Wednesday 30 December 2020

PODCAST #56 Robbie Hansen (Eyelet/мища)

I remember perusing the CHUG LIFE blog back in 2010 and being extremely impressed by the depth and downloads located on said screamo blog. Eventually I found out that one of the fellas who ran it also played in мища. Soon after I started this blog and interviewed Robbie Hansen for this blog (linked here). Eventually the band broke up and Robbie started playing drums in Alter. After a local screamo band lost their drummer, Robbie said he could fill for Eyelet (reviewed before he joined the band here). After he joined the band full-time I was able to put on a show for them in Hamilton, Ontario (linked here) and even interviewed the band including Tony, which I've embedded below. Theeeeen Zegema Beach released their 'Howling in the Hall' cassette EP that was given away with ZBR orders. Next up? Well, the new goddamn Eyelet 12" LP releases very, this year. Check that podcast for info! Robbie also does two of his own podcasts which are linked below Eyelet. Bands played in this podcast: Confederate Railroad, Age Of Electric, Kidcrash, Off Minor, DEVIII and Ovlov. Listen to podcast #56 which is available to stream and/or download for free via this link. And definitely check Zegema Beach, Icorrupt and The Ghost Is Clear tomorrow!!!

EYELET video interview from Sept. 2016:


CONFEDERATE RAILROAD "Trashy Women" (Robbie)
"Remote Control" (Dave)

KIDCRASH "Life Was Real, Vital, Urgent, Important (demo version)" (Robbie)

OFF MINOR "My Recovery" (Dave)

DEVIII ft. FLMMBOiiNT FRDii "Spark Master Tape" (Robbie)
OVLOV "The Valley" (Dave)



PODCAST #56 linked here

Wednesday 23 December 2020



4/8 songs
exclusive premiere

This incredible new 4-way split releases on December 28th, 2020 via:
Jean Scene Creamers (USA, tape)
Larry Records (USA, tape)
Paska Records (Indonesia, CD-r)
Luz Sobre Tinieblas (Argentina, tape)

(2020) REVENATE "A Diversity" (from '4-Way' split)

If you traveled back in time 20 years you could play this song for someone and they'd be like, yeaaaah baby this is just like the stuff coming out that I dig. Total throwback and I dig it. Somewhere between Book Of Dead Names and Utarid. From Indonesia.

(2020) MELABUH KELABU "Fragment" (from '4-Way' split)

Another Indonesian band is up next, with MELABUH KELABU being around for some time. These two songs might just be my favourite by them thus far, as the intensity, drive and spots of serene remind me of Me And Goliath. Most excellent.

(2020) MIS SUEÑOS SON DE TU ADIÓS "the pit I" (from '4-Way' split)

If you don't know Enzo yet you're under a rock cuz they have been pumping out posts, music and art like nobody's business for the past year (at least). Their two songs here are both the most emo-violence and experimental of the four, making them a real treat amongst other...ummm...well, treats. Sounds kinda like Nayru and Under A Sky So Blue. Yep. From Argentina.

(2020) MIRIN BIDE "frágil" (from '4-Way' split)

Closing this stellar 4-way is MIRIN BIDE from Chile and holy shit do they lay waste to their two jams in no time at all. If you're looking for the heaviest, hardest-hitting songs on the comp then look no further than these two absolute beasts. I get a June Paik vibe and I fucking love it.

Sunday 20 December 2020

PODCAST #55 Justin Orr (Crowning/Fainting Couch)

This has been a long time coming, as Justin Orr sent me the Pregnancy Pact EP back in...2015? After releasing a bunch of stuff together, playing ZBR Fest 2017 as well as touring together in Europe, I finally did an OMSB podcast with one of the most adorable people in screamo. Find out a bunch of info including: ridiculous tour stories, his Skablam band, Weird Al and UHF, the Crowning LP and a bunch of songs that we like by: Twins, Furnace, Armywives, Brahm, Obroa-skai and Blacklisters. Listen to podcast #55 which is available to stream and/or download for free via this link. And definitely go check out CROWNING's 'Survival/Sickness' on tape/12" from Zegema Beach Records.

the much discussed Tour Documentary:



TWINS "Library" (Justin)
FURNACE "Corey Giles" (Dave)

ARMYWIVES "est cette vie?" (Justin)
BRAHM "Without Honor and Humanity" (Dave)

OBROA-SKAI "opportunistic activism"
BLACKLISTERS "Motivational Speaker" (Dave)



PODCAST #55 linked here

Saturday 12 December 2020

PODCAST #54 Shawn Decker (Coma Regalia/Middle Man Records)

I finally did an OMSB podcast with the most influential person in screamo over the past decade (at least), Shawn Decker. Shawn has played in a plethora of bands, but the most notable is the long-running COMA REGALIA project. They also run Middle Man Records, an absolute screamo powerhouse. Lots of awesome information in this one, as well as music by the following bands: ACHE HOUR CREDO, THE BLOOD BROTHERS, REVERSAL OF MAN, BRAHM and ASSFACTOR 4. Listen/stream/download podcast #54 which is available to stream and/or download for free via this link.


ACHE HOUR CREDO "Strangled Planet" (Shawn) 

THE BLOOD BROTHERS "Fucking's Greatest Hits" (Dave) 

"Butterflies" (Shawn)
BRAHM "Fracture" (Dave)
ASSFACTOR 4 "Dear Grandpa" (Shawn)



PODCAST #54 linked here

Sunday 29 November 2020

***APOSTLES OF ERIS + PIQUE exclusive premiere***


"Doubt" & "My Roommate Caught Me Crying To Daniel Johnston This Morning"
exclusive song premieres
For fans ofCease Upon The Capitol, Capsule, Funeral Diner and Iwrotehaikusaboutcannibalisminyouryearbook


Yet another released fueled by the 2014 мятеж/People's Temple Project split 7" and U.S. tour, this time with Jesse and Dave of мятеж doing everything in APOSTLES OF ERIS and Larry from People's Temple Project being the guitarist and one of two vocalists in PIQUE. Dave also runs this blog and Zegema Beach Records while Larry very fucking obviously runs Larry Records. The split 12" houses seven tracks by each band, all mastered at Dead Air by Will Killingsworth, releases in full on December 11th, 2020 with pre-orders opening simultaneously via Zegema Beach Records, Larry Records and Clever Eagle Records. We were hoping to have the records in time for the release but it looks like late Dec/early Jan is when they'll be arriving unless there are any hiccups at the plant.

(2020) APOSTLES OF ERIS "Doubt" (from 'Pique' split 12")
First and foremost it should be noted that Jesse Mowery is incredible. Utterly, unequivocally godly is he. Jesse wrote, played, and recorded all of the instrumentals on our side. All of them. Yep. All. And he also shares vocal duties with me. And he's a beautiful person. I love you, Jesse.

Jesse really likes Cease Upon The Capitol, Capsule, Daitro, Via Fondo and A Flower Kollapsed (to name a few), and all of those bands are excellent reference points to his creative endeavors, but by no means are they tied to said points as there is an undeniabe Jesse Mowery flair to any song he partakes in.

As I wrote the lyrics for this, our entire side of the split is about the constant fog of living, perpetually being lied to and manipulated by forces seemingly beyond our control, and the helplessness and breaking that many people experience living in a racist, sexist, economic-fueled, corporate, police state. The songs follow a linear progression and are titled thusly: Lost, Haze, Lies, Doubt (this premiere!), Isolation, Numbness, Defeat.

(2020) PIQUE "My Roommate Caught Me Crying To Daniel Johnston This Morning" (from 'Apostles Of Eris' split 12")
(link to youtube video here)
I've been jamming Pique since their inception and helped premiere some of their earliest material on this very blog. I always liked the band a lot, but on this release good fucking holy lord of science do they step it up and throw down some of my absolute favourite screamo jams of the year. Jesse Mowery pointed out that they remind him of Iwrotehaikusaboutcannibalisminyouryearbook (and this was his only comparison) while I definitely hear Funeral Diner sneaking into their sound more and more. In general it's much heavier, darker and was much better recorded.

On this track, however, we are met with a slightly more playful style of screamo that ties in excellent bass, guitar and drum rhythms in a mere 60 seconds. Channeling part Iwrotehaikus and part Terry Green, I shit you not. This track rules.

PODCAST #53 Francis Maria Regalado (Beast Jesus/Caitlyn Bailey)


I've known Francis Maria Regalado for quite some time on the internet, perhaps first becoming acquainted when I found out that Maria did vocals for seminal Filipino screamo/metalcore band Caitlyn Bailey. After releasing some incredible work with Beast Jesus, I caught up with Maria back in September and it seems that my laptop breaking and procrastination has worked out in our favor, as Beast Jesus released a new song just the other day! So maybe listen to this podcast and really get a feel for Beast Jesus, their formation, Caitlyn Bailey's name origin, as well as our mutual love for Maserati and how the Spawn soundtrack was the catalyst for Maria's love for music. Listen/stream/download podcast #53 which is available to stream and/or download for free via this link.


NEW BRUTALISM"A Diagram Without Scale or Dimension" (Maria)
CYRUS GOLD - "Bones" (Dave)

MY DISCO - "Wrapped Coast" (Maria)
LADDER DEVILS - "Divorce Drugs" (Dave)

GIRL ARM - "Crimean Crimes" (Dave)


BEAST JESUS "Trauma Fawn"


PODCAST #53 linked here

Monday 16 November 2020

***KIDNAP SOUNDTRACK exclusive song premiere***


"Camp Here Baby"
exclusive song premiere
For fans ofBotch, Thumbscrew, Bleeding Kansas, The Minor Times, Officer Jones And His Patrol Car Problems and Scogin-era Norma Jean

pre-order rare variants from ZBR:

In early 2020 I discovered THE KIDNAP SOUNDTRACK on a split with The Jonbenet from way back in 2005, ordered the band's first cdEP, posted the "discography review" (linked here), and when putting that sucker on facebook I noticed that I could tag the band. I checked out their page to find out that they had reformed and were planning to play shows (since squashed by covid) and sent them the review. After speaking with the band I found out that they had an unreleased final EP...and holy fuck was it amazing. So I convinced those fine people to let Tomb Tree Tapes do a discography run that opens with said EP 'American Accupuncture', and next week they will be released.

Buuuuut I figured it'd be cool to let people know ahead of time. Plus, as I'm trying to revive this blog, I thought I'd do a little extra incentive and include some early pre-order links EXCLUSIVELY THROUGH THIS POST!!! The Red Injection tapes are /5 and have only 2 copies in each store, while the Yellow Swirl are /25, but the band has 15 so we've only got 5 in each store. Art by the very talented Kyle Calvert.

If you like any kind of chaotic, mathy, screamy, metallic hardcore then you are gonna fucking shit so hard. Imagine 'Bless the Martyr'-era Norma Jean vocals crossed with the southern licks of Bleeding Kansas and the playfulness of Botch and you're almost there...just jam that baby below.

(2020) KIDNAP SOUNDTRACK "Camp Here Baby" (from 'American Accupuncture/Discography' EP)


Friday 13 November 2020

***Podcast #52 NUVOLASCURA***

One time I met Dom from NUVOLASCURA. Next thing I know I was asked to release their breakout debut 12"LP 'Nuvolascura' in 2019, and we've going hard ever since. Having met all of the band at 2019's ZBR Fest in Vancouver, I can honestly say that each member is a brilliant musician and beautiful human being. I spoke with the band back in August of 2020, discussing a wide variety of topics including the band's best show (an awesome story, too), podcasts, the West Coast scene, their new 'As We Suffer From Memory And Imagination' cassette/12"LP, their top albums of 2020, and lots more. Listen/stream/download podcast #52 which is available to stream and/or download for free via this link.


LOMA PRIETA - "Carelessnessness" (Taylor)

OSTRACA - "Waiting For The Crash" (Erica)
MOUTHING - "Separating Noise From Stillness(Dave)

VEIL OF MAYA - "We Bow In Its Aura" (Dom)
LA BELLA "Subaltern" (Daniel)
NUVOLASCURA "Now It's Clear" (everyone)


'As We Suffer From Memory And Imagination'


PODCAST #52 linked here

Friday 18 September 2020

***PODCAST #51 Emma Goldman***

Vancouver's EMMA GOLDMAN discuss a myriad of things, including their formation during the Dad Thighs days, their most recent 4-way 'Solicitude' split, and (likely without intending it) chose to play three songs that are all anti-cop/military. Some of the best peeps. <3 <3 <3  Listen/stream/download podcast #51 which is available to stream and/or download for free via this link.


KATE BUSH - "Army Dreamers" (Vee)

WET PETALS - "Peach, Pear, Plum (Joanna Newsom cover)" (Dave)
SO YOU THINK YOU CAN SLEEP? - "Police (Fuck the)(Felix)

LUCERTULUS - "8 Hours" (Dave)
THIS EMPIRE LINE feat MERZBOW "Nothing is Forgotten, Nothing is Forgiven" (Pavel)


"Code Produced Passion"


PODCAST #51 linked here

Sunday 30 August 2020

***PODCAST #50 Nik Velleca (Wax Vessel / Total Deathcore)***

Wax Vessel...what's that? Said no one in the know. Created in 2019 by Nik Velleca to release old myspace and deathcore records that never got vinyl treatment. I had the pleasure of working with Nik on 12 of the first 15 Wax Vessel releases through the Zegema Beach Records distro and came to the conclusion that we had a lot in common, so we did this podcast. It's packed to the bursting point with WV info and stories, as well as Nik's favourite albums of 2020 and the holy grail that he hopes to press. Wanna help? He'll give you $1,000! Listen to podcast #50 and find out, which is available to stream and/or download for free via this link.


OH! = Monday, Aug. 31st @1pm CST

DUCK DUCK GOOSE = Sept. 14th @1pm CST

no music

VILLIANS / YOUTH FOREVER - "Problem Child" (Nik)

LAVOTCHKIN - "The Kids Around Here Have a Death Wish(Dave)

ROWSDOWER - "New/Old" (Nik)

EXAMINATION OF THE... "Black Hair Black Eyes" (Dave)
GROUNDFEEDER - "Toothpick" (Nik)



PODCAST #50 linked here

Saturday 15 August 2020

***PODCAST #49 Jack Shirley (Comadre / Dangers / Atomic Garden)***

Sometimes you ask someone something (wow great intro), for example, "Hey would you be interested in being on my podcast?" and don't really expect all too much. But as a good friend once told me, all of your heroes are just regular people. So when Jack Shirley of The Atomic Garden and Dangers, as well as Comadre beforehand, said yes to the aforementioned question I was hella surprised but also...not. He's been a punk for decades and has helped countless people across a myriad of genres record, mix and/or master their art for just as long. Speaking with him was thrilling, entertaining and hilarious all at once. Please do yourself a favour and take a listen, and be sure to keep The Atomic Garden and Jack in mind when gearing up to record. Oh and holy shit check out Comadre and every band mentioned in the podcast, just click on the bandnames below for links!!! Podcast #49 is available to stream and/or download for free via this link.

no music

LA BELLA - "Subaltern" (Jack)
 - "Shi Hounds of the Darkest Star(Dave)

MOTHERCOUNTRY MOTHERFUCKERS - "Mothercountry Motherfuckers" (Jack)
BLUE YOUTH "Black Lung" (Dave)

TENTACLES "Warm Body" (Dave)
VOID BOYS"Cosmos" (Jack)



PODCAST #49 linked here

Sunday 9 August 2020


GenresPunk / Hardcore / Post-Hardcore / Screamo / Skramz / Emo-violence
Related artistsOld Guard.
CountryGlasgow/Perth U.K.
Years Active2008-2010
Song: "Erroneous Rock"
Album: "Demo"
Year: 2008
For fans ofGaff, Hot Cross, Battle Of Wolf 359, For Want Of,  Mesa Verde, Old Guard, Perfect Blue, Gillian Carter, Circle Takes The Square, Cease Upon The Capitol, New Forms, Capsule, Cassus and Maths.
Label(s): Self Released
This post's artist is from the May 2020 Mix. This is track #1.
You can download the very last mix: June 2020 Mix#6 here.

BLACK CHANNELS were first showed to me by my friend Matt (drums in Tentacles and Among Light) in my International Endmusic group, that was about three years ago, and I've never heard them discussed again since. Considering I recently found out that they share two members with Old Guard I'm additionally perplexed as to their lack of praise. Their technical, frantic and explosive screamo was fucking stellar and definitely worth checking out. Plus I've included their discography as a zipped download.

Matt had posted a link to their 'Demo' from 2008 so I sank my teeth into that followed by a grand applause. I even played them in this podcast with Cory and Amy of Obroa-skai. This six-track EP is definitely the quintessential BLACK CHANNELS release with surprisingly clean production and downright sick-ass music. Opening with "Erroneous Rock", the band rips through 45 seconds before sliding into Maths territory with exceptional riffing and very tight drumming. "Feral Children" is next and tears through 1:24 of breakneck, epic screamo...kind of like if Circle Takes The Square was sped up and crossbred with Battle Of Wolf 359. The intro of "A Vessel" hits the screamo guitar tone sweet spot before really delving into the sound that Maths later made popular: epic, raging and technical screamo/post-hardcore. "Visit the Windows" is another banger that might trick you into thinking they're an Orchid rip-off until the 48-second mark when they lift up their leg and urinate the BLACK CHANNELS essence all over it. By the end of said track the band detonates with a few excellent panic-chord breakdowns that would perk up any pair of screamo ears.

I only heard the follow-up 'Demo 2' when I began researching for this review and although it is a very good EP, it doesn't conjure the same set of striking, intense and cathartic emotions (for me anyway). Housing three jams, every track keeps itself under the two-minute mark and ditches the occasional slowdown found in the debut. "An Understanding" is a strong opener but the vocals seem less powerful and more taxed than before, despite the roaring instrumentals. My favourite track would have to be "Underdog, Always" that definitely dips into emo-violence territory and really maxes out those drums, followed by the closer "Some Sort Of Curse" which certainly houses its fair share of sick riffs and dual vocals.

Click )==>here<==( to download the band's complete discography in mp3 form.

2008 - Demo EP

2010 - Demo 2 EP

(2008) BLACK CHANNELS - "Erroneous Rock" (from 'Demo')

(2008) BLACK CHANNELS - "A Vessel" (from 'Demo')

(2008) BLACK CHANNELS - "Feral Children" (from 'Demo')

(2010) BLACK CHANNELS - "Underdog, Always" (from 'Demo 2')

(2010) BLACK CHANNELS - "Some Sort Of Curse" (from 'Demo 2')


BLACK CHANNELS out of print mp3 discography download / additional links


Tuesday 28 July 2020

***PODCAST #48 Dave Cullen (Crowning / Pregnancy Pact / ZBR U.S.A.)***

No one in the screamo community has had more of an impact on me than two people, Jesse Mowery and our musical endeavours together (podcast #45 linked here) and Dave Cullen of Crowning (who head into the studio to record their 12"LP next week!!!) who also heads up the U.S.A. arm of Zegema Beach Records. But let's be honest, he's the body, the arms and at least one leg. After taking the initiative to open ZBR U.S.A. he also began to do promo pictures/videos, art layouts and cassette j-card designs, among other things. Then he took on the brunt of Wax Vessel's shipping for almost a year. Truly a Dave of all trades. It has been incredible knowing this fine human being and running Zegema Beach Records together has led to my dream becoming a reality. I love you brother. Podcast #48 is available to stream and/or download for free via this link.

CHOKE - "Numb Phase" (CanaDave)

NEW GRASS - "Moksha(USofDave)
CIRCLES OVER SIDELIGHTS - "Duderstadt" (CanaDave)

MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS "All We Need is a Little Energon and a Lot of Luck" (USofDave)

VALANDORA - "Cheeky Curve" (CanaDave)
NEW ARMOUR "Sunflower River" (USofDave)
BIG DICK - "Too Hot to Trot" (CanaDave)



PODCAST #48 linked here

Sunday 26 July 2020


GenresPunk / Hardcore / Metal / Metalcore / Metallic Hardcore / Math Metal / Mathcore
Related artistsFar From Down.
CountryHouston, Texas U.S.A.
Years Active2002-2006
Song: "A Vibrant Testimony"
Album: "?"
Year: ?
For fans ofThe Minor Times, Lavotchkin, Botch, Unearth, Birch, Hopesfall, Loftus, Tony Danza Tap Dance Extravaganza, Officer Jones And His Patrol Car Problems, Engineer, Achilles, Thumbscrew, The Chariot, Lamantide, The Bled and Llynch.
Label(s): Self Released / Moshmellow Records
This post's artist is from the April 2020 Mix. This is track #?.
You can download: the May 2020 Mix#5 right here or get the new June 2020 Mix#6 here.

Who the fuck is THE KIDNAP SOUNDTRACK? Good question. Thanks to combing through the Jonbenét discography I got around to listening to their split, and it was in my kitchen making nachos with my mp3 on at 2am that I first heard THE KIDNAP SOUNDTRACK and shat myself. Finding their first EP online wasn't easy, and I had to order from CDbaby a few days before they shut down for COVID - so I'm posting their discography for download so everyone can enjoy this mathy, metallic hardcore band from Houston that flew under my radar for more than a decade and a half.

The first EP titled 'Beauty is the Other Dancer' begins with a straight-up confusatron track with a post-rock opener titled "Nevermind Mother France" which despite it's misleading sound is still a great listen. Once "Flying Kites With Bulldozers" gets about two seconds you'll hear the typical KIDNAP SOUNDTRACK sound, that of behemoth chugs, throat-shredding screams and a beautifully layered atmospheric guitar that tends to drop in and make those deathly parts sound kinda pretty (not unlike prime-era Hopesfall). Prime example is the two-minute mark in said opener. "A Complete Risk Of Titles" is next and showcases much more playful instrumentals from the get-go that are eventually thrown in the trash compactor for absolutely devastating breakdowns that give me a bit of The Minor Times feels, especially in the vocal department. "The Dash" is pretty dark and perhaps my pick for top track on this stellar EP, as those chugs are fucking delicious. Closer "Tango" is pretty dang punk-sounding until the 35-second mark when the guitars dial-up the note doctor and bring in the screams, but it's at 1:10 that the song really goes off. Amazing EP. Can't believe I just heard it and had to buy one of the last online cds to hear it. You don't have to do that though, cuz I've put it all up for download here!

'The Jonbenét split' is only three songs, but goddamn the release is still superior the EP. Beginning with the vicious Open Mouth Orientation", the entire track swirls around making repeated attacks until the closing, dual vocal dive-bomb obliterates the listener just before the two-minute mark. If you enjoy Officer Jones And His Patrol Car ProblemsLavotchkin, Loftus, Tony Danza Tap Dance Extravaganza and early The Minor Times you're gonna love "Flavor Party", which is a clusterfuck of precisely executed punches ranging from ridiculous double-pedal breakdowns to slightly humorous circus riffs. Closer "A Vibrant Testimony" has so many sick chugs, diddly-do riffs and gutteral (not growling) screaming that I can't help but give it the title of Best Kidnap Soundtrack song.


Click )==>here<==( to download the band's complete discography in mp3 form.

2004 - Beauty is the Other Dancer cdEP

2005 - The Jonbenét split cdEP


(2005) KIDNAP SOUNDTRACK, THE - "A Vibrant Testimony" (from 'The Jonbenét' split)

(2005) KIDNAP SOUNDTRACK, THE - "Open Mouth Orientation" (from 'The Jonbenét' split)

(2004) KIDNAP SOUNDTRACK, THE - "The Dash" (from 'Beauty is the Other Dancer')

(2004) KIDNAP SOUNDTRACK, THE - "A Complete Risk of Titles" (from 'Beauty is the Other Dancer')

(2004) KIDNAP SOUNDTRACK, THE - "Flying Kites With Bulldozers" (from 'Beauty is the Other Dancer')


KIDNAP SOUNDTRACK, THE out of print mp3 discography download


Monday 20 July 2020

***PODCAST #47 Mark Boulanger (Massa Nera / Our Wits That Make Us Men / Miriam)***

I remember first meeting Mark briefly in New Jersey during a Massa Nera/мятеж show. I was pretty blown away seeing Massa Nera for the first time, so we kept in touch and when Zegema Beach Records Fest 2017 happened in Toronto asking them was a no-brainer. I then hung out with Mark for a few days at my house and the fest and came to the conclusion that were A+++ human material. Mark is a very talented person and plays drums and sometimes screams in Massa Nera, Our Wits That Make Us Men and Miriam, among countless other projects. Podcast #47 is available to stream and/or download for free via this link.


GROUPER - "Come Softly" (Mark)
POLINA - "Sexposiyouth(Dave)

GAS - "Pop 4" (Mark)
WOLVES "12(Dave)

OXBOW - "The Snake &..." (Mark)
JEANNE "13/2(Dave)



PODCAST #47 linked here

Sunday 19 July 2020

***DEAD HOUR NOISE exclusive interview***

exclusive interview
For fans ofEvery Time I Die, Ken Mode, Bleeding Kansas, Von Wolfe and Converge.

Wooaaaaaah that was officially the blog's longest inactive period without counting last year's European tour. Don't worry we got lots of stuff ready, and should have 3-4 more posts by the end of July.

So without further ado, here is an awesome email interview that I conducted with the good folks at DEAD HOUR NOISE in Lansing Michigan. They released the stellar 'Sleeping Dogs' full length on cd (band) and cassette (Tomb Tree Tapes + band) that has been a staple in my house for half of the year now. Metallic, riff-heavy hardcore that fans of Every Time I Die and Botch should relish. Jam and read.

1) How did the band form?
We met at a local show our previous bands played in spring 2013. Nick and I had been playing in Croatone, a riffy instrumental prog rock thing, and Collin was fronting Reconnect, really cool sort of melodic hardcore. Later that summer Reconnect split and Collin was looking to join another band. A mutual friend of ours hit me up about the possibility of having Collin do vocals for Croatone, but at that point Croatone wasn't as active as I would have liked it to be, so I suggested starting a new project. I was looking to play more straight forward punk rock, or something along those lines. Collin expressed interest in doing something a lot heavier, "like Napalm Death meets Every Time I Die" which I ended up being way more psyched about. We talked for a few days and found a ton of common ground, we definitely had to do something. So we needed a drummer. I ran it by Nick at Croatone practice and he was all in. We immediately wrote Parasite, Sinner, and Monitor, and began rehearsing with Collin. Shortly after sharing demos of those songs online we got Seth Clickner's attention and he came over to play bass. By January 2014 we were playing shows, in April we recorded our first EP, and soon after that we picked up guitarist Cody Hobbins who had played in Reconnect with Collin. So we got rolling as a 5 piece pretty quick.

2) Why the name?
The "Dead Hour", also known as "Devil's Hour" or the "Witching Hour", is supposedly when paranormal phenomena is at it's peak and black magic is said to be most effective, between 3:00am and 4:00am. We were hanging on my front porch spit balling ideas for names after one of our first practices and Collin brought up the "Dead Hour". It sounded like a good band name so we looked it up and found somebody had already claimed it. One of the other names we were considering had "Noise" in it, can't remember what that even was, but I wondered about tacking it on the end, "Dead Hour Noise". It implies something unsettling and supernatural, we thought it was cool.

3) What were your influences when you started, and what are they now?
When we first got together I was really into Pg.99, Cursed, Dangers, Bucket Full of Teeth, Comadre, and Daughters. I just wanted to write riffs that were fast and angular but relatively easy to play live so I could throw my body around n shit. Lately I'm probably taking more influence from some of my all time favorites like Fear Before The March of Flames, Botch, The Blood Brothers, Converge, and Coalesce, trying to be a lot more mindful of how I work in dissonance and groove. We embraced our mathy side a bit on Sleeping Dogs, while it was just sort of a tendency on the first two EPs.

4) Oh damn those are a lot of sick bands. As soon as you mention Blood Brothers I automatically think lyrics, how do you generally come up with themes/ideas/patterns/etc.?
As for lyrics, they usually start off as vague, fragmented ideas that I just let spill onto the page. One thing I really like about this band is how naturally everything comes, none of us really break our backs by thinking too hard. Of course, I usually do have at least one thing in mind while I “word vomit” out of my hand onto paper. Afterwards when the instrumental aspect is written, I edit and move sections around to make it coherent and also fit into the instrumental sections. I never know what the final product actually means until it’s done. But at the end the pieces always fit together in a way that makes sense to me, and with how vague and implicative the lyrics actually are, it leaves a lot up to listener interpretation. But all of our releases are titled to reflect the reoccurring themes amongst the lyrical content of the track listing.

5) Do you feel like you have to stay grounded more playing the new material, or can you still thrash around?
Man, I like to think I still bring it, there's definitely sections I gotta dial it back though. Putting on an energetic live show is really important to us. Especially playing heavy music, it's such a key part of the catharsis, but I ain’t out there constantly swinging my guitar around and colliding with people in the pit or anything like that.

6) What are some of your favourites from the pre-Sleeping Dogs releases? Do you have any hindsight is 20/20 moments looking back now?
Parasite, Slumber, Danger Dance and Gambler are big ones. The slow riff at the end of Gambler is just so fucking dumb, I get way into that. Locusts is basically our love letter to 'Canada Songs' complete with sliding dissonance and rapid chug patters, super fun. Some of the songs we've kinda gotten away from I'm still really proud of, namely Monitor, Sinner, Pardon Me, and Dead Dreamer. Looking back, musically I don't think there's anything I wish we did differently. We just wanted to play the chaotic noisy hardcore that we love. My only regret is not doing more to get us on the road early on.

7) Has the songwriting style changed over the years? How does a DHN song usually go from nothing to a finished track?
For sure. Writing Tension, a lot was done with the three of us in the basement writing together, either from scratch or off an idea somebody brought in. As soon as we could string a few riffs together Collin would start writing lyrics and join in as we repeatedly ran it from the front, where further ideas usually sprang up. We tried to keep everything short, and for the most part didn't repeat or call back to anything a whole lot. Seth and Cody contributed on Bad Things and a portion of Sleeping Dogs, with them we started to fuck around more with actual song structure. Sometimes at the end of practice we'd try to write a song in 30 seconds, just start with a super raw idea and play what comes to mind without thinking about it too much. Those didn't always make it far, but thats how Locusts, Gambler, Performance Art is Shit, and Woodchipper Abortion came together.

Our routine is a little different now. Collin moved to Grand Rapids a couple of years ago, which is about an hour up the road from Lansing, so between two weekly practice days Nick and I spend one refining a song idea on our own before Collin gets to bite into it. Generally I'll come to practice with a handful of riffs or a partial song. Once Nick gets his hands around the pattern he'll have an idea of where to take it, or another way we can cut it up and arrange it. From there we'll bounce ideas back and forth until we have what we feel is a healthy skeleton for a song. Collin will fit lyrics and we just play it a ton and flesh it out over time, it sorta feels like it writes itself at that point. It's definitely a more open-ended method than when we started out. Often we decide we aren't satisfied and we'll overhaul whole passages or add entirely new ones. It's never truly completed until we track it in the studio.

If we don't have a good skeleton in a couple of practices we'll dump it. Sometimes we just don't know what to do with something that we're into and we'll shelve it, maybe to revisit later. The Texas Effect is an excellent example of that. Nick and I originally started writing it as a Croatone song before we started DHN in 2013. We really loved some parts but were never happy with it as a whole, by the time we dissolved Croatone it never made it off the bench. Several years later, I wanna say 2018 at the back end of writing Sleeping Dogs, we thought to take a stab at it as a DHN song and it came together with ease. Scatter was another unreleased Croatone song we gave a DHN treatment.

8) You played a show/shows with Nerver a while back, how was that?
Yeah we did ten dates with them in January, they're so fucking sweet. We had played together a few years back when they came through Ann Arbor as Celebration, which was dope, we hung out and they encouraged us to come down south. By the time we started booking a tour for the Sleeping Dogs release, they had rebranded as Nerver and were getting ready to drop Believer's Hit, so the timing was perfect for us to team up and do a run together. It was our first time being out for more than a long weekend, so they kinda showed us whats up and we played some shows that really popped off. Getting to hang and kill time with them dudes was great though. DIY touring has its peaks and valleys, but they're way more fun and way less soul crushing respectively when you're out with friends.

9) Have you been writing during COVID? If so, how?
Luckily we already had a nice jump on writing before the stay home order hit. Since then, I just have a bunch of riffs and rough song ideas that I've been nailing down on my own. We've traded a few phone videos and audio clips of things we want to work on, but we haven't put anything together as a group yet. I imagine as things start to chill, Nick and I will start meeting up to demo more songs for Collin to write to remotely for a while. Figure we aren't playing live until 2021, might as well dive right in to the next release or two.

10) Do you have any specific direction for your new material? If so, how does it differ from 'Sleeping Dogs'?
The new stuff is a little more chordy and noodly, I think we're allowing the progressive rock and post-hardcore influences to creep in a bit on the instrumental side. Still, it's not a huge departure. We'll always play blast beats, mosh riffs and shit, we're just trying to stretch what we can do as a three piece with split guitar and bass. I expect it to sound like a more tightened and focused effort than Sleeping Dogs, which was written in chunks over a fairly long period of time.

11) Once things are a bit more hospitable in general, what are the band's plans?
We were supposed to have shot a music video by now, so that will likely be the first order of business. I definitely want to book some east coast shows and hit a few of the spots we played in January again, Chicago for sure.  We've also been talking to some homies in Detroit about doing a split, which at least is something we can start working on soon. Until then, we'll be making the most of our time writing and recording, it could be a lot worse.

12) Colin, what generally drives your lyrics? What do you think your next few topics will be?
I’m glad you asked. Sleeping Dogs has a few different points and feelings that were put into it. Especially since it was written over such a large timeframe. But the theme that is most prevalent in that album is breaking away from control. It talks about abusers and oppressors in all forms. Whether they be personal relationships, religious or belief driven, to systemic, and governmental and the importance of crossing the dividing line from being a victim to being your own person. I’m not sure if you’ve seen our recent merch, but the design on the back of the Sleeping Dogs hoodie is actually an upside down “Power” insignia. We could’ve just as easily titled the album “The Last Fucking Straw”.
As for my next few topics, well, there is a lot that I could write about this year. When Covid 19 came to the states, I was still within my first 90 days at my job. So when the case numbers started rising, I was straight up fired rather than laid off in the beginning of March. I’m not sure when I’ll go back to work but I’ve been quarantining alone very strictly for majority of this time. I’ve learned a lot and had a lot of realizations about a variety of things. While I am going to address some of the elephants in the room, I think I would also like to talk about things that are a little more subtle in our every day lives that we don’t realize how much they actually affect us and the futures that we’re currently driving towards personally, nationally, and as a species. But like I said before, the ideas I start with when I write aren’t always what comes out on paper, so we’ll see what comes of it.

13) Which of the shows in January were your favourite and why?
Chicago went hard. I love how enthusiastic and welcoming that scene is, anybody trying to improve DIY in their hometown needs to take notes in Chicago. DEATHRUN put together a seriously killer bill for us with .mannequins. and Democide. Nobody was familiar with the venue but it popped off, we really need to get out there more. Lawrence, Oklahoma City, and Denton were hype too. We played sort of a matinee with DSGNS and The High Price of Playing God in Austin, that bill was mean. Detroit was fucking nuts. The show was in a co-op where the ground floor is basically a vaulted VHS library chamber with a big old TV behind the drum kit. Nerver requested to play their set with Tremors on behind them, we did the same, it was sick. People were really getting down and I felt anxious for the hundreds of tapes to come avalanching off the shelves on everyone but miraculously that never happened.

14) Will the split likely be where we'll find your next material?
Oh yeah, we wanna knock that out before we dive into recording the next full length.

15) What are your favourite releases of 2020 thus far?
I've been digging Serpent Column - Endless Detainment, Thin - dawn,  New Primals - Horse Girl Energy, ASK - Severed Self, the Foxgrave / Dasterds Split, and lately END - Splinters From an Ever-Changing Face. It's been a strange year but 2020 has come through with some ass beaters.


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