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

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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?

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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,

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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

 

Interview with Tomoaki/SADISTIC LINGAM CULT & CATASEXUAL URGE MOTIVATION

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Interview by Rado/Deathfist Zine   

Hi Tom, how are you doing? Something interesting happened to you last days?

Hello. I am fine with my kid and wife. Not lately, but most happening event for me was my baby born. Some weeks after we (Tom & Rado, who was touring with Sedem Minut Strachu in Japan) met in Japan, he was born very healthy.

If you don’t mind I’d focus on SLC mainly in this interview, because I have never see one. Have SLC ever been interviewed?

Oh, yes. As for as I remember I answered several or more interviews in mid to late 90’s. I think those zines were not well-circulated, or very small numbers were printed.

Looks like the interest in SLC (and CUM) is back, you are in the process of reissues of your old releases so how do you feel about this?

Yes and no. I have been doing and thinking about something to do with the old materials to be released on CD or something in digital format while on hiatus. Our case is not a “reunion” or “comeback,” as we never said that we were finished with either band. The hiatus is due to mental and physical problems. Back to your question… I am very happy about re-releasing our older materials, especially for many newer fans of this kind of music. I think we are not very famous band(s). So if you haven’t heard us, just try it for yourself.

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Tell me how, when and why SLC have started?  who is who in the SLC, who of you two brothers do what, who is more creative on SLC?

SLC consists of two brothers, Yuzin and Tomoaki, and with drum machine, the notorious same member of Catasexual Urge Motivation. We wanted more violent, more chaotic, and more extreme form of musical style, but that is not fit for CUM. So we started another project called Sadistic Lingam Cult to express aforementioned musical style than CUM in 1994. At the very beginning of SLC, we just played like grind/noise, short and fast, with gurgling growls and high screams. It’s fun to play like A.C., early Meat Shits, etc.

Basically, my younger brother figured out our titles and concept and he showed it to me. Then I manage to create noise part of concept that coming from the idea of my brother. He was more aggressive to spew out the philosophy of SLC than me.  As far as I remember after the second recording session of SLC, we changed musical style to more avant-garde style than grind/noise, noisecore. We hadn’t heard this kind of music so often, and sometimes we got bored of listening noisecore bands, so we wanted step out into avant-garde style from typical noisecore band. After the release of first album, SLC became a more pure ‘noise’ band with less grind/noisecore influence.

People consider SLC like just a shadow of the CUM, like it was your “side project.” Is it simply because people were more interested in CUM or was SLC really meant as a side project and was not propagated that much on purpose? What place takes SLC in your life?

SLC is just a side project of us. We took SLC more serious year by year, but obviously it is a side project to let our stress out. SLC is not as well known as CUM because I guess noise music is not as popular as grindcore or death metal. And mostly SLC didn’t have label distribution. SLC’s first album was released by ourselves and we spread flyers and stuff. We thought death metal and grindcore fans would not be interested in bands like SLC at the time, so we didn’t spread our name enough to death/grind zines, labels or people.

 

Is SLC something that you do when you have no taste for / or are tired about CUM, or is it like you work on something based on your mood and feelings and just than you decide if you use it for one or another band?

SLC is another expression form of music for us. That could not be played with CUM, but we wanted to represent another form of music style other than CUM. At that time, we were not very much into playing or listening to noise music, and didn’t know how to ‘control’ noise to play. Our early stage was very much like grind/noisecore.

What’s your main inspiration for SLC?  musically, visually, conceptually?

SLC’s inspiration came from trying to describe something we had never heard of. Coincidentally, the result turned into the music that consists of black metal meets harsh noise. More detailed analysis is that black metal like high screaming, delay effected guitar/bass/drum wall-of-sound and gurgling low growls are all together. We have never heard noise music that featured high screaming vocals in the past. I think we succeeded the procedure to play this kind of music for our own originality.

The visual concept was to be much like Japanism. We wanted to use visually image from Oni (devil), Kongou-Rikishi (Vajradhara) and ancient religious art.

 Is there any basic set up for your releases or you always use different tools?

On all of SLC’s recordings, I used the same equipment. Fender guitar, drum machine, and some effects pedals. I now use a completely different set-up from our older recordings, though.

Early SLC recordings like those demo tapes sound very different to later stuff, more like mix of SLC and CUM, what do you think and how do you feel about these early recordings now?  And which SLC release you like the most.

Really? Is there any CUM music you can hear? I think that is because oldest SLC recordings were like grindnoise or noisecore than our later ones. It sounds like A.C., or some Final Exit. Those early demo tapes are like spontaneous noisegrind. It was like live recording. I have never seen the final result while the recording session. And most of all songs have intros. We choose most fitting intros, and/or made intros for each tapes.

As I said earlier, I didn’t know much about creating noise at the beginning. After I  researched it more, SLC’s song structures became much longer and more complicated than before. My personal favorite is “Triumph of the Will,” and the first demo, “The Rites of the Lingam Cult” follows.

You did many splits, which band of those you did splits with is the most close to you, which one do you like the best?

Yes, we did many many split releases. Allegory Chapel Ltd., Final Exit, Deep are very original band.

Tell me something about Satyam 666 Studio, Meat Fuck Semen Studio, Hargakure Studio … all these is the same place or every one is different?

Yes, they are the same place. We call it different names based on the sound, character, or content of what we were recording. “Satyam” was taken from Aum Shinrikyo (Aum Supreme Truth), a Japanese doomsday cult, which spread Sarin (chemical nerve weapon) on subway train on March 20, 1995 in Tokyo, and they called their base “Satyam” to training something religious. Our split tape with Final Exit was recorded in Satyam 666 because our material was inspired by Aum Shinrikyo. I was using that same train, but on that day I was working the night shift instead, so I was lucky to not get on same train.

“Hagakure” was taken from Yukio Mishima’s novel, “On Hagakure, The Way of the Samurai”. At that time my brother was really infatuated with Japanese nationalism and bushido by Yukio Mishima. “Hagakure” is good expression of samurai (bushido). We choose good name for the studio as occasion demands what’s inside of philosophical content.

I know you never play live, but if you can set up your own, ideal show / festival for SLC, how it would looks like, who would play there, where would it take ..?

We talked about it before. My brother would dance like madman and take some technical support for me. I would play noise guitars along with tape-recorded rhythm sections.

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I know you have some old unreleased / never released stuff, are you planning on to do something with these?

Yes, we have some. I contributed a few songs to compilation CD, so remaining unreleased songs are only 4 I think. I want to release it anyhow. I let a label guy listen, so maybe someday they will see the light of day. (Note: this material will be released on cassette by Noise Not War Records in 2017.)

I would try another SLC recording in the future. My equipment is totally different than old stuff, so time will tell.

Are you working or at least planning on to release some new stuff with SLC or is it all just a question of reissues?

I am not working on new material on SLC now, but I have will to create something new noise. Reissues of old stuff is nice to me, as a few of them are not officially released properly. We recorded the songs, we found bands to do splits with, but then nothing happened – at least three splits fell through.

Have you ever had any serious trouble wit the Japanese authorities because of your music’s attitude / image ?

So far, we have not had any trouble. But if authorities listened our split tape with Final Exit, it would be a trouble. Because we parodied “Aum Supreme Truth” as “Cum Supreme Truth” and talked about killing someone in between the songs as dogma. 

Is still your Cum Thicker Than Blood ?

Yes, it is.

I was so happy to meet you in person and hope to see you again soon, thanks for the interview and all the best.

Yeah, I too was happy seeing you in person in Japan and hope to see you again. Thanks so much for this interview and your interest in SLC.

 

 

Interview with Doug Long/ERECTILE DEMENTIA, BRODY’S MILITIA, HELLNATION, REEKING CROSS, CEMETERY FUNGUS

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Too often bands are rewarded with attention for their slavish emulation of older, better bands, so it’s always a great relief (and something of an anomaly) to encounter someone too possessed by their own deranged vision to settle for shitting out a mere replica. For a few decades now, Doug Long has proven to be one of those anomalies. Whether it’s venomous, classic hardcore in HELLNATION, or BRODY’S MILITIA blitzed fusion of thrash, 70’s rock and Antiseen-esque punk depravity, or -more recently with ERECTILE DEMENTIA- conjuring up the sound of Sore Throat and Deep Purple fistfighting in a dumpster full of C.H.U.D. jizz, Doug is endowed with a mad scientist’s zeal for juxtaposing shit that probably shouldn’t work (fact: he once called me out for being a pussy after I deleted his harmonica solo from a REEKING CROSS track) into a mutant throng of fucking excellent, unique, gloriously noisy records. Doug fucking rules, and as you’ll probably notice, trying to cover all of the shit he’s done over the years in one pitiful interview was a lost cause from the start.  Here’s the interview, anyway.   

You’ve been involved in a ridiculous number of bands and projects over the years; PRAPARATION-H, HELLNATION, BRODY’S MILITIA and ERECTILE DEMENTIA, just to name a small handful. What keeps you motivated to continue making music after so many years? Do you ever find it difficult to keep up the enthusiasm to create new material or does the urge to create new shit come pretty naturally to you?

Yeah. Sorry about all that shit. I’ve been obsessed with music since I was a kid. Started making weird sounds using my dad’s reel-to-reel tape recorder and a Radio Shack mic as soon as I could figure out how to get everything plugged in. Never got much more than competent at any musical instrument, but I really enjoy the tinkering process. Still doing the same thing some thirty years later. Enthusiasm comes in waves. Creating horrible underground music isn’t some heroic endeavor so it would be pretty fucking pointless to keep doing this sort of thing if it was no longer fun. The day I find myself more interested in golf or hard drugs, I’ll do one of those instead.

The excellent BRODY’S MILITIA discography CD just recently came out. What was it like for you to revisit the considerable history of that band while compiling all of that material and lyrics?

I was mainly wondering why I bothered to type out all those fucking lyrics! Who still reads lyrics? Come to think of it, who still reads interviews? Listening back to all those recordings, I was reminded of how much I really enjoy the rocked out stuff with Poopy Necroponde (SOCKEYE) on drums. I love playing music with that weirdo. Some of the other drummers may have been a bit faster, but any fucking halfwit can learn to play blastbeats. Poopy is highly proficient in the art of real-deal hairy scrotum rock n’ roll. Those tracks really smoke!

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Do you have any particular favorite memories from touring or recording with BRODY’S?

One time we played at a pay fishing lake in Seattle and the guitarist of WIDESPREAD BLOODSHED ended up with a can of corn meal dough balls shoved up his ass. The whole scene was supposedly filmed but I’ve never seen the footage myself. Our bass player used to enjoy spending quality romantic time with well-endowed men dressed like Marie Antoinette whenever we were in New Orleans. I guess they let him eat cake?

We once played an abandoned Go-Cart track just outside of San Francisco and the whole band got stabbed to death by Hell’s Angels during our first song. Then there was the time that I got arrested for biting the head off an animatronic Davey Crockett puppet at the Alamo. It’s been a long way to the top.

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HELLNATION is obviously a pretty legendary hardcore band, with a killer discography. How did you come to join?

One thing I’ve learned during my career in underground rock music is that a band can only achieve authentic legendary status after breaking up and getting back together to play the reunion festival circuit. That is what solidifies a legacy. Having a decent back catalog of music is only a viable factor if it can be reissued as some sort of elaborate vinyl box set. You ain’t shit if you ain’t got a wide selection of merchandise available to the current generation of punks. Back when the legend was just getting started, HELLNATION could never find a drummer who would buckle down and play fast all the time. There were always compromises with the occasional funk metal breakdown or power ballad intro.

At some point in the mid-90’s, the bass player bought a drum kit and locked himself in his grandmother’s garage in rural West Virginia and refused to come out until he could play non-stop blast beats. Everybody reconvened back in Kentucky and the “really fast” era of HELLNATION got underway. I just happened to be standing there with my homemade three-stringed bass in hand so I got to be the bass player.

How did you later re-join the band again after initially leaving?

I never left. I was always back there playing my bass behind a curtain while Chris Dodge pantomimed at the front of the stage doing all his choreographed martial arts maneuvers and slapstick comedy routines. It was all just a short-lived gimmick cooked up by the Sound Pollution Records marketing team to try and pull in some of those juicy teenage powerviolence dollars.

What is your favorite HELLNATION release that you were a part of?

Your Chaos Days Are Numbered” and our side of the split album with CAPITALIST CASUALTIES are both excellent punk rock records. If you’ve got the time to invest in the sprawling complexities of a more nuanced piece, the “At War With Emo” EP is also a savage ass ripper.

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You handle all of the guitar, bass, drum and vocals in ERECTILE DEMENTIA. After having been in a number of bands over the years, was the idea of doing a project where you didn’t have to deal with anyone else’s opinions or input particularly appealing?

Yes!

What inspired you to begin ExDx in the first place?

Food Fortunata was putting together this amazing compilation of weird bands covering well-known seventies rock tunes and I thought a noisecore version of “Aqualung” seemed like a good idea. Inept, fucked up noisegrind and smooth mainstream seventies rock are two of my favorite things in life. That recording rang a bell in my brain that still resonates today.

You did an awesome project with Food Fortunata called PESTILENT ENDEAVORS. How did that project come about? Will there be any more P.E. material in the future, or any other collaborations with Food?

Food wanted to do something similar to DEVO mixed with RUDIMENTARY PENI but I’m not talented enough to convincingly ape actual musicians. I don’t know if there will be any more PESTILENT ENDEAVORS recording sessions but I always enjoy making music with Food. He’s like my Elvis.

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Doug & Gana/THE GAIA, NIE-ZETT

FUNERARY BOX is another one of your projects, and is a unique mix of styles that leans more toward metal than many of your other bands. What was the genesis of FB? Will there be more material in the future?

Just trying to record something that we would want to hear ourselves. I love death metal but don’t particularly dig the sterile studio sounds or boring technical proficiency that tends to be involved. The drummer and I share a love of the “blood lust over technicality” approach of classic bands like VENOM, AUTOPSY, IMPETIGO, NUCLEAR DEATH and loads of questionable black metal bands so we started drinking goat semen cocktails fucking pronto. There’s no stringent adherence to any genre parameters involved with FUNERARY BOX but we do scoff mercilessly at double kick drum and triplet picking. Been working on a full length album for several years now but I haven’t had the proper hate in my heart to finish the vocals.

One of my favorite aspects of FUNERARY BOX are the lyrics and overall visual aspect of your releases. I love reading the lyrics and examining the artwork while listening. It’s rare that I encounter albums like that, where it’s kind of an immersive experience. Not just something you throw on as background music. What was your inspiration to take that kind of approach?

Thanks for noticing! I get bored with all the pretentious coffee shop art house crap in modern metal and wanted to go for more of a “horny retarded kid obsessed with all things morbid, unpleasant and generally Satanic” vibe. Trying too hard to over-intellectualize metal can result in a glut of dweebs pretending to be dead serious about cornball mysticism, geometric shapes, howling wolves, song titles written in viking runes, vague-yet-tasteful references to “the occult” and phony nihilism.

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Two more awesome projects you were part of: RARE FORM and STABBED TO DEATH! What was the genesis of these particular projects and is there any chance of new material from either at some point down the road?

One of the other guys from BRODY’S MILITIA was on his way to audition for a new drumming gig and he stopped by my place for a warm up. We tossed around a few microphones, Poopy Necroponde got involved and RARE FORM was the eventual result. Totally fun recording session! That tape is one of the few things I’ve played on that I can listen back to and really enjoy instead of just hearing a collection of mistakes and missed opportunities.

STABBED TO DEATH was exact opposite; an ill-fated attempt to keep playing music with an old friend who wasn’t up to it anymore.

You did one of the best zines I’ve ever laid eyes on, INVOCATION OF OBSCENE GODS. What was the biggest challenge of doing a zine?

Getting the thing printed was fairly difficult. The dude who handled the first issue ended up bailing when it came time to print the second issue. I had doubled down on the adult-oriented content and, seeing how grindcore is now a safe space for conservative family values, a couple of naked titties and a few swaths of pubic hair were deal breakers. Fortunately, the good folks at Econopress stepped up and didn’t hesitate to print photos of RUPTURE molesting dolphins while dressed up in Gestapo uniforms or whatever awful sketchy stuff I sent their way!

What ultimately lead to your decision to end it?

Older dudes are mainly interested in nostalgia. They’re into scrapbook collections of old ‘zines from back in the day reprinted with hardbound covers. Younger people seem content posting the same YouTube links back n’ forth to each other on Facebook and making lists of bands they find overrated. I lacked the proper marketing skills to tap either of those lucrative demographics so “Obscene Gods” was more focused on semi-obscure bands that no one gave a shit about. After a few issues, my enthusiasm waned and my budget dried up. Seemed like an appropriate time to bow out. What more was there to accomplish after interviewing GOATPENIS and FOSSIL FUEL?

The most important thing was giving Dr. Jason Wade a platform to spread his wisdom. Someone should publish a coffee table compendium of all his sex advice columns with spot varnish cover enhancements. For the kids!

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Praparation H

 

You’re going on a long road trip. Name a handful of CDs you’re probably going to be grabbing as you head out the door.

The TONDRA / NORDIC MIST split, BLUE OYSTER CULT “Club Ninja”, the new NEKRO DRUNKZ disc, a rough mix of the latest SEWAGE GRINDER recording, METEOR HAMMER’s self-titled debut, DICK PANTHERS “Archives, Volume 1”, CATHEDRAL “Forest of Equilibrium”, a compilation of old Colombian black metal bands, a compilation of my favorite ZZ TOP songs and the last GOATMOON full-length are all sitting out in my car right now.

What is your worst or most annoying band experience to date?

I’d have to say that time we all died in a chartered plane mishap right after our classic “Street Survivors” album was released. That sucked.

You tend to avoid social media, Bandcamp, and digital releases of BACKWOODS BUTCHER material. How do you feel about digital releases and the new landscape of social media bullshit/maintaining an ‘internet presence” that almost seems to be a unavoidable part of bands/labels these days?

I don’t have any moralistic opposition to digital music formats; I just don’t use any of it myself so it’s not very interesting to me personally. I’ve been meaning to make a new Bandcamp site (note: he did), but I always get sidetracked by unshaven black lesbian teens whenever I sit down in front of the computer. Not participating in social media has been a trade off; I’m spared the constant reminder of what a bunch of self-important blowhards most folks have become, but at the same time I’ve fallen way behind when it comes to the relentless used car salesman routine needed to “move product”. He who projects the most exaggerated sense of self-worth cultivates the most marketable gimmick, right? I’m too far out of touch at this point so stay the fuck off my lawn. #LOL

You also do vocals for REEKING CROSS. Is doing charitable work with mongoloids part of your prison work-release program?

I’m the reigning king of the “Make-A-Wish” foundation when it comes to mentally-challenged grindcore. I have a great time replacing all the lyrics you guys send me with later era SKREWDRIVER gems, but I would be better suited as your manager. That song you did with Lori Bravo should have been a cover of “Islands In The Stream” with Chris Reifert singing the Kenny Rogers parts!

You just released a tape by your most recent project CEMETERY FUNGUS. It fucking rules and it’s a slightly different vibe than other material you’ve recently released. I could definitely hear hints of VENOM, TANK and even MERCYFUL FATE mixed in to the onslaught! What inspired you to start this project?

I spent the holiday season listening to nothing but DEATH STRIKE and drinking out-of-date eggnog to the point that I was having visions of Paul Speckmann coming down my chimney with a big sack full of freshly-aborted fetuses. I recorded that CEMETERY FUNGUS demo in an attempt to clear my head, but probably should have just stayed better hydrated. Glad you enjoyed it.

Favorite beer?

Miller High Life! (Unacceptable answer!)

Best wrestling match you’ve ever witnessed?

In person? The late, great Ivan Koloff versus Chief  Wahoo McDaniels in the NWA at the Cincinnati Gardens when I was about ten years old. The Dudley Boys versus the first ten rows of the audience during an ECW show at the Hara Arena in Dayton, Ohio was pretty awesome. People were seething and it seemed like an actual riot was about to break out due to all the verbal abuse! Loads of stupidly brutal IWA Mid-South matches with authentic lunatics like Necro Butcher and Nick Gage giving each other all kinds of brain trauma and AIDS.

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Worst movie you’ve ever sat all the way through?

The only movie I can ever remember actually walking out of was “Lethal Weapon Part 4”. I’m not sure. Maybe that “Godzilla” movie featuring Ferris Bueller and an emotionally-scarring musical collaboration by Puff Daddy and Jimmy Page?

Any final words?

Many thanks for wasting so much of your time and energy doing this shit, amigo! If anyone would like to get in touch, fuck off instead. God bless!

BACKWOODS BUTCHER RECORDS

BACKWOODS BUTCHER BANDCAMP

 

 

Interview with Jason Hodges/SUPPRESSION

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With this pitiful excuse for a webzine/blog/whatever having largely been motivated by filthy, DIY, noisy grind, it’d be difficult to come up with a more fitting way to begin than with an interview with Jason Hodges from SUPPRESSION.

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SUPPRESSION released your first demo in 1993. Twenty-three years later, you’re still going. What’s been the driving force to continue over the last two + decades? What’s been the most difficult aspect of keeping a band going for so long? 

It’s still fun for me. It’s the only band I play bass in, and I started out as a bass player so it’s always a blast. Pissed off music seems to be the drug of choice. Me and Ryan Parrish (drums) have been Suppression for 16 of those 23 years, he’s a lot of fun to make music and noise with; he can handle and riff off of anything you throw at him.

No real difficulties come to mind actually, other than wishing there was time to do even more shit, ya know?

Your label, CHAOTIC NOISE, is in the process of re-issuing some of your original tape releases from the 90s. What prompted the decision to do that? Could you name a few of your favorite CNP releases (either due to the actual content or just good memories of assembling the material/dealing with bands)? Is there a particular release that fell through the cracks or didn’t turn out the way you’d hoped?

Screen shot 2016-11-19 at 10.39.22 PMA lot of people have asked me over the years to reissue that stuff and I’ve been meaning to get around to it forever. I think I’ve just become way more organized in recent years, to be able to get it together, and that old stuff compliments the direction the label has mutated into in recent years.

Favorite CNP releases? Hmm, I love all of the Rectal Pus tapes because they were so fun to make, The Earwigs “Gyngerella” tape, Building Of Gel “Cube,” because his stuff was so harsh and dynamic, and the original “Audio Terrorism” compilation tape because from putting that together I made a lot of pen pals that I traded tapes with and collaborated with for the following years. Some of those folks I still know today!!

One release that didn’t happen was the Tinfoil/ Rectal Pus split…Tinfoil were a Richmond, VA band that were my friends Steve Chisholm, Martin Deal, and Chris Stein (who was later in Suppression for 2 U.S. tours). They were all in sick bands over the years, but Tinfoil didn’t last long and Rectal Pus didn’t survive the mid-90s. There’s a Tinfoil track on the “Audio Terrorism: The Soundtrack for Weirdness and Blind Hostility” compilation CD that you can still download from Grindcore Karaoke…

You have a few other bands/projects happening, too – can you share some info about OOZING MEAT, BROWN PISS and BERMUDA TRIANGLES? 

Oozing Meat is a newer band with Eric Tomillon (Fake Object, Conflation) on noise and vocals and myself on drums and vocals. Scummy noisecore from the sewer. Brown Piss is me doing solo electronics, I do a lot of harsh noise, rhythmic noise, moist loops, cassette manipulation, sci-fi/ horror synth weirdness, and some gorenoise.

Bermuda Triangles is a drums, saxophone, fried-electronics three-piece with my old friends Bill Porter (on percussion, synth, and contact mics) and Sean Cassidy (saxophone, percussion, contact mics) and I play a full drumkit and handle the vocals. It’s got elements of a bunch of our musical interests. I’m also in a harsh, beat-driven, electronics two-piece called Mutwawa with another old friend Gary Stevens (Head Molt). All have multiple releases on Chaotic Noise.

ritcrFor a period of time before you returned to grind/noise with the “Rats in the Control Room” tape, SUPPRESSION had incorporated some experimental, non-grindcore elements into your music. What inspired that, and what kind of reactions did you get from people expecting the ‘classic’ SUPPRESSION sound? What’s your favorite release from this period of the band?

After 1997, I thought Suppression was over with. I was floundering in Roanoke, VA, wasting time and drinking and then I moved to Richmond in 1998. Right when I moved here, me and some new friends started a new three-piece which was going to be called Suppression; we opened for Melt Banana as Suppression, but changed the name shortly after to Irreversible Neural Damage.

In 2000, I was hanging out with Ryan Parrish and he brought up the idea of starting a new Suppression, and at the time I was listening to a lot of weird bands like Arab On Radar, Crom Tech, Melt Banana, 70s/ 80s no wave and post punk bands, Load Records bands, and Butthole Surfers… not much fast hardcore or grindcore really, so it just seemed natural to experiment with our interests. We definitely encountered a lot of people who were like “yeah, that was cool I guess, but what about the old shit?”

Around 2011, we were asked to open for DESPISE YOU here in Richmond and we thought it would be fun to learn some of the tracks from the old Suppression/ Despise You split.  After practicing that stuff and playing it live again, I knew that it was time to do it again. Plus I was listening to a lot of noise again, digging out my old Sore Throat, 7MON, Siege, etc. tapes, records, and just in general I was in the mood for brutal shit in my personal listening habits.

On your last couple of releases, you’ve incorporated pitch-shifted vocals. What inspired you to introduce that into SUPPRESSION’s sound? What kind of reactions have you gotten?

Hmm, I’d have to say listening to early Carcass and Last Days Of Humanity a lot. I know Andy/Capt. 3 Leg isn’t a fan of it!

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You have one of my favorite bass sounds. What kind of gear do you typically use? Do you have a favorite combination of amps/pedals?

I’ve always used Boss Turbo Distortion pedals. My friend Bill Mahone (ex-Suppression, Rectal Pus, and Expendable Citizen) gave me my first one when we were young as shit. I also use a few other pedals. I’ve been using a Gallien Kruger bass amp forever, and I prefer Fender Precision basses.

Five CDs that are in your car right now….

I don’t have a CD player in my van, but I have a tape player, so these tapes have been in there for awhile:

  1. The Fall- “Palace of Swords Reversed” 
  2. Rudimentary Peni- “Death Church”
  3. Kiss “Ace Frehley” solo record 1978
  4. D.O.C. “2015 Demo”
  5. G.O.D. “Body Horror” 

How has social media and Bandcamp effected SUPPRESSION and your other projects?  

I don’t know, it was such a gradual thing for me. I’m really slow to jump onboard of things, and especially with technology it’s something I ease into. We have our music on the Chaotic Noise Productions Bandcamp page, and sometimes people buy it. I’m sure people are getting it for free, too, and I don’t really care – it’s not like we make money from this and that’s not why we do it, anyway.  

SUPPRESSION went on tour a few months ago; any particular shows stand out as being especially memorable? 

Midwest Harshfest and Discontent Fest were sick. We met and played with xABRUPTx who were fucking brutal, The Mousetrap in Chicago was great, Now That’s Class in Cleveland was a great, great night of seeing old friends, getting to play a couple of times with the filthy and brutal SULFURIC CAUTERY was fucking awesome, playing with MELLOW HARSHER was a treat… all of it was great!!! The Mockbee in Cincinnati was a crazy building!! Pittsburgh, New York at The Acheron, was a great trip! Except that I somehow contracted mono, so I felt like shit for half of it. But I tried to ignore it and have a good time, which I think I managed to do! Thanks to everyone who made that trip what it was! (Kids, don’t catch mono!!)

Ending with a couple of brief, dumb questions.  Favorite current beer?

Allagash White.

Worst album by favorite band(s)?

Anything that C.O.C. did after “Technocracy.”

Fossil Fuel or Sockeye?

Sockeye forever, baby.

Visit CHAOTIC NOISE PRODUCTIONS here.

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