Stringed instruments in the rock world usually mean guitars and basses. For the Northern California trio, Judgement Day, it’s all about the violin and cello. Yes, the Patzner brothers Anton and Lewis, along with their pal and percussion man Jon Bush, this string metal triad impress all they come across. From the band room, to a street corner, to national tours, Judgement Day haven’t taken a break since well, they actually did take a break to pursue other aspects of life. Thanks your lucky stars that the break is over and they’re back on the road right now, yes, as I type this out. While entering the home of the Red Sox, Anton took put his digits to work to give us a little insight into the Judgement Day realm.
Kendra: Being born into a musical family, was it expected of you to go that route?
Anton: Our parents are pretty cool. They wanted us to be whatever we wanted to be. With music, they got us private lessons starting at a really young age and made sure we practiced every day. That’s pretty much the way most people get any good at string instruments: start when you’re young.
Kendra: It’s a tale right out of a movie, or Justin Bieber’s life, but you were sort of discovered playing on a street corner and then worked an indie way to make it where you are now. In a time where America’s next fascination is one YouTube clip away, how important was the internet in your story of getting to where you are now?
Anton: The internet is cool. There are so many resources available to bands now that just weren’t there before, like mailing lists and worldwide distribution with the click of a button. I can’t imagine how anyone ever booked a tour before the internet. These days you don’t need a label at all to tour and sell records successfully. I don’t know if that was as true 10 years ago.
Kendra: String metal is new to me, but I’ve seen hip-hop artists incorporating violins into their beats. Are there other rock acts out there doing what you’re doing or are you all paving the way?
Kendra: During the time Judgement Day was on break did you think you guys would ever come back together or was going separate ways more realistic at the time?
Anton: Between Dark Opus and Peacocks/Pink Monsters we took 4 years off because Lewis moved to Baltimore to go to music conservatory. We did occasional summer-break shows but for the most part we were inactive. When he finished school he decided to move back to Oakland, so it just made sense for us to start up again and make a new record.
Kendra: How did the Patzner duo come to be a trio with Jon Bush?
Anton: I always thought it would be cool to have drums and Jon was the heaviest drummer we knew. Luckily for us, he was into the idea too. We’ve been playing with him for 8 years now.
Kendra: You three must work well together to have been going strong all these years, but if you had the chance to add someone from the early days of music, who would make Judgement Day a quad? I’m talking about the Bach/Vivaldi days.
Anton: I think I’d have Paganini take over the violin parts and I’d just dance and play tambourine.
Kendra; Maybe that person could’ve been in your Zombie video. Which speaking of, what’s your take on the zombie infatuation in the past couple years, not just in your video but in pop culture?
Anton: I live under a rock so I don’t know much about pop culture, but the guys that directed our video, Adam Rygiol and Travis Jones, were on a mission to watch every zombie movie ever made. I think they were about halfway through at the time. The whole zombie video concept was entirely theirs.
Kendra: What can your fans expect musically from you guys the rest of 2011?
Anton: We’re working on a new record now. It was originally going to be an acoustic record but it keeps expanding away from that. There may still be some acoustic stuff on it, but there will also be electric stuff. The songs are the best we’ve ever written. Hopefully it will come out in the Fall.
Kendra: And lastly, can people catch you all over touring throughout 2011?
Anton: Yeah! We’re on tour with Pinback right now, entering Boston as I write. Check out the site for tour dates.