Let's start with the interviews!
Fenris and Jessie Mowery of quote: "Every Band Ever"
After moving to Jessie's room and shooting the shit about how awesome Dixie Dave and all of his bands are, we got down to "business".
Me: So tell me about your band, what you guys are all about.
Fenris' vocalist Chance: We've been a band for like a year now.
Guitarist Danny: We smoke weed and drink beer and ride bikes.
Bassist Deighton or Dee-dee (or a variation of that spelling): The story of our first show is pretty interesting.
Drummer Jimmy: Our first show was terrible...
Dee-Dee: Not really the show... (garbled)... but between our first and second show, we completely changed the lineup.
Chance: We didn't even have a band.
Dee-dee: The first show came down to the last week. Evan Galvarez was supposed to be the bassist of Fenris, right? It came down to the last week, and he lived in Hendersonville. They got robbed. And [the other band members] were like "Well Dee-Dee, Evan can't come, so we're just gonna teach you all the bass parts, and if it works out, you can be the bassist." And I was like "Sweet."
Chance: We had a fill-in drummer at our first show and Jimmy played guitar, and it was all on practice amps.
Dee-dee: We wrote at least half our setlist two nights before the gig. It came down to like three nights before the gig and we were like "We've got two songs, we need to make a few more." So yeah, it was pretty ridiculous, and it wasn't that great. But then, it got good.
Chance: The coolest thing about our first show was the Filler cover.
Dee-dee: And then we were like, we need a guitarist, Jimmy should be the drummer. How about Danny? He's a really good guitarist. And then we got Danny for our next show, and he's been with us ever since.
Jimmy: Yeah, they were like "See if this works" and I was like "Alright man."
Me: You guys rock hard. Influences?
Dee-dee:Brainwreck, I would say.
Dex and Friend's guitarist/vocalist Jessie: Yeah, Brainwreck. They're a band from here.
Chance: When I started a band, I started it because I saw them.
Jessie: They broke up September of last year. I think they were a band for almost three years. I played a lot of shows with them.
Chance: They were just fast and raw and heavy as fuck. Badass.
Jessie: Really awesome hardcore. Powerviolence. Whatever the fuck. But always really emotional sets. They didn't give a fuck, they were just playing to fucking do it, and have fun.
Chance: But musically we've been listening to a lot of post-hardcore. Saetia, Orchid, shit like that.
Unfortunately, I realized after the interview after this that the voice recording app I was using on my phone stopped recording at five minutes, so the above transcript is all I have verbatim from this interview. Which is really quite unfortunate, because after this part, we talked about the Nashville scene and how it has evolved, and Jessie Mowery waxed rather eloquently on the subject. I will make a new blog post once I am able to catch up with him and see if he remembers what he said on this night.
Brother Ares and Sean from Exorcism
After musing for two minutes about Unsane, beards and mustaches, makeup, and Carson Daly trying to be Dick Clark:
Me: So what are you guys all about? That's a good place to start, right?
Brother Ares' guitarist/vocalist Blake: Beards.
Brother Ares' drummer/vocalist Gore: I don't know what that means.
Me: : Maybe something easier. Influences!
Blake: The Body, Beast in the Field...
Blake: Earthless, Om. We totally cover Om in practice. And of course, by proxy, Sleep. And with all metal bands, it comes back to [Black] Sabbath, really. Any slow metal band to an extent.
Jessie pokes his head in here: Really any evil sounding metal band...
Blake: The tritone! The devil's chord!
Me (to Sean): How about you?
Exorcism's vocalist Sean: I guess basically shit like Swans, Big Black, the Jesus Lizard, Discharge, and Meanderthal. The Gun Club are a big one. Fuckin' love the Gun Club. Shit like Trial, Undertow. Just basically anything fuckin' heavy and visceral. Not even necessarily heavy, but just visceral. We all listen to a lot of shit. Patsy Cline.
Blake: We'd be all about that.
Gore: We actually want to start a powerviolence cover band called Johnny Gash.
Sean: Just a lot of different shit. If you limit yourself to one type of thing...
Gore: ...You're really fuckin' up.
Sean: Shit like that. Black metal stuff.
Norwegian music is discussed. Modern black metal is brought up. Arguments concerning Liturgy ensue.
Me: So you got your demo out, are you guys (Exorcism) at a standstill, what with the eviction and stuff?
Sean: Well I mean, this just happened a few days ago, the guys are staying at a motel right now, but we'll be alright. We'll figure something out. If the guys could drag themselves up from Murfreesboro they could practice at my house...
Me: So what do you think about the Nashville scene?
Sean: I'm just getting into it. I moved back here after living out West for a couple of years. There's so many fucking good bands. There's really good shit. I kind of feel like this area almost has its own sound. Everybody seems really restless, nobody wants to do the same thing. All these punk, metal, whatever bands. There's so many bands that feel that way and pull from whatever the fuck they want. It's really, really cool. I really like what's going on here. I've liked every band we've played with. It's really surprising. They're not going for anything specific, they're just going for what they want to hear and play.
While I wasn't able to talk much to Clay Cronic of Assnuke beyond talking about DRI and Melvins being influences at the time, I was able to catch up with him tonight and ask him if he wanted to talk about any other influences.
Assnuke's guitarist/singer Clay: "Poison Idea, Aus Rotten, we play a Battalion of Saints cover, and if I wanted to be that asshole I'd say the Germs, but that's a big stretch. Preston [the drummer] is into a lot more metal than I am. Needless to say, I listen to a lot of shit across the board, but as a punk band, it's hard not to sound completely musically autistic. At these days? We try to practice a lot, same old shit."
Pictures of Brother Ares coming soon. I invited my
And now it's the part everyone's been waiting for! The Reviews! Let's hope I remember enough of the show to review it.
First up was Fenris.
Sludge. Hardcore. Punk. Crust. Grindcore. If Fenris was a refrigerator, all of these labels would stick like magnets (and you can bet your ass that this Fenris-fridge would be stocked with nothing but beer). These guys could do slow, fast, and anything in between, with topics ranging from the serious (one song was about how Chance had lost a friend to prescription pill abuse) to the delightfully, blasphemously absurd (I'm fairly certain their last tune was a speedy grinder entitled "Skullfuck Moses"). Excellent show, full of passion and energy. Would watch again. 8.5/10
Next was my bros Brother Ares.
Don't be fooled by their lack of band members, this duo will rip your face off and make you beg for more. Their mighty beards alone should be reason for you to cower in both fear and awe. Their crunchy mixture of sludge and doom metal will leave you flattened, gasping for air as your lungs are unable to open beneath the crushing, glacier-paced sound. Despite needing to borrow a cymbal or two, Blake and Gore were in top form, their screams and shouts shaking the diminutive venue and annoying at least one neighbor. Just when I thought they couldn't get any better, they debuted a cosmolith of a song, with an extremely heavy almost minimalist riff, punctuated by a gorgeous noise-inspired mid-section and outro. After a few more songs and an outcry of "TUNE, ASSHOLE!", Blake switched to the totally brutal sparkly blue guitar for their traditional closing song, a cover of Black Flag's "My War". It was better than I remember. 9.2/10
Third on the bill was Assnuke.
This duo kicked off their playlist with a song about cigarettes, with an Addams Family-esque intro and clap(snap?)-along parts that quickly turned into a DRI-fueled thrashy hardcore moshfest. In fact, most of their songs sounded quite DRI-inspired, moreso than just their cover of DRI's "I Don't Need Society". Despite this slightly derivative sound, the band was a blast. I found myself head-banging along even joining in in making an itty bitty mosh pit with about five other guys. Their last song was a bit more robust, with a slower, almost more thoughtful pace, and Clay using a different vocal style. I hope these guys explore this direction in the future, what with variety being the spice of life and all that good bullshit. 7.9/10
Fiddlesticks was to be the next band on the bill, but the guitarist split. So at the last second, Dex (the drummer of Fiddlesticks) teamed up with fellow Himen house resident Jessie Mowery (veteran of countless Nashville bands, including the up and coming Nut Collector who has a split with Fenris) to become
For being a rather rushed collaboration, I was extremely surprised and impressed by this pair. Dex jammed on drums while Jessie played very echoey, post-rock/metal/punk guitars and screamed at a level that was somewhere between hardcore punk and black metal. After one building jam, I craved more. Unfortunately, one jam was all they played. NEEDMOAR/10
The final act was Exorcism. I'd heard a lot about these guys in talking to Blake before the show, so I was excited. To my extreme mispleasure and disfortune, I was outside smoking a cigarette during most of their set, and made it in during the tail end of their heavy as fuck, doomy sludge tune. Their "last" song was a blaster of a hardcore song, with Sean waking the dead on vocals. After a brief pause, some premature gratitude, and a quick water break, the band reconvened and played a ruthless cover of Black Sabbath's "Paranoid". I was more than proud to join in with the handful of guys screaming the words into the fittingly tinted pink and gold microphone. It was an absolute blissful end to a heavy-hitting, exhausting night. And while I'd like to give these guys a numerical review, I feel that I need more data in order to make an apt judgment. 2.5 songs simply isn't enough. Needsmoreresearch/10
Should I get around to it, look for my review of the next show I attend, which looks to be Kit Fistu-Brother Ares-Exorcism-Fenris-Intoxicated Male-Witch Hex at The Muse on Feb 26. Should be a good time.