Interview: 4ARM Frontman Danny Tomb Talks Life on the Road and Touring with Slayer
By Natalie Perez
Relative unknowns Stateside, Australian thrash metaller 4ARM has been introducing themselves to American headbangers by touring across North America with Slayer and Gojira. During this trek, the band has had the chance to not only open up the showcases but also perform alongside bona fide thrash O.G.s whom 4ARM have idolized and been influenced by their whole life. Here, vocalist and guitarist Danny Tomb discusses the current tour and what life is like out on the road.
REVOLVER How have the gigs you guys been doing been?
DANNY TOMB They have been going really well. The crowds have been fantastic. The whole crew and shows have all been fantastic!
What did you do to prepare yourselves for this tour?
I don’t know if we ever think about what we do anymore we just do what we do. When it all leads up to the tour, we just play shows, and the rest of it, you just do it as it comes along, and you get use to it, never really thinking about it after a while.
What song in your set are you the most excited to play each night?
“Submission for Liberty,” the title track for our most recent album, probably. It’s pretty straight-forward and aggressive so we open with it every night and it’s always getting us pumped every night.
Does the time stand still or does it fly by when you’re performing?
I’d say kind of when it first begins, it feels slow, then hold on, we’re half way through. So it does fly after a while–the boring parts is the driving between cities for hours, but it does travel quickly, losing track of what day and time it is, but does go pretty quick.
Who is the last one to get on the tour bus?
Last one to get into the bus is the drummer. He’s always trying to find someone to hang out with during that time.
Who has the worst tour hygiene or goes the longest without taking a shower?
That would be me. I would go for a few days before I think I would really need one.
How many times do you have to wear the same piece of clothing because you couldn’t find a laundrymat?
That happens all the time. That’s a very common practice. We haven’t had the time to find a place to wash our stuff. Every time we do it’s always closed or we hang it out to dry while on the road. So we’re always wearing the same pieces of clothing each and every night.
What sort of vehicle are you traveling in? Bus or van?
It’s an RV so neither. We’re in between. It’s a step up from what we were driving in previously: a van. So this one is a lot easier and we can easily pull over and sleep every night.
Where do you usually sleep each night?
Whoever’s doing the driving and can handle it will drive, and if not, we will pull over maybe into a Walmart parking lot and sleep there. Then just cram into our spots and get as much sleep as we can before finishing the trip.
How has it been to be touring alongside one of the bands you’ve idolize and admired for so long? Did you ever see this day to come?
It’s very surreal. We didn’t believe it. We thought it was a joke at first. Then you get here, and it’s surreal. So having Slayer wanting us is a dream come true for us. We’ve all been listening to Slayer for years as kids, so it’s been amazing and good for us.
Have you had the chance to talk to the Slayer guys?
Yeah, I told Tom [Araya, Slayer vocalist-bassist] as soon as I met him, “I’ve been a fan since I was a kid.” It was hard to not be a fan boy at first, but it was great. All the guys in Slayer are nice and we’re very happy.
What has Slayer thought about your take on the thrash metal genre? Do they approve?
Apparently so…unless they’re lying to us. Sometimes they come check us out during sound check or see us during our shows and have checked us out online. So whether they’re lying to us or telling us the truth, they are pleased with the inspiration they have caused for us, I suppose.
How easy is it to keep the motivation going on a daily basis for 4ARM?
I think it’s more of the excitement of the next show. We’ve played a lot of the biggest venues and this tour is the biggest for us. So we’re all excited to be here in the America and it’s exciting to be able to do it on this scale. We’re all pleased with ourselves.
What are the remaining plans for this year and leading into next year?
For now until the end of this year, finish this tour then take Christmas off. Then January/February record new material. Then March have stuff in Europe then returning to the States, so next year will be getting the new album out there and seeing where it will take us.
Anything else you’d like to say or add to the fans?
We just want to say thanks, really. We never thought this would happen, being able to tour with a band we have been influenced by all of our lives, it’s a massive appreciation to the fans and the United States being able to play here and we’re always thankful for that.