Sonntag, 18. September 2016

No Such Thing As A Stupid Question #5 w/ Jayson Green (Orchid, Ritual Mess, Violent Bullshit)

A few days ago we’ve asked an ol' punk if he’d be up to answer a few questions and well, what should we say. Here is an interview with a joke teller, DJ, punk yeller, hair farmer, film freak and co-host of a radio show called cheap shots on east village radio. He doesn’t write for Pitchfork but that’s ok for us. Here’s our interview with Jay Green, who used to sing in a band called Orchid.

Orchid at the Summerville American Legion in Summerville, SC - ca. 2000. Photo by Tom Pavlich

Hey Jayson. How are things going? Thanks a million for taking the time. First of all I’d like to ask for a brief introduction of yourself and a short summary of what you are currently doing.

Jay: I’m still making and DJ’ing music. About to record a 10” with Violent Bullshit and working on a solo LP.

How did you get into punk music? Any records resp. bands, you were influenced by?

Jay: I grew up in a pretty rural area and there were really no punks in our town and I didn’t have any older siblings who were into punk either so it was just kind of by luck and issues of Thrasher magazine. I’d see Quicksand on 120 minutes and love it and then discover Walter was in Gorilla Biscuits and Youth of Today. The Beastie Boys used to be a hardcore band. Fugazi used to be Minor Threat. Stuff like that. Go to the local skate park and see cool older kids and buy whatever band was on their t-shirts. I used to make out with a girl who’s boyfriend was in a ska band so I started going to all-ages shows. It’s dumb luck really.

As far as influential bands it sort of depends on what we’re talking about. The Beastie Boys were a major gateway drug to punk rock and 80’s SxE HC was a huge deal to me and was sort of my entree into hardcore music. As time went on bands like Nation of Ulysses, Bikini Kill, Born Against, Los Crudos all showed me what punk was capable of content-wise. When I was in Orchid the Providence scene was a big influence on aesthetics and presentation. Bands like Arab on Radar, Olneyville S.S., Landed, Black Dice, etc... and of course all the Gravity, 31G, San Diego stuff. A lot of Orchid’s contemporaries was pretty influential on me as well. Combat Wounded Veteran, Charles Bronson, Red Scare. It’s a hard question to answer!

You’ve been in a couple of punk resp. hardcore bands over the last couple of decades. As a blog about screamo it’s probably not that surprisingly that we’re most interested in one specific band of yours. Please, carry us back to Amherst, MA, at the beginning of 1997, when Jeffrey, Geoff, Will and you formed a band called Orchid. How did the four of you meet and what were the circumstances for you ending up as a band?

Jay: Will and I both attended Hampshire college with Orchid’s original bassist Brad Wallace (Geoff would join the band later). I guess the way it worked is that we saw each other around and as hardcore kids do, we gravitated towards each other. Will made me a mixtape with tons of killer songs and we became buddies. I was playing guitar in a band call “all i ask..” at the time Will approached me to make music. I assumed he wanted me to play guitar, but he suggested I sing. Jeff went to UMASS and I think we found him through friends but we met him for the first time at the very first Orchid practice. All I can remember is Jeff saying he couldn’t play fast. He definitely could.

Will used to book shows on campus and he booked our first show with Pig Destroyer and Black Army Jacket. After that show Scott from Pig Destroyer asked if we were into doing a split 7” and so it began.

Wikipedia says that Orchid was considered as one of the pioneers of the „screamo“sound. Was there a point in time when you became aware of the influence Orchid has/had on people, especially on those who just discovered the genre? What are your thoughts on the presence Orchid still has nowadays?

Jay: I hear about us being influential now, but at the time we were a functional band not at all. We were obsessed with One Eyed God Prophecy and all the Per Koro bands and were trying our hardest to rip them off.

People come up to me from time to time and tell me that Orchid was a big deal for them and I see stuff online, but you can never take that stuff too seriously. It makes me very happy that our records have stuck around and people get some pleasure from it. The thing I enjoy hearing the most (because I am an egomaniac) is that people started reading theory, or wrote their thesis based around ideas in the record.

What was your favorite tour experience? Any memories you want to share with our readers and us?

Jay: It was a mixed bag, but I have a lot of fond memories. I mean the first time I left the country was with those guys. I pool hopped in Arizona, I saw Song Of Zarathustra in a tiny basement, we toured with lightning Bolt and Convocation Of.., making the insert for Chaos Is Me at some Kinko’s on tour to give to Kent at Ebulliton. So many fun memories, but I definitely won’t miss the squats.

It’s been almost two years since your latest project, Ritual Mess, published a fantastic Long Player, called Vile Art. The twelve songs on the album left us begging for more. Are there any plans on new material or even on playing some shows?

Jay: No plans really, but you never know.

What records do you put on your turntable? Any current screamo/emo/hardcore/punk bands you follow resp listen to and would like to recommend?

Jay: I listen to all kinds of stuff. Being a DJ dance/disco records are often on my turntable. 70’s protometal/boogie rock and Negative Approach at least once a week to keep the doctor away.

New bands? Never trust anyone’s opinion on current hardcore who is older than 35.

Given reason we’d like to ask something political. While Pegida and right wing parties seem to continuously gain popularity in Europe, there are also certain developments in the states which appear to be quite frightening as well. Our readers are spread across the world. Would you mind sharing your views and opinions of the current political situation in your home country, with a regards to the upcoming elections, with us and our readers? Anything you find important to share?

Jay: This is the last desperate gasp of boring, old white people trying to clutch onto a past that was good for them and bad for everyone else. Don’t worry young ones, they’ll all be dead soon.

Mittwoch, 7. September 2016

EXCLUSIVE STREAM: 'Demo‘ by Kubiak

Tokyo’s recently formed fourpiece Kubiak exclusively shares demo tape with us. Recorded in this year’s May, the demo grew out of a collaboration between members of ilill and ex-blue friend.

According to Kubiak’s vocalist, the band converged after they discovered their mutual crush on some live footage of Glendale, which was filmed in 1994. After some jamming they decided to start this short time project, which will be buried after two shows on September 12 and 25 at Shinjuku Hill Valley in Tokyo.
 Up to now, the demo was only available on cassette, sold at ilill shows during their common Japan tour with I hate sex and Shirokuma. As the band ran out of tapes, it’s now time to bring those two songs to the web. The first one called ‚Milgram‘ starts with a sustained intro, characterized by its slow tempo and spoken German vocals, reciting some of the most relevant lyrics in nowadays screamo. By contrast, ‚Thompson‘ represents the wild side of the band as it hits hard right from the start. Long story short, smash the play button and get an impression of how amazing they are.

"Bevor du andere Menschen hasst, schau in den Spiegel und denk daran, du bist Mensch. Und wenn du morgen aufwachst und in den Spiegel schaust denk darüber nach wie du behandelt werden willst wenn du in solch einer Situation steckst. Stacheldraht oder Liebe, Bomben oder die helfende Hand?“

Download the demo >>>> right here! <<<<

Mittwoch, 31. August 2016

Short But Sweet, Polite And Respectful #35

5000 / rûth / ilill / istilah - 4 way Split

What a fabulous lineup on this collaborative release. Tokyo’s ilill and 5000 team up with rûth and istilah from Singapore. Since it’s impossible to dwell on every single track on the split, I’m going to keep things short. Asian screamo rules the game with its fresh and exciting bands. All those amazing projects, which are featured on the split CD were formed quite recently and cover the whole sound palette from violent and chaotic to melodic and groovy - what could your emo heart desire more? The liaison between those four bands is home of nine incredible songs, each and everyone of them is fun listening to, sending you to a state of joy and ecstasy.

+ bandcamp

What’s Left of the Sun - Lifeline

Thanks to Miss the Stars I discovered this premium post-hardcore inspired, emo / screamo band from Sweden. I was totally blown away after I had checked their song, the prince, which was streamed on Alex’ blog. The sound of the song is super melodic and features some really great background vocals, which are perfectly combined with the screamed ones. The EP contains just one further track, which sucks a lot because both songs leave you wanting for more. As the band just returned back home from their tour through Poland, we absolutely recommend you to give them a listen. You won’t regret it.

„Blood ties, ties our floods together. But I am, alone out at sea Abandoned by my shattered family. Crashing like waves, all over me.“

+ bandcamp

Cady - Isle Of Flowers

There’s a new wave of amazing emoviolence bands from the UK coming in. Cady is one of those. Their latest musical output is called ‚Isle Of Flowers‘ and contains four heavy tracks, full of darkness and dense atmosphere. Every single note seems to sound just right, as those soundscapes excels thanks to its furious vocals and wild blast beating drums. The Extended Play, which is strongly recommendable for fans of Cassus, Scared of Everything and Dawn Ray’d, is co-released by Boslevan Records, Cave Of Roses and Wolf Town DIY. It’s screamo as good as it gets combined with a slight hint of metal.

„Throat so lacerated, this damn chest croaks. Heaving patterns like lungs are bleached soaked. Move into the endless, simmering light. ‚I'm never coming back’ - ‚I am Dock Ellis. And I will miss you’."

+ bandcamp

Solanas - What’s Left To Leave Behind

Solanas are from the UK and were founded back in 2013. The screamo collective from Newcastle consists of Ollie, Eliott and Stef who also is part of Scared Of Everything and replaced the band’s original bassist, Tim, in 2014. Already released in late April, What’s Left To Leave Behind is already their sixths release and features five tracks in total. The music on it can be described as a sweet blend of emo, screamo and post-hardcore, which is wrapped in a sonic garb full of dreamy guitar riffs. Solans definitely set themselves off from the common screamo sound, which is not the worst thing you can say about a band. Thumbs up! Also check out the band’s LP, 'The Distance Within Our Bodies', which was released on vinyl recently.

„I’ll keep my tired eyes closed and hope to dream of love but I’m sleeping less each night and my heart can barely beat, my words have failed, my tongue and my hands have failed my nerves…"

+ bandcamp

Montag, 15. August 2016

Short But Sweet, Polite And Respectful #34

I Hate Sex / Black Knight Satellite / Algae Bloom - 3-way-split

Premiered by one of our favorite blogs, Open Mind Saturated Brain, this collaboration unites I Hate Sex, Black Knight Satellite and Algae Bloom. Kicked off by the first-mentioned, who come up with some sweet new tones in the form of spoken vocals, transporting the well-written lyrics, the split contains four songs in total. The two following tracks are contributed by Black Knight Satellite from Vancouver. Their noisy and chaotic sound leads over to the fourth and final song, thrown in by Algae Bloom. The screamo duo from the UK adds some twinkling melodies to the sound palette of the split, which will be available via Damn Fine Tapes (EU) and Never Better Records (CAN). Can’t wait to get my hands on it.

“Everything went black. I opened my eyes again to sirens, I found myself and the inside of my car soaked in my own blood and I smiled.”

+ bandcamp

Scared Of Everything - 2016

It took a while for me to get into the new Extended Play of the band from Portsmouth. Three short songs with a playtime of a bit more than five minutes in total. Reads like the basic parameters of a classic screamo record. But far from that. What you can hear on the EP is a blend of different hardcore sub-genres. While the band’s screamo roots shine through the opening track, Dishwashing Melodies, the other two songs are closer located to post-hardcore. Unfortunately, their sound loses a little darkness, which once was featured on their sensational debut. The 2016 version of Scared Of Everything is still recommendable, even if you have to give those three songs a few more runs to win you over.

+ bandcamp

The Hope And The Failure / Heavy Weather - Split

Right after their appearance in our last episode of Short But Sweet, The Hope And The Failure from Sweden put out their first new song since the release of their first Extended Play, published back in 2005. The song is part of a split with the Canadian screamo outfit, Heavy Weather, which will be available via Lifeisafunnything and Blind Eye Records. The sevenths song of the discography of the screamo veterans from Stockholm is mournful and contains a wide range of vocals. No matter if spoken and almost whiny or screamed and full of heaviness, Ina’s chant is pure gold, letting the listener emphasize. Arranged slowly, Heavy Weather’s track is ace too. Driven by the post-rock sound, the song contains spoken vocals as well, embodying the ideal match.

„Flickering lights binding my thoughts. I wish that my hands would stop shaking like buildings collapsing. Now. Right now.“

+ bandcamp

UnaxManoxAlxCuello - EP 2016

The performance of UxMxAxC at the open stage at this year’s Fluff Festival was one of the best shows during the whole weekend. For those of you who couldn’t be at the fest or just missed their set, I would recommend to check out the Spanish emo/powerviolence collective from Salamanca. Their new EP would be a great start to get a good feel for their powerful and energetic sound. It contains four bold tracks in the vein of their demo from early 2015. With out any doubts, the sextet belongs to the best bands of this genre, Spain currently has to offer. Kiss, Kiss.

„Devoramos nuestros padres engullimos nuestras madres, quiero ver arder la suma de todo.“

+ bandcamp