Land of Decay is a tape label that you can trust to release shit that will numb your brain! Their most recent tape by Number None entitled Strategies Against Agriculture is a testament to how this label is in a universe of it’s own. Created by Chris Miller and Noah Opponent, this tape examines the different textures of feedback bent around various shades of noise! Listening to Number None inspires me to ask questions about the creation of humanity and the destruction of humanity at the same. This is the kind of music that will affect everyone in different ways. This is why CVLT Nation is streaming Strategies Against Agriculture in full below, so that you can find your own meaning in Number None. Also check out the in-depth interview between Scott McKeating below and number none after the jump!
Can you recall much about the recording process for Strategies Against Agriculture? What came first, the quote or the tracks?
CDM: The tracks came first. Actually, only two of the four tracks on this version were meant for the original version, if I recall correctly. Both “Viagra/Lunesta” and “KKKamera” were late additions.
As far as the recording process, my memory is better for some than for others. “Viagra/Lunesta” is an excerpt from a larger live performance at Lord Ortmann’s old Nihilist Loft, supporting Binges and (believe it or not) Pissed Jeans. I’d say we were definitely the odd man out on that bill. I don’t remember feeling that it had been an entirely successful set that night, but listening back on it, it’s much more cohesive and interesting than it felt at the time.
“Vile Gnarl” was conceived in my basement on a sweaty summer night. It may not be recognizable now, but my primary instrument that evening was a two-bit bagpipe chanter, which Noah was sampling, modifying and looping the shit out of (largely) in real time. I believe he was also introducing some samples from an old kids toy that had a bunch of animal sounds on it. They were pretty poorly recorded to begin with, and the sound quality on each kept degrading further each time we sampled it as the batteries ran down. I may have also been playing either violin or ebowed guitar.
Much as I remember those two tracks, I have very little remembrance of the creation of either “KKKamera” or “ID-Vision.” Maybe Noah can shed some light on those two?
Full interview after the jump…
Interview by Sean Fitzgerald
Bolt Thrower celebrated twenty five years in action this year. They raised £12,411.80 for Teenage Cancer Trust from the ‘Boltfest’ birthday bash they had along with Autopsy, Discharge, Benediction & Vallenfyre. I talked to Jo Bench from the band just before ‘Boltfest’.
Banner Photos by Per ÅhlundKelly from Embers interviews Leila from Vastum
How long have you been playing music?
I started playing piano at age 6. I had one piano lesson and realized I hated lessons and started trying to figure out music myself. My dad had a grand piano where I would sit for hours and teach myself various chord progressions. I was also a band geek through out all of my schooling. I played flute and trumpet throughout middle school, mostly in the jazz and classical genres. I did a lot of sheet reading. I picked up the guitar at age 13, and am self-taught. It was sort of a self-rebellion against all of the formal music training I had previously. Although I don’t consciously fully use this knowledge for writing with guitar, The foundation I have in music theory gives me solid ground for composing music in a way that makes sense using scales, modes, tones, transpositions. It’s all useful.
by Oliver Sheppard
This is an interview I did with World Burns to Death in 2003. It was something I originally meant for a paper zine I was going to do, but I ended up putting it on a website I started (and which no longer exists). CVLT Nation is a good home for it, at long last.
You probably know who World Burns to Death are, but in the event you don’t: World Burns to Death existed from 2000 until 2009 and were not only one of the best American hardcore bands of that period, but, some would argue, are one of the best hardcore punk bands ever. (And I would be very tempted to agree with anyone who would argue that!) Hearing the band back in 2002 shook me out of a growing apathy I had at that time towards hardcore; the band singlehandedly reignited my interest in punk in a very powerful way. 9/11 had just happened, Bush was quickly growing frighteningly tyrannical, and American culture — especially here in Texas — became reactionary and oppressive over night. This mattered. Enter these genuinely scary-looking guys right in the belly of the beast — Austin, Texas — belting out aggressive hardcore songs about US warmongering, highlighting who the real terrorists were, combined with profane graphics of President Bush, coming out to play on stage with black raccoon eyes (and a fog machine!) and a kind of disturbingly intimidating demeanor — I thought it was brilliant! I still do.
Simultaneously occupying the spaces of hardcore punk and deathrock while dishing out a consistent barrage of their own schizoid take on punk, Long Beach, California’s Ciril have been around since 1995. They have four LPs, at least one split record, and many 7 inch EPs out. The singer, songwriter, and sole constant member has been Darrin Jeffery Hall. Often compared to Rudimentary Peni, the band recently released the excellent Sick Surreal LP. Below, Darrin opens up about what Ciril’s music means, how Gitane Demone (ex-Christian Death) has been involved with the project, and what other deathrock and punk bands have inspired the band’s manic, moody, frenetic, and splenetic sounds.
Interviewed by Oliver, originally at No Doves Fly Here.
Great, thanks Bryan.
The Invisible Mountain was the album that really put Horseback on the map, and you’ve released a lot of material since then. Your offerings on splits and collaborations since that release have been very different sonically. Did you intend to distance yourself from the sound of that record a little bit to avoid repetition?
I try to keep the process open. I’m not as concerned with whether or not I’m repeating myself as I am with pursuing ideas as they come. I try to avoid molding these ideas to fit any particular genre — some suggest a “rock-band” approach to realization, while others work best in more abstract arrangements.
The follow up to Mountain was a release called Forbidden Planet which was released initially very quietly on cassette by Brave Mysteries. That release was highly textural and an exploration of drone and soundscapes that focused primarily on guitar. Listening to it on tape adds an extra layer of hiss and noise. Do you see that record as lending itself specifically to the format of cassette?
I did, after it was finished. Listening back to Forbidden Planet is a challenge because there are so few concessions to listenability on that one. Like many harsh noise records, it’s to be endured — maybe even “beaten” — so that completion is an accomplishment. Records like that seem to benefit from an explicit layer of physicality between the listener and the sounds themselves. Cassettes provide that sense of confrontation: they are physical things that the listener must wrestle with, unlock. As you suggest, there’s a layer of hiss that won’t allow you to forget there’s a machine whirring away behind the music. Tape gets tangled in players, sometimes it tears. Cassettes demand a certain level of physical interaction that you don’t get from the digital medium.
Still, I don’t like obscurity for the sake of obscurity. I’m happy to reissue cassette releases in more accessible and widely-distributed formats, should the opportunity arise. The listener can choose which format is right for him or her.
Rest of the interview after the jump…
What’s really interesting about the CVLT Nation Artist to Artist Interview series is how each one is so different, plus the artists open about things that they might not if they were being interviewed by a journalist. Today, we have Leila of Vastum vs. Kelly of Embers – I’m not going to give anything away, but I will say it’s an awesome interview. Stay tuned for Part Two next week, Kelly of Embers vs. Leila of Vastum. For all those reading this in Europe, make sure to go see the Embers tour, which kicks off on May 25th in Bologna, Italy – peep the tour poster after the jump!
What was it like growing up in Florida, being in the music scene there vs the Bay Area?
Well, Steve (the guitar player for Embers) and I are from a small town in Florida called Fort Walton Beach. We were both born and raised there. The whole state is pretty conservative. If you’re from the Northwest Panhandle like us, then there’s really not a lot of culture or an underground music scene. There weren’t many bands of our genre there at that time. Our old band, Lesser of Two, started in that town, and our whole band made the move to California together back in 1996. Steve and I have been living in Oakland ever since. The Bay Area has so much more to offer. Our lives have been greatly enriched with the tremendous diversity of music, art and radical thinking out here. Embers, of course, has been greatly influenced by the local scene as well. We have a very supportive underground community here in the Bay Area that a lot of other cities and towns lack.
It could be said that there is something of a renaissance occurring in the United Kingdom’s Hardcore and Punk communities at present. With bands at the heavier, noisier, more inventive end of the scale gaining wider recognition and going on to accomplish things that might previously have been considered over-achievement, it surely won’t be too long before more than a few have broken out of the British Isles and are smashing faces on a global scale. What’s most exciting is that the majority of these bands aren’t losing sight of their DIY roots and are growing in an organic, ethically admirable way, making art for its own sake.
One of the finest examples of this, in this writer’s humble opinion, would be Southampton’s The Long Haul. Technically stunning without losing any of its honesty and emotional weight, the band’s music continues to evolve just as their reputation spreads, with the release of their most recent EP, Debtors, in late 2011 via Tangled Talk. What better way to introduce the four-piece to CVLT Nation than to speak to their vocalist and all-round nice bloke, Harry Fanshawe, on what’s been going on in their world recently. Check it out after the jump.
Now this is a special interview, being that it was conducted by someone I respect, for a band that I really dig. haarp are super sick and their album The Filth still gets spins in our hq. Mike IX Williams did us the honor of asking the band some questions that allowed haarp to open up about their creative process. Enough of me talking, let’s get down to the nitty gritty – check out this interview below and after the jump!
Your full length LP ‘The Filth’ is out now on Housecore Records. Are you happy with the finished album? When’s the next LP coming out? You are now back in the studio again recording new material, correct?
Yes, we are happy with the final result. It was a nice change to have the time to focus on all of the aspects of the album that we had to rush in the past, including art, music, sequencing, layout etc. We created the album we were hearing in our head. It’s far from perfect but we learned a little more this time and will be able to apply that knowledge to our future releases.
Everything is recorded for the new album, just waiting on mixing and mastering. The art and layout is in the works as well, everything is falling into place.
As for differences between The Filth and the new record, one thing is art. Last time the art for the album focused on one story from the songs, The Glutton King, and this time we’ll have artwork to represent all 3 of the songs as a whole. We are also working with photography this time instead of drawn art. Musically, these songs are different in a few ways. We’ve upped the tempo in certain areas and added some more aggressive parts to the songs.
Idylls and Night Hag have a short, but close history. First meeting in Brisbane with a former band about a year ago at a hole in the wall industrial district venue-come-jam space-come-home, the now defunct Sun Distortion Studios, we came to develop a tigh bond on the other side of the country with a similar approach to running DIY venues and recording. Brisbane and Adelaide are similar cities in terms of size and geography relevant to Australia’s major hubs and ‘scenes’, with both bands are involved in running DIY/home venues/jam spaces that have developed into the major AA venues in their cities. The relationship between Night Hag and Idylls has now developed into that of label-mates on Brisbane-based label Monolith.
Hey mate, how’s the LP coming along? Why the decision to track drums rather than record live like on the 7”?
The 7” wasn’t tracked live, it was just all tracked (whilst still writing) in one day and mixed that night so it kinda felt live. The rush was due to pushing a vinyl release in time for the Comadre Australian tour, in which we were under the tyranny of Zenith. In terms of tracking drums down at Capital in your town, we felt like doing something different. Tracking on an epic console in a pro studio isn’t really our thing, but it worked well. We actually booked 4 days but Tristan pretty much did the record in one day. Jimmy is a lord with drum tracking too. I found an aluminium guitar at Capital and ended up tracking mostly all the guitar there aswell. The process of this LP has been facile, we needed it to be!