REVIEW: Blood “Inferno” (2017)

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BLOOD “Inferno” (Release Date: September 29, 2017)

Like so many suburban kids in the late ’80s, my early education in ‘extreme music’ was solely dependent on having friends who were infinitely cooler and more knowledgeable than myself.  Luckily for me, my buddy Vaughn had a vast tape and zine collection that never failed to inspire genuine awe and envy every time I laid eyes on it. Even better, he lived within walking distance of a weird, eclectic little record shop, and it seemed like he’d either have a couple of new tapes to dub for me or a new zine to lend me every time we hung out.

It was in one of those zines that I first remember reading about Blood’s “Impulse to Destroy” in a review accompanied by a crudely Xerox’d image of the album cover, which somehow made the already-fucked artwork look even MORE deranged. Although I can’t recall the specific words the reviewer used describe the album, the description essentially boiled down to ‘This album is evil, fast, and fucking INSANE,’ which was really all I needed to know. Although it was probably another few months before I actually managed to get my hands on the tape, by the time it was in my eager hands, I’d already spent a lot of time imagining what these demented Germans must sound like based on the reviewer’s rabid hyperbole, the gloriously primitive artwork, and the handful of few song titles mentioned in the review. However utterly fucking demented I’d imagined it might sound, “Impulse to Destroy” still surpassed my expectations and, honestly, it completely weirded me the fuck out. It took several more listens before I even knew how I felt about it, before ultimately deciding that it was fucking awesome and eventually wearing out the tape and replacing it on vinyl.

Fast-forward to twenty-five years later, standing in a club in Montreal, trying not to spill my beer in my euphoria as I was finally about to witness Blood live. Once they took the stage, much like my first brain-melting experience of hearing “Impulse…,” they proceeded to totally surpass my expectations, playing with an energy and ferocity that put many of the other bands that night (many of who were probably half their age) to shame. Even more amazing – after Siege unfortunately had to cancel their set due to issues trying to cross the Canadian border – Blood played again on the SECOND night of the fest, too. It was all-around an unforgettable time and only made my love for the band stronger.

I haven’t reviewed anything for this blog so far, and I kind of doubt that I will again (seems like sort of a pointless exercise in an age where, after three minutes of listening to something on YouTube, you can decide for yourself whether or not you like a band/record) but when Martin Witchskinner asked if I’d be interested in reviewing the new Blood, which meant getting to hear it weeks before its release, there was NO fucking way I was gonna say no. Whatever fleeting anxiety I may have had about possibly having to give a lukewarm or even shitty review to a band I’ve enjoyed for so many years was almost immediately eclipsed by my curiosity to hear it. And I’m relieved I did, because again, Blood has surpassed my expectations. Their first album since 2003’s “Dysangelium” and first with Martin Witchskinner back on vocals since 1993’s “O Agios Pethane,” “Inferno” is the exceedingly rare ‘comeback’ album that not only fits flawlessly alongside the band’s existing discography, but arguably manages to improve it.

Blood’s unique deathgrind formula remains intact and as vital as as it did a decade ago. I’d even argue that “Dysangelium” didn’t quite capture the sense of urgency and savagery on display here. The primitive, acute brutality of Destroyer Eisen’s riffs remain undiluted, Satanic Taki’s bass is thankfully mixed loud and thick, and (with no disrespect to Clausi) hearing Martin on vocals again is the icing on this (big) cake. Although I won’t dissect each track (hopefully you’ll be checking this out yourself) a few of the standout tracks include “The Summoning,” “The Devil’s Coronation,” “Inquisitor Witchskinner,” and “Impulse to Destroy.” After listening to this record countless times over the last few weeks, it continues to grow on me more each time. Bottom line, Blood still fucking rules; do NOT sleep on this one!!

 “Inferno” will be released on September 29th – you can order it here.

Interview with Freja & Thorn/HORRID

HORRID (Vancouver, B.C.) released one of my very favorite tapes of the last couple of years with “Black Metal Crasher Crusties” They’ll be releasing a new one coming out later this year, “Fetishist,” and I can confirm that it’s even more completely fucking rabid, primitive and gloriously filthy than it’s predecessor. Below is an interview with Thorn (drums, vocals) and Freja (bass, vocals).

I love two-piece bands and always find it interesting to hear the stories behind stripped-down line-ups. Was HORRID originally envisioned as being a two-person band? What inspired you to go that route? What are your favorite aspects of being a two-piece?

Yes. We’re best friends and wanted to do a band together! Practically speaking, we find it’s easier to organize ourselves and get shit done. And we’re both fans of two-piece punk and metal bands!!

Your first tape from 2016 sounded like an amalgam of filthy, bulldozing crust, primitive metalpunk, and swampy black metal… there are moments where it almost reminds me of how “Vokusatsu Seisin Hatansha” may have sounded if written by Ride For Revenge, which is to say, it fucking rules. How much had you both consciously plotted out how you wanted HORRID to sound before jamming and writing songs? Or did you develop your sound by jamming without any concrete ideas as to how it might turn out?

Freja: Wow, that’s a hell of a description, haha, I wish. Yeah, the “black metal punk” idea fell through rather quickly, not to say that it isn’t, it just never followed that “bone awl” style. Honestly, I’m really glad we dropped that pretty fast, because there are too many fucking bands that do that and its BORING!!! Also, for me around this time, I just started to play bass again after a year and a half… so some of the riffs I wrote I’m personally not impressed with.

Thorn: Before we started jamming we had plans to start a “black metal punk” kind of band. Simple and stripped down. The more we started jamming the less I was able to resist playin’ fuckin’ d-beats!! I’m obsessed with that style, and especially the GLOOM crasher noise shit, so we started incorporating more of that into our sound.

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(cover of “BLACK METAL CRASHER CRUSTIES” tape, 2016)

It seems like you play out fairly frequently… what has been your most memorable live show so far? (Feel free to each pick a show(s)if you want!) What have been the most/least appealing aspects of playing live been so far?

Thorn: My favorite gig we ever played was probably with Extreme Noise Terror at Have A Good Laugh fest. However most memorable for me was our System Fucker gig!! Was an honor to play with a band that has had influence on our band, and the energy was just fuckin’ insane!! My favorite part about playing shows is letting out a lot of my anger that gets pent up from day to day living under this fucked-up system. Least fave aspect is that our new songs have a lot more fills and blasts so I get heinously fucking tired. Fuck that shit.

Freja: For favorite sets at shows we’ve done, I agree entirely with Thorn. Our best set was definitely opening for ENT, but the one I loved playing the most was opening for System Fucker and Frenzy! That show was a blast!! I guess this sorta ties in with my favorite part of playing shows, which is getting to play with bands your stoked on and make new friends! Least favorite… borrowing peoples gear because we often aren’t able to bring our own, which most of the time ends up with the bass sounding “clean.” Also, people telling me to turn around when I play! Fuck off, I don’t care!

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If you could have written/played on any punk/metal/grind/whatever album ever made, which would it be?

Thorn: Never Arise (In Raid There Is No Life) by Societic Death Slaughter. This band had filthy fuckin’ metalpunk crust shit going, and this album is the perfect crust record in my opinion. Wish I could play guitar like that.

Freja: Oh man…Oath of Black Blood by Beherit or Surgical Disembowelment by Dead Infection. There’s no way I could play like Dead Infection, but maybe if I started doing drugs I could play like Beherit on that record!

You included your lyrics with your first tape, and I really liked how lyrics like YUREI and ISOLATION are as evocative as they are minimalist; how much thought goes into lyrics when you guys are writing? Do you divide up the lyric-writing?

Thorn: I try to keep my lyrics short and simple, so anyone can read into it however they want. But there’s usually a very deep personal meaning that only I really know on the lyrics I write. I also like to cram in secret nerd references to my favorite punk bands, shit people probably won’t notice. I call it fan-service.

Freja: I hate the lyrics I wrote on the demo, but I am proud of the ones I wrote for all our new songs! I write about my personal experiences with mental health and addiction issues…sexual abuse and the frustrations I feel around my own sexuality because of that.

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I love the recording on the “BMCC” tape… it’s fucking so fucking raw, the drums sound real and frantic, the vocals are fucking great, and the bass has plenty of filth and gristle… did you have a pretty clear idea in mind of how you wanted the recording to sound when you guys went in to record that tape? How was your experience recording it?

We wanted it to sound like a disgusting fucked up mangled mass of nightmare noize!! Recording was super fun. It was actually kinda funny because when we were first jamming we only had one vocal mic coming out of a bass amp because we didn’t have a PA, so we had to to switch between each other between songs constantly. We actually didn’t know what we sounded like all together until after that first recording session.

You have a new tape coming out soon, “Fetishist,” which is fucking great and I’ve already listened to it a few dozen times. From your perspective, what were the most noticeable differences between the material and recording process from the first tape to this new one? Was it difficult coming up with new material for it?

One huge difference is that we’ve both gotten way better at playing our instruments. Much faster and more varied, style-wise. We’ve pretty much abandoned any real “black metal” style of playing, and now lean way harder into death metal and amped up the crasher crust!

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(cover of HORRID “FETISHIST” tape)

What kind of movies or books do you enjoy?

Thorn: My favorite film of all time is John Carpenter’s The Thing!! Legit terrified the fuck out of me when I first saw it at 12. Other than that I love me some depressing slice of life drama films. And British gangster movies.

Freja: I enjoy reading about the occult and the bizarre, etymology and symbolism, ancient cultures and religions, cults and conspiracy theories… and of course extreme music, sci-fi and HORROR!

What is HORRID doing next/what plans do you have coming up?

We’re doing a split with Kusari Gama Kill from Denmark for the winter and playing an anniversary gig in October for The Black Lab, a DIY venue in Vancouver pretty fundamental to our local punk scene!

How do you feel about the Vancouver scene? Have they been receptive to what you guys do?

The Vancouver scene is pretty thriving in terms of punk, lots of new bands starting up and plenty of old and new festivals! Our friends have been super supportive of us, and we deeply appreciate that.

What’s the most irritating aspect of being in a band?

Freja: Thorn d-beating beside my fucking head when I’m setting my pedals up!! Scares the shit out of me everytime! That, and having super shitty gear, haha!

Thorn:  Gotta echo what Freja said about gear. Nothing more frustrating than being too broke to fix shitty broken gear, let alone afford new gear. Also, hauling shit over to play shows! Neither of us have vehicles or know how to drive, and sometimes our friends aren’t available to help us drive gear. We’ve had to trudge our gear through the snow and on the bus before, many times. Fucking blows.

Please name a few records/bands you’ve been enjoying lately.

Thorn: I’ve been listening to so much crust recently. Lots of classic UK shit and Japanese stuff. To name a few: Deviated Instinct, Hellbastard, Electro Hippies, Antisect, Societic Death Slaughter, Asocial Terror Fabrication, Abraham Cross, Death Dust Extractor, and a fuckton more.

Freja: Been jamming Damaar, Fear of God, Impaled Nazarene, Nyctophobic, Needle Contaminated Pork lately…a lot of 90’s noisecore, Memphis rap and always bumpin’ old Wild Rags releases, heh!

Any final thoughts?

NOIZE NOT PROFIT! STAY FUCKING UGLY! FUCK OFF YUPPIE HIPSTER TRASH! ARRGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!!

HORRID Bandcamp

HEX OF HADES (Artwork by Freja)

Interview with Brad Cook/BRUISED EGO

 

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What initially inspired you guys to start BRUISED EGO? Are you happy with the way things are going so far?

So, back in September of last, Adam and I were about to go to Scandinavia with Lotus Fucker, but we were getting frustrated, both with the music and the actions of some of our bandmates. Upon returning from Scandinavia, Adam and I focused really hard on Bruised Ego. I had always wanted to play fastcore/thrashcore, but could never find the right drummer. Adam and I had been playing together for 5 years at that point and after I showed him some Hellnation songs I liked, he wanted to combine that with his fast influences like Sidetracked and xbrainiax and thus started the rough blueprint for our sound.

I am very happy with how we’re progressing. We are about to record an L.P. with Colin Marston in Queens in about a month from writing this (still searching for a label, hint hint) and a tour through upstate, Canada and the Midwest immediately following.

You guys have already been really prolific and have a number of releases out or in progress. What’s your favorite B.E. release so far?

If I’m being totally honest, I get sick of the material really quick. I feel Adam does, too. Not that I think it’s poor, but we keep getting faster to the point that I listen to old stuff, which really isn’t even really that old, and think it’s slow or boring. I still love performing everything. I’ve also recorded 80% of everything we’ve done thus far, so I get pretty burnt out on it quickly.

I’m pretty fond of the 4-way split with Disparo!, Nermal and Bossy Fit however. I finally assembled the guitar sound I had been chasing and think it’s some of the better stuff recorded. I’m also not sick of it yet, haha.

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I know you toured Brazil with one of your former bands (Lotus Fucker); what was that experience like?

This trip was very much a double-edged sword. This was about 3 years ago now I think. This was everyone but Dan’s first trip out of the US, so that to me was exciting. I was also extremely excited to share the stage with legendary noisecore acts like Noise, Industrial Holocaust and New York Against The Belzebu.

I’m going to separate the good and the bad here because on this trip I actually almost lost my leg and potentially my life:

The best parts, bar none, was the food. Everything was a three-course meal for less than $5 and delicious. I had the best steak in my life in Sao Paulo. It was very enjoyable trying all sorts of new things and experiencing the culture. These are things that I think are almost exclusive to touring. I feel unless you really know someone in another country, you never really get to see what things are like. I also had the pleasure of going to many record stores which were LOADED with cheap, rare records. Lastly, but certainly not least was how nice and accepting everyone was of us. We were cooked meals, bought beer and drugs and of course everyone wanted to party. I want to go back ASAP. Touring with Sete Star Sept was also amazing as they are one my favorites and such delightfully talented, intelligent and just beautiful people to be around.

The bad was really bad. Before I left for the trip, I was bit by some sort of insect. I originally thought it was an infected mosquito bite, so I thought nothing of it and left. Come to find out, I contracted staph and left it untreated for two days on the plane ride. I woke up the next morning and my leg was a rainbow of smoldering pus, so I rushed to a CVS of sorts in the airport hotel. The clerk barely understood me and gave me an over the counter antibiotic that I ended up being allergic to. Adam had also missed his flight that day, so I had to drum for the band that night. The next day, after picking Adam off a bus, my leg had gotten worse, So we went to a hospital. I was given more antibiotics that I was also allergic to.

At this point, I decided to rough it out. I lasted roughly 12 days of the 3 week tour. After playing Sao Chaos fest (which was a fucking outdoor camping party where millions of bugs festered on my rotting leg), we were supposed to fly to Fortelezza (probably spelled that wrong), but upon walking to airport, I lost all feeling my leg and decided to skip those two days and go to the ER. I was wheelchaired to an airport quarantine zone where some nurses told me I needed to be rushed to a hospital, as I could die in 2 days. The closest one that would see an American was a 2 hour taxi ride away, which I accepted.

Our tour driver, Rodgerio (who’s in a wonderful rock band Lo-Fi and who I owe my life to) took me to the hospital from there and cared for me from there. I received and iv injection for 5 days and the swelling and pus dissolved away. The guys came back and we finished the tour.

I know you have a pretty wide variety of musical tastes beyond grindcore. What are 5 CDs or tapes someone might find in your car on any given day?

Well, lately since I ripped my speakers out pouring too many big cabinets into my jeep, nothing haha but when they were functioning, i’d be found listening to the following:

1. Gas Chamber – Hemorrhaging Light L.P.
I still think this is the best powerviolence release in the last decade. Highly influential on my playing and writing process as well as satisfying my love of prog rock, which was some of the first music I got into. RIP.

2. Stostokovich string quartets
While I love his 7th the most, everyone of his string quartets are amazing pieces of music that I always get chills listening to. This guy’s backstory is amazing too. He’s most known for writing the most popular waltz of all time. Kind of a “one hit wonder in the popular world

3. Hail of Rage – Fucking Pissed
Most overlooked band of that whole Slap-a-Ham craze. Absolutely manic drummer.

4. Anything by Longmont Potion Castle.
A fucking brilliant prankster and timing genius. I love shit like this. It’s an art.

5. Lana Del Rey – Ultraviolent
Guilty pleasure. Nuff said.

What kinds of movies are you interested in?

I typically enjoy B-horror movies or documentaries. Other than that I guess it’s really just whatever seems appealing. I can’t even really think of the last thing I really enjoyed. I did finally watch a copy of Bloody New Year which was great. The singer Mike and I before being in the band together, who was one of my first friends when moving to Baltimore, would dub VHS tapes with our favorite music videos and get drunk. That was always fun. The Nermal guys and us also have an anti-drinking game for the first Star Wars prequel which is pretty terrible.

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Are you involved with any other bands/projects right now? I remember you telling me about wrestling-themed band when we were at the Crom/Suppression/Escuela show and it sounded kind of amazing….

I’m in a goregrind/death metal project called Embalming Process with a current member of Noisem and ex member of Lapse. Real slow stuff. We like Impetigo and Blood a lot.

I also am working on a wrestling-themed noisecore band called Omnipotent Semen. More on that soon.

Lastly, in working on a band with Nicky of Can Hagar and Matt of Water Torture on a double drum and bass band influenced by Norm Macdonald called Long Suffering Death (LSD).

What are some upcoming releases that you have planned for B.E.?

So, we have the L.P. I mentioned earlier with Colin Marston, which will be 15-20 minutes of music and hopefully out mid next year before we embark on a month long tour through Scandanvia/Germany/Denmark/Belgium and the UK I August.

I also have a self-released Sound Pollution “Tomorrow Will Be Worse” style 4×7″ box set of my favorite bands. So far, it’s Grin and Bear It from Ohio, Fissure from LA, Lugubrious Children from the UK, Bumfeeder from Philly, Pavel Chekov from Texas, Neck Breather and Crawler from Baltimore and us. Hoping to have that out by the end of 2018.

Bruised Ego – Bandcamp

Upcoming tour dates:

Sept 9th queens @ Pista Banda Unitas
Sept 11th binghamton @ tba
Sept 12th buffalo/rochester/syracuse (still need this)
Sept 13th hamilton, on (need date secured)
Sept 14th Toronto @ coalition
Sept 15th Windsor @ windsor beer exchange
Sept 16th Detroit @ tba
Sept 17th Ohio @ the leathershop
Sept 18th pittsburgh

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Interview with Harald Mentor/Siviilimurha, Ride for Revenge, Flooded Church of Asmodeus

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An interview with the tirelessly prolific Harald Mentor of  Siviilimurha, Ride for Revenge, Flooded Church of Asmodeus, Will Over Matter, Noise Waste, Irritate, Incriminated, Bestial Burst Records + more. 

You’ve created or participated in countless bands and projects since the early 90’s — I must ask, what motivates you to pursue such a variety of projects? Do you find it difficult to sustain interest, creativity and motivation to juggle so many different bands throughout the years, or do you still enjoy the process?

The motivation comes easily, this is just something that must be done or I’ll be so frustrated I’d just explode. So, violent energies to be channeled, and always been into powerful music and noise, so I have to use my rather limited technical talents in this field, just to be able to continue. That’s really my comfort zone, haha! I’m not a big name that would tour the world all the time with one band and also I don’t have a “real” day job, so there’s time enough to run my label and record different projects, even if it’s busy at times. Even if all my stuff is pretty primitive and harsh, I want to use different sounds, different themes, various line-ups, etc., so that’s why there are various projects all the time. Gives me the freedom I need to create things without too much limitations.

And hell yes, I still enjoy the process, although it’s more difficult to get them started when getting older. All the fuzz around live shows like travelling and getting the gear in place feels more stressful now, but it feels worth it, so why not! I think the balance is pretty good now, I find time to record new stuff many times a year and play a show once or twice every couple of months.

What inspired the unique, filthy noise of Siviilimurha?

 Just the noisy “pre-noisecore” stuff, most chaotic hardcore punk from early to mid-eighties. I was listening to some fast Finnish & Swedish hardcore, mentioned it to a guy who was then playing guitar in some of my bands and then we went to record “Tolkuton tuho” in our rehearsal bunker. This all happened like in one day or something, haha, it just happened in the spot without a plan.

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My first exposure was the “Tolkuton Tuho” 7″ released in 2001. On the next release I heard (your split 7″ with Ulcerrhoea) the vocal style changed significantly to the rabid, maniacal shrieking that has been a staple of your sound since! What inspired that change?

I just started to do the vocals and went over the top, there was no plan… just hit the record button and then rolled around the floor shouting and screaming… and it sounded so fucked up, we decided to keep that first vocal track I did in one take. Maybe it was influenced a bit by classic Sekunda stuff, but can’t remember properly. Very spontaneous.

What is your favorite Siviilimurha release so far?

I like that first EP and the split EP’s with Ulcerrhoea and Agathocles. And the newer stuff like songs on Saastaa Suomesta II, there’s still one split 7″ unreleased from that same session, but haven’t heard shit from the label in a long time.

You were also in Noise Waste. What is your best memory from your time doing that project? Did Noise Waste perform live?

 Noise Waste was started in 1993 I think, and lasted for three years, so all (of those) memories are surrounded with nostalgic fog. One memory that comes to mind is how our second vocalist passed out before a show and we got a local fanzine/comp. tape scenester to do the other vocals… and he sounded so weird, even if you compare them to Siviilimurha vox! Yeah, we did few shows around Finland.

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Irritate was an excellent grind band with many releases – do you have a particular favorite release from that project? Why did it come to an end?

 I don’t see Irritate as an excellent band by any means, but thank you! The songs on the split cd with Utter Bastard I like a lot. And then a couple more sessions from that era. Also the demo we did before the last album I like. The band really had no direction and sometimes the line-up wasn’t right for such style or changes of direction. Most releases have extremely bad production, and I don’t mean that in a good way. I now view it as an experimental phase in my discography. The first era was concluded as I moved away from the area, then we recorded one more demo and the last album with different line up, moved to different cities and played the last show supporting Nunslaughter… and that was it, a good way to go! I may release some of the best sessions in full some way some day as I just found all the best of them gathering dust in various locations.

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Flooded Church of Asmodeus is one of my favorite bands you are part of … brain-scouring, deranged filth of the highest order. What inspired you to start FCoA? What is the recording process like for this band?

 FCOA was born when we were listening to Gonkulator and Black Mass Of Absu with the ex-bassist Victor Israel. So we asked Adolf Christ to join in drums and went to record a demo in his bunker. And it came out sounding just right. We go through some riffs or chaotic structures some of us has and then record it with analog cassette 4-track. We use maximum volume, sometimes some of the drums go through effects and guitar amplifiers and it all comes out as massive black noise. The songs have become longer and even more improvised now, maybe we’ll move backwards a bit or maybe not!

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One of my favorite aspects of Ride for Revenge is that so many of your releases tend to have a uniform aesthetic, with very stark, primitive artwork against black background, which perfectly encapsulates the raw majesty of the actual music. Do you often take great time thinking about the artwork and presentation for RfR, and trying to find artwork that captures the ‘vibe’ of the music? Is this a challenging task?

 It depends. Sometimes I have that cover image/idea ready years before the release and sometimes I’ll have to come up with it when everything else is done. Now I have a title, a photo taken and manipulated by myself ready for the next album, but not much music yet. We’ve used drawings taken from old books, images inspired by movie scenes, artists drawing them, myself manipulating some found photos, so there’s no one way to do them. Except the lay out around them has the uniform look. It can be very challenging and frustrating at times, but sometimes it comes naturally and very easy.

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Do you have a favorite Ride for Revenge release so far that most perfectly captures your vision for the band?

Very difficult question! Although the vision is clear, they always come out a bit different that originally envisioned. Maybe in a good way, but this causes a lot of mixed feelings for me. If I’d have to give out one of our albums as a calling card, today I’d pick Ageless Powers Arise, but still it doesn’t give wide enough picture of what we’re about.

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What kind of bass(es), bass amp(s) and distortion pedal(s) do you most prefer to use? Do your equipment preferences change often?

Whatever there is really! I was never picky about this, so whatever I came across cheap or even better: free! Well, in Ride for Revenge, with pedals there are some requirements, I like to use one or two oscillator based custom-built noisy ones, so I’m able to make weird noises when needed. Maybe some phaser or even delay pedals now and then in the middle. Then as last in the chain there should be cheap ass Digitech Death Metal distortion, because it provides enough distortion and low-end to… kill everything! I have some fancier stuff, too, but they can’t produce enough noise, so I hardly use them. Not looking for anything nice or organic, I’m more into destructive side of things!

In Ride for Revenge, I now play 5-string Ibanez bass, cause it allows me more range and as we play in B tuning it feels natural, active mics so the sound’s more stable. In some other projects I prefer to use cheaper four string basses with passive mics to make more rattle. For amps, simply what’s needed: the ones that can handle enough volume. I’m pretty good in digging up the sound needed to shake the ground, so I feel at home with any equipment at hand. I also like the challenge of limited resources, there’s so much to discover by searching the sound and I’m not afraid to use sounds I never heard anywhere before. It’s more like getting the best out of what’s available and not having too strict preferences to start with, it provides more danger and excitement than having a shopping list of well-known, well-tested brands and combinations of them. With some projects I also use small practice amps or even record distortion pedals straight into line. No rules in Hell!

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 What is your everyday life like in Finland? Do you enjoy living there?

I pretty much work on my label and bands, so not making big bucks but I survive by doing what I do. Moved from Helsinki to a small seaside town with a cool history, nature and quiet, just one hour away from the capital and like it much more here as it’s not that hectic and people are not so much of that “me first” style busy yuppie assholes, haha! We’ve space enough for a bunch of cats, couple of dogs and a motorcycle… So yeah I enjoy living here. If you don’t count the politicians, multinational money taking over the natural resources, and most people in general, Finland is the best country for me.

You run BESTIAL BURST Records, an excellent label with a long history of compelling releases. What are some of your current favorite releases on BB? Is it stressful to run a label as busy as BB while also doing so many musical projects?

Too hard to pick favourites there, but let’s say I’m extremely proud to have released Oksennus “Sokea idiootti” album on vinyl and cd, Chaos Cascade album is devastating, EDASI “Fake Wheel” is very dear to me as I like the lo-fi approach of improvised psychedelic ritual black metal, haha! Tons of stuff I’m proud of in Bestial Burst discography, could list almost all of them. The resources are limited, so especially the financial side of things can be quite stressing. The things that I love to release don’t always make the money needed for the next ones, but that’s the price of freedom I need to maintain.

What (if any) genre of film do you enjoy? Have you seen any films recently that you would recommend?

Yeah it’s mostly those “genre movies” I enjoy the most. Classic horror, more gory stuff, post nuke, gritty action, Italian crime movies of the 70’s, old sci-fi, sexploitation, biker… Mostly stuff before the 90´s. Documentaries too (made two myself, haha!). Totally into weird obscure stuff. Recently watched “Shakedown” (1988), “Stone” (1974), “Chosen Survivors” (1974), “Wanted: Dead or Alive” (1987) and next I’m gonna once again watch Umberto Lenzi´s “Almost Human” (1974). I’d recommend all of those.

Your drink of choice?

I mostly drink cheap beer or dry cider, but screwdriver made of blood orange or gin tonic are often preferred. Can’t answer your questions straight, crooked me.

 Thank you for taking the time to do this interview. Any final comments?

Thank you so much for your interest in my activities! “Some things can grow without the light, alright” -Ronnie James Dio

Bestial Burst Records

Bestial Burst on FB

 

Interview with Ucchy/Napalm Death is Dead, cunts

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Photo credit: Japanvibe.net

Interview with Ucchy by Rado/Sedem Minut Strachu

Hi Ucchy, how many beers did you have yesterday and what’s your plan for tonight?

Hi, Rado! I drank 8 beers after eating ramen w/Punkuboi and my wife. Orion beer from Okinawa tastes good, let’s drink when you next come to Japan.

How can I say “cunts” in japanese?

This word has several names, but most popular is OMANKO.

Is there a band called OMANKO in Japan or is it too dangerous to call a band that in your country?

Haha, this name is dangerous here!! But legendary GEROGERIGEGEGE had side project called “The Omanko”.

OK, please name all the bands you have ever played in, in order they have started.

cunts, Napalm Death Is Dead, AVA, 94th6, Vltar, Pico Pico Unholy, FrozenPanty and His Dirty Hearts, FrozenPanty and Punks Not Dead Kennedys, FrozenPanty and the Daigyakusatu, Napalm Death no Shigai, Sedem Minut Strachu, Deche-Charge… maybe that’s all.

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I am not going to ask you which of your present bands is the most important for you because I think all are equal to you, but which one is the most time consuming? Which one is the most active? Which one is the most and which one is the least popular in Tokyo?

Yes, all equal. But my main bands are cunts and Napalm Death Is Dead. My other permanent band called Vltar (sludgecore band) has now stopped activity, but it’s also important for me. of course playing AVA is really FUN.  But all Japanese don’t know my bands, haha.

Talking about Cunts, NDID and also AVA …. When and how do you guys “compose”? Ok, I know it’s not the opera kind of compositions in any of these bands but still, you must talk / prepare at least something together, so how this works with your bands?

About cunts…
This band’s idea came to me when I was 19 years old, as drum programming and vocal style noisecore. But I can’t program drums,haha. Luckily I found a drummer who had interest in my project at university. After some sessions, I asked him “Which do you like Anus or Cunts?” and he said “cunts is better.”  And cunts started. But he left,and now I play with the fourth drummer in cunts.

About NDID…
Me and another friend wanted to start a doom metal band.  I wanted to play drums (because I thought playing drums slowly would be easy, I had NEVER played drums, haha), another guy wanted to play guitar, and no one wanted to play bass, so I asked Hirotakanto for bass player  (I had met him one time then) but the guitarist guy lost interest to play in this band, so we started to play noisecore without him.

About AVA…
About 2 years ago, I and my old friend Orita Chaotic (from noisecore band called Nishi-no-Chaotic) watched Faxed Head video, and really into this band especially their MASKS, so we started with masks for fun.

How was the US tour? It was your first time in USA, right? What was the biggest and the most hard to accept difference between Japan and USA for you?

LOT OF FUN!!!! Penis Geyser guys (Hi,Mikeal and Brad!!) are really kind, man, of course they always burst kick ass sounds!! I really enjoyed this tour w/great band.

Difference…  of course most biggest difference is “language”. They speak naturally and fluently, but in my case, ahh….to think what should I say, so one answer takes a long time!! But we can cover with friendship with that.  I want to go to US again!!

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I have heard about cool show in Ohio, oh man, I only wish to have such an awesome review of our show like you guys got from that metal guy there!!  How was that gig  for you?

Hahaha!! Yes, his review is collect as metal fanatics, not noise monger like us. I have a lot of friends into metal music,and I also like South American metal bands like Necrofago, Sex Trash, Holocausto etc.  Metal music is no crime, but that guy should be burn in hell!!

Ohio show was awesome!! SPACEGRINDER did his best gig!!

Do you know that one gigplace in USA was canceled because of your band’s name? Yes it’s true! Funny thing is the other band’s name on the same list (Penis Geyser) was no problem…

In case it’s true, we should change the name to “the OMANKO…”

Another funny story is … In Vancouver local friends told me to better not wear your (cunts) longsleeve t-shirt because people in club where we played could feel offended. Didn’t you have problems like this on your USA tour? also … Ucchy, why are you sooo offensive bastard?

I’m offensive? Really? I’m just gentle and humorous man, you know. In Japan, Japanese people don’t know mean of “cunts”, so no problem. hahaha.

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Photo credit: Japanvibe.net

In Slovakia nobody gives a fuck if I wear Cunts shirt, because we are very open-minded … well, sorry, that’s bullshit, it’s because we are too stupid to understand English. Is that the reason you can wear such a stupid shirt in Japan as well, or are Japanese people really that open-minded?

Sadly, almost Japanese people can’t speak English or understand meaning of words written on shirt. So i saw young woman wearing shirt that say “BITCH.” Japanese mind not about meaning, but only design. Haha, stupid.

But I can’t wear some porn-grind band’s offensive design for some sexual minority…
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(flyer from cunts show in Baltimore, MD, USA)

 
Please, tell us the story how Shane Embury contacted Napalm Death Is Dead on Facebook.

Not Facebook, but MySpace! That is about 10 years ago … I opened MySpace account, and aw one message arrived. From Shane!! I thought it was maybe an offer to be Napalm Death’s opening act, but it was not.  It just said “We are not dead.” So we ignored it.

I now you are huge Brujeria fan, What do you think about their new stuff? Are you able to recognize Shane Embury when masked on Brujeria pictures?

I LOVE BRUJERIA!! 1st is best, 2nd is so-so, 3rd album sucks, and I bought their newest cd in US, it sucks too, haha.  in my case, Brujeria is 1st album and “Marijuana”!! That’s song really cheap and nonsense like our music!!  Yes, Shane is too fat to be mysterious.

What are your next, the real, actual release plans with any of your bands?

cunts
split w/Sedem Minut Strachu, 7ep
split w/Energumeno, 7ep
split w/Noise Brutalizer,
mini album CD called “Fairlytale”,
LP from Rage for All

Napalm Death Is Dead,
split w/Facepalm Death cass
split w/Morte Lenta 7ep,
one sided 7ep
and some split cassettes,

AVA
something…

Is Shit-Eye Cassettes still active? Do you have any plans to release something new, can people still contact you to buy or trade your stuff?

In my organized gig, as Shit-Eye cassettes, I opened to sell something, but I’ll release Yuretsuzukeru/Feral Squat and cunts’ mini album.

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Ucchy in Baltimore 2016 with Rado & Richard/7M$, Jason/Suppression and Mason & Jake/Reeking Cross

If I put you into dark room for 24hrs and you can choose one record that I will play you at maximum volume on repeat, which one you choose?

Mmm… difficult question… but it will be DxIxE/Drown Bairon Q split cassette, this cassette is my all time favorite.

Have you ever played naked? if not, would you like to?
I’m too shy to appear without clothes… just my wife can see this big cock.

Do you think Seth Putnam have ever heard about the Cunts?   
Haha, maybe NO. But about 12 years ago, I know the editor of a Japanese grindcore fanzine asked Seth about cunts.

Editor : Do you know the Japanese band called cunts?
Seth : I don’t know, it is a girl band?
Editor : No,it is noisecore duo by two guys.
Seth : Male? No interest.

Haha, funny story!!

I know you are going to play a gig with some huge japanese noise act soon, please tell, so all the readers can be jealous.
Next August,NxDxIxD will go to Osaka with Macrochord,Noise A Go Go’s and will do a gig w/Masonna! In fact, I have seen him live only one time (because me and my father are posers), so this will be my second. I’m really looking forward to it!

Ok dear friend , I need to finish this beer and go to work, so here’s the place for whatever you want to add, thanks for this interview and enjoy all tomorrow’s beers.
Thanks for this opportunity, Rado and Mason!! Kiss, Hug and Noise!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Click here to listen to cunts side of cunts/Anal Butt split 7″

cunts live in Baltimore (partial)

Interview with Josh/RADIATION BLACKBODY

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I’ve been saving this one for awhile, mostly because I’ve tried and failed to come up with a fitting introduction after a half-dozen or so attempts.  Bottom line, if you don’t like this band, there’s a strong possibility that you’re a complete asshole with terrible taste in everything.  Many thanks to Josh for putting up with my long-winded bullshit questions. 

When I first got my hands on RADIATION BLACKBODY vinyl, I was immediately struck by the artwork, which brought to mind flipping through issues of Re/Search and seems to fit your music so incredibly well for reasons I can’t really articulate, but I often find myself staring at the cover of “Falling…” while listening to the record, which isn’t something I often do with albums. I can almost imagine you and Joel playing next to some primitive computer that’s decoding the music into glyphs and patterns. I feel like there’s almost a defiant element to, it, too – unlike the majority of grindcore/HC album covers (not that RBB comfortably fits into either genre), it’s not artwork designed to goad your average dullard into buying it.  There’s something intimidating about it that almost says, “This is probably gonna be too fucking alien for your weak-ass brain to assimilate; move along.”  Or maybe I’m reading way too much into – or misinterpreting – all of this.  How intentional is your approach to the artwork and the overall aesthetic?

I love old Re/Search, I found the first three tabloid issues at a comic book store in Bangor, ME when I was 19. They were only a dollar or two each! Those, along with the Burroughs/ Gyson/ TG, JG Ballard, and Industrial Culture Handbook issues were a pretty huge influence on me. It’s boring to hear an old man prattle on about how things pre-internet were more difficult to access, but it is accurate. I wouldn’t go back to that time, but I do know the lack of immediate availability meant that I treasured these items more than I probably would now. These were items that were pored over for years, digested, and discussed with the few other people I would run into who also knew them. They were like giant catalogs of ideas (along with the AMOK journals), links to obscure shit to track down.

I think the aesthetic influence from Re/Search and EXIT, Apocalypse Culture, etc., is that at first glance the designs are just stark black and white, direct or assaulting artwork, coupled with brief, factual information. Of course, most of that shit had layers of meaning that may take some time to extract (especially if you’re slow like me). So it’s attention-grabbing or shocking, but also has some subtlety in its meaning. Concepts disguised or buried, intriguing. I connect it to Pettibon as well, a jarring image juxtaposed with an evocative line of text, that can at first appear disconnected and unsettling, but actually fits. The interaction of the text and image together elicits more than the two individually.

With the record artwork, I try to begin with something clinical and mathematical, sharp lines, derived through repetition, until I find something interesting. Then process it and degrade it, make the various objects and titles interact in a way that creates tension. It’s similar to how I think of the music. And to only convey the least information necessary. I don’t want extraneous words or lyrics or platforms or anything beyond what the music and artwork are. Not that it’s all without intent, but I would prefer to leave that up to anyone to figure out on their own, if they choose. I really hate to be ‘instructed’ by bands (or movies or novels or most anyone), and assume most other people hate that too. And if you don’t want to think about it, you don’t have to. You can just blast the record and dance around or whatever people do when they listen.

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This hits on something that I find kind of interesting and disheartening – why so few grind or HC bands seem interested in cultivating a distinctive, personal visual aesthetic. From experience, I know that’s often attributable to having to compromise on something that 4 or 5 members of a band can all agree upon, rather than (as you mentioned with Black Flag & Pettibon) entrusting one person to guide the visual component of a band’s presentation. Did you and Joel have conversations about how you’d approach this with RBB, or was it something that you naturally took the lead on? Was it refreshing to have the freedom to take the lead on the artwork (presumably) without having to reach a consensus among several bandmates?

I think of Rudimentary Peni or Voïvod ‎or Crass as having really strong, immediately identifiable, cohesive design across all the records. I love those covers and knowing instantly what it is when you see it. Of course that comes from a single person doing all the covers. But then I also think of the ongoing mental illness of branding; generating some kind of marketable, projected identity that’s not necessarily accurate. Like bands cashing in on Pushead-style designs in the early ’00s, using that as a signifier, or upside-down crosses or pizza or unprintable characters. “Psychological methods to sell should be destroyed.” You know Nick Blinko meant every tiny line he drew on those RP covers, he wasn’t playing dress-up. I remember in Anodyne, Adam at Escape Artist designed a logo for us, one I liked. Then we used it on every record, tshirt, patch, and sticker, and when I thought it was time to use something else it became an issue. We weren’t Coca-Cola, we were a shitty hardcore band, it didn’t matter if we used a different logo. There’s nothing to lose, and I don’t want to be bound to something useless.

Joel came up with the image for the first RBB cover, and his designs on the Grueling Sentence records are excellent. I think subsequent RBB designs fell to me because I was constantly generating images, sending them to Joel, and he liked them. It’s infinitely easier when I only have to deal with one other person. Especially because we are in alignment aesthetically, for the most part. I think we have a certain division of labor between visual design and recording, and we defer to each other on those respective planes.

The goal is to create designs and music that don’t look or sound like anyone else. Obviously we don’t make any of this in a vacuum, so our influences (negative and positive) reveal themselves and the goal is not achieved, but this is what we’re striving for. Ultimately, along with everyone else, we are just adding more noise and detritus to our garbage world. But I don’t know any other way to make existence bearable. So eat my shit, earth.

RBB has a way of crafting songs that, although extremely complex and nuanced, doesn’t allow complexity to become the sole focus of what you’re doing.  There’s something very ‘organic’ sounding about all of it, for lack of a less hacky word. How does your writing process work? How much do you guys do individually vs. writing together? Is there much in the way of improvisation involved?

This will be painfully boring. From my side, the writing process is similar to the artwork process. Constantly repeating an interesting pattern or figure until it’s corrupted and hideous. Sometimes I’ll write riffs at home, other times I’m just mindlessly playing between songs at practice until Joel says, ‘That was cool, play it again,’ and we start developing it into something. Or Joel will write a riff in between practices and teach it to me. Then we (d)evolve from there. Once the basic structure is established, we decide to either expand existing parts, or change notes, or think, ‘It would be cool to have a blast (or whatever) part here.’

The songs continue to shift as we practice them. Sometimes a progression will suddenly sound too rock-n-roll or otherwise off and we’ll change the notes. Sometimes a part is weak or uninteresting, or needs the timing improved. Sometimes a song needs another part. Sometimes Joel wants to change the drums and that changes how I hear and play the riff. We’ve played songs live that we’ve gone back and changed, but once a song is recorded, that’s how it remains.

You and Joel have been playing together since Anodyne. After so many years of playing together (and now scaled down to bass and drums) is it a challenge to maintain a sense of vitality/’freshness’ when it comes to writing/performing? 

We started playing together in Anodyne late summer 2000. Two people in a band is the perfect amount for what I want to do. It also means there’s only a single person I need to talk to, discuss and compromise and make schedules with, and take up space in the songs and practice space. We each have our own separate sonic world that we don’t need to share. The down side is that it also means there’s only two people to drive and pay for things.

Any lack of freshness or vitality is only ever in the practice space, briefly, if I hit a writing block. I tend of default to the same structure of patterns, which can be frustrating, but eventually either Joel figures something out or some alien thought will creep in and we can get started again. Playing live is always exciting, especially given how infrequently we play these days.

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Dopey question, but I have to ask what kind of gear you’re using, as you have a monstrous bass sound. Is that something you’ve spent a good amount of time working on?

It was Joel who suggested I split the signal through both my bass amp and a guitar stack. For low-end, I currently I use a Gallien-Kruger 800RB that I got in the mid-’90s and have had repaired many times. Usually on tour, under miserably desperate circumstances. I had a GK 400RB in the first real band I played it, but accidentally set it on fire at the third (or so) show I played because I was too stupid to match the resistance.

I have an Ampeg 8×10″ SVT cab. Until recently it was the same one I’ve had since the ’90s, also smashed and rebuilt and destroyed over the years. Sending giant square waves through the speakers is a terrible idea, so I’ve replaced more cones (at $70+ apiece) than I would like to think about. For awhile there was a family of roaches living in it, but that’s NYC, right? In October I got a new one from a really nice guy Buffalo. I also have a Mesa 400+ that sounds great, but I haven’t been using it lately.

For the guitar side I have a Peavey 6505 running through two Mesa 4×12″s that I got from Aaron. I have one of the ’80s Japanese Jazz Bass Specials, before they became the Duff McKagan model. I need another one as I keep smashing the electronics out of it. I split the signal using one of those Boss tuners. The bass side also runs through a Boss DS-1 that was modified by a guy in South Brooklyn, and a Sonic Maximizer in the effects loop.

What attracted you to playing bass? Are you someone who looks (or has looked) to bass players for inspiration? Can you share some of those names, if so?

I was always a half-assed guitar player, it was my first instrument as a teenager. I had people try to persuade me to play bass as generally everyone wants to be a guitar wizard and thinks they need some talentless fool to back them up. At some point I had a friend/ roommate who was starting a band and they were cycling through bass players, unable to find anyone they liked. They decided I was easy enough to get along with (huh?), knew the basics, and had similar-enough taste in music, so why not just teach me what to do. The music was pretty simple, and I just learned to play bass that way. I continued playing bass because I enjoy it and I’m much better at it than guitar. Standing in front of an 8×10″ with giant waves enveloping and smashing has always been a great feeling.

Most of my influences are people with really prominent bass sounds, or music that’s heavily bass-oriented. Obvious influences include NoMeansNo, Ruins, Mike Watt, Kira Roessler, Jason from Suppression, Eric and Kenyon from Man is the Bastard, Blacky from Voïvod ‎, Chris Squire from Yes, Shane Embury, both guys from Rorschach. David Wm Sims from The Jesus Lizard was a giant influence. Especially the weird interplay between him and the drummer, shifting accents flipping the riffs around. Learning his basslines when I started playing had a big effect on me. And anyone playing bass with distortion certainly owes a debt to Danny Lilker.

I also have reactionary influences, I will dump riffs or parts that remind me of breakdowns or gross rock-n-roll bullshit, funk, anything groovy or “stoney.”  Things I think are stupid or cheap or obvious. People make jokes/ are serious about us sounding like Primus, but these muttonheads have either never heard Primus or never heard us, or are profoundly developmentally disabled.

The biggest influence is playing in bands with other people and trying to figure out what works and why.  So Mike Hill and Aaron Nichols were both major influences.  Now I mainly try to figure out parts that sound good, are challenging, and I don’t get bored playing.  I assume this is most everyone’s approach.

What is the most difficult aspect of being in a two-piece band?

Being a two piece band is great. The only downside is that neither of us have that outgoing overachiever personality, so we do a lot less show-wise than we have in other bands with more stronger, more personable personalities.

To go back to the visual component of RBB, I’m curious if you’re interested in film, and if so, what (kinds of) movies pique your interest?

Horror movies are generally my favorite. Basically anything with gore, sleaze, bad intentions, uncomfortable scenarios, weirdness, vicious cruelty, and negativity. Movies that either completely overwhelm the senses or prompt thinking in novel ways through weird connections. But really, I will watch pretty much anything, I have no taste. I could make a list, but it’s not going to be anything you don’t already know.

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 Do you read fiction? Are there any particular authors/books you’re enjoying at the moment?

Lately been reading a lot of music biographies, even of people I don’t like (Kim Gordon, Al Jourgensen). I do read a lot of fiction though, Michel Houllebecq and Cormac McCarthy lately top my favorites list. Bleak inescapable/ terminal reality, explicitly described in beautiful language (acknowledging that MH is translated, so not getting first order impact there). My friend Jason recommended a Nabokov short story collection I enjoyed. Recently ran through a few Kobo Abe books that were weird and amazing, especially The Box Man, which I recommend to everyone, probably to their annoyance. Otherwise, I recently finished up some Céline and Mishima novels, and will finally attack William Gass’s The Tunnel once I finish the Harley Flanagan and Replacements books I am currently reading.

How do you feel about the resurgence of the cassette? Do you have any strong preferences in regard to format (vinyl, CD, cassette, digital, etc), when listening to music?

Well, records are a favorite, as aside from radio, that was my introduction to music. I still buy as many as I can afford. I don’t buy CDs or have a CD player, but I guess they are useful for adding songs to my phone. Cassettes are popular these days, and I will buy them if there is no vinyl version. For RBB I am only interested in putting out vinyl, and of course making the files available online. I’m not an elitist trying to prevent easy access to our music.

This is a somewhat lazy excuse for a question, but given that we’re at the tail end of 2016, can you share some of the releases that you especially enjoyed from last year? Were there any glaring disappointments or surprises?

High points include the Vorum LP, Profane Order tape, Prisoner of War LP, Abhomine LP, Sea of Shit 7″ and their split LP with Sick/ Tired, the second Disrotted LP, took a minute but I finally absorbed the Altarage LP, and despite the hype, Blood Incantation was amazing live, even if the LP was not 100%. And not to be a close-talking creep, but I love the Reeking Cross tapes you sent. Thank you.

Not exactly a disappointment, but the new Virus didn’t floor me like the previous ones. Same with the Chaos Echoes demos LP.  They’re good, but not as psychically obliterating as that LP.  Otherwise I assume most things are going to be dogshit, so it’s always a happy surprise when they are not.  I was disappointed that neither of the Sect Pig EPs were released this year, despite early announcement.  I think they’re out early 2017.

What is coming up in 2017 for Radiation Blackbody?

We have an LP on Diseased Audio coming out soon. This will be followed by a split 7″ with Sea of Shit on Anthems of the Undesirable. We discussed doing a collaboration with our friend Aerin that hasn’t yet occurred. We hope to work with them this year. We would like to play on the west coast.

RBB on Bandcamp

Get the “Maximum Entropy and the Nearly Black Object” 7″

 

Interview with Rado/SEDEM MINÚT STRACHU

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When SEDEM MINÚT STRACHU came to Baltimore last summer with FINAL EXIT, CUNTS, SPACEGRINDER and PENIS GEYSER, they surprised me by playing what was probably the best, most energetic, chaotic, and fun live noisecore set I’ve ever seen.  They also happen to be great people, and it was a real pleasure getting to meet them and hang out for awhile.  Here’s an interview with the great Rado.

Sedem Minut Strachu surely has to be one of the busiest, most prolific noisecore bands in existence right now. What is your recording process like? Do you typically record for many releases at the same time?

Sorry, but I have no time to answer your questions since I need to compose our new material for Century Media’s noisecore division, Sedem Sete Records; we are about to leave for our middle-Africa “Volkswagen Noise Wheels” tour soon, so we need to finish our new “Happy Noisecore Christmas!” CD. The fucking market, you know… but since you are a good ‘ol friend, I’ll tell you. Yes, we are always busy because we love it; we feel honored when somebody asks us for a split or any release or t-shirt or whatever. We have never turned down a single offer, plus from time to time we of course also bother our old heroes to share a split with us, so you see, we really are busy, because we love to being busy with our band.

When we record, we usually pay for 5-6 hours in our friend’s home studio that costs us some fifty euros, and we always leave the place drunk with several finished recordings.

We record everything, and we release everything, so if in twenty years Sub Pop asks us for any rare, unreleased stuff to complete our 30CD boxset, we will be sorry, because there is none!

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7M$ live in Baltimore (with Penis Geyser/Cunts/Spacegrinder/Final Exit)

I had the pleasure of meeting you, Jan & Richard when you played in Baltimore on your recent U.S./Canadian tour, and it was excellent to have the chance to witness 7M$ live! How was the tour for you? What were some of the best parts of it?

It was awesome and a huge pleasure for us to meet you and all the other great people in Baltimore. Enemy Soil, Hellnation, Brody’s Militia and Suppression were among the very first bands we heard when we started to explore the extreme HC/grind underground back in mid-90s, and honestly we all are still huge fans of these, so to shake hands and take pictures with you guys was a real honour to us, once again thanks for coming. The tour was totally great, half of it was just us and the second half we spent on the road with Final Exit.

I’ve heard Final Exit for the first time in ’97 and love them since, so I’d be happy to spend a week in jail with them, much less to travel with them and to see them play every night. One of the highlights of my life so far!

Everything on the tour was great, we liked your country, we liked Canada, we liked everybody and everything and if there was something not completely good on the road, it is absolutely not worth a mention here. Well, two really bad things happened: Gowl and Reeking Cross canceled their gigs with us, and that did hurt, guys.

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What is your day-to-day life like in Slovakia? Do you enjoy living there? Is it difficult to balance being in 7M$ and other band projects with job and family obligations?

I enjoy living here, but I am no kind of patriot or whatever, I mean, I love my home with my family, my records, I love some cool lakes and places here, I love our pretty good and cheap beer and I love my good friends here, but I also love to travel. I feel a strong urge to leave the country every few months just to be abroad, to not understand a single person, to hang around alone in a different country.  I totally love the sea and warm weather and to explore other countries’ food and culture, and I simply need to be alone for few days every now and than. Since my children are already a bit grown and much prefer not to be disturbed by something as unimportant as (their) father while beating the hell out of their notebooks, it’s not that hard to balance this with my bands and other hobbies anymore.  My job, that’s another story – it’s very hard to balance anything with that shit.

I know you have a wide variety of musical tastes, not just noise/grindcore. What are 5 CDs or tapes someone might find in your car on any given day?

In my car? I for sure never listen to noisecore or grindcore or whatever-core there. I want to singalong and move to the rhythm when driving, so in my car you would find New Model Army, Lama, Shane MacGowan, Psi Vojaci ( old Czech bigbeat ) and “Number Of The Beast.” And R.E.M., too.  That was a cool question! Can you imagine somebody blasting Gero’s “Showa” in the car? Hahaha…  (I can indeed!)

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What kinds of movies are you interested in?

I like all “Saw”  movies, I like shit like “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” or “Spun,” or generally funny movies about drugs, “The Name of the Rose” is perfect, I love documentaries about music and literature, underground especially Czech stuff from 60s-80s, but generally all rock n roll / bigbeat / punk documentaries.

I like movies from Kaurismäki brothers (especially Zombie ja Kummitusjuna), Tarantino, Kusturica, I like movies based on Hrabal’s books, etc. I don’t like horror movies except for very few classics I saw when I was a kid, especially I don’t like any of that cult Italian and whatever underground horror stuff that everybody does, I don’t like westerns, I hate Clint Eastwood (I spit ten times better than him anyway). I am not fan of Alien, Dune, Predator and all other cult sci-fi shit, fuck Batman and fuck Superman, fuck all comics. And of course I like a lot all that romantic stuff on Redtube and similar channels.

7M$ has several releases out – can you tell me if you have any particular favorites?

I like the SSMFS collab 10″ because it’s different. I like Massola collab CD for the same reason. I like all the splits with the bands we are real friends with, I am honored to had a chance to share splits with 7MON, Suppression, Reeking Cross, Deche-Charge…

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You recently released a new LP, “General Fucking” on At War With False Noise – how did this come about?  Are you happy with the result?

I have been in contact with Al for some ten years, we’ve met few times, he’s a great guy and AWWFN is a special and great label to me, because of so many different music styles he releases, and all great stuff. I was surprised and of course very happy when he offered us an LP release, we are still very, very thankful for this, cheers Al! We are happy as fuck with the result, can’t deny that, and it’s great to be a labelmate with Wino, isn’t it?

The artwork for the LP is excellent and fits it perfectly! Who did the art for that?

Thank you very much, happy you like it! Our friend Obluda redrew the sketch we did with our friends and girlfriends one drunken evening at Richard’s. It’s a kind of parody on company where Richard’s girlfriend works, it’s a truck company called General Trucking, her boss knows about this and I’ve heard he printed a big poster of the cover and put it on the wall at his office! Obluda already did few other covers for us before, like that PTAO split or our part of the Erectile Dementia split, he’s really great I think.

Can you tell me about your other band, Temnohoň?

Temnohoň is a beer parody on blackmetal, we are inspired by ukrainian band Temnozor – which translates to “he who has a dark view” and Slovak band Temnohor – which translates “he who lives in dark mountains.” Temnohoň translates to “he who masturbates in dark”. We are also very inspired by one of the greatest comedy ever called Nuclear War Now! forum. We play MSBN (translates: mentally low black noise) exclusively.

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What releases do you have coming up next?

The test press for the split 10″ with DeBlenders is ready and confirmed, a split 7″ with Suppression on RSR is planned or in the press already, a few days ago we just agreed on split 7″ with Anarco Vomit Noise from Brazil (new recordings, not the stuff from the tape), 7M$ feat. Massola / Cunts split 7″ on Awesome Mosh Power Records is planned for some time already … and amongst few other cool split tape offers, we will also join and spoil what otherwise could be an amazing Reeking Cross / Sadistic Lingam Cult split tape, sorry, Andy!

SEDEM MINUT STRACHU on Bandcamp

Interview with Pierre/BLUE HOLOCAUST & VOMI NOIR

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I first became aware of BLUE HOLOCAUST from their three-way split CD with SAVAGE MAN, SAVAGE BEAST and MICROPHALLUS (2001).  Pierre’s (formerly) one-man campaign of giallo-obsessed goregrind savagery has since expanded to include a second and equally devastating band, VOMI NOIR, whose bassist and drummer have since joined BLUE HOLOCAUST, as well. 

Pierre is also a tremendously talented artist – if you’re reading this blog, you’ve probably seen his artwork on more than one occasion already – and also runs BRAINDEAD, an excellent webzine dedicated to underground/DIY grindcore & goregrind that I’ve spent countless hours reading.  Thanks to Pierre for the interview! 

Your new band, VOMI NOIR, marks a significant change for you compared to BLUE HOLOCAUST, in that you now have a full band – what was it like for you to transition from doing everything by yourself to actually collaborating, working with a drummer and playing live?

Yes, I made multiple attempts to form a band in the past, but they all failed miserably every time. I actually moved to a bigger city in recent years and was able to get a band going more easily this way… At first I found a friend to play bass for BLUE HOLOCAUST and we rehearsed old and new tunes for a drum machine set! But eventually we found a drummer who was available through another friend.

Doing BLUE HOLOCAUST by myself derived from a desire to create the type of grindcore I wanted to hear, but it was eventually kind of frustrating only working by myself. Finally playing with flesh and blood persons is a bit more fulfilling and more of a real commitment to get things done, and not procrastinate quite as much. We formed VOMI NOIR, but we’re still doing BLUE HOLOCAUST, too, and working on a full length album right now!

What is your recording set-up like? Is there a particular guitar amp or simulator that you prefer to use? Do you enjoy programming drums or was it a result of not having a reliable drummer to work with?

It kind of evolved with time… I’ve never been satisfied with my sound, I’ve just always been using whatever crappy equipment was available to me. Originally, in the “Twitch of the Death Nerve” era, I was playing on a small Fender amp, plugging it directly into my computer without any sort of interface… I think I might have fried a soundcard or two this way… Basically using Cubase and programming drums through that, too. I tried mic’ing amps for a long time, but I could never get a satisfying sound. I tried every amp simulator. Lately it’s been a combination of Line 6 stuff, Gearbox & Amplitube, and Superior Drummer for the drum sound. Our tracks for the upcoming split 7” with ROSKOPP were done this way, for example.

I only bought my first real amp recently though… It’s a ENGL Ritchie Blackmore that belonged to a dude who shares the same practice room… I’d like to record from a real amp on the upcoming VOMI NOIR & BLUE HOLOCAUST recordings!

I don’t particularly enjoy programming drums, but it’s a good way to demo songs, so I’m still programming drums and sending demo tracks to my bandmates before we start working on new tunes! When riff ideas creep up in my mind, I like being able to record a version of the songs with the beats I hear in my head, as well. But we started working with recording drums with my drummer first so I can come up with riffs afterwards… That gives a different dynamics to songs… Maybe more spontaneous, we might try that more often in the future!

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I know of your interest in giallo and horror film in general – what do you think about the state of horror films these days? Are there any you’ve seen in the last few years that you’ve especially enjoyed?

Hmmm… I don’t really keep up to date with modern horror… I haven’t seen anything particularly good lately. I was hoping I would dig Eli Roth’s “Green Inferno” (since I didn’t mind “Hostel”) but I thought it kind of sucked. I did enjoy the “Maniac” remake, the first half of “Martyrs”… Some stuff like “Amer” or “Berberian Sound Studio” paying homage to giallo could have been my thing, but they don’t provide the chills for me, there’s something missing…

There might be decent stuff out there I’m not aware of? I usually immerse myself in older movies, and there’s so many older movies I haven’t seen yet, I’d rather catch up on those…

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You are an amazing artist, and extremely generous with your time and talents in doing cover art and logos for many bands – when did you begin drawing? Were there any particular artists that influenced you as your skill progressed? Do you enjoy the process or is it a painstaking, time-consuming one?

Thanks, man! Well, I began drawing as a kid I guess, like everyone… I remember drawing my own Garbage Pail Kids “stickers” since I wasn’t allowed to buy them. So that’d be one of my first influences… I would always draw gory stuff in the margins during school…  I remember coming up with fake band names and drawing logos and covers for ‘em pretty early, too!

I guess Vince Locke, Stevo/Impetigo, Luisma/Haemorrhage have been influences… And especially Jeff Walker, I’ve been aping the “Scum” cover drawing style a lot these past few years… I dig the look of it, but these artworks are a fucking pain in the ass and super time-consuming to do. I’m beginning to feel burned out on this stuff… I always thought logos were my weak point, so I tried to focus more on those lately, not really sure they got any better…

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You run one of the best, most well-informed resources for grind/goregrind reviews on the internet with BRAINDEAD. I know I’ve spent hours on that site discovering new bands and reading reviews. What is/was the biggest challenge of running BRAINDEAD? Do you plan to continue adding new content?

Thanks again… Yeah, when I started the website there wasn’t a lot of information out there about the type of goregrind and grindcore I liked… I just had a lot of fun with it especially in the early years… Getting to write to my favorite bands, etc, was exciting! I get burned out every now and then, like right now. It’s difficult to recapture the same type of enthusiasm I used to have… And some sites like Goodguysgogrind have like, ten interviews out during the time I struggle to come up for questions for just one… I tend to get disheartened quickly, maybe I’m too old for this shit. But right now, I’d still like to do a printed version of BRAINDEAD, that’s the main thing I’d like to do with it, might be a mix of old stuff and new and featuring a lot of my artwork…

I’ve been leaving the website alone for a while, I know, but maybe I’ll bring it back some time… Enthusiasm comes and goes.

 

It seems that these days, there are not nearly as many grindcore bands with politically-geared lyrics as there were in the 90s. How do you feel about grind bands with politically-charged lyrics, and why do you think there are fewer of them now?

Yeah, that’s possible! Maybe people are more and more disillusioned nowadays about changing things with lyrics?! I don’t know… Stuff like early Napalm Death, Agathocles, Disrupt, Drop Dead, Enemy Soil & Wadge definitely influenced my way of thinking. Personally, I don’t think I could write political stuff… I’m way too confused and I don’t really like to preach anything… I’d rather write about general disgust, insanity, death and gore which feel more personal to me anyway… I just love songs about dying horribly the most.

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Everyday when I look online,I see new goregrind band names or logos popping up. There seems to be new bands (or projects, in many cases) coming up all the time, and because recording software is so accessible and sites like Bandcamp and Facebook make it easier than ever to spread info on new bands, sometimes it can be hard to separate the garbage from good quality bands. Has this effected you at all, or your interest in checking out new bands? Are there any new bands you would recommend?

Yes! I’m just glad the genre isn’t completely dead… There’s always gonna be garbage out there whatever what the musical genre is, but you can easily sample stuff and make up your mind, so that’s cool. Not sure they’re all exactly new, but some bands I like right now are Radiation Vomit, Acid Feast, Heinous, Pancreatic Purulence, Meat Spreader, Halitosis, Couple Skate, G.O.D. and Reeking Cross, of course…

Can you share 5 CDs (or tapes) you currently have in your car?

I’m actually a subhuman who doesn’t know how to drive and doesn’t own a car… But off the top of my head some stuff we often listen to on the way to rehearsal with my band mate David (bass) are: Regurgitate “Effortless…/Concrete Human Torture,” Excrement of War “Cathode Ray Coma,” Defecation “Purity Dilution, and Obituary “Cause of Death”…

We were listening to Incantation “Onwards to Golgotha,” Impetigo “Horror of the Zombies” & Napalm Death “Scum” in my girlfriend’s car the other day, too… Otherwise I just walk around listening to my iPod… Honestly, it’s mostly old Napalm Death, Carcass & Regurgitate usually… Not very original. Been listening to Bodies Lay Broken a bunch too to study the riffs… I was listening to a few Coroner albums during a train ride the other day.  Also “Razor Sharp Daggers” by Agathocles!

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What is next for BLUE HOLOCAUST and VOMI NOIR?

Right now we’re learning and jamming new songs for the upcoming BLUE HOLOCAUST full length called “Flesh for the Cannibal God”… I’ve got 22 tracks already written! It’s just a matter of learning them as a band now… Ideally it should come out on vinyl LP and the “Carnage” EP should be released on tape pretty soon…

And I’m trying to write new stuff for Vomi Noir, too… We’ve got splits with Halitosis (tape on SAORS), Acid Feast & Radiation Vomit in the plans! The first demo/EP is coming out on 7” through Morgue Ritual, Headsplit, Hjitrous Tyror & Symphony of Death Rattles in the coming months… Plus a tape release… There’ll be a tape for the “Session Ecorché à Vif/Peeled Alive Session” too. That’s about it for now!  Thanks again for the interview!

VOMI NOIR on Bandcamp

BLUE HOLOCAUST on Bandcamp

BRAINDEAD Webzine

VOMI NOIR Live

 

 

Interview: Martin Witchskinner/BLOOD

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Useless disclosure:  Before an untimely technical clusterfuck with my domain registrar & web hosting company(s) derailed my plan, the original name of this blog/webzine was “Dogmatize,” in tribute to the German death/grind legends, BLOOD.  (I mention this as it will make sense of Martin’s final comment in this interview!)

Far more importantly, BLOOD have just finished recording material for a new release (sadly, no details available yet!) and will be playing at the Montreal EARSLAUGHTER festival this summer (June 2 & 3, 2017). 

Many thanks to Martin Witchskinner for the interview!

BLOOD is one of the longest-running bands in the grindcore scene, having recording your first demo back in 1986, and a very influential one, as well.  From your perspective, what has been the most difficult aspect of keeping a band alive for such a considerable length of time?

First, thanks a lot for giving me the opportunity to speak; I guess this is the first interview I’ve done since the ’90s.. It’s been a while since I was in hibernation for the last, well, 15 years, haha.  After my band DAWN split up in 1999 I wasn’t active. So, concerning your question, I may be the wrong guy to answer that. When I joined BLOOD in 1988, they already had their first demos recorded. I joined them before the debut LP (“Impulse to Destroy,” 1989) and I was so excited to sing in a band, especially a band that may have been the fastest in Germany at that time. Being an 18-year-old who was 110% into underground death metal/grindcore and hardcore, that was the best thing that ever happened to me.

After I left BLOOD, the others kept the fire alive because I guess that’s what they love to do, it was/is something that sticks for life, and as long as it’s fulfilling, that’s a good thing to do. I’m very glad that everyone (and I mean everyone) that ever played in this band, did what he did. The most difficult part was maybe the changes in the line-up; the singers. But as Clausi (vocals), who was my follow-up was in the band for about 20 years, that wasn’t really a problem.

Another problem, I guess, is that Eisen (guitars) lives in Berlin, which is 500 kilometers away from our base here, that makes things difficult. We don’t practice with pre-recorded stuff or computers, so I guess we’re very old-school.

Unlike many grind bands where you often (more or less) know exactly what you’re going to get with each release, each of the BLOOD releases have a fairly unique/distinct vibe, sound and aesthetic to it. Was this intentional? Do you have a favorite BLOOD album?

When we recorded “Impulse” in 1988, there weren’t too many studios that had the
experience to record and mix a grindcore band. So we found a studio that did
rock/hard rock bands. When I look back, it was funny – I guess the producer tried to vary the sound between the songs, as he was maybe thinking that makes the songs more distinguishable. He obviously thought that each and every song sounded the same! He used some effects for (different) songs, drums sounded a bit different from one song to another…

We were excited, never went to a studio before, we had “Reek of Putrefaction,” “Scum, “Scream Bloody Gore,” in our heads, plus all those bands we knew from tape-trading. I guess, we wanted to sound just brutal, and with every knob he turned we thought “Wow, that’s cool, more echoes…”

Later on, producers knew more about blastbeats, plus the band developed, as well as my vocals. Being in a different studios, that’s maybe one of the reasons why everything sounds different.

I like the “Christbait” and “O Agios…” albums the most, I guess.

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In 1989, “Impulse to Destroy” was released. This was the first BLOOD that I heard, and seemed to get fairly good distribution and zine advertisements in the United States, as well, through Wild Rags. Do you have any specific memories of recording this album? How was the band’s relationship with Richard/Wild Rags?

We had two weekends to record “Impulse.” It was a small studio and the producer never heard a band like us. Obviously we were really excited and it was cool to use features like a harmonizer. On the song “Terroraise,” which was recorded in this session (and ended up on the “Recognize Yourself” 7″) we used much harmonizer and it was like: “Ok, we want to sound like Carcass here,” then we had a laugh after we listened to the distorted vocals. The producer was like: “We can increase this effect, if you’d like,” and we said, “yes, do that!” and laughed even more!  And that was ‘the harmonizer song’ for us. We used this effect on a few songs more, which earned us some critics afterwards..I didn’t like the idea that we were put down for that and I said, never again effects on vocals. Yes, afterwards I was a bit pissed.

About Wild Rags, back then we were very glad at first to be signing up with a label. Richard seemed like a very nice guy at first, but unfortunately, he made some promises he couldn’t keep. I was pretty angry about that, because I took some of his words too literally.  Then some things went wrong on the business side and the whole thing collapsed.

I spoke pretty badly of him and his label back then. Nowadays, I’m thinking it was a good idea that we did this record on his label, because a lot of great stuff was released by Wild Rags, and it spread our name.  The only thing that wasn’t too good was the fact that they didn’t have proper distribution in Europe. A German band releasing a record in the States that was only available as an import. That was the downside of the deal. If we had a European label, things would have been different.

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May I ask some of your favorite, perhaps not-so-well-known horror movies?

I confess, I’m a movie buff and still an excessive collector of Laserdiscs – if anyone wants to know what that is, it looks like a gigantic 12” CD with movie data on it – my favorite genres being horror, action and sci-fi. That’s a pretty hard question, since you can see almost every movie online today, even the hard-to-get stuff. My all-time favourite movie is “Dawn of the Dead;” it’s just the crown of everything that is bleak and nihilistic in movies.

I could easy watch Carpenter’s “The Thing” twice a year, “Prince of Darkness,” “Dellamorte Dellamore,”  “A L’interieur,” (aka “Inside,” 2007), “Day of the Dead,” Fulci’s stuff… well, but those are not especially unknown. I prefer older movies; can’t stand alot of the mainstream stuff that’s released these days.
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How did your split 7″s with AGATHOCLES and IMPETIGO come about? Were/are you fans of these bands?

Now we travel back in time, haha…  Eisen and me were very dedicated tape-traders back then and had several contacts in those days. We visited Agathocles in the ’80s and really enjoyed what they did back then, as it was pretty much what we did – trying to play as brutal as possible. When the idea came up to record some new songs, we first wanted to release a 7″ split ep with Blasphemy from Canada.  Somehow that didn’t work out – too bad, as we are fans of their music.  So we ended up doing the split 7″  with AG and they delivered a masterpiece. “Theatric Symbolisation of Life” is my favorite track ever by them.

Eisen had contacts with Impetigo and they agreed to record some songs, they also made their statement with their masterpiece, “Boneyard.” We went crazy when we got the advance tape of the 7″ – it was just mindblowing and I guess we  were a little bit proud. On our side, we featured “Dogmatize” for the second time, which is kind of our “hit” so to speak, haha.  The cover with the Impetigo split was done by my penpal Chris “Thorncross“ Moyen, who delivered this insane blasphemous cover of Jesus being torn apart by a demon.

And now for a fun fact: I got his letter when I came from work, went straight to the toilet to..well, have a dump…and read my mail. On the toilet I opened the letter and that was the first time I saw his drawing, sitting on a  white porcelain throne and taking a dump..I guess that’s funny as I remember this fact very well. The cover for the AG split was painted by a friend of Eisen, he also played in a Swiss deathmetal band called Damnatory.

What inspires your lyrics? Do you find it difficult to come up with ideas for lyrics or do they flow easily when you are trying to write?

I hate doing lyrics, I need so much time…and I guess in the realm of grindcore and death metal, nearly everything has been said. So, well, yes, I think it’s difficult, though I love reading lyrics, sometimes it’s funny and sick what people can come up with, sometimes it’s haunting (I really like some of Leonard Cohen’s stuff, at least parts of it), sometimes it’s awesome and aggressive (everything Slayer).  I really like the lyrics of Amebix, Carnivore, and Massacre (FL).

What inspired me a lot when I was in younger were those UKHC lyrics from bands like Ripcord, ENT, and Hellbastard. They were dealing with animal rights, non-conformity, and alternative lifestyles – that impressed me. I’m still vegetarian to this day.  I’m not using those ideas in my lyrics, as we are different people in the band and we are not political whatsoever, and I won’t use lyrics that are not necessarily in line with the other band members’ opinions.  Right now I’m working on lyrics and, hell, it’s killing me.


The “Recognize Yourself” 7″ – do you have any particular memories of this recording?

Well, it was recorded in the same session as “Impulse to Destroy.” The songs were recorded pretty quickly and we didn’t have time to mix them, like some of the stuff on the LP.  Wild Rags asked us, if we want to do a 7“ and we agreed on that. Looking back, I’d rather we had used the picture from the back of the record (of me) instead the one we used for the cover. It just looks too honest.

How did your nickname “Chicken” come about?

When I was new in the band, Eisen said, “No way that we can write Martin on the records..you need a warrior name…”, haha. So I took my English dictionary and pointed the next best word out: Chicken. You have to consider, those were the late-80s, and I was 18, so being funny was also part of it. Unfortunately people started to call me Chicken, which was kind of annoying, but hey, that name was then printed on the record, they couldn’t know better! I tried to change that – Martin Witchskinner sounds more like I directly came from the abyss, haha.

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You rejoined the band in time to record “O Agios Pethane.” How do you feel about this album, nearly 25 years after its release? What led to your return to the band?

I still like it, the record is good. I didn’t have too much time to practice the songs, but somehow we went to the studio and made them sound good. If anyone wondered, the CD cover is a little sculpture I brought back from a trip to Ireland, and it features Pookas. Those are little fairies that are pretty bad little fuckers.

As far as vocals are concerned, do you have any particular influences?

Back in the day I loved ENT, Napalm Death (Scum), Massacre… yes, when it comes to an influence I would name Kam Lee, as he was inventing those growls… I love their classic live tape from Tampa and their demo tapes were outstanding.

Could you share five of your favorite grind/death metal albums?

Five? Bloody hell….what can I say..

Pyrexia- Hatredangeranddisgust
Malevolent Creation – Eternal
Blasphemy – Fallen Angel of Doom
Possessed – Seven Churches

I can’t choose a fifth one, there’s just too many, but those above, I played them like a  madman. You see, I love death metal, most grindcore is just too much for me – I’m into heavy music, not so much into speed.

It seems you’ve been playing many shows and festivals as of late. What is next for BLOOD?

Things are going really well for us, considering the band didn’t record anything new since 2003. Playing live is always great, you should come to see us, we’re always giving 666% of pure mayhem, that’s promised. We got quite some shows ahead of us, besides that, what can I say, we’re still there and maybe there will be a new release one day.

Thank you so much for the interview, Martin! Any final thoughts?

Hell will open it’s gates in Montreal, the 2nd of June!  If you visit a show this year, come to the Earslaughter festival, we will happily crush your souls there! La vie est finie! Thanks for the opportunity to speak and the support! By the way, great name for a ‘zine!

BLOOD on Facebook

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After spending the last couple of days trying to think of another grind band comparable to Captain Three Leg, I’ve once again been failed by the miserable porn-sponge I call a brain. Probably because C3L has zero interest in listeners’ expectations and have instead spent the past couple of decades doing whatever the hell they’ve felt like doing – whether it’s rabid blasts of noisecore, Hawkwind-esque space rock, proto-‘gorenoise,’ instrumental surf rock, or ferocious, idiosyncratic grind. If you spend even a few minutes dicking around on their impressive Bandcamp page, you’ll quickly figure out that – weirdly enough – they’re pretty fucking great at all of it. Even stranger, they’re arguably better now than they were 20 years ago – how many grind bands can you say THAT about? (Answer: none.)

As if that weren’t already enough, vocalist/guitarist/bassist Andy runs one of my favorite grind/noisecore labels ever, Mortville Records. What follows is a conversation we had while sitting in front of Andy’s fireplace, listening to classic Sockeye 78s, sipping Appletinis and wearing luxurious, matching Sete Star Sept bathrobes.

Captain Three Leg have been in existence for over 20 years now. What’s the biggest hassle when it comes to keeping a band going for so long?

Most of the time the band consists of just Brian and I, so I’d say it’s been dead easy keeping it going. With the exception of these last few months when we resumed playing out, we haven’t had to maintain a set of songs. We get together four or five times a year to write and record drum and bass tracks, then I spend the rest of the time fleshing it out, writing lyrics and mixing. Brian comes over to record his vocals when I’m ready for him, then we move onto the next thing when it’s done. It’s the best possible arrangement, I think. It seems to work for us, anyway.

You have an enormous number of releases available on the C3L Bandcamp page dating back to 1995. Throughout those releases, you guys never shy away from experimenting pretty drastically with your sound, going from noisecore to Hawkwind-esque space rock to goregrind to surfy instrumental rock, and covering a lot of bases in between. Did the idea of making extreme/abrupt changes in your sound ever make you guys nervous or second-guess yourselves, as far as how people familiar with C3L might react?

Maybe in the very beginning, but that didn’t last long. We decided early on that we just wanted to make music and didn’t care about fitting within the confines of a scene. The changes weren’t so abrupt at first, though. Even on our earliest noisecore material, at least half of each song was a musical set-up for the noise part. Those set-ups kept getting longer until the noise parts (sometimes) disappeared altogether.

It’s been musically liberating, but I’m sure it’s affected our fanbase somewhat. If we played live or were making any money doing this, we might have strayed less often, but maybe not. When I gave up on physical releases and didn’t have to worry about breaking even on releases, it opened even more doors for us. With literally nothing to lose at this point, we can do whatever. Something like “The Monkey and the Blue Jay” would never have happened without Bandcamp.

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If you had to pick three or four of your favorite C3L releases, either due to the material or just nostalgia/good memories of the recording, what would they be? Least favorite C3L release?

I have a lot of great memories attached to the “Reunion” and “The Last C3L Tape” albums because they were so much fun to record. We had everything set up in my bedroom and would play for hours at a time, several days in a row, making things up and recording as we went. The results weren’t always great, but the process was very enjoyable. That might have been the most fun I’ve ever had making music.

“3516” was a more focused, more realized version of those sessions and it’s probably the best piece of music I’ve participated in. Our guitarist at the time, Cole, really brought the best out of Brian and I on that release.

“Coming Up Short” turned out really well, too. Better than I had hoped, in fact, but the recording process wasn’t much fun. We did it after recording our songs for the Wadge split and had completely run out of steam at that point. I’ve been threatening a follow-up for years, now, but we haven’t gotten around to doing so.

I’m pretty happy with our side of the Short Order split, too.

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C3L is one of the very few bands where I look forward to reading your lyrics almost as much as hearing your new release. After so many releases, how do you manage to still find subjects to write about? Does it ever get tedious trying to find new shit to write lyrics about?

I have a note on my phone that I add to whenever ideas for lyrics come up. It’s usually small, everyday annoyances that I write about, so I add to it often. It’s getting harder to find subjects I haven’t already covered, but I usually have more ideas than songs I need to write for.

Sometimes I’ll try to write for a specific sample/intro I already have saved because it’s easier to do that than find a suitable sample to fit a certain song, but that doesn’t always work out. Lyric writing is easily my least favorite part of being in a band. We’ve farmed some of that out in recent years. Those releases Brian and I don’t sing on happened because we were too lazy to write lyrics.

You run an incredible label, MORTVILLE, which has one of my favorite Bandcamp pages in existence. If you could pick three of your favorite non-C3L releases you’ve done on MORTVILLE, what would they be?

It would be easier for me to pick three of my least favorite releases. I feel a connection with nearly all of my releases, so it’s impossible to choose favorites. It’s a cool thing to work with people whose music you love.

Have any bands you’ve dealt with for a MORTVILLE release turned out to be a total pain in the ass to work with?

I almost never work with people I don’t know on some personal level, so I’ve avoided a lot of bullshit. There have been a few troublesome instances, unfortunately. I was horrified to learn months after the Dahmer / Parade of the Lifeless split 7″ was released that the label I co-released it with never sent Dahmer their 100 artist copies. He, of course, claims to have sent them, but conveniently didn’t have tracking of any sort or more copies to send as a replacement. If this was an isolated incident with this guy, I might have believed him, but some sketchy shit went down soon after and I’ve since ceased all communications with him. Luckily, this fiasco didn’t soil my relationship with Dahmer as he believed I was innocent in all of this.

There was another incident where I was so excited to work with a band that I let them choose the band for the flipside. Other than sending me their material, I had no contact with them until the record was finished. Their vocalist emailed accusing me of ripping them off when he saw the record listed in another label’s distro list when he hadn’t received his artist copies yet. I had sent the ten distro copies airmail and his 100 artist copies surface rate, so there was a gap of a few weeks before he finally got his. He ended up apologizing once he had his copies in hand, but I’d be lying if I said the accusations didn’t soil me on their music somewhat.

Most recently, one of the bands C3L did a split with threatened litigation if I didn’t remove their tracks from our Bandcamp after I unfriended him on Facebook. It was easily the most ridiculous situation I’ve encountered in my 20+ years of doing this.

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C3L has been playing live recently, doing instrumental/non-grind material – any future plans to do a grind/noisecore set live?

Lack of like-minded musicians in our area is preventing that from happening. It isn’t something I want to do unless we can do it properly. There’s a certain level of expectation people have with a band of our age and I wouldn’t want to half-ass it. With just Brian and I in the band, we’d need more people on board to pull it off. Nate and Andrew from Traffic Death would probably do it if we approached them about it, but they live 90 minutes away and rehearsing would be difficult.

Even then, if we could get our shit together, it would likely be a one off thing and too few people would be interested to make it worth the effort. Nobody in Iowa cares about this shit. I wouldn’t hold your breath waiting for it to happen.

What’s your least favorite aspect of the current grind/noisecore ‘scene’?

Format fetishism, people in their twenties, and bands with more shirt designs than recorded songs.

You are pretty well known for being strongly opinionated. Pick a band and talk shit about them: go!

Tying into my answer to the above question and without naming names, I’ll just state that I can’t figure out why certain bands find relative success with noisecore while better bands live in obscurity. There are bands with dozens of records on labels I respect and every one of them I’ve heard have been terrible. Like, fucking awful, zero-effort garbage. I’ve been listening to noisecore for going on 30 years now and felt like I had a pretty good idea of what good and bad noisecore was, but these bands with ever-growing discographies at other people’s expense have shown I haven’t the faintest idea. The numbers speak for themselves.

You could argue that constant touring and screening your logo on every possible surface for people to buy plays into it, but a band’s recorded output is all I take into consideration. It’s all that remains when the touring ends and the messenger bags have sold out. Your recordings outlive all of that other shit, so maybe put a little more effort into that.

On a more positive note, name a band that’s been around awhile that you think deserves more attention than they get.

I think Doug Long flies under the radar for a lot of people because he has no online presence, but I’m a big fan of his various projects and he’s been absolutely killing it these past few years. There’s zero hype surrounding his stuff, which is a shame, because they’re consistently good. Success hinges so much on image, networking and all of that other bullshit that has nothing to do with the actual music. He’s recording when he wants and is releasing stuff at a steady clip, so he’s successful in that sense and that’s all that matters. I think more people would be into his stuff if they were exposed to it.

Ok, here’s a series of brief, stupid questions:
Cassettes vs CDs:

The compact disc is the greatest, most practical, most durable format for music ever, boasting consistent playback and maximum portability. It should be the obvious choice for anyone that cares about music.

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Sete Star Sept vs Foghat:

Foghat, without hesitation. Don’t fuck with Foghat, buddy.

Chili dogs vs burritos:

Chili dogs if I’m sitting down, burritos on the go.

Testament vs Heathen:

Yuck! Neither!

Fossil Fuel vs Sockeye:

I lived with my parents until I was 27, so they were exposed to all kinds of heinous noise while I was under their roof. Fossil Fuel were the only band they ever complained about. My stepfather hated it and would come into my room to let me know how much it annoyed him. That they evoked such an extreme reaction puts them slightly ahead of Sockeye for me, but I had the very same reaction to “Beefing Ting Ting” from a line cook when I worked as a dishwasher.

You’re trapped in an elevator with Will Rahmer with no hope of escape. Who’s gonna be eating who?

This question reminds me of the time I called Will in 1995 or so. His number was listed in an issue of “Book Your Own Fucking Life” for some reason, and I called him just to see if he would answer. To my surprise, he did, and it caught me completely off guard. I don’t remember what stupid questions I asked him, but he cut me off saying “Can we wrap this up? I’m in bed with my woman.” I hung up laughing really hard thinking about Will Rahmer with a hard-on.

Thanks for taking the time to answer this stupid interview! Please let us know about any upcoming C3L or Mortville releases.

On the horizon…
C3L / Vanishing Cities – split CD-R
C3L / Dysmorfic – split cassette
C3L / Zombie Hate Brigade – split CD-R
C3L / Slowdance – split 7″
C3L / Beelzebukkake – split
C3L / Guro – split
C3L / Traffic Death – split 7″

Denak – “Complete Studio Sessions”
Vomit Spawn – Discography

Mortville Noise Bandcamp
Captain Three Leg Bandcamp