Kindred Spirit

By: Shawn Macomber Posted in: breaking newz, featured On: Tuesday, April 24th, 2012


“He was the exact type of person that grindcore is meant for — a true maniac.”

So says Agent of Satan’s Lord Balsakk of his longtime friend, bandmate, and Bay Area grind/powerviolence standard-bearer Kindred (aka Stinkweed), a main player in Plutocracy and Agents Of Satan who passed away recently under mysterious circumstances. (“He was afflicted by a major infection associated with a broken leg as well as other ailments that outsiders would not know about,” the Doomryderz web clearinghouse somewhat cryptically reports.) To acknowledge his life and commemorate the loss of an extreme music lifer, Decibel has interlaced lively, heartfelt eulogies from Balsakk and No Less/Agents of Satan artist Aaron Guadamuz below with a few of the select cuts that helped cement Kindred’s musical legacy. (Thanks to Greg Heiman for flyer scans and links.) R.I.P.

Lord Balsakk:

Kindred McCune aka Stinkweed Malone, has passed beyond our realm and will be deeply missed.

He could be very intimidating especially in his younger days. When I first met him, I thought, “This dude could snap any second and beat my ass.” None of the mohawks, crusties, or skinheads frightened me at Gilman St., but Kindred and the rest of the Dankdaddies had a menacing way about them that was unlike any established cartoon fad that plagued that scene of the early 90’s. These dudes had a look and vibe about them that had the Gilman scene shitting their pants. I frequented the club in hopes of discovering a band unlike any other before and when Plutocracy rolled in to play a bill with Rorschach, they blew the roof off the place and I had a new favorite band.

Kindred rolled with a wild mob of characters, all of them having aliases like Pelon, Snowman, Kalmex, Big Boy, Piggy, etc., and their mission was to introduce the new face of truly dangerous music. Kindred was always the key figurehead of it all, the “Toe-cutter” of the pack. He might not have been calling all the shots but when the Dankdaddies were present, he was their siren and bullhorn, no less. When Kindred strapped on a guitar and was mic’d up on stage, he would erupt like a top fuel muscle car and lay waste. All rules were off and he’d often piss his bandmates off with his ranting banter between songs and infamously smashed a guitar to pieces over his head once at the end of a set. At the end of the day, he actually was ‘El Presidente’ of the west Bay Koalition as he self proclaimed himself over a decade ago. While the rest of us moved on with jobs, marriage, kids and other avenues of adult life, he stayed true to the grind lifestyle, living closer to the core than anybody I’ve ever known.

He spent many stretches behind bars. He spent time in the psych ward. He wrote riffs that could start riots. He spit rhymes that could incite revolutions.

Fellow musicians in our age group will testify to the fact that there are a good number of true revolutionary minds making music under the banner of metal out there right now that will never truly be recognized and rewarded for their labors by the status quo and Kindred’s legacy is tantamount to this fact. Aside from Terrorizer acknowledging Plutocracy’s Dankstahz album as one of the Top 20 American Grind Albums, the media gave little attention to Plutocracy and No Less. Kindred came onto the scene full speed ahead, commanding with power and creativity that your average Guitar Center customer only wished they could charge on their Visa card. His influences ran the gamut of all genres before it was a popular selling point like it is today. Ask any of his high school friends and they will attest to Kindred blaring gangsta rap and classic rock out of the same box he cranked Megadeth, Vio-lence, Napalm and Cro-mags through. He knew all the best parts of every great song. He always carried a boombox and it was always at “11.” He would be driving and would spend more attention on rewinding the sick riff or rhyme or beat on the tape playing in the car stereo than keeping the wheels between the lines. He wore cassettes out faster than anybody, stretching the life and hidden magic out of them. He could be blazed, keyed, and totally sideways and be able to create a song complete with title, theme, and uniquely captivating riff in a matter of minutes.

My memories of Kin will forever be strong reminders of how powerful ideas and effective art are often overlooked due to peers misconceptions of the person behind such strong material. Kindred’s intensity and vision was second to none in the international grind scene. He saw through all the bullshit and needed no guide(s) to do so. I could listen to his stories and theories for hours, and though some of the facts might have been off, his message was always undeniable. He was a master craftsman when it came to writing a song, both musically and lyrically. When he had no opportunity to jam with a full band, he would work on his rap material. He wasn’t some bullshit rap-metal poser, he was the real deal and he knew that. He knew he could freestyle most MC’s into the dirt and had recorded a ton of rap material that is legendary in our crew and most of which were never formally released aside from The Shedwellaz 12″ on Satan’s Pimp and the Shadow People CD on Family of Resistance.

The old saying definitely applies to Kin and his legacy — “The brightest stars burn the hottest and are gone before you know it.” Some of Kindred’s highest regarded heroes were of the same spirit — Syd Barrett, Paul Baloff, Gar Samuelson, and Darby Crash were amongst those cherished and constantly honored vocally by Kin. These little insights to his soul are just scratching the surface as he had many layers and every so often, and especially recently, he began to show a gentler side of himself to those that were close to him. I know that I was very fortunate to have known somebody as intensely gifted and disaffected as Kindred and will probably never cross paths with someone of his magnitude again, may he rest in peace.

Some of Kindred’s musical contributions include the following bands/groups: Plutocracy, No Less, Agents of Satan, Shedwellaz, Shadow People, Go Like This, Torture Unit, Bullshit Excuse, Kalmex & The Riffmerchants, and the Meatshits. Unreleased recordings by Go Like This will finally be released and we hope to get at least two of them out by the end of the year. Keep checking in on Doomryderz.Blogspot.Com.

Aaron Guadamuz:

Kindred was a friend of mine for close to 20 years, but I knew who he was before I actually knew him. I think everyone in Redwood did. He was the kind of person who you couldn’t hang out with without coming away with some kind of story or anecdote and he was naturally hilarious. He lived pretty hard when we were younger and I witnessed him terrify, infuriate and shock many a club owner, soundman, security guard, friend and female. All this being said, he was a great a guy with a huge heart and I was downright crushed when I found out about his passing. Kindred will be remembered for a lot of things, but I will remember him the most for being a great fucking guitar player.

  • Frankgacy

    Fuck yeah, if you don’t know, then you’re just a fucking poser.

  • snowman

    kindred was pure energy, barely contained in human flesh. he didnt need a microphone to be heard, anyone who met him would never forget him. he was a brother to me for many years. r.i.p. stinkweed. now hes hangin with big boy, rolling spliffs and tweaking riffs!

  • Dan Lactose

    Stinkweed took the rule book, ripped out a few pages and rolled up a couple hog legs to launch with his homies.  He was the crazy older brother I never had.  He taught me that if you see everyone going to the right, go to the left.  He always stayed true to the music and never let money sway his vision.

  • Dave M

    I remember the time FOD played with Pluto up at Mission Records back in 2000 or so. I had just gotten a bullhorn and for whatever reason, I brought it up to the show. Everyone told me to keep that shit away from Kindred but that just made me want to give it to him even more. After I gave it to him, he ran around outside Mission Records shouting all kinds of west bay shit at everyone in The Mission. The cops came but couldn’t find him. Kindred was the real deal.

  • Tcbonelocs

    The man was such a visionary powerhouse in the studio, he earned the nickname Dick Rubin. Shortly after he showed up with a chair (that no one else was allowed to touch) that sat way the fuck above everyone else with Dick Rubin “A star iz born” scrawled across it in sharpie. Classic.

  • MatoneDankDaddy

    Kindred didn’t follow, you followed Kindred. As loyal of a friend as one could have, Kindred brings people together and never put up road blocks when it came to music. If Stinko liked it, you knew about it and it came out in every note he wrote. The love he had for his friends is the love that everyone is seeking. He had such a magnetic personality, it was impossible not to bite something from him at some point. And his passion and vision is unmatched. I will miss my friend Kindred dearly. Dank Daddies por Vida.. MAKER RAME STINKWEED PDM 101 Junkies RWC GRIND

  • Ourhollowdeath

    Goodbye stinko. It was always a pleasure to always party with you when we got the chance in the bay area.

  • PEST

    RIP KINDRED !!!! youll be missed by one and all !!! BOW TO THE WESTBAY !!! see ya on the other side !! GRIND

  • Torch-Lit

    Man I don’t know where to start. All the stories and memories I have don’t belong on here… I remember Recording a collaboration album with Noisear at House of Faith Oakland. We rolled pretty deep and there were people smoking and drinking everywhere. I started to feel guilty, Then I thought about Kindred and how he had recorded with Bart tons of times. I thought there was no way we were as unruly as he must have been. I ended up asking Bart if we were being cool, He expressed excitement about the situation and project. I asked Bart if he had any nightmare stories about people in the studio. Bart didn’t say much and nothing to repeat, So I asked “What about Kindred, He must’ve gone crazy a few times?”. Bart turned at looked at me like some kind of soft spoken spirit librarian and said “Kindred always behaves himself around me and he is one of the most talented people I’ve worked with” (This is quoted as I remember it). I think that is when I realized how for real Kindred was. I was happy he was on his way to the studio (although he never made it). I loved so much of his music, but I guess I just assumed he was so crazy that there was no way he could function or collaborate with other people. I assumed he was more like icing on the cake for all these amazing bands. That day I realized he was part of the framework, the execution, the concept, and everything else.

            Josh Perez gave me a copy of a no less ep when I was like 15. I went home and it was un-listenable as far as I could tell. I didn’t understand it, here are a bunch of scary looking beat your ass motherfuckers playing psychedelic gangster noise metal? I just knew I wanted to be like these guys even if I had no clue what they were doing. Fast forward about a year or so… Me and my buddy Mike from Redwood City decided to eat a bunch of acid and cruise around. We ended up driving to Santa Cruz. We started listening to MDC, Dystopia, and the new Exhumed album, then we put in a NO LESS tape. I remember looking at each other and we were both tripping on the music so hard, We could barely contain our thoughts. This is when we found ourselves driving down highway 1 at high speeds screaming and weaving onto the dirt shoulder. The high speeds and uneven dirt shoulder caused Mike’s hood to rip off and fly into the windshield. At the same time both our heads collided with various car parts, as we kept driving (for a minute). Both of us knew No Less was one of the sickest bands ever after that.

        I played shows with Plutocracy several times over the next 10 years. The last tour they did up north I spent a couple days with my old friends. At the end of the last show Kindred, me and some other friends were smoking, drinking and talking. Kindred noted I had grown up and gotten big, I smiled and said “Not as big as you” he smiled and asked if I though I could Beat his ass now? I saw the potential escalation of this conversation, I have seen kindred flash before. I replied “I don’t know, I don’t think about you like that”. He said if I tried to fight him the first thing he would do is break a bottle and stab me in the neck.

    R.I.P. Kindred

  • Mattma77

    Stanko is clearing a path and pavin the road for us. See you soon homey….