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Live-Metal.net: Well, this is the last show of the tour. I know your metal roots are with the Finnish bands, so what has it been like to be on tour with Sonata Arctica?
Andrew “A.J.” Jacobs: It’s perfect. With those influences, to be on this tour just makes a lot of sense for us. And Sonata’s fan base, I’m glad that we’re able to reach all of them. We take a lot of inspiration and influence from European metal, Finnish metal especially—Bodom, Sonata, Norther, Nightwish—all those bands. Sonata Arctica, that was one of my early metal records. Probably my second or third record was Silence, and that’s when I started Mutiny. So now, to tour with them is just surreal. It’s really cool, and they’re all super nice guys. We gave ‘em copies of the record and they all dig it. I told them, “You guys influenced this from the early days,” and they were very flattered. It’s been a great tour, and now I’m gonna go home and sleep.
That first tour with Soulfly, since it was your very first tour, how did they treat you? Did they give you advice, pull any pranks on you or anything like that?
Well, kind of. The crew for Prong—we left stuff behind all the time at the venue, and he was always the last out, so he would look around and find our backpack or whatever, and he’d hold it ransom. We learned some lessons the hard way. [laughs] They were all great. That tour had Cattle Decapitation on it—they’re a death metal band. I’ve known them for years, so to tour with them was cool, and they were all nice guys. They work really hard and they taught us so much. We hung out the whole tour. The Prong guys were great because they’ve been doing it for so long and they’re, like, legendary, and we heard a lot of cool stories and a lot of what to do, what not to do. And the Soulfly guys, as well, Mark Rizzo’s from New Jersey, so we’ve known him through the grapevine. It was cool to hang out with those guys, as well. A lot of advice.
The biggest thing we learned is just to be good people. There’s no room for assholes. There’s no room for big heads or anything like that. All these guys that we met on this tour were just humble and really super nice. They’ll help you if they see you—you need help lifting something, you need help getting back behind the stage, whatever—they were always there. I think that first tour, we learned, wow, these bands that we looked up to for years, they’re not a bunch of assholes. They’re not a bunch of stuck-up, big heads. They really are genuine dudes, and we kind of wanted to fall into that, as well. And ever since we’ve made sure we’re good to everybody.
I’ve been watching online some of the documentary series. I’ve never seen anything like that from a new band before. Whose idea was that and how did that all happen?
That’s Tommy who you just met, Tommy Jones [Mutiny Within’s tour manager]. He did the All That Remains DVD, he did Lamb of God stuff. He’s been doing video for a long time. He did Black Eyed Peas. We met him when we were doing our showcase for Roadrunner trying to get a record deal, and he was filming just ‘cause they had hired him to film or whatever. So we met him, he followed our story, we kept in touch, and when the record was done and coming out, Soulfly tour got locked in, he called up and said, “Look, I want to come on the road with you guys. I want to document this band’s first tour. I want to document the second, third, fourth. I want to film your entire career.” He’s a fan, he knows our story, he wants to see the British guys in our band see America. He just thought it would make for some great footage, and he wants people to be able to connect with us. So he did and he came out and filmed, and then he made this two-hour documentary, all in HD, footage from like 60 shows. And since that documentary, he’s also filmed the Arch Enemy tour, this whole tour, he’ll film the next tour, the Soilwork tour. It’s a lot of footage and it’s really exciting. He made a live music video for us. He’s done interviews for us. All kinds of stuff. It’s just really exciting. I think not enough bands have quality video footage for fans to get to know them personally. It’s a really cool thing. We’re noticing it, people coming up to us saying, “Hey, I know you like oversized pizza slices.” So it’s a good time.