Recent Posts in interviews
March 25, 2013
by Fred Pessaro // BBG
Paint it Black at Fun Fun Fun Fest 2011 (more by Fred Pessaro // BBG)
Pennsylvania's Paint it Black have returned with a new 7" due on No Idea Records, Invisible, which is available for preorder now. It marks the melodic hardcore band's first effort in four years, and they've has offered a pair of tracks for streaming in anticipation of its mid-April release. Check out "Greetings, Fellow Insomniacs" and "Headfirst", the latter of which makes its debut here today.
In celebration of PiB's righteous return to the studio, we cornered frontman Dan Yemin (also Lifetime, Kid Dynamite, etc) and bassist Andy Nelson (also Ceremony, etc) about the new release, being an elder statesman in punk and what the future holds. The results of that conversation, those song streams are below.
February 25, 2013
by Klaus Kinski
In my opinion, the most prolific and iconic television character of the 21st century has got to be Ron Swanson from TV show Parks and Recreation. Mr. Swanson is played with pitch-perfect intensity and effortlessness by the great Nick Offerman and has become a towering icon of manliness, independence, self-reliance as well as an antidote to the disease of twinkish metrosexualism that has co-opted and threatens to redefine the sanctity of Red Wings, flannel shirts, and raw denim dungarees. Ron Swanson Forever, Forever Ron Swanson.
But that's just a character. Nick Offerman is a real person. And though there are some similarities between Offerman and Swanson, the character is hardly an autobiographical representation of Offerman. Nick started acting in theater companies in Chicago in the mid-90s. He was also a fight choreographer and master carpenter at the Steppenwolf Theater Company in Chicago. In the late 90s he started getting work in movies and television shows. In the decade leading up to his breakthrough role in as Ron Swanson in Parks and Recreation Nick amassed a massive CV of acting roles, including that of wannabe Wild Bill Hickock assassin Tom Mason in my favorite all-time show Deadwood. He's also a master woodworker.
In addition to all of that, it turns out that Nick is also a master song-writer and storyteller, as evidenced in his brilliant one man show American Ham. Last year Nick brought his one man show to small stages in places like Los Angeles and New York and I happened to catch one of these shows at the UCB East. Without exaggeration, that show was one of the funniest, most satisfying show-going experiences in my life. In it, Nick elucidates the 10 basic tenets for prosperity through story and song and I cannot think of any other time that I was so entertained for such a sustained amount of time. American Ham is now on a large theater tour and will make it's way to New York City's Town Hall for two shows on Saturday March 2. The 7:00pm show is just about sold out, and the 10pm show is close to a sell out as well. I urge you to get tickets now for one of his NYC shows or a show that's happening at a venue near you.
I had a quick cyber-sit-down with Nick recently where we discussed cutting your teeth in Hollywood, the genius machine behind Ron Swanson, the brilliance of people like Corn Mo and Garret Dillahunt, a day's worth of meals that will have Vegans running for the bathroom gagging, and much much more. Read it below...
September 21, 2012
by Fred Pessaro // BBG
Birth Control album art
Philadelphia noise-punks Fight Amp are back with their latest LP Birth Control, which hits next week (9/25) via Translation Loss. The record, their third overall, sees the band wading in the same Am-Rep-y infested waters as previous releases but this time with a stronger sense of melodicism. Stream the entire LP for the first time below.
We sat down with Mike McGinnis of Fight Amp to ask him a few questions about the new record, future touring plans, and more. The results of our conversation are below.
September 18, 2012
by Kim Kelly
Brazil black thrashing maniacs Sarcofago are a band that, to extreme metal fans at least, warrants no introduction. To bring the rest of you up to speed: formed in 1985 when the members were still in their teens, the band went on to release a handful of classic albums (perhaps most famously 1987's I.N.R.I.) and serve as a gigantic influence on black metal's sound, aesthetics, and attitude. Their last official release, the Crust EP, was released back in 2000, and since then, things have been quiet in the Sarcofago camp. When news began to circulate that an officially-sanctioned reissue of 1995's seminal compilation Decade of Decay was due to be released in North America by Greyhaze Records (in association with Cogumelo), it was, to say the least, a big fucking deal.
When Wagner Antichrist, founding member and legend in his own right, agreed to do an interview, it was (to me at least) an even bigger fucking deal. Check out a few choice words (and more Sarcofago news!) from the man himself below.
September 17, 2012
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: METZ - Wet Blanket (MP3)
METZ at Pianos 8/31/2012 via @BrooklynVegan Instagram
Toronto trio METZ practice a punishing brand of punk-leaning indie rock that is a direct decedent of Steve Albini, Amphetamine Reptile and other midwest ear-pummelers. After three years and a few 7" singles, the band are set to release their debut album on October 9 via Sub Pop and does an exceptional job of capturing METZ's visceral energy onto recorded medium. We've got the premiere of adrenalized LP track "Wet Blanket" which you can download above or stream below.
Seeing METZ live is truly where it's at, mind you, and shows are intense to say the least. The band have swung through town a few times already (including an extra hot and sweaty show at Death by Audio last month) and will be here again for CMJ, during which they'll play the Sub Pop showcase at Knitting Factory on October 18 (tix). After CMJ, METZ will continue to tour and will swing back through NYC for two more shows: November 19 at Mercury Lounge and November 20 at Knitting Factory. Ticket info on those shows is still TBA. All dates are listed below.
In between rauccous live performances, guitarist/singer Alex Edkins was kind enough to answer a few questions for us via email:
Your album was a (fairly) long time coming. Just waiting to get it right?
Yes. It took us three 7 inches and a hundred shows to really get a grasp of what a METZ LP would sound like. The actual recording didn't take long at all.
Your album does a great job of translating METZ's live sound to the recorded medium. What's the secret?
Crank it up until it sounds like its going to break. Red line everything including the drums.
You worked with some producers more normally thought of in electronic circles, what made you choose them?
We feel really fortunate to have worked with Graham Walsh (Holy Fuck) and Alex Bonenfant (Crystal Castles). We wanted to avoid a traditional "rock 'n' roll" recording and make something different.
What's the secret to getting that SHRIIIINNNG noise beyond flicking the guitar strings above the headnut?
You have to really mean it!
September 13, 2012
by Fred Pessaro // BBG
"We do our own thing, on our terms or not at all. Kvlt can suck my fucking dick. I want it all. Evil has no boundaries" - Vetis Monarch of Weapon
Weapon at Rites of Darkness 2011 (more by Fred Pessaro // BBG)
Canadian black metal horde Weapon have made a few major transitions of late, moving from a staunchly independent black metal label (The Ajna Offensive) to one of the bigger labels in the genre (Relapse) and taking their show from recording-only to full-on tour mode. The occasion? The release of their third LP, Embers and Revelations, due on October 9th. Stream the new song "Vanguard Of The Morning Star," which we're premiering below, and you can order your copy at Relapse.
Weapon see these transitions as opportunites (as they should) and as such, we cornered the creative mind behind Weapon, Vetis Monarch, for a few interview questions which you can read below.
Song stream and Q&A are below.
August 14, 2012
by Bill Pearis
photo by Kyle Dean Reinford
Having previously fronted the more overtly pop My Bee's Garden and The Narcoleptic Dancers, Melody Prochet discovered dreampop, enlisted the help of Tame Impala's Kevin Parker (a busy man this year) to capture the sounds in her head, and Melody's Echo Chamber was born. Recorded at Parker's home studio in Perth, Australia, and at Melody's grandparents' seaside home in the South of France, the self titled album -- out September 25 via Fat Possum -- is a gorgeous headtrip. You can stream a couple cuts from it below.
I met Melody on a very rainy late July afternoon to talk about the new album, finding her sound and how she's going pull it off live. On the latter, NYC will find out in October when Melody's Echo Chamber open for The Raveonettes at Webster Hall.
BV: You had a couple bands before this, very different sound. What made the change?
Melody Prochet: I just grew up, really. I've always been writing songs, and the people you meet they influence you. It wasn't till I was 19 that I heard the kind of music I listen to now, so for many years it was a different style. I hadn't digested all these new things.
Was there a certain record or group you heard where you were like, "Yes! This is the kind of music I want to make!"?
A million different records. I'm a fan of so much stuff I wouldn't know where to start. I was listening to Debussy at the same time I was listening to Spiritualized or Red Krayola, so it came from all over.
How did you end up working with Kevin from Tame Impala?
Two years ago my old band My Bee's Garden supported Tame Impala in Europe. We got along and we shared a lot of songs and it just blossomed into collaboration. It started with just a couple songs but it was really easy to work together. Complimentary opposites.
You say it was easy, but as a listener it sounds very dense and layered, like a lot of work.
I wasn't hard to make, it was very organic and natural. Most of what you hear are first takes and we did the drum sounds in two seconds. We put mikes on a pile of bricks in the yard because we didn't have professional setups. It was a very natural process, making the record. But I know what you mean, the production is really cool. I'm obsessed with production, though I'm not really good at it yet myself. I have the vision, but I need magic hands to do it for me. This record was my dream sound. I've tried for years to get it but finally found the right hands to sculpt it.
Did you come in with songs or was it more born out of the studio?
I came in with songs and some basic recordings but it was messy. Kevin helped figure out what we could keep, how to organize that mess. I tend to write pretty and dreamy songs -- I studied classical music for 12 years -- but I was boring myself so Kevin helped destroy everything and put it back together, find the right balance. I think we did pretty well in that way.
Have you played it live?
We've done two shows. The first one was intense because we didn't get a chance to soundcheck, but it was all right. The second show was supporting Atlas Sound and it went so well. I think it was my first show every I enjoyed, felt like it was good enough, and felt comfortable.
Has it been hard to replicate the album's sound live?
Kevin helped with that as well, putting the album's sounds -- the Junos and all the gear you can't take with you on tour because it's gonna break -- so we just sampled all the sounds and put it on a keyboard. I think its gonna sound really good.
June 29, 2012
by Fred Pessaro // BBG
Codeine back in the '90s
Tonight marks the NYC return of Codeine, the highly influential 90s slowcore giants that released two beloved LPs and an EP before fizzling out in 1994. The band, now on tour, will play its first show in NYC in 18+ years at Bell House and tickets are still available. If you can't make it, don't miss them at LPR on July 15th (tickets).
Codeine's collective works have been reissued on in a fan-friendly format via The Numero Group (order yours). In celebration, I chatted via email with Stephen Immerwahr and John Engle about the reunion, their intentions, and where the darkness comes from. Read it below.
May 21, 2012
by Andy O'Connor
When Nasum were active, they were at the forefront of Swedish grindcore. They took the best from their peers in Sweden's fertile death metal and punk/dbeat scenes and viewed it through the lens of grindcore. As the new millennium approached, the work they began in 1992 was beginning to pay off, releasing acclaimed records Shift, Helvete, and (personal favorite) Human 2.0. The band came to an end, tragically, when vocalist/guitarist Mieszko Talarczyk was killed in Thailand from the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami that also devastated Indonesia, India, and Sri Lanka. His death brought the disaster home for Nasum and their fans, as the group had lost the man largely behind the group's furious assault.
It was all but assumed Nasum would never return in any incarnation when the band broke up for good in May 2005, three months after Talarczyk's body was identified. They never gave their fans a proper goodbye, so they're doing just that starting later this month with a limited amount of live dates, including this Thursday's show (5/24) at Europa, and appearances at Maryland Deathfest and Chaos in Tejas later this month. Rotten Sound's Keijo Niinimaa will step in on vocals. Even though Talarczyk is irreplaceable, this may be the only time that some fans get to see the band in any form.
In anticipation of their upcoming BV-sponsored trek, I spoke with drummer Anders Jakobson, who also had tenures on guitar and bass in the band, on the details behind the reunion and Nasum's legacy. That conversation is below.
May 18, 2012
Superfly presents the Great GoogaMooga this weekend (5/19-5/20) in Brooklyn's Prospect Park. As can you can see by the posted schedule, live music will be happening on two stages concurrently with food demonstrations, comedy and other entertainment while food is being served all around. Don't have one of the free tickets, and aren't planning on buying one either? Probably best to not show up then. At least that's what festival co-founder Kerry Black of Superfly told us in the interview that you can read in full below...