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The man behind the beard: Interview with J.Costa of Thy Will Be Done

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If you haven’t heard Providence, RI’s Thy Will Be Done you have been missing out on a fully charged metal assault that ravages a stage and has remained remarkably under the radar for years. Their EP Temple was so stellar that it even left Revolver “wanting more.” It is this dedication to producing unrelenting, face-melting metal bounty tempered with staggering groove elements that garnered the attention of Metallica’s James Hetfield back in 2012 when he invited them to perform at the Orion Festival. Since then the guys of Thy Will Be Done have been busy working the asphalt to spread the word about their music and working diligently to increase their visibility. caught up with front man J. Costa to talk about their recent outing with Trivium and DevilDriver on the “Vengeance Falls Tour,” his influences, and the important things in life and music.

What can we expect to follow up Temple?
The original plan, and nothing ever goes according to plan all the time, the original plan was to have the full length follow that up within a year but to be completely honest the EP was doing so well it kept us on the road a little bit longer than we had expected. So we figured, “let’s just keep riding this out, the EP’s doing well, people are really receptive to Temple," so it delayed the studio time for the full length, but that full length is underway; we’ve been working on it in between tours. Right before the tour with Trivum and DevilDriver we were in Japan on a two week headliner, so we were “supposed to be in the studio” before the tour to continue working on but we knew we were gonna be home for three weeks before being gone for two months so figured we’d spend time with family and friends.
We usually come back from tour feeling refreshed and inspired, so we figured lets just take the time and come back to the studio and do what we do best. The full length will be out, is projected to be out sometime early/mid-to-early 2014. We’re really excited about it, most of the songs are just really an extension of what Temple set the bar for; although, the songs for Temple had little bit of a different feel to them which is why they came out separately. We wanted them to kind of stand out on their on because they felt differently than the other songs that we had, but those songs will come out and hopefully people will dig’em and if not, we dig’em.

So, how did you guys end up on the tour (with Trivium and DevilDriver)?
This [was] our third tour with DevilDriver. We love the DevilDriver camp; they are really good friends of ours and Dez primarily is a big advocate for Thy Will Be Done. So, he had proposed us for this tour and Trivium abided, they really dig what we do as well. So, thanks to Trivium and DevilDriver for being so welcoming and making sure we were part of this second leg of the tour. That’s really what it comes down to. It’s nice to be out with our friends and also make new friends.

Were you already fans of Trivium and DevilDriver before you had any
Absolutely, both bands. Especially with DevilDriver, that was our first introduction to them was in 2009, the “Thrash and Burn Tour” that we did with them. Prey For Villains had just come out, and we had obviously been made aware of them from their previous records. So, it was kind of a milestone to go out with such an iconic band. Especially Dez…Coal Chamber was one of those bands that really stood out for me because they tuned low and just had that super groove to them, and I think it's awesome that DevilDriver really took that groove and added more traditional metal to it. Chris, our guitar player, is a huge DevilDriver fan and I know that he geeked out as much as I did. We all did, but it was cool to be out with them in 2009 and become acquainted on such a personal level. [It] was really cool and humbling because, you know, we’re low man on the totem pole, and we do what we do and to have someone as iconic as Dez and DevilDriver reach out to us and take us under their wing and help us out…that’s huge. There are not many bands out right now who do that, so we’re supremely grateful for that! (chuckles)

“The 10 year old in me still screams everyday that we got play with Metallica.”- J. on his excitement reminiscing about Orion Fest 2012.

Well, what’s your favorite Metallica album?
Everyone asks and I can’t answer that question because it’s Metallica! Each album is different and amazing for their own different reasons...I think it’s safe to say that Master of Puppets really hit the nail on the head where you have aggression and melody all in one and is really the epitome of what heavy metal is...And let’s talk about Death Magnetic. I mean, Death Magnetic just proved that Metallica can still be Metallica and you can go see them live, whether they’re playing the old hits or the new songs. You can’t touch them live. And I’m not talking about S&M, or the EPs, or anything, just the full length studio records. Metallica to this day, in my opinion, and this is just my opinion I don’t care what anybody else thinks, they’re icons to heavy metal and I continuously thank them. (laughs)

Would you rather be a band that was consistently phenomenal yet underrated, or wildly popular with spots of musical mediocrity?
I’d rather be myself and I’d rather make records that I am excited about. If there are a handful of people that get excited about it, so be it. At the end of the day it’s about being yourself and expressing your self and if you’re fortunate enough to have even five people like what you do, then you have to accept the consequences. As an artist and as someone that wants to express yourself, if you choose to want to appeal to the masses then you have to accept what comes with that. I'd rather be myself, I’d rather express myself and if that means quote unquote, less people dig us, then so be it. We actually, no joke, had fan mail sent to this venue just for us, that’s what it’s about for me. To get a letter from someone who wants to thank us for making our music because they’re going through a hard time and our music helped them-you can’t put a price on that. And it’s not about monetary value for me, because you can’t take that with you. Life is priceless, and for someone to reach out to me. Sorry I’m getting emotional, but for someone to reach out to this band and say that this music changed them, or helped them, that’s what it’s about. Those bands that inspired me, that changed and helped me in life when I was younger, that’s all I wanted to do in life and I’m doing that, so I’m blessed.

So, I have to ask: What was your first concert?
Oh gosh, a local concert by a band named Fury. A friend of my father’s, his son was in a band named Fury. [They were] a great local band from my area, the greater New England area, back in the day- in the 80s ‘cause I’m an old man (laughs). But Metallica was my first big show, because I had to! (chuckles)

If you had to describe your band mates using only four words, what would they be?
Um… My. Extended. Family. That’s three words.

And if you had to describe your music in only three words?
Only three words? Hmm…Extension of self.

Any last words?
Thank you to anybody out there that has supported us, anybody who has given us the time of day. Those who may have closed the door on us, or might not be open to what we do, we respect that; that’s cool and no big deal, but come check us out live. We’re just regular guys playing music that we love just like anybody else. We just have fun and we love everybody, sincerely love everybody. If you have hopes and dreams and aspirations follow them, surround yourself with positive people, and make sure you have love in your life.

You can find out more about Thy Will Be Done on their Facebook page. Check them out and have a listen to the tunes that turned the heads of Revolver, DevilDriver, Trivium and Metallica!

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