By Theron Moore

I got turned onto Epic while watching an episode of "That Metal Show."  Jim Florentine gave the band a nice shout out near the end so I went to iTunes and checked the band out.  Thank god I did.

Hailing from Houston, TX, Epic" plays a brand of metal that's more in line with Pantera, Slayer and Rigor Mortis than today's nonsense called metalcore.  I highly recommend picking up their CD, "Zombie Hunters, Inc."   I spoke with drummer Chris Crawford, enjoy...


WORMWOOD CHRONICLES:  How did Florentine get hold of your CD?

 Chris Crawford:  I was watching the show one day and decided to message him on Twitter asking if he would listen to our music. He gave me his address and I sent him some Cds. Two weeks later he wrote me saying how much he liked it and that he was planning on giving it a plug on the show. It was very exciting for us, being a local band here in Houston and all.

 WC:  How long has the band been around?

Chris Crawford: The band formed in 2005 with my singer/guitarist Carlos Fernandez and some of his friends from high school. I joined in Jan of 2006, made some lineup changes and the band took off from there.

WC: What's the metal scene like in Houston where you're from?

Chris Crawford: I think it is very underrated. There is a great scene here with a lot of loyal metal fans who whole heartedly support all the local bands. I think Houston gets a bad rap because of the sheer size of the city in relation to cities like Austin.

 WC:: Is "Zombie Hunters, Inc" your only CD?  I downloaded it from iTunes and didn't see anything else listed.  Any plans for a new record, if so, any titles?

 Chris Crawford:We do have a record we released in 2007 titled “Battlegrounds”, we just haven’t gotten around to making it available online just yet. I am working on that. We are also in the midst of writing a new record. No song titles as of yet, but we have around 10 songs in the works.

WC: If Epic doesn't have a record contract you sure deserve one.  Are you signed to a label, any label interest?

Chris Crawford: Haha, that would be nice but as of right now we are independent and have self released both of our albums. Luckily in this day and age it is possible to do that.

WC: Texas has a long and storied history not only with rock N roll but metal specifically -- Gammacide, Dead Horse, Agony Column, Seduce, Pantera, etc.  All these bands self produced records and self produced their own tours to promote themselves.  Where does Epic fit in here?

Chris Crawford: Well ,I don’t think we are anywhere near the universe of Pantera or Deadhorse, but we do what we can to promote our music and get our name out there.

WC: I imagine you've toured around Texas and then sometime.  Any plans to tour outside the state?

Chris Crawford: Yes, hopefully sometime in the near future we will be able to tour more around the region. Being a local independent band here in Houston with no label backing us, it makes it harder to tour when we all have day jobs. We do what we can.

WC: I said this in my review of your record -- If you married Slayer and Anthrax and gave that band a Pantera edge, you've got Epic.  What other bands have influenced you?

Chris Crawford: Musically we are influenced by a ton of different bands from Black Sabbath to Metallica to even Twisted Sister and Clutch. When we write music, it all just comes down to how we are feeling at that particular moment and time. We don’t write a riff and say “this sounds like Metallica”, or “That sounds like Pantera”. We just go with the flow and if it kicks ass, it kicks ass.

WC: I really dug the song "Army of the Dead" which is the first track on the record.  Bruce Campbell fan, horror movie fan?  How much does pop culture get into your heads when you're writing songs?

Chris Crawford: I am a huge Bruce Campbell fan. His nickname isn’t “The Chin” for no reason. As far as pop culture, I would say yes to an extent but it really just depends. When I wrote “Army of the Dead”, I had just watched "Army of Darkness" and when Carlos wrote “Zombie Hunter”, he had just watched "Zombieland". But on the flip side, when I wrote “Crosshairs of Suicide”, that has a deep personal meaning to me and “Kiss my Fist” is just a song about kicking someone’s assl. So it’s all about the mood at the time and writing it down on paper.

WC: Again, this is something I mentioned in my record review -- I haven't heard a band play as tight and as precision oriented as I have Epic and the band seems like it's really guitar / riff driven musically.  Where does that come from in this day and age of crappy metalcore and emo nonsense?

Chris Crawford: Musicianship is very important to us. Fast aggressive songs with technical guitar playing and lots of solos, but well structured and catchy at the same time. Songs you will love and memorize. That to me is where metal has lost its mojo in the past decade. It started with the late 90’s NuMetal movement, and now kids just drop tune their guitars,  play one fingered cords and scream or do pig squeals. In my opinion, it’s just plain lazy and terrible.

WC: One listen to your record and it becomes obvious you have a real appreciation for old school speed metal and thrash from back in the day.  Can you talk about that a little bit, maybe mention some of those influences that come through on your record "Zombie Hunters, Inc."

Chris Crawford: Thrash metal to us is the best genre of music. It is the one style of metal that really appeals to the fans across the whole spectrum. That is one reason bands like Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, Overkill, Judas Priest and Iron Maiden have stood the test of time. I think that when we wrote this album, it all came together because that is the music we grew up listening to and this is what we love to do.

WC: Your opportunity to mention whatever you want to here, go for it!

Chris Crawford: Well, I’d like to say thanks to Jim Florentine for actually listening to our CD and giving us a plug on "That Metal Show". Much respect to him.  Being an unsigned band here in Houston, it seemed unlikely he would give it a chance. It just proves that there are a ton of great bands out here. Thanks to the internet, it gives people a chance to find kick ass music rather than the crap the music industry is trying to shove down our throats. Metal is not dead. All you have to do is look and you can find great stuff. Thanks to everyone who has bought our CD and written us on Facebook. We love our fans and are extremely happy to share our music with you. And thanks to you, Theron, for listening to and reviewing our Cd. It means a lot. Horns up and KEEP IT METAL!!