Carry the Weight Records

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Who runs Carry The Weight records?

CTW is run by myself (Pat) and Tomas

Where are you located?

SOUTH COAST UK

How long have you been running the label?

We have been running it since 2009. Wow, time flies by.

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What inspired you to start your own label?

At the time, Dead & Gone Records (which was THE hardcore label in the UK) was winding down. We didn’t see anything going on at the time that could fill the void so we started CTW to help maintain the type of hardcore we wanted to see in the UK. Tomas and I also had a band called Never Again and CTW was a useful tool to release our own records through.

Are you involved with your own musical projects as well as the label?

Yes indeed. I currently play in Sectarian Violence (early 80’s sxe hardcore punk), Inherit (NYHC crossover), Wayfarer (90’s clevo/metallic hardcore) and Final Rage (Right Brigade/No Warning kinda vibe). Tomas also plays in Wayfarer and another band called Hang the Bastard (Metal/Sludge).

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What do you look for in a CTW band?

A band full of good/honest dudes who know the genre well and are doing it for the right reasons. From a more practical perspective, it helps A LOT when a band is pro-active and plays/tours often due to how expensive it is to press vinyl these days.

How do you feel about the current trend of hardcore bands in the UK/Europe?

I think it is better now than it has been for a good few years, definitely in the UK anyway. It used to be the case that promoters would have to rely on a big touring American band to get kids through the door. But more and more now we see UK bands drawing in the most people and smashing it. Its really great to see and extremely positive.

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Has the annual Carry The Weight fest been an important part of CTW?

Of course! Both fests we have done previously have been a great success and really help spread the word about the label. It gets better every year so I look forward to doing as many as possible.

What motivates you to keep putting out records and getting new bands out to the world?

Probably the fact that this subculture means a lot to us and has given so much. The ‘outside’ world gets darker and darker and I want no part of it.

Do you have any releases coming out soon we should check out?

Yeah for sure: Mind Trap 7″, Final Rage 12″, Abyss 7″ and the Sectarian Violence LP are highly recommended. Will all be out by the end of the year.

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What up and coming bands should everyone check out and why?

THE FLEX. Listen and you will understand why.

What do you see in the near future for Carry The Weight records?

Just to keep putting out records from bands we think are awesome. Having the annual fest and working with some more bands from overseas.

Thanks very much for your time, any final words of wisdom?

Thanks for your interest in the label and for doing the interview! Shout out to my boy Peach who just moved out to Australia. Free Your Mind rules, go vegan, collect Warhammer and listen to Prince XXX

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Now check out some of this insane footage for past CTW Fests.

Downfall of Gaia

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Who is Downfall of Gaia?
Downfall os Gaia is Dominik ( guitar/vocals), Peter (guitar/vocals), Anton (bass/vocals) and Hannes (drums). We formed in 2008 out of the ashes of our old band.

How did you come up with this name? Does it have a deeper meaning for you?

We tried to choose a name that fits to our lyrics and the topics with which we deal in our songs and a name that describes our music before people heard any of our songs.

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How would you describe the Downfall of Gaia sound?

It’s always not that easy to describe our sound to people that never heard it before. I would say a lot of things are coming together when it comes to our sound. Somewhere between doom, black metal, downtempo, sludge, hardcore, post metal and maybe some post rock parts.

Where would you say you draw alot of your influences from?
We are influenced by a lot of stuff. On a musical base all of us are listening to lots of different music as long as it’s good. As i said before – when it comes to downfall of gaia i guess we are influenced by doom, black metal, downtempo, sludge, post rock etc. and we try to combine all of those elements and let them become one.

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Do you cover any particular issues in your lyrics? Do you have a message to project?
I wouldn’t say that there is a speacial message that we try to project. Of course all of us are political people and each song or record definitively deals with a topic that is important for us but all of that is written down on a very metaphoric way. so there is enough space for the people to create their own song meaning.

How has the band grown since it’s creation back in 2006 was it?

Anton and me formed this band in 2006 with our first drummer. In 2008 Peter joined and we changed our name and also our musical style changed from that day on. Downfall of Gaia was born. I would say that we developed on a natural way over the years. We grew on a musical base and our shows became more intense. Our songwriting grew and over the years we learned to combine different elements way better as we did before.

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Can you give a brief history of the band’s releases up to this point?
Till today we released a demo cd, a split tape with Kazan from france, a tour ep, a full length called „Epos“, s split lp with In The Hearts Of Emperors from sweden and in october we will release our new record, a 2×12 lp /cd called “Suffocating In The Swarm Of Cranes”.

Are you working on any new material at the moment?
Our new record will be released in october but after that we will start writing new songs as soon as possible.

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What can people expect from a new Downfall of Gaia release?
I would say our new record has got the most dynamic that we ever had. We gave those songs more time to grow and combined more influences and elements as we did before. The new record is darker and more aggressiv as our older releases.

Is the live component of Downfall of Gaia an important aspect of the bands existence?
For sure ! Live shows and touring are the most interesting part of being in a band.
We love to hit the road and play shows.

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Do you find it difficult to express the mood and depth of recordings live?
Not really. Live is always more intense as a record. We try our best to capture the best possible sound and atmosphere from our records and to integrate it into our live performances.

How would you describe the Downfall of Gaia live experience?

I think i’m not the right person to answer that kind of question. This one belongs to someone that shows up at a show. As i said before – we always try our best to capture sound and atmosphere, the rest belongs to the audience.

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What lies in the foreseeable future for you?

The focus is on our new record and touring. Suffocating In The Swarm Of Cranes will be available worldwide on october 9th. After that we will hit russia for a really short tour and besides that more touring is planned for next 2013. we just started talking about some upcoming tours but nothing is confirmed so far.

Thank you very much for your time, any final words?

Thank you very much for doing this interview with us ! It really means a lot that people out there care about the stuff that we do. thanks ! Dominik + Downfall of Gaia

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Sectarian Violence

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Who is Sectarian Violence?

On a superficial level we’re a handful of young and sometimes slightly older STRAIGHT EDGE kids that get a thrill out of fast and aggressive music packaged in one minute formats, share a common appreciation for Curb Your Enthusiasm, and can’t discuss football (the international type) without becoming enemies. On a deeper level we’re fighters and lovers. We’re also Andy, Tom, Patrick, Nick and myself, Staffan. Apart from this band we’re involved in some others (see below) as well as stuff like Carry the Weight Records and Law & Order fanzine.

Can you give a brief history of the band for us?
We met via tours shared between our other/previous bands and bookings shows for one another. We started off half joking about the band, but the fact that we could do it, and that we thought it could be a lot of fun, was enough reason to do it and see where it would lead us. Various fortunate circumstances plus a quite extensive network of friends and connections in Europe and North America that we’ve achieved via other hardcore endeavors made things happen quite fast, starting with Alex at Grave Mistake saying he wanted to release the first recording as an EP. Since then we’ve pretty much just let the thing unravel and tried to make the most out of it. It’s only just over a year since our first time meeting up in a studio in England to record what would become the Grave Mistake EP. Since then we’ve done a short tour in England, a longer tour through Europe, recorded and released a tape for that tour with six new songs, and I am writing this on the flight that is taking three of us over to Washington DC for the start of our first US tour.

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Is it hard to organise a band that is spread accross a number of countries and seperated by an ocean?
The only real problem is a matter of finance, since we can’t get enough money from tours to cover flight tickets. Other than that, I think many bands today work just like us discuss things online. We obviously can’t hang out a lot, but that only makes it the more fun when we do meet and tour. We’ve ll got bands at home too, as we’ll get back to. Without a doubt, the positive side of being in different countries heavily outweighs the negative. If we were a fully European band, there’s no way this US tour would have happened, at least not this quick. And Nick would probably have had a harder time book a European tour like the one we did in March/April, although it’s definitely easier for new/unknown American bands to make it over here than vice versa.

You’re a very politically charged straight edge band, can you elaborate on this?
Well we said when we planned the band that we wanted it to be one that would have something to say, and maybe turn some heads. I have no idea if we have succeeded in the latter, but I think Nick has done a great job in writing lyrics that span a wide range of important subjects. It’s also interesting to have a band like this come out with some sort of message (or a few) since we come from different political and cultural contexts that quite often clash, meaning we have different perspectives and ideas about how the world looks and/or should look.

Is keeping this message socially conscious the most important part for you as a straight edge band?

Well see, I don’t’ necessarily think any side of a band like ours needs to be more important than another. As I said in the first answer above, we love listening to, playing and performing fast hardcore punk. That, in itself, fills a purpose for us. But at least with this band, we also wanted to add another layer of, as you label it, “social consciousness” or whatever else it could be described as. I love a lot of bands that don’t really have any message to speak of, and sometimes even bands that I don’t agree much with, and I think such bands will find a spot in hardcore whatever anyone thinks about it. If there are too many bands that have fuck all to communicate of importance, then there will be kids that want to start bands like this one, and then again if there’s a feeling of too many or too politically strict bands in the scene, it will lead to a backlash as some bands will form some overly ignorant ones. I am not saying it in some completely determinist way, because as I said, it does boil down to kids reacting to what they don’t agree with, whether consciously or not.

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What are your thoughts on edge bands that cram the idea down peoples throats without much intelligent thought behind it?
I don’t think that I am in much position to say what band has given their lyrics and message a lot of intelligent thought or not. I also don’t think you need to have spent hours in the Straight Edge library trying to figure out the connections between what Ian MacKaye has said and what old Russian philosophers have written (I have, though), to be granted the permission to be forward (or “in your face”) with your message. As with my answer to the last question, Straight Edge is never going to be just Bloodpact, or The First Step, or Slapshot, or Raid. It’s going to involve all of it on varying levels. I think people who say they base selling out on Straight Edge on not being able to identify with what it has become are just looking for cheap excuses. Straight Edge was never just one thing, one current. All this said, I definitely love Straight Edge bands that are sort of overly outspoken about it, such as Ghost Ship on their full-length. Brilliant stuff! If someone has a problem with that, they should put it in the context of having advertisements and other forms of glorifications of alcohol and drugs all around us, or having to deal with drunk people, or all the suffering that alcohol consumption causes in both micro and macro level. That bullshit is forced down our throats every fucking time we leave our homes, and often even without having to even do that. People who cry over Straight Edge bands who turn the tables need to have some fucking perspective on things.

What do you think the straight edge lifestyle should involve?
Abstinence from alcohol and other forms of drugs (with exception for necessary and/or prescribed ones) and tobacco. I also think it should have a connection to hardcore punk. I am not saying German rap groups with facial tattoos aren’t allowed to represent Straight Edge if they want to. That’s cool. But we’re talking exceptions there. I once got a question during a q and a after a movie screening if it was okay to call oneself Straight Edge without having any affiliation to or liking of hardcore punk. My answer was a question back: why would you? This is a sub-culture that very specifically grew out of and set its root firmly in hardcore punk. What would be there attraction if you think the music is too noisy, or the shows too violent, or whatever else it could be?

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How long has each of you been edge?

I don’t know the exact numbers for everyone, but I have been Straight Edge for 18 years in 2012. The others all roam around the numbers of ten years, some more some less.

You’re all involved in other bands is that correct? How do you then find the time to give each project the attention it needs?
By not putting importance into a lot of things that other people build their lives around. And sometimes by sacrificing things that would have been cool.

For a band with so much distance between members, you seem to tour quite frequently, is this an important aspect of SV?
Definitely, I’d say it is the most important thing for us. To get out there and communicate via stage dives and talks over the merch table.

You’re just about to head off on your first US tour, looking forward to it?
That doesn’t even begin to describe what we feel. While Nick has done his best to make us not have too high expectations on the shows, just travelling around will be fun.

What can people expect from a SV live show?

A roughly 15 minute onslaught of hardcore punk, some short speeches, a lot of laughter.

How do you approach the writing process?

For most songs we have done so far, we’ve met up, rehearsed and then recorded directly. The first rehearsals we ever did without having the pressure to record new songs was right before the tour, and the first time doing the same when it comes to writing new material was during an off day in Warsaw, when Adam from Iron To Gold let us play in his studio. He gave us a discount because we rehearsed xCHORUSx cover. Amazing. What a good human being.

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Do you come together at a certain point to record, or is each component done seperately and then put together later?
So far we’ve recorded all instruments live in the studio in England and then Nick has done the vocals later in the US.

Are you working on any new material currently?
Yes. We are recording a 12” or LP in Baltimore during the tour. Grave Mistake will release it in the US and Carry the Weight in Europe. If things go well, it should be out before the end of the year.

What can people expect from a new Sectarian Violence release?

More of the same really. With an LP, there’ll surely be a couple of songs that might sneak their way up towards the two minute margin, but that’s fine.

Thank you very much for your time, any final thoughts?

Check out the other bands we’re involved in: Coke Bust, Final Rage, Wayfarer, Violent Reaction, Permanent, Inherit, Stay Hungry. Give these awesome European bands a shot: The Pack, Iron to Gold, Angers Curse, Anchor, Hårda Tider, Abolition, Agent Attitude, Beyond Pink, Daydream, Tales of Error, Last Dayz, Undergång, Obnoxious Youth, Death Token, Night Fever, Lose the Life, No Turning Back, For the Glory, Static Void, Unveil, Get Wise, Not Afraid, Blindside, Guilty and so on. Most of all listen to Atlas Losing Grip.

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Anchor

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I was lucky enough to meet this group of Swedish Vegans on the Perth leg of their Australia/ SE Asia tour earlier this year. This is a chat I had with them on a curb outside 208. There were some issues with the recording of the first half, so unfortunately there’s a bit missing, but it’s still a good chat. Enjoy.

Who is Anchor?

Claes – Vocals
Mattias – Guitar & Vocals
Ulf – Guitar & Vocals
Fredrik – Bass
Carl-Johan – Drums & Vocals

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You’ve got a lot of touring under your belt, is this an important aspect of Anchor?

Claes: It’s been the foundation of this band to have a touring band that’s into Animal Rights, I think those were the two things we really wanted to do. We wanted to get out on the road and we’ve been doing almost 350 shows in the past five years in the US, Australia, Europe, and South East Asia next week. It’s been the fundamental thing about this band to be out there.

Carl: We wanted to go to as many places as possible. All of us five guys give everything we have to this band, we lost jobs and girlfriends and stuff like that. I got dumped last week, and I probably could have saved the relationship if I was with my girlfriend, but this is what we do.

Claes: I think all of us have had a lot of sacrifices for this band and I think you have to sacrifice to make it go on, I mean we’ve had to switch some members because it just didn’t work for them to be on tour as much, but I think that the five of us now, it has become our lifestyles, and we build our lives around it. We’ve come so far with this band, that we realised that we have to try and help each other to make our lives work with the band, so we don’t lose our jobs every second tour, or lose our girlfriends.

Frederik: Also, I think Anchor is the kind of band that if we decided to not tour for a year, and just do other stuff, to maybe make some music elsewhere, I don’t think that would work for us, because since the start, we’ve been touring all the time. I think even the first tour was being booked before the first song was even written actually. Sounds like a bad idea, but it worked out.

Claes: We didn’t even have a second guitar or a bass when we first booked the European tour. 16 dates, full European tour, with Ritual. At that time, we were just talking about doing to band, and then we were just like, alright we’re going to do this for real now. Some of us had been in bands before this one, and kind of felt like we never did it as real as we wanted to.

Frederik: Also everyone in the band lives very far from each other, I mean, I live in Norway, I mean it’s only 4 hours away from Gothenburg, where we have our rehearsal room, but before that I lived 14 hours away for 4 and a half years of the band, I lived that far away, and Carl lived about 3 hours away and Claus lived in Stockholm which is 5 or 6 hours. So I think that if we didn’t tour, we wouldn’t do anything because it’s just too far to just rehearse every Wednesday. This band only kind of exists on tour, because we don’t get the time to rehearse, we mainly just write for the tour, which is what keeps the band together.

Claes: It became my lifestyle, this is the only way I know how to survive at home, when I know that in 2 or 3 months we’ll go on tour. I couldn’t think about going to work year in, year out. That would kill me.

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As a Vegan Straight Edge band, was it a big deal to release something through Catalyst?

Claes: Before we released it, it was a real big deal for us, because it was a big label from when we grew up, and most of the bands that have been on catalyst we really like, but I think it is really awesome to release with Catalyst because we are friends with Kurt, but other than that, he has a cool label, but we have been working with 8 or 9 other really cool labels. I mean of course he has a legacy with his label that’s really awesome to be a part of. I think when I look at it now, I’m really proud to be part or React! Records and Pee Records, Refuse Records, and Let it Burn. There’s so many that have done so much for us, Kurt is one of them, but not more than any other one I would say.

So how long have you been Vegan?

Claes: I’ve been vegan since 97, so I’m obviously super old, see can see that I am about 400 years old, old as fuck. When I was younger, I could count the months, like “I’ve been vegan for two months now, I’ve been vegan for 3 months, 2 years whoa!” now I’m like, “is it really that long?” It’s not fun anymore, it’s just proof that I’m older than everyone else, I hate it. These guys are at 10 years, a couple years, not that long.

What are the main animal rights issues you encounter in Sweden?

Claes: I think the fur industry is one of those battles that really is ongoing. We almost had that abolished, but we had a new government come in and they made another stance on it because we got a right wing government who simply pushed the progress of animal rights back about 20 years, which really sucks. That’s just the tip of the iceberg of everything bad they have done to our country, they’re fucking assholes, they only care about rich people. But the fur industry is definitely a debate that’s out there for everyone, not only animal rights activists, but it’s something people talk about. Also in the latest years, there’s been a lot of discussions about the meat industry because of the health issues of eating red meat, which is definitely something that’s on people’s lips. I’d say that vegetarianism and veganism is getting trendier and more accepted.

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What’s your opinion on “trend veganism”?

Claes: As long as you don’t eat animals, I don’t care for what reason. I hope that people stick to it, but if they don’t, and they don’t eat animals for two years, then that’s better than eating animals for 2 years. Even while you’re vegan or you’re vegetarian, someone else is going to bump into you, and that person is going to be influenced by you, even if you’re going to leave it behind in two years. That’s how it was for me, I met a guy when I was 15 years old, who was Vegan, and he influenced me to become vegetarian, and become vegan, and I met him a couple year later, and he didn’t care much about it anymore. I’ve been living like this for 16 years now. I think every time someone makes a step, it’s positive, and you know maybe you’re vegetarian now, and then you forget about it for whatever reason and then pick it up again when you’re 60. My mum went vegetarian when she was like 55, and she’s been doing it for 15 years. I think as far as veganism being trendier now, I think it’s a positive thing, because as long as it’s out there, it’s getting accepted.

Historically, most people would associate Sweden with a well-run government, in light of your comments above, can you explain a bit about the current political climate there?

Claes: I honestly must say, that even though we have a right wing government, that right wing government could have been a lot worse. The whole idea behind this government, is that they have been picking up a lot of the social democratic ideas, and they’re promoting themselves as a working class party. They do of course, compromise the rights of the working class, and they’re selling out everything that used to be owned by the state, but in the perspective of other right wing governments, it’s a left wing, right wing government. So it could have been a lot worse, I’d say that the leading party in our country, while the rest of the European right wing governments have become like really neo-liberal, they’re conservative in their ways, but they are really liberal in their economic basis, and Sweden is not like that, it is still pretty conservative in the economy. So even if our welfare is being sold out, it’s taking a lot more time, and there our right wing government does not accept the ideas of the extreme right wing ones that are ruling in a lot of countries in Europe. I think, in Norway it’s different, they have a Left wing government now.

Frederik: The Norwegian left wing government is doing kind of the same as the Swedish right wing, they’re moving a bit to the middle, from the other side. That party has been in power for many many years, and people want something different, so it feels like they are moving a bit towards what the people want, so if they want a right wing government, that party is going to move that way. It’s turning more and more into the middle. I think in the next election we will have a right wing government as well it looks like.

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Recovery has been out for about a year now, any new material on the horizon?

Carl: We’ve been having two days off here in Perth, and Mattias and Ulf, who plays guitar have been sitting and having idea for riffs for new songs, because it’s been 41 degrees, so it’s too warm to be outside, so we have to do something inside. I know they have a lot of ideas, we haven’t started to put it together into songs yet, but we will, some time.

Thank you very much for your time, any final thoughts?

Carl: It’s going to be an interesting time in South East Asia, there’s going to be a documentary. My best friend back home in Sweden, is educating himself to be a documentary film maker, and him and his friend will be meeting us in Kuala Lumpur and they will be joining us for 6 days. So they will be making a south east Asia tour documentary. So hopefully we won’t mess that up, and it might be released later this year if we’re lucky. You never know, everything in life just gets fucked up all the time.

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Cattle Decapitation

 

These guys are a pretty big deal to me, not only are they one of the most recognizable bands in extreme metal these days, they were one of the first real grind bands I got into when I was younger. They opened up a whole world of new music and ideas, and for the first time, metal appeared to have something constructive to say, but still in a brutal way. I was fortunate enough to speak to  vocalist, Travis Ryan, about the band’s history, future and their latest release. Hope you like it.

 

Can you introduce yourself and let us know what it is you do?

My name is Travis Ryan, I do vocals and lyrics and stuff for Cattle Decapitation, and that’s pretty much it.

How have you seen the band evolve over the last 15 or so years?

I think it’s pretty simple, we started out as having fun trying to make really intense music, and ended up doing the same, but trying to have a little bit more melody and a little more stuff going on in there. A lot of people think it switched from grind, “straight grind”, to death metal, but I think it always had a “deathy” vibe in there anyway, and I wouldn’t call us death metal at all. I don’t know really what you’d call it, but we’re looking now just trying to blur the lines between all of it and be genreless and I’m glad that people are picking up on that. I hate labels and, yeah that’s pretty much it. I listen to all sorts of stuff, and I like to intergrate all that into your know, something extreme.

Is the vegetarian/anti-human aspect still at the forefront of Cattle Decaps’ image and content?

Yeah it’ll always be there, you know, gotta have something to talk about! Yeah I mean, there’s only two vegetarians left in the band, we’ve got a new bass player now. It was never a pre-requisite for the band or anything like that. It’s just you know, we probably wouldn’t be able to maintain any kind of schedule, or any kind of band for that matter, if we were to try and maintain an all vegetarian band anyway. So in that respect, we had to kind of cave in after a while.

 

What do the non-vegetarian members of the band think about the lyrical content and imagery?

Oh they love it! They don’t practise it, but they love it. It’s not all we talk about. If I was to only talk about animal rights or anything related to that subject, it would get really monotonous after a while for one thing. It’s always just been a theme that’s been interlaced in the lyrics even from day one you know, it’s not something that was, well I don’t think at least, well there’s been a bit more blatant songs earlier on, and even like peppered out through the history of the band, there’s been some blatant ones, we’ve been covering other topics that I feel are important as well of the past few years and albums.

So what are the others themes you like to touch on?

Oh man, it’s pretty much depends on how people read the lyrics. We put them all online for everybody to see. I mean it’s all over the board, but I’d say that the latest record is more dealing with where we’re going to go, where we’re going to end up, if we don’t visibly start trying to make some adjustments at least, which we’re probably going to end up there anyway, because we’ve done ourselves in so fucking far already that who knows if it’s even reversible. I don’t think that billions and billions and billions of particles of plastic that are swimming around just in the one area of the pacific alone, is going to go away any time soon ya know. That’s just one blip on the screen compared to everything else that wrong with the world.

How did you approach the new album “Monolith of Inhumanity”?

Pretty much with all guns blazing, Because we’ve got a new bass player, he was really hungry and wanted to get to writing, do stuff and get back out on the road and stuff like that, and the rest of us, who had been on “The Harvest Floor” knew that we had, well that was a decent record, and we had that to contend with. We set the bar a little bit higher on ourselves on that record, and apparently we’ve done it again, judging by the reviews and stuff, so who knows what the hell we’ll do on the next one, I don’t know, we’ll see.

 

Do you find yourself experimenting more musically and vocally especially?

Yeah totally. I mean I’m 37, I’m getting older, Josh feels the same way with what he does in the band, so it’s “you know what, I’m getting older, I’m getting tired of shit, I don’t want to be doing anything that feels stagnant, I’ll just try this”. With the vocals, I wanted to do some stuff that nobody, well not that nobody’s done,  not like that, it was just, I kind of realised, talking to kids, that I guess I’m one of the only people that does certain things, and tries to draw out actuall pitches and stuff out of guttural vocals. There’s also some things you can do that nobody really seems to do, to make it musical, or to have melody.

I’ve seen some 10/10 reviews of the new album, have you found that most of the feedback has been of this nature?

Oh yeah it’s been overwhelmingly positive. There’s been a couple of reviews that were ripping on it, but they were wrong! Haha, I hate to say it, but some of the reviews that are really glowing and really positive, some of them are off bass as well. Some of things I don’t agree with, most of it’s just where they do the generic, “the ripping drums! And the pulsing bass! And the cackling vocals!” It’s just like dude, they’re just reiterating a fucking bio or a quick amazon review that someone else did. Some of them don’t even put any heart into it, and we can see right through those ones. A lot of are the popular ones. On this record it’s just been nothing but positive reviews, we agree with some of it, and we don’t agree with some of it, and it’s always going to be that way because all people have their opinions, and I don’t even know why I’m sitting here bitching about people that are into the album, so maybe I should just stop.

Do positive reviews like that make all the hard work, “worth it” to an extent?

Yeah, I mean we kind of worried. I’m all about doing, whatever we want and all, but we also gotta watch it, we gotta remember that there’s kids that like us, whether or not we think they should, and we should respect that. Not cater to them, or anybody else for that matter, but we’ve just gotta always keep that in mind, that there are fans there, and they wanna hear certain things, but at the same time, we wanna do what we want, and luckily it’s clicking, it’s always clicked with a lot of people. It’s funny see to see all these people who were haters before, or at least people saying “I was never really into these dudes, I just couldn’t get into them, but this one’s awesome”. So we’re seeing a lot of that, and that’s positive, that ‘s actually the kind of shit that I wanna see. It’s starts out bad, like “these guys sucked the last 10-15 years! But this one’s good.” That’s still cool, I’d rather see that, than “with the shredding bass! And machine gun drums!” that shit’s stupid. Reviews are just reviews. Basically what I’m saying, is that reviews are reviews, and wouldn’t put too much thought into them, just check it out yourself, who cares what people think.

 

Does the writing process get any easier after all this time?

Sort of, I think, well they do it all, so for me it’s totally easy. Sort of I think, because get somewhat on a roll, and just being in a room with people, having the experience of that, over and over and over again, and writing with different kinds of people, especially when you have to remember every god damn album that we’ve practised and done over the years, that kind of experience helps things move along a bit smoother, but dude, it still took us a year to write this, and not because we were trying to make some epic thing, it was literally because we had two nights a weeks maybe, that we’d get in there for like an hour and a half, it was stupid , and it would be at 10:30/11 at night, it’s fucking dumb. What are you going to get accomplished doing that? We wanted to write the album in 6 months, 5/6 months like we’ve done every time in the past, and then spend 5 or 6 months, making the songs mature, but no, it was hard as hell to get in there make this thing. But we did at least get to play some shows , and play the new stuff out, and that was a good way to help get the songs mature and stuff.

I read something about you holding the world record for shortest/fastest song ever, is that true?

No, I tried submitting that to the Guinness world records, but it’s way more involved then anybody thinks. For one thing, there need to be a witness, there needs to be a person from Guinness flown out there, and they have to witness and document incessantly, the whole process. It’s a big thing, or something to that affect. I got a letter back, because I was trying to submit the song on the Caninus split, it’s so short that it wouldn’t even register digitally on a CD. We couldn’t get it to register as a track, it’s the blink of an eye, it’s stupid. When we did put it on digital, it’s just attached to one of the songs at the end, because it’s just too short to make it’s own track, it’s kind of funny. Yeah I tried, and they wouldn’t accept it because it had already been done or whatever the hell it was. It is, it has to be though, there’s no way you could do anything shorter, you just can’t, it’s pointless and stupid, you’d have to do the exact same thing we did, which was just basically “click”. It has lyrics, one word. Haha.

Any plans to tour Australia in the near future?
We’re trying, it’s a tough nut to crack, I don’t know what the deal is, but we’re trying, and we have two different dudes we’re talking to now, so we’ll see what happens. Sounds like it’s just a pain in the ass because somebody’s gotta fly us over, or we gotta pay the plane tickets. So basically we’re trying to get out there, we’re trying to figure it out, but it’s just a pain in the ass at the moment.

Thanks very much for your time, any final thoughts?

Seriously, hopefully we’ll see you guys soon, we know we need to come over there. The emails and the post on our website and stuff, thanks and all, they’re really frustrating, but thank you, it’s just frustrating to hear because we’d love to come out there just as much as anybody else. It’s just been a pain in the butt trying to figure who’s going to do it, and what and when, and we’ll hopefully see you soon, because it seems like things might be finally coming together. Thanks man! Hopefully we’ll meet you one day. Bye.

 

 

Wildernessking

 

Who is Wildernessking?

Keenan – Bass, Vocals
Dylan – Guitars
Jason – Drums
Jesse – Guitars

Can you give a brief history of the band for us?

Wildernessking was established in 2011, after we decided to change our name from Heathens. Keenan and Dylan formed Heathens in early 2010 as a fun, black ‘n roll project. Jason and Jesse joined later in the same year, and the music progressed naturally. We wrote more songs and grew to know each other musically, which opened up many avenues and allowed us to expand on the already evolving sound of the band. During the recording of the debut album, we decided to change our name to reflect a more adventurous sound. The Writing of Gods in the Sand was written during this transition phase, and is the first release under the new name.

Where do you draw your influences from, musically, naturally and culturally?

We’re rooted in South Africa, more specifically Cape Town, and are constantly inspired by the immense beauty of our homeland. Our city is composed of vast differences and we try to capture that same dynamic in every aspect of the band. We’re a mixed bag, culturally speaking. This does not have anything to do with the music though, or not on a conscious level at least. We’re strangely similar too, in regards to music and other facets of life, so we share certain ideals and outlooks, and goals and dreams.

Do you tend to distance yourselves from traditional Black Metal clichés due to your geographical location?

We play the music that we’re passionate about and enjoy, and express it in ways that we feel is relevant. Certainly, the fact that we’re located at the foot end of the world has something to do with us not approaching black metal in an orthodox manner. We listen to a variety of genres, so non-metal influences are bound to pop up in our music, and this is something we openly embrace.

As the name may suggest, does a lot of the Wildernessking content relate to the natural world around you?

Our natural world will always have a tight grip on Wildernessking, both musically and lyrically. Nature acts as the veil or the backdrop to our sound. From our personal experiences in the world around us, to the people who inhabit it, we are stimulated creatively, enamored and enraged. This results in a varied approach to the imagery, and opens up many roads, both old and new. When exploring the natural world, there is a well of inspiration to draw and drink from.

How do you manage to link the often frostbitten and wintery mood of Black Metal to the entirely unique South African setting?

As fans of the genre, we were drawn to that atmosphere, that particular mood a great black metal record can conjure. The clichés are in tact. We have the tremolo guitars, the shrieking vocals and the blast beats. We don’t make a conscious effort to ensure that all the right elements are in place to create a wintery, frostbitten feeling. A certain section in our songs might generate that kind of spirit. It seems to sprout more from our isolated and often harsh landscapes down here, rather than the arctic freeze up north.

How do you approach the writing process? 

We write as a unit. Someone might bring in a riff or song pattern/structural idea, and we build from there. Sometimes we write from scratch, with no focal point. It’s a collaborative process, one that we refine as we go along.

You’re probably one of the first Black Metal bands I’ve seen from South Africa, is there much of a scene over there?

The black metal scene in South Africa is a minuscule one, as the general metal scene is a niche market.  Because of this, the black metal scene isn’t a prevalent one at shows and festivals. From what we’ve observed, many bands tend to take the orthodox route, and rehash what already has been mastered abroad. In saying that, there are some bands forming every now and again, who manages to deliver in scope and approach, resulting in some good black metal.

What other bands should people keep an eye out for in your area?

The local bands/artists we enjoy are A Walk with the Wicked, Bateleur, Yes Sir! Mister Machine, Like Knives, Andrew James, Gary Thomas, Lark and Nihil (a great 2-piece atmospheric black metal project).

When you were approached by Antithetic Records, did this validate the existence of the band up until that point?

Definitely. It made us believe that other people might feel strongly about our music. There was a major turning point in our band after we received the e-mail from Shawn of Antithetic Records. We were driven to pursue the band more professionally and spend more time concentrating on and refining our sound. Suddenly being in a band was more than just releasing a few demos and hovering in the underground. We are extremely grateful for everything that Antithetic Records has done to help us make the debut record such a success.

Where has the release of “The Writing of Gods in the Sand” taken Wildernessking as a band?

The full-length has exposed Wildernessking to the rest of the world. Our goal with the album was to establish the band, to get our name out there. It has given us the opportunity to do things like this, to answer someone’s question, someone who lives on the other side of the world. The support has been great and we continue to take things one day at a time. Our focus will always be to write more material for the listeners who have been with and join us along the way.

Are you working on any new material currently?

We are currently finishing off a three-track EP called, And the Night Swept Us Away. It is a release centered on a song that was written during the recording of our debut album. Our intention was to get it out there, so we decided to record and produce two other tracks, making this more than just a single release. Apart from that, we are already quite deep in to the writing phase of our second full-length. We also have a split release scheduled for the end of the year with our label mates Young and in the Way. And next year we will be working on a collaborative split with Antithetic-approved The Great Old Ones, as well as a new full-length.

What can people expect from new Wildernessking?

There are quite a few releases expected in the year, and this opens up the door of opportunity to try fresh ideas in our songwriting. We hope to expand on different styles and elements in our music, some that may have only been briefly touched on in the past.

Have you ever considered taking a short trip over the Indian Ocean to Australia?

A few of us have relatives living in Australia, so it would be a great place to play shows and visit family. If we had the opportunity to meet up with some local bands and play a couple of gigs over there, we would definitely make a plan.

How would you describe a Wildernessking live experience, and is this an important aspect of the bands existence?

Live shows are extremely important to us, and we tend to spend a lot of time in the build up to an event. Whether it is a small club show or a large festival, we try to approach each performance in a different light. The atmosphere, the supporting bands and the crowd definitely guide us to deliver the songs in a unique manner on the night. There are different characteristics in our performance and playing that shines through on certain nights. So far, every show has produced fond memories.

Thank you for your time, any final thoughts?

It is an absolute pleasure. Thank you. We are very grateful for the interest and overseas support. You can find out more about Wildernessking, listen to our music and watch our videos at the following locations:

www.wildernessking.com
www.facebook.com/wildernessking
www.wildernessking.bandcamp.com
www.youtube.com/wildernessking
www.last.fm/music/wildernessking