Wednesday 23 June 2021

***STORMLIGHT exclusive interview***


exclusive interview w/Sean Leary

When I received the email from Sean asking if I was interested in releasing the debut Stormlight LP, I did a quintuple take. Like...seriously, Sean of Loma Prieta and Erik of Lord Snow? You can't get any better than that. So that was released just over a year ago. The mages went instantly, followed by the XXX. We are down to the last 5 random color copies and the last 20 black. There are also some tapes kicking around that look very pretty. Fingers crossed we get more amazingness in 2022!!!

(2021) STORMLIGHT "Clock Drift" (from 'Stormlight')

1) What part of Stormlight was born first? Was it the idea of playing with Erik? The theme? The style?
Definitely just the idea of us two playing music together. I think I’d asked Erik if he’d want to colab long distance when he was still in Chicago, either when one of my bands had played with Suffix or maybe it was early on in Lord Snow. Like 2010-ish I think. I just always had fun kickin' it with Erik and more importantly I thought he was one of the better, more interesting drummers I’d seen. And his bands were always really good, which I now realize has to do with his approach to music. I think a lot of drummers kind of wait to follow someone’s lead, Erik is a lot more present and I think plays/writes very musically and critically. So I got an email from him and he was like, “Hey I just moved to Santa Cruz, you still in SF? want to hang out or play music like we always talked about?”

Thing is, I didn’t have any real expectations, definitely didn’t know what it’d sound like. And there were a handful of other people who we played with as a 3rd person early on, but for various reasons it didn’t work out (basically all the other people we’d brought in didn’t really have time for the band). But Erik and I just kept showing up and it kept being fun and the songs kept getting better. I feel like very often you try and play music with people who are really talented and it doesn’t mesh. There are so many reasons for things not to line up, creatively personally or just different levels of dedication or available time. But really quickly everything lined up for us two, and honestly it’s felt really natural at every step - writing, recording and developing the band as an entity IE honing a sound, naming the band, deciding an aesthetic direction. Like I think we both take things the same level of serious but are very much using the band as a fun outlet from adult life.  But we’re both kind of nutcases who take our shit too seriously even when it’s supposed to just be fun. It’s a delicate balance.

2) What ideas were discussed prior to you jamming? How do the two of you tend to write songs?
I don’t recall having any game plan when we first started working on stuff. I think I had most of “Farsick” written and brought that in on the first day we practiced, and we had it mostly written in a couple hours and knew we were onto something good. 

Our writing process is sometimes totally organic, like straight up jumping into an intense jam session and see what happens. But like two minute total insanity blast jam, not extended jam sesh because Erik plays fuckin impossible shit and no one would just do that aimlessly. You’d die. So there’s that, and mostly I think the process for this record was just me bringing in a part of a song and then we’d just discuss how to elevate it, bridge the parts interestingly. Erik is always elaborating on his parts and tricking stuff out, so it feels like the songs keep taking shape for a long time which is really cool, makes things exciting.

3) Which song was written first? Which was last?
The first three songs on the record were written first, and written in that order. I'd had some of those parts for many years, and just hadn't had a use for them, they didn't feel like they belonged as songs in any other projects I had. Parts of "Acute Care" I'd been kicking around since literally the late 90s. Crazy. As the writing process went on, Erik would sometimes be like "I got this crazy beat I wanna try," and I'd write to that in the moment, like the beginning of "Sleep Debt" was written that way. Or a lot of the more chaotic stuff, like a lot of "Nighttime Absorption". So we opened up the writing process and got more collaborative as we got comfortable. I have no recollection of which ones were written last. It’s been a while at this point...

4) Can you discuss the underlying theme(s) of Stormlight and the lyrics?
I wasn’t attempting to have any running themes throughout, just wanted to write songs that paint succinct pictures I guess. But looking over the lyric sheet as I was laying it out, feels like the unintentional running theme is loss caused by changes out of my control. There are some very personal moments, and some songs are much more broad, societal examinations. Since the record was written over a long period of time, the mood shifts song to song, I’m into how that worked out.

5) Which song/moment are you most proud of and why?
Good question. I honestly like them all. I am pretty proud of how fucked up “Wires” sounds. We did some pretty cool technical stuff in "Clock Drift" too. Not sure how we even figured that shit out listening back now.

6) What is your writing process at the moment?
We are writing remotely right now. Erik is in Ohio and I’m in California at the moment. When shelter in place went into effect in mid-March I lost my job and decided I was going to focus full time on music. It was great, just bought like a 50 pound bag of rice and didn’t leave the house. I went kind of wild with it, was recording day and night from mid-March til like June. Got much better at using logic and protools. In that time I had some ideas that were specifically for Stormlight so Erik and I have been working with those. They’re more just jumping-off points. I think when we can physically be in the same space they’ll really take shape, and likely won’t sound recognizable from the demos I’ve made. Erik bought a crazy V drum set and is shredding in relative silence in Ohio now. Gonna have to do some zero DB zoom band practices one of these days.

7) Will you look at playing shows as a full band once/if covid lifts in the next year or two? Orrrrrrrrrr maybe a live set soon? ;)
Yeah that’s always been the plan. We were practicing as a full band pre-covid/before 'Natoma' was released. Erik moved away for work so we weren’t able to keep that going at the time, then the world locked down so we’ll see when we can actually get back to it. Tom from Hawak/Matsuri had been playing bass with us, hopefully still wants to once we’re able to play live. Tom is the best and is a great musician, and Hawak are one of my fav Bay Area bands of recent years.

8) What's it like being in the U.S. right now?
America is always crazy, man. Thing is, the way American society is structured, if you have enough money you're always safe. And if you don't have enough money to buy your safety and happiness, the attitude is that you haven't worked hard enough and don't deserve it. America doesn't really value its citizens or human life, or not as much as it values the bottom line/elevating those already at the top. Problem is, I'm kind of stuck here because A) I have never figured out a way to move away, don't have the resources etc. and B) having traveled a lot through playing in bands and seeing hundreds of cities, I personally think American cities are the most interesting cities I've been to. Like yeah sure they're dangerous and dirty and have corrupt people running them, but they're fascinating places. I'm probably also attracted to how fucked up they are, part of my American wiring, something like that. Anyway yeah yeah this year is fucking crazy but I have managed not to die of covid or get shot or anything so fingers crossed I can keep that streak going...

Tuesday 22 June 2021


GenresPunk / Hardcore / Post-Hardcore / Metallic Hardcore / Emo / Screamo / Skramz / Emo-violence
Related artists?.
CountryCalifornia U.S.A.
Years Active2004-2005
For fans ofLoma Prieta, Black Channels, A Company Of Heroes, Hawak, Caught In The Fall, Reversal Of Man, EnvyLove Lost But Not Forgotten, Beau Navire, Oktober Skyline, Means To An End, The Number Twelve Looks Like You, Isodora Crane, Youth Funeral, Mine, Iwrotehaikusaboutcannibalisminyouryearbook and Dispensing Of False Halos.
Label(s): Self Released

HORROR CITY SUPERSTITION were from California and recorded a 'Demo' EP in 2004 and the 'We Are the Tide' EP in 2005 before disbanding. I only heard about them recently, from science knows where. They played an excellent style of technical screamo not unlike Loma Prieta, A Company Of Heroes, Love Lost But Not Forgotten and Reversal Of Man.

The 'Demo' is just that (a demo, but still very good), while the final EP is fucking amazing. Opener and title track "We Are the Tide" has a wonderfully post-rock second half that sounds like Swedish Envy or something. "Bete Noire" has exceptional vocals (sometimes dual) as well as some metal riffage. Speaking of second halves "The Sea Will Electrocute Us All" is probably the ultimate song on this EP, while closer and "Mara" kind of encapsulates everything that makes the other three tracks great.

Horribly overlooked band!



2004 - Demo digitalEP (stream/donate/download here)

2005 - We Are the Tide digitalEP (stream/donate/download here)


(2005) HORROR CITY SUPERSTITION - "The Sea Will Electrocute Us All" (from 'We Are the Tide')

(2005) HORROR CITY SUPERSTITION - "We Are the Tide" (from 'We Are the Tide')

(2005) HORROR CITY SUPERSTITION - "Mara" (from 'We Are the Tide')

(2004) HORROR CITY SUPERSTITION - "Alone in a Two Sided Room" (from 'Demo')

(2004) HORROR CITY SUPERSTITION - "Simon Weil" (from 'Demo')



Sunday 6 June 2021

PODCAST #66 Jared Stimpfl (Orphan Donor, Secret Cutter, Oktober Skyline, Motel Bible)


On July 8th 'Unraveled' by ORPHAN DONOR will see the light of day and immediately strip you of the sun. Absolutely devastating, dark and claustrophobic metallic hardcore/sludge (falling somewhere between Isis and Ken Mode), the seven tracks stack together into a colossal, imposing tower of dread, paranoia and death. If you'd like some insight into the record before it's release, as well as a very big ZBR release "reveal" you should check this out immediately. We talk in depth about many-a-thing, including: being inspired by Bush, honking vs. ripping a saxophone, shitting all over recordings, personal growth and its effect on musical progress, life patterns, lessons in hydrating, jackknifing in the Walmart parking lot, drinking pee, Mathcore Index videos, 'Unraveled' lyrical insights and lots more. Bands played in this podcast: The Armed, Pupil Slicer, Ed Gein and Dead Hour Noise. Listen to podcast #66 which is available to stream and/or download for free via this link.

Pre-orders go live June 8th, 2021 @Zegema Beach Records



THE ARMED "An Iteration" (Jared)

PUPIL SLICER "Stabbing Spiders" (Dave)
ED GEIN "The Marlboro Man is a Douche Bag" (Jared)
DEAD HOUR NOISE "Building Rome In A Day" (Dave)

no music



PODCAST #66 linked here