Interview with Senses Fail vocalist Buddy Nielsen and guitarist Dave Miller
S&S: I heard that on MTV2, you guys mentioned that you don’t want it to be known that you’re from Jersey. Is this true?
Buddy: That’s completely and utterly false. We’ve never even been on MTV2 talking about anything ever. That’s bullshit.
Dave: Did we fuck up again?
S&S: Can you tell me about the songs you recorded today?
Buddy: We’re just trying to get our album together. We’re just going back to do some B-sides for European releases and stuff. Our album is done. It’s going to come out in late February, early March.
S&S: Can you leak its title?
Buddy: Yeah, it’s called “Let It Enfold You.”
S&S: A motif in your lyrics is death. Was there a certain event that sparked this style of writing?
Buddy: Well, I really like Charles Bukowski. He’s all about being depressed and shit. I don’t know. At the time, it was right when September 11 happened and then my friend died, so there was a bunch of people dying and death. So, I kind of had that thing going on. The new album still has violence in it, but it’s got more of a point to it.
S&S: Did Dan drop out of high school to pursue the band?
S&S: Who in the band has graduated high school?
Buddy: Me, Dave, Mike, and Garrett.
S&S: What do you think about your growing fan base in the UK, especially since you haven’t traveled there yet?
Buddy: No, we haven’t. We’ve sold I think a thousand-something albums, which is the equivalent of selling like 10,000 here – just because the population is smaller, and the scene is a little bit smaller over there. But we’re going to get over there in January, hopefully, I think. I really don’t know how well we do over there, so we’ll find out. It’s kind of a mystery.
S&S: How did it feel to get signed to Drive-Thru? Take me back…
Buddy: It reminds me of The Starting Line’s record, because I was listening to that when we got signed. It was cool. It was insane. It was one of the greatest moments of my life. I was freaking out. Everybody freaked out. It was just crazy. It was insane that we even got signed. It was great.
S&S: Do you all live with your parents?
Buddy: Yeah, we do.
S&S: And they’re supportive of all of you, I would assume?
Buddy: Yeah, totally. We have a full-time job here, you know. We’re doing something. So, they’re proud.
S&S: Who in the band has a girlfriend, and is it hard to have a relationship while you’re on the road?
Buddy: I do. Dave do you have a girlfriend?
Buddy: Dave has a girlfriend, Dan has a girlfriend, and Mike has a girlfriend. Sometimes, they come out. It is hard. It’s hard to start a relationship on tour. If you meet a girl, you can’t really form a relationship with them, but if you already have a pre-existing one, you just have to be honest and trust each other, that kind of thing. Two months to be gone, for me, is like nothing, but to them, two weeks is fucking insane. If you really want it to work, it will work. But if it’s not meant to be, then you’ll just clearly know that it’s not going to happen.
Dave: Pirates didn’t have girlfriends.
Buddy: Yeah, pirates didn’t have girlfriends. Which is kind of what we are, pirates. But pirates had wenches on the boat. But, no. If you really want it to work, it will work, I think.
S&S: Do you have any funny drunk stories?
Buddy: Funny drunk stories? Oh god, there’s so many. We break a lot of things, we get into fights, people get beat up.
Dave: I think I challenged 30 people to a fight.
Buddy: Dave challenged 30 people to a fight one time. Just the typical, stupid rock star cliches that we’re trying to live – like smashing a hotel room up and then the cops come and they’re like, “You have to pay for that,” and we’re like, “Alright.” What we did at first was that we didn’t want to spend the money, but we still wanted to smash up the hotel room.
Dave: We peed on the walls.
Buddy: Yeah, make it messy. We wouldn’t break things. We’d just piss. That kind of thing, which is really not detectable, but really dirty. Drunk stories. There’s lots of crazy shit that goes on.
Dave: I got too drunk and then played a show and fell on my ass because I was that drunk.
Buddy: Yeah, falling on your ass when you’re drunk. We’re not gonna play drunk anymore. We’re not good at it. Some of the people that travel with our band and people in our band have bad tempers, and they don’t do well with hard liquor. So, they get the eyes that stare where you’re going to kill. They’re have been fights at IHOP. We beat up a kid. I don’t want to be racist. I don’t think we ever will, but a kid with red hair was looking at us funny, and we were hung over and pissed. I told Dave, and Dave got pissed and went and kicked his ass. We’re pirates. We sail the cement seas in our black van called Haggard Fuck. We do have pirate flags. We have a lot of pirate paraphernalia. I actually have pirate tattoos.
Dave: I actually have one eye, and no one knows about it.
Buddy: Dave has one eye, but he doesn’t wear a patch because it’s not fashionable. He’s a cliche. He’s got a glass eye.
S&S: What is your preferred form of porn?
Buddy: What do you mean? Like anal, girl on girl?
S&S: Well, I was going to say magazine or video.
Buddy: Oh, DVD. Definitely. DVD gives you the option to browse through all the scenes quickly without having to fast forward. It’s just like CD and tape. Who wants to have a cassette when you can have a CD? Just skip to the last song instead of having to turn it over and fast forward. Nobody wants to deal with it. And you get the full hour long ones. They’re really good. We have lots of porn. When you can’t hook up with girls on tour because you have a girlfriend, you have to jerk off.
S&S: Best Halloween costume you ever wore?
Buddy: I was a dead, graduated pickle. I wore a graduation gown, and I safety pinned sandwich pickles to the whole thing, and I wore a bald cap and painted it green. I was a dead, graduated pickle. I was a pimp. I used to go out and get really crazy with fur coats and gold sequined coats. I’d have girls be my hookers. When cell phones weren’t the big thing, back in fifth grade, I had a real one that didn’t work. I used to walk around with that. I used to beat up my hoes. That kind of thing. I got real into it. I won a couple of costume contests. Actually, I didn’t win with the pimp because they didn’t think it was a good thing to have in school. They wouldn’t want to reward me for being a scumbag.
S&S: How long are you going to grow your hair?
Buddy: I don’t know. Ask my girlfriend. I don’t care. It’s just going. I don’t know. I’m going for the Jim Morrison look. I’m the Lizard King. I can do anything.
S&S: Who has the smelliest farts in the band?
Buddy: Our guitar tech, Sean. He takes it without question. They’re awful. They’re really, really bad sometimes. I don’t even want to talk about it. It makes me want to throw up. He’s actually made people throw up. Yeah, that’s bad right?
S&S: Lucy or Peppermint Patty?
Buddy: Lucy was a bitch. I think she’d be better in bed. She was mean, so she’s probably better in bed. I’ll go with her.
S&S: If you were a superhero, what would your power be?
Buddy: I’d like to be invisible. I think that would be cool to be able to be invisible. You could just be a peeping Tom on girls and stuff. You could see what people were talking shit behind your back. You could just go where ever you wanted. You could find out anything you ever wanted because you’re invisible. It’s amazing.
S&S: What are you going to do with the little time you have off before your next tour?
Buddy: We’re recording – we’re doing pre-production, then we’re going to record. We’re just going to hang out and sleep and get ready to go back on tour. Stay home as much as possible. That kind of thing. Nothing too exciting. When you come home, you don’t really want to do anything. Every night on tour, you can go out and drink and party it up. So, not to be moving and not having to go someplace is cool.