An interview with Bruce Lamont of Yakuza (whose album ‘Beyul’ is out now)
by Fred Pessaro // BBG
Bloodiest at Saint Vitus, Nov 2011 (more by Fred Pessaro // BBG)
Saxophonist, vocalist and all around Chicago rennaissance man, Bruce Lamont welcomes Beyul today, the new LP from his long-running experimental metal outfit Yakuza. The longplayer is Yakuza’s first LP in two years, and it has been just as long since the band last appeared in NYC with Triptykon. That will all change when Yakuza headlines the BV-BBG CMJ showcase on 10/20 at Saint Vitus with Royal Thunder, Fight Amp, Enabler, Helen Money and Sannhet. Tickets for that event (just $5) are still available, or get in with your CMJ badge.
With Beyul out now and CMJ officially here, we asked Bruce Lamont about the new record, his other projects and hometwon of Chicago. That conversation is below.
In the wake of the release of your last LP, what were your goals going into Beyul?
We always strive to create something fresh and honest, but there werent any specific goals in general after Of Seismic Consequence. Luckily in this go around we had a bit more reign with improvisational elements on vocals and saxophone in the studio. Sometimes when you are repetative in getting a song down, it loses spontaneity… we happly added these elements back in to make things more organic and interesting.
What were some of the mechanics behind the release?
Sanford Parker was at the helm again, so it was a pretty effortless nine days to record and mix. Since it was a hometoen affair, we had a bunch of Chicago friends come in and guest: Tim from Sweet Cobra, Saxophonist Mars Williams and Dave Rempis, Alison Chesley, and vocalist Angela Mullenhour from the band Sybris all came in to make appearances on Beyul.
Beyul is your second release for Profound Lore after releases on “larger” record labels like Prosthetic and Century Media. In 2012 do you think that a record label is important other than putting you in with a specific group of like-minded bands?
I dont think record labels are crucial other than that. Anyone can release anything, so its more about grouping yourself in with great people and great ideas. Chris Bruni rules. Of the labels I’ve worked with, this is the best experience Ive ever had. Chris puts a lot of attention into each release and it shows… in the bands, the packaging, and the care he puts in with each of us.
Bruce with Bloodiest (more by Fred Pessaro // BBG)
We are at 13 years and counting for Yakuza, quite a while for any band to exist. Going back on when you joined on to the band, how have your thoughts on what Yakuza is changed from then until now?
Interestingly enough, we havent changed a bit. We’ve always done things our own way and that is the same from the beginning. One advantage though is as we’ve aged, we’ve become much more relaxed in our creative process which has made the band more enjoyable to be in with each passing year.
Your last larger scale tour was with Triptykon. How did that come about? Are there any plans for a larger scale tour on that level in support of Beyul?
Steve Joh from Century Media submitted us for the tour and we got picked. warrior rules. no plans for lager scale tour until poss 2013.
Chicago is your hometown. What are your thoughts on the city and how it has shaped your influences?
When I started working at a record store when I was 17, my world of death metal expanded exponentially expecially with all of the great Chicago bands coming up in the area. The Jesus Lizard, Vandermark 5, Buried at Sea, Indian, Bloodyminded, Cianide, Zoetrope, Ministry, some Wax Trax and industriial music, Califone, US Maple, and so many others have all left an impact on me.
You’ve made quite a few trips to NYC to play shows in the past few years as a member of Bloodiest and as a solo artist. What are your thoughts on NYC scene and how would you compare it to Chicago?
I think that New York scene is really healthy, especially in the recent past. I kind of see NYC as my second home as far as shows are concerned.
Bloodiest at Union Pool, June 2011 (more by Fred Pessaro // BBG)
What is the current status on future solo releases and Bloodiest material?
We are currently writing new Bloodiest material and I hope to get into the studio to record my new solo LP in December. Sanford will produce.
Who/what is Feral Family? When can we expect live dates or recorded material?
Feral Family is a collaborative effort between the members of Bloodiest and Indian. We have plans to record eventually and look for live dates in 2013.
thanks to Bruce Lamont!