Artist Profile: Matt White of Goathex

By Sam Spencer

First things first, how have you been in these past months and how are you dealing with quarantine?

Well, all things considered, things have been solid. I have been lucky enough to keep my main source of income, my family has been safe, and I’ve been able to keep working on producing and releasing music with my band. Since I’m not one to go out or socialize in big groups a lot, my personal life hasn’t been too radically changed. So I really can’t complain much.

Do you have any advice for not going completely numb to it all? 

Genuine mindfulness, intention, and focused emotional investment in the things directly in front of me have done wonders for my chronic mental anguish, which like with everyone became worse at the start of this insane global crisis. I have too much anxiety to be numb, so I have to spend my time forcing myself to feel present instead of trapped in my head feeling ​everything​. I strongly advocate for conscientious physical and mental self-improvement. Focusing on your body, your intentions, your outlook, your knowledge is the best way to escape chronic stress and anxiety. Stop ruminating on and suppressing your problems and start working on how you can make yourself capable of conquering them. It IS possible.

I see you had some upcoming dates that got canceled, which must suck all things considered, do you have a plan for making up for lost time once things get back to normal?

We had an almost unbelievably stacked year ahead of us with heavy-hitter gigs lined up for nearly every coming month with killer acts like SPITE & WITCHVOMIT from the U.S. and NOCTURNAL GRAVES from Australia, as well as two U.S. tours later in the year. Like everyone else we were immensely bummed to have our plans pulled out from under us, but we took it as an opportunity to focus more on writing and working on our dynamic as a band, as our heavily packed schedule was actually making it a bit difficult to write new material or rework things… for example we finally made a long-planned change of switching our bass player to rhythm guitar and adding bass to my position on vocals. This has proved to be a change we’re very happy with. We’ve also gotten a lot of work done on the writing of our first full-length with this new lineup. So I think we’ve made the most out of the situation.

On to your story, where are you from, and what was the music / scenes that you got put onto growing up? And who was it that was initially showing you music you remember feeling passionate about?

I was born and raised directly outside of Chicago in a community that is pretty rich with excellent young musicians and artists. I had an early penchant for Punk & Alternative Rock that soon evolved into an obsession with 80s American Hardcore, and by middle school continued to evolve into serious interest in Death and Black Metal, Raw Punk, and all aspects of the D.I.Y. music underground, from NYC warehouse raves to harsh noise shows in Midwestern basements. I was also definitely heavily influenced by the local culture of hardcore rap from very early in my upbringing. If you are a die-hard music fan, you know fully that the internet, and all its deep corners and crevices, is a ​godsend​ in the most profoundly legitimate way. But probably the most influential force in my path into ​playing​ music was the many D-Beat/Raw Punk house shows I attended in Chicago during high school. This was where I really learned about what true underground extreme music was about- freedom and self-reliance, creative purity, furious unity among ruin. I could probably never play in any other kind of band, at least not in any serious sense, and I definitely never want to be a part of the music “industry” in any way.

From what I can tell, you have a really broad taste in music, how do you feel that contributes to your own art?

Yes definitely, I would say that among my favorite genres I haven’t mentioned yet are Latin Jazz & Soul, R&B, Medieval Ambient, Vaporwave, Drill, Old-School Southern Hip-Hop, New Age, Juke/Ghettotech, Psych, City Pop, all kinds of international folk music and really anything and everything in between. I really don’t discriminate much at all when it comes to musical styles and I try to be as conscious of everything happening in the music world as possible. I’m an obsessive and a completionist when it comes to my habits in music hunting and collection, so when something catches my interest I tend to get very deep into understanding it. I also tend to keep the lines between these different worlds pretty clear in my mind, so honestly I’d say that it contributes more to my personal worldview and perspectives than my art, which I try to keep pretty purely devoted to the traditions and aesthetics of Black Metal.

What have you been listening to as of late?

I’m going through a big kick of underground 90s hip-hop, deep house and dub techno. Also pretty heavy into old-school power electronics/industrial noise like ATRAX MORGUE and MURDER CORPORATION. I’ve been keeping a handful of newer goth/post-punk bands in rotation recently as well, lots of TR/ST, BLACK MARBLE, & MOLCHAT DOMA. And of course plenty of Black Metal, recently especially East Asian hyper-militant Bestial Black Metal bands like KONFLICT, DAKINI, REEK OF THE UNZEN GAS FUMES, and TETRAGRAMMACIDE. Some other mixed stuff I’ve been digging lately that I recommend: GROLLFRIED, FAILED TREATMENT, GRUPO EXTERMINADOR, DANIEL BACHMAN, JULIANNA BARWICK, STRIATIONS, NIRRITI, ROYAL HOUNDS NYC, THE AZTEC MYSTIC, LOS INICIADOS, KLAUS SCHULZE, NEIL ARDLEY, RUNESPELL.

What role does music play in your life?

It’s the most important aspect. Everything else (including my non-music related career path) is in the effort of facilitating my continued personal investment in music. I really could never live without its near-constant presence in my life as I’ve had for as long as I can remember now.

How long have you been making music now? And give me a little run-down of the type of music you started making originally, what you make now?

I’ve been messing around with instruments for most of my life. I jammed with friends throughout middle school and high school, but as I was surrounded mostly by thoroughly more musically gifted jazz/funk musicians in my friend group, I never really found the creative chemistry or alignment I was looking for. So I kept working on lyrical and conceptual ideas on my own, and it wasn’t until a year or so into college that I found other Black Metal musicians interested in putting together a serious band. Things fell into place very naturally once we got the group together. So really, Black Metal was the first style of music I’ve been able to produce in a legitimate sense.

What instruments do you play?

I’ve attempted to learn many over the years and the only ones that have ever really stuck with me enough for me to have any real confidence are drums and bass. Learning to perform metal vocals and developing my own style and different approaches for various styles has been something I’ve enjoyed a lot as well, if that can be considered an instrument.

Do you have any bands that you really look up to within black metal? Have you been able to meet any of them?

Goathex as an entity worships the elder cults of BLACK WITCHERY, PROCLAMATION, and CONQUEROR above all else. We also give our total support to the TRUE warriors of the Black Metal underground, such as ABYSMAL LORD, HUMAN AGONY, ARCHGOAT, CRURIFRAGIUM, SATANIC WARMASTER, and NYOGTHAEBLISZ… not to mention our comrades in METHGOAT, PRIMITIVE WARFARE, BAPHOMANCIA, NACHTLICH, PROFANE ORDER, NOCTURNAL DEPARTURE and others… We’ve made many allyships around the world through our efforts in the underground and have performed alongside some of the aforementioned acts on our home territory… We consider it the utmost pleasure to commit acts of debauchery and barbarism alongside these men.

Tell me more about Goathex, how did you guys come together, how long have you been making music, and how has the scene here in Philadelphia been thus far?

Goathex was formed at the end of 2018 with the intention of playing pure, unflinching Barbaric Black/War Metal in the tradition of the 90’s underground. The lineup from the previously active band SILVANTHRONE, whose guitarist and I came up with the idea for the band, was copied over directly with my addition. We started jamming during that winter, and by early spring were recording our first demo. It was for us and anyone who cared, and we didn’t expect much to come of it as we passed that demo around, but it was surprisingly well-received locally and around the black metal community online. Soon we were offered to do a professional tape release of our second demo by our allies at FORBIDDEN SONORITY. Both of these demos continue to do pretty well, and in Philly we’ve seen quite a bit of support from the extreme music scene.

From what I can ascertain you guys are really starting to blow up, how does that feel, and if you could set your sights on an ultimate goal what would it be?

As far as we still have to go in our efforts, knowing we have people digging our music around the world is pretty surreal. I’ve always thought the coolest shit is playing in a band writing and performing psychotic anti-music for no one except yourself and a handful of other die-hard weirdos scattered around the planet, and being on the other side of that dynamic is humbling and inspiring as fuck. Our ultimate goals include lots more U.S. touring, and definitely European, Southeast Asian, and Australian tours, we fully intend to establish these plans as soon as possible so that we can meet and perform alongside some of the people we’ve connected with around the world in real life.

What’s the story behind putting out physicals instead of going to streaming platforms? Do you ever see yourself going that route?

Aside from the traditional aspect of physical music in metal/punk and the fact that all of us were already pretty hardcore collectors, self-releasing via tape and working with independent labels is simply the best way to release music in my opinion. The artist gets to offer a more holistic and multifaceted work, and the listener gets a more tangible artifact of their connection to the artist. While we do put our stuff up for promo on YouTube and Bandcamp, we don’t have much interest in putting it on streaming platforms. It’s just not the right venue for Black Metal in our view.

What’s your creative process like? Ambiance, company, drugs etc.

Smoldering, unflinching, hateful rage. Of course having some booze, weed, and nicotine around doesn’t hurt either.

Tell me about how important imagery, especially the disturbing stuff, is when you’re formulating music.

The driving creative force behind Goathex is the sum of all sadistic brutality and agonized suffering of mankind- war, torture, murder, plague, misery, deceptive cruelty on the grandest scale. We don’t consider this subject matter to be fantasy or a joke in any way, and we view our use of it as expression of reverence to its power, its eternal presence, its curse-like permanence, its undeniable and unquestionable REALITY. We also want to be clear that we don’t have some half-baked underlying positive or hopeful political message like a lot of false black metal bands that have been cropping up on social media recently… human suffering is absolute and eternal. Furthermore, black metal is NOT a vehicle for forced political virtue signaling. We are disciples of the school of Occult, Bestial, and Evil Metal, and absolutely consider ourselves specifically a SATANIC Black Metal band. Images of slaughter and chaos at the hands of demonic figures are a blunt allegory for the demented, grotesque Hell that is human reality, controlled as it is by the unstoppable forces of Evil and Death. “Satan” is a representation of pure darkness- the whole of the aspects of our reality that we don’t want to experience, and that we will never experience. It is also a symbol of eternal resistance to Judeo-Christian moral matrix… but perhaps that’s a discussion for another interview.

Well said. Looking back on past shows, have there been any especially memorable moments/stories worth sharing?

We look back on all of our performances so far with great fondness, but notably, Goathex and our other project, Silvanthrone, played a successful gig in Columbus, Ohio this past February with the mysterious cult known as GEHEIMNISVOLL… Little is known to the public of this act, and it was a unique pleasure to plot, perform, and celebrate this success alongside the entities behind this project.

It might be hard to, but if you could pick a project that you feel most proud of, what would it be?

Goathex is the first “real” band that I’ve been able to be a part of, and thus far every release has just been a learning experience which we’ve built off of and applied onto the next one. None of our releases come close to capturing our ultimate vision of relentless barbarism- each following will be an effort to push ourselves further into the spiraling black abyss. However, I do believe our recent split EP was a considerable step in the right direction from our demos.

For those who don’t know, give me a rundown on your label, and the other bands you’re associated with.

Goathex bassist and entity behind TRIST DØD, Vantherus and I started Pennsylvania Black Metal Records at the very end of 2019 with the simple goal of having a platform to release any of our ideas with total creative and operational freedom. We had a handful of side projects and solo releases ready to go, and a bunch of old releases we wanted to reissue, so we took it upon ourselves to establish the label and start making the tapes by hand ourselves. At the moment, the label has only released projects by the members of Goathex- SILVANTHRONE, TRIST DØD, and DECEASHOST. But we have new personal projects in the works, as well as some releases by friends to be put out on the label eventually. But recently we have been focusing a bit more on in-progress releases that are going to be coming soon through the work of other labels.

Any upcoming releases or secret shows we should be on the lookout for?

On the release front,  writing of the debut Goathex full-length is nearly complete, set to be released as a 12” LP with a limited edition boxset through our long-time ally RED DOOR RECORDS… Also, look out for vinyl releases from Goathex-related acts TRIST DØD and SIlvanthrone coming soon via NITHSTANG PRODUCTIONS… Hand-dubbed tape versions of most of our releases are made available through the P.A.B.M. online store (pennsylvaniablackmetal.bigcartel.com) for those interested in our back catalog. As far as shows… We had a tour planned for Southern CA with the San Jose-based GOATCORPSE, this summer. Most of the dates of this tour are unlikely to be replaced, but we are in the process of planning a small-scale invite-only, secret-location generator show in the Los Angeles forest with GOATCORPSE and a handful of other local bands, thanks to the immensely ballsy work of our L.A. promoter NIHILISTIC MORTALITY. We have no interest in surrendering when the choice is in our hands. The real Black Metal underground is invincible.

Shoutouts or last words? Thanks for taking the time man.

If any of the things I’ve mentioned here interest you, I implore you to LISTEN TO THE BANDS MENTIONED ABOVE, look into the labels releasing them, and BUY their music. Avoid “safe”, neutered, and commercialized metal like the plague!!! Black Metal will always be more than music… death to false devotion! Your interest and support is greatly appreciated, it’s a pleasure to answer your questions. Always stay true to the underground…

ARTIST PROFILE: QThree [EAR.DRUM]

Photo by Jahmir Brown @bulbshoots

By Sam Spencer

As the Philadelphia lockdown carries on, so does the music and skate scene here in the city. At the epicenter of both those arenas, I was introduced to QThree. I got in contact with him to go in depth about who he is, what he comes from, and how it feels to be one of the most talented producers working out of the 215.

What’s up man what have you been doing and how have you been keeping sane during this quarantine?

I’m alive bro I can’t complain. I say that a lot because I know no one wants to hear it. This pandemic has been a 50/50 for me. Really eye-opening, reconnecting me to my spiritual side. Also making me regain focus on my mental health, as well as my physical health. It’s been stressful but very growth-filled.

You grew up in Philly, right? What was the first kind of music you got exposed to, and who was it that was putting you on?

The first kind of music I can remember being exposed to was classical and Jazz music. My grandfather would play it in the morning driving me to school and at night if we went out on 90.1 on the radio station. I was also exposed to soul music of course. Marvin Gaye, Curtis Mayfield, Etta James, Patti Labelle. My mother would clean the house and play a lot of Sade, Jill Scott, and Anita Baker. My mom played me my first hip-hop album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. It wasn’t the first hip hop song I can remember, but it was my first experience with an album.

Were there any specific scenes that you grew up around that influenced what you listened to?

I grew up in the church. I used to sit in my mother’s choir rehearsal, I was also in the children’s choir. By the age of 12, I was engineering the live sound in my church and handling the manufacturing of the recorded services. I’m also from the hood, there was no avoiding hip hop and the contents of the lyrics.

When/what did you first hear that made you want to start making beats? How many years have you been doing it now?
Still D.R.E. was the instrumental that made me want to make beats. I made my first official beat in the 9th grade. At the end of the year, my teacher had a competition in computer class and we were instructed to use the apple loops in GarageBand to make a composition. I had the best beat, so my first beat was lowkey from a beat battle [laughs]. I didn’t start taking producing seriously until Freshman year of college when I was 18. It’s been on ever since. I’ll be 28 this July.

Were you always rapping too?

Back in grade school, we were really influenced by the Rap DVD era in Philly. I wasn’t always as nice at rapping as my peers. In 6th grade, I was the beatbox guy they would tell to “hit the beat” when my associates had rap battles. I was always the best at it in the class, despite being an outcast in those early years, music was a way I could connect with everyone. I also used to bring in my radio and we would dub tapes of us rapping on it in music class. I got into hip hop by rapping and making beats.

That’s sick, If you had to pick an all-time favorite producer who would it be?
The RZA. He is the perfect example of orchestrated chaos. When I hear RZA I get a representation of art, I can hear human mistakes, as well as borderline perfection. He was also the first to sample a high-pitched soul sample. That inspired so much of hip hop, and it’s still an element that can connect the most even through modern rap and the new generation of listeners. Wu-Tang Clan’s production is my all-time favorite. The C.R.E.A.M instrumental revolutionized hip hop production.

What was the first cosign that really meant something to you?

I wouldn’t consider myself as receiving a “cosign” yet because usually when you get those, your career “jumps off” and you “blow up over-night” when Alchemist and Evidence first started publicly saluting me on twitter it was definitely a special moment for me. They even supported my projects.

How was being able to work with Evidence?

Genuine. Everything is organic with Ev. When I first started tweeting that I was moving to LA he never hesitated to reach out and make sure I connected with him. He still to this day will check in with me on a personal level. I’ve learned and am still learning a lot about life from him aside from music. Me rapping to one of his beats just happened naturally.

What’s the worst misconception people have about producers, or what’s your biggest pet peeve in working with rappers?

I’m not sure what kind of misconceptions people have about producers, but I do know a lot of people fail to give a producer credit for a song. The lyricist always gets the recognition for a beat and it just doesn’t make sense to me.  Working with rappers is always a different experience. My pet peeve in working with anyone is bad communication. Waiting too long to hear back about a beat, if they’re going to use it or if they want a different vibe. It’s like pulling teeth. I work best with any artist who knows how to communicate outside of their ego.

What kind of hardware do you usually work with? What are you working with right now?

I use an MPC, an SP 404sx and an SP303 altogether. I also own a Po-33.

What role does music play in your life right now?

Therapy. The support is a plus, and I’m eternally grateful for it.

You do all your own cover art, right? Where did the inspiration for that come from?

Yes, I do. I drew my first picture when I was 3 years old. Art has always been a part of me. Audio Is just another medium I create with. I can’t even finish a project without staring at the artwork. Music for me is scoring my visual art with its own soundtrack. Besides graphic novels and anime, the inspiration for my visual art comes from somewhere beyond explanation. Most likely God and my ancestors.

What is your music creation process like? 

It depends on my mood and where I am. If I’m not at home, I’m over at Krouse Quality studios, If I’m not there I’m at sadhu’s making beats with him. I make most of my own solo work on my own in solitary. I produce, record and engineer, so everything gets done on my time, when and how I want it to be. I hate studios. I’d rather be in comfort in order to express myself appropriately.

Tell me a little about Baked (Life) Recordings

Baked life is a brotherhood established in 2011. We were brothers for years before then, bonding through the skateboarding lifestyle in Philadelphia. Under the organization of one of our founder’s Mark Ryan, we formed together as a rap group: “The Bakery Boys” and we fully embody the representation of “Brotherly Love.” We were the first rap group of our generation to bring “being yourself” into the music scene in Philadelphia. I would be nothing without Baked Life. The “recordings” aspect is our independent label imprint. Consisting of members: QThree aka EAR.DRUM, Mark Ryan, Drip, TJ ATOMS, Atar’e Godspeed, Veeay, Mr. Joe Cool, Reef Raw, Dook, Cousin Ab, Davey Denairo, and KiDZER0.

You just dropped a compilation tape on Bandcamp called Deaf Tricks, with stuff you worked on for skate videos with Thrasher, Sabotage, DGK, and DC, how does it feel to have something like that under your belt?

If it wasn’t for skateboarding, I wouldn’t even have baked life or anything. Big thanks to Brian Panebianco for calling me to his crib one night in need of an instrumental for Dylan Sourbeer’s Sabotage 4 part. As the Sabotage brand started to grow, Thrasher reached out to clear music from me for their exclusive premieres. I feel blessed to belong to skateboarding in my own way because I damn sure ain’t nice enough at it to go pro. [laughs]

If someone reading this is unfamiliar, what would you recommend they listen to?

Everything. not even just mine. Get familiar with the family.

https://bakedlife.bandcamp.com/

You had a beat battle with Sadhugold recently, how did that go and give me a little insight into your relationship? 

I’ve known him for over a decade. We started making beats at the same time, we bonded first through trading vintage clothing and through Pokémon. Battling was in our nature. We always tend to challenge each other just like Ash and Gary, Red and Blue, etc. It definitely helped with my growth as an artist as well. The battle was awesome. It was actually the first Instagram live-battle in history, for those who are not aware. He put up a great fight, but I won. [laughs]

You said you have another tape dropping in the near future, anything in regards to that you can expound on right now? 

I have an instrumental album set to drop in June. It will be one of the best instrumental albums you will hear in 2020.

To wrap up, tell me about how important Philly is to you, and the impact it has on the music you make? Obviously, this city has a lot to it, but what are the aspects that not everyone understands? -Do you ever see yourself living elsewhere?

Philadelphia is the greatest city in the universe. There is a code of realness I have never experienced anywhere else. Everyone here is actually aware that they are a human being, I’m grateful for how humbling it is here. I lived In LA for 2018-2019 and when I moved back home, I nearly kissed the ground. It’s so much love here. I don’t know if I could find it anywhere else, and I feel great about it.

Any shout-outs or last words?

Shout out to God, my mom, My grandad, my entire immediate family, Brax, Jay Sun, Plain, Matt Ford, Miles Comasky, Tony Maserati, Ev and Enzo, The entire Baked Life brotherhood, my Armory East Skateshop family, Infamous Love Plaza, Anthony Trivelli, Joe Piff, Brian Douglas, Heather, Tracy Gorman, Seme, Ajua, Akasha, Bianca, Chris Mulhern, Marq Spekt, Kermit, Mike Gov, Bobby Tenderloins, EBN, Wiles Martyr, Krouse Quality, Karas Lamb, BIOE, Tayyib Ali, Sherm, Mongo, My therapist, Sleaz, My nan reef (dirty fresh), Daniel Amalak, Shamsiddin, The whole “M-Block” from Lincoln University class of 2014, Mr. Green, Jimmy Gorecki, Sagan Lockhart, Andrew Gilbert, My SOH family, Kareem Idris, AA RASHID, Jamil and Kozel, DooF, Shamus, Foozy, My cuzin Jewshism, 8ballMal, Geremiah, Tat the destroyer, Julian Robinson, Daria, Brewery town beats, Creep Records, Ben, Zev, Beemon, Ayoub, and my lawyer. I know that was extra but I don’t care. Last words: who cares.

ARTIST PROFILE: SADIST PINK

Interview by Sam Spencer

With the drop of Sadist Pink’s debut album Dolorem Ipsum, I got a chance to do a little Q&A with him about what it’s like to be making and releasing music while the world continues to cave in on itself. 

Firstly how are you and what have you been spending your time doing amidst this pandemic shit?

I’ve been doing good, thanks. Most of the time I’m catching up on schoolwork and just generally worrying about the state of the world or being misanthropic, so nothing too far from the usual, I guess. In my free time, I’m going into work alone at the local community garden and reading a bunch. Aside from being far from friends, I’m very appreciative of how lucky and safe I’ve been.

How do you feel about dropping a project right now?

There’s a little guilt about the timing…it’s a wild feeling to be promoting my work at a time like this. But simultaneously, this album is all about the ‘end of the world’ ideas and emotions that I’m usually dealing with, so it also feels like there’s no better time to release these songs.

Where are you from originally/where do you live now?

I’m from Trenton, New Jersey and that’s where I’m at right now.

What kind of music scene did you get introduced to early on? And who put you on?

I started just going to Philly noise and DIY shows a while back in high school, but I haven’t been deep into that recently, I guess. It’s a long-ish drive from Trenton. I guess I just stumbled into it.

When did you start making music?

I’ve been making my own music since around 2013-ish, but I’ve been playing instruments since I was young.

What did your first stuff sound like? How much has it changed since then and how so?

My earlier stuff was definitely way less put together. I was working off GarageBand and just fucking around with an amphead and a looper pedal in my room. It was all very glitchy and slow and dark, so I guess my stuff’s gotten more formal and less repetitive, but I’ve really been down for the same general vibe.

What is your creative process like?

It sometimes starts on the piano in my house or a guitar, where I might come up with a melody, but usually, it just gets going on my laptop. I usually just post up in Logic software for a couple hours on the porch and just work on a beat and vocals. I come up with something I like and then let it sit for months on my computer before I ever re-record vocals on my microphone upstairs. It’s a long process with no guarantee of success. I’ve got way too much music just sitting on hard drives. Maybe I’m just lazy.

Tell me about your name.

I just liked the sound of the two words together. It’s jarring but pretty.

When people listen to Dolorem Ipsum, what kind of environment do you suggest they be in?

Hmm… I think being on public transit on a rainy day makes this project sound 10 times better but I suggest they dodge that fare tho.

Was there a conceptual bottom line going into this new project?

Going into this project I was thinking a lot about how I feel very chaotic inside most days and I almost always see that chaos mirrored by the outside world. It’s such a struggle to see beauty in the world’s violence. I’m always wondering what finding peace looks like in a broken world and if that peace will always just be escapism or ignorance. And how do we justify finding that peace? Imma stop myself before I start a philosophical monologue.

Do you feel like you achieved it?

Very much so.

How long did this project take?

It’s been a while. At least a year or so now.

What role does music play in your life right now?

Music is and has always been a great place for me to process what I feel and think. It gives me ways to dissect myself and the world around me that I think are crucially important. Only recently have I been thinking about how others relate to my music, which is weird because it’s always been such a personal experience for me.

Who are you inspired / who do you listen to at the moment?

My mom was always bumping Sade when I was young so I think she’s my biggest influence for sure, and then there were Bjork and Toro y Moi too. These days I’ve been listening to lots of Yves Tumor, Ecco2k, Jessica Pratt, and Oneohtrix Point Never. 

Who did the cover art? I’m a fan

Thanks, it’s just something I threw together.

Do you have a favorite track on it?

I think ‘Esc’ sums the project up the best. 

Where can people listen/stream when it drops?

The album’s up on Spotify and Apple Music but there’s also a music video for ‘Of Desire’ up on YouTube.

Can we look forward to any shows or live performances when things calm down?

Ahhh, I’ll give that a maybe. That shit makes me mad anxious, but we’ll see. 

Any shout outs or last words?

Shoutout to my friends for their love, and Noam Chomsky. Plus shoutout to you for this interview, right?

Chunky Shrapnel: A Movie-esque Review

By Bartek Jaskulski

As we approach our second month during our surreal quarantine, we’ve come to quickly adapt to our surroundings. This includes a number of changes within the industry, whether it be grocery stores, school systems, and even our national parks. One specific industry that has taken a massive hit from this is the music industry. In times where concerts have been delayed for the foreseeable future, artists have to quickly adjust themselves on how to bring a “live experience” to their fans. While some of these artists took the approach of performing for Minecraft festivals (a completely real and surreal experience), others have taken the approach of creating movies for listeners to enjoy in the comfort of their home, a “straight to DVD” experience per se. One prime example of this is the band “King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard”, if their brand new movie “Chunky Shrapnel”.

King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard (also referred to as simply King Gizz) is a psychedelic rock band of 7 people originating from Australia. When looking up the band through a Google search, the group is labelled as a psychedelic rock band, although their last two albums from 2019 proves to show that they are anything but that in recent years. Starting off 2019 with their album “Fishing for Fishies,” the album starts off showing us what they’re capable of in the blues/boogie rock area. As it progresses, the album slowly deforms into a much darker, “synthier” style as seen in Arcanine and Cyboogie. Later on in the year, the band released a second album by the name of “Infest the Rats’ Nest”, which comes off of a completely different spectrum of what “Fishing for Fishies” was. Bringing on the genres of thrash and metal, the group manages to bring a cohesive look on their take of the heavy genres. This brings us to “Chunky Shrapnel”, a movie showcasing the band through their tour of Europe in 2019.

“Chunky Shrapnel” was originally to be shown in select cinemas throughout the globe, but due to the pandemic they took on a different approach. Starting on April 17th at 6 PM, the band released the movie on Vimeo exclusively for only 24 hours, making this seem much more like a grand premiere. The film is a prime way to experience the thrill of attending a King Gizz concert and it could not have come at a better time. In addition to this, a live album will be released on April 24, showcasing many of the songs performed throughout the film as well as adding on songs that have not been heard before.

Not only was it fan-fulfilling to watch this film concert, but it was also pleasurable to see that the whole piece was recorded on Kodak film and it shows. The raw nature of film could be seen greatly throughout the movie, especially within the shots of the band performing throughout pieces such as “Murder of The Universe” and “Planet B”. The colors especially tend to stand out during these times, giving a warm, fuzzy feeling to the viewer as the show goes on.

Although the movie brings much to the viewer, it can also be said that there’s not much that you can experience if you have already. Coming from a person that has seen them live at Franklin Music Hall this past August, the movie reminisces of those times. The film starts us off with the killer entrance of the song “Self-Immolate”, reliving it the same way back in August. “Murder of The Universe” was also a outstanding thriller within the film, as well as Ambrose’s dive into “Let Me Mend The Past”. These two were also songs that very well stood out to me back at the Franklin Music Hall, but I am in no way complaining to relive it once more.

Chunky Shrapnel was coincidentally brought to us in a time where we have to stay put and make radical changes to even our ways of enjoying ourselves, such as seeing live shows once again. This fills parts of the gap for us, letting us experience a truly blunt, gritty King Gizzard concert. Fans will find themselves indulging in many aspects of the film that they greatly favor, whereas bringing a great experience to people beginning to sink their toes into the world that is King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard.

Chunky Shrapnel comes out digitally on April 24th. It will also be out on vinyl on May 18th.

color theory by Soccer Mommy Review

by Lukas Da Silva

image of Soccer Mommy promoting her new album, color theory, from npr.org

Sophia Regina Allison, aka Soccer Mommy, has been putting in a lot of work these past couple years to make her own place in the music scene. She has been doing everything from putting out single after single to touring all around the world in an attempt to get her name out. Now with her new album, color theory coming out, she has finally cemented herself as a staple of the indie scene right now. This album was a great success that not only built upon what she created on her previous albums, but also improved on it with new elements on her instrumentation and lyricism. With a clearer sound and focus, beautiful instrumentation that sounds even richer than her previous work, and her unique and instantly recognizable vocals, Soccer Mommy has presented us with an album that is truly a culmination of years of work. 

From songs such as “circle the drain” to “lucy”, Allison brings back the passionate and emotion filled lyricism from her previous works such as For Young Hearts while enriching the instrumental sounds she touched on in past songs. Hitting heavy topics such as her mother’s terminal illness, her own mental health, and the happiness lost as you slowly become an adult, Allison seems to be showing off the growth she has gained since becoming an artist and making her debut album.

As you listen to this album, expect to hear a wide variety of sounds that Allison has cultivated over the years, as some of the best tracks from this album are sure to stick with you even weeks after listening to them. The infectious and ear catching “circle the drain,” with its 2000’s sounding instrumentals, is sure to leave you humming it long after it ends. The melancholy inducing “royal screw up,” with its soft drumwork and pensive lyrics, leaves listeners questioning their own insecurities. Finally, the tear-jerking ode to Allison’s mother “yellow is the color of her eyes” is a tribute to the pain caused by terminal illness. These songs show the broad range of emotions and ideas the album has while still maintaining a consistently beautiful sound. These songs are some of the best that Soccer Mommy has ever put out and it’s easy to hear the amount of time and work that was put in each track. While these three songs might be the best of the album, that doesn’t mean the album is lacking in the other songs. Each song tells its own story and further propels you into the mind of Soccer Mommy, so take your time to enjoy this beautiful album.

American Football: how midwest emo lives on

by Brooklyn Fellner

Nate Kinsella, Matt Kinsella, Steve Lamos, and “the mysterious” Steve Homes, all poured themselves a glass of red wine in the lounges of the Union Transfer. Their band, American Football, was reuniting after a much anticipated comeback. Here is what they had to say about touring, writing, and getting the band back together. 

American Football had played last in Philly at the UT two years ago, “give or take.” Although the band enjoys touring on the east coast, they said they “enjoy anywhere they’ll have us.” 

They decided to do a deluxe release of their self-titled album after proclaiming “huh people wanna hear us.” This came as an exciting announcement, as the original album, first released in 1999, has been revered as a breakthrough for midwest emo music.

Their first record seems to be a timeless token of late 90s alternative. The band described how it just keeps getting passed on and on in every decade since its release. At every show, 60- 70 percent of their audience are in their 20s or younger and they are still surprised, but enthused by how relevant their music is today.

“it  just seems like it keeps getting passed from generation to generation, it’s neat to be that for someone… even though they should be listening to different bands,” they said.

The revamp of the band is credited to Steve Lamos, who was rummaging through an old box of cassettes in his dad’s home, where he found old recordings of American Football. This rediscovery sparked an interest in playing together again, which led to their reuniting in after years of breaking off and starting families, new jobs, and adulthood. From this, came the American Football LP3 which was released in 2019 and was followed by the tour. Featured on this LP is none other than the queen of alternative herself, Hayley Williams. She lends her outstanding vocals on the song “Uncomfortably Numb.” Nate recalled this only took her three takes to nail.

In high school, the bandmates were in the homegrown punk scene. From there, this lifestyle extended further in college, when there were clusters of shows popping up in Champaign, Illinois. There were opportunities for people to play wherever they were allowed to be loud, so this usually happened in basements and garages. This idea of having DIY shows started to spread, and even if there is no end goal, the band said how they were enjoying their time in the basement regardless of the future of their music.  Through the scene, their band got more and more popular and through “dumb luck,” as described by the band members, American Football caught on.

Fast forward to now, American Football still pulls loyal audiences to every show they have played on their reunion tour. The deluxe release of their self titled album has, without a doubt, inspired an even greater appreciation for midwest emo music.

Kiss My Super Bowl Ring by The Garden

by Dominick Baglivo

Image from https://www.spin.com/2020/02/garden-kiss-my-super-bowl-ring-album/

On their fourth studio album, The Garden absolutely excel at what they have always done best—getting weird as fuck.

Kiss My Super Bowl Ring, the fourth studio album by Orange County duo The Garden, sees them build upon their weirdo-art punk sound to create their most adventurous and impressive output yet. Following up 2018’s Mirror Might Steal Your Charm, which saw the duo of Wyatt and Fletcher Shears adopt jester aesthetics, the two have now enlisted the help of what can only be described as green goblins. Whether you credit the green goblins or natural artistic progression for this is up to your discretion, but there is no doubt The Garden have never embodied their own artistic vision of “vada vada” as well as they do on Kiss My Super Bowl Ring.

From The Garden’s website, “Vada Vada is a term that represents total freedom of expression without boundaries or guidelines of any sort.” If we are discussing the boundaries of Kiss My Super Bowl Ring, let’s be very clear—there are none. The album starts out rather tame for the duo with lead single, “Clench to Stay Awake”, which—save for a mildly chaotic midsection—describes feelings of helplessness and subsequent struggles to cope over light instrumentation. From there, Kiss My Super Bowl Ring quickly transforms into the most impressive musical clusterfuck you might ever hear, in which The Garden seemingly know nothing and everything at once. 

Synth-heavy, bass-heavy, loaded with screams, Kiss My Super Bowl Ring thrives off chaos and unpredictability, shifting from one extreme to another at a moment’s notice. Perhaps the biggest surprise, and a shining example of the duo’s unpredictability, is the extent to which they have incorporated more aspects of electronic music to their already eclectic sound. Littered throughout the track list, most notably “Sneaky Devil” and “Please, Fuck Off”, you can find instances where the song evolves into or simply is based around breakbeats and drum ‘n’ bass. The duo’s willingness to experiment has always been their calling card, and they appear to have mastered it on Kiss My Super Bowl Ring by injecting electronic music into their musical backbone of fiery and chaotic punk.