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Interview: Oblivionized

On the 18th of February 2014 Oblivionized rolled through London to play The Unicorn in Camden as a part of their UK tour with Cowards. We sat down in the back of their van for a chat about the band’s recent activities. Our questions are highlighted in bold.

First of all how’s the album going? Have you finished recording?

Zac: So the album is about 90% done. I got a cold early on and I came back to do vocals, did about 4 songs and it wasn’t good so I’m going to be doing the rest after the tour. We did it at Vagrant Recordings with Tom Dring who’s the drummer from Corrupt Moral Altar. It’s the same place where we did the Confine record. The guitars and drums are already done. Will did the drums in like a day and a half and Sammy did the guitars in one day and smashed it. We did each song in 3 takes through different amps and just layered the guitars to get a nice tone.

I’ve gotta say the man’s on a mission. How many bands is he in now?

Zac: Sammy’s in 3 touring bands now and we’re not even mentioning all the secret projects he has going on where he’s recording everything at home. So Regurgitate Life will be touring soon, Employed to Serve are already touring as frequently as we are and then there’s obviously us.

You guys have a pretty hectic schedule. How do you cope with it all? Is it simply a case that you tour because you enjoy it?

Zac: Yeah it’s just fun. When I haven’t played a show for a while I feel a bit meh and I just feel like I need to get something out of my system. When we first started we did a show and then it became the main reason to do what we’re doing and most of the stuff I do is for music anyway. We’re touring almost every day this month. Last year we did 50 odd shows.

How do you guys cope financially? Is it easy to get by doing so many free shows like tonight’s?

Zac: Nah, the only way we get by financially is between the 3 of us we do some extra work on the side. Will teaches drums. Sammy does landscaping work and freelance. I sell graphics, freelance and do a bit of bar work. Financially we can usually cover all our touring costs but it’ll get to a point when you’re more determined to just go and fucking do it instead of make money. I’ve never considered doing this to make money. I’d rather save all my money and blow it all on tour. I realise that’s not going to continue to work in the long run and when you tour the amount that we do it can definitely be hard, but its worth it to experience some of the stuff we have.

That’s a good attitude man and I’m glad there’s people out there that care that much to just go and play.

Zac: Oh me too man. I was talking about this earlier but we did a tour with Human Cull back in early 2012 and we started in London and did 8 UK shows. In all of those gigs we played to like 50 people in total. One show had a secret headliner which brought in a big audience but most of the shows we were playing to like 4 or 5 people and it made me feel like I didn’t want to do it, but if I don’t keep doing this I won’t get to experience what it’s like to succeed. Eventually if you keep going more people will turn up but you’ve just gotta keep at it.

If you don’t give yourself the exposure you’ll never earn fans.

Zac: Exactly. Nobody gave a fuck about us at the time but it’s got better. Eventually the longer you keep at it people will start to come to shows. I’m never gonna live a rock and roll lifestyle but if we can ever earn some money from it so I can afford the rent or whatever then great.

I wanted to talk about the recent What You Have Become compilation, in particular the title track. Is that going to be on the album?

Zac: That’s not gonna be on the album. We have a bit of a joke between us…

Will: [Will jumps in the van] What’s going on in here?

Zac: Oh we’re just doing an interview. If we’re unsure about something then we test stuff to see how it goes. So that track was like a shoegaze track which Sammy wrote.

I was going to say, is that Sammy on vocals?

Zac: Yeah that’s Sammy singing and he did all the electronics. It was a bit of fun and it’s why we did it on that small run of CDs which were all hand made.

It was cool to hear and it reminded me of Nullify the Cycle.

Zac: On the album we actually have a slower song called I Pity You. It’s a really big sounding song. It doesn’t have clean vocals though. I wanted to get some on the album but there wasn’t enough time to make it all work. Eventually we’ll do a clean vocal track on an upcoming release.

So what’s coming up next?

Zac: After the tour we’ve got a couple of gigs coming up. What are we doing after the tour Will?

Will: Doing a music video in March. Finishing off the album, writing new material as we’re really keen to write new stuff now the album’s done. The album’s good but we can definitely improve so let’s write some more stuff!

I was gonna say, you guys had some line-up changes in your early days but you seem comfortable with the current the line-up.

Zac: Oh we hate each other. We’re making so much money from touring that we can’t get on with each other [laughs]

Will: We’ve got a really bad coke habit.

Zac: My Mum’s in tears every time she sees me.

Will: [in a shrill voice] “Why are you in a band!?”

Zac: My mum’s like, “why don’t you work in retail like everyone else!?” [laughs] and I’m like, “no bitch! Life’s a struggle! Song reference!” I get all Lamb of God on her. But yeah, doing a music video and we’ve got some more gigs. We’re playing Deadbeat Festival which is a charity festival which should be good. In April we’re going to Europe with Human Cull as we’re still touring the split we did with them.

Zac: The album won’t be out until later in the year once we can get a label to put it out. In June we’re going to the States with Plague Widow to tour the This Black Earth split. That’s everything that’s currently definite. What most people don’t realise is that for every tour that goes ahead successfully there’s about 5 or 6 that never happen.

Thanks to Zac and Will for taking the time to talk to us.


Interview: Throne

Welcome back to Double Cross, our regular feature on bands in the UK heavy music scene with female members. In this edition we speak to Julia Owen from Throne.

My name is Julia Owen and I play drums in Throne. Nicos Livesey is our vocalist/guitarist and Will Michael plays bass.

What introduced you to doom/sludge metal?

I started listening to bands like Kyuss, Nebula, Fatso Jetson and Sabbath in my teens, after that it was just a natural progression into looking for similar bands, heavier bands… anything with a slow tempo and a killer riff has always drawn me in. In terms of playing these kind of genres, I found with my first band (which was basically rock with a slight stoner edge) that I loved playing the half-time sections most, so I decided I needed to find a band to play slow and groovy with!

What’s your proudest musical achievement in Throne to date?

For me it’s a tie between releasing our 7” EP last November and playing Desertfest two years in a row. This year was particularly special as we played on my birthday. Drinking Prosecco out of a bottle on stage was pretty ridiculous.

How’s the reaction been to the 7″? Are you happy with what you achieved?

The reaction was really good. We had a lot of positive reviews and the tracks got played on a bunch of radio stations; it was pretty mad hearing it on Radio One. That was something we never anticipated from our first release.

What bands that you’ve either played with or admire that you would recommend to our readers?

Bands we’ve played with that I can recommend include Limb, Bad Guys, Gurt and a new discovery for me, Dethscalator.
As for bands I admire, Slabdragger have just got themselves a new drummer and are playing again, which I’m really excited about also Mars Red Sky and Green & Wood are definitely worth checking out too

What’s coming up next in the Throne pipeline?

We’ve written a new EP and we’re going into the studio to record it next month. Our 7″ came out in December 2012 but we recorded it back in March last year when we hadn’t been together that long as a band. Since then we’ve had like a year and half of playing shows and writing songs together and as a result this new record sounds quite different. We’re really stoked for people to hear it, should be out by the end of the year.

What’s the best way for people to keep up-to-date with Throne updates and news?

We update our Facebook page the most – http://www.facebook.com/thronemusic
You can also check out our Twitter or Instagram: @tthhrroonnee

Interview: Teenage China

Hey guys. Fill our readers in as to who you all are and what you do in the band.

Within Teenage China, Ged handles lead vocal duties whilst Barry and Rick play guitar. Francis plays drums and Simon plays bass. Everyone sings too.

Boring question out of the way first; do the Chinese characters simply mean Teenage China or something else entirely?

The characters roughly translate as young man, adolescent or most fittingly “a youth”. It represents a theme which runs through our music, name and uniform.

What inspired the band’s “uniform”?

We always liked the idea of a uniform image but wanted to avoid the usual clichés (corpse paint). Having consumed a lot of eastern media, we’ve seen armbands appear as a bit of a regular feature there. They’re often a symbol of a group, cause or ideal and we liked that a lot. Since we’re all approaching our thirties, we found that youth (what’s left of it) was a very big theme when we started writing this music. We wanted to write youthful music while we felt that we still could. Our image portrays us as a unified front for youth!

What introduced you to all to post hardcore? You guys seem to come from a very “early 2000s” school of thinking.

We spent our teenage years watching Kerrang! and listening to the Radio 1 Rock Show. This introduced us to bands like Funeral For a Friend, Glassjaw, Boysetsfire and At The Drive In. We’ve been fans of the genre ever since. Our favourite post-hardcore tends to come from the mid to late 2000s. So when starting the band, this was the sort of music we wanted to tip our collective hats to.

What’s your proudest musical achievement in Teenage China to date?

Appearing on Russian file sharing websites.

Are you happy with what you achieved on the Forth EP?

There’s always room for improvement and it’ll take us a while to settle into a more focused sound. As far as first EPs go, we’re all pretty happy with how it turned out.

I love all the little Scottish references in your lyrics like ‘wandering West Lothian’. Do you guys feel a bit of patriotism to Scotland or are the lyrics simply inspired by the places you’ve grown up or lived in?

It’s a bit of both. We’re all fairly patriotic and we love living here. That said, some of the lyrics relating to the places we grew up are written with more disdain than patriotism. For anyone who has grown up in a mid 20th century ‘new town’, they’ll know what we mean. As far as new towns go though, at least we’re not in Cumbernauld or Milton Keynes!

What bands that you’ve either played with or admire would you recommend to our readers?

From our local area some bands we really like are A Torn Mind, Ultimate Slaymaster and Vasquez. In terms of bands from the wider world: Dance Gavin Dance, The Panic Division and Unwound rank very highly.

What’s coming up next in the Teenage China pipeline?

We have plans to record a single and another EP before the end of the year.

What’s the best way for people to keep up-to-date with Teenage China updates and news?

Our Facebook and Twitter pages are pretty active, you can find them here:

Interview: Grog from Die So Fluid

Welcome back to Double Cross, our regular feature on bands in the UK heavy music scene with female members. In this edition we speak to Grog from Die So Fluid.

I’m Grog and I’m the vocalist and bass guitarist of Die So Fluid. My bass playing in my band and session work over the years has got me attention from Bass Guitarist Magazine and I’m officially endorsed by G&L Guitars. I am a main writer in DSF, it’s a three piece rock outfit, we live to create and perform our music.

What introduced you to heavy music and what continues to attract you to it?

For me it’s about substance, energy, communicating ideas that are darker, more honest and maybe more confessional. I don’t like all heavy music, and I don’t believe in limiting your taste to a specific style. Music and art just needs to speak to you and that’s what’s magical and other worldly about it. I grew up in a musical family listening to all kinds of music, classical, pop, punk , rock and metal. I have two older brothers who were into Sabbath, Van Halen, Led Zep, Whitesnake, the Stones and there was always music playing in our house. They even had a band and practiced in our dining room with their friends. I was inspired and excited by everything going on around me. I was a very imaginative child and also drawn to the dramatic possibilities music presents, I love now as I did then the way rock n roll elevates you from the drudgery of everyday life and for me gives life meaning.

Have you felt comfortable being a woman in a heavy band in a music scene that is predominantly populated by men?

I feel comfortable because I’m doing what I’m meant to do and it feels natural. What I don’t enjoy is the way the media repeatedly ask what it’s like being a woman in the rock and metal genres and center whole features around it*, it exacerbates the concept that we are somehow crippled because of being female. I want to be judged by the quality of what I do, and be asked relevant and interesting questions about the music. Is that so hard? It’s up to the media to fairly represent good music in general. I’ve been inspired by loads of bands with females in them, Smashing Pumpkins, The Breeders, Sonic Youth, Babes in Toyland, My Bloody Valentine, The Pixies, PJ Harvey, White Zombie, A Perfect Circle, Verbena, Throwing Muses, The Go-Gos, Toyah, Bonnie Tyler, Hole, The Donnas, Diamanda Galas, Arch Enemy, Kate Bush, Melissa Auf der Maur, Otep, Eurythimics, Siouxsie and The Banshees, Joan Jett, Burning Brides, Royal Trux, Daisy Chainsaw, Dead Weather, Janis Joplin, Patti Smith, L7, Hellion, Wolves In The Throne Room, and lots I respect that aren’t necessarily my cup of tea…Lacuna Coil, Evanescence, In This Moment, Halestorm, Paramore, Kittie, Nightwish etc

I recognise that women seem to have to work harder for less reward in the heavy music scene, but the way you make a stand is to keep driving forward, respect yourself and your fans, and basically not give a fuck about negativity and other peoples ‘rules’. . You have to nurture the idea you deserve to achieve your goals to actually do it. You also don’t have to emulate males or pander to male ideals. Being genuine is what resonates with real people. My attitude is inclusive, and I believe in doing what you do to the best of your ability. I can’t speak for ‘womankind’ -we’re all individuals, but all I know is it makes me so extremely happy when I receive messages from fans telling me my songs have inspired them or helped them get through a hard time. No one feels confident 100% of the time, and that kind of ‘real’ feedback makes the fight worth while.

What’s your proudest musical achievement in Die So Fluid?

It will be when the new album is released, I’m so excited about the new material, the wait is killing me. We also have the most epic video we’ve ever made for a track called ‘Black Blizzard’ on hold for the release.

What’s next in the pipeline for Die So Fluid? More shows? New record?

As I mentioned, we have a new album completed and we’re currently looking for the right home for it. We want to release it in Autumn and tour worldwide to support it. It’s called ‘The Opposites Of Light’.

Any suggestions for other female rock/metal fans who are looking to get involved with heavy music?

Don’t do it to pursue some lame idea of celebrity, or if you’re just going to drain our credibility by flashing your tits and think that’s good enough, don’t expect immediate fame and fortune, don’t expect an easy ride, but if you love it and can’t live without it, just do it!!

Are there any other rock/metal bands with female members you can suggest our readers?

The ones listed above, plus a shout out to some friends and supporters we’ve had the fortune to meet on our adventures: The Black Bellies, The Mariana Hollow, Maleficent, Theatre Des Vampires..

*UK Scumscene would like to apologise to Grog and state that we did not intend to make her feel that she was an outsider simply because she’s a woman. The purpose of the interview was to showcase a great band with a great female role model.

Die So Fluid links: Official Website, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and Instagram.

Interview: Hold Your Horse Is

On the 6th of February Hold Your Horse Is played a show at the Old Blue Last in Shoreditch to mark the re-release of their debut album on cassette. We sat down with the band for a chat.

Chris Rouse: Hi I’m Chris, I play drums.
Robin Pearson: Yeah, I’m Robin. I play the guitar and sing.
James Penny: I play bass.

[laughs] You don’t have a name?

JP: I’m James.

The album re-release is tonight and you’re releasing it through Feliciano. How did that come about?

CR: We’ve known Sam Smith (Feliciano) for a long time and he’d just started a semi-record label/tape club. He asked us and a load of other bands if we wanted to put something out on tape and we were totally into that.
RP: He used to promote gigs which is how I know him. He used to put us on in Kingston. He used to work in Greggs and he would show up with everything you could want from Greggs [laughs]
JP: I forgot about that!
RP: Bags and bags and bags of pastries and cakes and sandwiches. We were like “this guy’s cool!” and now he has the Feliciano record label.

I had seen the name about but I didn’t make the connection. I was just like “the guy is named after a pub; cool!”

RP: Good pub.
JP: New to me.

You need to go. There’s one in Holborn.

RP: Yeah there’s loads about. There will be one right near your workplace, I guarantee it.
JP: I thought it was pronounced “Feliciano” [laughs]
RP: Felayshia!

I want to talk about cassettes and how they’ve become popular in the last few years. Loads of bands are putting out music on cassette. Is it romantic to put out music on a dead format?

CR: Yeah totally.
JP: Tapes are a really shit format [laughs]
RP: It’s a shit format but it’s one we grew up with. I’ve got a tape tattoo on my back. I think that shit is dope.
CR: I used to spend loads of time recording stuff off the radio; sitting around listening to the radio for 4 hours just to hear a repeat of a song so I could record it.

Did you to try and cut it so you didn’t get the DJs speaking on it?

CR: Yeah exactly!
RP: I think it’s the same for a lot of bands. The first band I was ever in with my mates from school, our first recording we ever did was on a tape recorded on a shitty little Panasonic tape deck thing. We recorded a song and I remember we had this long running joke through school because on that recording that we gave to someone who was in charge of doing the carnival in our town [laughs] We gave him this tape and I don’t think we even listed to it. When he listened to it you couldn’t hear anything else when our drummer started playing the ride [laughs] and he was like “that bloody ride cymbal!” So its pretty cool we’ve got the album on tape. We haven’t heard it yet.
CR: I used to have an 8 track recorder on my desk.
RP: I had a Tascam 4 track recorder.
CR: That’s what I had! The same thing!
JP: What’s really interesting about this tape release is that its been recorded so that some tracks sound like you’re listening to them on the radio. We’ve actually simulated us pressing the record button. Some of the tracks are just recorded at gigs with a dictaphone. It’s kinda like a mish-mash of those.

I’m looking forward to the live quality of it!

RP: I like the misleading aspect of this interview [laughs]

You seem to play Old Blue Last for a lot of your release shows. Is there something about this place you like to come back to?

CR: It’s just coincidence
RP: There’s been one or two times when I’ve said to our mate, “we need to do some sort of release show, can we do it here?” That’s happened once or twice, but the other times it’s just been a coincidence.
CR: As far as small venues go it’s one of our favourite ones in London. We always get a good crowd here and it’s always a good vibe
RP: People always come to gigs here. People just come to free gigs; it’s Shoreditch, it’s trendy. They see something is on and go “yeah I’m up for that”. It’s funny how there’s so many little websites and magazines that you wouldn’t expect to rate this place really highly that do. I guess a lot of people read about it and go, “fuck it, we’re going to that”.

Favourite show you’ve played?

CR: With this band? [laughs]
RP: We’ve played hundreds of gigs.
CR: The last Westy (Aldershot) one we did on our last tour was really good. So was the London show here actually, that was really good. One of favourite gigs will be a lot later in the year but we’re not allowed to talk about it [laughs]
RP: I remember when we played the Brudenell (Leeds) with Mojo Fury being really good because the venue is awesome.
CR: Oh yeah, that was awesome! The photo from that show is on our ‘Like, Live and Stuff’ EP.
RP: That was a cool gig. Actually, while it’s not the best gig we’ve played, one of the coolest venues we’ve played is the Empire in Middlesbrough. It’s an old theatre and it’s massive. We played a club night and nobody gave it a shit, but we were like “fuck, it’s so massive!” The stage was huge and it had a varnished wooden floor.
CR: Nobody came.

Funniest show you’ve played?

RP: Oh God, you’re going talk about my birthday, aren’t you?
CR: Yeah, I am [laughs] We played on Robin’s birthday two years ago and we all had to dress as ducks.
RP: I don’t know why.
CR: It doesn’t matter why, we were all dressed as ducks.
RP: It was because I was 22 and it’s like in bingo where it’s “two ducks, twenty-two” so it was a duck party.
CR: And you got absolutely battered! He was wearing flippers and trying to change his pedals. Me and Penny weren’t drunk because we were driving and Robin was off his face. He started playing the first song at half the speed thinking, “that’s the right speed” and we got through about 4 songs before he fell over my drum-kit. I stormed off in a big huff because it was a complete waste of time and as I was walking off some guy just full-on cupped my nuts and diffused the whole situation [laughs] So that was horrible but also really funny.
RP: People wouldn’t shut up about that for a while [laughs] I was like “alright, alright”.

Where did the idea for bringing the drums into the crowd come from?

CR: Nigel Powell from Dive, Dive. He did it at one of our first gigs and they used to do it quite a lot back in the day. I thought that was fucking brilliant except when he did it he pulled all the leads out of the drum mics and got told off and had to pay a lot of money.
RP: He basically smashed up all these really nice mics and the sound guy got pissed off.
CR: So I’m like, “that’s a good idea, I’ll steal that”. I did that a few times but I don’t do it all the time, just when I get carried away.

I suppose it works better in the smaller venues.

CR: I actually did it in that massive Middlesbrough venue and everyone just kinda went, “what’s he doing?” [laughs]
RP: Oh yeah! I actually joined you on the floor and there was circle pit around me and Rouse on the floor.

That turned out alright then!

RP: But I was on the floor and some dude was on top of me while I’m trying to play guitar. It was pretty fun [laughs] Can I mention another gig that I think was cool? It was on the Mojo Fury tour as well and we were playing at The Swan in Ipswich. We could talk about that venue for hours because it’s mad. We’ve played there a few times. The stage is just a corner of the room, but the front door to the venue is right next to where you play. This whole thing was when we were exploring the whole ‘moving into the crowd’ thing and I ended up going outside the venue while still playing my guitar, but people were still hearing it in the venue. I was literally on the street.

The album is now sold out on CD; what’s the reaction been like and are you happy how things have been since the release?

RP: People seem to dig it. I think the majority of people that appreciated it are people we know from bands that we’ve played with. There’s also been a lot of people that have just bought it because they’ve seen us in the past or listened to it on Spotify and then bought it. We didn’t really have a lot of money to put into it. We literally only had enough to record it and we didn’t have a label behind us to support it, so we released it in the only way we knew how to do. We don’t know how many people bought it, liked it or whatever, but we really appreciate the one’s that did. It might have been different if someone offered to put it out for us and put some money behind it. There might have been more people into it, but that’s how it goes.

Is being signed a goal for the future?

CR: It was but there’s no money in it any more.
RP: You could try. You could spend all your fucking time trying to get everyone in the world to hear your band, but in the end what is it that you actually want to do it for? If that’s what you want then sick, go for it. We don’t want to spend all our time doing that, we just want to write music that we want to play and if people like it then that’s great.
CR: I think at one point we did want that, but I think we burnt ourselves out in real life.
RP: Yeah, but really we just want a massive sound and to play songs that we think are sick and hope people dig it. We don’t have any dreams to take over the world.
JP: We just want to destroy popular music. “What’s your goal in life?” To destroy popular music [laughs]

You guys have had the same line-up for your entire career thus far and it seems like that’s a rarity in modern rock.

RP: Yeah we’ve been together 5 years this May.
CR: We need a birthday!
JP: That’s half a decade.
RP: That’s fucked. It doesn’t feel that long.

Is that important to maintain because it’s a part of your image?

CR: I don’t think it’s important.
RP: I don’t think it’s an image thing, it’s more that we just work well together.
CR: This sounds really gushy, but when you find someone you work well with you want to keep that going. I’ve played with loads of other bands and not necessarily clicked with anyone in it, but I think us three have a good “chemistry” which sounds so lame.
RP: I’ll tell you what it is; we’re efficient. We’re really efficient. We used to turn up to practice and for a long time we used to practice in Chris’ parents’ old house. We had a 2 hour slot which we were allowed to practice in because of the neighbours and we’d show up, set up, play the set that we were going to play for the next gig, then work on something new, have a break, play the set again and then pack up and go home every week without fail. That’s just how we’ve always done it. We’ve always been quite efficient even at gigs. We’ve always loaded in and sound checked which takes like 10 minutes. Some bands fuck around for hours and we’re like, “no, just no.”
CR: Now we have to pay to practice because my parents don’t live at that house any more. We’ll get to the practice room and they’re like, “right, you’ve got 3 hours” and we still only take 2 hours and that’s it [laughs] Then we go home and everyone at the practice room is like, “where you going?” and we’re like, “we’re done!” [laughs]
RP: I’ve played in other bands where we practice all day and it drives me mad. I’m like, “urgh! Get on with it!” [laughs]

You guys have quite a lot of music videos considering you’re only touring your first album. Who’s the brain-child behind the videos?

RP: Chris Rouse comes up with a lot of ideas. For every video we’ve done he has like 10 other ideas. Chris Rouse comes up with ideas for other bands and they’ve nicked them and made videos that are his ideas.
CR: I stick to the idea that if you’re going to make a video then I don’t want to see a performance video. The music video is another extension of what you’re doing as a band. Nobody wants to watch a performance video because people with camera phones can do that. It’s artwork; you’re adding another element to the music and a video has to work with that. But generally I sit there in bed at night and go, “haha! That would be a good idea!” and then I’ll make a note of it and text Robin in the morning [laughs] This whole band is based on knowing friends with skills that we can borrow. My friend John shot a few of our videos, we shot a couple, Gordon helps up record; they’re just mates who are happy to help us out. The idea was we’d eventually repay them but unfortunately we don’t make any money [laughs]
RP: Videos are so fun. Music videos are what you’ll look back on in a few years think, “fuck yeah, that was sick”. It’s like photos, they’re so good to have to look back on after a tour. Oh, one other thing; Penny doesn’t like acting. He won’t act. Every time we’ve had an idea for a video we’re like, “right, so there’s going to be a very simple story throughout the video” and Penny’s like, “nah. I’m not doing it.”
CR: But, we made him act in the video to Title Track.
RP: Oh yeah, Title Track we made him run along.
JP: It’s easy to act when you’re wearing a massive Lego head [laughs] no facial expressions.

Big thanks to Hold Your Horse Is for taking the time to talk to us.

Interview: Cult Culture

Hi, I’m Chris and I guess I’m pretty much the one man band that runs Cult Culture.

Was Cult Culture simply born out of the desire to press Mine’s debut release or was the plan always to expand and release other artists’ music?

Well doing a label was always something that I wanted to but I just never found the drive to do it as I had a lot going on with previous projects. But I felt the first MINE EP presented a good opportunity to try my hand at it.
We didn’t know that we would put the EP out through Holy Roar at the time so I suggested that I release it on a limited tape just so there was some form of physical release. This was before we teamed up with Holy Roar. Once I started the label and everything was arranged with the tape, I then started to think about moving on to others artists, such as Black Coffee.
The resurgence of the cassette has taken the underground rock and metal scene by storm. What’s the attraction to putting out music on this format? Is the label planning to release music on other formats eg vinyl, CD?

Theres just something about tapes that I really love and its a bit of a nod to the days when everyone was releasing records on tape and tape swapping to get new bands out there. Although tapes are popular, vinyl overtakes them dramatically so I guess you are presented with a bit of a challenge to make it more appealing, i.e. packaging etc.
At some point I’d like to move onto vinyl but for the time being I’m pretty happy putting out tapes whenever I can. The fact that tapes cost a lot less than vinyl means I have a lot more freedom to put them out as and when I want too.
You’ve recently announced the release of Texan hardcore punkers Black Coffee’s birthdeathbirth EP. How did that collaboration come about?

I first heard Black Coffee through Give Up, who I’ve worked with a lot over the last few years and he sent me the self titled release that he did for them through Sisster Ssound (not a typo) a while back. I suggested working together on the next release but unfortunately he had a lot on so he couldn’t but Ryan (Black Coffee) contacted me after to speaking with Give Up about the UK release and we just sorted it out from there.  I’m really excited about the release, Black Coffee really embody everything that I love about hardcore and punk, totally aggressive, no bullshit, sounds kinda like SSD…..awesome!

The Mine tape was definitely something special in terms of presentation; what sort of elaborate packaging can we expect for the Black Coffee release?

Thanks! I was happy with the way they turned out and I wanted to do something a little special for it. My girlfriend wasn’t too excited about the mess I made on her bedroom floor spray painting the cases but she got over it ha!
All the art for the tapes has been printed up and I’m waiting on something from Give Up that will wrap around the tapes, a little like a book binder. I’m sure I’ll be sticking in some little extras too.

Is Cult Culture going to specialise in punk or are you keen to release music from a diverse range of genres?

My taste in music is pretty all over the place these days so I’m hoping to accumulate a very varied roster for Cult Culture, just putting out bands that I like and have confidence in. Black Coffee are little known over here but I’m into them and when I’ve shown them to friends of mine, the response is always positive. So I guess I’m just relying on my own taste not to let me down haha.

What labels/bands influence you and your direction with Cult Culture?

There’s a lot of labels that I’m interested in and feel I can rely on them for good releases. Notably and not being totally biased, I think Holy Roar is really on top of things right now, especially with the latest releases that Alex has announced and the future only seems bright for that label.

In the US, I’ve always felt that A389 was a label I could always rely on. Lets say I was flicking through a distro and I noticed the logo on a record, I’d probably pick it up without hesitating even if I had no idea what the band sounded like. They released Anne – Dream Punx which is now one of my favourite records and its totally far detached from the other heavier bands on the label.

I feel that running a label and going with releases that you personally like is going to be so much more rewarding than being a label that just jumps on any current bandwagon that’s coming on by.
Any other releases you’ve got coming up that you can divulge information about?

I’m talking to another band right now about putting something out in a couple of months but nothing is set in stone yet, I’m excited about it though should it happen!

Got any UK band recommendations for our readers?

Attack! Vipers!, Svalbard, Opium Lord, Ok Pilot, Let It Die and Wade. That’ll keep you busy if you haven’t heard any of these guys before!
What’s the best way to keep up-to-date with all Cult Culture activity?

Just the usuals, Facebook (facebook.com/thecultculture) or the website (cultculture.co.uk)
I can’t wrap things up without asking how things are in Mine; proud of your achievements so far?

Things are good right now and we’re excited for this year, we’ll be a lot more active for sure! We are really proud of the first EP and the response its had so far. Putting MINE together was a very organic process and its just been flowing along pretty effortlessly in regards to song writing and agreeing on ideas together, its been a totally refreshing experience for me personally.
You’ve recently revealed you’re recording again with the band; what’s the plan? New EP? Split? Album!?

Well I can let you know that there will be a follow up to the EP and we’re planning a few special things for the release…..but that’s all I’m giving you, sorry haha.

A big thanks to Chris for taking the time to talk to us. Go to the Cult Culture webstore and buy some stuff.

Interview: Mine

My name’s Mark Scurr and I play bass in Mine.

How did Mine come about?

Chris asked me if I fancied starting a band that was influenced by bands like Fucked Up, Anne etc. It sounded like fun so I was down! He then asked Dave and Matt if they were up for it and luckily they were. I think myself, Matt and Dave were the first choices for it as we all share a very similar outlook on music. We started jamming and it all came together very quickly.

Most of you guys come from heavier backgrounds so why the change of pace?

I think it’s just happened naturally really. I felt personally, that I’d gone as far as I could writing really heavy music and wanted a new challenge. As individuals our interests are creatively spread much further than just metal and hardcore and we all needed to embrace that. It’s been very organic.

The EP has some lavish packaging with a hand-sprayed cassette version and an etched 12″. Do you feel presentation is a big part of what is keeping physical music alive?

I do; if it looks nice someone’s going to pick it up and take a look and that’s all we want really. It’s also nice to give people our music in a package that in some way might feel special to them. Chris sprayed all those tapes himself so there’s some real love there!! The etched 12″ came out awesome as well. We spent a lot of time making sure the EP was presented correctly.

I can’t talk about the presentation with sending some love to two guys. Our logo was designed by Give Up and the photo on the cover is by Mike Jensen. Those guys have been amazing and their work definitely catches our vibe.

The cassette version has been released through Chris’ own Cult Culture label; is this simply going to be a way to release your own music or does Chris have his sights on releasing other bands’ music?

I know Chris definitely has plans to put out some bands in the near future. Some really awesome new bands.

You also released the vinyl version through Holy Roar Records who are probably the biggest force in UK heavy music right now. How did that come about?

Chris has worked with Holy Roar in the past and when we’d tracked our EP he sent it over to them. They dug it and offered to put it out! They did a really good job on the vinyl and we couldn’t really think of a better home for Mine.

Do you feel a lot of pressure putting out your first release; is there something to prove?

Personally I felt none at all. The music came together in such a natural way that for me it was actually totally the opposite. I couldn’t wait to show people what we’d done. I think we all love what we’re doing and we’re past the point of having to prove ourselves. We’re just doing our thing really.

Even though it is still early days for Mine, what’s been the most enjoyable part of being in the band so far?

Building a creative bond with some good friends has definitely been a great part for me, and the fact that some people dig it has also been very cool. Getting our copies of the vinyl was sweet as well!

Any UK bands you would like to recommend our readers?

Yeah totally. Recently I’ve been really digging Conan, Flats, Toy, No Ceremony, Purson, The History of Apple Pie and Big Deal. People should also check out Pariso, Vales and Goodtime Boys.

What shows do you have in the pipeline?

We have a cool show at the Old Blue Last on December the 16th with Birds in a Row, Vales and Bastions. It’s our first home-town show as well so we’re totally up for bringing the thunder. It’s free entry as well. We’re also playing a show on Jan 3rd in Portsmouth with a load of bands who I’ve never heard but seem to be making some good music.

Where can people stay up-to-date with all things Mine and where can they buy your music from?

We have a Facebook page; it’s facebook.com/mineculture. You can pick up our music from cultculture.co.uk and holyroarrecords.com. We also have the full EP streaming on mineculture.bandcamp.com.

Big thanks to Mark for taking the time to talk to us.

Interview: Spiderbaby Records

My name’s Paul and I’m the founder, owner, big cheese, dogsbody and general everything. Kind of like a one-man band banging the drum with one hand, crashing cymbals with his knees and blowin a harmonica all at the same time.

What made you want to start a record label?

I have to admit it was partially down to having recently lost my dream job at the time and it was a kind of coping mechanism to stop myself going (even more) insane. It was mainly because of the fact I’ve got no musical talents myself, I can’t play any instruments and sound generally like a drowning weasal when I try and do vocals, so it was the next best thing to being in a band.

What’s the main goal for Spiderbaby Records?

At the moment, due to the jobless wasteland that’s this part of the UK right now, the goal is survival and eekin out more releases, but the long-term goal is to let the label organically expand to include vinyl releases and possibly (though not very likely due to personal preferences) CDs. I’ve been very lucky in that one of the bands I’d most like to work with I already bagged for my debut release – ACxDC – which I still kind of find amazing. I guess part of my long-term goal also ties back to the financial side of it too in that ’cause money’s so tight at the moment I’ve had to turn down numerous projects and releases that I’d otherwise have jumped at the chance to put out, though I guess that’s all more related to finding work than the label itself.

You’ve released music by UK artists like Self Loathing and Black Veins; do you have any particular loyalty to the UK heavy music scene?

I’m not sure if I’d call it a kind of loyalty, more being aware of how international a web these kinds of music are so wanting to give my fellow Limeys the kind of international exposure bands from the likes of the US get seemingly without trying. One of our touted releases earlier was a UK only compilation cassette specifically to showcase UK bands to overseas listeners but, due to a number of circumstances like being given the run around by some bands, others not really having their shit together, it mutated into a more international affair but still with a large percentage of the lineup being Brit bands like No Coast, Black Veins, Horsebastard & more on the Shower Of Bastards comp tape.

You’ve also released music for artists from elsewhere on the globe like Robocop from Maine in the US; tell us how that came about.

If I remember rightly, one of the guys from Robocop had seen what I did with the ACxDC ‘The Second Coming’ tape and, as the band had decided they wanted to release their ‘II’ EP on a physical format, approached me about putting out a tape for them. Right now, the only international bands I’ve put out individual releases for (ie not on the Shower Of Bastards compilation) have coincidentally been American though I have had interest from a number of Asian and European bands that I’ve had to turn down because of the bastard money situation that’s proving to be a real monkey on my back.

A lot of your releases are on cassette while you have one in particular that was released on floppy disc; what’s so attractive about releasing music on supposedly dead formats?

I guess if I was to over-analyse it, something I seem to do well, I’d say that there’s something in the psychology of rebellion that causes you to take something that mainstream society has deemed obsolete and a ‘dead format’ and deliberately keep the medium alive as a kind of, I suppose, nerdy ‘Fuck you’ to all those trendy dicks with their £200 headphones and anorexic iPlayers bollocks. Personally speaking, I grew up in the late 80s when tapes were by far the norm – the first album I bought was on tape (The Prodigy ‘Music For The Jilted Generation’ if anyone’s keeping tabs) – so, combined with the mindset that some of the best music of the 20th century came from that time period, for me it was a no-brainer releasing on tapes. Likewise with the floppy releases. I’d had the idea of wondering whether it would be doable but it was my good comrade Eddy (of DIY Noise out of California) putting a split floppy out himself that convinced me to just jib it off and go for it.
I don’t want to wind up in the rut of ONLY releasing on cassettes, I definately want to expand into vinyl in the near future but I have to admit there is a part of me that gets a certain buzz from releasing things on format long considered obsolete by the X Factor worshipping wankers of the mainstream.

Do you feel there is still a place for physical music in the market?

Very much so. There’s something much more tangible about holding a physical release in your hands, not least because you feel like you’ve actually got something for your money beyond a few colourless shapeless files on a hard-drive, but something often with great artwork/packaging and shit that adds to the vibe of the whole release. But then I’m someone that’s got every single musical thing he owns filed in alphabetical order first by artist than release, so that might have shaped my mindset.

Heavy music seems to attract an audience that prefer physical over digital; do you share their sentiments?

There is something distinctly ritualistic about say takin the shrinkwrap off a new 12″ and sticking it onto a turntable, gingerly putting the arm onto the wax and letting rip. I think digital music is still prolific not just within heavy music but in some of the furthest reaches of it – though that’s more down to pricks downloading stuff from blogs and then not bothering to go buy a shirt, go to a show or something to actually support the band they claim to like. Grindcorekaraoke, owned I think by JR from ANB i think, and To Live A Lie’s own web coverage pretty much does it well though. If you’re ever short of a powerviolence or grindcore band you want to set your veins on fire, go cruise their download sites for some amazing bands. I guarantee you’ll find at least half a dozen you won’t hav eheard of. People have said downloading is killing music or killing the physical format but with people into independent music, there’ll always be a market for the physical release in my opinion. It’s kind of part & parcel of being into the music, as much as say going to a show or wearing a band shirt. It’s not essential but makes you feel much more immersed in it.

Do you have any upcoming releases you’re excited about?

At the moment, with money running out and running into dead ends trying to get work, the number of releases has slowed down dramatically though we do have a number of upcoming treats keeping us going – a limited discography tape of NO FUN (nasty Norfolk thrashpunkgrinders), a couple more things under wraps at the moment and, if things work out, our first fully independent vinyl release next summer which will be a benefit comp for a cause close to my heart. (Yes, even bitter old men into shouty, loud music have hearts!)

How can people get your releases and stay in contact regarding future releases and news about the label?

The best place is our facebook page – www.facebook.com/spiderbabyrecords – which is where most of our updates go, as I’m too technologically incompetent to set up a website or blogsite.
If you’re a band or label wanting to get in touch for whatever reason, you can always email us at spiderbabyrecs[at]hotmail.co.uk

A big thank you to Paul for taking the time to answer our questions. If you want to help support a great independent label and any future releases then please head over to the Spiderbaby Records big cartel store and buy something.

Interview: Church of Fuck

Martin: “Hi I’m Martin Downing, I live up in Newcastle and I’ve played in a band called Lavotchkin for seven years until earlier this year when we split up and now play in a band called End Reign which I’ve been part of the last year. However, although my initial brain child, I must introduce Oliver Goodland the other main operator of Church Of Fuck who is just as much COF as I am.”

Oliver: “Yo, I’m Oliver, I started singing in bands 12 years ago when I was 15, my first band was basically a Will Haven covers band, I’ve been in allsorts of bands since then, racking up an impressive personal debt and having a whale of a time. I moved to Manchester in July of last year, formed a metallic hardcore band called Knife Crimes and met Martin properly in November, although I am a long-standing Lavotchkin fan after seeing them back in 07 or thereabouts…”

What made you want to start Church of Fuck?

Martin: “I guess first and fore-most I am an absolute music obsess, so naturally the thought of being able to put out bands I like has always been an aspiration. However, the initial reason for COF’s creation was to support friends doing heavier bands in the North East area, although not long after COF’s beginning it became apparent that there were awesome bands from outside of the North East that we wanted to do something with. At the same time I met Ollie and him being in Manchester naturally opened up the flood gates for COF to focus on the whole of Northern England. Then Let It Die turned up on our radar and everything went out the window as they were too good not to put out and not far off the south coast. So fuck it, we’re just supporting good heavy music now.”

Oliver: “Yeah I was toying with the idea of starting a label, I really wanted to work with Swinelord a band from Manchester who we have ended up putting out on COF, but time/money constraints and doing shows/being in a band held me back, I was a big fan of the whole concept of COF when it started and was eager to get Knife Crimes involved, Martin told me I was welcome to get as involved with the label as I would like so I jumped at the opportunity and am happy to run it alongside him as I am also a heavy music nerd! I liked that it was just original for his mates bands, reminded me of labels like Robotic Empire who clearly just work with their mates/a few scenes, it has more of a community feel, real grassroots, real mates who are playing shows together and enjoying playing music, no funny business.”

Is Church of Fuck a one-man endeavor or are there other staff working with on you?

Martin: “Asides to Oliver and myself also active Fuck contributors are Dave Youll, who plays Bass in End Reign who has been dealing with art and layout stuff. Matt Philips other guitarist in End Reign is also joining in towards the end of the year putting out his first tape (for an awesome band called Razor Eater) and putting on the odd FUCK show in the North East later in the year. A guy called Dia Artio has also been contributing some unreal art work to the fuck family so please check him out also!

Church Of Fuck in all honesty is more of a collective than a record label, as anyone who wants to get involved officially or not is more than welcome. We don’t want to be seen as Ollie and mines record label or as a boys club for people who play in bands…. Good music and getting people to check it out is all that matters. Not meaning to sound like I’m name dropping but we’ve had a lot of support from a lot of people in this early stage that do deserve a thank you and mention. So shout outs to the guys at V revolution in Manchester, the Night Terrors distro, the Bitter North records guys/girls, the mighty Witch Hunter Records, Moshtache Records and Londons best dude Paul Caudell.”

Oliver: “Yeah Martin created the label but anyone who wants in and can help spread the word/help creatively is more than welcome to chuck us an email, spread the word whatever way they can, it is definitely more of a collective/open forum than a strict label with a boss and ‘co-owner’ or anything like that, we just want to share good music we love/get people involved, that is something that has always appealed to me about heavier music, anyone can form a band/start a zine/start a label and pretty much be at the same level as everyone else up to a point, some people probably think that is a bad thing, but we view it as a good inclusive thing! Oh and my first 2 releases for the label are 2 Manchester bands, reissues of the Swinelord tape, although the first run was extremely limited… and a reissue of the Esoteric Youth tape which was originally released on Night Terrors, the label run by Dom and Gio of Esoteric Youth. Swinelord are an awesome and under-rated grindcore/crust band and Esoteric Youth are pretty much 4 of my best mates from Manchester and make amazing blackened hardcore, I do guest vocals on their demo, and their singer Dom did guest vocals on the Knife Crimes demo, we’re just a bunch of mates from the North who love heavy music really, I’m very happy to be able to bring some Manchester bands to the label though, Manchester has an incredible music scene and a lot of good people doing good things.”

Why the focus on cassettes?

Martin: “I’d love to give you a better reason than this, though it was a great way to start as we are absolute paupers. Don’t get me wrong, I like Tapes and own a great deal still myself, though if either Oliver or myself happened to be a secret rich kid we’d have been releasing on vinyl. However although tapes are somewhat dated, the other appeal for us to do tapes was that we wanted to create a product of worth out of something that stereotypically had little value. With the tapes we’ve done, its essential that we try to make the tape itself and packaging as nice as possible so it is worth someone looking after and owning.

Oliver: “It’s a retro thing, the idea of tapes for me, I think every band should do a demo tape, the people who release them and buy them are in my eyes expressing that they don’t see music as a disposable commodity, the fact most people don’t have tape players doesn’t factor in it for me, money is changing hands for music from the people who want it to the people who create it, I like the fact that the people at the top of the music industry and tearing their hair out and declaring music dead and the music industry is being killed… whereas all over the world there are kids (and adults) releasing self-recorded music on dead formats and selling out 100s at a time, it’s a statement of love for music to me, the same as vinyl, just cheaper for us to do, as Martin says if we had the dollar we’d be doing records, hopefully one day.”

What bands are currently on your roster and where can our readers check out their music?

Martin: “Firstly, all Church Of Fuck releases are made available for free download and stream. So if you’d like to listen to what we’ve put out to date, follow this link: http://churchoffuck.bandcamp.com/

So far we have put out releases for Hades from Durham, Knife Crimes from Manchester, Lavotchkins last release (which was originally meant to be a 12inch though we split up) and Let It Dies first record (that was meant to be released on Southern Lord, though the label over committed themselves unfortunately.) Fourth coming we have Swinelord and Esoteric Youth, both from Manchester both demo EPs being re-released by us, Iced Out have a new EP they want us to do end of the summer, End Reign want to do a discography to date with a couple of new tracks and Matt Philip’s debut release later in the year for Peterborough’s Razoreater. Soon as the fourth coming tapes go online to order, we’ll have their releases available for all to stream/ free download. So keep an eye on our bandcamp! We’d love people to use it and its free so what more do you want!?”

The UK hardcore scene is thriving at the moment. Why do you think this genre of music has become so popular? It’s not exactly radio friendly.

Martin: “I have literally no idea but it is better more people are into it than not whatever the case. At a stab in the dark though I’d give credit to the long term efforts of people like Dead And Gone Records, TDON, Hemlock 13, CTW, Purgatory, FITA, the work ethic of a lot the UK’s HC bands touring wise and all the UK promoters who’ve been supporting the shows. I guess It’s been a long time coming, but as much as I like hardcore I’m not a diehard hardcore fan, more just a big Heavy music fan across genre, so my opinion probably doesn’t count for shit ha… ”

Oliver: “An interesting question, and eloquently put. In my opinion, the UK hardcore scene has always been thriving, and it’s just the rise of social networking/the internet which has brought it more into the fore. Places like Leeds, and Canterbury and numerous other cities have always had prestigious hardcore scenes, and places that don’t even have such great scenes have still been host to awesome shows. I just genuinely think that it’s easier for people to find out about bands/shows these days thanks to technology, no one goes to a show not knowing who the bands are anymore, which is a little bit of a shame, but any band someone hears of they can just google it in seconds and be on their bandcamp and listening to them now, it’s almost too easily accessible… but yeah, like Martin says, whatever the reason, it’s a very good thing and there is a very good scene. Also, I’m not into hardcore at all besides metallic and blackened hardcore, I got into heavy music through metal and grindcore before I got into more hardcore-ish bands like Coalesce, Deadguy and Converge… But Knife Crimes are more hardcore-orientated and End Reign, Knife Crimes and Church Of Fuck have a lot of hardcore kids who dig, but we are definitely more into heavy music as a whole, metal, grindcore, punk, and in general the darker side of hardcore. But the scene is very open-minded for the most part, and we embrace all forms of aggressive music and hope we can offer something worthwhile into the fray.”

You’re curating your own ‘Fuck Fest’ on the 29th of September; excited?

Oliver: “Yo bro, yeah that’s me, I started putting on shows when I moved to Manchester in July, basically because I had lived in a tiny town with almost no scene (bar the odd few shows) all of my life and I was eager to get to the big city and put on some shows. I lost a fucking fortune, because i paid bands even when i didn’t break even (bar Slabdragger who I owe £20 as I couldn’t afford what we agreed, and Black Mass who I owe £50, because I literally didn’t have the money and it was a big show, I will pay you back one day bros) but yeah, I just put on my mates bands really, few bands from down South, few bands from up North than I just wanted to see, I only ever put on bands I liked myself (apart from a few that were in package deals) but it was a good way to learn the Manchester scene (bands, venues, people etc.) and to make a load of friends/lose a fortune. I stopped doing it for a while after I put on Deafheaven (one of my favorite bands) to concentrate on Knife Crimes and to save some money back, but I’m doing FUCK FEST as a celebration of Church Of Fuck and our little collective in general, again I’d class them all as friends, but hopefully people will be interested and come out, I love the TDON alldayers and the whole vibe of them so I guess this is our little-ass version of that, it’s all the bands on COF plus my mates in Grazes and Reparation the latest Witch Hunter Records band, should be a blast! £6 presale to knifecrimes666@gmail.com, your name will go on the door on the day if you do that, and £8 on the door on the day, doors at 12 midday, first band on at 1pm, Kraak Gallery, Manchester, it’s my birthday as well so I’ll be drunk as fuck making a fool of myself and being bullied by my straight edge mates as usual. Come down if you can make it, it’ll be a laugh indeed.”

Not all the bands who are playing Fuck Fest have had music released on Church of Fuck. Is this an indication towards future releases?

Oliver: “The only 2 that haven’t are Grazes, who we would love to work with, holla if you want any tapes done fools and Reparation who are working with Witch Hunter Records but who are good kids and who I wanted involved as I have been promising them a Manchester show for months after they got in touch with me!”

Regarding future releases, who would be your dream band/bands to work with?

Martin: “There are too many bands I’d kill to do a limited release for worldwide, so I’ll keep it UK to be interesting. I’d fucking love to do a Dope Fight limited discography tape, love that band! If Throats hadn’t of already done a limited discography tape when they split up I’d be on that shit tomorrow. Also I’ve been a November Coming Fire fan since I was seventeen years old buying Black Ballads from them, so for huge nostalgia reasons a limited tape for those guys would be awesome.”

Oliver: “November Coming Fire seconded, I’ll keep it UK also otherwise it’d get silly: The Guillaume Seam (best UK band ever), Christa Pike (most under-rated UK band ever), there are loads of UK bands I love but who already have labels etc. but I’ll list them anyway: Anguish, Burnt Earth, Hang The Bastard, Cease To Exist, Unholy Majesty, Slabdragger, Black Mass, WODE, Pine Barrens, Grazes, Hammers, Dragged Into Sunlight, Tyburn, Wayfarer, Abyss, fuck man, I could go on forever, there are SO many good bands in the UK, so many good little scenes and so many good people, I’m very happy with our current roster but would cut off my let nut to work with any of the bands I’ve just listed…”

Any chance of future releases getting released in larger prints instead of the standard 50? You seem to sell out pretty quick!

Martin: “Whilst we’re releasing on tape I can’t see us increasing the size of our runs unless it gets to a stupid point where things are selling out in an hour. The Lavotchkin tape sold out in 3 hours or something like that so we let our friends Dead Dead Dead Music in Scotland do a second run with different art work a few days after, so it didn’t devalue the 1-50 COF tape people got straight away on ordering. I guess in my head I see the limited Tape for the more die hard / collectable fans and the free download/ stream for everyone else. The important thing for me is getting people to listening to the bands.”

Oliver: “Yeah if we got a bigger band we might do a run of 100 tapes, but any bigger than that and we may as well go with records and do runs of 200/300 and step the whole operation up a bit, I really would love for it to get to that point but me and Martin have jobs/educational shit/lives/limited money to put into it, so we’ll just have to see… if we started doing 7 inches for slightly bigger bands though that’d be awesome, just gotta see what happens in the next year or so!”

What’s your take on keeping physical music relevant? Considering all your releases have sold out it’s obviously still important for some.

Martin: “I absolutely hate it when a bands songs are released for digital download without a product to support. With the future of music looking very download orientated I feel it’s important that music’s physical product doesn’t get lost in time, as downloads for me personally are the wrong side of disposable.”

Oliver: “Yeah, it’s nice for music to have a physical equivalent to the non-existent MP3s, even if it is just a run of 50 tapes. I am old and uncool and still like CDs also, my collection has records, CDs and tapes, I like all 3 for different reasons, I like music and the packaging/memories I associate with it, I remember buying my first record which was ‘Document#7’ by Pageninetynine, I remember playing my Slipknot CD over and over again on repeat when I was 15, I remember doing big orders from Deathwish, Robotic Empire and stuff when I started collecting, getting tonnes of stickers and cool little notes, it’s all good man, it’s what makes memories of music, who remembers when they downloaded an album from mediafire fondly? It’s fucking soulless.”

Are you going to continue releasing music exclusively on cassettes or can we expect some vinyl/CD releases in the future?

Martin: “The long term plan if we can get some money together is to see about doing the odd vinyl. We don’t really make any money off the tapes, so is more a case of when we’re both in slightly better financial situations and Church Of Fuck is a little more established.”

Oliver: “Yeah as we’ve said a couple of times, 7 inch records is the goal… and when we have a bit more money, I’m about to start training as a chef so when I am on a better wage, and Martin is a millionaire producer hanging out with Ross Robinson and Rick Rubin and when I am kicking about with Ramsey and co and have my own TV shows we’ll probably start doing runs of 10,000 for Converge and Pig Destroyer on the side… but nah, records when we got the cash hoss.”

What’s the best way people can stay in contact and up-to-date regarding all things Church of Fuck?

Martin: “I hate to say it but social media platforms. We hate to rely on it, though again it being free and the direct connection to people is really useful. I think the long term plan is for Dave to make a site so figures crossed that develops.”

Oliver: “Yeah, we are on facebook, tumblr and twitter, the main 3, as well as soundcloud, bandcamp etc. I’m not so adverse to social networking, it’s just the way it has gone, I have friends that use one but not the others, or 2 out of the 3, so I know that if you want to get the word to people you gotta use all 3 really, I update them like I do with the Knife Crimes one, if we get a show I just post it on all 3, hope someone gives a shit, you always get a few likes/reblogs/retweets which is a nice indication that at least someone cares haha. It’s just the way it’s all going I think, at least that shit is free, otherwise we’d be screwed.”

Big thanks to Martin and Oliver for taking the time to talk to us.

Interview: DSDNT

We are DSDNT, made up of Adam on Guitar, Harry on Vocals, Mark on Drums and Tom on Bass and we’ve been together for almost a year now. We met in school, a bar and on the internet then real life.

You’ve got a self-titled EP out on Dead Dead Dead Music; how did that partnership come about?

A: I met Neil, who runs Deadx3 at a gig he put on in Leeds about 18 months ago and just loosely kept in contact with him as he released a few things by some bands I’m interested in. I just messaged him one day with a link to our EP download and he got back to us straight away and offered to put it out on cassette, which was beyond generous as we hadn’t really done anything up to that point.

Are you happy with the EP? Production-wise, it’s a massive sounding record for such a young band.

T: I’m really happy with it although I know some bits could have been better, but that always happens. We did it all ourselves, mostly at home in my basement, so we had as much time as we needed and I didn’t have to explain to someone else how I wanted it to sound. It’s definitely the best first recordings of any band I’ve been in, but the next one should hopefully sound even better! Also, we definitely need to thank Neil at Deadx3 Music for sorting out the cassettes and Padraig O’Bogaigh who did the artwork.

What’s the reaction been like from the audience?

H: I don’t know really, people seem to enjoy it and we’ve had good reviews.

You guys appear to be heavily influenced by hardcore; why do you think this genre has seen such a massive rise in popularity?

H: There’s a lot of love in the hardcore scene at the moment, with bands working together across the whole of the UK. There’s a great sense of community, with labels such as Dead Dead Dead helping out very young bands such as ourselves, and local promoters working hard to make sure we can enjoy regular top-rate shows from both local and international hardcore acts (here’s looking at you, Pulling Pulse). I’m pretty sure this is what hardcore has always been about; we’re not taking ourselves too seriously, we just love playing heavy music and love hearing it too – most of the people I know feel the same!

What bands influence you and your music?

H: Vocal-wise I’d jump straight to the obvious and point my finger at Dave Verellen (Botch, Narrows) and Jacob Bannon (Converge), as early on these were both bands that immediately grabbed me and pulled me towards heavy music. Recently I’ve been hugely impressed with Full Of Hell and have been listening to their record Roots Of Earth Are Consuming My Home a load. The vocalist is insane, listen to the title track off that album, he just loses his shit completely. The first time I saw Ceremony I felt like a rocket had been shoved up my ass and I knew I wanted to throw myself about on a stage like Ross Farrar.
T: The Dillinger Escape Plan were a great influence when I was younger. The first time I saw them was at a festival and I didn’t even know who they were, I’d never heard or seen anything like that before and my brain could barely handle it, then as soon as I got home I went and bought ‘Calculating Infinity’. I can’t not say Converge, Kurt Ballou completely changed my ideas of guitar and bass tone plus recording production in general. Then there’s Botch, I miss Botch.
M: I guess the drummers that have influenced the way I play are David Kennedy (The Chariot) and Thomas Hedlund (Cult of Luna). Both drummers manage to do some things that are a little out of the box, while not taking anything away from the actual songs.
A: Personally I’m influenced by bands like Breather Resist, Converge, Throats, Lavotchkin, Trap Them and Humanfly. I started playing an instrument due to Jesse Keeler (DFA 1979), Carlos Dengler (Interpol) and Johnny Throstur (Minus), but guitar wise I’m influenced by Evan Patterson (Breather Resist/ Young Widows/ National Acrobat). I saw an interview a while back with him talking about gear and his playing style and he said he didn’t know how to play and I thought “neither do I”. So a few weeks later I went out and bought a guitar, tried to learn to play a few Converge songs, failed miserably then decided to start playing guitar in a band.

What bands would you recommend our readers?

A: I’d recommend you check out Let it Die, Black Veins, Esoteric Youth, No Fealty, Knife Crimes, HUSH, Humanfly, The Long Haul, Baby Godzilla, Coilguns, Curses, Atlas, Black Mass, False Flags, Prelude To The Hunt, Bears Killing Bears, Notebooks and a million other bands which aren’t coming to mind right now as there’s too much good music in the UK and Europe at the moment.
T: Coilguns need to be heard, we got to play with them a few weeks back and it was an awesome show, so much noise for just one guitarist. Hush and Earthship were also great at that show. The new Bastions, The Long Haul and Rise and Fall records are great too, plus there’s some really good bands in Leeds at the moment: Blacklisters are already doing well for themselves, Curses, False Flags, and definitely Humanfly if you’ve managed to miss them so far.
H: Recently my eardrums have been pleasured by the likes of Full Of Hell (scary dark hardcore), Let It Die (loud, heavy, fast, good), Eagulls (noisy Dinosaur Jr kids), Blacklisters (for some dirty, wretching 21st century Big Black), Grazes, Hush, Veils, Nickleback, Black Mass and Knife Crimes. All mentioned are from the UK with the exception of Full Of Hell and they’re always playing shows. All worth checking out for sure.

What’s the most enjoyable part of being in DSDNT?

H: Playing shows by far. No matter the crowd I always enjoy myself, which is what it’s all about. It also feels amazing to have so many people (seems like a lot to me anyway) listening to our output and responding positively. We’ve all become close friends in the band and are meeting more people along the way which is also great.
T: Seeing reviews that say things like “bowel crushing bass” is always pretty good too, well, for me anyway.

Do you have any shows coming up?

H: We’re getting our heads down to focus on new material, so shows aren’t a priority at the moment. I think we have one at the end of June and we definitely have another taking us furthest away from home in September in Sunderland.

Where can our readers listen and buy your music/merchandise from?

Our music is at dsdnt.bandcamp.com, our merch is at dsdnt.bigcartel.com and our general shit-talking is at facebook.com/dsdnt. You can also get our cassettes direct from Deadx3 Music or V Revolution in Manchester.

What’s next for the band?

M. We’ve got a few shows coming up, including a show that’ll finally see us playing further afield. We’ve also been talking to some people over in mainland Europe about a potential split release. It’s still early days, but we’re pretty excited about the whole idea and hopefully it’ll eventually come to fruition.