While the moniker may conjure up images of retirees bashing each other over the head with hoes, slashing at their wrinkly skin with hand rakes, Freddy Kruger-ed up gardening gloves and lots of screaming while being chased by gnarly pairs of razor-sharp hedge clippers, Psychotic Gardening is actually a band. You may have made that assumption, seeing as that’s sort of what we usually talk about around here. The Winnipeg-based death/black quintet are veterans, having been around since 1995 and are on the eve of the release of their latest album, Hymnosis and, before going forward, I’d like to apologise profusely for the immaturity of my comments in relation to their name, but I’m generally working with the mentality of a 14-year-old and sometimes can’t help myself. Anyhoo, in advance of the record’s release on the 13th, they have issued a new video for the track “Origin of the Infection,” of which we offer you an exclusive premiere today here on the Deciblog. Additionally, we’ve included a short interview with guitarist/vocalist/original member/guy-responsible-for-all-the-artwork, Chuck Labossiere as well as their rendition of Death’s “Open Casket,” featuring Tim Roth of Into Eternity and Chuck Webfer of Broken Hope (Labossiere has previously helped Broken Hope out in the live arena). And there you have it. I can’t think of any more yard work puns, so you’re on your own. You’re also on your own when Chuck applies his “ignorance filter” in your direction.
Can you introduce your band and give us a detailed band history.
Hello, my name is Chuck Labossiere, I am one of the vocalists and guitar players in Psychotic Gardening. All our members come from other bands from our city at one point or other. In 1995, I was already in a death metal band (Immortal Possession), but in that era, things in the DM world were pretty slow. In a period of down time, I decided to do some experimental recordings. I wrote and recorded a bunch of songs with the intention of focusing mainly on the vocal aspect. I enlisted two of my favourite singers from my music scene at the time. We ended up playing a few shows as vocalists with pre-recorded tracks, and we were surprisingly well received. Since I’m a musician, I wasn’t really into that concept for too long. I was already in another band (Serrated Scalpel), so I put the project on the shelf. Years later, after the dissolution of Serrated Scalpel, I decided to recruit for a full band for Psychotic Gardening. That happened some time in 2006. We got together and recorded our first album Hürdür in 2007. We did the usual touring and whatnot. Then in 2011 we recorded our second album called Humanitorium. In 2014, we will be releasing our next album called Hymnosis. We also have tour dates planned.
Psychotic Gardening? Seriously? Were all the other band names taken? What monikers didn’t make the cut?
Well, you’re going to hate my answer for this one, but one of the actual reasons I chose this name was because it acts as an “ignorance filter” to keep a certain type of person away from me. I hate dealing with ignorant people who need shit to be so obvious. I guess that’s why they made religion… I’m not trying to be rude, but I feel that if a person can’t understand that there can actually be thought provoking things available to them rather than the spoon-fed obviousness that saturates the scene, then I don’t care to be forced to deal with those types of people. I make music for myself and if people want to enjoy it, they are welcome to. I certainly don’t want to write music to “fit in” anywhere. I couldn’t care less about all the “rules” that currently exist in the trends. There’s a million bands with typical names, and they all sound identical, so it just seems pointless to willingly become a clone.
One of the meanings of the name Psychotic Gardening deals with the way the media cultivates social behaviour. The news, for instance, is created to instil fear into the hearts and minds of the public. This is used as a tool to control them. We deal with a lot of social/psychological topics and religion. If you’re into that kind of thing, then you probably wouldn’t scoff at the name, you’d investigate further. I guess some people are interested in dealing with the atrocities that exist in reality and other people want to pretend to be serial killers and talk about gore and shit. I’m not trying to slag the bands who do this, because I’m a fan of some of them, but I’m not interested in portraying myself in this direction because I would feel fraudulent. Some of the monikers that didn’t make the cut would be anything typical. I guess you can’t use the word “corpse, angel, morbid, black, dark, corpse…oh I said that already.
Individually review your band mates for us.
Andrew Wiens (Lead guitar): I think this guy is a great guitar player! He plays really tight rhythms and his leads are awesome and creative. He understands that leads don’t necessarily need to have a million notes. His guitar playing definitely has a lot of soul!
Matt Penner (Drums): This guy is a supreme drummer! He has really good timing, which is super important to me! He also plays the songs exactly like they should be played, he won’t all of a sudden decide to play something different. It’s very comforting as a guitarist to know that the beats will be tight and dependable.
Gillishammer (Vocals): Gillishammer has been one of my longest time friends. We both played in DM bands in the early 90’s. He’s always been one of my favourite singers. Our voices seem to compliment each other, and he has a different creative style than I do, so it’s good for diversity in our writing. Psychotic Gardening’s sound wouldn’t be the same without this tandem vocal team.
Mike Janssen (Bass): Mike is the youngest member in the band, and he learns the fastest. He is a great musician and understands the purpose of his instrument. He is actually a guitar player, but has taken to the bass mentality very well.
Chuck Labossiere (Vocals & Rhythm guitar): I’m obviously an asshole, and I do a lot of shit for the band. Honestly, I can’t really say anything about myself, I’ll leave that to others.