Interview with: Norma Jean

Continuing a series of Warped Tour interviews at the Bonner Springs show on July 2, 2008, Bethany had the chance to talk to Christian metalcore group Norma Jean.  Below is their conversation:

Bethany, Popwreckoning: Hi. My name is Bethany. Can I get you guys to state your name and role in the band?
Norma Jean, Cory Brandan Putman: I’m Cory. I sing a lot.
NJ, Chris Day: I’m Chris and I play guitar a lot.
NJ, Chris Raines: I’m Chris and I play drums sometimes.
NJ, Jake Schultz: I’m Jake and I play bass.
NJ, Scottie Henry: I’m Scottie and I play guitar usually.
NJ/CP: What is this interview for?
PW: This is for popwreckoning.com. It’s a webzine.
NJ/CP: Popwreckoning. Ok. Cool.
PW: You guys have openly stated that you are committed to bringing a different sound on each of your albums. Why do you feel this is an important thing to do?
NJ/CP: We just have a lot of ideas. We have really, really good ideas and like to use them all. Next question, just kidding.
NJ/JS: Stagnant music is really boring.
NJ/CP: We just don’t want to do the same thing over and over. That’s too easy. We want to push ourselves and challenge ourselves. Our fans have caught on that that’s going to keep happening. So, it’s kind of cool how that’s working out.
PW: So of all your albums, which do you think has been the best received and why?
NJ/JS: Our last one.
NJ/CP: I would say the last has been received the best. I don’t know why. I think the newer one is better than that one. It’s heavier than Redeemer and has a lot more melody than Redeemer as well, so I think it balances itself out maybe.
PW: So you guys were on Ozzfest for a tour. How does that compare to Warped? Is it fairly similar or is one better than the other?
NJ/CD: They’re just totally two different tours. Ozzfest was primarily heavy bands only and Warped Tour has heavy bands and not heavy bands and dance bands and all kinds of music going on here, so it’s two totally different settings.
NJ/CP: Ozzfest is a lot more banging of the head. I want everybody to have a bangover.
PW: Do you prefer the fans for one of those tours? I’m sure the fans are different between Warped and Ozzfest.
NJ/CP: Yeah, they’re different. I don’t really have a preference. It doesn’t matter, they’re rowdy kids. If you come to a Norma Jean show, you kind of expect that.
PW: Rowdiness all the way? Ok. Well, rumor has it that you had to change your original name because it kept getting confused with Ludacris, do you really think that was an issue? It’s kind of like apples and oranges, right?
NJ/CR: We just didn’t like the name anymore, so we changed it.
NJ/JS: That kind of gave us an excuse to do it, though. The label wasn’t liking that we wanted to change it at first. So we were like, “Well, this guy got huge and it’s the same name, so let’s change.”
PW: Who are your favorite bands on this year’s tour that you’ve either made friends with or discovered through it?
NJ/CP: I like Every Time I Die, Against Me, Say Anything.
NJ/CR: Maylene
NJ/JS: MC Chris
NJ/CD: Is Pearl Jam on this tour? I’d say that would be pretty sweet.
PW: Has any really amusing thing happened so far this year on Warped or has it been pretty mild?
NJ/SH: Yeah, we saw a dog yesterday.
PW: Wow.
NJ/SH: Yeah, it was awesome. It was like a German shepard.
NJ/CR: There was a shed. I saw a Boxer in a shed.
NJ/SH: I didn’t see a Boxer.
NJ/CP: We beat up the guitarist from Katy Perry’s band.
(Pretty sure Putman was joking, but he delivered it so matter of fact dead pan, I must admit I had some doubts that he was lying.)
PW: Why would you beat him up?
NJ/CP: It was like, you know, that kid back in high school who picked on you? One of those guys and we felt like doing that back to somebody else so we picked him randomly. We’ll start some beef here with Katy Perry’s band.
PW: Is that true?
NJ/CP: We didn’t. (laughs)
PW: I’m going to go find Katy Perry’s guitarist and tell him you said you could take him in a fight.
NJ/CP: Ha. You could.
NJ/SH: Don’t do that. (teasing) This is all off the record. Next interview. Now we can start the interview. Are you recording this? No, you can print that all on your site.
PW: Finally, if you could take this space to talk about any issue right now, what would you talk about, what would you say to your fans? (Blank stares) Maybe a political view?
NJ/JS: We’d say our record is coming out August 5, so buy it.
NJ/CR: Listen to music. That’s about as political as we get right there.
NJ/CD: Vote for our new record. Vote for The Anti Mother.
PW: Well that’s all I have. Thanks you guys. Nice meeting you.
NJ/CD: You too.

Norma Jean: website | myspace

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