Interview: Jed Simon (Zimmers Hole, ex-Strapping Young Lad)

Jed Simon is perhaps best known as the guitarist of Strapping Young Lad, but Jed is also active in Zimmers Hole and American Blood Cult and used to play with Tenet, Front Line Assembly and City Of Fire. With a resume like that, Jed has cemented his place in the olymp of heavy fucking metal.

When you’ve played with so many great bands, there is only one thing left to do… do an interview with Dose of Metal. That will certainly earn you a ‘Greatest human being… for a day’ award.

There’s not much else to say, but click ‘continue reading’ to read Dose of Metal’s interview with Jed fucking Simon.

Dose of Metal: Hi Jed! How are you doing?

Jed Simon: All is good! Many ‘fists in the air’ right back at ya!

DoM: It’s been five years since Strapping Young Lad broke up. When you look back at your time with the band, what do you miss the most nowadays?

Jed: I miss the travel honestly. I have always enjoyed getting a little perspective on the world and traveling is a great way to get yourself a bit more ‘world-wise’ you know?
I wish more people would be more world savvy, it would make the globe a smarter place. Know what I mean?

Strapping Young Lad - Love?

DoM: Is there a song that you’d call the definite SYL song?

Jed: There are a few that I would categorize as such, but if I have to pick one off-hand, it would be ‘Love?’. Written together, performed very well, great melody, and still brutal enough to be true SYL.

DoM: Just like your former bandmates, you’ve been keeping busy with other bands ever since. What do you personally think of your former bandmate’s output in Fear Factory, The Devin Townsend Project, City of Fire, Mechanism and Dethklok?

Jed: I think it’s a testament to our individual desires. We all have that ‘stuff’ in our heads and we all need a place to get that ‘stuff’ out ya know? So it’s good that we have been able to find suitable vehicles for that musical output we all have. The riffs never stop!

DoM: Let’s move on to your projects. With When You Were Shouting At The Devil… We Were In League With Satan, Zimmers Hole took a more serious approach. It’s still a very funny album, but the music seems more straight forward than earlier material. Was that your goal with said album?

Jed: The goal was to just write well. I had so many ideas in my head at that time, I really had no trouble writing it…it really was a stream of conciousness type of event.

But if I had to label how I wanted it to sound, then you are fairly close in your view…I wanted it to be a straight-up great metal album. I wanted it to poke fun at some things but the real issue was to show all the little kids/bands just how REAL metal should be written and played…even if it has a humorous side to it. I’m pretty sure we accomplished said task…my only regret is that we didn’t get out on the road in support of it…but that is another story for another time.

DoM: When You Were Shouting At The Devil… We Were In League With Satan is a long fucking title. Was it on purpose to give “journalists” like me, and I use the word “journalist” very, very loosely here, a hard time writing reviews and interviews with a title that long? The good thing is that the question now looks longer than it actually is. Tell us a bit about the naming of the album.

Jed: It has nothing to do with trying to tongue-tie anyone, I assure you! But it really is a statement about where we, or where I was at at the time those albums were written. I admit to ‘Shouting at the Devil’ a little, but I was ALWAYS In league with Satan, haha! So the album title is really just a statement of fact. ‘WE ARE METAL, you wear womens high heels and strut around like a fucking rooster’, kind of vibe, ya dig?

Zimmers Hole - When You Were Shouting At The Devil... We Were In One League With Satan

DoM: It has been four years since the release now, are there any plans for a follow up to the album?

Jed: Well there are talks and I have written a bunch of music but the ‘feel’ just isn’t there right now. Chalk that up to everyone being busy with other things if you want but this band won’t go away. We just need the time to be right and it’ll all come back.

DoM: You’re credited with guitar and vodka on the album. Isn’t whiskey more metal than vodka?

Jed: Yes, but I drank whiskey for 20 years. I’m over it. Vodka/tonic all the way for me. Plus it doesn’t make me want to fight everybody I meet either, which is a plus!

DoM: Can Glam Rock suck a cock? If Glam Rock was a person, what would he look like? And if Zimmers Hole was a person, what would he look like and would he be friends with Glam Rock?

Jed: Yes, glam rock can indeed suck a cock. I’d say that glam rock looks like Donald Trump, and Zimmers Hole looks like Ace Frehley. Ace snaps his fingers and the Trumpster is sent off to some laser beaming hellhole of thrash metal where he is a slave for life. Or…something like that, haha!

DoM: Back to the more serious questions, do you rule the fucking land?

Jed: Yes.

DoM: Let’s talk a bit about Tenet. Tell us a bit about the over 10 year making of Sovereign.

Jed: It took a long time mainly because of SYL’s busy sked. I was writing on the road or when Zimmers Hole wasn’t writing, or I wasn’t just trying to relax at home…which was infrequent at best. But regardless of that, it still took a long time, that’s just the way I write. I have to perfect every little tidbit of data before I can ‘let it go’. It’s a control thing, and for sure it’s an OCD thing. It’s like my new band here, it’s been going for about 2 years now and I figure we are halfway to where we need to be to get out and show it to people. I’m very private about my stuff, and very protective. It’s weird, I know!

DoM: Does Gene Hoglan play for every metal band on this planet and beyond?

Jed: Yes.

Tenet - Take A Long Line

DoM: Can we expect another Tenet album in… let’s say… 2022? I have a feeling the world would implode if you released too much metal. That’s the only logical reason I can find for you taking so much time in between albums. But whenever you finally do release an album, it’s shaking the world and fucking killing all in its path.

Jed: No, sadly I’ve let Tenet go to bed forever. I had it lined up for solid touring right after the album dropped, but there were just too many ‘big wigs’ in the band and we couldn’t get a set schedule together. I have to say that Byron and Gene were totally on board from the start, and I’ll just leave it at that. Thanks I’m glad you dig it…the new band here is pretty much Tenet Mark II, you know? All my new Tenet ideas have gone to this new band of mine.

DoM: Do you like Lady Gaga? Is she an alien? Or is she a man? Or is she just really fucking ugly?

Jed: No. No. No. Yes.

DoM: Any comments on the passing of Whitney Houston?

Jed: Not one word.

DoM: What else are you working on at the moment?

Jed: As I was talking about a couple questions back, I have a new band here in Philadelphia. We are called ‘American Blood Cult’. No big names, just dudes that want to play hard. A few guys from a local band called Vicious Circle, and an old drummer from Malevolent Creation. And me. We are working hard, and as I mentioned, it’s going to be a little bit before we come out, but we are getting closer every day and as long as my OCD doesn’t flare up too bad, you’ll be seeing us soon, haha!

I’ve also been doing work here at home, guest appearances, producing and editing, so I do keep busy…and being Dad to a 4 1/2 year old is the one thing that keeps me going!

DoM: Would you like to say anything else to your readers at doseofmetal.com?

Jed: Thanks for taking an interest in an old timer like myself! haha! Seriously though, stay posted for the new stuff, and who knows where else I’m gonna pop up!

DoM: Thank you very much for your time and keep on kicking ass!

Jed: My pleasure, bottoms up!!

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