Interviewed by Brian Rademacher
Date: August 11th, 2005
Hello Jed how’s the day going?
Man it is fucking hot here.
Were you in any bands before Armoros in 1985 that recorded material?
Where the fuck did that come from (Ha-ha). You did some homework, huh? Yeah Armoros was my first serious band. I was in a few bands before that which were mostly cover bands, you know the bands that most people join before they get their calling. It was basically high school stuff. My very first band was called the INTRUDERS (Ha-ha). That was like '82 or '83, we did lots of live shows, bars around town. We did a full set of AC/DC.
Tell us what kind of kid was Jed Simon growing up in Canada?
I was a fucking jerk off teenager. Like most teenagers are and most will not admit to it. I was a punk kid and got into a little trouble. I am lucky I was not into too much trouble where I would get sent away. I had a good beginning, then I had a rough spot, then it got better as I got older. (Ha-ha)
What was it like the first time in front of a crowd playing guitar?
I never got nervous. It was never a factor for me. It is something I always wanted to do and I felt comfortable with it. The first show I ever did was on the front porch of a trailer in some fucking trailer park in 1982. (Ha-ha) and here we are now.
What was your dream?
I never had a dream. My genuine love of music has taken me...all over. I guess if I was more business savvy I might be further ahead. I just enjoy what it has gotten me and where it has gotten me at this point. I just do what I do and I am happy doing it.
You met Devin Townsend back when you were in Caustic Thought. What was your first impression of him?
Well the first time I met Devin he pulled my pants down. I quit Caustic thought which was me and Byron Stroud. Devin was the guy who replaced me. He came to see a show one night. I had not even met him and he walked behind me and pulled my pants down. The homophobe in me wanted to knock him out. Ha-ha that is how it all started.
You moved onto Noisescapes where Devin was recruited to join Steve Vai’s band?
Yeah, that was when I joined Devin’s new band NosiescapeS. It was cool, I had a good time, but some of the others guys in the band weren’t that cool and weren’t that great of players. Then Devin got the Steve Vai call and he went to do that. Then me and Byron started doing other things on the side.
Now you’re in another band called Zimmers Hole?
That was the band me and Byron started and that band is still together today. Since 1991 and we’re still together so that is almost fifteen years. It started out because a friend of ours owned a club and needed a band. So we threw it together, it basically was a Friday night drinking band. We just got drunk and played some really stupid songs. A few years went by and we got better and better. Devin came to one of our shows and said dude I want to record ya. So we did a record, it did ok. A few years later we did another record, now it’s a few years later and where thinking of doing another record.
You’re also in a band called Tenet where you’re the lead singer.
Yeah, not yet recorded, that is my solo thing. I signed with Century Media almost two years ago. It is that SYL are so busy I have not had a chance to do it the way I want to do it. I have talked with Century a number of times and they are very cool about the delay. But it is getting to the point where I have to get this done. I am sure they want to get it done too. I am under contract and I am obliged to do it. It is all written and ready to go. Whenever I get a chance, it is just STRAPPING is so busy doing stuff. I will get some guys back home in Vancouver and get help with the logistics and making it happen. The album will be called “Sovereign.”
How is that music different than Strapping?
It’s just me. It’s my roots. I am not trying to be anything special. It is just old time speed metal with no fucking keyboards at all. Just full on metal.
Do you feel that “Alien” can match up to the amazing CD “City” from 1997?
Thanks, Yeah people will say what they want to say. They say “City” is the best album we made, it can never be topped. People are entitled to their opinion. I think we get better with each record. Every record is a stamp, a snapshot of where we’re at, at that particular moment. So “City” is where we were at, at that particular time. I try not to draw comparisons because I can’t do it.
Did you release “Love?” as a video because it seemed the most commercial song on the CD?
Yeah I hate to admit it that has the most commercial potential. That was the one song that we thought most people would like and it is actually my favorite song on the CD...ok...second favorite!! It has a really nice chorus and good beat it’s easy to move to and it lends itself well to video.
Who came up with the Evil Dead look during the filming of “Love?”
Ha-ha. You have to give the credit to Joe Lynch (producer) who put the video together. It was his idea to do the Evil Dead theme. I am a huge Evil Dead fan and it was a nice homage and it really came out good. Joe is awesome.
What is your most memorable moment being in Strapping?
There have been a lot of them. It’s been ten years for me now but the most memorable is Tokyo 1999 on my birthday. Devin stopped the show and a couple thousand kids sang me happy birthday it was the most wonderful experience.
Over the past two years you shared the stage with many Xtreme metal acts ranging from Nile to Testament are there other acts you would like to play with?
Ah, I am still waiting for that tour with Exodus. They are my all time favorite band.
Have you heard from Tom Jones at all about your rendition of "What's New, Pussycat?"
That song never even got out of the studio.
You have an endorsement with Dayton Boots, how did that come about?
I have been a Dayton Boot wearer since junior high school. They are the best boot company in the world. The pair I wear on stage are nineteen years old and they are as comfortable as a glove. I wrote them and the new president of the company invited me down there gave me a tour of the factory and history. We talked and he told me "tell your friends that last night we turned down Slash but we're taking you on today". I said fuck this is better than any guitar endorsement I got. This is a product I believe in and I have been wearing my whole life. Well half my life! Even if I did not get the endorsement I would still wear there product.
Tell us what the most exciting thing that happened on the ‘Sounds of the Underground’ Tour?
Ha-ha Ha-ha. There’s been a lot of excitement. I think it was down in Texas. A lot of the bands got together and did a big blues jam. That was exciting. The Vancouver show was great because that was my home town. The Sayreville, New Jersey show was killer. We had a really good time.
Who would you say is the most new exciting guitarist on the scene now?
There is really no one new who is turning my crank right now. Patrik Jensen from the Haunted is a dear friend of mine and one of my favorite guitar players. Erik Rutan from Hate Eternal is a fucking monster guitar player and of course Devin is one of my favorites. I love Mike Campbell from Tom Petty. My ultimate guitar hero is Malcolm Young from AC/DC.
You have another tour coming up?
It looks like we will be doing one more tour before the end of the year. Late fall.
What was the first guitar you owned?
A white 'Vantage' flying V
What is your favorite guitar you own now?
My custom ESP flying V (in white!). I have been with ESP for about ten years now. I love them, they have been very good to me...Hailz!
Do you remember the first record you bought and the first concert you attended?
I got my first record for Christmas. It was Elton John’s “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road”. It is still one of my favorites to this day. The first album I bought was “Alice Cooper’s Greatest Hits.” The second album I bought was “Kiss Alive.” That is the one that changed my life. The first concert I attended was Nazareth at the Coliseum in Edmonton 1977. It blew my fucking socks off.
Does SYL have a rider?
Oh yeah we have a rider. Ha-ha. Nothing special, it changes from year to year. I am the only guy in the band that drinks often. I get my razberi stoli, that’s what I drink. A bottle of Crown Royal for Brian our drum tech and myself. The rest of the rider is standard. Give us our juice, our vitamin water; vitamin water is the best shit on earth. As for food, anything but pizza. I am sick of fucking pizza, except for living in Philly now I know what good pizza tastes like. Of course New York has good pizza too.
Will there be another video?
It might be a little past that, but we have been talking about it.
What is the next step for Jed Simon?
I’m getting married. October 2nd. That is what we have been doing for the last two months. Devin is doing his new solo album, Gene is in LA visiting his family and jamming with friends. Byron is out with Fear Factory. After a couple of months we will see what this new tour potential is like.
Jed it was great talking with you. Do you want to say anything to your fans?
Thanks for the interest. It’s great to get interviews out of the blue. It was my pleasure to talk to the readers, can’t wait to see everyone when we go back out on tour.