Open Mind Saturated Brain

Open Mind Saturated Brain

ZEGEMA BEACH RECORDS

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

APORIA

BandAPORIA
GenresPunk / Post-Rock / Post-Hardcore / Post-Metal / Emo / Screamo / Ambient
Related artists?.
CountryTczew POLAND
Years Active2006-present
Song: "Nie Odda"
Album: "Oddychaj"
Year: 2014
Label(s): Self Released / No Parasan Records / Last Records / DIY Kolo / Extinction Records / Pasażer / They Live! Records
This post's artist is from the April 2015 Mix. This is track #1.
You can download: the June Mix#6 right here or get the new July 2015 Mix#7 here.
For fans ofGantz, Amanda Woodward, Aussitot Mort, Milanku, Black Love, Envy, Light Bearer, Sed Non Satiata, Pastel, Nous Étions, RosettaIra and Locktender.

Massive, meandering and dreamy post-hardcore/post-metal from Poland. APORIA is a band I only know about because they requested to be reviewed, and as per usual with a good band submission I was quite surprised at how good this really is. Imagine Black Love, Gantz and Milanku prancing through a post-apocalyptic field of radioactive darkness. Or picture Pastel making out with Amanda Woodward. You could even mix Nous Étions, Envy and Aussitot Mort and you'd be pretty close. Damn, sometimes they even border on Ira's sound. Okay, enough comparisons. The band's early work is decent but doesn't really grab me with the serene melodies and sharp as shit hooks that the mid to later stuff boasts.

APORIA play atmospheric post-hardcore, post-metal and post-rock with a touch of screamo and quite a bit of spoken word. The first split with Dobry Dzien was released back in 2006 and is decent but doesn't hold its own when judged alongside everything that came afterwards, but that's okay! The band's progression to 2009's 'Gdzies Pomiedzy' is remarkable as they truly trimmed off all the fat that surrounded the earlier stuff. Tracks such as "Moja Perspektywa" have ridiculous ambient, dreamy parts that lead into the heavier, more indiscreet sections. "Èkrotka piosenka o...", "Wszystko Jest Takie Proste" and "Ta Jesien" follow the same improvements and are excellent songs that every reader should check out regardless of preconceived notions I may have created with the review.

APORIA sent me their new album 'Oddychaj' which was what first introduced me to the band. "Nie Odda" is strongly reminiscent of Black Love's opening song "Corps Étranger" on their recently released LP as both tracks feature building, atmospheric hardcore with seamless transitions to post-metal and screamo. This song picks the fuck up at 1:10 with the bass ringing out lone riffs until 1:28 when everything else comes crashing back in and is hella Envy. Absolutely stunning song that, unfortunately, isn't matched again in the following 8 tracks. That being said, the songs are good and interesting. The final track on 'Oddychaj' is also worth noting as it the post-hardcore lullaby "Krzyczeć tak" weaves a dream up until the one minute mark when things get a little heavier and at 1:25 the catchy, sprawling riffs join up and make this a killer song. A very strong album supported on either side by a great opener and closer.

I'm excited to see what their new stuff sounds like. Well done!

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DISCOGRAPHY

2006 - Dobry Dzien split cdEP (stream/donate/download here)

2009 - Gdzies Pomiedzy cdLP (stream/donate/download here and the bonus tracks here)

2014 - Oddychaj cd/12"LP (stream/buy here)

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(2014) APORIA - "Nie Odda" (from 'Oddychaj')

(2014) APORIA - "Krzyczeć tak" (from 'Oddychaj')

(2009) APORIA - "Moja Perspektywa" (from 'Gdzies Pomiedzy')

(2009) APORIA - "Wszystko Jest Takie Proste" (from 'Gdzies Pomiedzy')

(2006) APORIA - "Ile Możesz Czekać" (from 'Dobry Dzien' split)

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APORIA additional links
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Monday, 29 June 2015

WE WERE SKELETONS

GenresPunk / Hardcore / Post-Rock / Post-Hardcore / Emo / Screamo / Skramz
Related artistsSpill and Chalmers.
CountryLancaster, Pennsylvania USA
Years Active2006-2013
Song: "Disease Artist"
Album: "Blame and Aging"
Year: 2012
Label(s): Topshelf Records / Strabismus Tapes / Tall Cedar Tapes / Black With Sap / Chumpire / Square Of Opposition Records / I Heard You Hate Caskets
This post's artist is from the April 2015 Mix. This is track #2.
You can download: the June Mix#6 right here or get the new July 2015 Mix#7 here.
For fans ofOff Minor, Maths, Tipping Canoe, (old) Rye Coalition, Ampere, Loma Prieta, The Saddest Landscape, Forstella Ford, Fugazi, Shotmaker, The Usual, GRYSCL, People's Temple Project, HugsThe ExplosionSecret Smoker, Wolverines, Ravin and Yage aka PROPER SCREAMO.

They band was a lively 3-piece that hailed from Pennsylvania in the USA and released quite a bit of material from 2007 until 2012. The dual vocals and jarring time signatures were a few key ingredients to the band's sound, which they refer to as Fugazi meets Shotmaker, but I would have to say they sound a whole hell of a lot like Off Minor, with less jazz and clean parts. The band's middle material was more in the Ampere and Loma Prieta spectrum while the final album lends itself more towards Off Minor with a heavy Fugazi shift.

WE WERE SKELETONS were around for more than six years but I didn't really hear about them being discussed online until 2012 when they were set to release "Blame and Aging". The band's early material is, simply put, more interesting. Don't get me wrong, I really like some songs from their final foray into post-hardcore/screamo territory but their early, more aggressive and straightforward approach to spastic, driving screamy hardcore was a damn near perfect recipe.

I'll quickly list my favourite tracks. Appearing first on the 'Ryan Oatman' cd/cassette from 2009 titled "Who Are All of These Children and Why Are They Calling Me Their Mother?" is amazing. From 1:30 it is easily the best part WE WERE SKELETONS ever wrote. The cities and skyline vocals mix with the dreamy, midwestern clean screamo riffs to create a breathtaking section of the track. "Moleman Punched a Cop" originally appeared on the band's 4-way split with Florence & Libby, Kids and Paxton and is a stellar song. The grooving, GRYSCL meets People's Temple Project intro is a thing of beauty. The start-stop nature of the screamier and more chaotic parts helps balance this song perfectly. "Wolves" doesn't even make it to the one minute mark but holy hell it packs a wallop and isn't too far from sounding like "Drawn From the Houses I've Burnt" which in turn kinda sounds like Ampere, 'Descent'-era Maths and reminds me of early Loma Prieta"Disease Artist" is similar to "Moleman Punched a Cop" but accentuates the brief lulls and has created their most complete song. "Slow Death" is very Fugazi sounding that really reaches a sexy climax at 1:38. The band also did a pretty decent cover of Refused's "Summerholiday vs. Punk Routine" which just happened to be the first or second song I ever heard by that seminal Swedish outfit.

So yeah, good is good. In fact, they are amazing. But considering the band's discography these are the only ones I still jam. If they were more consistent (in the subjective Book of Dave) I would be much more ecstatic in the review (although I probably sounded pretty pumped, and rightfully so), but instead it's kind of like I Hate Myself, there are a handful of classics and a dusty box full of indifferent tracks.

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DISCOGRAPHY

2007 - Summers LP (stream/download here)

2009 - Ryan Oatman cd/cassetteEP (download here)

2010 - We Were Skeletons cd/12"LP (stream/buy here)
2011 - мища split 7"EP (stream/buy here)

2011 - 4-Way split 12"LP (w/Florence & Libby, Kids and Paxton)
2011 - The Saddest Landscape split 7"EP (stream/buy here)
2011 - European Tour tapeLP (stream/buy here)

2012 - Blame and Aging cd/12"LP (stream/buy here)

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(2012) WE WERE SKELETONS - "Disease Artist" (from 'Blaming and Aging')

(2012) WE WERE SKELETONS - "Slow Death" (from 'Blaming and Aging')

(2011) WE WERE SKELETONS - "Who Are All of These Children and Why Are They Calling Me Their Mother?" (from 'European Tour Tape')

(2010) WE WERE SKELETONS - "Drawn From the Houses I've Burnt" (from 'We Were Skeletons')

(2010) WE WERE SKELETONS - "Kids" (from 'We Were Skeletons')
(2010) WE WERE SKELETONS - "Wolves" (from 'мища' split)

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WE WERE SKELETONS Bandcamp link
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Saturday, 27 June 2015

SUFFOCATE FOR FUCK SAKE

GenresPunk / Sludge / Post-Rock / Post-Hardcore / Post-Metal / Screamo / Doom / Ambient / Crust
Related artistsEphemera and probably some others.
CountrySWEDEN
Years Active2004-2008
Song: "Empty"
Album: "Blazing Fires And Helicopters On The Frontpage Of The Newspaper. There's A War Going On And I'm Marching In Heavy Boots"
Year: 2008
Label(s): Self Released / Escucha! Records / Blue Grass Records
This post's artist is from the April 2015 Mix. This is track #11.
You can download: the June Mix#6 right here or get the new July 2015 Mix#7 here.
For fans ofYoung Mountain, Ephemera, City Of CaterpillarCorea, Angel Eyes, OsoLuna, Welcome The Plague Year, Isis, Old Man Gloom, Envy, Ira, Godspeed! You, Black Emperor, Aereogramme, Sigur Ros, Cult Of Luna, Old Soul and Mogwai aka PROPER SCREAMO.

I don't what the hell happened. I love Swedish screamo. I've loved screamo for well over a decade now but had never heard SUFFOCATE FOR FUCK SAKE until 2014 when Justin from Congratulations, New Wings and Woodlouse lent me their double LP and I became entranced. This is some very deep, meaningful and unique shit. What does it sound like? Crusty, unnerving  noise harnessed with screamo and hardcore mix beautifully with the ambient, dense instrumentals and clean vocals that bring ambient/atmospheric music, post-rock and post-hardcore to mind. The ridiculously titled album "Blazing Fires And Helicopters On The Frontpage Of The Newspaper. There's A War Going On And I'm Marching In Heavy Boots" is so good you must check it out. That's a goddamn command ;) I'll quickly go through each track from it.

"Blue Lights and Sunshines" begins with an eerie, Isis-esque beginning over Swedish movie samples that I can't understand. Regardless, it's effective as all hell. The remaining instrumentals then join the mix and at 3:30 the clean singing makes a debut, and it fits perfectly. "Today I saw the ground started to shake." It should be noted that prior to this there were no clean bits from the primary vocalist, just screaming. It's quite a progressive intro. At 4:10 the screaming meets up right on time with the crashing instrumentals and carries the song to the most logical and epic conclusion. "I Got Worried...I Was So Freaking Scared Of That Window, You Know" is a pretty chill and rolling number that could have shown up on the Isis/Aereogramme split that came out about 10 years ago. The clean vocals on this are fantastic and the song itself is really dreamy and reminds me of Ira's later material. "We Are Driving Through Darkness" is one of the heaviest and best songs the band ever did. It clocks in at 6:36 but wastes no time getting Old Man Gloom heavy. It's a deep, driving and haunting number that dips into a sweet melodic section (and again halfway through the song) before pummeling the listener a second time at 1:13 and lacquering the sound with Isis/Rosetta and City Of Caterpillar. There is an angelic clean ending that starts at 5:04 and is a beautiful if not oddly placed finale. "Twenty-Six and Full of Plans" is a whopping 17:20 in duration and it leaves no stone unturned for the band. Everything is here, and it is breathtaking. "A Japanese Flag" is weird and more in line with being an experimental, industrial, electronic tune. "I Keep My Eyes On The Ground, Afraid Of Meeting Someone I Know" sounds like a mix of Mogwai and Pelican (aka soft, dreamy, expansive) and is a purely instrumental jam. "Empty" is the shortest and definitely the most chaotic and driving song so it's the one I chose for the blog mix last month. The chug breakdown at 1:50 with the harsh vocals are fantastic and make me fucking loopy when combined with the epic, Omega Massif/Light Bearer-esque space guitars overlapping at 2:31. Holy hell that's good stuff. The closer "They Try To Cheer Me Up By Saying I Did Once Live A Functioning Life" is more than 10 minutes of dreamy, hazy and writhing soundscapes, but maintains a structure so that it stays interesting without becoming self-indulgent.

I've only just found out about the 2004 self-titled EP because of reviewing the band for this review. Regardless of our short time together, two songs in particular resonate with me. "Hospital  H  The Social Worker Dragon" is an prodigious gust of violent, swirling wind that encircles the listener for over 11 minutes. "Lesra" is long, at more than 8 minutes but the latter half is more audio clip than song (although the piano is really cool). I really dig the caustic sound and claustrophobic feel of that first half, with some occasional breathing room (check 0:40-1:42).

Don't be a Dave and be in the dark for a long time - download both albums here. For more info on the Swedish audio clips and how they relate to the albums read up on it here.

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DISCOGRAPHY
Click )==>here<==( to download the band's complete discography in mp3 form.

2004 - Suffocate For Fuck Sake cdLP

2008 - Blazing Fires And Helicopters On The Frontpage Of The Newspaper. There's A War Going On And I'm Marching In Heavy Boots cd/2x12"LP

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(2008) SUFFOCATE FOR FUCK SAKE - "Blue Lights and Sunshine" (from 'Blazing Fires And Helicopters On The Frontpage Of The Newspaper. There's A War Going On And I'm Marching In Heavy Boots')

(2008) SUFFOCATE FOR FUCK SAKE - "Empty" (from 'Blazing Fires...')

(2008) SUFFOCATE FOR FUCK SAKE - "We Are Driving Through Darkness" (from 'Blazing Fires...')

(2004) SUFFOCATE FOR FUCK SAKE - "Hospital  H  The Social Worker Dragon" (from 'Suffocate For Fuck Sake')

(2004) SUFFOCATE FOR FUCK SAKE - "Lesra" (from 'Suffocate For Fuck Sake')

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SUFFOCATE FOR FUCK SAKE out of print mp3 discography download / additional links

(download here)

LastFM

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Tuesday, 23 June 2015

LAKMÉ

BandLAKMÉ
GenresPunk / Post-Rock / Post-Hardcore / Post-Metal / Emo / Screamo / Hardcore
Related artistsDahkma, Gattaca, Marnost, Osawatomie, Remek!úl.., and Kung-Fu Girlz.
CountryPrague CZECH REPUBLIC
Years Active2006-2009
Song: "Nech ci Dovolenou, Chchi Volnost"
Album: "Lakmé"
Year: 2007
Label(s): Waking The Dead Records / Pure Heart Records / Heart On Fire Records / Samuel Records / Desertion Records / Boo! / Revolution Summer / Codex Records / IdeozloCin.cz / Patches Vs. Buttons / Hitchin' To Revolution Records / Kill The Traitor / Mates Prokop / Trapped Inside Records / Samuel Records / Via Immunita / Mente Captus / OVxHC Records / Burning Music / Randall Records / I Love Posers Records / Máma Records / OSK Records / Quatuka Records / In Limine / TDD Records / Petit Chantier Records / J' Apelle Les Flics / Chucky The Rat Records / TRVS Records
This post's artist is from the April 2015 Mix. This is track #10.
You can download: the June Mix#6 right here or get the new July 2015 Mix#7 here.
For fans of: Aussitot Mort, Amanda Woodward, The Flying Worker!, Gantz, Danse Macabre, Violent Breakfast, Aporia, Daitro, Funeral Diner, Breag NaofaBökanövsky, Mr. Willis Of Ohio, Sed Non Satiata, Lentic Waters, Mihai Edrisch, Dip LegNionde Plågan, and Envy aka PROPER SCREAMO.

Oh man, I love me some Euro screamo/post-hardcore/post-metal. LAKMÉ hit a few grand slams with their brief but extensive discography from 2006 till 2009. I would strongly recommend downloading the Anthology/Discography here. The band perfectly sustained a straddling of multiple genres while being both heavy and melodic simultaneously. If you listen to bands like Amanda Woodward, Gantz and The Flying Worker! you'll probably be all over this.

"První píseň o naději" is my personal favourite and is one of three new/unreleased tracks taken from the posthumous 'Anthology' collection. This song is siiiiick, as it'll have you bobbing along to the (dare I say it) downright dancey stop/start riffing that makes the opening verses so goddamn catchy. This isn't soft by any means, but instead sounds like Rosetta meets Funeral Diner. Simply amazing track. "Bludičky" is another ripper that screams The Flying Worker!, Danse Macabre and Gantz while "Nechci dovolenou, chci volnost" steals the show from the band's debut LP with a sweet audio clip from a movie before the face-melting that lends to The Flying Worker! more than any other band I've ever heard.

So basically LAKMÉ played harsh, passionate European screamo/hardcore with both pretty and distorted parts. Definitely not to be missed.

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DISCOGRAPHY
Click )==>here<==( to download the band's complete discography.

2006 - Demo

2007 - Lakmé cdLP (buy here)

2008 - Lakmé cdEP (stream here)

2010 - Bökanövsky split 7"EP
2010 - Anthology cdr (discography) (stream/donate/download here)

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(2010) LAKMÉ - "První píseň o naději" (from 'Anthology')

(2007) LAKMÉ - "Nech ci Dovolenou, Chchi Volnost" (from 'Lakmé' LP)

(2007) LAKMÉ - "Bludičky" (from 'Lakmé' LP)

(2008) LAKMÉ - "Stálo to za to" (from 'Lakmé' EP)

(2008) LAKMÉ - "100.000 stránek" (from 'Lakmé' EP)

(2010) LAKMÉ - "Naučil jsem se nevidět tě celou" (from 'Bökanövsky' split)

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LAKMÉ out of print mp3 discography download / additional links

(download here)

LastFM

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Sunday, 21 June 2015

FORENSICS

BandFORENSICS
GenresPunk / Rock / Hardcore / Thrash / Doom / Post-Hardcore / Post-Metal / Instrumental / Improv / Ambient
Related artistsCorn On Macabre, Worn In Red, Aughra, Big China & Little Trouble, Bleach Everything, Meditative Sect, Pg.99, Tideland, Machu Picchu Mother Future, Souvenir's Young America, Textbook Traitors, Admiral, Burning Airlines, Jack Potential, New Idea Society, Old Man Gloom, Zozobra and Waifle.
CountryVirginia USA
Years Active2003-2009
Song: "Boat Day at the Marina"
Album: "On A Bridge Atop the Heap of Friends Who Jumped"
Year: 2003
Label(s): Magic Bullet Records / Electric Human Project / Sanctuary Records / 
This post's artist is from the April 2015 Mix. This is track #4.
You can download: the June Mix#6 right here or get the new July 2015 Mix#7 here.
For fans ofOld Man Gloom, Waifle, Corn On Macabre, Pg.99, Versoma, We Were Skeletons, Zozobra, City Of Caterpillar, Isis, Shahman, Akimbo, Maserati, Pelican, Mogwai, Hot Water Music and Tigershark.

Alrighty then, I can make this quick. FORENSICS was headed by Magic Bullet Records guru Brent Eyestone with a bunch of other, rotating members. They went through a few stages. The beginning was really good punk/hardcore/post-metal with hints of doom and some instrumetal stuff aka Old Man Gloom meets Versoma. Then they went really improv/instrumental aka Mogwai. Then they went classical? Kinda. Then busted out a final EP with a mix of their old stuff and a sludgy, Hot Water Music vibe. It's not bad it just seems to careen more towards Hot Water Music meets Tigershark with questionable vocals (at times). There was also that split with Kelly Osbourne, bleh. But, that early stuff is really fucking good. The song from their first EP "Boat Day at the Marina" is fucking genius, with that soft bass and guitar interlude beginning at 2:04 which could be liked to a Neil Perry instrumental jam. It climbs with the bass and, seriously, it's so fucking good. The bass kinda reminds me of Serotonin's stuff.

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DISCOGRAPHY

2003 - On A Bridge Atop the Heap of Friends Who Jumped cdEP (stream/buy here)

2004 - Things to Do When You Should Be Dead Anyway 12"LP (stream/buy here)
2004 - Has Anyone Unknown to You Handled or Touched This Record? 7"EP (well, have they? and do you have mp3s? please post them!)

2005 - Textbook Traitors split 12"LP
2005 - Hogback Mountain Sessions Vol. 1 12"EP (stream/donate/download here)
2005 - Kelly Osbourne split 7" (stream/donate/download here)

2007 - The Green Lion 7"EP (anyone have this?)

2009 - Sonic Victimization Unit "Deathscream" cdEP (anyone have this?)

2010 - You Don't Have to Win, But You Have to Fight cd/??EP (stream/buy here)



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(2002) FORENSICS - "Boat Day at the Marina" (demo) (from 'On A Bridge Atop the Heap of Friends Who Jumped')

(2002) FORENSICS - "So There's this Movie Called 'Corvette Summer'" (from 'On A Bridge Atop the Heap of Friends Who Jumped')

(2003) FORENSICS - "How's the View from Sugar Heaven, Bitch?" (from 'Things To Do When You Should Be Dead Anyway')

(2003) FORENSICS - "Welcome to Your Doom" (from 'Things To Do When You Should Be Dead Anyway')

(2005) FORENSICS - "Daytime Minutes" (from 'Textbook Traitors' split)

(2005) FORENSICS - "Eldon Diesel Rides Again" (from 'Hogtown Mountain Sessions Vol. 1')

(2009) FORENSICS - "Swallowing" (from 'You Don't Have to Win, But You Have to Fight')

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FORENSICS additional links

Magic Bullet Records (bandcamp)
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Wednesday, 17 June 2015

OSOLUNA

BandOSOLUNA
GenresPunk / Post-Rock / Post-Hardcore / Black-Metal / Emo / Screamo / Ambient
Related artists?.
CountryTorrelavega SPAIN
Years Active2014-present
Song: "La Belleza del Vuelo"
Album: "OsoLuna"
Year: 2015
Label(s): Dingleberry Records / Walking Is Still Honest Records / Upwind Production / Suspended Soul Tapes and Records / Lifeisafunnything / Krimskramz / Unlock Yourself Records / Musichole Records / Theia Records / Koepfen Records / Nostalgia Records / Samegrey Records / KTC Domestic Productions / Gato Encerrado Records
This post's artist is from the April 2015 Mix. This is track #3.
You can download: the June Mix#6 right here or get the new July 2015 Mix#7 here.
For fans ofWelcome The Plague YearCoreaGuidelines, The Assistant, Neil Perry, Track Of Monarchs, ...Who Calls So Loud, Funeral Diner, Old Soul, Envy, Amygdala, Viva BelgradoAmber, Circle Takes The Square, Deers and Angel Eyes aka PROPER SCREAMO.

For a debut release, let alone full length LP, this is goddamn ridiculous. OSOLUNA combine so many elements of post-hardcore, screamo and ambiance together with the perfect balance of everything. There are major nods to Welcome The Plague Year, Corea and Guidelines but they are definitely their own wolf...errrr, beast. The opener on the 2015 self titled LP 'OsoLuna' titled "La Belleza del Vuelo" is an instant classic. The entire thing is great but the vocal-only delivery at 1:58 that directly precedes a killer combo of dreamy breakdowns and excellently timed screams is one of the best moments of 2015. "El Poder" has a strong Welcome The Plague Year vibe that includes some clean singing which is good, but not as captivating as the screaming, especially when they do the male/female back and forth screaming - holy moly! This song also begins with one of the fastest moments on the record that includes the dual screaming I was talking about. "Como Gotas de Agua" begins with an Amber-ish, dreamy, instrumental passage that blows up at 1:16 and again at 2:44 after some beautiful spoken word bits. I love hearing Italian spoken, sung and screamed. The closer "Miradas" begins with a haunting account of suicide over piano and eventually guitar. At 37 seconds the song really kicks in and again just absolutely slays. I seriously don't know what else to say, this is absolutely incredible.

A short, shitty story. There was a time when the band sent me three songs and asked if I could help release this LP as Zegema Beach Records. I was so strapped for cash I basically had to say no before listening to it. It wasn't until I sat down with it one night and jammed it properly which caused my jaw to drop that I've regretted my lack of finding a way to help with that release. I should have sold rare records to make it happen. Dammit. Ah well, it's out there and it's one of the best records of 2015, hands down.

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DISCOGRAPHY

2015 - OsoLuna cassette/12"LP (stream/donate/download here)

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(2015) OSOLUNA - "La Belleza del Vuelo" (from 'OsoLuna')

(2015) OSOLUNA - "El Poder" (from 'OsoLuna')

(2015) OSOLUNA - "Miradas" (from 'OsoLuna')

(2015) OSOLUNA - "Como Gotas de Agua" (from 'OsoLuna')

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OSOLUNA additional links

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Tuesday, 16 June 2015

*** WILL KILLINGSWORTH exclusive interview ***

WILL KILLINGSWORTH exclusive interview

Will Killingsworth - a name synonymous with excellent music. A question that pops up in my head nowadays is, what exactly do I associate him with primarily? I first heard his name over a decade ago when I started listening to Ebullition releases and he became a name I associated with Orchid. After that I found out about Bucket Full Of Teeth and I've been obsessed ever since. Next up was the band he still plays in, Ampere, But it doesn't stop there, because he also spends some of his time running the extremely influential record label called Clean Plate Records and a few years ago reformed with most of the previous Orchid members under the name Ritual Mess. Oh, I almost left out his recording/mastering/mixing stuff with Dead Air Studios. In the end, there is no need to try and classify him nor specifically associate him with any single project because that would pigeonholing. He's just a very talented and passionate person who has been involved in the punk/diy community for 20 years. After meeting him at the Austin Blood Alliance Fest in early 2015 we were able to set up this interview that he graciously took the time to answer.

1) What was the first musical experience you remember having?
I honestly don't really have a striking first musical experience that I can recall.  I do remember at a young age wanting to tape a copy of my parents Beach Boys LP so that I could listen to it.  I think that was my first attempt at having any sort of music of my own. 

2) Can you guide us through your musical/influence history?
As perhaps could be noted by my Beach Boys tape dubbing, surf was strangely the first kind of music I felt any personal draw to, and I had some Ventures and Surf compilation tapes.  Then I kind of drifted a bit without anything really sticking until Guns N' Roses and Def Leppard and other hair metal, which I was into for a few years.  I'm not sure how I encountered the Ramones, but they were the first punk band I heard, not that I was really aware of punk in any kind of way.  Weirdly they also kind of made sense to me because they covered a few surf classics, which I already liked!  Anyways, in eighth grade I heard the Dead Kennedys from a friend and that was kind of a game changer, though I remained oblivious to any current punk until a couple of years later. I moved to Birmingham Alabama for four years from age 15-19 and it was the small punk record shop there (Next Door Records R.I.P.) that I got into a pretty wide variety of d.i.y. / punk, and it's just kind of continued from there.

3) What do you spend your free time doing?
Free time?  Well, there's not much of it, but when it's not winter I like hiking.  About six months ago I committed to taking one day off a week where I don't work on anything, which to be honest was a bit of a struggle for me, and I don't always achieve it, but it's definitely been a positive change. 

4) What do you usually talk about with your friends?
Hmmm, who knows? Current developments in each other's lives? music? vegan grub? maybe gear?  I'm very bad at talking about myself, so I usually try not to do it that much.  I also am bad at making lists of favorites, or top tens, that's just not how my brain works.

5) Tell us about the running of Clean Plate records.
Clean Plate normally doesn't have much work to do in terms of running it.  For the past several years I've pretty much exclusively released music made by friends and when it makes sense for all parties.  What that really means is that I only have a couple of releases every couple of years.  This year is the 20th anniversary of the label, which is kind of crazy though.  Essentially the label is whatever I want it to be, and sometimes that means it's dormant for long stretches of time. 

6) What are your thoughts on the word screamo or skramz?
Both seem like bad jokes to me, though I realize they work as valid genre names for some people. 

7) Do you generally write the guitar parts or does your creativity extend to other instruments as well?
I think bands work best as collaborative efforts.  I'm always open to suggestions on guitar riffs, and I've certainly been known to suggest a drum or bass part, or vocal placement, but I wouldn't say I "wrote" those parts.  On the other hand, I play drums on DEMONBROTHER, and Won't Belong recordings, and bass on Vaccine, and wrote those parts, at least for the most part. 

8) BUCKET FULL OF TEETH is one of my favourite bands of all time, what could you tell us about that project? Will you guys ever do another record? (I can dream...)
That project was unusual for me.  I would write a lot of the song concepts in my head, or on paper, not using a guitar, but trying to map it out conceptually.  Mainly I was trying to push what I felt were the bounds of punk/hardcore, but also to clearly stay within it.  I'm not sure how well we achieved that, and I'm not sure how many people appreciated our approach, but that was the goal.  I think it's safe to say there won't be another record, but for anyone who digs that stuff, I'd suggest they check out the band No Faith that I'm in, it's probably the most similar musical project I've been involved in.  

9) What new music influences you?
Well, influence can be subconscious and isn't always that obvious, so as far a recent music and current bands that I'm into and probably influences me in one way or another: The Estranged, Gas Chamber, Tenement, Naomi Punk, Radioactivity, Mount Eerie, Latishia's Skull Drawing, Big Eyes, Ukiah Drag, Total Control, Mothercountry Motherfuckers, The #1s, Broken Water, Institute, Kurt Vile, Milk Music, etc, etc, and local bands like Neutral Fixation, Psychic Blood, Urochromes, California X, and Magik Markers to name a few!

10) How was AMPERE first conceived?
It was pretty simple, we all moved into the same house together and decided it would be fun to do a 'house band.'  I think our idea was to be noisy, not in terms of actual "noise", but just in having some parts that were somewhat abstract, and chaotic.  That idea kind of changed relatively quickly, as like most bands, we started figuring out what we were actually doing once we were doing it, or at least there's nothing abstract in our music any more, but I think it's still about pursuing our own original way to create chaotic music. 

11) You only tour about once a year (from what I remember Stephen saying), what are the band's obstacles from increasing that? Or does AMPERE enjoy only playing a few shows a year?
Assuming we're just talking about Ampere, at this point it's just a matter of juggling peoples jobs, vacation time, family, etc.  I would love for Ampere to play more, but it's more complicated than that.  We have been playing more in the past year or two than we were for a couple of years before that. 

12) I assume ORCHID is still a band/subject that gets brought up a lot. Is that in the past for you, or do you enjoy discussing about those times?
Well, Orchid is certainly in the past, but I don't have any ill feelings towards that past, and am still in touch with all of those guys to one extent or another.  I'm not one to feel super nostalgic, or pretend that being in that band was much different than being in any other band.

13) What is happening with LONGINGS?
We have an LP that has been slowly being pressed thanks to backlogged pressing plants, but it should be out in September on Framework (US) and Echo Canyon (FR).  We'll be touring to Philly/Cleveland/Chicago/Toronto/Montreal at the end of August (with copies of the European Pressing with us), and plan to go to the West Coast this winter. 

14) What is next for Will Killingsworth?
New music in the works from DEMONBROTHER and No Faith, as well as a newer project Absolute Power. For the new No Faith LP features Dave Witte's amazing drumming and I'm really excited about that.  Absolute Power is with most of the line-up of Veins and Chris (Aerosols, Suburbanite, Wasteland, etc) doing vocals.  Meanwhile I plan on recording and mastering a lot of bands, if all continues to go well!  I've been doing a fair amount of mixing for bands for recordings that were done elsewhere and it's a cool challenge that I hope to continue to do more of.  

Sunday, 14 June 2015

TYRANNY OF SHAW

GenresPunk / Grindcore / Screamo / Hardcore / Thrash / Metal / Emo-violence
Related artistsCapsule, Torche, Maruta, Shitstorm, Monarcs, Mehkahgo N.T., Caveman Cult, Post Teens and Tunes For Bears To Dance To.
CountryMiami, Florida USA
Years Active2001-2004
Song: "Lost in Arcadia"
Album: "Mutation comp"
Year: 2003
Label(s): Goodbye Blue Skies / Robotic Empire / Init Records / Speedowax Records / Controlled By Robots / Chance Records
This post's artist is from the April 2015 Mix. This is track #5.
You can download: the June Mix#6 right here or get the new July 2015 Mix#7 here.
For fans ofAdvocate, Phoenix Bodies, Francis Brady, Clancy Six, (old) Botch, Crestfallen, Majority Rule, Hassan I Sabbah, Enkephalin, Oktober Skyline, Pg.99, Sutek ConspiracyEd Gein, Swan Of Tuonela, Curl Up And Die and Ostraca aka PROPER SCREAMO.

Violent, screamy hardcore/grind/metal from Florida active from 2001 until 2004. Obscure as shit and a really good band to boot, you'd be crazy not to check TYRANNY OF SHAW out if you like Advocate, Clancy Six, Enkephalin, Crestfallen and Pg.99. The grindy, metal and abrasive thrash mix nicely with the emo-violence/screamo vocals. It's too bad more than half of their discography is hard to find and/or not on the internet. I've had three of the releases for almost a decade now so I'll post those but if anyone has any of the other stuff for the love of science please post it.

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DISCOGRAPHY
Click )==>here<==( to download 5 of the band's records in mp3 form.

2001 - Demo cdEP
2001 - Tyranny Of Shaw cdEP

2002 - Untitled 3"cdEP
2002 - Florida Underground compilation (contributed "Wave Goodbye")

2003 - Stars in Camouflage cdEP
2003 - Mutation compilation cdLP (contributed "Grendel" and "Lost in Arcadia")

2004 - Phoenix Bodies split 7"EP

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(2003) TYRANNY OF SHAW - "Lost in Arcadia" (from 'Mutation' comp)

(2004) TYRANNY OF SHAW - "Routing Her Convulsions" (from 'Phoenix Bodies' split)

(2003) TYRANNY OF SHAW - "Grendel" (from 'Mutation' comp)

(2002) TYRANNY OF SHAW - "Wave Goodbye" (from 'Florida Underground' comp)

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TYRANNY OF SHAW five out of print records' mp3 download / additional links

(download here)

LastFM
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JUDE THE OBSCURE

GenresPunk / Metalcore / Math-Metal / Hardcore
Related artists: ?.
CountryGrimsby, Ontario CANADA
Years Active1998-2004
Song: "Wake Up My Love"
Album: "The Coldest Winter"
Year: 2003
Label(s): OneDaySavior Records / Punkx Without Mohawks / Defiance Records
This post's artist is from the April 2015 Mix. This is track #12.
You can download: the June Mix#6 right here or get the new July 2015 Mix#7 here.
For fans ofFrom A Second Story Window, (old) Hopesfall, The End, Poison The WellAlexisonfireKillswitch Engage(old) This Day Forward, Protest The Hero, The Bled, Lyed, Converge and Beloved.

JUDE THE OBSCURE were a chaotic, violent and occasionally melodic metalcore band from the early 2000s around the Niagara region in Ontario, Canada. The band's songs were generally around the five-minute mark and involved chuggy breakdowns, some intricate/spacey parts and a whole lotta screaming that borders on sounding like puking. Oh, and on very rare occasions some decent clean vocals were sprinkled on there.

There is absolutely zero point in me doing any kind of history, as Abridged Pause has done an exceptional job at researching that and doing very investigative writing regarding the band, tensions and shows. Check it out here. The first demo is weak. The split cd okay. The LP is quite good. I also had the pleasure of seeing them live in Guelph at the Trasheteria late 2003 as I picked up their cd and still have it. Solid dudes whose tenure as a band was too short.

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DISCOGRAPHY
Click )==>here<==( to download the band's complete discography in mp3/wma form.

1999 - A New Life of Painful Sin cdEP

2001 - A Perfect Place Vol.1 (split w/Burial Faith) cdEP

2003 - The Coldest Winter cdLP

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(2003) JUDE THE OBSCURE - "Fingernails and Lampshades" (from 'The Coldest Winter')

(2003) JUDE THE OBSCURE - "Wake Up My Love" (from 'The Coldest Winter')

(2003) JUDE THE OBSCURE - "Eyes Bat Lash" (from 'The Coldest Winter')

(2001) JUDE THE OBSCURE - "Words On a Dirty Pane - Dissolution 1" (from 'A Perfect Place Vol.1')

(1999) JUDE THE OBSCURE - "Blue Static" (from 'A New Life of Painful Sin')

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JUDE THE OBSCURE out of print mp3 discography download / additional links

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Wednesday, 10 June 2015

BOAK

BandBOAK
GenresPunk / Hardcore / Thrash / Crust / Powerviolence
Related artists?.
CountryAberdeen UNITED KINGDOM
Years Active2014-present
Song: "Atheist"
Album: "Boak"
Year: 2015
Label(s): Black Lake Records / Friendly Otter
This post's artist is from the April 2015 Mix. This is track #6.
You can download: the June Mix#6 right here or get the new July 2015 Mix#7 here.
For fans ofFucking Invincible, Graf Orlock, Greyskull, Left Astray, Tragedyмятеж, Jenny Piccolo, Callow, Protestant, Advent, Lavotchkin and Glassing.

BOAK is a powerviolence band, plain and simple. Headed by Black Lake Records guru Ewan Cameron, they blast through six songs in six minutes. The instrumentals are fast and pounding, like bombs going off in subterranean caverns while the vocals are bitter and scathing. Jam these songs. Then jam all six on their bandcamp. Then grab the record. I'd write more but they've just got the one album and I don't listen to much powerviolence so the "For fans of:" section is utter garbage. I do know this, I dig.

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DISCOGRAPHY

2015 - Boak 7"EP (stream/buy here)

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(2015) BOAK - "Atheist" (from 'Boak')

(2015) BOAK - "E.S.F.C.B." (from 'Boak')

(2015) BOAK - "Protein" (from 'Boak')

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BOAK additional links

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Monday, 8 June 2015

*** BACK WHEN exclusive interview ***


"We’d write some songs, perform them and have great momentum, release the record then fall apart. Sometimes not practicing for months at a time. “Wasted” comes to mind a lot when thinking of our potential."

Let's talk about the best EP ever, shall we? Not only did BACK WHEN release an eclectic collection of masterpieces, but 'Swords Against The Father' will forever be the greatest EP I've ever heard. The four songs of spastic, grindy, spacey and screamy hardcore are the most hard-hitting and beautiful bouts of chaos ever put to wax, in my opinion. In the very least check out the opening track embedded at the top of this post. If it tickles your fancy then move onto the very eloquent and revealing interview below. Here's an excerpt that explains how one of the most technical, heavy records I've ever heard is based off of Radiohead's 'Hail to the Thief'!

"I was listening heavily to Hail to the Thief at the time, by Radiohead. The foundation for much of those songs was me deconstructing the guitar/bass compositions of those Hail To The Thief songs and thinking, 'These are fucking genius. I know I can write similarly but grindy and fast.'

I would also highly recommend checking out the lengthy discography review that I posted here, as included in the review is an interview with Init Records founder Steven Williams, the label that helped release most of BACK WHEN's catalogue.

Here's the new, exclusive, posthumous interview with Jon and Joe from BACK WHEN. Enjoy!



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Jonathan Tvrdik (guitar)

How did Back When get started?
We started out, believe it or not, as a semi-tongue-in-cheek posi-core band. We had all played in Hydrahead-esque metal/hardcore bands in the 90’s and early 2000’s and wanted to do something different, whether we articulated that or not. Additionally, we started to become the older gents at hxc shows, something that anyone who has ever been involved in punk knows is an odd thing to witness. When you go from the kid’s table, trying to prove yourself, to the jaded punks leaning against the wall watching the bands unamused its a real sobering/jading experience. At any rate, we saw throngs of new Converge-devotees pouring out of the woodwork, a space we had narrowly occupied ourselves in the midwest, and selfishly thought we needed to teach these young kids about what hxc is supposed to be. So we decided to do this posi-core sXe band that was part grind, part east coast revival hxc.

Why the name, BACK WHEN?
A ubiquitous term in our circle of friends at the time was, “Back when shit mattered.” Apply that to the idea of the band and there you have it. As we evolved, however, we went through a love-hate relationship with it and regretted it.

What was the best thing about BACK WHEN? What was the worst?
Personally, the best thing was our ability to really do anything we wanted. We were bound by our talent but not our preconceived notions, something I believe a lot of hxc bands don’t have the luxury of having. You can see from our evolution of posi-core, to metalcore, to grindcore, to doom metal, to doom/goth/rock, we really did whatever the fuck we wanted.
The worst was our ability to sustain momentum. We had really great wins with our songwriting and any time we played live. People generally were won over seeing our live performance, which we went through grant pangs to make awesome. However, our schedules as husbands, working professionals, musicians in other bands, etc. frequently got in the way and dropped a cloud of perpetual malaise on the band that was hard to fight through. We’d write some songs, perform them and have great momentum, release the record then fall apart. Sometimes not practicing for months at a time. “Wasted” comes to mind a lot when thinking of our potential.

Was BACK WHEN generally the band at the members' commitment forefront?
For some of us, it was our primary band. For others of us it was one of many. But honestly some were only in multiple bands because not everyone in BW could commit full-time to the band. We really were the biggest obstacle in our own way.

What were the band's influences? How did they change with each release?
God that’s a loaded question. It ranged from Rush to Radiohead to Jeromes Dream to Neurosis to Hum to Cash. We really are eclectic music-listeners and whatever we were into at the time made its way to the top of the heap each release. Listening to our canon in chronological order is to watch our record collections change.

How did you come into contact with Stephen from Init Records?
All of our previous Omaha bands found a sister-scene in Sioux Falls, SD. We all spent a lot of time up there playing and thus met Steven through shows. He was the real deal, putting out records he liked and it was a great relationship.

Tell me everything you possibly can about the Swords Against The Father 7", lyrics, art, conception, live, opinions about the songs, etc.
Joe and I (Jon) were living together at the time and spent our nights playing guitar together. If I remember correctly at the time, Joe was really into Mastodon and bands like that. He brought a layer of metallic lead bravado over everything I would write. I didn’t matter how complex or messy or stupid I wrote, he would layer a fist-pumping “fuck yeah” spacey solo over it that reminded me of Cave In / Rush. I was listening heavily to Hail to the Thief at the time, by Radiohead. The foundation for much of those songs was me deconstructing the guitar/bass compositions of those Hail To The Thief songs and thinking, “These are fucking genius. I know I can write similarly but grindy and fast.” If you slow those songs down there’s one or two riffs in each that you could pull out and base a rock song around. The last song especially, the noodly-guitar lead, is my attempt at recreating Myxomatosis. Additionally, the very first baseline on the very first song, slowed down, and given a swing beat, would be a Radiohead song.

Lyrically, we wanted to tell a short but interesting story. Joe is a History teacher and was studying at the time. We delved into this Greek story about Phobos and Deimos, sons of the god of war, Aries. This was also the height of the Bush-war-era, and we were all extremely angry and fed up. We saw a parallel with this father-figure hellbent on war and destruction so we devised a story about sons rebelling against their father.

We recorded the tracks with a friend of ours in his basement and I mixed it on my computer. Looking back, I shouldn’t have mixed it as I had no idea what I was doing but the crudeness did give it a nice vibe.

Overall, the 7” was intended to be a bridge. To let people know we were writing new material in preparation for the next record. But honestly, it holds up on its own as a pretty great piece of music and I’m very proud of it.

You guys broke up or went on hiatus or something after We Sang As Ghosts and then reformed years later. What happened?
Life happened. Everyone got super busy, practices were canceled the day-of and members got frustrated. We were all unhappy with the progress we were making and thought it was better to stop than stall out further. Then we were all at a wedding together and drunkingly said fuck it, let’s do it. So we got back at it, hoping to finish the album that eventually became Champion Hologram.

Tell us about that video you guys made after reforming. With the fire and all...
Are you referring to the video for "Little Shiny Things" with us in the revolving carousel around the fire? We had that song, what eventually became the first song on Champion Hologram, done for years. We wanted to let everyone know we were back and ready to be weird again. That video felt like a great way to convey that. Back When has always been about pushing weirdness up to the point of being pretentious but stopping shy of it, deciding to settle back into “entertainment”. We wanted you to think “that was weird but fun.” The video goes along and along very serious and creepy and ends with Aaron mugging for the camera. It fit us well. The release of the video was sort of our “bat-signal” to people that we were back and ready to continue.

You guys pulled out a Jerome’s Dream cover almost a decade before I noticed lots of other bands doing it. What prompted that decision? Was it hard to cover?
We fucking love Jeromes Dream. It was easy because their songs are easy. We all intended to pick a song to cover and Jeromes Dream was Aaron's choice. His love for that band is tattooed on his arm and is the only time he did any vocals in Back When.



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Joe Mickeliunas (guitar/vocals)

Do you have a favourite Back When release?
My favorite release is Swords Against the Father.  It was so raw and angry.  It was very reflective of us at the time and really challenged us musically.  It wasn't recorded or mixed in a studio, and that added to the overall vibe of the release.  I am very proud of "We Sang as Ghosts" and "Champion Hologram," but there are tons of things I wish I had done differently, or am critical of in my playing or vocal delivery.  Being a band with little funding, studio time is precious and I know that I personally rushed decisions to make sure that we could finish everything that we wanted to.

You guys were obviously talented, did egos get out of hand at any point?
I never felt that egos were a problem.  Friendships may have had moments of strain, but egos never got in the way.  After our hiatus, it took a year before the four of us were in the same room together. 

Do you have a favourite tour, tour story and show?
One of my favorite memories on tour is of a show that we couldn't play.  I remember a show in either Indiana or Ohio in which we were playing a house show in a duplex basement that we couldn't fit in.  At the time we were a five piece with two guitarists with full stacks, a bass player with two Ampeg 8x10s, a keyboardist with a full keyboard rig and halfstack for guitar, and our drummer's fairly large kit.  The basement was tiny and the four piece band with combo amps had trouble arranging their amps so that they would fit.  They had to stack amps on top of each other.  The guy that booked the show had difficulty understanding why we couldn't fit.  We attempted to unload, but it was honestly impossible. 

What band was the most fun to play with?
The Setup (reviewed here) from Richmond, VA.  We formed a very fast friendship with those guys and they made us feel at home anytime we played a show with them.  They really reminded us of friends from Omaha.

What's the best live band you've ever seen?
Wow. This is tough. I can't name just one, but it is definitely a tossup between Hum, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Sunny Day Real Estate, or Fugazi.

What other bands have you played in that you'd like to mention, and possibly share stories about?
I played in a screamy punk band called Robots Don't Cry that had a few releases and toured a bit. An existing band, Sutter Cane, asked me to fill in on guitar for a month-long tour.  Then their singer had a conflict and couldn't make the tour, a friend of ours joined and we decided to write songs and record a demo to sell.  We initially didn't intend to be a long term band, but stuck around for several years and releases. 

Someone told me that you guys had 6-foot bongs in your bong attic. Can you substantiate this claim?
This seems to be one of those rock and roll myths.

What excites you about music today? What is stale, stagnant or detrimental?
I am still very excited by music, but I feel like it really takes something special to really grab my attention.  Heavy music has been very challenging for me to get excited about.  The one heavy band that has my full attention is Thou.  "Heathen" will go down as one of my favorite heavy records of all-time. Whirr and Nothing are two other bands that I have found to be exciting.  It seems that they are pretty polarizing, but I've found their music to be thick and heavy with a pop sensibility that I can't get out of my head. Father John Misty is another artist that I'm very excited about.  He has crafted a persona that is mysterious, interesting, and genre-bending.  His lyrical content, arrangements, and instrumentation are fascinating to me.  Few could pull off what it is that he is doing, and do it this well. 

The Internet has obviously positively and negatively influenced music and records. How do you feel about it?
I love the Internet for the accessibility it gives us to music, but I also hate the Internet for the accessibility it gives us to music.  I can hear new music every single day.  I can get records every single day on the Internet, but it has definitely hurt the smaller acts and live shows in general.  It is really hard to "discover" a band due to a live show.  More often than not you can listen to a band via bandcamp, facebook, or YouTube before deciding to go to a show or what time you show up to a show.  It has definitely taken the mystery out of music, but has also given us the opportunity to find more music in general.

You are doing some new stuff, tell us about that.
I play bass in the live setting for Routine Escorts, the group that Jonathan started with our friend Thomas Flaherty. I'm also playing bass and doing some vocal work in a band called Post Verse.  Jeff Burgher, former keyboardist in Back When, plays guitar in the band.  I have trouble describing our sound, but we play some upbeat rock songs and some slow rock songs with fuzz and chorus pedals. We've been playing shows around Omaha for a year and have released a demo cassette and plan to record a full length album in the near future.

Many thanks to Jon and Joe for taking the time to answer these questions. Check out BACK WHEN's bandcamp page here where you can check out the band's newer releases.