The creepy punk of Texas’ Slimy Member: An interview and new 7″ EP review
There’s no doubt in my mind that if Pushead’s Pusmort Records were still going, that Slimy Member would probably have an EP or two on it by now. Probably a split with Septic Death or Holy Dolls/Pyhaat Nuket – bands from a time when playing creepy punk rock meant you might get a graphic on Zorlac Skateboards or a nice writeup in the Puszone column of Thrasher. That’s the sort of eerie dark punk that Slimy Member, from Dallas, play. Driving stuff from punk’s sick and diseased underbelly. They have a new, 6-song EP out on Austin’s Todo Destruido Records.
Named after the Rudimentary Peni song on the 1983 Death Church LP, Slimy Member play a type of eerie mid-tempo (well, mostly mid-tempo) punk rock that harkens back to British anarcho bands like the Sinyx and Part 1 (in fact, CVLT Nation featured Slimy Member’s demo last year for Halloween, here). A teensy bit of old Southern California deathrock a la TSOL and Burning Image is thrown in for good measure, too; maybe even some United Mutation or Die Kreuzen. I’ve heard some folks say they remind them of Scandinavian bands. It’s fitting that this fearsome foursome played support for apocalyptic UK punk vets The Mob at that band’s only Texas show this year, last April, in Austin.
Comprised of members that have done time in other North Texas hardcore bands (Lacerations, Parantumaton, Dead Line), Slimy Member recently released a 6-song EP on the Todo Destruido label of Austin, Texas, home to fellow Texans in Kurraka. Slimy Member’s first released recording was a demo that came out last year on the Punk Alive label in Dallas. That demo was a Lovecraftian tour de force of nihilist vocals, haunting-yet-aggresive guitar licks, spidery bass lines, and excellent, powerhouse drumming by Steel Bearing Hand’s Matt Preston (Lacerations drummer Chris Reeves now sits on the throne and has ably continued the rhythm section’s multi-pronged strategy of a varied tempo attack on newer material – in fact, Chris’s live drumming is something to behold, indeed).
Each Slimy Member track is a different experience: Some songs, like “Flesh and Blood,” are slower and doomier and put one in the mind of early Christian Death (“Deathwish”) or even old Black Sabbath. Other tracks race ahead at breakneck speed and betray the band’s roots in thrashier styles of punk. Their new self-titled EP is no different: Side 2’s “Dark Rooms,” my favorite on the release, starts off like a mid-tempo Rudimentary Peni dirge but gains momentum as singer Cesar’s echoey, man-trapped-in-a-padded-room vocals rant to the listener out of a gloomy sonic maelstrom. The darker side of the UK anarcho-punk scene’s sound, the side that was represented by bands like Vex, the aforementioned Part 1 and the Sinyx, and Amebix’s earlier, less metallic stuff, are all very much the touchstones for Slimy Member’s sound.
I wanted to get an interview with the band before they started recording their first LP – and, so, here it is!
Slimy Member was interviewed by Oliver in March, 2015. Slimy Member cofounder and bassist Austen Eby fielded questions on behalf of the band.
Can you give a quick introduction to yourselves for readers — when the band started, who’s in the band, and what instruments you play?
Slimy Member: We started in November of 2013. Our first lineup was Cesar on vocals, Malcolm on guitar, Matt Preston on drums, and myself, Austen, on bass. After we recorded our demo, we got Chris Reeves to replace Matt on drums.
For readers that might not know, can you explain the name Slimy Member? I’ve heard some folks, when I mention the name, react with disgust because I guess they’re thinking it’s a random gross name like Anal Cunt or something. Hah.
Austen: The band name did indeed come from a song on Rudimentary Peni’s Death Church LP. If people feel gross or upset from hearing our name, then all the better!
And so a question about Rudimentary Peni — it seems obvious in your sound that that band has been a big influence. What other bands have influenced you guys?
Slimy Member: Besides Rudimentary Peni, band influences would be Part 1, The Undead (the UK punk band, not the New Jersey band), Killing Joke, and Saccharine Trust’s first album.
About the lyrics of Slimy Member, which I’ve yet to read. Are they primarily personal, political, neither? Is Slimy Member an anarcho-punk band, and if so, how do the lyrics reflect that? If not, what do the lyrics tend to be about, and who’s the primary lyricist?
Slimy Member: Our singer Cesar writes all the lyrics. The lyrics are about all sorts of things. We have existential songs, songs about war, songs about sadness, songs about hatred, songs about the occult, songs about the darker, nastier aspects of life, ect… As far as the anarcho thing goes, the sound of the band is greatly influenced by anarcho punk bands, but the lyrics are way more nihilistic than they are anarchist.
What are some of the better bands in the DFW or North Texas area at the moment and why do you think so?
Slimy Member: It seems as though more and more bands are starting up now in our scene, which is great! Some honorable mentions would be Sin Motivo, the Sentenced, Collick, Pissed Grave, Tolar, Parantumaton, and Steel Bearing Hand. Each band has new releases coming out so be on the lookout for those.
I saw that your EP is coming out on Todo Destruido, a label based in Austin. Who put out the demo (cassette-only, right?). Do you have any plans for any further releases? Have any labels expressed interest in putting out stuff by you guys in the future?
Slimy Member: Our new EP came out in April! The demo was cassette-only and Punk Alive Records put that out. We plan to start writing a full length LP after our current tour.
A question I ask all bands: If you were stranded on a desert island, but somehow had some mysterious way to play 5 LPs, yet would be stuck with those for the rest of your life on said island, what 5 LPs would those be, and why?
Slimy Member: 5 albums is hard, but – Ramones S/T, Rudimentary Peni’s Death Church, Crisis’ Hymns of Faith, Big Boys’ Lullabies Help the Brain Grow, No Trend’s Too Many Humans…. Ask us the same question in a few days and I’m sure the answers would be completely different.
Is it hard to juggle work schedules and being in multiple bands, as well as doing other stuff, while touring? How do you handle it? Also, what other bands are members of Slimy Member in?
Slimy Member: We are touring the east coast in March. Of course it can be difficult to juggle around several bands, work and everyone’s schedules, but you will always find a way to make it happen if you want it to.
Drummer Chris and I (Austen) were in Lacerations; we played our final show the night of Slimy Member’s tour kick off show in Denton on March 12. I (Austen) also play bass in Parantumaton. And we all have a few new projects that are still in the works.
Thanks guys. See you soon.
Slimy Member: Thanks Oliver!