jeudi 31 juillet 2014

Interview with Sissy Spacek's John Wiese

Ten days ago I posted a review of the excellent Sissy Spacek new record called Lead their exit (Here is my review), and I am pleased that one of them, John Wiese, answered to a few questions I sent them by mail. read it just below (and if you havent done it yet, check Lead their exit, as well as the rest of their discography, it's really worth it. original, intense and exiting stuff, really) :

-What was the project at the start of Sissy Spacek and how would you summarize its evolution up to now?
The band started as blur/grind, using bass, drum machine, and voice. It was more project-oriented, we played about once a year for the first five years, and mainly the output was recyclings of rehearsal and live recordings due to the geographical separation of the band members. So it never functioned as a traditional band until recently. Between then I think Sissy Spacek has been many different things at different times, depending on what was possible—grind band, noisecore, pure electronics, free improvisation, conceptual experiments, maybe even theater a few times... Currently, and for the last years, we've been operating strictly as a grindcore band live, playing song-based material, but recorded we still like to be free to try anything we're curious about.

-Do you play or have played in other bands?

Myself, not really. Charlie has a long history of bands that he's played in. Knelt Rote was his last main band before he left Portland. In the early 2000's he was in a band called Sleetmute Nightmute that I would encourage people to seek out. They made one LP.

-Do you think noisegrind is a relevant label for Sissy Spacek's music (as far as label can be relevant I mean..)?
I don't argue about genre labels with anyone—requires too much of the kind of social interaction I don't care about.

-With which kind of bands are you usually playing with? do you see the band as being part of a scene and which one would it be (grind? punk? noise? something else?)?

I can't say that I see any identifiable scene that we're apart of. I'm unaware of any bands with similar interests. I happen to like diversity at an event, so we often play with all kinds of different types. Or sometimes no one—the last show we played at Dem Passwords in Los Angeles we set up a two-channel video of a piece we made, a monitor showing 13 Sissy Spacek videos (conceptual and documentation), and also a 5-channel sound piece that played all evening and through our live set.

-What about Lead Their Exit? Isn't it a bit more "normal" grind than some of your other records?

This record is more representative of our live set. We're writing much more material now and will be releasing these records along side all of our others. I think it creates a much broader picture for the listener. But we've released many grind records over the years as well.

-What is the writing process in Sissy Spacek? Do you have a specific idea of how the next record will be before you write it or is it more writing some  songs and gathering it on a record when you have the occasion to release it?
We just write one song at a time and record at a studio when we get a chance. To me, our goals are usually just 7-inches. I like the format a lot, and I think it's the most appropriate for this kind of music. LPs are too long and represent an aspiration we don't really have.

-What about your live shows, what do you try to transmit to the listeners? Do you see it as some kind of art / conceptual happenings?

Like I said above, I think that there's a much more interesting shape possible at a show than seeing 5 bands that abide by the same genre-codes. I'm happy to have different types of things come together and add up to a unique experience.

-Which bands from your area(s) would you recommend?
From Los Angeles: Airway, Damion Romero, The Haters, Constrain, Surplus Killing, Joseph Hammer, Unica, Hive Mind, Fenian, Extended Organ, Experimental Half Hour, Allegory Chapel Ltd, Lucky Dragons, Telecaves, Leather Bath, Anti-Civilization Mask, Unexamine, Liars, No Age, etc.

-Which evolution would you like to see for underground music in the future?

Less genre-oriented/aspirational.

-What is planned for Sissy Spacek in the coming months? Do you already have ideas or songs for your next release?
We're recording our next record in about a week. The end of 2014 is also the 15 year anniversary of the band—our first show was xmas day, 1999. So we should have some kind of special release probably the beginning of next year.

dimanche 27 juillet 2014

Emanation - The emanation of begoten chaos from od (2014)

Emanation is a spanish one man band creating some very personnal music that could be described as "black ambient noise kraut funeral metal". Emanation released this year its first full lenght CD album (after an excellent cassette and a 12'') called The emanation of begotten chaos from god. the black metal association is mostly due to the overall dark and occult amosphere because the blast beats are rare, the beats being mostly slow and repetitive or sometimes bordering free jazz , and the vocals are black metal but it's mostly instrumental. also there are a few guitar riffs but it's more layers of noise, guitars, electronic, keys (maybe even a bit of brass or accordion?).  Emanation is really good in creating weirds and disturbing amospheres with some hypnotic grooves and a touch of dark psychedelia. if you like the darker regions of noise or the most avant-garde black metal I really advise you give it a listen (people liking Aluk todolo, Spektr or Blut aus nord would probably dig it).
high quality stuff of a unique kind. I recommend it highly. 

The BC page.

mercredi 23 juillet 2014

Tombs - an interview

last month I posted a review of Tombs new and excellent album called Savage gold (it's HERE). I now have the pleasure to post what Mike Hill, guitarist, vocalist and fouding member of Tombs answered to the questions I sent him by mail (thanks to Relapse PR man Franck Liempd) about his band and the new album.
find it just below (my questions in bold, answers by Mike Hill)  :

-Tombs plays a very personnal music, had you a specific idea about how it would sound when the band was formed?

We pretty much just started writing music. The only idea was that we wanted to do something free and intense.

-On your previous records, influences from different music styles were already present but I think the death / black metal meets Killing joke thing is pushed further in Savage gold. do you think so? what was your project for this album?

The concept for the new album was to go a little more aggressive, a little more powerful but still retain the melodic characteristic from our earlier records.

-what is the writing process for Tombs?

I spend a lot of time on my own, writing the main song ideas. I take the raw materials to the practuce space and we collectively hammer out the arrangements. That's where everyone adds their parts.  I draw the lyrics from notebooks and journals.

-Eric Rutan is more famous for his death metal works so it's it's a bit surprising maybe to hear him produced Tombs which is more subtle than the music he usually deals with. the result is great I think, but did you saw it as a kind of challenge for the band and for him?

How do you feel about Rutan working with the Mountain Goats? He recorded one of their more recent albums. Erik is a great producer regardless of what style of music he works in. The power and clarity of his past work is what I responded to. I saw where the band needed improvement in our recorded output and Rutan was the logical choice for us. I've been a fan of his work for decades, as a musician and as well asn a producer.

-which song on Savage gold is your favourite, and why?

Deathtripper. It's a song that indicates the future of where the band may be going.

-what about your live shows, what do you try to transmit to the listeners?

The goal of the live show is to demonstrate in a more personal setting the emotion captured on the recording in it;s most raw, direct form.

-which new (or not so new) bands from New York would you recommend?

Black Anvil and Pyrrhon.

-Which evolution would you like to see for underground music in the future?

I think underground music is evolving well on its own

-What is planned for Tombs in the coming months? do you already have ideas or songs for the next album?

The rest of the year is dedicated to US touring. We have some regional dates and a tour with Pallbearer coming up. I always have a lot of song ideas kicking around.

mardi 22 juillet 2014

AC4 - Burn the world (2013)

AC4 (2008-2013) was an excellent punk / hc band with Dennis Lyxzen (Refused, International noise conspiracy) on vocals. expect nothing like Refused experimentation in breaking hardcore limits here : AC4's music goes back to the very roots of hardcore with songs that could remind Black flag or Minor threat. straightforward but full of energy. Burn the world (released by Deathwish records) is their second and last album :  16 hardcore songs, not trying to bring something new to the style, just playing it in a faultless way wihich is also satyisfying and enjoyable. the quality of the songwriting and the excellent as usual vocals by Lyxzen being enough to make the album a very fine piece of classic hardcore, one of the best HC album released last year.

the BC page 

lundi 21 juillet 2014

Sissy Spacek - Lead their exit (2014)

this one's very wild and I love it. Lead their exit is the new 7'' by US noisegrinder's Sissy Spacek and if you like the grind or any kind of crazy sonic assault I really advise you to give it a try for it's five minutes of pure joy and exiting audio destruction. I listen to it once. press play again. and then another time. and I'm doing that each days this week. maye I got a problem but to me i's highly addictive stuff. you've been warned. Sissy Spacek is Charlie Mumma and John Wiese doing grinding drumming, punishing bass guitar and noise. and the new singer Sara Taylor (who sing also in Youth code) is doing a really good job and her screaming fits the music well. each is different but we could say their music plays in the same league as thedowngoing or Sete star sept. which means it's excellent and daring  noisegrind. not for everyone's ears but highly rewarding for those who can take it. that been said, this new Sissy Spacek record is not their noisiest and could please the bravest powerviolence enthousiast as well, and not only noisegrind freaks. it's my favourite recent discovery in grind related music.

the Bandcamp page

their tumblr

samedi 19 juillet 2014

Incantation - Dirges of Elysium (2014)

Incantation have now 25 years of existence, and with a new album like Dirges of Elysium they keep going stong! obviously the album won't be as memorable and important for death metal as were their early albums. nevertheless Dirges is a very fine album and people into old school death and doom / death should enjoy it. it has everything that makes a good Incantation album, the good riffing and tremolo guitar playing, creating ominous atmospheres coupled with the slow paced grooves, the John McEntee guttural growls, the dirty sound (even if it's not as dirty as it has been in the past), the epic songwriting (even if the closer song is maybe a bit too long) and also the more typical old school death faster and trashier songs. globally it's really good stuff with some excellent moments.

their website

lundi 14 juillet 2014

John Zorn - Psychomagia (2014)

John Zorn is one of the most avant-garde and versatile contemporary composer and his works goes from chamber music to grind through klezmer, jazz, surf and just anything he wants to deals with..on Psychomagia he had the band Abraxas performing some of his compositions. Abraxas is Aram Bajakian and Eyal Maoz on guitar, Shanir Ezra Blumenkranz on bass and Kenny Grohowski playing the drums. and as usual with musicians picked by Zorn, they are absolutely awesome, very skilled and personnal. the songs are inspired by the magical writings of Giordano Bruno and Alejando Jodorowski.  the music sounds like acid free-fusion jazz noise surf rock, from quiet to frenetic. at the same time challenging and fun. it's becoming one of my favourite Zorn albums. really excellent stuff.

the Web page on Tzadik, Zorn's label.

vendredi 11 juillet 2014

11 Paranoias - Spectral beastiaries (2014)

11 Paranoias is a highly experienced UK doom trio, with Mark Greening (ex Electric wizard, Ramesses) Adam Richardson (Ramesses) and Mike Vest (Bong). Spectral beastiaries is their first album (after the EP superunnatural) and without surprises it sounds a lot like Ramesses, but with a more psychedelic and weird side (Mike Vest touch maybe?). so they delivers horror psychedelic doom of the best quality, and they do it with a welcome personnal touch and originality. be prepared to be taken in a sinister and trippy journey.

the Bandcamp page.

jeudi 10 juillet 2014

Origin - Omnipresent (2014)

Since more than 15 years ago, Origin means the most intense, dense and technical death metal. Omnipresent, released by Agonia records is their sixth album and carries on the evolution they undertook from Anthitesis, letting more "breathing space" for the listener, with less focus on technical playing and brutality and more on melody and songwriting (although they remain damn brutal and technical!). But on Omnipresent they put aside the more "progressive" elements of Entity in favour of a more direct approach, with shorter and less complex songs. It's probably their album with the more diversity, with fast ragers, melodic and very technical instrumental interludes with amazing guitar work, and even a nearly punk song! Even if it probably won't stay as their most memorable album (but honestly their first ones created such huge shockwaves that the task is very hard for them now to top it…), they did a good job in offering something sounding fresh and new while keeping their trademark style. Looks like they just can't do wrong!

the BC page.

jeudi 3 juillet 2014

Wake / Theories - split 7''(2014)

here's a cool split 7'' (released earlier this year by the very good 7degrees records) between two grind related north american bands.

Wake is a fast rising Canadian band  playing some merciless hardcore grind.

Theories is a recent band from Seattle and they play the grind with an healthy dose of death metal adding some more deadly groove and contrast. Here is my review of their first EP with the interview we did at the time.

on this split each band plays two songs of their own (one short and fast and one longer and more mid tempo) plus a cover of His hero is gone. recommended stuff!

the BC page.