I never thought of GIVE UP as a name or moniker as in the graffiti sense, but in practice i am what GIVE UP is. Currently i’m operating out of Houston, Texas, USA.
How long have you been making zines?
I started putting together the HATE FUCK zines in 2005. i had attempted others in years previous that weren’t so art-centric, but none that ever came to fruition. seems i found better with HATE FUCK what worked for me.
I’ve only seen Hate Fuck have you done any other zines?
I put together a catalog type art zine called ‘casual encounters’ that featured myself, french, patrick griffin, will boone, jeff smith, and derek albeck. But that’s about it.
You also have a couple of book collections atm, one collecting the early Hate Fuck zines and one collecting street art and photos etc, how did they come about?
The ‘lonely days and wasted nights’ book, with all the street art, came about because i had collected 8 years or so worth of photos and wanted a comprehensive collection of the experience that i could save and/or share. Something a little less temporal than a poster pasted on the street. And when I was tipped that self-publishing actually isn’t impossible, i went for it. the zine collection book i put together because most of the original zines were done in such low print runs that they didn’t stay available for long and i wanted to make them available for anyone who missed out.
Yr art has some dark themes, where does that come from? What would you say influences you most when making something?
i just produce what i feel. i don’t think you can force your creativity. and when you do it’s sometimes obvious. doing the dark themes can be almost theraputic. to just do exactly what i want on paper without fear of consequence. i’ve found it’s easier to produce when i feel like shit. so if i’m having a bad time, the creativity seems to bloom. and the streets will definitley see it. hahaha.
Some of yr art is used by bands, do you enjoy doing covers? I know you’ve done a cover for Pink Priest what other bands have you done covers for, some hardcore bands I know?
yeah, i like doing album covers. music being so central to so much of my life, it’s cool to be involved in some small way with the people/bands i’ve been fortunate enough to work with. as well as being flattered that someone likes my work enough to want me to do something that will ultimately represent them. i’ve done albums for pink priest, folsom, rot in hell, the burden, abraxis, cut short, hatred surge, withdrawal, etc.
Horders is yr music project can you tell us about that? What releases are out?
HORDERS is just an alternate outlet for me. another venue of expression outside of the visual. to call it music is almost an insult to musicians, but i enjoy it. mostly sample heavy minimal acoustic loops with layers of harsh or ambient noise. i self released a 13 song cd, and just had a 9 song cassette released through calico grounds.
Any other music projects you have been involved in?
right now i’m working on a collaborative track with withdrawal for their upcoming album. and already finished a collaborative track yet to be released with the burden. but no other personal music projects of any significance.
What are yr favorite bands atm?
i love the holy terror ‘sound’. integrity, rot in hell, ringworm. but neurosis is probably my favorite of all time. i’ve been feeling lately that black to comm as well.
A lot of what you do is street art, posters, and stencils, from the pics I seen these look great. Do you get up locally a lot with yr work?
thanks. i try to get up as much as possible. it pretty much controls my life. i’ve been home a lot lately so i have been getting mostly local spots. but i try to travel as much as possible and any time i’m on the road i’m definitely trying to get my stuff seen.
A lot of artists who do stencils start with graf and bombing is that something you’ve done?
yeah, i painted graffiti for several years before starting with the postering and stencil stuff. i still love graf and have a lot of respect for writers. but there just came a point where i felt limited by both my own ability and with writing a name. so i started branching out with things i thought i could push myself or my creativity with more.
Do you ever show yr work like in a gallery/artspace setting and how do you find that?
i’ve been fortunate enough to show in galleries here and there. it was never my original intention, but i do enjoy the opportunity to display my work in an alternate venue than the streets. and i like that the galleries make the work available to people who may want to keep or display the work in a way that was meant to last.
You also do the trees and ‘landscape’ stuff, how did that come about?
i’m not originally from the city. and sometimes i don’t think i was meant for it. the trees and organic themes are just really drawing to me. and i never get tired of looking at/to nature. the way other ideas/visuals don’t seem to keep their visual value over time.
I noticed on yr blog you were experimenting with screening some decks, do you skate and is that something you want to purse as in graphics for boards?
graffiti, hardcore, and skateboarding kind of all came together at the same time for me. so now all these years later they still all go hand in hand. i’ve done graphics for a handful of board companies and it’s pretty cool going to the skatepark or soemthing and seeing a stranger on one of my boards. the skateboard/art collective animals and children is actually doing a GIVE UP ‘pro model’. which of course has more to do with the visual than my ability. hahaha.
Whats next for Give Up?
i’ve got some new t-shirt designs i’m about to print, a new poster print i shot screens for yesterday. a split with horders and rot in hell. i few gallery shows coming up in the next couple months both locally and nationally. and lots of getting up on the streets. pretty much the usual. letting things go where ever they take me.
King Dude is yr solo project, how are you finding the difference between woking on yr own and the ‘band’ dynamic of yr other musical projects?
King Dude songs happen a lot faster and with a lot less effort. They are also like a thousand times easier to play than Book of Black Earth songs. I really get a lot of enjoyment from King Dude, it is something that feels very natural.
One thing that stands out for me listening to King Dude is the lyrics. Do you spend a lot of time writing the lyrics to yr songs?
Not really. Sometimes a song can be written in about 30 minutes, music, lyrics, and actually recorded.
The lyrics of King Dude seem almost more personal in a way than yr other projects would you say thats true? Religion and faith being a big topic, I pick up a dose of black humour in some songs too, almost like old murder ballads.
A lot of the songs are about death, loss, and the devil and to me that’s about as personal as they get. I did write My Beloved Ghost shortly after I lost a friend in a house fire, but it’s not about him or that. I think I was just really depressed and writing the song helped me through that time.
You have played in Teen Cthulhu, Orvkvl and also Book Of Black Earth, obviously musically a lot different to King Dude, is the acoustic route something you’ve always wanted to do or did the songs just come out like that?
I think I sort of started it as a joke, not really taking it very serious at all. I have always been a fairly unconfident guitar player, so the songs were just sort of little jokey ballads at first. Then as time progressed I wrote one or two more serious songs and thought, what the hell let’s put them on myspace. I never really considered myself a singer, King Dude is the only band I am in where I really am singing and not screaming everything.
Are there any particular records or bands that stand out as inspirations?
I really love the Legendary Pink Dots. And Siouxe and the Banshees. Obviously Death in June and Current 93, and more modern bands like :Of the Wand and the Moon:. I really love the Kinks and Nico, and basically anyone who writes really good interesting songs. All those bands I’ve just mentioned have always left me in awe with their songs.
Whats the plans with releases for KD? I know there was the Bathetic tape which was great, and hopefully the Black Triangle 7” sooner than later.
Yes the Black Triangle 7” on Clan Destine Records, a split 7” with Solanaceae (Kim from :Of the Wand and the Moon:), and a CD on Disaro here pretty soon.
Yr videos for King Dude are great. Whats the story behind those, who directed them?
My wife Emily directed two of them, My Beloved Ghost and River of Gold, and Marielle directed the Black Triangle video. That shoot was brutal we all basically got hypothermia. It was much much colder than it looked!
What can we expect next from Book Of Black Earth, and will Orvkvl be something you will return to?
Book of Black Earth is going to release a new record called the Cold Testament here in the next few months. Orvkvl has a new record done called Black Magic, I’m just too lazy to release it.
You recently played sxsw, how was that? Any plans for touring with KD or yr other projects? Do you think you’ll make the trip over to Europe at some point to play?
SXSW was awesome, we played 8 shows in 7 days, I had to cancel one KD show due to loosing my voice which really bummed me out. I don’t think I can do Book of Black Earth and KD shows around the same time. Book shows absolutely destroy my voice. I’d love to go to Europe especially with KD but there are no plans at the moment.
There seems to be a lot of good BM projects, and BM inspired projects coming out the states the last few years, especially around the north west. Would you say there was any sort of ‘scene’ happening over there?
Not really, there are a lot more punk bands and metal bands but really not very real BM bands in my opinion.
Any bands you are digging especially right now, what are you listening to lately?
oOoOO, Mater Susperia Vision, White Ring, Darkthrone, Ives, and Hot Graves. Those bands have been in sort of a constant rotation lately.
You also run Actual Pain, a clothing company. How did that come about?
Well I designed the Book of Black Earth logo, the one that looks like roots, and Sean from Rockers NYC saw it and asked me to design some stuff for his clothing brand. Eventually I realized I could be making a lot more money designing the shirts myself and started Actual Pain. Since then the brand has grown we now do cut & sew denim here in Seattle and the denim comes from Texas and is 100% organic. It’s been a great joy for me to design these shirts and we now sell them all over the world!
I understand you do the designs for Actual Pain, have you always made visual art alongside yr musical projects?
Pretty much every band I’ve been in I’ve done the art for. All the Book, Orvkvl, and King Dude stuff I’ve done and about half of the Teen Cthulhu art.
Are there any visual artists that you would say inspire you or that you just dig atm?
I like Owleyes from LA, he does a lot of the collage art for Disaro. And my friend Cameron from the band Golden Triangle does very stunning collages as well. So many of my friends are artists that I realy don’t look at much else other than their stuff. All my friends are my favorite artists.
Finally, If you could invite 3 persons living or dead from any time to a dinner who would they be and why?
I think it’d have to be Quothorn from Bathory, Zena Schreck, and Nikolas Tesla. They are all personal heroes of mine and they all seem to be nice people to have over for dinner.
Amongst The Bones Something Stirs, interview with Among The Bones
When did you start Among The Bones?
I started writing songs, which were more like test runs, about a year and half ago. The first six months or so I must have wrote like 10 songs that I hated, but by trying things over and over, I finally started getting results.
Did you have any projects on the go before Among The Bones?
Well, I was, and still am one half of 1000 Thrones with my friend Jay. We’ve been writing stuff for over 3 years (although as of late, things are kinda on the back-burner). Apart from that, wayyy before Among The Bones, I did a lot of production for various rappers back in Switzerland (my home) and France. My first musical loves were rap and thrash, however, all of my close friends hated metal and wanted to rap, so out of circumstance, I learnt to use an MPC instead of a guitar.
You record the majority of yr music on yr own, is that out of choice or circumstance? Who are the collaborators who help out with ATB?
Its mostly out of choice. In the beginning I got a couple of friends to help out with the guitars (main man Jay from 1000 Thrones came correct), and a good friend of mine played Auto-harp on one track, but now that I can play guitar to a decent level, I really enjoy creating things in solo. I’m a ridiculous perfectionist, so when I’m making music by myself, I’m the only one to blame when things are going wrong. That’s not to say that I don’t like working with other, its just nice to have a project that I have complete control over. In the future, I plan on being slightly more ambitious with songs, meaning that live drums might make an appearance at some point, as well as vocals (perhaps). In those situations, I will definitely have to seek people out, but for now, things are good on my lonesome.
It seems important to you to have a organic feel to the music would you say this is true?
Yeah, absolutely. In terms of what I think sounds the best, its got to be stuff from the 70’s and early 80’s, before shit was compressed to death and as loud as possible. I feel tracks from then have so much more dynamic range, and, in comparison to today, a completely under produced esthetic. That being said, they still are far from being low-fi or whatever. If you listen to Hawkwind or Faust, those bands sounds retarded good. The instruments all have space to breath and don’t sound shiny and polished. Basically, I like songs that sounds warm, and I try very hard to replicate that quality in my music.
What inspires you the most to make music?
I’m not entirely sure. Of course, other music is always a huge source of inspiration, but it depends. I always wanted Among The Bones to be the accumulation of all the things I really love. The idea was to try and create music that was a honest and personal, so its very hard to pinpoint exactly what inspires it, as I think it more likely to be a sum of many things.
Are there any bands/artists that stick out as influences or inspirations?
Once again, there are far to many bands that I love, so singling out one are two as direct inspirations is a very hard task. Off the top of my head, I’d have to say the first time I heard Earth’s album Hex, that shit blew my mind. The whole thing was perfect, it was dark and foreboding, yet strangely beautiful. I have a huge love of black metal, and even though Among The Bones and Gorgoroth have virtually nothing in common, I can definitely say that bands with a more ethereal, atmospheric vibe, like Drudkh or Negura Bunget, or even the first three Ulver albums have given me a lot of ideas.
Will there ever be any ATB live shows?
I hope so. A while ago I tried to put a band together, but was not confident about the material or my musicianship so things never materialized. Hopefully in the future there will be live shows. The new songs I’m writing are less fluid and have hooks of some sort, so I’d imagine they’ll translate much better live than the older songs.
I know you have a fondness for esoteric art, who are yr favorite visual artists?
I love old romantic stuff, especially by people like Caspar David Friedrich and John Constable. Nature made divine. I dig that vibe. If not, Albrecht Durer is also a favorite, his etchings of biblical scenes are visually, some of my favorite art ever. The 16th century Christian mystic Jacob Boehme also drew amazingly, especially his illustrations of the various planes of existence, check it for real. In terms of newer stuff, I love artists like French, who clearly take a lot of inspiration from people like Drurer and Boheme. Another dude who never gets a name drop in terms of his visuals is Stephen O’Malley from Sunn O))). His work is always fantastic and quite singular.
You have a great side project called 1000 Thrones, can you tell us about that, any releases in the pipeline?
I started 1000 Thrones well before I was making music for Among The Bones. It was my friend Jay and me making pretty cinematic guitar driven stuff. In hind sight, the songs kinda sounds like a more doom tinged Grails. Unfortunately, both Jay and me have been quite caught up in our own stuff of late and haven’t written anything new in about a year. I hope we get back to it sometime soon though.
Are there any future collaborations on the cards?
One tentative split is between Henry Spencer and me. Henry Spencer is this rad dude Valentin from Paris who makes DeadMan’esque southern tinged guitar drones. Its really great and suggest everyone to check it on the real. We plan on doing something together in the future, but as of yet don’t really know what form its going to take.
Whens the split tape with Pink Priest coming out?
Haha, yeah, sooooon. Hopefully. Ben from Split Tapes has been a really busy dude lately so things have taken a tiny bit longer than expected. That being said, mans a trooper and things should be seeing the light of day in May. Don’t hold me to that though.
What do you think of the state of underground music right now, in general and also in Britain especially?
Hmmm, if I can be totally frank, personally my only gripe is the sheer lack of good underground British sludge, and even black metal. I mean sure, you’ve got the big groups, but there definitely isn’t a developed and steady growing scene over here in the same way that there is in say France and of course in America. I’m not sure why this is, I’ve been to go see Taake and Absu recently and the crowd was there. There clearly are fans of the music over here, but nobody seems to be making there own. I mean, you’ve got shit loads of British hardcore and deathmetal but no (or at least very little) sludge and black metal. It does mean that the few British sludge bands, like Moss or Hey Colossus, have become standard bearers, which is rad for them, but there is a definite lack of the stuff. It’s a pity Iron Monkey aren’t around anymore, that’s all I’m gonna say haha. That said thinking about it there a few great UK bands around like BONG, The Wounded Kings, Ramesses, Salute, Electric Wizard, Pombagria, Winterfylleth, Sloth, Hag and all the others I forgot.
Apart from my own gripes, its seems to me that in terms of a non metal underground, things are really flourishing, which is great. The whole tape revival has been wonderful, and suddenly puts emphasis on bands who are not signed and are doing things 100% DIY.
Yr studying music production do you want to go into production and recording other artists in the future?
Yeah, that would be the ideal. I love recording and working in a studio. It lets me be creative without the pressure of it being my own music. It’s the perfect balance. I’m also working real hard to get my mixing up to scratch, its driving me crazy though.
Whats blowing yr mind musically these days?
The guys from Thou have this black metal side project called Barghest. They’ve only released a practice room demo but its black a shit. Unbelievable stuff really, when I first heard it I couldn’t believe it was a demo from now, its so ass kicking raw. But it also has a sense of melody that first wave black metal didn’t have, so it definitely distinguishes itself. This Russian black metal band called Walknut are also fantastic. Incredible guitar tone all around, and in parts an almost shoegazed vibe. Worth checking out for sure. Apart from black metal though, this rapper Jay Electronica is on point. Just Blaze takes care of production so shit is big and the guy raps with so much conviction and presence. Its impressive. I also just saw EYEHATEGOD in concert and it was unbelievable. Best concert in years hands down.
If you could invite 3 persons living or dead from any time to a dinner who would they be and why?
Jimmy Bower from EYEHATEGOD is one. I’d want to congratulate him for being a riff lord and then hand him a bottle of whisky. Two would be a 25 year old Angie Dickinson, because back then she was a certified babe. Three would be my great-grandfather Illi Kagan, because I never got to meet him and by all accounts he was a wonderful and wise person.
Wrds with the Priest, an interview with William Cody Watson
One thing we notice with yr music is the sheer body of work you have, as Pink Priest and under other names. How do you record so much, are you constantly writing? Do you sleep?
I actually don’t sleep that often… I’m constantly moving and shifting, my brain on fire or coated in grimey, fucked up goo, and I have to transmit that out into the weird world… I’m only able to record so much because it’s become so easy to do that type of thing… Anyone can record music in their bedroom, in their underwear, while eating cereal. IT’S FUCKED UP. I don’t know if it’s a good thing or a bad thing, but for me, it’s a way to exorcise some demons I guess.
What influenced you and got you into making music. Any bands/artists that especially stand out looking back?
I always felt like music was something I wanted to experiment with, even as far back as junior high listening to bad alternative and metal bands and shit like that. I think, as far as what I’ve been doing in the past several years leading up to Pink Priest and including this weird era of Pink Priest, the musicians I owe the most to, as far as just being inspirational have to be band like Sonic Youth… The Jesus Lizard… Brian Eno… My Bloody Valentine… stuff that showed me how to throw caution to the wind and do whatever the fuck I want to do.
You record most of yr music on yr own. Do you prefer that to a ‘band’ situation?
I did, for sure, when I started it… I have been in some sort of ‘band’ environment since my mid-to-late teens, and that’s great, wonderful fun, but it comes with its own hassles and bullshit. I started doing Pink Priest, solo-style, in late ‘08 because I didn’t want to answer to anyone… If I wanted to shift styles or something, I didn’t have to ‘ok’ it with anyone…
However, having said that, I do enjoy collaborative side projects, and then even more recently I’ve been looking to start another actual true-blue, legit band; nothing related to Pink Priest, but I am looking to start a new band.
Have you any plans to bring Pink Priest out live and play gigs? I imagine it must be hard to condense some of what you do as Pink Priest into a live show.
Yeah, I was going to do some shows at SXSW, but I had to back out for various reasons… So a Pink Priest set definitely can happen. I still plan on doing maybe a couple shows here and there, mostly local things. I like the idea of very loose, improvisational ambient Pink Priest sets. If I do play live, that’s what I intend on doing; setting a distinct mood and throwing the vibes out, or something.
There’s definitely songs I’ve recorded that would be absolutely insane to bring to the live environment, though they’d be extremely fun… However, I’m not too sure I even want to bring that out. I guess for the most part, Pink Priest was never ever intended for public showcasing, and that always seems to come back to me when I debate playing shows.
Do you miss playing shows and getting into it on stage?
Oh yeah, of course I do… That’s pretty much my main reason for wanting to start a new band. I definitely feel that there are certain types of music that translate extremely well to a live format, and I’m not entirely convinced Pink Priest is that type of project. Yeah, though, I would definitely love to put myself in the middle of live chaos again, given the right people and project…
Even with yr noise projects we notice an organic element to yr sound. Do you use any analog equipment?
Not really at all… I use a lot of whatever I can find around me, which is all mostly digital, but I’m very fond of taking room ambience and manipulating it into the layers of the tracks themselves, if that makes sense. I love to use the room sounds, natural sounds, natural ambiance, the crackles and pops, and manipulate them into the folds and empty spaces of the tracks. Subtle things like that can create entire walls of sounds. That’s extremely important to me, and easily the most ‘organic’ part of my sound, I feel.
How do yr surroundings effect yr music? I pick up an awareness of nature in a lot of yr work would you say that was true?
I am definitely inspired by nature… I’m inspired by location, location, location. Where I live, there’s many different landscapes; there’s the suburban cityscapes, huge golden fields, wooded areas with foggy, fucked up back roads, and those surroundings are as important in influencing my sound as anything in my record collection. I am literally trying to recreate the beauty of these places, the foreboding eeriness, the awkwardness: all of it.
What effect does living a little off the beaten path, out in Arkansas have on yr music/art? Is there any good music where you are at, or community at all?
I’m not sure how it affects me, because I don’t think about it in like that. I’m inspired by my location and surroundings in all the ways I just mentioned, but I’m not inspired by any sort of scene here. I’m honestly not even that aware of it, and I know that sounds mildly rude, but it’s just that most of my favorite bands are from elsewhere, y’know? I’m glad there’s artists doing things where I’m at, people like Hellcake and whoever else out there hammering their shit down… I’m not aware of everyone, I don’t like all of it, but it’s there and I’m glad people are doing it. I am not anti-community in the slightest, but I am very much an oblivious loner…
How do you find the attitude of the general public there towards ‘underground’ music?
There’s places in Arkansas where underground music is championed, but where I live is not one of those places. The celebration of underground music really doesn’t creep out much past some kids’ bedrooms or a few small circles of friends talking about it amongst themselves. Most people don’t even know that I exist in this town, at least as a musician. Underground music just doesn’t really seem to be on anyone’s radars here, and I’m completely fine with that.
You also have a bunch of side projects, Gremlynz, Wild Safari, Gateway Drugs, Tough Times, I know some of these are collaborations, how do they come about? Can you tell us what inspired each project and what they are for us?
Gremlynz was literally me finding myself a bit weirded out by the fact that Pink Priest had kind of stumbled into several different genres and a lot of the Pink Priest material felt somewhat scattered and sounding a bit all over the place. I had intentions, early on, that Gremlynz was going to be the project that was my ‘true-calling’ and would eventually devour Pink Priest… Those intentions have, obviously, vanished. Gremlynz was me completely embracing minimalism (and nihilism) even more so than with Pink Priest. It’s still a project I plan on visiting a few more times.
Wild Safari is me and my best friend Jon, who I co-run Bathetic with. He moved to Chicago, which is like 8 hours away from me, but we missed playing music together, so we pulled that together. It’s a long-distance jam. It’s great because it’s a meeting point of our similar interests, but there’s also our own personal things. It was just nice to experiment with a more conventional sound I guess, with inspiration coming less from weird, noisy terrain and more dubby, lush environments. I just hope we can find more time to work with this project soon.
Gateway Drugs was a short-lived project between Andrew Caddick (Jeans Wilder) and myself. We worked on a couple tracks and it was really fun, but kind of fell to the side of our main projects. We never talked about inspiration or influences much, we just kind of passed sounds and created this little niche. The project is over, but we do have plans of doing something new this year, which will be quite different…
Tough Times was an amazing opportunity for me to work with Brad Rose of The North Sea (and a million other stellar projects). He was just a really awesome cat that was really behind Pink Priest, helping me to get my name out there, doing releases for me on both Digitalis and Dial Square. He basically just asked me if I would be interested in doing this collaboration, and of course I said yes and we swapped out the tracks until we created what you’ve heard. Again, no real talks of inspiration… The music we would send each other was all the inspiration we needed, and I think the outcome was pretty perfect. Definitely the perfect representation of the two of us working together. We’re currently working on a new Tough Times tape. I can’t wait for people to hear the new stuff… I need to get my shit in gear.
How do you decide when you write something if its Pink Priest material or not?
Basically, I go into a recording knowing what it’s going to be used for. I don’t really ever finish something and say “oh that’s more this, or that’s more that…” Gremlynz stuff to me, it’s very clear in my head what it is, though for some people it’s not much different from Pink Priest. To me, I definitely go into everything knowing exactly where it’s going. That formula has only changed once… Some of the original work on the Pink Priest Some Nights Are Better Than Others cassette started as Gremlynz material..
How great was DJ Screw? I’ve been enjoying yr screwed mixes and takes on PP material, have you thought about releasing some screwed stuff?
DJ Screw was amazing! The whole thing about his work is that, it takes hip-hop and shifts it into its own genre. It’s not like just a variation on hip-hop, it’s entirely its own thing. RIP Robert Earl Davis, Jr.
I love the way things sound when you slow them down and tweak them. Melodies shift, the sounds break down, things deconstruct, fall apart, and completely come together in new ways. I love to hear these light pop melodies or epic bass grooves broken down, stretched into new creatures.
I did 2, what I refer to as ‘mixtapes,’ in a hip-hop sense of the mixtape for Pink Priest, and they contained some slowed mixes of a few songs… I didn’t feel comfortable releasing them outright, so I posted them on my blog. I’m working on a digital release of weird remixes and I’d like to include some screwed stuff for sure.
The chopped and screwed style to me has influenced my music for a long time, just as much as noise and minimalistic music… I just love how it drags things into a new realm. Sometimes, slowing it down is the only way to hear a certain sound or melody the correct way, in my opinion.
Any future collabs or projects in the works?
Yeah, like I said before, I’m starting up a new project with Jeans Wilder… I’ve been talking to several other people about different various things, but nothing is in stone. I’m definitely, definitely on the hunt, locally, for members to start a new, heavy, raw type band, but I won’t say more than that. I don’t know how it will work out, but I’m trying.
Other than that I have a new solo project called Malibu Wands, which I’m way stoked on. It’s very dense, layered electronic noise. The first tape, Crafting, will drop real soon, in an extremely limited edition on Dial Square.
You’ve made poetry zines and artbooks in the past, can you tell us abit these and the visual art that you do?
Art and writing have been a huge part of my life since I was a young kid, so they’ve just, sort of, always been there. I’ve been writing poetry and short stories and bullshit like that since junior high and doing art since before that. As a teenager, I found something of a love in graphic design as well. Making zines, for me, felt like combining all this into one thing. I did 2 poetry zines in ‘08 out of boredom and also, because I wanted to just get something out to the public, as at the time I was not working in any musical project. Doing projects like that are awesome and I’d love to do more of them in the future, I just haven’t had the time lately.
Any visual artists or writers that stand out for you right now, or have been big influences?
Hmmmm… As far as artists go, I’ve always been a huge Pettibon fan… These days, I’ve been really into the work of Will Boone, Mark McCoy, and Give Up. I like the places they’re coming from and their aesthetics. When it comes to art, I’ve always been a sucker for things that are dark, raw, and in a way, destroyed and seem somewhat self-destructive. There’s a dude, Reuben Sawyer, who also does some pretty dark, but also intricate shit that I’m into. I like James Hines’ (James Nascent) collage work… I like a lot of stuff. I’ve been really into photography lately, as well. I’ve been checking into a lot of Dana Lauren Goldstein’s work. I also can’t get enough of Matt Furie’s Boys Club comics, haha. There’s tons of visual shit I dig.
As far as writing goes, I’m the type of person that would rather spend hours perusing the lyrics of my favorite albums that read novels and things. However, I have to admit I’ve always found things in the works of Bukowski, Céline, and Rimbaud that struck me. Francis Picabia wrote a book called I Am A Beautiful Monster, that I suggest to everyone. Some of the shit he says in this book, the statements he makes, will blow you away.
You also part run a tape label, Bathetic Records. What inspired you guys to start a label and whats the history behind it?
Ah, the history is out there… In a nutshell, Jon and I were good friends and basically just wanted to put out music we liked. We didn’t realize we were jumping into this pool that’s now turned into a gigantic ocean. We didn’t realize that we were having the same idea as every other single underground music lover across the globe, haha. I mean, I don’t know what inspired us, we just wanted to put out music that we liked, pretty much that simple.
Where there any labels you followed coming up?
I pay attention to a lot of labels, but can’t say I really follow any of them… I keep finding myself returning to Dominick Fernow’s Hospital label because I like the whole aesthetic of that label. I love the limited editions, the mysterious elements, and of course, the music. I’ve been getting into the stuff Youth Attack puts out too, but I’m never fast enough to order that stuff. Those cats eat that shit up, like immediately… I like Night-People too. Shawn rules and they release a lot of varied stuff, but it’s all pretty solid. It might all sound varied and different, but it’s works under the Night-People umbrella. We definitely respect that, and want to do something similar with Bathetic.
The music on Bathetic is quite diverse, what’s the criteria for you and Jon to release something on Bathetic, what do you look for in the music?
The most important thing to us, is personal listenability and that it has substance. If we like it, we’ll release it. This whole DIY tape culture, at this point, is becoming a little odd. It seems like everyone is releasing the same, what seems like a small handful of bands and it’s just beginning to feel a little weird. We’re trying to point ourselves away from that, and find artists in different arenas. We never started Bathetic to carry artists of a certain sound or style, so we want to continue to find artists that have their own vibe, through and through.
Whats the best new bands/artists you have got into lately?
I won’t say it’s all new stuff, but lately I’ve been listening to Crystalline Roses, Total Abuse, Yellow Tears, Sleep Over, and Secret Abuse.
If you could invite 3 persons living or dead from any time to a dinner who would they be and why?
#1 is super easy: Mitchell Lee Hedberg, becauses he’s Mitch Hedberg, shit. #2 is Big L, just so I could get him to freestyle (and it would totally impress my girlfriend)…..and I’m keeping #3 a secret
Since we talked to WCW his remix project has come together its been posted around the place but grab it here if you haven’t already.
This is the first round of remixes, re-edits, and re-inventions of tracks by Pink Priest. The tracks vary from slowed down syrup beats to ambient chill sessions to freakoid vibes… It’s beautiful chaos.
TRACKS 1. Get Haunted (Dem Hunger Real Tan Edit) 2. Endless Luv (GR†LLGR†LL Dr3AmS MIX) 3. Field Of Orgasms (Twins Mix) 4. Sleepyhead (Sparkling Wide Pressure Edit) 5. Girl With An Arrowhead (Coyote Clean Up Dub) 6. Tell Me Something Awesome Before I Go To Sleep (Balam Acab Remix) 7. Quilt Covered in Feathers (Fluker Love Mix) 8. Going Back To Plagues (Mater Suspiria Vision Remix)