Friday, January 22, 2016

Traffic Death Interview

1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?
Garan: We're just a group of dudes from Des Moines who have been in the scene and known each other for awhile and have similar musical tastes and goals so we figured we all know the ropes so this could run pretty smoothly, and it has.
Brian: We all have a lot of different influences musically, be it punk rock, grind, thrash, doom etc., and I think all of those influences come through in our songwriting to make something fun that you can never really tell where it's going to go to next.
Nate: We are all guys who "Not to speak for everyone" but I feel that we want to do something different. Music has become sort of repetitive and uninspired not to mention it is often weak and lame. Traffic Death for me anyway is my way of combating that.
Andrew:  4 different dudes with 4 different 'tudes. We have a healthy appreciation of punk and metal and I think that is displayed in our jams.

2.Recently you have released an ep, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording?
Garan: We try not to be pigeon-holed into any particular sound. We are influenced by too many genres to want to stick to one all the time plus that gets boring to the listener I think. You can hear everything on this EP from pure old school hardcore and punk in some songs, speed/thrash in others and even good old classic rock and roll in our Girlschool cover of "Hit and Run"
Brian: I think it's a good next step from where we left off on the LP. You can tell we have definitely started to nail down our sound and style on this EP.
Nate: It's covers a lot of ground as far as what we do which is a little bit of everything we are into. There is everything from Violent Punk/Hardcore to riffing slower riffs, speed/thrash shredding and a cover of Girlschools NWOBHM classic "Hit & Run" I know its cliche but we don't pigeonhole what we do musically. Someone brings an idea to the table and it can either end up being a 3 minute song with multiple parts, a break and a solo or it can end up being a 30 second ripper. being that we listen to all kinds of stuff its easy to justify just about anything.
Andrew: I feel it's a form of crossover. I think people tend think of crossover as a "D.R.I." sound, but I think the EP reflects our punk/hardcore/metal enthusiasm.

3.Most of the band members have experience playing in other bands, what are some of the things you bring into the music of this group that you where not able to do with your other bands or projects?
Garan: Mostly it's just different riffing styles and influences that seperates my two bands. Mainly what I bring to the table in Traffic Death is fast guitar playing and solos. I try to keep the riffs and solos clean and solid so they are audible to the listener while making sure to have the attitude and aggression into the playing that this music needs. That is what is most important, without that attitude and raw fuckin aggression in your sound you might as well pack it up for a band like this.
Brian: I think at least with other bands Ive been in is that it's easy for things to kinda get stale and you just kinda start going through the motions when you practice or play shows and we all bring an energy and a drive to just keep things fresh and to always be working on something new.
Nate: For me I have always been very fortunate in the bands I have played with, other than one band I was always able to write whatever lyrics I wanted and scream or growl or whatever without any flack or negative feedback. I cant imagine being in a band that you are not allowed to work within your space in the way you want. If its not fun whats the point.
Andrew: Personally I don't feel inhibited with bringing riffs to the table. I've always brought my riffs in to practice and had confidence behind them. We can do whatever we want musically.

4.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?
Garan: Our vocalist can probably elaborate more than I can but generally the downfall of our civilization (idiocracy if you will), How people flat out can't drive to begin with and how technology is making it even worse while also elaborating on the many other things in life technology is taking all the fun out of, and of course plenty to do with bodies laying in twisted wreckage of course!
Brian: We all have a lot of different influences musically, be it punk rock, grind, thrash, doom etc., and I think all of those influences come through in our songwriting to make something fun that you can never really tell where it's going to go to next.
Nate: I have been writing a lot of lyrics about people and things that piss me off on a daily basis i.e. modern folks who live on their cell phone, base their importance on their number of facebook "friends" they have, overweight americans, people who start fights at shows, those who fuck people over on a regular basis, that mother fucker Cancer that seems to keep killing everyone and my battle with various things that try to get in my way. there are also songs about collecting VHS and Horror themes from my lifelong love of Horror Films. I feel that a lot of times horror movies are much easier to digest than the horrors that happen in real life, its an escape from true horror
Andrew: The horrors of real life death!

5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Traffic Death'?
Garan: See answer 4 combined with the fact that we have signs in Des Moines that inform us of how many traffic deaths have occured in Iowa this year to date. They also follow that with little slogans to remind us to drive better. One of them read "Buckle up, Don't be a Projectile" so that's where we got our first album title from.
Brian: Here in Iowa we have signs on the interstate that tell you how many people have died on the roads in the state so far for the year. It'll say like 87 Traffic Deaths this year. Sometimes they will have weird sayings displayed on them too which is where we also got the name for the LP and the song Don't Be A Projectile.
Nate: If you look at the B side of the new EP there is a vintage sign that used to be up in our downtown. It keeps track of how many people die every year on our roadways, this tradition goes back to the dawn of our freeways and highways. Now these signs hang over most Cities as you come into town and it will tell you the Traffic Death's for the year and you can watch that number rise each and every day.

6.What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and also how would you describe your stage performance?
Garan:I would describe our stage performance as being intense. I've always wanted to be part of one of those  bands where when you walk in halfway through their set it seems like you're walking into world war III or something. I think we have accomplished that with this band between the intensity of Nate's vocals and speed of our songs. We have played some great shows with In Defence, Lockgnar, Morbid Saint, Nekrofilth, Ghoul, and Phobia just to name a few.
Brian: Getting to play with Ghoul, Phobia and Nekrofilth was one of my favorite shows we've played, or any of the times we've played with The Lurking Corpses or In Defence. Both of those bands are always fun to play shows with. We try to create a lot of energy on stage when we play and use sound samples between songs to help keep that energy going and bang out songs really quickly so there isn't and wasted time on stage.
Nate: The other dudes already mentioned some highlights, also we have done shows with Savage Master and The Lurking Corpses who are both great. I think we have a high energy stage performance, people seem to get into it.
Andrew:I love every show we play, because "life is precious and god and the bible!" Seriously though, I just love to play and because of that love, we deliver the goods live on stage.

7.Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?
7.Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?
Garan: Our plan is to hit the road as often as we can. A couple of our members have responsibilities that are more important than being on the road right now but we hope to in the near future and we will be playing some short stints out of state occasionally.
Brian: There's always plans but nothing really set yet.
Nate: We plan on doing some shows regionally as soon as possible. We would like to do some full scale tours in the not so distant future, it's all based on timing.

8.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your recordings by fans of extreme music?
Garan: I have personally received message from the Philippines and Australia as well as all over the US. I think the word is spreading slowly but surely. In this line of music nothing happens overnight.
Brian: Everyone I've heard from seems to like what we're doing which is always good to hear. Grind Planet Tapes out of Malaysia I believe was awesome enough to release our new EP on tape with our LP.
Nate: People seem to dig it for the most part, some people don't get it like purist's, if your only into Grindcore or only into punk rock etc. it might be hard to understand what we are doing. I think it will make more sense as we keep releasing records.
Andrew: I've talked to people from Canada, the U.S. Vietnam, Mexico and England via Facebook about TD.

9.Are any of the band members also involved with any other bands or musical projects these days?
Garan: I am also in Dark Mirror which is somewhat of a mash up of NWOBHM and more moderately paced thrash tunes.
Brian: I play drums in a crossover punk band Nancy Grace Death Squad, and I'm also working on a couple other projects right now. One is more of like a New York Dolls/Stooges type project and the other is more of a straight up punk band.
Nate: I am currently only involved in this band.
Andrew:I have that second album in my sights!

10.When can we expect a full length album and also where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
Garan: We already have a full length LP out called "Don't be a Projectile". We are working on a split 7" right now with the Lurking Corpses and after that we will be working on a new LP.
Brian: We just got done recording for a split 7" with The Lurking Corpses and are going to be recording a couple songs for a local comp soon. So while we are working on songs for the comp we will also be writing songs for a new release whether it's an EP or LP.
Nate: We will be writing for a new record in coming months.
Andrew:I have that second album in my sights!

11.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
Garan: I mainly grew up listening to thrash because I thought it was the perfect marriage of aggressive music and talent and musicianship on your instrument but there was also soul and substance there which I found otjer types of metal seemed to lack sometimes. I also listened to plenty of Sabbath and Judas Priest during those times along with some influence from Buckethead and Zakk Wylde along the way. Nowadays I listen to almost all forms of extreme metal regularly but you're just as likely to catch me listening to Paul Simon, Bootsy Collins or Stanley Clarke as you are to catch me listening to thrash or punk album.
Brian: I always loved early '80's hardcore, skate punk and UK '82 stuff. Felix Griffin from DRI was one of the biggest influences when I first started playing drums. Lately I mostly listen to like the classic UK punk and oi! bands and also newer punk bands like Bad Engrish, The Defectives, Victory, Virgin Whores etc.
Nate: I am kind of influenced by everything I take in, which is pretty broad net ranging from Warfare, Death, Demolition Hammer, Satan, Spazz, Noothgrush, Fistula, Grief, The Dicks, Bad Brains, Autopsy, The Afternoon Gentlemen, Crude SS, Despise You, Splatterhouse, Razor, State of Fear, Assrash, Filth, Submachine ...This list could go on forever but the stuff I have been really digging on is extreme music that even thought the singer is screaming you can still tell what is being said. I think what mostly influences my lyric writing though is just being out in the world.
Andrew: I started out listening to a lot of 80'S hardcore when I  was coming up.  Negative Approach, Minor Threat and all that. Shortly after that I got heavy into Venom, Bathory and all that good stuff. However, Black Sabbath is king in my world! I still listen to the same stuff, but my mind has expanded to lots of 70's prog, pysch rock, old garage rock, jazz, etc.

12.What are some of your non musical interests?
Garan: Not much really. I feel almost possessed by music. Almost to the point of it being a burden. I enjoy hanging with good friends, traveling, cooking and grilling and an occasional hockey game.
Nate: I am really big into collecting VHS. I love going out and looking for tapes and watching old movies that nobody cares about, people always ask me if I saw or am going to see a new movie that has just been released. I have to tell them I am still trying to watch the 3,000+ Movies I have hoarded in my basement. I also am a screen printer and I run a VHS Company logo distro which can be found at

Andrew:Watching movies all the time, drinking all this beer and wine! Sit home and rot! Ha! Not all the time though!

13.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Garan: Not much to add. Thanks for the interview!
Brian: Check out our Facebook page for info about upcoming shows and releases or our bandcamp page at for free streaming of either of our records. You can order either of them off of there or on
Nate: Thanks for the support, Anyone looking to do trades for our LP AND 7" please contact me at:
Andrew:Thank you very much!

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