Saturday, March 19, 2016

Interview with musician NOX ARAGON by Dave Wolff

Interview with musician NOX ARAGON

How long have you been a member of the punk scene, what were the first bands you started listening to, and what appealed to you about attending shows in your area?
I lived in Vegas since late 2012. My first introduction into this punk scene was at a ska punk house show in East Side. A backyard filled with desert dirt, moshing, fast good music, and cold free beer was my introduction here. Ska is pretty big in Vegas it seems but I felt a lot more drawn to other shows with hardcore punk instead. Fuckin’ fast angry shit. I love it, man. But different styles bring different awesome shit to the table. So many locals I’ve seen play already. House shows are a cesspool for a potential good time with Vegas bands that play the fuck out of a show for you. First saw my band 40oz. Folklore perform at one of these shows in an empty pool. It’s a good piece of memory, and we all have our piece in the punk scene.
As for music and bands in general, I got into punk and metal roughly the same time, around 2002 I’m guessing. Pop punk was huge back then, and yea I’m into a lot of it, but eventually my mind got dragged through the gutter of the airwaves and I found myself crawling in the filth of gnarly music styles like Crust, Dbeat, Horrorpunk and even Powerviolence. But when it comes to my favorite music, I favor metal over punk, and extreme metal is where my heart is at. Admittedly, the first metal I got into wasn’t all that “extreme”. It was Twisted Sister, and those beautiful bastards are what got me into rock n roll and metal. Now my music taste ranges from Led Zeppelin to Fleshrot… so there’s a whole lotta shit in between all that. I’m pretty open.
I wanted to go to shows for the sake of being around live music and getting to know the subculture here. Getting to kick it with other musicians was cool, even met some that I almost formed bands with. You can’t really enjoy the music you listen to the fullest unless you allow yourself to take part in that real, in your face, live experience. The music scene is a lot like sex. I’d rather be there seeing it, rather than just hearing about it.

I always thought Twisted Sister were more shock than glam and had more in common with the New York Dolls and Kiss. They started around the same time they were underground bands, and paid as much attention to their music as their stage presence. Are there bands from the early 70s you listen to?
When it comes to music from the 70s my taste is a little limited, but with the bands I DO listen to from that era I listen to frequently. Black Sabbath is of course a huge rock and metal influence of mine. Helping to pioneer heavy metal and even leading the front for early doom metal makes them so influential to me as a metal musician. Such an awesome feel to this band. They strung me in like a wooden puppet seeking a reason to live. Aside from them I also really like Deep Purple, Blue Öyster Cult, KISS, Queen, Led Zeppelin, Ramones, and the Clash.

I have similar tastes when it comes to classic rock and brutal music, plus I listen to Celtic (Loreena McKennitt) and a lot of music that is not “popular” by mainstream standards. Should there be more extreme music in the mainstream or should it remain underground where bands have more creative control?
If you had to ask me where extreme music oughta go, mainstream or underground, then I’d have to give you a slightly complex answer. It’s a topic I’ve thought about since high school. First of all, let’s admit it, underground music gets pretty awesome. Just the environment of being at an underground show at some crack-in-the-wall house show or a local dive, it’s something that feels really fucking… brutal! Being able to have creative control with no one hindering you is truly free. Music like Slam for example is allowed to just dig in and infect the underground with as much brutality and chaos as one can ensue with such metal at a show. But do we really wanna hide away our music from the mainstream? What are we afraid of, girl scouts showing up at our shows to sell cookies just because we joined the mainstream? I’ve heard people say extreme metal becoming one with the mainstream would lead to attracting undesirable people who got no business being at extreme metal shows. But honestly, if they don’t like that kinda music then they ain’t gonna be there. So that worry goes out the window.
So now that I’m done spewing my thoughts on the underground, I’d like to actually be able to listen to extreme metal like Amon Amarth or Septicflesh on the radio. Not just some bullcrap one hour segment, two days out of the week at 1am, on the rock station. It’s like the music companies and the radio regulators are giving us this little window of brutality and then shuts it on us too soon, man! They’re humoring us to keep us a little happy, a little docile, but fuck that! A large part of me would want a radio station dedicated to extreme metal. Made by metal labels, manned by metalheads. I have a dream… a dream for mainstream brutality that will have its own piece of the airwaves, its own 1%, uninhibited and uncensored.
But how mainstream should we go? Now I’m not saying play Cannibal Corpse over the PA at the mall, but it’d be damn good just to have our own place in the airwaves. As I said, radio is where I’d like extreme metal to have a real foothold in. Being “mainstream” has had such a bad rep because bands have been forced to change profoundly because of what mainstream record labels are demanding. But the mainstream is dependent on the population. A trend change, the way people feel towards a product, can cause a macro change in the music industry. This in-turn affects the mainstream. It affects how labels treat their bands and how they’d like them to sound. Many people fear extreme metal being exposed to the mainstream will cause it to change, or otherwise get sent back to the underground and nothing gets accomplished that way. But if we can get our music out there using our own labels and man power then the mainstream can blow us! Creative control will be in our hands! Unify music without changing it! Stepping into the light will not burn us. Going from underground to mainstream will not hurt us.

There is a fine line between succeeding on your own terms and being forced to compromise yourself. Not only did Black Sabbath make it without compromise but so did Rush, Metallica and Marilyn Manson. Death and black metal are more accepted in the mainstream today than in the 90s. It did change how the general public’s view. It’s a question of how much integrity you can sustain while getting there. Given a choice, what would you do?
If I had to choose between letting a label send my music in a direction I don’t approve of then I’d rather be poorly funded, or be funding myself, if it meant succeeding on my own terms. And if the cheap piece of crap I made sucked then at least I went down in an awesome ball of fire instead of rising to fame in an air balloon fueled by manipulative corporate shit. I’d like to one day be a part of a label that believes in my music, in my band’s music, and will be behind us during our endeavors without changing us. Black Sabbath had that freedom; I’d like to be trusted with that freedom also. Be able to supply quality recordings in abundance to our fans that sounds exactly what they were wanting to hear, and then some.

What independent labels do you think would be accepting of your work, without expecting you to change?
When it comes to labels you can’t be too sure what they’d be cool with, aside from genre, until you actually talk to them. Independent labels, specifically DIY labels tend to pop up more often than actual punk bands and I’m sure if you’re in the general style that they’re formatting for they’ll take you and let you do what you will. They’re not often in the business of releasing too many full-lengths though. Honestly if we’re known for having a specific set of styles that we incorporate into our songs, and the label that wants to pick us up is fully aware of what to expect from us, then I doubt they’d have us change very much at all. Not to say change is a bad thing. I’m not so adamant that I refuse to change when people give me input. Honestly if I were on a label I’d be open to their opinions and listen to advice that they offer. I’m ok with a label trying to affect my style a little, so long as I still agree with the change and so long as I know people will be into it as much as I will be. It doesn’t have to be an independent label either. I’d be interested in big labels as well. They’re not bad, and honestly the bands that are signed to a few of them are long time favorites of mine that I’d love to play alongside with. As for what independent labels I’d be interested in, I’m not all too picky. I’d be interested in a label that has backed many bands and that fits our style. That’s mainly what I care about, experience and compatibility.

Are you able to tell the difference between advice that would benefit you and advice that would turn out detrimental?
I’d like to think I could tell the difference pretty easily. For one thing, if you give me stupid advice that I know will end up bombing everything then I’ll elect to ignore it. Sometimes you don’t know what’s best for you til later on, and sometimes you don’t even realize that unfavorable sounding advice would actually turn out beneficial for you, but I’d rather not take advice that clearly sounds retarded.

From my own experiences I learned that advice that sounded good turned out to be damaging while making my own decisions (i.e. staying grassroots and building from there) with support from like-minded people took me farther. If you try to please the majority you fall because they will always find something to criticize. Should musicians make it a point to ultimately succeed on their own terms?
You should definitely try your best to succeed on your own terms. Of course staying true to yourself is 90% of success. Outside influences can occasionally be beneficial. I just feel that nearly shutting yourself off completely from other decisions would leave you with a product that could’ve been better. But definitely strive to keep majority decisions by the band. Not by the label, not by the critics nor the fans, but by the band.

How many local punk bands do you get to see over there? While CBGB was being forcibly removed from NYC. I heard about plans to reopen it in Vegas but didn’t really believe what I was hearing. How many clubs are around where bands can play?
Almost every other week I go to a local show of some sort. When it’s with punk bands I usually see them at house shows. That’s where they’re more prominent. Course they do show up at our punk bar, Double Down Saloon. I think it’s really the epicenter for punk rock here in Vegas. If you play punk then you definitely wanna play the Double Down sometime. There are a few other venues I love to hit as well. Joints like Las Vegas Country Saloon, where all the best metal ends up performing. The Dive on Maryland & Flamingo hosts both punk rock and metal, it’s a really great venue. OMD Theatre had a grand opening last year and it hosts some pretty good bands. Opening night there I saw the 90s death metal band Incantation. I also saw my band 40oz. Folklore perform there. Unfortunately I never heard of CBGB opening up here in Vegas. I guess it never came to be. Although even if it did, it wouldn’t quite be the same. Sure it’d be under the same management I think but it wouldn’t have the location history that it had in NY.

How much of a loss do you feel the eviction of CBGB was to the underground? What are your thoughts on the movie made about the club?
I never got to experience CBGB for myself but I bet it was a hell of a venue. From what I know of it, it was a beacon for touring underground bands to find the venue to stop at in New York. Disconnected from the rest of the mainstream world, yet right there in plain sight for true fans to locate and enjoy the music that tries so hard to be independent and fucking raw. A huge loss indeed. I’ve yet to watch the movie of it but I’ll be looking into that soon enough.

The CBGB movie has been panned as a misrepresentation of the punk scene of the 70s. I saw it and it was typical Hollywood schlock. Personally I prefer independent documentaries and live shows made there. Have you seen any of those?
I haven’t seen full documentaries on CBGB but Hollywood representations of real events using big time actors, and documentaries with actual footage and interviews are two different tiers of telling the same story. Sure, I definitely love watching documentaries. They’re more raw and it’s all 100% real. There’s no script, you’re literally looking into the past. However, even if Hollywood does tend to muck up a true story, they still bring that movie magic to it that makes the non-fan become a fan in less than two hours. It makes people feel for something they’ve never really cared much about before. With the power of movies, you can shine a light on something that deserves recognition. Something important to you that you feel regular everyday people should know about.

If you were to make a movie about a musical era, what would it be and how would you do it?
There are a lotta great flicks that depicted the history of notable music eras. If I had the chance to do one myself I’d really like to direct and film a documentary film on the birth and early life of horrorpunk. In those times the punks first crawled out into the light during the mid-70s... there was even the bloody dumpster baby of punk rock, “post-punk” and its goth legacy... But aside from those two giants of the 1970s underground scene there was also one that was so filthy, so dark, so horrifically satirical that it deserves a damn good film telling its story. It would depict a young Misfits tearing the subgenre into existence. T.S.O.L. and 45 Grave would also have a party in this movie. There weren’t an abundant number of horrorpunk bands in the late 70s-early 80s but these 3 bands together would make one hell of horrorpunk documentary. Like a supergroup moviebash. Hell, gets me excited just fucking thinking about it man! Oh, and as for how else I’d do this. The cast of the movie, no matter how big or small the role is, would be comprised of punk rock fans. If you’ve got any spirit for horrorpunk then there’s no reason you shouldn’t share a spot in this movie of mine! From the young versions of Glen Danzig and Dinah Cancer to the extra roles of people moshing, drinking, and fucking at the gigs. All would be punk fans!

What documentaries have you seen recently that would help inspire you to make your own? Two favorites of mine are the Ramones “End Of The Century” and the Sex Pistols “Filth And The Fury.” Have you seen either of those?
I’ve seen “End Of The Century”. It was damn good. You get to understand the band a lot better on a whole ‘nother level. Understand what makes a dysfunctional rock n roll family work for two decades. Though if I were to make my own documentary then it would come predominantly from me, and my ideas. Sure it’s good to draw influence from other films, bands or whatnot but honestly I would just go with it. And of course it’s not just going to be my own documentary. What starts as an idea in one person needs others to help it grow into reality. The people with me, the idea we all collectively wanna strive for, our knowledge of the music, and the resources we’d pull to contact the people who were actually there and a part of that world; that’s what I would use to inspire my documentary if I were to make one.

How well known is the Double Down Saloon in punk scenes from other states in the US? Do many bands from outside Vegas play there? How about the other clubs you mentioned?
I’m not sure exactly how well known the Double Down is outside of Vegas but I do know that a lotta people from out of state, in state, and out of country have come, seen, and loved it. Most punk bands coming to Vegas play at house shows but a good portion of them play at Double Down. It is by far one of the best bars in Vegas, and the best punk bar without a doubt. The last out of state band that I saw play there was hardcore punk band Gukdo from South Korea last month. The attendance was huge! From budget $2 shots, to Bacon Martinis and Ass Juice, to pinball machines and a punk rock jukebox, you can’t go wrong with Double Down Saloon. Our motto is Shut Up and Drink! and at the Double Down that’s what we major in. But if you find yourself in different parts of town then you could check out the Dive which caters to more metal but still has punk bands going through there also. I’ve seen phenomenal metal bands like Blasphemous Creation, Infinite Death, and Goatwhore at the Dive. Other venues would include Las Vegas Country Saloon, which brings in some of the best touring metal bands to Vegas. Also there’s OMD Theatre which for cheaper entry hosts some real good gigs as well. Eagle Aerie Hall across town in Henderson also attracts a lotta bands too. They’re an all-ages venue but they still get to sell alcohol outta their bar, so that’s pretty cool. Most of the bands passing through there are down tempo hardcore bands, beatdown, modern post-hardcore, etc. Not really my scene but they do well for themselves.

How much do fans usually pay to attend local shows in Vegas? In New York attendance has been known to increase at some clubs but we still have a few where attendance is not that expensive. The attendance prices at major venues like Madison Square Garden can reach three figures when a major band’s tour brings them here.
I’d start off telling you the cheapest to the priciest. Double Down Saloon ALWAYS has free shows. The bands that have gigs there are usually pretty good too. The Dive and OMD Theatre are other venues that usually have door prices from $10-20. The bands they host are usually much harder than the ones at Double Down. Las Vegas Country Saloon hosts some of the best touring metal bands in Vegas and their door prices range from $15-25. Eagle Aerie Hall is a venue just outside Vegas in Henderson, its door prices range from $10-15. Mainly hardcore metal bands perform there. Much larger venues would include House of Blues in Mandalay Bay and Hard Rock Café on Las Vegas Blvd. The alcohol prices are really jacked up but the entry is usually just $15-25, and they’ve hosted some phenomenal bands. House of Blues is the better venue to go to for shows though. A more expensive venue here would be the Joint at Hard Rock Hotel. Their entry is usually at least $45. I’ve only been there once but it was for the Marilyn Manson concert and that was kinda brutal. Like the House of Blues, they too have balcony seating. The MGM Grand Arena is the priciest venue I’ve caught a concert at. This is where the gargantuan acts hit in Vegas! From $50-1000+ this is where you’ll see bands both brutal and classic, infamous and idolized.

Of those venues with their respective cover prices, which do you personally prefer?
I think I prefer Las Vegas Country Saloon the most. It’s just a real comfortable venue. They’ve got barrel seats on one side, leather dinner couches on the other side, and a real big space for the pit. There’s also a balcony outside the entry door (both being on the second floor) where you can chill at in between bands or even before the show. I usually pregamed with my own bottle on that balcony, overlooking Fremont Street in my dizzying condition. Aside from the great looking venue that LVCS is, it also has hosted some of the most brutal acts I’ve seen, many of them being longtime favorites of mine. At this venue alone I’ve caught Belphegor, Carnivore Diprosopus, Deathstars, Exmortus, Fleshgod Apocalypse, and Septicflesh. These shows were rarely over $25. Brutal music at a great cost. LVCS is my kinda venue.

How would you describe the sound system at LVCS, as well as the usual patronage attending to see shows there?
Well I can’t say I remember what their brand equipment is called or how large the sound guy’s mixer is. But I’ll sum up their equipment short and simple. Really big, tall, fucking PA speakers. They’re on both sides of the stage and sound pretty damn great. As for the patronage, sometimes they get around 15 people, sometimes they get 50. Their attendance definitely sky rockets during the Las Vegas Death Fest which is held at Las Vegas Country Saloon.

What is the Las Vegas Death Fest and what experiences have you had there? Where can people get information about this fest?
The Las Vegas Deathfest is an annual three day extreme metal concert taking place at Las Vegas Country Saloon. I haven’t been able to go yet, but maybe this year I’ll attend. 2016 is the year of Deathfest 8. Without being there I already know the bands that have played that stage in the past were fucking terrific. Brutal Slamming Grinding Death Metal!! Definitely something you need to experience. Deathfests are in several states across the country, so you owe it to yourself to use those odds in your favor and submit your body to a night of painful drunken extreme metal at your unfriendly neighborhood Deathfest! is your go to for more information.

Which bands will be appearing at LVDF 2016? What other activities take place at these festivals?
Well fuck, that’s gotta be a long list to give. I’ll probably only attend the Saturday concert on June 14. Starting at noon, the bands on that day will be Cerebral Engorgement, Logistic Slaughter, Tentacles, Splattered, Leprous Divinity, Composted, Crepitation, Vomit God, Exhumer, Incinerate, Interment, Letum Ascensus, Gortuary, Cerebral Incubation, Condemned, Corpsefucking Art, Guttural Secrete, and Gorgasm. It’s basically one long, half day festival of brutal fucking metal. Not many other activities are happening here. I mean besides drinking, watching the bands, moshing, drinking again, buying too much merch, and moshing some more, there’s really not much else to do there. That being said, do you really need anything more at a death metal concert? Sometimes it’s the little things in life that count most.

Any other metal fests you have attended that are worth mentioning?
I haven’t attended many music festivals. I’ve always been more of a concert guy. Don’t have to show up at noon, don’t have to walk half a mile to see a band... indoor venue concerts just seem more my type. But festivals can still be pretty rad. My favorite is Knotfest. Only been once, in 2014, but it was pretty terrific. Saw bands like Otep, Miss May I, In This Moment, Anthrax, Hatebreed, Danzig, Black Label Society, and others. I guess I’m a little biased towards naming Knotfest because Slipknot has been a favorite of mine for over a decade. Being at that festival just felt right. It felt damn good.

On the net there are many independent radio shows with formats of extreme metal. Most of them are fan run and maintain a one to one basis with the bands they support. Are indie stations active in Vegas? If you ran one, what would the format be?
There are indeed online radio shows for metalheads. It’s a cool idea; then again I could just YouTube music if I had to go online to listen to extreme metal, but it’s kinda limited. For one thing internet radio tends to limit you to a computer. But I know what you’re thinking: why not just listen to it on your mobile? Well that’s just gonna drain the crap outta your cell phone. Personally I prefer radio, even if the only station I seem to listen to most is the rock station where popular songs are repeated over and over with occasional classic heavy metal and a short segment of extreme metal at night. I’m not familiar of any indie radio stations in Vegas but if I ran one I would predominantly focus the format on extreme subgenres of metal and punk. The format would also include talk shows. Talk show commentary on the local music scene, as well as music news from around the country, narrated by a few hosts who have really gotten involved in the punk and metal music scene here. This would not be a “morning” talk show like most people are used to, ‘cause honestly who wants to wake up at fucking 7 am and do a talk show after drinking and moshing at a house show till 2am?? Hahaha. Naw, this would be an afternoon thing. But in the morning I’d like to air hardcore punk rock music (dbeat, crust, powerviolence, etc) both local and signed. Mainly signed, ‘cause of course that’s where some of the money comes from and they need all the coverage they can get for when they’re trying to tour and promote new albums. Of course there’d be plenty of coverage for local punk bands as well. I’d be adamant about that. Another reason I’d like punk in the morning is ‘cause Irish Coffee and loud fast punk rock is a great fucking way to wake your ass up in the morning and do some adulting! Later in the afternoon and into the evening there’d be extreme metal. Death metal, black metal, doom metal, deathcore, Grindcore, good shit like that. I’d honestly be more excited to hear the metal segment than the punk one. It’d be fucking glorious. Aside from a music talk show, morning punk rock, and evening heavy metal, there would also be traffic reports and weather reports. Personally I’d try to get away with hysterically crude sounding DJs to report the weather and traffic with, like, “Tomorrow night Las Vegas is expected to receive its first thunderstorm in two months. We’re expecting flashfloods, so either carry an umbrella or stay the hell inside; otherwise you’re gonna end up wetter than a Boulder Highway hooker!” Yeaaa I can see it now…. And that would be the format for my own radio station.

How many bands have you been involved in since you started your musical career? Anything released on demo and/or CD?
Well I wouldn’t really call it a career. Not yet anyway. But I’ve been in several bands that lasted from two weeks to two months. Nothing really stuck with me. It was either they weren’t committed enough, or the style of music I thought I was getting into took a real 180 shortly after I joined and I no longer wanted to play in that kinda band. The first bands I joined up with were in Northern Utah, and the presence of deathcore was strong up there. Still is I’m sure. And I wasn’t really into all that simple repetitive “crapcore”. I wanted to instead play more black metal inspired music. Whether it be in punk rock, symphonic metal of some sort, or just straight up black metal in general. I had a strong desire to play horrorpunk as well, but aside from a handful of locals, like Diemonsterdie, there weren’t really many people in that part of Utah who were interested in starting those kinda bands. I felt kinda lost, marooned on an island where others didn’t relate to me at all. The band that I felt sucked the least was a death metal band that I and a local Kaysville dude started together called Necrogen. Only made two songs before the guitarist’s stereotypical attitude on what can or can’t be metal pissed me off, so I left. I never made any demos with any bands in the past. Aside from the material I’m currently writing with 40oz. Folklore, the only other recordings by me can be found on my personal vocal cover page on Facebook. Just my attempt at pursuing vocals, though I’m definitely happy playing lead guitar in my current band as well.

How does the music on your Facebook vocal cover page differ from most metal bands?
The recordings I have on my Facebook vocal page don’t exactly differ from most metal bands. To put it more accurately, my vocal covers resemble and even draw influence from certain subgenres of metal. Regardless what song I cover, I usually have my own little twist on the original. As a vocalist I am inspired by the likes of Wednesday 13, Toxic Holocaust, Skeletonwitch, and Immortal. I see vocal covers on Youtube and people seem to try so hard replicating the original. I don’t wanna sound like the original vocalist at all. I wanna take the art they’ve created and taint it with my own sickening version of it. Cradle Of Filth covering Hallowed Be Thy Name by Iron Maiden is a prime example. They didn’t just cover that Maiden song; they absolutely enhanced it with unholy brutality. It was a glorious cover and that type of original thinking is what I try to incorporate into my own cover work as well.

How did you hear about 40oz Folklore through your involvement in the local punk scene? Was there anything about the band that made you want to work with them? How often did you jam with them before joining?
I first heard about 40oz when I picked up a friend of mine, a local promoter, and on our way to one of his shows he mentioned the vocalist of 40oz. Folklore being there. Said they were a friend. That night, at OMD Theatre, I saw the band perform for the first time. I thought they were pretty alright. I especially liked the vocals that Erikka the frontwoman had. Don’t think I heard any other Vegas punk bands with these kinda vocals. I really dug it. I saw them a couple times after and during September of 2015 I got hit up by Chris their drummer to audition for the band. He liked my guitar playing and I was totally down to come over and try out. We had never jammed previously before but I’ve seen their playing, they’ve seen my playing on Facebook footage, and we just realized I’d be a possible good fit.

What other bands were you working with before you joined 40oz Folklore?
I’d been in several bands that lasted from a few weeks to a few months, but none really suited me. They either fell apart or changed up their style and I just had to get the hell out. 40oz Folklore is my first successful band. I’m actually getting somewhere with this one. Though I’m more into metal than punk, I really enjoy playing in this band. But we won’t just be straight up punk; we’re all interested in metal as well and plan to incorporate a bastard union of hardcore punk and extreme metal into our future tracks. The bands of my past have been minor speed bumps, now I’m going 4000rpm and plan on only accelerating with 40oz. Folklore!

Since you joined 40oz Folklore have you played any shows with them? How well do you work with the other members of the band?
I’ve played three shows with 40oz Folklore so far. I joined the band in September 2015 but my first gig with them wasn’t till January 2016 at Stateside Lounge here in Vegas. It was a good bar venue with beer pitchers, wings, and a good sound system. It was more of a practice show for us but it was alright. After that we had a gig at the Double Down and then at 5 Star Bar in downtown LA. Attendance at 5 Star was even larger than that at Double Down Saloon. On the DDS and 5 Star gigs we were accompanied by Gukdo from South Korea. They were fun shows. As for working with my band in general, we seldom have problems but that’s just normal shit. If it didn’t ever occur then you might as well be jamming with fucking androids! But we’re really getting in a comfort zone with where we rehearse really well and are currently working on the new songs for our future EP. This one will be many times harder, faster, and more brutal than 40oz Folklore’s debut EP.

How long did it take you to learn the songs 40oz Folklore play live? Have you gotten to write new songs with them?
I learned their songs on guitar pretty quickly. Since I was one of the new guys to join the lineup I had to learn the original EP songs of the band, but when we started working on a new song it only took me a few minutes to get down. There were about eight to ten songs that I’ve learned. It’s not the most complicated music to play. Punk rock in general isn’t that technical, but it’s still music that I love playing. I’ve added my own solos to some of the existing EP tracks of 40oz. Folklore and we’ve recently started working on more new songs. These future tracks will be much harder, faster, and darker than the original EP. We’re aiming for a blackened crust sound in 40oz. Folklore’s future. Dark, fast, and filthy.

What songs by the band do you most get a thrill out of playing live? How many new songs are you currently working on?
My favorite song off the original EP would have to be ‘Something’s Wrong With This Picture’. It’s got an opening bass riff that just draws you in right before the guitars explode into fast angry power chords. ‘They Don’t Get It’ is also a favorite of mine. It’s simple but fast, and I’ve added an updated tapping solo to the song. I also definitely prefer playing Soapbox. It’s a slower song, and in a different direction than what we’re going with in our new songs, but it’s just too damn fun to play haha. Currently we have four new songs on guitar, and we’re in the process of adding drums and lyrics to them.

How soon do you expect the new release to come out? Are you releasing it independently or searching for labels?
40oz. Folklore currently has five new songs that we’re getting tight with. No actual recordings yet but we really wanna make them impressive, without any fuckups. Something you can look back on and not have to regret anything big. If I had to guess, we’d release a new EP in the fall or winter of 2016. Personally I wanna cram as many new songs as we can onto this. I want us to hit you with a wall of sound that blows your fucking brains out. This’ll be an independent release on our own dime. I mean, not unless some label spots us at a house show sometime later this year haha. But what the hell are the odds of that? I ain’t holding my breath. I’m just focusing on the music right now, man. If labels like it, fucking awesome. If locals like it, fucking great!

What is a typical 40oz Folklore show like, in terms of your audience? Any particularly interesting tales to tell?
Since I’ve been in 40oz. we’ve only had three gigs. All three had really great fucking attendance. It was a group effort though, man. The more bands that hop on the bill, the more people wanna show up. Our largest so far with me was our gig at 5 Star Bar where the attendance probably clocked in at 60+ people. If I had to think of the most interesting experience we’ve had together so far, it’d involve our vocalist. He was sick the night of our first official gig with me in the band. Had took some cough medicine before I picked him up, then thought it was a good idea to do shots of Jägermeister during the show. He was so fucking plastered, so far gone, that by the time we set up to perform his vocals sounded like a dying cancer patient trying to sound out their final words of life.. It was funny and aggravating at the same time. Really difficult to pinpoint the feelings we had, but it’s definitely my most interesting tale with the band so far.

How far would you like to see 40oz Folklore go in their career, starting with playing across the US and other countries?
As far as career expectations go, I’d fucking love to see 40oz go far. Far as the moon! Play cross country shows and get on a label. Have people wear our shirts and listen to our CDs and tapes. I wanna be the kinda guy who inspires other musicians ten or twenty years from now. I want people to come to our shows and say, this is what I’ve been fucking waiting for. Just wanna make a difference man, ya’know? Our last tour was in LA with South Korean punk band Gukdo. If they can make it out here, then we oughta make it out there. No excuses.

-Dave Wolff

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