Art of burning water-This disgrace (2012)
you can listen / download it on BC
and you can read this email interview I did with Geith (guitars) that answered the questions about the band and Kunal that answered the questions about Superfi records that he is running and which is one of the label that releases This disgrace. I sent my questions when they released their former record Love you dead, but the answers are recent so it's fresh news from the band and Superfi.
-I read that Art of burning water was formed 10 years ago, can you present the band and relate the evolution of the band until now? Have your music changed a lot since the beginning of the band?
Gayf : Mike and myself formed the band in 2001. We have had many bass players, had many laughs, typical band downers, life joy, life sadness and the noise has always been a way of embracing good times and being a cathartic release of all the harsh and shit things in and about life. The music has had many twists and turns because our lives twist and turn. I think it always sounds like the way we sound but it's important to feel like you can go anywhere with the stuff you do. It's good to mix and blend. Try different sauces, different cuts of the animal, try it fried, grilled... experimenting, even if you fuck it up and it ends up sounding like Throbbing gristle when you were thinking more in the Motorhead vibe is cool as long as you mean it and it's visceral (big words blud). Intense is always good and it's always been a bit like that sound wise. Life is horrible so we have to be in order to fight back innit?
-with your style mixing metallic hardcore and sludge I guess you play with bands coming from different scenes, hardcore, metal, etc…aren’t you?
Yeah, lots of different types of bands from hardcore, crust, grind, sludge, shoe- gaze, post-rock, doom/drone, metal, thrash, arty bands and everything else in between. Played with loads of different bands from the U.K, US, Europe and Japan. We are part of no scene as such. Never really felt like we fit in but then fitting is a bit over rated....ha! Lots of great bands, many much better than us.
-what can you tell about your last record Love you dead [This disgrace is now their latest album]?
We recorded it with Wayne Pennel at the bunker. Mike and I wrote 85% of it before Steve joined and we had written stuff that we wanted to smile to because the last album was a massive spirit crusher and a cunt of an album to do. Why is not important and also, life wasn't too great for the both of us and so we wanted to just play and try and inject the joy back into it. It's still a bit dark in some places but the main joy of recording was that it was with Wayne coz Wayne is open minded and is always up for trying things. That was a total joy. Record with he. He is good at what he do.
-how do you write your songs, do you start from an idea like doing a long heavy sludy song and it’s ends with Nicaragua, or a fast pissed off song and it ends being Husker du happiness? Or do you jam and then see what happens?
We don't really jam. A jam can last five minutes (or less) and from that there would be about three or four ideas and we start working them into a tune as quickly as possible. I write riffs and structure tunes and some end up being how they were and some change lots. We go through ideas very fast. We don't spend months on stuff. If it feels cool it stays and if it doesn't we change it up quick. Mix all sorts of stuff in. From Mid period Neurosis, Buzzoven, Killing joke, Swans to Spazz, Whitehouse, His hero is gone, Joy division, Melvins to Bad brains through to old motown, crust bands to classic rock...it's all there and there is good to be had from loads more stuff. It can be 50 seconds to 10 minutes. Keep an open mind and anything can be twisted up and re-shaped. No rules. That's what punk rock taught us. Anger is an energy like John Lydon said.
-how would you describe your live shows?
Erm...Ha! Crossed arms usually...empty looks on faces. Most London shows are not very good for us. When we play outside of London then it almost always is much, much better. We formed the band in the wrong place. I think if we would have formed it in Leeds, Nottingham, Birmingham and so on then things might have been a little better...maybe. See, we mix stuff up a bit like I said before and it seems that people have to have stuff put into categories. If it doesn't fit into a specific box then you end up with a mix of fans but never really belonging anywhere. We are very influenced by what has historically come out of the north sides of England or North of London. That's where a lot (not all mind) better bands came and come from in the UK imo. London bands can be really good too it's just not really the place if you are trying to be honest...HA! We like shows that are on the floor, no stupid stage and a little bit of good anger and violence for all the family.
-it seems that you likes funny names for your songs and for the band, but what about the lyrics?
Funny titles to mask downer/depressing song themes. The lyrics and we really should print them by now, are a lot to do with cancer, England, mental struggles, hopelessness, lonliness, living in this England and never wanting to die in England, lyrics deal with those I've loved and lost whilst living in England, grief, POLITICS, England, your dreams being crushed, no hope, waking up in England, being in what feels like a constant state of sadness, being on the breadline, personal problems, your problems, our problems. Aobw, for me was always about trying to deal with a world I can not understand. I never read the secret book of life. The lyrics are never as "funny" as the titles. There you go. I've said it....HAHAHAHA!
-what’s coming ahead for Art of burning water?
Well, we keep breaking parts of our bodies so we always hope to tour until life has other plans. We recorded the fourth album in Jan and we have just finished mixing it with Sir Wayne who has done a great job on it as always. We are about to put the LOVE YOU DEAD record out finally. Thanks to the heorics of El Kunal of the world famous Superfi records. We hope to have the new album ''THIS DISGRACE' out by the end of the year provided people buy the vinyl version of LYD. Also, once Mike's knee gets better we hope to record three of the five tracks we have written with Kunal for a split with a sick band. That will be a 7" so that takes us into early next year so lookout. NO MORE FUCKING BROKEN BONES. We really,really want to tour so get in touch if you'd like to see us play your living room ANYWHERE.
-why was Love you dead released on Swarm of nails and not Superfi like your first records?
Well, Kev at Swarm of Nails was very kind and offered and believe me no-one offers to put out Aobw records so we said yes. Kunal never even wanted to ever put out an Aobw record. We just threatened to break his legs if he didn't and Kunal likes walking so we came to an agreement.
-speaking of Superfi, can you tell us about the birth and growth ofSuperfi?
Kunal : SuperFi started in about 2000 when I found myself with spare time and cash, probably for the one and only time in my life. I didn't know what I was doing and I still don't really. I placed an ad in a magazine asking for demos and got some crap and one I quite enjoyed by Red Ghetto Sun who were this San Fransisco band that sounded a bit like Helmet or 16. Rich who runs Speedowax Records worked in a record shop in Birmingham where I grew up and told me about this plant in the Czech Republic which made records. I got a bunch of 7"'s made and slowly tried to sell and trade them away, which I guess worked out because I only have one left (which belongs to me). Most insane of all was that John Peel played it on his radio show, which I only know because this guy emailed me asking to buy a copy, so that was one sale. SuperFi carried on in a pretty random, unplanned manner, doing stuff I wanted to put out when I liked. Things have definitely slowed down for the label in the past few years, but that's because I want to get a life and rein it in and do fewer, smaller scale, but still awesome projects. Also, there are lots more people starting labels and even in the (relatively) short time SuperFi has existed there's all this digital download and t-shirt bundle preorder stuff happening which makes me feel like an old man that doesn't know what the hell is going on. After all is said and done, it has been a massive drain on my time, space and money, but I have met so many good people in the process that I don't mind.
-how do you choose the bands you sign with Superfi? What are your criterions?
This is a boring answer, but the bands just have to be good man! There was never really an identifiable sound or look with SuperFi releases - I just wanted to put good stuff out and make the bands the main point of attraction. Since one release might be a grind thing and the next one a doom band, I sometimes have to find different ways of getting the records out to people, so that is something to think about. Also it's obviously easier to put a small run of 7"'s versus a gatefold double LP so that can be a factor too. I think more recently the focus for the label has been on UK bands that are earlier on in their "career" but that's not a hard and fast rule. I'd hope that having SuperFi's name on a record assures people that it's a sign of quality while still being something out of the ordinary. The label doesn't really fit in any pigeonhole, but I think it covers weirder, noisier stuff, especially for a label from the UK. Same with the distro - I try and get in stuff that no one else has, though that usually also translates into stuff that no one wants to buy.
-among the bands that have been associated with Superfi I especially like Cellgraft, what can you say about the release of their split with Drainland?
I have been friends with Jamie Grimes from Drainland for years, ever since he was in Debt and then Serpents. In fact, there was going to be a Serpents / Moss split 7", but the former broke up. Anyway, Jamie mentioned Cellgraft to me and I was blown away by them straight away which usually doesn't happen. Super harsh and fast DIY grind stuff -what's not to like? It was a split label thing so was a bit easier on the wallet. Turned out great I think, even if the cover art is totally gross.
-what can we expect from Superfi in the coming times?
I just helped put out not one but two Art Of Burning Water LPs ("Love You Dead" and "This Disgrace"), and a 7" for Good Throb which is a bit of a departure for SuperFi as they are more in a garage-y punk style. Maybe I should do more stuff like that because that has done really well. Coming up is a split 7" with Pine Barrens and Wode who are both from the Manchester area in the UK. They are both excellent new(ish) bands that have a black metal influence in their punk. There will also be a Pine Barrens LP called "Kingmaker". I will be doing a tape for an absolutely killer grind supergroup called Beg which has Geith from Art of Burning Water, Smith from Afternoon Gentlemen and a guy called Ed on vocals. Much later in the year will be something with Lupins who are a great noise-rock trio, and a split with Skylark and Meadows. And then... who knows?
Next for AOBW is a 7" for which five songs are ready to go. We are also writing new stuff and have some cool riffs going. We live far apart from each other now and can't get together every week like we used to, but we are still going forward whether people want us to or not.
-something to add?
Thanks a lot for the interest and interview!