mercredi 9 avril 2014
INTHESHIT - Priapus (split 7'' 2014)
INTHESHIT, from Boson palys a well balanced grind combining old school elements (some punkish beats, some trademark grind screams) with more modern grind elements (brutal / technical parts, a massive sound), the groove, the vocals and the very tight drumming gives sometimes an impression of Pantera playing some Napalm death songs. and that's fine with me! (HERE is my review of their 2012 album).
Priapus, from North Carolina, is on the more chaotic hardcore side of grind, delivering an intense brutal and technical frenzy with a sharp and modern sound, somewhere between Dying fetus and Converge we could say. good stuff.
the split's been released by the cool Give praise records in february.
the Bandcamp page.
The guys in Priapus kindly answered to my quesitons by mail, so you can read the interview below :
-can you present quickly Priapus and its history up to now?
jeremy (guitars): Priapus is 3 probably drunk dudes in north carolina that play deathgrind. Our drummer Kevin and I knew each other from playing shows together with our previous bands, and we bonded over sweet Nasum riffs and decided to start a grindcore thing. We plowed through some shittier band members for a while until I met Jordan (vocals) at a Dillinger Escape Plan show. Our eyes met across the bar: he, in an Insect Warfare shirt; me wearing a homemade Maruta hoodie. (Note that this scenario, when it happened, was just as homoerotically charged as it sounds.)
a couple weeks later we were all hanging out and listening to music, and since our vocalist at the time had just showed up late to play a show in his elevator repairman workshirt, Kevin and I drunkenly invited Jordan to come by our practice space the next day and do vocals (despite the fact that he’d never been in a band before). The next day, I woke up thinking Jordan was going to be terrible and we were going to have to tell him that we didn’t want him in the band and that this would ultimately fuck up our friendship, but he actually ended up sounding incredible and really really pissed off. So it worked out well! i take 100% of the credit for this decision.
-what about your new split with Intheshit, how does it fit in your discography? how did it happen?
jeremy: we’ve known the ITS dudes for a couple years, just from playing shows together, and we’d always dug their sound - really angry, killer musicianship, and extremely aggressive (maybe because BOSTON, who knows??). Plus both band names are fucking awful, so we knew it would be a good grindcore record.
in terms of how it fits in our discography...we always push each other to change things up a bit (while still sounding like Priapus), but our ultimate goal is still the same as it was from the beginning: write music that is fun for us to play, interesting to listen to, and memorable enough to stick in peoples’ brains. hopefully these songs accomplish that.
-is a first full length album on the way?
Kevin (drums): We’re working on some new material for a one sided LP. We have something like 6-8 songs in the works with 3 them being complete. We hope to have the writing process done here within the next month or two and then hit the studio.
jeremy: I usually don’t ever want to listen to grindcore records for longer than 15 minutes, 20 max, so I doubt we’ll ever do a “real” full length. Plus we are just pretty fucking lazy individuals.
-how would you describe your music? do you think saying your music is "somewhere between modern deathgrind and chaotic hardcore" is relevant?
Kevin: Yea, you could say that. Jeremy and I have a lot of death metal influence in our writing from our prior band experiences. I don’t think it’s something that we set out to do intentionally though but you can hear it in our music.
Jeremy: That’s a pretty good description, although musically Priapus is probably closer to death metal & grind then hardcore. Jordan’s vocals and the overall rawness is probably where the hardcore vibe come from. We definitely didn’t want to lose the grime and dirt of the earlier grind and crust influences we had, but at the same time I really like some of the more technical aspects of death metal.
By “technical” (and, in the context of music, i hate that fucking word), I don’t mean like sweep picking and wanky shit like that...more like interesting riffs/drum parts/song structures that stand out a bit, and aren’t just constantly shifting power chords and d-beats/blasts. pretty consistently, my favorite bands are the ones that meld adept playing with punk sensibility - stuff like Assuck and Discordance Axis. I’m definitely not putting us in the same category as those bands, but that’s the kind of blend I like when I listen to heavy music.
-which subjects are you dealing with in the lyrics of the songs?
Jordan (vocals): Adversus is about rejecting organized religion. I grew up going to a Pentecostal church from the time I was born up until I was probably 16 years old or so. I met a lot of the friends I have today in that environment and I’m grateful for that, but once I was old enough to really understand a lot of the completely insane shit that’s talked about in the bible and actually grasp how ignorant a lot of the shit the church supported was, I realized that it was something that I never wanted anything to do with.
Failure Addict is about drug & alcohol abuse, isolation, and the depression that comes along with it. I’ve spent a decent amount of life completely out of my mind and generally just fucking up, so you might notice that these themes come up in quite a few Priapus songs haha.
Jeremy: Jordan writes all the lyrics with no input from Kevin or myself, and I fucking love what he’s done. You could probably sum up our lyrical themes with one word: “failure”. Everyone has fucked up and let people/loved ones down at some point, so it’s a pretty universal theme. It’s kinda uplifting in a way - like, you’re not the only one that has made terrible life decisions, so own your choices, accept the consequences and move on.
-how did you get into extreme music? which bands were more influential for you, either for the music or for other things?
Jordan: I give total credit to my brother (RIP) for getting me into heavy music. He was six years older than me and was really into a lot of heavy bands in the 90’s. He’d make me cassette copies of shit like Helmet, Pantera, White Zombie, etc., when I was a kid, and once I had a taste for stuff like that, I became obsessed with finding that next band that was faster and heavier than the last.
As far as influence in Priapus, I don’t know, I try not to emulate anyone’s vocals, but some of my favorite vocalists would be Jon Chang (Discordance Axis), Pete Ponitkoff (Benumb), Ken Leek (The Neighbors), JR Hayes (Pig Destroyer), and Chino Moreno (Deftones).
Jeremy: I started listening to thrash in middle school, shit like Slayer, Anthrax, etc. After going through a hilarious nu-metal phase, I started wanting to find the most extreme shit I could, music-wise. That + starting to play guitar (and trying to learn songs that would stretch my limited skills) led me to death metal, brutal DM and grindcore.
In terms of influences, from a general standpoint (IE, things that motivate me to play music), I really like bands/musicians that are consistently pushing themselves or setting new milestones within their genre - Steven Wilson, Deathspell Omega, Bireli Lagrene, the aforementioned Discordance Axis, Ulcerate, His Hero Is Gone, dredg, Ephel Duath, Venetian Snares, Demilich, King Crimson, Cynic, Gorguts, Paatos, John Zorn’s Naked City & Painkiller stuff.
Sorry, not too much grind shit there haha! But now that I’ve listed those bands out, I think that one common factor amongst them is that there’s always a fucking hook (possible exception being the John Zorn shit). Songwriting always seems to take a backseat in extreme music, and that’s a shame, because it IS possible to write a memorable, catchy fucking grindcore song - like any good song, it’s just all about tension and release. With grindcore, where you’re always at level 10 out of 10, you can’t use dynamics to create this tension/release - so you use feel changes, drum patterns, instrumental breaks and tempo changes to build the push and pull that you need for writing a great song. Bands like Pig Destroyer, Nasum, Rotten Sound are great at this, and that’s why people respond to it so well. These bands just write great fucking songs.
More specifically, for guitar playing, major influences probably don’t contain any big surprises: Scott Hull from Pig Destroyer, Luc Lemay from Gorguts, Rob Marton from Discordance Axis, Steve from Assuck, Eduardo & Moe from Maruta, Mieszko from Nasum, Dorian from Noisear, Fredrik Schalin from Anata, Vogg from Decapitated, Ron from Malignancy, Giulio from Hour of Penance, dudes from Wormed, etc….I could go on.
Kevin: I kind of hit the “Metal Lottery” as a kid in the late 80’s - early 90’s, so to speak. I had an older cousin and two neighbors; one of them being in a Death Metal band called Atropos, that were really into metal and took the time to expose me to it.
The guys in Atropos taught me what it was like to be in a band and I learned a lot of my chops from them. I was around 11 or 12 when they started up and I was always going to their practices, hanging out, learning adult language and what cigarettes tasted like. Awesome times. I think that they are still my biggest influence and why I still play today.
-which bands from your area would you recommend?
Jordan: NC has some sick bands that are definitely worth checking out. I’ll list my top three at the moment, (sorry to any friends that feel snubbed, I’m trying to keep this brief!): No Tomorrow (d-beat/crust from Wilmington), Torch Runner (grind/hardcore from Greensboro), and Irata(sludge from Greensboro).
Jeremy: Holder’s Scar from Greensboro is really fucking fun hardcore with a great drummer. Mourning Cloak is super-slow doom stuff with dudes from Torch Runner and Graf Orlock (also featuring our buddy KRIF BILBERT, with whom we record at Legitimate Business). Born Hollow plays screamy hardcore and has a lead singer that may be a legitimate crazy person. Also, I play drums and Jordan does vocals in another poorly-named grindcore band called BRAINxTOILET.
-what is planned for Priapus in the coming months?
Jordan: Our main focus right now is getting our new album written and recorded. Kevin and I will both be welcoming little baby grinders into the world this Summer, so after we get this album taken care of, we’ll probably take a couple months off from playing shows and shit to focus on family stuff. Hopefully we’ll be able to get back to the daily grind in the Fall and will be pushing the new record hard and playing as many shows as possible while continuing to work on new material.
Kevin: Changing a fuckton of diapers.
Jeremy: Playing with my dog and not having babies like a dick.
-which evolution would you like to see for underground music in the future?
Jeremy: Just evolving and changing is good enough for me. New influences and perspectives will keep a genre fresh and add new fans/keep current ones. I love straight forward face-ripping grindcore, and that will always be around, but shit like the last Dephosphorus record is the kind of stuff I love to hear.
-something to add?
Jeremy: Hey thanks to Dennis/Blasting Days for the interview and to everyone else for reading/listening to our dumb shit! We would be doing this even if everyone hated it, so to meet people at shows or hear from them online that they like what we’re doing is fucking awesome and means a lot. Holler at us anytime:
merch/download music/bandcamp site -> www.priapusgrind.com
shows/news -> www.facebook.com/priapusgrind.com