Hailing from Kentucky, Pissed On’s forthcoming The Hanged Man EP promises to be one of grindcore’s most jam-packed releases in 2017. Its five songs may only clock in at ten minutes, but the conceptual depth and broad strokes of grind, punk, hardcore, powerviolence, death metal and noise contribute to make the duo’s third release (a demo and a split with Street Rat comprise the band’s limited discography) a powerful piece of work despite its brevity.
Today we are giving y’all a jump start on all things Pissed On with a premiere of two tracks from The Hanged Man (“Dear Reader” and “Enter the Void”), an introductory interview plus some live footage we tracked down on the un-drained resource swamp that is YouTube. Grind your face off and life away!
What do you tell people when they ask about the history of Pissed On?
Davin Jones [vocals/noise]: Pissed On started from a hospital bed and a computer chair. I suffer from a rare illness called Chronic Granulomatous Disease and due to drug interactions, I developed severe osteoporosis, which in turn caused me to break eleven vertebrae. I was bed ridden, so Tyler would visit me and play me riffs while I wrote lyrics. By the time I was well enough to record, we had a demo.
Is the band’s moniker selection based on fetish water sports play, the treatment of society’s underclass by the ruling class or a little of both?
DJ: To be completely honest, when we started out we never really expected to get where we are and it was just kind of a silly name we took from an A$AP Rocky line in A$AP Ferg’s song “Shabba.” Now it’s kind of stuck, and we like that our name allows us to not take ourselves too seriously.
What significance does the title The Hanged Man and the accompanying cover art have? Rumour has it there’s a concept threaded through the record’s five tracks?
DJ: The cover art was an idea I had that I drew up and we sent to an artist named Soren Haxan (his version is much prettier than mine). It does go along with the lyrical content in the sense that it conveys the same feeling. I’ve always written lyrics from my own perspective and I wanted to do something different. This album is “written by” an extremely nihilistic and pessimistic man who wants to show people that they are purposeless. It shows the struggle one may feel with the realization that they have no purpose. To push this further I wrote it as if each song is a section of his manifesto, ending with him taking his own life. When tarot card aspect of the art came up, Tyler suggested the name for the album which I think is fitting.
What’s the writing and recording process like for you as a duo? Did you have much experience in creating in this manner before Pissed On and how would you detail the advantages and disadvantages of doing so when compared to what you typically have experienced in band/creative situations?
Tyler Byers [guitar/noise]: Writing typically starts with me bringing Davin the skeletal structure of a song. From there, we add the meat and muscle. Much of our experimentation happens during the recording process. To us, improvisation in the studio is just as important as the time spent writing. I’ve been making music with Davin for longer than I haven’t been, so the writing and recording process feels completely organic.
How was it recording with Andy Nelson in the producer’s chair? What’s the procedure like for you recording as a two-piece?
TB: Working with Andy was such a humbling experience. He’s a large part of why we’re confident with this release. We were pretty insistent on doing an EP, but there are definitely longer releases coming.
DJ: Yeah, Andy was great to work with and he’s an all-around great guy. I think he helped push us to try and experiment on some things. Our friend and longtime collaborator Simon Hall came up and tracked the drums for us, and after that we sat down and tracked everything. After the tracking was done we started really playing with the production and I definitely feel as though Andy brought our vision to life.
I see that you recently embarked upon a short Midwest tour. How did that go and how would you describe Pissed On live vs. the studio? Do you ever feel limited by being a duo and a lack of instrumentation contributing to the wall of sound?
TB: Touring with two other like-minded bands (Falter and WolfxPiss) that do what they want how they want was great. Live, we’re definitely more chaotic sounding but while recording we try to capture as much of that as we can. We typically bring a different drummer with us each tour and that leads to a varied sound as well. We’ve never felt limited as a creative duo, and we’ll always find a way to be obnoxiously loud.
Once the EP is out and about, what’s the plan for the band? Is there a plan?
DJ: We’re trying to hit just about everywhere. This month we’re going down the east coast and through Florida, next month we’re going down to Texas, and in March we’re going to the Northeast. After that, we’re doing a full US release tour.
TB: It’s important to keep moving forward, and because of that we aren’t letting up anytime soon.
The Hanged Man is set for release on March 17th on Advocate Records.