Recent Posts in interviews - Page 6
March 7, 2011
photos by Adam Murray, words by BBG
It's been a whirlwind couple of years for Florida's Dark Castle. After self-releasing the Flight Of Pegasus EP in 2007, Rob Shaffer and Stevie Floyd followed the release up with their debut LP for At A Loss Recordings, Spirited Migration. The LP was well-received, and the duo hit the road to tour behind it. And tour. And tour.
Following that relentless touring, the band took some time off at the tail end of 2010 to concentrate on other projects (Rob became drummer for French/Aussie doomers Monarch!), refocus, regroup, and plot their return to the studio where they made Surrender To All Life Beyond Form. Uber-producer Sanford Parker was on the case.
Dark Castle played Scion Rock Fest over the weekend, and are now plotting their return to SXSW for a series of shows that include the BV/ProfoundLore show at Lovejoys on 3/19 (with Tombs, Castevet, The Body).
Next move? Prepare for the May 17th release of Surrender To All Life Beyond Form via their new home, the venerable Profound Lore Records. Check out the first track to emerge from that LP, "Seeing Through Time", premiering here, in addition to the album art (below). "Seeing Through Time" (download above, stream below) is the same blackened doom that Dark Castle is known for, chockfull of directional shifts and off-kilter chord-progression drenched in an ocean of queasy reverb.
We sat down with vocalist/guitarist Stevie Floyd to discuss the new LP and plans for 2011 (like touring with YOB!)...
February 24, 2011
George live (photo by Bryan Proteau)
Momentum is king in the music world, and Deafheaven has it in spades. It began with two guys and eighty-five dubs to cassette, the result of which was the Deafheaven demo (streaming below and available for purchase at their Bandcamp page), a combination of classic screamo and pensive black metal that lit up the underground. Labels came calling and the San Francisco band teamed with Deathwish Inc for a limited release of tracks from the demo, as well as their forthcoming LP.
While a great demo is one thing, it doesn't always indicate staying power. Fortunately Deafheaven's new LP Roads To Judah is cut from a similar cloth, featuring another four tracks of pummeling and emotionally-tinged black-metal colored with sheets of post-rock. Check out the first song from the highly anticipated new LP, "Violet", in an edited form (for the first time anywhere), below. Look for Roads To Judah on April 26th via Deathwish Inc.
Deafheaven is hitting the road in early March and is scheduled to play two Brooklyn Vegan events - one still TBA, and the other is the previously mentioned BrooklynVegan/ProfoundLore Day Party on March 19th at Lovejoys along with Tombs, Wolvhammer, Castevet, Dark Castle, and a host of others. In anticipation of those shows and Roads to Judah, we sat down with George Clarke of Deafheaven to ask him about his band, the new LP, and the infamous demo. The results of that discussion, along with the stream of "Violet" and all tour dates, are below.
February 23, 2011
words and photos by Keith Marlowe
The Giraffes played their last show with singer Aaron Lazar on Saturday, February 5th at the Mercury Lounge, a 20 song farewell set. If you are at all familiar, an unhinged show was no surprise for the unflinchingly real band, who has spanned time and trends and never gave a shit about what anybody else had to say. A front row seat at a Giraffes show meant getting caught in a beer rainstorm, as the band and audience members alike went flying into the crowd with wild abandon. Beer and bottles of Jameson were passed. Aaron made a noose out of the mic cord, wrapped it around his neck and gave it to the crowd to choke him while he forced lyrics past his collapsing trachea. A Giraffes performance is a spectacle you will never forget, and I'm so sad this era of the Giraffes is over I feel like someone died.
I talked with all four members about this last show, and what the future holds for them. The results of that discussion, more pictures and the setlist from Mercury Lounge, below...
February 12, 2011
by Andrew Sacher
Screaming Females @ Purchase - 2/11/2011 (photo by Kellyann Petry)
Screaming Females ripped through an amazing set at SUNY Purchase Friday night. Despite some unfortunate conditions, including a fickle PA speaker and an overly rowdy crowd breaking a cymbal stand, Screaming Females did not disappoint. Their set (a solid mix of old and new songs) was not only rewarding to the long time Screaming Females fan, but I can guarantee that the band made a handful of new fans at the show.
I also had a chance to sit down with the members of Screaming Females and ask them a few questions before they went on:
BV: Welcome to Purchase, have you guys played here before?
BV: Do you know anyone who went here?
Jarrett: Yeah, 2 members of Cheeky went here. They were a really great band that broke up a few years ago who we played a bunch of shows with.
BV: Awesome. So, Saturday you guys are playing Music Hall of Williamsburg where I saw you at the BrooklynVegan CMJ showcase. You sounded amazing that night. Are you looking forward to playing there again?
Jarrett: Yeah, I really like that venue a lot.
Marissa: We've played there a bunch, it's nice. The security guys really likes us. I don't know his name but he's a nice guy. I hope he's there tomorrow.
Jarrett: It's a cool venue. I remember when it was North Six and it was a hellhole, now it's really nice. I'd say it's one of the best places in New York to play.
Mike: It's a good place to bring your parents.
Marissa: Yeah, it's a good place for your parents to come see you. There's like parent quarantine. There's a little pen for them, like where you keep your puppy.
BV: What other places do you guys like playing in NYC?
Mike: Death By Audio is really, really cool. Pretty much everywhere except Trash Bar. (Laughs)
Jarrett: Yeah, anywhere you can play except Trash Bar, it's like the worst venue.
January 18, 2011
Roger Miller (Mission of Burma) @ Maxwell's (more)
"Of all the punk-inspired bands that came out of Boston in the early 80s, none were better than Mission of Burma. Arty without being too pretentious, capable of writing gripping songs and playing with ferocious intensity, guitarist Roger Miller, bassist Clint Conley, drummer Peter Prescott, and tape head Martin Swope galvanized the city's alternative rock scene, and despite a too-short existence, set a standard for excellence that has rarely been equalled -- a standard the band upheld when they unexpectedly reunited in 2002." [AllMusic]Mission of Burma has two announced shows coming up in the near future. On January 28 you can catch them at Maxwell's in Hoboken with Grandfather (tickets). On January 29 they hit the Bell House with Buke and Gass (tickets). A few days later Roger will be back for three more NYC shows with his less-punk trio Alloy Orchestra.
BV photographer and writer Chris Gersbeck caught up with Roger on the phone on Monday. Here's what they talked about...
Chris: How are you doing?
Roger: Pretty good, I'm in Vermont, I'm kind of in a mountainous area which is why my cell phone doesn't work.
We're excited to talk to you, thanks for doing this. Last time I saw you guys you were opening for Yo La Tengo for one of their Hanukah shows.
[laughs] That was pretty out of control.
How did that come about, I know the connection with Clint producing their debut, but do you all still keep in touch?
Yeah, we're friendly with them, we've played festivals with them and shows. There's a few bands around that I consider to be kind of like us in the sense that they started a long time ago and they still exist. You know, they aren't a new band, but they're still a band, they're a band of veterans that people respect and to some degree Burma is like that. Sonic Youth, Shellac, these are kind of people that are similar to us in my mind. Wire.
November 29, 2010
by Michael Hill
"The guys that we were working with before just had this mental thing where we can just write whatever we want and people are gonna like it. It's like what the fuck is up with that? Are you kidding?" - Keith Morris
OFF! (photo by Dan Monick)
Keith Morris was the original front man for Black Flag and later the Circle Jerks, two bands that defined the sound, ethic and attitude of American Hardcore Punk. For that, he achieves legendary status, at least in my eyes, so when I was offered the opportunity to talk to him about his new band Off!, I was blown away to say the least. If you were basketball fan, it would be like meeting Michael Jordan, Larry Bird or Magic Johnson.
The easy way out would be to label Off! a "supergroup" but that's not accurate. The reality is that the band is made up of a group of friends that happened to all have been in great bands. That's apparent when you listen to the 16 (18 minutes long!) tracks on The First Four E.P.s and see the live show. The core of the band is Morris and Dimitri Coats, the guitarist/vocalist for Burning Brides. The rhythm section consists of Steve McDonald (Redd Kross) on bass and Mario Rubalcaba (Hot Snakes, Black Heart Procession, Clikatat Ikatowi) on drums. The music is raw, to the point and vicious, it's everything you want a hardcore punk band to sound like but after talking to Morris and Coats, it was made clear to me that Off! is a band that sounds like a punk band but doesn't carry the baggage of being a punk band. You won't see any Mohawks or leather jackets, there won't be any whining about "The Scene" or any posturing going on. You just go to the show, get your mind blown then go home taking with you a true, honest experience.
I showed up to the interview [on 10/21 in NYC] about 30 minutes early, got a cup of coffee and kicked it in the lobby of the office where the whole thing was going to take place. I had questions prepared...I was trying to be a "pro" as possible but when I heard Keith Morris's unmistakable voice emanating from the other room, I became like the 16 year old fan boy that wrote the words "Damaged" on a plain white t shirt with a black sharpie and pounded 1 litre bottles of Jolt! Cola. I also learned that you don't actually interview Keith, you sort of capture his vibe and maybe steer him towards the subjects you want to talk about.
Read part one of our talk below...
November 10, 2010
by Andrew Sacher w/ photos by Kellyann Petry
Death @ Purchase
"Forgotten except by the most fervent punk rock record collectors -- the band's self-released 1976 single recently traded hands for the equivalent of $800 -- Death would likely have remained lost in obscurity if not for the discovery [in 2008] of a 1974 demo tape in Bobby Sr.'s attic. Released [in 2009] by Drag City Records as "... For the Whole World to See," Death's newly unearthed recordings reveal a remarkable missing link between the high-energy hard rock of Detroit bands like the Stooges and MC5 from the late 1960s and early '70s and the high-velocity assault of punk from its breakthrough years of 1976 and '77. Death's songs "Politicians in My Eyes," "Keep On Knocking" and "Freakin Out" are scorching blasts of feral ur-punk, making the brothers unwitting artistic kin to their punk-pioneer contemporaries the Ramones, in New York; Rocket From the Tombs, in Cleveland; and the Saints, in Brisbane, Australia. They also preceded Bad Brains, the most celebrated African-American punk band, by almost five years." [NY Times]I met with Bobby Hackney, Dannis Hackney, and Bobbie Duncan of the legendary proto-punk band Death before their set at SUNY Purchase's Fall Fest this past Friday, to discuss their second full length album, Spiritual, Mental, Physical, which is set to be released on January 25, 2011 through the label Drag City. As previously posted, Death sent out this message via Drag City back in October:
BASEMENT OF WHAT WAS ONCE KNOWN AS GROOVESVILLE STUDIOS - DETROIT, MI - May 7th, 2010Bobby and Dannis are brothers and both original members of Death who were active from 1971-1976. Their other brother and original member, David Hackney, died of lung cancer in 2000. Death reformed in 2009 with new Death member Bobbie Duncan on guitar. Bobby, Dannnis and Bobbie all also play together in Vermont-based reggae band Lambsbread.
"After searching for almost eight hours, I removed a box with a Master in it and vaguely saw some big red letters on the box below it. I shinned the light on this box to clearly see the writing in big red letters DEATH. I screamed with excitement DEATH!!, DEATH!!, DEATH!! Everyone in the building starting to scream and wildly cheer and applause. Upon seeing those tapes, it brought it all back, David had written those big red letters on the tape. Engineer Jim Vitti had jokingly drew a skull and crossbones on the box after the name to which David did not like telling him "We are not that kind of Death". I was full of emotion, I cried. We were all elated, Jacque was elated, I called up Dannis who was in Vermont and he began to joyfully celebrate. I thought about David. If David were here with us all that has happened to Death up to this point would pale in comparison to what we found today. The tapes were right where Brian said they were sitting there awaiting us for 34 years." - Bobby Hackney
BV: Welcome to New York, how was your trip?
BH: Trip was great, thank you for welcoming us, first time in Purchase.
BV: I know it's not the most conventional setting to play, being that it's a small college an hour outside the city, but from what I gather, you guys have performed as Lambsbread at a number of colleges, so you are no stranger to performing at colleges.
BH: Oh no. We've played a lot of colleges in New England, just about every college in New England. A lot in the state of New York too, so you are correct about that.
BV: How is that, performing for kids at school, especially being that Death is now appreciated by younger fans who weren't even born when you first formed?
BH: It's amazing, I mean it's really magical to us, we just really appreciate the fact that people are tuning in to our music. It's great, it's really great.
November 4, 2010
by Kim Kelly
Tom Warrior at Gramercy Theater (more here)
Thomas Gabriel Fischer - Tom G. Warrior to you - is one of extreme metal's truly legendary figures. He is the definition of a lifer. From the first primal screams of Hellhammer through the incredibly influential and ever-tumultuous Celtic Frost to his latest endeavour, the darkly cathartic Triptykon, the man has spent well over half his life creating, appreciating, and inspiring metal, and his fans love him dearly for it. However, as he was quick to remind your humble narrator, Tom is still a mere mortal, made up of the same flesh and blood and heartache as you, me, and the legions of metalheads the world over that call him their hero. He has had his doubts, his failures, and his own demons to fight, but has risen above to offer us yet another chance at redemption.
Our interview took place in a cramped office backstage at New York City's cavernous Gramercy Theatre. As paint-streaked members of 1349 wandered by and the dull roar of excited fans outside filtered through the door, Tom offered up an deeply personal and intensely honest look at his new band, his past, and himself. It was an honor and a great pleasure to speak with him, and I hope you enjoy delving into this admittedly gargantuan account. Only one question remains...are you morbid?
September 28, 2010
DOWNLOAD: Unearthly Trance - "The Horsemen Arrive In The Night" (MP3)
Ryan Lipynsky on stage w/ Unearthly Trance (more by Markus Shaffer)
Unearthly Trance may be celebrating their new LP V TODAY (9/28) via Relapse Records (same day/label as Black Anvil's Triumvirate), but it definitely ain't all rays of sunshine. The NYC trio bulldoze and pillage their way through twelve new tracks, all while seething with a fury that could only come from NYC. Dig on one of those tracks, "The Horsemen Arrive In The Night".
With V finally in the open, the record will be celebrated with Swedish doom band SUMA (profiled here) at Union Pool tomorrow (9/29) with Pharoah (profiled here) as part of a larger tour for UT/SUMA. The band will hit the road for additional dates in the coming months.
We sat down with Ryan Lipynsky to discuss the band and the new record, as well as his work with The Howling Wind & Pollution, and life in the NYC heavy music scene. The results of that conversation are below...
September 14, 2010
R. Loren of Pyramids has friends, and lots of 'em. The Texas experimentalist seemingly employed them all to contribute to a pair of self-titled releases due at the beginning of October: White Moth and Sailors With Wax Wings. Both are new solo projects with new albums.
Sailors With Wax Wings, due on 10/5 via Angel Oven, features greats like David Tibet (Current 93), Ted Parsons (Swans, Jesu, Godflesh), Simon Scott (Slowdive), Aidan Baker (Nadja), Vern Rumsey (Unwound), Dominick Fernow (Hospital Productions, Cold Cave, Prurient), Aaron Stainthorpe (My Dying Bride), Jonas Renkse (Katatonia), Marissa Nadler, and others to its eight tracks, adding in co-production/mixing from Colin Marston (Krallice, etc) and mastering from James Plotkin (Khanate). The LP touches on elements of black metal, ambient, and shoegaze on tracks like the currently streamable "If I Should Cast Off This Tattered Coat" and "And Clash And Clash Of Hoof And Heel", the video of which is viewable below.
Loren's second, White Moth, will hit stores one week later (preorder here). The project, which he describes as milemarker towards "the resurgence of digital hardcore", moves in a somewhat different direction but employs the same collaborative spirit; the LP features Colin Marston (Krallice), Sam Hillmer (Zs), Lydia Lunch, Dälek, Alec Empire (Atari Teenage Riot), Shelby Cinca (Frodus), John Gossard (Weakling, Asunder), and Chet W. Scott (Blood Of The Black Owl, Glass Throat Records). Dig on the third track "The Sea Was Blue Meadow" featuring Shelby Cinca, streamable below.
We had a quick chat with R.Loren of White Moth/Sailors With Wax Wings/Pyramids to discuss the genesis of the projects, and whether we will ever see the pieces in a live setting. The results are also below...