As you may remember, Richard Johnson and his merry band of grindparents, collectively known as Drugs of Faith, are releasing their first macerating full-length, Corroded, and were kind enough to give us first dibs on their debut video (check it out, again, HERE). Pieces of our interview have appeared and will soon appear, but like picking at the juiciest leftover morsels the night after Thanksgiving dinner, here is some more wisdom from Mr. Johnson:
On being extreme-
Some of the grind parts we have on the new record, we could have played them more extreme but I’m really looking for clarity. It’s not a revolutionary thing to have to have all of the string instruments audible in order to put the riff together. You’ve got classic rock bands where the bass is just walking around the riff and not just playing the root notes of the riff, but for a lot of grind and death bands you have a lot of bass players that are just used to making the riff thick. So having said that, we really try and put riffs together where you need both the bass and guitar. We couldn’t play a show if the bass player couldn’t make it.
On being the guy from Enemy Soil and ANb-
Well, I got to the point where I didn’t want to reference any of my own bands. I thought the music could stand on its own and didn’t need to ride any coattails. But I was saying this at one point to my old bass player while I had a record on in the background. She asked what it was and I said, “Oh, it’s Death by Dawn, the new band with a guy from Pestilence.” And she said, “Oh, you’re listening to that band because he used to be in another band,” and I said, “Well, you got me.”
On the evolution of grind-
Scum came out the way it did because they didn’t know what they were doing and they were drunk and just trying to bang it out in eight hours on a night shift because they didn’t have any money. Then the stars aligned and it was a classic thing. And I think people now buy bands to hear how it’s evolved and I think they want to hear records that are recorded better but are still aggressive. But also I think that bands should just play. I don’t see the appeal of quantizing and using triggers. If you have to clean all your shit up then you need to keep practicing so you can play it for real. Things are getting too sanitized and processed. If you listen to a bunch of slickly processed grind records you have the desire to put on Led Zeppelin II so you can hear something organic and analog.
On Decibel’s rating system-
There’s so many records that get an eight or a nine in Decibel, and do that many records that good come out every month? I mean, Altars of Madness or Master of Puppets would get a 10, right? Our first record got an 8 in Decibel and I don’t think we deserved that even.