Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Violent Asshole Interview

1. Can you give us an introduction to the band for those that will be hearing of you for the first time?

VIOLENT ASSHOLE is an offshoot of FUCK EVERYONE [FxEx], which, ironically, was an offshoot of HYEO, a grindcore band that Rusty Solemina (vocalist of FxEX) myself were in a few years ago. HYEO's [Heisai Yasokawa's Empty Orchestra's] drummer had quit unexpectedly, leaving us with a number of shows that we'd have to answer for in the near future. We didn't have time to find a replacement, and didn't want to cancel on this festival we'd been booked on that was pretty much a week away.

It occurred to me that we had the drum tracks from our demo mixed down and could just dump them onto a cassette, play the cassette through the PA at the festival, then go about business as usual playing the gig. Turns out, once we actually did it, everyone in the audience was on board. People were going nuts as if we had a whole band there, so we thought: What if this was the band? What if we had drum tracks on a cassette and it was just Rusty and me? A cassette would be easier to transport than a computer or drum machine. And who would steal a cassette? Even if they did, we could buy a new one for pennies... I mean, hell, we owned tons of cassettes we could just dub over.

The whole thing made more and more sense. We were so sick of looking for new drummers that the mantra became, “FUCK EVERYONE”, and we chose that as a band name. I switched to bass from guitar because, if you're only going to have one actual live instrument, might as well be something you can use to make a wall of doom, right?

2.How would you describe the musical sound of the new project and also how does it differ from the stuff you did with FUCK EVERYONE?

VIOLENT ASSHOLE has a bit more of a “message” than FUCK EVERYONE, loosely speaking. The songs have more cohesion – that is to say, it's less about writing for the live show and more about writing as a means to tell a story – and I think that I'm considering the album as a whole when I make batches of songs. You might also notice there's a heavier bass sound... more distortion, more feedback, more noise altogether. Detuning, effects pedals, samples in the songs... I'm going a tad further down the experimental road.

3.Can you tell us a little bit more about the lyrical topics and subjects you explore with this band?

The concept behind FUCK EVERYONE was pretty much derision. It was about social politics, the art of calling people out on their bullshit. VIOLENT ASSHOLE is no different. “I'll Bury My Fucking Heroes Right Where I Stand” leans towards an overall theme of how we treat people of notoriaty in our society, but does this through vague sentiments of resentment, anger, and name calling. Lyrically, these projects are very base. The idea is to walk far out into the waters of petty, crass, offensive fightin' words.

4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Violent Asshole'?

I think people who consider themselves of any kind of “class” tend to judge other people that act on their animal instincts. You know, like how if you burp and someone goes, “Really great, man. That's disgusting.” I mean, we all burp, we all get mad, and we all want to choke the dude next to us sometimes. And, sometimes, we do. I've been in fights before and afterwards everyone gives me this huge lecture about how stupid what I did was. Whatever, it happens, that's life. So that's half of why I chose “VIOLENT ASSHOLE.” The other reason is it's a play on words. I'll let you guess the other meaning, but here's a hint: my body does not like most of the things I eat.

5.So far the music has been released on cassette and mp3, do you have any plans to expand to compact disc or vinyl in the future?

Probably not on CD. I've never liked CDs. Most likely yes on vinyl, though not with “I'll Bury My Heroes...”. I'm working on a 7” or a 10” called “Total Dick” that should be out by the end of the year, hopefully.

6.Has this musical project done any live shows or is this strictly a studio project?
I intend for VA to play out, but nothing as of yet.

7.According to the FB page, the band is signed to Ventilation Through A Grating, can you tell us a little bit more about this record label?

I started VTAG when I was about 18 or 19. I wanted a way to release my own records as well as those of my friends. It's sort of a catch-all label for anything I make or produce.

8.On a worldwide level how has the feedback to the musical project by fans of noise, sludge and grindcore?

This record and variation on the FUCK EVERYONE project is very fresh, so it's tough to say so far. I know that FUCK EVERYONE got a lot of solid attention and HYEO even more so. It seems like people are always willing to give something new and a bit out-of-the-ordinary a chance, and I do think grindcore is universally seen as an area that is receptive to interesting changes.

9.What is going on with the other musical projects these days that the band members are involved with?

Rusty is pretty much just living his personal life, which I think is great. If you can do it, do it. For me, I'm too antsy, so I'm doing VA and another band called Big Dumb Animal which is more like The Jesus Lizard, Swans, and Young Widows.

10.What direction do you see this project music wise heading into on future releases?

VA is going to be more conceptual and broad. I see more noises, samples, and weird changes. I whole-heartedly embrace the liberties of recording for this band – studio magic, if you will – especially because, in using a recorded component live, these little tidbits can easily be reproduced live.

11.What are some bands or musical styles that have had an influence on this band?

I think Brutal Truth, Pig Destroyer, Disrupt, Cattlepress, and Neurosis have been big influences, definitely.

12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?

Sure... eat fast, die young, leave a good looking ledger.

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