Doc Coyle - God Forbid - Back
Interviewer: Cameron Edney -

Since forming in 1996 God Forbid have taken the world by storm winning over fans from all corners of the globe and topping the billboards top 200 chart. To date the boys from New Jersey have released four full length albums including 'Reject the Sickness' and 'Gone Forever'. The bands most recent offering 'Constitution of Treason' has been by far the biggest success to date for God Forbid and it shows just how much these guys have grown as musicians over the years. Brothers Doc and Dallas Coyle have used many words to describe 'Constitution of Treason', but for me it's Metal at its finest! Not since Pantera's Vulgar Display of Power have I been so excited over an album in this form of metal! God Forbid are finally about to unleash their astonishing brand of pure metal upon Australian audiences for the very first time. The band who will be playing to record crowds in Australia will also be one of the headliners at this years Overcranked Festival to be held in Brisbane and the fans can't wait. I recently had the pleasure of speaking with guitarist extraordinaire Doc Coyle in regards to the bands upcoming Australian tour, the success of 'Constitution of Treason', guitars, the recently filmed hometown show and much more. It's time to 'Crucify Your Beliefs' with Doc Coyle!

Metal Fanatix: Hi Doc, firstly I want to thank you for taking the time out to answer the following questions for our readers, how's things been going mate?

Doc Coyle: I’m actually writing this from our plane ride home from Puerto Rico. We just played a couple of gigs there. It was awesome! Things have been going pretty good. We just finished up a two month US headline tour, which was fun, but long and tiring. It was nice to have a bit a breather before we go to Australia.

Metal Fanatix: In a little over a week from now you guys will embark on your first ever Australian tour which is fantastic and well overdue, what can the fans expect from the shows?

Doc Coyle: They can expect God Forbid to kick their teeth in with our brand of heavy ass metal! We intend on going all out, and bringing a lot of enthusiasm and fun to these shows. It’s gonna be amazing!

Metal Fanatix: Doc is there anything in particular you are hoping to do while you are here?

Doc Coyle: I’m not sure if we’ll be able to do anything touristy. I should probably find out if we can go on a safari or something. That would be cool. I really want to party with the locals though. I heard the Aussies can hold their own with the drink. I can’t wait to fuck up some Fosters!

Metal Fanatix: I want to talk to you more about life on the road but before we get into that I want to congratulate you on the success you have had with the most recent God Forbid release ‘Constitution of Treason’, now that the album has been released and you guys have had a chance to tour on it for some months is there anything you would have changed?

Doc Coyle: There are a few things I would like to change. There are few vocal performances I would have liked a bit different. But I’m sure I would have to argue about that. I still think I could’ve written one or two better guitar solos. There’s always something you think could be different about your albums. Hindsight is 20/20. But you just live with it, and try and learn for next time. Overall, I am still happy with the album. I think it’s our most evolved record yet.

Metal Fanatix: Constitution of Treason is a killer album and really shows how much the band has progressed in the ten years you have been going, how long did it take to put the album together, written and recorded?

Doc Coyle: We rehearsed for about six hours a day for 4-5 days a week for two months straight. Then, we had to go on the road for two months. We did a two day pre-production about a month before we started recording. It was the fastest we’d ever written an album. We are going to take a little more time on the next record.

Metal Fanatix: When you guys prepare to do a new album what generally comes first the music or lyrics?

Doc Coyle: The music always comes first, although someone may have lyrics before a song is written and just place them on something after the fact.

Metal Fanatix: In a few words tell us about the following tracks from Constitution of Treason:

Doc Coyle:

Chains of Humanity: This is a song that pretty much represents everything we do. Cool, technical riffs, Catchy melodic chorus, and also very heavy. This is a fan favorite as well and always goes over well live. This was supposed to be the first single, but ended up being the third single because of a botched video.

Crucify Your Beliefs: This was last song written together before we had to leave for tour, and is definitely one of my favorite songs we’ve ever written. I love the riffs and how epic and dynamic the track is. I think this is the most metal and impressive track on the record. Especially the end which is like a Slayerized, Strapping Young Lad ode. Very intense! I wrote lyrics at the end of this and they are my favorite lyrics I’ve written. Also fun to play live. The perfect song to end an album.

Divinity: This was the first song written for the record. It’s one of the most interesting songs we’ve written I think. It’s fun to play and also tricky for me with all of the harmonized vocals into the clean part, than into the guitar solo. It’s a cool song because it’s got a lot of cool guitar stuff, and a lot of soul melodically. The girls like it [laughs].

To the Fallen Hero: This song is different because it’s probably the most complete song I’ve ever written before I’d brought it to the band. I had the entire first half done and it hasn’t really changed. The rest was written collectively. I wasn’t sure how much I liked it though because this song has a very Killswitch Engage vibe. It turned out to be one of the most popular songs though. Definitely the most accessible song on the album.

Metal Fanatix: Doc, there’s no doubt you are an amazing guitarist! What equipment did you use on the album?

Doc Coyle: Thank you very much. We used a Peavey 5150 II for the main Rhythm tracks with a Maxon overdrive and an ESP Dave Mustaine model Flying V. We also re-amped the guitars during mixdown with a Line 6 to get a bit more clarity which worked very well.

Metal Fanatix: I believe you have an endorsement with ESP guitars, which are a fantastic company but Doc, tell me, what is it about ESP for you that stand out from the rest?

Doc Coyle: I think their stuff is built for metal. Other companies make guitars for rock and blues, but ESP caters to what we do, and its very road worthy. My brother and I were actually playing ESP LTD’s before we were sponsored. The LTD line is also affordable for younger kids as well, and that’s great.

Metal Fanatix: With the rapid rate of technology there are so many gadgets and effects you can get out of guitars these days. Are you one of these guys who has to have all the gadgets and pedals or are you into the more simplified set ups?

Doc Coyle: My set up is a little complex, but certainly nothing mind-boggling. I use Krank Krankenstein heads with a Boss Overdrive, a Boss Tuner, a Maxon Overdrive, a Digitech Whammy Pedal, and a Vox Wah. In my effects loop is a Boss Digital Delay. I also have a Sennheiser Evolution Wireless. I think it’s pretty simple, but it can get hairy sometimes.

Metal Fanatix: While you guys are on the road, are you writing for the next album? Are there any titles you can share with us at this stage?

Doc Coyle: We don’t really write on the road. Outside of writing riffs on our own time. We toured for eight months immediately after Constitution [of Treason] came out, and then we took the summer off. Since than we’ve had a U.S. and European tour and the holidays so we haven’t had a lot of time to write. Once we get home from Australia we’re going to start for real.

Metal Fanatix: Doc, last month you guys shot some footage from your hometown show in Sayreville, NJ which is going to be used for an upcoming DVD, has a release date and title been set yet?

Doc Coyle: No title or release date yet, but we’re hoping to have it out by the end of summer. The show was incredible and should make for a sick concert DVD. Dave Brodsky who directed the ‘End of the World’ video directed the show and will be editing it. Eric Rachel who co-produced our last couple records recorded and will be mixing the audio. There will also be a documentary portion with the DVD. We want to make it as complete as possible.

Metal Fanatix: Can we expect to see any extra footage such as rehearsals, backstage debauchery etc?

Doc Coyle: We have footage from our entire history, so I’m sure we’ll have a little bit of everything. We don’t want to make a cliché DVD though and just try to rip off the Pantera videos. It’s important to show our personalities!

Metal Fanatix: Speaking of backstage debaucheries let’s talk a little more about life on the road! Over the years you have had the pleasure of touring with some amazing bands such as Lamb Of God, Cradle Of Filth, and Opeth to name a few! Who have you enjoyed touring with the most and can you share a funny story from the tour?

Doc Coyle: We are very close with Machine Head, Lamb of God, Hatebreed, Chimaira, etc. We really bonded with those guys. There are definitely plenty of stories to tell. Let me think of one. On my 21st Birthday in Dallas, Texas on tour with Lamb of God, Six Feet Under, and Darkest Hour we were going to Pantera’s strip club, but we were told that none of them were in town. I remember it was about a 40 minute ride, and I had to piss bad as hell. As soon as we got there, I ran inside and went right up to the urinal. I’m pissing, and I look to the left and it’s Vinnie Paul. Needless to say, I started kissing his ass. He was cool as shit, and made us feel at home. He signed a shirt for me and I still have it.

Metal Fanatix: When the time comes to work out the set list, do you find it hard to choose the right songs. There will always be fans who want to hear the old stuff & the occasional obscure song & of course you have to play some new tracks. Do you find it hard to make a set that is for fans of all eras?

Doc Coyle: It is tough because we have four albums and an EP’s worth of material not counting B-sides and covers we like to play. We’re definitely a band where certain fans favor a particular album, and it’s hard to please everyone. Our last two albums are much more successful and well known, so we focus more on those albums. I wish we were bigger so we could do an hour and a half or two hours, but when you’re not Iron Maiden, people tend to get worn out when you play for too long. I wish we could play more obscure tracks. It’s more fun when you can.

Metal Fanatix: You guys have been touring non stop now for quite some time, what have been some of the stand out shows thus far?

Doc Coyle: Our DVD shoot was crazy! Download fest in the UK was incredible. The footage from that gig is on our latest music video. The entire Ozzfest experience was incredible.

Metal Fanatix: How about the worst?

Doc Coyle: My worst show was definitely a show in 2002 with Gwar in Dallas, TX. I was sick and had the worst stage sound of all time. I was yelling at the monitor guy, and the crowd was throwing change at me. I started spitting on the crowd. It was a bad scene.

Metal Fanatix: Do you do anything specific to warm up and prepare for a show?

Doc Coyle: I stretch, warm up on guitar, do a few vocal warm ups. Usually a couple drinks to loosen up. I just try to relax.

Metal Fanatix: What comes to mind when you look back on the first performance you guys did?

Doc Coyle: We were terrible. My dad said we were out of tune. It was at a local bar called the Court Tavern in 1996 before we were called God Forbid. The show was so bad that we didn’t play out again for a year. We learned to not come out again until we were ready, so we rehearsed and kept writing.

Metal Fanatix: What’s the most ridiculous thing you have ever asked for on a tour rider?

Doc Coyle: A bucket of fried chicken and grape soda.

Metal Fanatix: Doc, There has been so many highlights in your career, what would you say have been your greatest achievements to date?

Doc Coyle: Probably hitting the top 200 billboard chart. That’s something that anyone can see as being a legitimate accomplishment. I have proof that I’m not a complete loser.

Metal Fanatix: [Laughs] Tell us something about the other guys in the band that we may not know!

Doc Coyle: John is an avid motorcyclist. Corey is an amazing cook. Dallas writes screenplays in his spare time. Byron used to have a shag and a Jeri Curl.

Metal Fanatix: Mate, I believe that besides your work with God Forbid you also do artists management, is this a field of the industry you are looking at more for the future?

Doc Coyle: Yeah! Right now, it’s more of a part time thing. I think I have a knack for the business side of things. I think I have a good knowledge base, and I’ve learned a lot in my personal experience that can help others avoid making mistakes I made.

Metal Fanatix: You are working with some amazing artists such as Fear Factory and Mnemic, what advice do you have for anyone trying to break into that side of the industry?

Doc Coyle: I don’t know. Maybe they can give me some advice. I think 9 times out of 10, a book or school isn’t going to teach you about the music business, unless you’re going to be a lawyer or become a record label owner. Real life experience has been my best teacher.

Metal Fanatix: Doc, what’s the craziest rumor you have ever heard about yourself and/or the band?

Doc Coyle: Some people in the industry apparently think we’re a band who beats people up or is violent. We haven’t been involved in a fight with anyone in music probably since 98 or 99. I think some people see people of color and are scared and assume we are trouble-makers. Who knows?

Metal Fanatix: During the eighties I can remember seeing so many different hard rock and metal videos on our televisions but these days they are few and far between, Being in a rock/metal band these days do you feel it is still important to spend so much money making film clips that don’t get anywhere near the airplay they deserve?

Doc Coyle: First off, I don’t think bands are spending the type of money they used to anyway. Most of the videos you see on Headbanger's Ball probably cost between $5,000-$20,000. I’m just glad there is a show that plays metal. Metal will always be underground to some extent. Unfortunately, rock and metal isn’t as popular in the mainstream as it used to be, but you wouldn’t know it by going to a concert. The fans keep it alive. It doesn’t break my heart that we’re not all over TRL.

Metal Fanatix: Many bands openly state that they hate making clips but as we know it’s a must in this business. Take us through a typical day on the set of a God Forbid clip?

Doc Coyle: A lot of headbanging and trying not to look like an ass on camera. Shooting videos are cool, but they can become tedious. Especially you’re your going crazy, and you’re not even in the shot.

Metal Fanatix: Doc I only have a few more quick questions for ya! What's your take on downloading and file sharing? Do you think it hurts artists like yourself or do you look at it as a great way to get your music out to so many more people around the world?

Doc Coyle: It’s helped slow down overall record sales. But there have been a lot of factors in that not just downloading. Just the ability to burn discs makes it a hell of a lot easier to get free music from a friend than downloading. The influx of new technology and other things for people to spend their money on has hurt music sales more than anything. People would rather spend money on DVD’s or video games. Not too mention IPOD’s and satellite radio. I think for newer bands, it helps tremendously because it’s almost difficult to have a band go unheard of these days. The speed of information is so fast. It certainly hurts the huge bands, but it really means that a band is double platinum instead of triple platinum. I think it hurts a lot of bands who may get a lot of fans who will buy an album for one or two songs.

Metal Fanatix: If you could put a band together consisting of musicians passed and/or present who would they be and what would you call the band?

Doc Coyle: Slash – Lead Guitar, James Hetfield – Rhythm guitar and vocals, Dimebag Darrell – 2nd lead guitar, Steve Harris – Bass, Layne Staley – Lead Vocals
3 way tie between Dave Grohl, Gene Hoglan, and Chris Adler for drums. It would be called Devastation Face!

Metal Fanatix: What is the one band you never want to hear again and why?

Doc Coyle: Any really crappy emo band or whack 90’s grunge Pearl Jam/Creed rip off radio band.........because their crappy!

Metal Fanatix: [Laughs] Doc, again I want to thank you for your time. It’s been a true pleasure, enjoy your time in Australia and make sure you guys come back and visit us real soon! Do you have any last words for our readers?

Doc Coyle: I want to thank everyone who’s reading this and I can’t wait to be in Australia to rock out. Take care.

Constitution of Treason is out now, grab your copy where all killer metal albums are sold and keep up with all the latest God Forbid news at these kick ass web sites: - Official God Forbid Site - God Forbid MySpace Site - Inside Out 666

© Cameron Edney March, April 2007 Not to be re-printed in any form without written permission.