Any article written about Wes Eisold often starts the same way: “Wes Eisold needs no introduction…” Well, yes, that’s true, but like virtually every other article that starts that way, I will spend the next paragraph explaining to you exactly who he is.
Unless you’ve been in a coma since 1997 or living under a fucking rock, chances are at some point you’ve come across one of Wes’s many, many, musical outlets. First starting with the seminal Boston hardcore punk band American Nightmare, then moving on to the San Diego super-group Some Girls featuring Rob Moran of Unbroken, Justin Pearsons of The Locust and Cody Voltato of Blood Brothers, in addition to others. From there it was on to the spastic “what the fuck?” intrigue of XO Skeletons and the hushed static derecho of Ye Olde Maids before forming Cold Cave. What seemed to have started off as a back-bedroom affair has spiraled into one of the better known modern synth acts. From the quaint romantic nihilism of Love Comes Close to the plundering heights of Cherish The Light Years and onward to this somewhere-in-the-middle we find ourselves in, the only constant thus far has been Wes himself.
First and foremost, Wes Eisold is a poet of the highest caliber, capable of bending word through rhyme with simplicity and expertise like light through a prism. They seem like peepholes into a tumultuous life. But I wondered if torture is a necessity for honesty. Lyricism, to me, has always been the balance of journalism and poetry, but can you be honest and profound as well as not surrounding yourself with the deep morass of sadness? I spoke with Wes about the all consuming bridal reigns of the written word, his literary influence and the revelation of the lyrics behind People Are Poison and Black Boots.
I know that you guys have written in a lot of different ways (sole writers vs collaborative vs in the studio), but what is your preferred method?
I think that the most fun we ever had writing was when we wrote/recorded Invisible Whitealmost entirely in the studio. It really gave us a chance to try things we might not have otherwise tried. Unfortunately, who knows if we’ll ever have the budget to pull that off again, so the next best is definitely writing as a group in the rehearsal space. It’s what we’ve done for all but our first record and Invisible White.
How much of your material is written with a conceptual idea in mind first? Do you just let the music go wherever it wants, or are you aiming for something specific when you start?
We usually write first and then attack the concept (if there is one) a bit later. The stuff we’re working on now is actually the first time we’ve even really discussed a direction. We usually just write and let the music come out however it’s going to come out. This time around we’re hoping to shape it a little bit. We never want our music to become stale.
When you’re writing for a concept, are you tailoring the music to fit a certain subject/mood based on what the song is about?
I don’t think we’ve done that yet. It’s usually the other way around. We tailor the lyrics and/or concept to fit the music. Our music often feels to us like it tells a story without lyrics, so we sometimes try to figure out what that story is.
Today CVLT Nation is excited to present Sonic Cathedrals Vol. CXXII Corrections House, compiled by their minister of propaganda, Seward Fairbury. The doctrine of Corrections House should be heard by all in this New World Order! Their album Last City Zero will be released on Oct. 29th via Neurot Recordings, but for now you can sit in a dark room and let this mix wash over you and free your mind!
For years the CIA has used thought control to brainwash american citizens……..using LSD, hypnosis, electro-shock therapy…………they can mentally break you down, delete you thoughts and control your mind……manipulating military soldiers into mindless robots to carry out their orders……..fear no one – only trust yourself.
- Seward Fairbury
CVLT Nation interviews Josh Graham of A Storm of Light
Nations to Flames is a much more aggressive and visceral album than As the Valley of Death. Was this a conscious effort?
We don’t really look back much at our other records. Most of the change comes from how we feel when we are playing the music live. The super slow stuff gets a bit tedious, and the more rock moments of Valley felt awkward live. We wanted to strip it down, focus our intensity, and filter all of our stress into the music. Now, this music feels like the ultimate cathartic release and feels like a true expression of what we are feeling inside.
The vocals are pretty different on this album too, could you tell us about that change and why?
I used to sing this way in my old bands back in the 90′s. When we started Storm, I wanted to do something cleaner. This record didn’t warrant that approach, and as I found myself singing more aggressively on tour, it felt right to push the vocals harder on the recordings as well.
Before the massive Sepulchral Doom Over Europe tour, Necros Christos have decided to do a few warm-up shows with their new line-up. This will be the third show of the band for 2013, after Hell’s Pleasure Metalfest in Germany and the Beyond The Gates festival in Norway. With them, also set to appear were brand new Greek black metal act Akrotheism, veteran black/death band Embrace of Thorns and historic Italian black metallers Necromass.
At about 8.40, dark figures appear at the stage of Kyttaro. The guitarist and bassist wearing corpsepaint and hoodies are getting ready and after their intriguing intro the band starts unleashing their black metal fury. With their tracks, generally fucking fast and brutal, Akrotheism are found closer to the black metal sound of the early 90s, but with a few interesting twists, such as the use of a theromin in one of their tracks, which offers some additional variety. The general impression that the band left me was that they are really serious about what they are doing. Their appearance on stage was sending quite a mystical vibe, something that was further enhanced by their intros and interludes, while the singer was screaming at the top of his lungs. Combined with the release of a split with famous Greek black metal outfit, Order of the Ebon Hand, and their upcoming debut full-length, it seems like things are looking very good for them.
CVLT Nation interviews Matt Woods of All Pigs Must Die
Congratulations on the new album. Are you pleased with its result?
Yes, very much so. It was a lot of work but well worth it in the end.
It must be tough working together with all the band members all over the place. When did writing for the album take place?
Certainly distance makes things challenging. Fortunately the internet is everywhere and many ideas can be created independently, shared over email, then expanded on as a group. A few of the riffs/songs/etc existed or were created around the time we began recording God is War, while some of the material wasn’t entirely finished when we entered the studio to track NVTN. There’s always riffs, songs or ideas floating around.
Who writes the majority of the songs?
It is a very collaborative effort. I look at it as a four part brain. It doesn’t matter which part of the brain the idea originates from, what matters is the final output once the whole processes the initial idea and shapes it into a finished piece.
Tom – How did the HM2 fuelled furygrind outfit that is Human Cull come into existence?
Edd – We began out of the remnants of our former bassist’s goregrind project Gran Toucher. That turned into Terrorizer/early NxDx style thrashing grindcore and then became Human Cull for want of a more appropriate name for what we ended up doing. We’ve had 3 drummers throughout our development (shout out to Johnny for being a dude) and we are now onto our second bassist, Luke (farewell to Morrish – it’s been a pleasure). Sam does shouting and drumming and I (Edd) do shouting and guitarising.
Tom – I’ve seen/heard some Human Cull album teasers online and it’s sounding cracking. What made you decide to write and record a full length in a genre which is primarily dominated by 7″ splits/EPs?
Edd – We’d done a mini album in 2012 called ‘Split Second Extinction’ which lasts for 9 minutes and it was well received (at least to our faces), but we got a lot of comments about it’s length but fuck it, it does what it does; in the mean time we’ve done two more splits (a 7″ with Oblivionized and a cassette with Homolka which saw us experiment with a 13 minute sludge crawl). So basically we just felt it was time to do a more substantial set of songs and its not as if there aren’t loads of classic grindcore and crust 12″ albums out there from the annals of history.
Tom – Best gig you’ve been to? (grind or otherwise or both??)
Edd – One of the best gigs I’ve ever been to was one I attended with Sam last year. We went to see Melvins play a small venue called the Croft in Bristol. They were performing with the ‘full’ line up (two drummers) and I thought It was incredible.
Tom – Any plans for Euro/World/Cosmic tours? And were you sad when Pluto was declassified as a planet?
Edd – Doing a bunch of dates across the UK as the year comes to an end. Next April we hit the European mainland to drink heavily and play shows with Oblivionized (London). When I found out about Pluto I smiled to myself and whispered ‘Iced’.
Photo: Paul Cussens
Edd – How did CMA form? Did you plan to ‘do a band’ or did it just sort of happen (like it often does)?
Tom – John had moved from the sprawling metropolis of Birmingham to the calm, gentle town of Southport where naturally the only activity to keep you sane is boozing. I tried to show him a ‘good time’ but there’s only so much drinking you can do in Southport before you have to form a band so you can drink more. I believe his exact words were “Let’s start a band that’s all about the smash”, and CMA was born.
Edd – What kind of band are you? Do you going in for sub-genre pedantry when it comes to classifying yourselves?
Tom – At times it feels like we’re just a rock n’ roll band, although obviously it’s much heavier. We’re definitely not a grind band like people have been saying all this time but I suppose some of that influence leaks through into our songs seeing as it’s what we’ve been doing in various other bands over the last decade or so. Our style is pretty much a culmination of all the influences we’ve picked up over the years.
Edd – You have a full length album coming out at some point soon. Care to share any details?
Tom – All shall be revealed in good time! We’re currently finishing off the recording process.
Edd – How important do you feel hair is for heavy bands?
Tom – This is either a trick question or a stab at the fact I’m thinning on top, bastard! I don’t care what anyone says, bald windmilling is king. Also, our bassist Adam has a beautiful head of hair.
This week’s installment of the Art CVLT Interview Series features a graphic artist named Szymon Siech, or you may know him as VBRRTRD. Hailing from the country of Poland, Szymon has been at it for years designing for the likes of INTEGRITY, FULL OF HELL, RISE AND FALL, A389 RECORDS, BLIND TO FAITH and many many more. With no shortage of carnage and gore, Szymon’s style is very unique as he takes influence from themes like Japanese B Horror Movies, Destruction, and iconic religious imagery. I reached out to Syzmon to get an insight on his beginnings and his composition of work. Enjoy.
Q: The beauty of being into “extreme” music is that it can lead to so many different outlets, but still be coherent and connected to music. Was it your love for hardcore that what got you into graphic design? Was it something non-music related?
My genes I guess. Both my mother and my sister are educated artists. I’m not. I’m just a self-thought, so it must be in our blood I think. Then came music. Metal, hardcore, grindcore, sludge… It was cool to combine those two passions. And still is.
Fresh off their most recent tour out west, I had a second to catch up with Bo Orr, the brain child behind the artwork of his band DEAD IN THE DIRT. You may also recognize his artwork from bands like HARMS WAY, HEARTLESS, FULL OF HELL, and SUNN O))). Bo’s art is extremely thought-provoking, and can make you feel uncomfortable at times. I wanted to pick his brain about some of his influences and how he approaches each individual work of art. Enjoy.
Q: Bo, what’s up dude!
Hello and thank you for this opportunity.
Q: I must say you have a very eccentric and refreshing take on punk/metal art. What were your biggest influences when getting into art and graphic design?
I was influenced by comic book art. I spent a lot of time drawing The Flash and Sonic the Hedgehog. Then I discovered music on a personal level. I used to think the high contrast images and Albrecht Durer prints on hardcore punk and metal records were hand drawn, so I spent a lot of time wondering how my lines never looked like that.