Interview with Freja & Thorn/HORRID

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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(cover of HORRID “FETISHIST” tape)

What kind of movies or books do you enjoy?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Any final thoughts?

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

HORRID Bandcamp

HEX OF HADES (Artwork by Freja)

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