Eyehategod's Mike IX Williams: 8 Albums That Made Me | Revolver

Eyehategod's Mike IX Williams: 8 Albums That Made Me

From Bad Brains to Black Flag, sludge-metal icon shares stories behind records that shaped his life
eyehategod mike williams PRESS, Petra Mckenzie
photograph by Petra Mckenzie

Revolver has teamed with Eyehategod for an exclusive vinyl variant of their new album, A History of Nomadic Behavior. It's limited to 300 copies — get yours now before they're gone!

On March 12th, NOLA sludge-metal pioneers Eyehategod will drop their first new record in seven years, A History of Nomadic Behavior — a menacing 12-song collection created in the wake of one of the band's most tumultuous periods.

Since the release of their previous fifth album, 2014's Eyehategod, vocalist Mike IX Williams was hospitalized for liver failure and subsequently received a transplant. When he eventually regained his strength, Eyehategod — guitarist Jimmy Bower, bassist Gary Mader and drummer Aaron Hill — celebrated by hitting the road for an extended three-year global tour: only to have that cut short when the coronavirus closed down the world in March 2020.

Williams drew from these experiences — as well as from the social and political upheaval he witnessed throughout the U.S. — to create A History of Nomadic Behavior crushers like "Fake What's Yours" and "High Risk Trigger."

"We're not a political band, but it was hard not to be affected by the news from the past year," says Williams. "During this recording, I thought a lot about how stupid humanity has become and how America is now completely divided with these people who don't believe in science and blindly follow liars and nonsensical ideologies. Some of those feelings may have found their way into these songs, but it is mostly subliminal."

When it comes to his own musical inspirations, Williams' foundation is built on the old-school hardcore, punk and industrial groups of his youth. Below, the singer tells the stories behind the records that first sparked his creativity — and why they still inspire him to this day.

Germs - GI (1979)

The Germs debut full-length is an intense slice of chaotic California punk that never gets old for me. One of the earliest "hardcore" records, some people say, that is both buzz-saw fast, heavy and tunefully destructive in every way. The lyrics here are way beyond typical and have an existential intelligence that belies the band's reputation for drunken youthful damage. This album is nothing short of a major influence on my life and has been in my top favorites since the day it came out.

Stains - Stains (1983)

The East L.A. Stains put out this one-and-done classic in '83 and it's one of those records that's been with me since I was a juvenile. Aggressive, manic and twisted, these guys definitely didn't get the recognition they deserve, but the people that know, know. A self-titled piece of pissed-off punk-metal genius that was far ahead of its time and another record from my formative years that's stayed glued to every turntable I've ever stole.

Bad Brains - Bad Brains (1982)

Hugely inspirational album — actually originally released on cassette in 1982 [by Reachout International Records, which resulted in the album's unofficial name: 'ROIR'] — by a band that changed the entire game when it came to energy, speed, tightness and PMA in the style known as hardcore punk. I carried this tape everywhere in the back pocket of my dirty wrecked corduroys and played it for anyone that would listen. The real revelation was seeing them live the same year it came out and being more blown away than ever, as the songs took on more of a severity than I thought possible. The Bad Brains reggae and dub songs also delivered major strengths and emotions that, along with their incredible faster song structures, brought me to tears. Legendary.

Kilslug - Answer the Call (1986)

This album is ingrained in the blackest corners of my psyche and was one of the many influences on me wanting to start a band in the style of Eyehategod. Dark, bizarre and mentally disturbed madness from in and around the New England area. Creeping through eleven hateful occultist hymns that always further my need to up the milligrams of my favorite recreational anti-depressants. Downtuned, lethargic and lysergic, like a sleepwalking psychological nightmare transformed into music — play this loud while begging for spare change.

Black Flag - Six Pack (1981)

Undeniable in their relentless power, Black Flag changed my life forever and gave me something concrete to relate to as a frustrated awkward teenage runaway listening to angry outcast music. The Six Pack 7-inch features my favorite vocalist of theirs, Dez Cadena, on the original three tracks, first released on SST records. Taking punk rock to the next level of savage heaviness, this music wades into feelings of frustration and loneliness as well as personal rage and bitterness that drew me in like no other band before them. [Later] versions of the EP included seven extra songs from the Dez sessions as an example of what a full-length album would've been like from this version of the band. I could write many essays on Black Flag and their vast history and influence, so I'll shut up now.

SPK - Information Overload (1981)

SepPuKu — aka Socialistisches Patienten Kollektiv, aka SoliPsiK, aka Surgical Penis Klinik, aka Special Programming Kontrol, aka Selective Pornographi Kontrol, aka System Planning Korporation — have been downloaded into my brain stem …

SPK - Leichenschrei (1982)

… The cells of the inner cerebrum have conformed with the sounds of this "korrupt" organization at an early age. …

SPK - Auto-Da-Fé (1983)

… My cortex has been cold fused with a non-conformist link into the depths of solidification through the by-laws of indoctrination and shock therapy. Proceed with caution beyond basic communication with patient number nine. Peace through mental illness.