Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Massgrav Interview

1.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band since the recording and release of the new
album?

Johan: We’ve kept ourselves busy writing a bunch of new songs for an upcoming split-7” with the swedish band Proteststorm. We’re gonna hit Studio Wolfden again in Januari 2018 and then we
cross our fingers for an early spring release of that little nugget.

Also we’ve booked a few gigs for 2018.‘



2.Recently you have released a new album, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording and also how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the
past?

Johan: Yeah, “Stockholm Rockers”. It sounds just the way we wanted it to sound. Fast hardcore/ thrashcore with some grinding parts and a massive dose of rock’n’roll.

It’s pretty hard for me to say if the new stuff differs from our old releases. We constantly write new songs and any kind of progression or development is just a natural step for us. You know, we
have our formula and if a song or an album goes in a specific direction its more of a “clue” or “key” to what music we recently listened to or got inspired by.

We’ve never”decided” or chosen that a new album or recording should sound in a certain way or have songs that are in this or that  style. Both me and Ola, who writes all the songs, knows the
“Massgrav formula” for a song and we pretty much bring everything we write to the rehearsal. If the song differs too much from how a Massgrav songs “should sound” then we throw it away.

On “Stockholm Rockers” I think there are a few slower, longer songs, and that might be a little unusual for us. But on the other hand we have a lot of total ragers as well to compensate.



3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the newer music?


Ola: Well, old fans probably won’t notice a huge change - we’re still writing songs about politics, bosses, religion and idiots (and the frequent times when those things overlap). I would say we’ve gotten a tiny bit more political and maybe a little bit more personal too but in the end, it’s still us taking out our aggression's on our listeners.

Johan: All the things that we hate - like our jobs and the state.


4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Massgrav'?


Ola: When we started out, we had a really crappy name in mind and we quickly realized we needed to change. Me and Norse made a list each with names we thought would be better, “Massgrav” was on both on them so we figured that was it. This was when Internet was just gray background and blue links so we had no idea there had already been a Massgrav in Sweden, 15 years earlier (not exactly the most famous band of that era, they released one song on a comp tape). Now, the two bands that ALSO choose to name their bands Massgrav after
us, really can’t make the same defence for themselves - either they were too dumb to do a web search or too cool to care. The same thing goes for the canadians in Massgrave.


5.The band has been around for more than 20 years, what is it that motivates you to keep going after 2 decades?

Johan: The lack of any other good, fast  bands. Someone’s gotta give the masses bread and circuses.



6.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?


Ola: Our performance? We just get up there and play as fast as we can and yell really loud. Since there are so few long parts without vocals, we’re pretty much stuck by the mike stands, so there’s not much of a performance, but we do our best to make it as intense as possible.


Johan: Since we’re a trio I always think we perform better on the smaller stages. When you get up on those gigantic festival stages its kinda hard to fill em up with only three people, one stuck behind his drums and the other two stuck by the mikes. So I’d say you should catch Massgrav at a small club or venue with 100-300 people. At those places you can really work up a spark or a tension between us and the crowd. Our stage banter always gets better when we are in close contact with the audience.

Man, we’ve done quite a few shows during the years but a few that stands out to me is when we played NYC at Saint Vitus in Brooklyn. When we opened for Nasum at their last show ever in
Stockholm. Playing in Russia was fun as hell and insane since the crowd was totally crazy and in to us. I also remember a great gig we did in Hamburg at the Dräschtfest - that was 15 minutes of total mayhem.


7.Do you have any touring or show plans for the new album?


Ola: We don’t really tour as such. We’ve talked about it, that maybe it would be fun to do like a week in central Europe but so far, 4 days in a row is our maximum and normally we just do one or two shows at the time. But yeah, like I said, our goal is to do maybe a little more gigging than what we usually do and try to do some stuff we’ve been too lazy to do in the last few years (like playing more shows in Sweden (outside Stockholm, that is).



8.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of metal and punk?


Ola: Who cares about fans of metal?


Johan:Its has actually always been pretty good. Sometimes though,  we kinda  get stuck in the middle as to speak. We seem to be too much punk for the metal crowd and to much metal for the punks.


9.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?


Ola: Good question. I think we’ll continue making detours into slower parts/songs but knowing us, we’ll probably write a lot of super short and fast songs too just to make up for that.
Personally, I always think we should probably write more songs people are able to sing along to, but then when it comes down to it, I just love being an asshole when crafting songs. “This part is great - let’s not repeat it, it’ll only occur once in the song” or “let’s play the riff seven times just to piss
people off”, things like that. I don’t foresee any major shifts, apart from an increased focus on guitar solos.


Johan: Absolutely nowhere! I want us to stay exactly the same.


10.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your newer music and also what are you listening to nowadays?


Ola: Bäddat för trubbel, Fredag den 13e, Limp Wrist, Atari Teenage Riot, Sleaford Mods, Dick Curless, Cacka Israelsson, The Dahmers and Eddie Meduza answers both questions I think (except
maybe Curless and Israelsson haven’t had a major impact on our music that I’m aware of).



11.What are some of your non musical interests?


Ola: Well, Fenok plays a lot of pinball. Like, on a competitive level. We’ve thought about sponsoring him, but he needs to do a little better first. We’ll see how he does at Pinburgh this year. Me, I like tinkering with stuff in my garage (some results can be found at soundcarries.wordpress.com) and drinking beer.

Johan: I like to ride my bike, play golf, eat good food, cook  and watch the NFL.


12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?


Johan: Fuck d-beat, play fast!

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Smooth Sailing Interview

1.Can you give us an update on what is going on with the band these days?
Well, waiting mostly... we’ve been working on polishing some songs for our next EP, which are ready to record after a small tour to promote the split. Rinse and repeat... Our next year and a half is roughly planned out.

2.How would you describe the musical sound of the newer material?

WeedleeWeedlee juntjunt weedlee (spits beer in face, jump kick).   I guess kinda like that.

3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the newer music?

I think it’s mostly “we didn’t start the fire,” but played in reverse.

4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Smooth Sailing'?

Oh, you mean “Smooth Sailing Presents Rainbow Party Party Boy, and the Fabulous Prizes.”  It means “Fuck you and your pretentious ‘my band is harder than yours’ bullshit!” We dig music, and write it for us, not you. This is fun for us, so if you like it, that’s an awesome byproduct. Like life, don’t take it too seriously, because if you can’t enjoy yourself along the journey, you die a bitter old soul who missed the point.

5.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?
Some might expect me to say playing Plan B in Portland with Red Fang, or closing the night at Reverbfest in Ballard our freshman year, but for me, it’s not what you would think.
Prunedale... this place sucked.  Like really.  At the gas station, the girl at the counter asked what we were doing in town, then grabbed Jake’s arm and pulled him close...
“Get out as fast as you can,” she whispered.
It was a house show, in a barn/garage/kegger.  What looked like 250 kids soon evaporated to 30 of the most fucked up wasted kids you’ve ever ran into in a dark barn in the middle of nowhere. I mean beer boxes as masks, “your faces look like skulls!!!” kind of wasted.  Bands wanted to change the order around for normal band reasons, some of us were pissed, some of us scared, and we huddled up before we played. “Fuck-it! Let’s try to literally level this place. Play like it’s your last show you’ll ever play!”  And we did. Into The Storm got it on film, and it’s the best, most pure rock and roll you could ever hope for. No one fucked up, everyone was on point. Sweat, anger, fear, passion all very well documented. Looked like a god damned music video.  Later that night, well maybe 4am, I was awoken on the freeway by a car doing a barrel roll past us in the air because some drunk asshole hit the wheel of our trailer. I assume if we didn’t pull his blood gargling body out of the lane, he would have died.

6.Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?

No dates set, but we’re expecting something in Spring as well as possibly the fall.

7.In 2018 you have a split coming out with 'Into The Storm'. what are your thoughts on the other band that had participated on the recording?
We’ve known these guys for about 15 years now. We’ve toured and played together. Maybe done mushrooms in the redwoods together. Normal stuff. Watching them grow as musicians, honing their skills all along the way has been fun. I like the direction they’ve taken. I’d say, most accurately, they are like brothers. Love to see them, and play together, but don’t feel the need to be the same as them, and don’t want to play together all of the time, or follow each other around. It’s more special and meaningful when it’s something like this split. Different sounds, but still buds doing what we love to do.

8.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your newer music by fans of metal and punk?
People are too friendly, and only comment when they are into it. And it seems like they are into it! But I wouldn’t mind some haters. We could use more fuel for new material, so feedback from close minded assholes who our only common language is music would be cool.

9.When can we expect another full length and also where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
The next 18 months will be smaller releases, just because that’s how it worked out. When we recorded the split, we were already close to having the second EP ready to roll. So we’ll play them on the road and roll straight to the studio after, that way they are as tight as they can be. Musical direction... Meh, I could lie and say we have it all planned out, but we like to take a more organic approach. We will keep painting pretty pictures with our wall of sound.

10.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your newer music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
I can’t speak for the whole band, but as the drummer, my band influences my playing. Otherwise I listen to things like First Aid Kit, random classic country, anything played on listener powered radio like KEXP.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Hawkmoth Interview

1.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band since the recording and release of the new album?
We’ve been working hard at rehearsing the new material in preparation for a run of shows starting this week. This new material demands a lot more attention to adequately recreate the multi layered sounds and tones live. We’ve also had a bit of time to appreciate the positive response to the release in the last few weeks.


2.Recently you have released a new album, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording and also how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?
This album is part 1 of a double album series. Overall i think it sounds very dramatic and ominous where that feel carries over all songs and their parts whether it’s heavy and dense or quiet and spacious. The goal when creating these songs was to have a greater range of extremes and cinematic feel, so I think some of our stoner sounding tendencies of our previous release wasn’t prioritized. It’s pushing more into the realms of doom, drone and post metal.

3.So far most of the music has been instrumental, are you open to using any vocals in the future?
For now we prefer writing music specifically as instrumental music, but we’ll never say never - we’ll always be looking for something new with every future release.

4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Hawkmoth'?
A Hawkmoth is a living species of moth. A huge one with a mysterious life cycle. We’d like to think the Hawkmoth imagery suits the music.

5.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?
Supporting Boris was a major gig highlight. They are a big influence. They create a unique atmosphere with their live shows which is definitely something we aim for with our live shows. We’d like our stage performance to overwhelm and not just entertain the audience. We’re not the kind of band that interacts and talks to the audience between songs. We keep our set as a flowing continuous piece where we want  primal emotive reactions from both us and the audience through our music.

6.Do you have any touring or show plans for the new album?
We’re from Sydney so first up is our album launch Sydney show followed by a run of shows in our state. We’re in the process now of booking interstate shows to follow. Then in about 6 months we’ll be releasing part 2 of this double album series.

7.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of sludge and post metal?

It’s been great!  The majority of really positive album reviews, media features  and album purchases have been from overseas and not from Australia. Glad to be a part of the digital age for this benefit.

8.The new album was released on 'Black Bow Records', are you happy with the support that they have given you so far?
We’re very happy to be on Black Bows roster amongst some great bands. Jon who runs black bow plays in Conan who are awesome, so that has instant appeal. Black Bow helps a lot with streamlining the release by taking care of making the album available on all digital platforms and stuff like that. Also, I think a lot of potential buyers go to Black Bows site trusting in Jon’s artistic taste in bands which opens new potential fans for Hawkmoth.

9.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
We’re already planning the type and style of music to write next. We want to change and evolve. Musically, we next want to explore songs that are much more direct and condensed. We’re thinking an EP of our most brutally heavy offering from start to finish with no time to breath in between.

10.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your newer music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
Neurosis, Swans, Boris and Melvins are 4 bands that have continually influenced us collectively. I think film scores such as sci fi movie soundtracks and Ennio Morricone western sound tracks have also influenced our  newer music. Gustavo Santaolalla is another incredible movie scorer.
Some bands we’re currently listening to are Squalus, Kowloon Walled city, Dead Cross, Mono, Yanomamo, Sumac and True Widow.

11.What are some of your non musical interests?
We’re all into our thirties now so our interests have transitioned to ones that I think wouldn’t give us much cool cred to readers if mentioned.



12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Thank you to all that have taken an interest in what we do. Keep supporting local live music. Keep in touch with us on our social media pages for gigs and upcoming releases. And thanks for the interview!


Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Centuries Interview

1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?
A: We're a four piece hardcore/metal/punk/whatever band from all over the place.

2.How would you describe your musical sound?

A:Usually we're described as a hardcore or crust band but I'd say that this new record has a lot more  progressive metal influence.

3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?

A: We usually stick to more personal topics with our lyrics. And the music is written to match the over all feeling of the songs.

4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Centuries'?

A: I wish there was a cool meaning or story. It's just a name. But thanks to fall out boy we sometimes get messages on facebook from parents asking if we’ll play the song at a birthday party or something.

5.The band members live in different parts of America and the United Kingdom, how does this work out in the recording process?

A:  It's a pain in the ass. But basically we just all kind of learn the songs through videos and tabs then meet up at the studio!

6.What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and also how would you describe your stage performance?

A: I think fluff fest was our favorite for sure. And as far as our performance goes I'd have to say we're focused I guess?

7.Do you have any touring or show plans for the new album?

A: We’re gonna be back on Europe to support the record in april 2018!

8.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of hardcore and crust punk?

A: Pretty great! I don't hear too many negative things so that's good.

9.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?

A: Probably just shaping our sound in a more mature way. I definitely see us experimenting more and challenging ourselves.


10.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?

A: I mean we're all influenced by different things but bands like his hero is gone, Mastodon and martyrdod helped us shape our sound. The only thing we really listen to is Longmont potion castle.

11.What are some of your non musical  interests?

A: St Bernard's ( the dog), bicycles, screen printing, prank phone calls to waffle house asking for our lost son dribbler.

12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?

A: Listen to Ritual Mass. Wear norn shoes.  If you find dribbler please approach him slowly, you might scare him and he's got a big heart (medically).

Rabitrup Interview



1.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the musical project since the recording and release of the new ep?

Nothing much, just a lot of promo. Going to start booking some shows soon hopefully.

2.Recently you have released a new ep, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording and also how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?

It’s pretty similar to my last EP, kind of industrial sludge metal stuff. The main difference in this one is it has a lot of break core inspiration, so a lot more spastic and glitchy drums.

3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects you explore with your music?

They’re mostly about me being tired of dealing with anxiety hah, whether wishing it would go away or reminiscing on when I was younger and didn’t have it.

4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Rabitrup'?

It’s a terrible name that nobody can pronounce, but it’s supposed to be pronounced Rabbit Troop. It comes from one of my favorite shows as a teenager, Home Movies. They go to film school camp and their group name is Rabbit Troop. They’re pretty bad so all the other kids keep shouting “Rabbit Troop sucks!” at them.

5.With this project you record everything by yourself, are you open to using any vocals in the future?

I’d love to and have reached out to some people, just not all that successful yet. I really want to collab with Julie Christmas on a track or EP or something.

6.What are some of the best shows that you have done so far and also how would you describe your stage performance?

I’ve only done 2, but the first one was probably the best hah. My stage presence at the moment ain’t great, I just get real into it so kinda bent over screaming my heart out. Not that exciting to watch I don’t think. I’m working on it, though.

7.Do you have any touring or show plans for the new ep?

Not yet but trying to make it happen.

8.Currently you are unsigned, are you looking for a label or have received any interest?

Not right now. I’m planning on doing a full length for my next project, will probably send that out to labels. I sent this EP to a couple, but really I’m not sure where it fits so hard to find labels to send to.

9.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of industrial, noise and extreme metal?

I get some great feedback, it’s awesome. Granted my audience is pretty small, so who knows how liked it’d be if thousands of people listened to it hah.

10.When can we expect a full length and also where do you see yourself heading into musically during the future?

Hopefully by 2019. I’m just really impatient and have a hard time waiting to finish a full length. Once I have a few tracks done I can’t resist just putting it out as an EP. I’d like to do a full length tho, and maybe get some collabs going for it. Other vocalists and producers and stuff would be fun.

11.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?

Growing up it was mathcore and screamo/skramz, then breakcore. Bands like Battle of Mice and Admiral Angry got me wanting to do the kind of sludgy sound tho. Nowadays I still listen to all that but also a ton of modern soundcloud rap and electronic music. Anything that gets the adrenaline goin.

12.What are some of your non musical interests?

Attempting to write horror, sometimes game development, being terrible at Overwatch. I on and off try animation but it is so much work and I can’t seem to stick to it long enough to get good at it.

13.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?

EP on all major streaming platforms now so check it out. And follow me on twitter @rabitrup ‘cause I get bored and need more twitter friends.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Snowblind Interview

1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?
Puff puff pass and hello! We are a slow rolling but high grooving bunch of good friends from eastern Finland and we've been playing down tuned tunes from the year 2011.

2.A few months back you had released a new album, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording?
Two words: Body load.
Starting point for the sound of this album was to create a thick, kind of oppressing feel that could be made somewhat lighter but still harrowing with Aleksis vocals.
We used an vintage Matamp GT120 accompanied with JCM800 and AC30 to get the crushing tonal varieties from the guitar channels. All coated with Orange bass sound and vintage Tama drums.

3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?
Most of the time lyrics tend to be open for the listeners imagination. We're merely just guides to get you through the album and make your own story behind it.

4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Deadneck'?
We decided to use the name after one our first rehearsals. Those were the first times for us to play that slow and playing that slow without serious headbanging should be considered illegal. This resulted in sore necks and therefore the name Deadneck.

5.What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and also how would you describe your stage performance?
I'd say all of our shows are equally awesome. If I could add one show above all it it would be last summers Kontufolk Festival gig where we played our set in kind of folkish way. Lot's of new listeners introduced to Stoner rock & Doom!
We aim to get our groove to do the most part when in live situation. On the most energetic evenings you might even see some of our faces behind hair!

6.Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?
We have! We're hopefully going to do a small southern Scandinavian tour next summer and we are also planning to get to Germany and southern Europe too!

7.The new album came out on 'Kozmik Artifactz', are you happy with the support that they have given you so far?
Kai from Kozmik Artifactz has been more than good to us! It didn't take much time and consideration to sign the deal with them.

8.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of stoner rock and doom metal?
Considering how far we're from middle and southern Europe our latest record has had a very positive and welcoming feedback from all over Spain to Germany!
It seems like the stoner and doom genres are now at peak levels and so many good bands are popping out everywhere so it's hard to get recognized these days.

9.where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
I'm sure we have the right navigation system loaded into our machine now and let's say that the future tunes have even more progressivity than on "Levitation".
We're going to have two studio sessions this year, one for a small EP and second for our next full length. Between those there's going to be a lot composing and hopefully some nice summer shows!

10.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
Whole Deadneck thing started with Electric Wizard and Kyuss and perhaps you are able to find some similarities here and there. I'm not going to lie to you that Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd wouldn't be among the most influential bands for us.
If I'd have to mention few of newer bands I'd say that All Them Witches, Black Tundra and Monolord have been on my turntable very often.

11.What are some of your non musical interests?
We really like to play video games. Alot. And Aleksi is on his way to be a master guitar luthier. We're always interested in everything creative, from cinematography to wood carving.

12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Let's hopefully meet in the heat of the next summer! Turn on, tune in and drop out.


Sauli answered all the question.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Centuries/The Lights Of This Earth Are Blinding/Southern Lord Recordings/2018 CD Review


  Centuries  are  a  band  with  members  from  the  United  States  and  United  Kingdom  that  plays  a  mixture  of  crust  and  hardcore  punk  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2018  album  "The  Lights  Of  This  Earth  Are  Blinding"  which  will  be  released  on  January  28th  by  Southern  Lord  Recordings.

  A  very  dark  and  heavy  sound  starts  off  the  album  along  with  some  angry  hardcore  style  screams  a  few  seconds  later  while  the  music  also  mixes  in  elements  of  crust  and  d  beat  as  well  as  the  solos  and  leads  also  being  done  in  a  very  melodic  fashion  and  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them.

  A  decent  amount  of  dark  sounding  melodies  can  be  heard  in  the  guitar  riffing  while  acoustic  guitars  can  also  be  heard  briefly  along  with  the  faster  sections  of  the  songs  also  bringing  in  a  decent  amount  of  d  beats  and  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced and  fast  parts  and  as  the  album  progresses  a  brief  use  of  clean  playing  can  also  be  heard  as  well  as  one  song  also  bringing  in  a  small  amount  of  acoustic  guitars  and  the  last  track  is  very  long  and  epic  in  length.

  Centuries  plays  a  musical  style  that  mixes  crust  punk  and  hardcore  together  to  create  a  sound  of  their  own,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  dark  and  real  life  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Centuries  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  crust  punk  and  hardcore  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "The  Lights  Of  This  Earth  Are  Blinding"  "Soil"  "May  Love  Be  With  You  Always"  and  "Nul  Oreitur".  8  out  of  10.