CONTEST: Win Thergothon’s “Stream from the Heavens” Test Press

By: Chris D. Posted in: contest, featured On: Wednesday, February 20th, 2013

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If Decibel was worth its weight in ink, paper, and stress—mostly on the shoulders of our beloved EIC Mr. Mudrian—then we’d have some staffers who were there when Thergothon dropped its only long-player Stream from the Heavens like a Cthulhu tentacle on wee Italy-based indie Avantgarde Music. We do have staffers who were there, bought 1 of 2000 copies (we think that’s the original press count), and were changed for eternity thereafter. In fact, Decibel scribe Scott Koerber wrote this fantastic Thergothon piece in Decibel #101 when rest-of-world bloggers and forum mites—notice we didn’t say “magazine”—were too busy sucking on the teats of something less worthy.

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But we’re not here to brag about our own low-hanging balls (or first-press copies of Stream from the Heavens or This Empty Flow’s much under-missed Magenta Skycode effort) but actually the 2xLP reissue of Thergothon’s mammoth debut on Seventh Rule. That’s right, Seventh Rule got the rights and are making a deluxe 2xLP edition, lacquered by John Golden, who was responsible for Chris Isaak’s Forever Blue, Primus’ Tales from the Punchbowl, and other sound-brilliant projects. What does that mean? It’ll sound killer! It’ll shake the floors of your apartment. The heaviness of “Everlasting” will piss off your friends. And you’ll be KING ’cause there’s only 500 pressed.

But but. We want to give away a one (1) copy of Stream from the Heavens TEST PRESS. Something truly unique. An absolutely cult piece of Thergothon memorabilia, courtesy of Seventh Rule. There are only 12 in existence!

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What do you have to do? Email us. That’s it!

WIN THERGOTHON TEST PRESS –> CLICK HERE.

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** If you’re not feeling lucky—that stack of old lottery tickets is probably telling you something—then Seventh Rule has the reissue available for the doomed and funeral doomed to order. Click HERE. You’ll be luckier than any character from the depths of any HP Lovecraft story that’s for sure. And, hey, we know the depths of despair they’ve been through. Kind of.

Black Label Debutante Ball Reloaded: Elektrohasch Schallplatten

By: Jeff Treppel Posted in: featured, listen On: Tuesday, February 19th, 2013

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A few months back (I’m too lazy to look up the actual issue), I did a Black Label Debutante Ball on Elektrohasch Schallplatten, a German psych/Stoner label. Since then, they’ve been sending me awesome stuff via priority mail from Europe, and since they’re putting all that money into postage, I figured I’d return the favor by talking about some of their latest releases. As it turns out, the way to my heart is through free CDs! Who’d have guessed?

Colour Haze – She Said

This is label founder Stefan Koglek’s group, and he really took his time with this effort to make sure that their epic psych jams were appropriately epic and psychedelic. Not, like, Axl Rose or Kevin Shields lengths of time, but it’s been four years since their last transmission from the outer reaches. She Said was recorded over the course of two of those years. The care shows, because despite the outwardly jammy nature of the eight songs here, closer inspection reveals tightly choreographed interplay designed to take you on a very specific trip. It isn’t all just gallivanting through space and time, of course. Kyuss make up a critical part of their DNA, so they also indulge in some desert sun burners for variety. More importantly, though, it’s a double album that earns its length. Being the retro fetishists that they are, Colour Haze have made sure that the whole thing will fit on two LPs, so either half can be enjoyed by itself or as part of one long listening session that it’s very easy to get lost in. There’s a reason this thing topped a lot of the 2012 stoner rock lists – it’s ambitious, well executed, and heavy in every sense of the word.

All Them Witches – Our Mother Electricity

Another throwback to a much fuzzier time, All Them Witches play heavy blues the way God intended. This is a reissue, but considering that nobody heard it when it was first released last year, it may as well be new. These guys know how to really lock into a groove, whether it’s the slow burn Sabbath build of “Heavy/Like a Witch” or the Dixie destruction unleashed on “The Urn.” They frontload all the really heavy stuff, getting progressively less metal and more southern rock as the record goes, but that sequencing is clearly deliberate. It’s all part of the effect that they’re trying to build – it ends not with a whimper, but with a satisfying, gentle release.

http://www.elektrohasch.de/

A Beast Conceived: Introducing Howling

By: Shawn Macomber Posted in: featured, listen On: Tuesday, February 19th, 2013

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The most aptly titled release of the year so far is almost certainly Howling’s A Beast Conceived — a hellacious sonic amalgamation of Heartwork, Ride the Lightning, and Tom G. Warrior-style sinister riffage fronted by the restless extreme music paragon Vanessa Nocera and brimming with lyrical homages to cult horror movie classics like The Beast Within, Mountaintop Motel Massacre, and American Gothic…this album is a monster in its own right!

“I really wanted the music to have the energy of all the classic albums by Death and the classic thrash albums by Metallica/Megadeth but with a ‘horror’ vibe throughout,” Howling shredder/composer extraordinaire Tony Proffer tells Decibel. “We really want to make an impact on the Horror community, not just metal…Vanessa and I have near identical tastes in both music and horror, and her vocals are untouchable, so that makes for a real easy partnership. She is such an incredible lyricist, I know anything she writes to my music is gonna be gold!”

This morning Decibel is honored to premiere the following gnarly, twisty track off A Beast Conceived, “Savage Psychosis.” Keep up with the band on Facebook. Razorback Records is now on Twitter. And below the stream check out a fan made video for the sick album opener, “As Man Becomes Lycanthrope.”

Immolation’s Bill Taylor and Demigod’s Esa Linden to guest host Metalenema

By: jonathan.horsley Posted in: featured, tours On: Monday, February 18th, 2013

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Plugging a radio show in this day and age seems kinda quaint when you consider that music can be streamed all over the Internet but, with upcoming guest DJs Bill Taylor from Immolation and Esa Linden of Demigod, Metalenema is a special case.

Their show’s remit—death and black metal, both classic and contemporary, with “some good old timeworn speed and thrash metal for good measure”—is the sort of bill of fare that the Deciblog can get down with all day long. Well, every Saturday between the hours of 10pm-midnight CST on No Control Radio, to be precise. And you should too, because on Saturday March 2nd Immolation shredder Bill Taylor will be co-hosting the show, and on Saturday March 9th Demigod’s Esa Linden will be in the studio. We’re hoping that Linden will speak solely in his best Slumber of Swollen Eyes death growl, but either way his and Taylor’s playlists are bound to be essential listening. Those you tuning in from Austin point your FM dial at 107.1-2HD radio, the rest of you bookmark No Control Radio here and stream it on the night.

Metalenema’s previous guests have included Wannes Guebbels of Pentacle, Vetis Monarch of Weapon, and Dan Lilker of, well everyone; all of these special episodes can be downloaded from Metalenema.com. Metalenema is presented by The Undertaker and NT Khrist. You can poke them on Facebook here, and send your requests/shout-outs to metalenema@gmail.com
Of course, Immolation are playing on Decibel’s very own 2013 tour with Cannibal Corpse, Napalm Death and more; click here for more information on dates, tickets and venues.

IMMOLATION Live at MOTOCULTOR FESTIVAL, FRANCE 2012

DEMIGOD live at MDF, 2012

STREAMING: Tsjuder “Desert Northern Hell”

By: Chris D. Posted in: featured, listen On: Monday, February 18th, 2013

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February 19th, 2013 is no different from February 18th, 1995. Sure, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was at 4,003.33—its highest ever up to that point—and the NHL was in a lock-out shortened season. But black metal? Not much has changed. There have been off-shoot genres, more commercialization, DIY “bands” bunkered in limited edition cassette releases, and plenty of unmasking (Satyricon, for example), but the core values of 1995-era black metal are no different from what’s blasting Luciferian now.

Take Norway’s Tsjuder (move your lips and say, “Shoe-dur”). The Oslo-based outfit formed in 1993, craftily created three full-lengths before heading to the troll-infested hills, but then re-emerged hateful as a hand grenade in 2010, whereupon they set the Northern Skies ablaze again with long-player Legion Helvete. Determined to not repeat the ills of the past, the terrible trio—who destroyed MDF 2012!—have yet again mastered the unforgiving art of True Norwegian Black Metal, where tempos fly by at Hellish speed and copious amounts of evil are unloaded without care or concern for churchgoers or the religiously-“curious” passersby. This may not sound like a new animal from what was emanating and bubbling black 18 years ago, but at least they’re not pretending to be high brow elite art or exclusive (read: excuse for shitty execution) black metal from the post-industrialized low lands of “X” country where Oslo, Stockholm, or Helsinki isn’t its capital city.

Bow to Tsjuder. Bow to the reissue of Desert Northern Hell. It’s OK if you don’t have spikes or a flaming stick.

** Tsjuder’s, Desert Northern Hell, is out February 19th on Season of Mist. It’s available HERE. Or, find a post-good period Bathory record to sit on and spin. Yes, we’re thinking exactly of the Octagon record. Or the Requiem record. Both are horrendous.

Tales From the Metalnomicon: Eleanor Henderson

By: Shawn Macomber Posted in: featured, interviews On: Friday, February 15th, 2013

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Welcome to Tales From the Metalnomicon, a new twice-monthly column delving into the surprisingly vast world of heavy metal-tinged/inspired literature and metalhead authors…

If any subcultural phenomenon has ever truly earned the designation “stranger than fiction,” surely it must be the late eighties/early nineties youth crew/krishnacore straight edge scene. Yet, outside of a couple oral history compilations and earnest grad school dissertations likely by now numbering in the millions, this hearty loam was not quite properly tilled until the 2011 release of Ten Thousand Saints, Eleanor Henderson’s elegant, exquisitely rendered, at times harrowing novel of profound loss and the uneven pathways to redemption that ran through a churning world of shaved heads, Champion hoodies, and brutal breakdowns courtesy Bold, Straight Ahead, and a host of other bands from the moment Youth of Today declared — more aptly than they could have possibly known — a time we’ll remember. (I’ll spare readers my attempt at reworking an already excellent official synopsis.)

Aside from a excellent book, we have something else to thank Henderson for: The delicious image of someone completely unconnected to the hardcore scene picking up a novel because it was named, say, one of the Top 10 Books of 2011 by the New York Times or a Year’s Reading selection by The New Yorker or a Top 5 Fiction title by O Magazine (!), and entering a literary world wherein ardently sober Hare Krishnas spend all their free time screaming about purity and brotherhood over the “puerile wail of their guitars.” (Yes, cue Mugatu.)

“Sometimes I’d tell people what I was writing about and they’d look at me kind of funny,” Henderson tells Decibel. “But from my first encounter with straight edge a long time ago as a teenager, I was intrigued by its paradoxes and appeal. I felt there were stories behind it and inside it, and so I just had to have faith that if the material captured my imagination, there might be something there that would capture other people’s as well. I’m glad I stuck it out. I’ve been pleasantly surprised.”
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There is a wonderful moment in Ten Thousand Saints in which the protagonist Jude attempts to explain straight edge to his aging hippie father, who dismissively retorts, “Straight edge? That’s what they’re calling them now? In my day, we called them squares.” And his mother, “amused, embarrassed, and concerned” by her son’s prosthelytizing lyrics — “What kind of teenage boys sang songs about purity? What happened to songs about getting stoned? Getting laid?…The classics of her own youth were strummed on the guitar, they were hummed in the shower, there were harmonicas” — observes Jude’s “romance with straight edge as she might have observed his first love — warily, with a mother’s pride, hoping that, in the end, his heart wouldn’t break too hard.”

Forging an individual identity within a culture and/or family not of one’s own choosing is, of course, a complicated dynamic no matter the soundtrack, but Henderson employs the strange, enlivening, honest-to-goodness revolt of eighties straight edge hardcore to gain a unique and edifying vantage point on the human condition, and this is where we begin our conversation with the gracious and witty author…

Throw Me a Frickin’ Label Hack: Ukraine’s Nonsun

By: Dan Lake Posted in: featured, interviews, listen On: Friday, February 15th, 2013

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Because every day another band records another song.  Because 83% of those songs are unlistenable and you can’t be bothered to sift through the dreck.  Because metal is about not giving a shit and waking your own personal storm.  Because music is universal, expression is boundless, and even indie labels (whatever that means these days) don’t know everything, Decibel brings you Throw Me a Frickin’ Label Hack.

Nonsun Band 5

Last week in this spot, we brought you rollicking, impish tech death.  The contrast this week couldn’t be starker.  Ukrainian duo Nonsun pour out a sludgy drone horror that’s light on pyrotechnics and heavy on being fucking heavy.  This isn’t music for throwing back beers and elbows; Nonsun will rob you of the will to live, then sock you in the guts just the way you know you deserve.  The opposing inertial forces of hunched, creeping motion and rhythm-less feedback stasis provide an intriguing source of unexpected and understated dynamism.  If you head to their Bandcamp page, you can hear (and download) their whole demo EP entitled Good Old Evil (what a great name!), and you can check out more about the band at their Facebook location.  Right here, right now, though, you can check out lead track “Jesus’ Age” streaming right from this page.  Decibel got in touch with primary doom dude Goatooth for the whole Nonsun story, so while you ponder thick, bassy terror you can also getcho’ read on.  Love it!

How did the members of Nonsun start making music together?

I had carried some ideas for this kind of project for a couple of years, but never really had a chance to bring them to life, because of lack of time and the people with a similar taste etc. I’m also a member of a death/doom metal band Apostate, and I always wanted to do something that would go beyond the boundaries of a death/doom genre, but that wasn’t possible in Apostate. I mean, those ideas would just be irrelevant to the course the band has taken and held since long ago. So, one day (in August 2011) my good old friend Andriy Alpha called me to jam together. He’s a very well-skilled and experienced drummer, and is always busy participating in many bands and projects, so I wasn’t thinking to invite him to make music together. Besides, he’s not a fan of heavy and slow stuff, he’s more into classic hard rock, funk, jazz. But when we were jamming, I was playing on guitar some of those my riffs, and this, together with drums [and] hall acoustics, started to create in my head the pictures of whole songs, my old ideas were starting to find their shapes. I talked to Andriy, he liked the idea of making an experimental stuff and agreed to join my project, so that’s how we started to rehearsal and eventually recorded those songs.

I’d like to add that we both were really involved in a creative process, and the whole creating and recording time was a real pleasure and great fun to us, despite the miserable tunes we have as a result.

What are the driving energies behind the music?

Primarily, for me it’s some kind of inner negative energy, which is created from an unacceptance of things I cannot change. Yeah it sounds complicated.  It’s an irrational thing, it’s something like a strength out of helplessness, and, by the way, I try to describe it in the lyrics to a song “Rain Have Mercy,” calling it Good Old Evil, which is, as you know, also the album’s title. Of course, apart from that, I find array of inspiration in the music I love, in other art, things that are beautiful and, foremost, close to me emotionally. So, to sum it up, the driving energies behind the music (for me) are: the things I love (music) and the things I hate (pretty much everything else). And alcohol, of course, I almost forgot!

Do you feel your location in the Ukraine has a particular effect on the music you produce, or do you feel it’s more personal than environmental?

It has an effect, surely, but I wouldn’t say ‘particular’. I’m an [introverted] person leading pretty much isolated existence, don’t watch TV, communicate with a narrow circle of people and try to insulate myself from the outer world as much as possible. But the environment, the place I live and was born, it all has shaped me and made me who I am now and what I do, so it’s a tough question. However, as far as I know, Nonsun is the only drone metal band in our city, so in this sense we’re outsiders!  Furthermore, for the last few years the whole metal movement, particularly doom, has been quite poor in Lviv, and it keeps getting worse. So we’re acting against the environment, which is apparently caused by the same damn environment… Fuck!

Are there certain chords you are interested in, or are your songs less planned out than that?

Every song on the EP had a different approach in creation. But no, they all weren’t much planned out consciously, if that’s what you mean, they were rather made in an intuitive, spontaneous way.

In our music, it’s all about an atmosphere, not the chords or riffs. Though, sometimes a riff comes first, and it has within itself that idea, that atmosphere, from which a song is being born. But mostly it comes from a sound itself, you know… The acoustics, the guitar or drums tune dictate what riffs should be played, what composition should be made, vocals etc. And it’s great, it’s the most exciting thing for me in a creation process. This is what I love the most about drone music, where the sound has a primary role.

What keyed instruments are you using on the demo? What do you like about including these sounds in your music?

Well, we’ve used a virtual organ, duduk and something else which I can’t remember at the moment. All these were processed through a lot of FX, in particular delay, to make them sound more ‘droney’ and suit them to a general spacey atmosphere. The keyboards were included in order to emphasize the mood, the vibe of a certain song, its meditative character. At first I didn’t plan to use keys at all, but at a certain point we both with Andriy felt like it would be reasonable to add supporting backgrounds to some parts. As it seems now, that’s worked. Hope so.

Do you enjoy putting down vocals?

Honestly, I have a problem with perceiving my own vocals – I’m never satisfied with the result. When I’m recording, it’s all well, I’m in the mood, but later I hear it and I don’t like it. But I have no clue how to go back and do it right.  On this record there was supposed to be less vocals, but some parts seemed somewhat empty to me and they needed something to be filled in. In other words, those parts sounded better with vocals and more complete than without them. So I’ve left it how it is, this time. But in the future I hope to get along without vocals or use them rarely. Bands like Earth, Pelican, Omega Massiff and many others do absolutely well without vocals.

What goals do you have for Nonsun in the future?

I look no further than a next release, and my goals are all about the creativity and further experimenting. I wish the next work would differ distinctively from Good Old Evil, but just not sure yet in what direction. Perhaps it’ll be less eclectic and more monolithic, but can’t say for sure. Of course, I’d like to gather a full line-up which would consist of musicians who’d share the common seeing of things and not lack the creative potential etc. But it doesn’t look very probable for now, so I’m not gonna simply waste time on the search, and better focus on making some new stuff in a current format.

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Listen & Love: Globe & Beast

By: kevin.stewart-panko Posted in: featured, gnarly one-offs, listen On: Thursday, February 14th, 2013

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Now that the puck has finally been dropped on a (truncated) hockey season, it looks like we’re going to have to sit and wait for the esteemed Keith Huckins – he of Rorschach, Deadguy and Kiss it Goodbye fame – to unglue his eyes from the bank of Center Ice Package-equipped widescreens mounted in his secret upstate NY man-cave before we can finally get moving on that She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not Hall of Fame. Considering that the end of hockey season, during Gary Bettman’s ridiculous tenure, seems to run later and later, seemingly into next season’s training camp at the best of times, who knows how long we’ll be waiting. So, might as well quell our urges with bands cut from the same cloth and of similar sonic mind. One of them, San Diego’s Globe & Beast, has a new album set for release on March 19th via Melotov Records. It’s entitled Grandfather’s Axe and is reminsicent of the records Victory, Revelation and Equal Vision Records used to release: noisy, sinewy, mathy, violent, metallic hardcore with heart and soul, wrapped in tire irons and dipped in battery acid.

To celebrate it forthcoming release, and all around awesome-osity, we present a sneakpeek with a track called “A River’s Mouth” (lyrics below). It’s perfect listening for both knee-on-knee hits and slew-footed dangles.

Globe & Beast – A River’s Mouth by Ksp668 on Mixcloud

A River’s Mouth
We nod, we drowse, we sleep. I’m trying to stay awake.
Through the motions from a river to a lake.
We move like drones, slaves to a clock.
Hoping for change at the end of the dock.
These waters are vast; will I dive in head first?
The monotony feels like a fucking curse.
I see uncharted waters up ahead.
They’re open, they’re endless, relentless.
Destinations unknown. I hope I find peace, a place to call home.

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Globe & Beast
Melotov Records

VIDEO PREMIERE: Incantation’s “Invoked Infinity”

By: zach.smith Posted in: featured, videos On: Thursday, February 14th, 2013

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We couldn’t think of a better way to spread some Valentine’s Day love than premiering the brand new Incantation video for “Invoked Infinity”. Before you start headbanging at your desk to the opening track to last year’s Vanquish In Vengeance (and the band’s first video in ten years), we’ll let bassist Chuck Sherwood and Kristoff Bates (who, along with Incantation drummer Kyle Severn, runs Black Arts Media, the outfit behind the clip below) tell you a little bit more about what you’re in store for:

“The new video was filmed in an authentic turn of the century funeral home. Its concept is the ritual combination of three formulas/systems of magic. A personal interpretation of its results when evoked entities/elementals of these pantheons are brought within. Visually it culminates the essences of each elemental force, its earthbound entity and the ethereal. In the violent nature of the music, it’s only expanded in the creation and presentation of this video. Take what you will from it.” – Chuck Sherwood

“After writing/filming with Kyle Severn for the After Party Massacre movie and for way too many live shows since then, it’s always been a blast to shoot with the guys in Incantation. Between the creepy and dark aura of the funeral home (Eric Freeman’s House of Wills) to the freezing storm filled waters that almost drowned us and even getting to play with real goat skulls, hearts and organs for the ending, it was a great video to put together!” – Kristoff Bates

Be sure to check out the band’s new (as in literally went live today) merch store here. Plus, if you happen to live in or around Houston, Brooklyn or Miami, you can also check out the death metallers at one of their rare upcoming shows:

March 23, BFE Rock Club, Houston, TX (Masters of Death with Master, Divine Eve, Blaspherian, Imprecation, Hod, Fisthammer and Nodens)
March 30, Saint Vitus Bar, Brooklyn, NY (with Evoken, Rellik and Derkéta)
April 27, Churchill’s Pub, Miami, FL (with Ulcer, Masticator and Hibernus Mortis)

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Q and A: Satanic Threat

By: justin.m.norton Posted in: featured, interviews, listen On: Wednesday, February 13th, 2013

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Perhaps the most fun (and subversive) thing to drop in my musical inbox this year: a copy of Satanic Threat’s In To Hell. I missed it in 2008. As soon as I saw the cover — a perfect homage to Minor Threat’s HOF worthy Out Of Step – I was sold. So sold that I ordered a tee-shirt and a copy of the CD from Hell’s Headbangers.

Impulse buys have never steered me in the wrong direction. A quick spin of this loving tribute validated my decision. If the cover art isn’t enough to convince you try streaming the entire album below. It’s a much better homage than the so-so Minor Threat covers on Slayer’s Undisputed Attitude (they did D.I.’s “Richard Hung Himself” much better).

I was so enamoured that I tracked down vocalist Don Of The Dead (also of Nunslaughter) for Q and A on the reissue, available here. Vinyl is expected in March. Get one before they are really gone forever. Bottled violence!

Where did this concept start?

About 10 years ago Jim (drummer) and I were driving around listening to Minor Threat. He mentioned how he would like to hear a Satanic band done in the same style. I was floored. It sounded like a great idea and after many years of talking we finally did it.

Since the original release of this material have you received a lot of requests for a reissue?

Yes. It seems that most people hear about it way to late and missed out on the original seven-inch which only had a pressing of 1,000.

Have you seen anyone charging ridiculous prices for the original pressing of In To Hell?

Not that I am aware of.

How did you get interested in the Minor Threat material?

I came along late in the Minor Threat saga. I was introduced to their music in 1985 and it struck a chord.

Did you ever hear from Ian MacKaye or Dischord?

Yes. Both Ian and Jeff (Nelson) from Minor Threat wrote me back. I sent them both records and they seemed flattered. I have the utmost respect for both of them.

Are you straight edge?

Hell no.

Now that the band is receiving a lot of attention why not reunite like every other metal band?

We are done at this time. None of us have the time to get back to doing that project.

In an alternate universe would it be cool to tour with an aging Minor Threat lineup?

Although it would be interesting I would decline. They did something very original and we are mere copycats. Plus, they are excellent musicians and they would make us sound like amateurs.

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