Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Interview session with GRIPE(usa grindcore)

Here is the interview session with GRIPE(usa grindcore). Originally session done by ARCH VILE zine and GRIPE. Brandon from gripe gave us permission and license to share this interview here.Actually Brandon and me we already knew each other for quite long time, we get in touch and do trade since gripe debut album. GRIPE is the one best grindcore band from USA. Enjoy reading!

ARCH VILE: introduce yourself and the band
Brandon: Hello I am Brandon I am the guitar player and only member available for the interview sorry shit took so long. There are some misconceptions to where we are actually from. In fact we are from Athens GA USA(USA! USA! ) we formed in late 2010 as a three piece when our drummer Tom Needham moved to Athens from WI. Our OG frontman DJ and I had been trying to start a fast, loud, obnoxious, and  angry band for years by that point and were ready to call it a day but then Tom came along. Tom hails from Milwaukee the land of good. The  Mid west slays as far as hardcore,punk,grind, death metal , house shows and just general bad assery goes. Tom was shocked at how abysmal the Athens punk scene was at the time. It was all either biker folk  emo or jam bands. American Cheeseburger were just breaking up so there was a real need for something fast and angry. We did our best to fill that “void” We were a really scrappy sort of under dog motley crew when we first got started we did not even have a proper rehearsal space we had to practice at a charity rehearsal space but we eventually secured the thrash castle and started going at it. 

ARCH VILE: As you aren’t a well-known band in Hungary, tell us the history of the band from the beginning. Who and when established the band, and all the shit we have to know!
Brandon: I should have read this question before answering that last question ha-ha Band was established in late 2010 OG line up dj, tom and me. Spencer later came in on bass right before the recording of our follow up ep Pig Servant. Dj had a mental break down and started smoking crack again (on the eve of what was supposed to be our first tour) so he had to move away to get back on his feet and has since became a land owner in WV and a semi Internet celeb of sorts through his non-profit organization dedicated to train hoping culture Latfo.com. Jordan Scott replaced him on vocals as our new front man he is featured on Pig Servant and the ensuing Indefinite Detention split with Diseksa from Malaysia and  the Man Vs. Co p split  with Chulo from Columbia. Our music got shockingly good feedback and We continued wrecking house show after house show with that line up. At one point there were so many stickers, tags, flyer’s, and shirts around town with the gripe logo and imagery typically portraying cops in a negative(honest) fashion that we were  purportedly  listed as a potential threat group like a terrorist organization  or gang. Kids were making thier own patches and shit because we have not exactly been merch machines during our stint as a band. When Deej went up to the mid-west he was also surprised to see kids wearing patches and tagging Gripe on shit so that was cool. Jordan randomly quit the band one day (on the eve of what was supposed to be our 2nd tour)and then Do rejoined then quit again then jordan rejoined and then they both ended up singing on the new record but I wrote the music for this record largely with Dj in mind because I did not know Jordan was going to be on it but I insisted when it looked like this was going to be our last record that All members appear.

ARCH VILE: Tell Us About Your Discography And Stories About Each Recording The Future Doesn’t Need You (2011)
Brandon: This was our first recording ever as a band. This was also the first recording that Dj and I had ever done in our entire lives. Tom was in several recorded bands prior to Gripe. I had a great time with it.  I have to think our home boys Joel and Mike Albanese who handled our production it’s the only way possible my guitar tone sounds even close to an actually guitar on the recording because my gear was beyond fucked when we entered the "studio" from getting knocked around at our increasingly weird and crazy house shows.  Dj was hung over from the night before and refused to do any do overs he did everything in one take because he did not want to sacrifice intensity. The dehydration coupled with the weird timing gave his vocals a strained weird quality that I enjoy. Tom always plays faster on record and live than he does in our practice space so the songs were even faster than I thought they were. The album got shockingly good feedback on the internet which I guess is where all the underground "music zines" and what not exist these days whatever that means. But it came as a shock none the less and we were stoked on it because we did  not even have the money or good sense to tour. To have people still respond to our music i dunno it was strange. The album was loosely based around articles Dj and I had been reading on futurism(Ray Kurzweil, social media, Nano bots, drones, eat bots etc)  and of course the increasingly violent and militarized police force and their conjunction with technology. I like this record allot and it is still special to me because it has that strange out of phase not quite right, sort of uneasy listening quality and vibe that I pick up off of Scum and Fear of god and certain unholy grave records. It was also our first record together So honestly I am pretty proud of it.

Officer Down (2011-) BRANDON

Actually just a song off of the future that was unintentionally released by Deej as a single as he was on his suicide bender when he uploaded the entire record to bandcamp haha

Pig Servant (2011)- BRANDON

 Pig Servant was also a great and very personal record for me. I got the title for the album when I was a  dishwasher at Depalma's. The Mexican guy who was training me that day pointed to the MGMT at the time who was just sort of not doing anything and he said they are the pigs and we are their servants. So later on down the road ya know that was years ago it was in my subgunk of my brain and I pulled it back and knew it would make a perfect grindcore record name. This ep dropped the same year as "the Future"I was happy we attacked the service industry and other low paying high labor jobs for destroying peoples  bodies and minds and given them very little in exchange often times leaving them with nothing.  It is the first record to  feature Jordan on vox and Spencer on bass.We started writing it right after dj's last show.We really had to work hard to will this thing into existence.  I was living in this house called the thrash castle and engaging in nightly debauchery at the time with my room mate and ex band mate Jay. (Who I was also bumming gear off of at this point) but we both lost our jobs at about the same time and were in the process of getting evicted. During the eviction process we still kept using the house as our practice space but by that point it had been reduced to a squat more or less and insects had gotten gnarly and out of control. We had to compete with flea’s just swarming u for practice space. We would do a couple of one minute songs take a break and kick fleas off of us because they were that starved for blood. But eventually we just bombed the place to get our space back. This record has a great and really dark vibe to it but it has such a punk energy to it to that never really wants or slows down too much. Lyrically it’s some of our best shit. It also got great feedback.  It has Less of a noise grind and claustrophobic vibe than the future. I feel like this era of Gripe could have done(or at least would want to) do splits with Disrupt or some shit yam know? just so crusty and filthy on that one. Defintly channeling the 90's crust scene as much as my early Earache and slap a ham worship. Also a heavy world downfall influence at least on my part. Tom did a hand drawn cover for this one which I appreciate because I personally hate photoshop grind and PV record covers. Its lazy. We have had to do that shit because of lack of good artist but given the choice it aint ever really a choice for me anyways.

Indefinite Detention split with Diseksa (2012) Brandon

Indefinite Detention has some of our best song structures in my opinion. It is a little under rated when compared to some of the rest of our shit. I think it has a very factory machinery sound to it it’s just so tight when I go back and listen to it. We were  jamming twice a week during the writing for this one which was allot for us. We covered Dseksa and they covered  a song of ours as a showing of mutual respect. We did War is Business and they did Just Fucking DIE! War is Business ended up being the song I liked the most of this release. We put an open invitation to anyone in Athens GA who might want to come do guest vocals the idea was to mass gang vox chant on the hook of the song. Most of the bands girl friends and their friends of friends showed up so we ended up with a predominately female choir on that one which i think makes this track sound really crazy and intense. Disease did a great job working with what they had and just being punk and noisy as fuck about shit. So yeah I really like this one we also did a split with Chula called Man vs. Cop that was released on floppy disk through day noise.

ARCH VILE: You told me you’re working on a new material, please tell me some words about it! 
Brandon: In His Image is the album title. It is the only album to feature every single member of Gripe. In His Image is a biblical reference obviously. Tom has done another hand drawn beast monster cover for this one. It is a picture of this goat with a crown of thorns being consumed by this tentacle demon with eyeballs and skulls everywhere I dunno to look at it well its bizarre and completely over the top I think it really captures the mood and dark energy of this record. I mean it’s a play on brainwashing and us just wanting to rub shit into the face of this smug white elite manifest destiny society. Just I dunno it frustrates me to no end what a weird and decadent culture that we have built upon the backs of slaves and the decimation of humans and culture. The justification  is always this our way we are making a better way ya know just creating this nightmare and rationalizing it through a more "civill" way of life supposedly. That’s the reason we chose the album title. As far as the record it’s the most chaotic record that we have ever done together at least in terms of the writing and production process. Because at various points neither Do or Jordan were living in the same state and Do had to hitch a ride with these crazy meth addicts from West Virginia just to make it back to Athens. Being homeless most of his adult life Do was no stranger to such situations. Tom and I had been writing songs off and on alone together. I just wanted to make this one the blackest and bleakest shit we had ever done. I feel like we accomplished that mission statement on this one.  To me it has some of the tightness in playing as heard on Pig Servant and Indefinite Detention but also the sketchiness of the future Doesn’t Need You. I have a strong affinity for sketchy music so I wanted to bring allot of that back I tuned my guitar down to b which is the tuning I was using when we first started playing together. A healthy dose of Celtic frost for inspiration as well at least on my part. Ha-ha

ARCH VILE: There is a song called Officer Down in the Future doesn’t need demo, and you have a complete album with this title as well. Did you use that song for another material? Is that another version of a song, or the same? How many tracks do you have altogether?
Brandon: I think Gripe counting our new record which is not out yet has recorded something like 45 or 46 songs. Officer down is actually featured on the future doesn’t need you. 

ARCH VILE: Why I can’t spell dead without D.E.A.? Anyway, what is DEA?
Brandon: DEA stands for Drug Enforcement Agency. Death has three of same three letters in it. The organization deals in blood money, extortion and creating and controlling criminal activity for money therefore you cannot spell Dead without DEA. The song itself tells the story of a man who puts his family in danger for the sake of serving his thug goon bosses.
ARCH VILE: I think the History of Violence is the ’History of mankind’. Do you agree?
Brandon: exactly what we had in mind.

ARCH VILE: I mentioned the last 2 questions related to your songs, but what is the main message which appears in your lyrics? Please write it me from one of your songs that sentence which expresses best the mentality and attitude of Gripe!
Brandon: Take away their jobs and give them fucking guns. Take away their schools and give them fucking drugs. Let them kill themselves or lock them in a cell. Fucking ghetto rapists crush any hope of any escape. Shots are fired. Cops don't care. Lives are ruined. Cops don't care. Families torn apart, Cop's don't fucking care

ARCH VILE: As i checked your Facebook profile I found a picture with a nose bleeding guy. Who is he and what happened to his nose?
Brandon: Our bassist Spencer punched him in the nose. Spencer was not in the band yet but would later join. We were playing a house show and the kid walked into the living room and yelled about how metal he was and how someone should punch him in the face. Spencer took him up on the offer and broke his nose. You don’t go into a room full of drunken punks and ask for someone to punch because chances are more often than not someone will.

ARCH VILE: In other concert pictures (made in 2010, Thrash Castle) as I see it clear, everyone has a black dot at his nose… What is that? It happened at a gig, and for what reason? Every Gripe show is funny as that is? What is the best fun-concert story of Gripe?
Brandon: that is from our good hometown buddies the fuzzlers who were and are a local pop punk band in Athens GA who have a very interactive show. The black nose dot ritual is a part of each fuzzler show and anytime we played shows together we wore the mark of the fuzzler into battle. I always insisted  on extreme volume at every show so often times they would get broken up by cops and such since we played mostly house shows in the early days. I would also blow out fuses and tubes on a pretty regular basis as well.  I just wanted every show to be as visceral as possible. Sometimes they got extremely violent or out of hand sometimes it was fun sometimes it was a little too much maybe.... I don’t know I like high energy shows I want to see that kids actually give a fuck i want a reaction but i don’t want macho asshole meat head bullies either.  One of the most funny was this hippie fest we played in town called Grimmetstock we were the last band to go on what had essential been an open mike jam band night and nobody knew what to expect. The kids freaked the face out and maybe it was because everyone was drunk or maybe because they were hippy suburban kids with no real outlet for their bored suburban aggression they freaked out and seemed to want to inflict real serious bodily harm to us. Dee got a black eye toms drum throne broke so by the end of it he was playing in an office chair, people were throwing beer bottles into the ceiling fan just a cathartic outburst of this weird hippy rage !ha-ha turns out everybody was actually having a blast when we talked to everyone after the show. But yeah somebody got knocked through a window and the cops were called which as I said earlier was a pretty regular occurrence during this era of Gripe.

ARCH VILE: What about the scene where you live? You said that „fanzines are a dead animal”, therefore you don’t know too many existing fanzines, do you? What bands and labels can you recommend me?
Brandon: I just mean printed media in general is just going out the window. Blogs are the new zines or so it would seem. I still read although I cant say I actively  seek out new zines. I think there is something a little more special and personable about creating something by hand than just clicking a few buttons. That being said there are some great blogs supporting underground music and some great DIY labels going right now Operation grind core, DIY noise Militant(Rip) Acid REdux Productions, No Idea, Grind core Karaoke,Hygeine, Witch Bukake,  etc. A far as good bands go there is allot actually if u are willing to go digging which slightly easier with the internet these days. There is really no excuse to listen to shitty major label music unless you are just into such things. Bands I currently dig are Cloud Rat, Grinchfinger, pizza High Five, Sakatat, Sordo, Water Torture, Neon Hole, Lt Dan, Short Walk, Diseksa, Chulo, powercup, Pripaus the list goes on, and on Of course I still go back and listen to all the classics as well Fucking Assuck, terriorizer, Warsore, Agathocles Fear of God Siege, Celtic Frost, ENT, Disrupt, Napalm, all that shit.

ARCH VILE: What plans do you have for the future (which doesn’t need me, haha)? Albums, tours?
Brandon: We are currently on a hiatus. We played our last live show in July. The new album I his image is going to vinyl coutesy of Hygeine recordsn and witch Bukakee this is what I am currently most stoked on right now.

ARCH VILE: Do you know something about Hungary (culture, bands, etc.)?
Brandon: Hungary Listen/ˈhʌŋɡəri/ (Hungarian: Magyarország [ˈmɒɟɒrorsaːɡ] ( listen)) is a landlocked country in Central Europe.It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The country's capital and largest city is Budapest. Hungary is a member of the European Union, NATO, the OECD, the Visegrád Group, and the Schengen Agreement. The official language is Hungarian which is the most populous non-Indo-European language in Europe.Gursin is a pretty rad grind band out of Hungary allso the country has a long history of death metal as well.

ARCH VILE: This interview is possibly made for the Arch Vile fanzine. Do you know the cult PC game, Doom? Arch Vile is a kickass monster from that.
Brandon: Doom rules. it was a game changer for sure. But I dont really like the direction first person shooters have went in and anything past Golden eye I am personally pretty terrible at hah