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!
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!