows. So yeah, we’re very in tune with that record right now.”

There wouldn’t be many places left in the world COLD haven’t played in, but being their first trip to Australia will they be doing any research on what to expect or do they plan to discover as they go along?

“We have some friends from Saliva that have played over there,” he offered, “and they said there’s little things that are different without tour buses and flying from show to show and things like that. It’s just basically the production parts of it all that we are unfamiliar with, but we’re kind of excited about that. It’s kind of nice, you know, cramming everything in. I mean, we’re doing three shows, and basically it’s a five day trip. So it’s a long weekend. We do three shows, fly from place to place and bust it out.”

The flip side to that is Australian fans won’t know what to expect either.

A COLD Show is like an emotional journey for people,” he countered. “We take them to a place. When I wrote those songs, I was going through a hard time and they’re all very honest songs. So I transport myself back into that place, and it translates to people that are watching the show, and it brings them… I try to bring them back to those moments when they needed that song to help them go through whatever they went through. Sometimes it becomes an over-emotional thing and the whole crowd sings all the songs with us and there’s a lot of tears and a lot of joy. It’s an experience when you come to a COLD show for sure.”

COLD are coming out with fellow first timers ORGY, who themselves are celebrating a significant milestone with their breakthrough album Candyass hitting the quarter of a century mark. Aside from the fact these two bands are both cut from the same cloth, we ask Ward why they make good touring partners.

We toured with ORGY back in the day,” he replied, “back in the early 2000s when both bands were doing very well. And we’ve been friends for a long time. We have been touring again since 2018 and Orgy had just started back. They did some smaller tours, but they’re getting back into it. We joined up together to do this.”

COLD formed in Jacksonville, Florida back in 1986, born into a musical climate vastly different to that of today.

“We were kids in ’86 when we started,” Ward recalled. “The band was called Grundig at that point, and we were like a slow, grungy type of thing. The music was very slow and just heavy. We were trying to be like the Southern Black Sabbath kind of thing, but more Soundgarden who were doing it on the other side of the country. In Jacksonville, there was not really one type of music scene like there was in Seattle where everybody was in a grunge band. In Jacksonville, it was very diverse. We had Limp Bizkit, Shinedown, COLD and Puddle of Mud. A lot of the guys came from there. It was very diverse, with different kinds of sounds coming out of the place. Every band was a little different. It wasn’t really a genre-based area.”

COLD’s two biggest albums were the aforementioned 13 Ways To Bleed and Year Of The Spider, so we put Ward on the spot by asking him which is his personal favourite out of the two.

That’s a hard one, man,” he smiled. “Over time it changes with me and different songs from different records and different emotions come up when I’m hearing those songs. They’re both a pleasure to play now. So they’re both kind of intertwined with each other in a way.”

COLD came in for criticism with their fourth album A Different Kind of Pain, with many feeling the album was more sombre and downbeat than anything they had put out before.

“Yeah, we got a lot of slack when that record first came out,” he measured. “The narrative of that album was very personal. It was literally things that were happening with my sister and what was going on with my relationship, and it was definitely a sombre record. At the time, I knew it was different than the other records. That’s the other thing about COLD. With every album that we make, I don’t try to make the same record. At the end of my life, I want my catalogue to be filled with a bunch of different styles of production, the sounds, all the things. There’s a lot of bands that just keep making the same record over and over again, and that’s a successful way to do a band. However, I’m going the opposite of that. I’m going to write whatever we want at whatever time we feel what we need to write.”

Tickets on sale now from www.thephoenix.au

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