Getting a hold of Paul McGuire, founder and guitarist of death metallers Cerebral Bore, proved to be a bit of an adventure, involving malfunctioning recording software, a baseball game traffic crush in Seattle and finally dropped connections somewhere on a beach in Oregon. (But given half the band were improperly arrested and held for a week last year in New York on a murder charge that was meant for someone else, this was probably a walk in the park in comparison.) Somehow we were able to make a good if choppy conversation out of it, as the friendly Glasgow, Scotland native looks to conclude his group's fourth American tour as the opening act for the Summer Slaughter festival's final date this Saturday at the City National Grove in Anaheim. McGuire's band's debut, 2011's Maniacal Miscreation, is notable for both its technical skill and raw bursts of energy in equal balance, as well as his performance and arrangements and the aggressive vocals of then new vocalist Simone “Som” Pluijmers, who can outroar most men at the job while adding her own catchy style.
OC Weekly (Ned Ragget): So what's been the difference between this tour and the earlier ones you've done here in the States?
Paul McGuire: All those earlier ones I booked myself. It was very underground! We do have a booking agent here now. But the main thing about those tours was to go out and make fans, to really see everything building up more and more. As a result, even though we're coming out really early each day on the tour, there hasn't been a date that we haven't been greeted with a huge crowd roar. It seems we've really reached that level now where we can do more soon, and that's been great. Every day our schedule's been something where we start getting ready at 10 am, we're there with the whole festival through 1 a.m., then it's a straight drive through the night to the next place to do it all again! It's been a ton of stuff to learn and we love — these last few days, our energy level has been so high, so all that effort hasn't gotten the better of us.
What's the next goal you have for band musically? You've released one new single this year (April's “Horrendous Acts of Iniquity”) already.
Musically we're trying to keep the brutality, but to keep it really well organized so it doesn't become a big mess. The new album is already written, actually! I've been working a lot on balancing out song structure — everything ended up pretty well structured on Maniacal Miscreation, but this time I've thought about a lot of new things that we haven't tried before or thought about in the past, making it a little bit more unique.
You're pretty much going straight from this to a tour in Europe, I think?
Yeah, an Eastern European headlining tour. We go home after Saturday, a few days rest, then we're off to Eastern Europe, then back to Western Europe on the My Dying Fetus tour. That'll be another eight weeks! We hope to come back to America soon, though!
You've already spent years on seeing Cerebral Bore through to this stage — what's the one thing you'd really love to see the band do in the future, if it were possible?
I'd love to see us in some sort of reality TV show! Something where a crew comes with us for six months on the road somewhere. It could be about covering all the things that people don't always see, the hard work and how it pays off, but all the shit we have to go through as well as all the cool things that can happen! I always thought that would be an interesting show idea — 'Scottish death metal band tours America!'
Cerebral Bore appear as the opening act for the Summer Slaughter Tour, Saturday August 25th, the City National Grove in Anaheim, 1 pm, $32.50, all ages.