Tearabyte - Interview at Edge Magazine July 2002   www.theedgemagazine.com
By Steve Freeman

Dallas’s Tearabyte is set to release their latest album entitled “Embrace Oblivion.”

Al Mead, founder of Tearabyte, is no stranger to the music scene. Being in one band or another since 1980, Al has played alongside of some of the most influential bands of all times, including Motorhead, Molly Hatchet, Megadeth, Testament and many others. Al even worked with GG Allin in 1990.

Al formed many bands over the years to follow. Forming Tearabyte in 1999 in Los Angeles with Dave Bolch and Paul Shlieger, he released the bands first album “Doom Generation.” Soon after the release of this CD, the band disbanded but this didn’t stop Al.

Moving back to Dallas, Al hooked up with his brother Kevin and Steve Schwerin and started Tearabyte back up, along with signing with Screaming Ferret Wreckords. After going through yet another drummer change, Tearabyte is set to cover their city and probably the world with their metal blanket.

Tearabyte is bassist/vocalist Al Mead, guitarist Kevin Mead, and drummer Jeff Owens. Frontman Al Mead took time out to speak about their latest album and what the group is doing.

How has the response been to “Embrace Oblivion”?

So far, it’s been really good. All the reviews have been pretty positive, so I don’t have anything to complain about yet.

Has being in so many bands soured you on the music industry?

It’s hard to say. This is the furthest that we have ever gone in the music industry. We do this for the love of the art.

How long did it take to record?

We spent about a year putting it all together. We took almost a year writing the songs and then we put them together in about a month. Then we took two months in the studio putting everything down.

Who produced it?

We didn’t have a producer for this album. I work at a studio, so we were able to take our time and work things out the way that we wanted them. It was nice, since we took our time and relaxed whenever we got stressed out. On our first album, we had a producer and we spit out the album in five days and it really showed.   We did a lot better on our own on this one.

You guys have been compared in articles to Metallica meets Slayer. How does it feel to be compared to these groups?

It’s great, because that’s kind of our roots. When we first started out, we wanted to have something that reminded you of these bands, but it wasn’t being copied or emulated. We wanted to remind people of what good music is.

Did you have a theme when you went in to record “Embrace Oblivion”?

I don’t know if you would call it a theme, but we knew what we wanted. We went into the studio to make it just that. The CD came out just like we planned.

What do you think of the Dallas music scene?

The scene is not as good as we wish it were. It’s nice that it’s centrally located, so if you want to go touring the East or West Coasts, it’s about the same amount of distance to either one. We just went to New Jersey, and the scene up there is just awesome. I wish our scene could compare to that, but it doesn’t.  The scene is building up and there are a lot more bands starting to come out. One band I’m working with in the studio named “Xphyxia” is really good. They’re like Cannibal Corpse meets Pantera with a weird VoiVod feel to it.

If you change anything in the Dallas scene, what would it be?

I like to see more bands doing their own thing instead of sounding like somebody else. We have plenty of clubs to play, but right now we have a lot of “Korn-tera Against The Machine” bands playing everywhere. We try to not have any of those influences in our music at all.

How was the show at the Metal Meltdown IV in New Jersey?

The response was great. We were in the largest room there and we had the floor pretty full. The sound system needed some work, but it sounded bad for all the bands, not just us. We sold a lot of CDs. We’re heading up to The Metal Nation show and then we are doing the Milwaukee Metal Fest in June.

I have to ask … what is behind the song “Screaming Pig F*cker”?

That song was actually written way back in the 80s. Me and one of the owners from Screaming Ferret records were sitting around and this was the time when G.G. Allin was around. We wanted to write the sickest song we could, so we came up with that one.

How is it working with Screaming Ferret Records?

They’re a great label and are trying really hard to get known. They just signed Nuclear Assault. The owner and I used to be in a band called “Nightmare.” We split up and I hadn’t seen him in like forever. Then one day we bumped into each other and he had a label and I had a band, and there we were right back where we started. It was just like the good ol’ days!

Do you ever have any problems with the band since you and your brother are in it?

Not at all. Everything has been going so smooth since we started jamming again. We both lived in L.A. for a while and were in a band. He then moved back to Texas while I played with a couple different bands in L.A. I finally moved back to Texas and we started jamming again and it’s really good to be playing with him again. The hardest thing about being in a band is keeping it together. It always seems that right when you get a band going, you end up breaking up. What’s cool about right now is that we are a three-piece band with people who work really well together.

If you could change something in the music industry what would it be?

I would like to see more power going to independent labels and I would definitely like to see more rock stations with independent artists playing on them. I would like to see the nurturing of new bands, instead of the raking of them.

What would be your dream tour?

Judas Priest, Black Sabbath, Iced Earth, and Tearabyte.

What’s next for Tearabyte?

We have a video that we filmed in New Jersey. It’s going to be on our new EP as an extra track for you to check out. The EP will have a lot of extra goodies.

Want to see what Tearabyte is all about? Check them out June 22 a Juicy Lucy’s in Dallas for the Harder Beat magazine showcase. Online, find out more info at

www.tearabyte.net and www.screamingferret.com.