Do you know of the epic styling of Hiroshima Vacation? If not, you should be. My homie Andrew over at Operation Grindcore introduced me to them a while back and I have since made a comrade in VII Caso. He has even done guest vocals on one of my previous band’s tracks (listen here). He’s a killer dude and he agreed to do a duel interview. I shot him some questions and he shot me some. Here is the interview I conducted with him. Continue on to check out some of his music and so on.
Hey, dude. How’s it going?
I’m doing very well, thank you. Very busy.
First off, let’s talk about Hiroshima Vacation. How did the band start out?
Hiroshima Vacation started in late 2009, I believe. My friend came up to me at a show we were at and asked if I wanted to start a sludge metal band with him, with me on guitar. I didn’t consider myself a guitar player at the time, but I thought “why not?” The first few times we improv jammed, and the whole “sludge metal” thing kind of went out the window, since I was playing more hardcore-style riffs. Eventually, songs started to take form (the first song we ever wrote was “Bashin Emo Kids”), I decided to play in drop C instead of D, and we got my brother Tenor, who is still in the band, to do vocals for us. Nowadays we are a duo.
Who were your immediate influences? The bands whose sounds are evident in your music?
When we first started out we were all heavily inspired by Magrudergrind‘s s/t record. I think in the early recordings you can tell we were focusing on groove and hardcore momentum. Nowadays, I’m very inspired by powerviolence/fastcore bands, and weird grind bands. Some of my biggest influences when it comes to writing riffs are Discordance Axis, Pig Destroyer, Iron Lung, Magrudergrind and bands that do a lot of stop/start riffs, which I’m trying to use more. But me and tenor both write our own songs and we both have very different styles. It’s almost like 2 different bands. Tenor is way more into the weird chords and more melodic riffs. Which I totally dig and I think we’re going to be using a lot more. Not uber-melodic, of course, but we’re definitely going to try and be different while still playing fast, intense grind.
You are an avid record collector, right? What are some of your prized gems?
Yes, sir. Sucks up all my money that doesn’t go to paying rent, haha. I’d say my biggest prized possessions are my +HIRS+ collection (I have everything they’ve released), Spazz/Lack of Interest split 7″, Agoraphobic Nosebleed/Converge ‘s The Poacher Diaries split, Fuck The Facts’ Die Miserable on clear vinyl, Boris’ Amplifier Worship and Man Is The Bastard’s Sum Of Men… just to name a few. I cherish all my records.
Now, on to Operation Grindcore. You’ve been writing for OG for a while, interviewing folks and reviewing albums. How do you like the life of the blogger?
I fucking love it! It’s very easy going and totally open ended and I’m not pinned down by a schedule or anything, though I do try to write as much as possible. I really owe a lot to Andrew, the creator of OG, for letting me come on board and help him with his amazing blog. I was a huge fan of OG before I wrote for it, and I was still doing album reviews on YouTube. When he asked me to join, I was thrilled, and I think it’s a much better, and less stressful way to do journalism than video.
Of the interviews you have done, who has been your favorite person to talk to?
I’ve never really done a live interview before. It’s always been over e-mail, but by far my favorite person to talk to has to be Eric Wood. The amount of time and energy he spent answering my huge amount of questions really meant a lot to me, as a fan. We also worked together fixing any mistakes I made in my writing, and he was beyond thrilled. I can happily say I now consider him a friend.
What is the best album you’ve reviewed or listened to this year so far? Your most anticipated? What’s up with that Pig Destroyer album?!
Honestly, nothing has come out this year that I think is “great”. The first review I did this year was for the Priapus/Old Painless split, which I still think is excellent. Other album’s I’ve been enjoying this year that I haven’t gotten the chance to review yet are the new Six Brew Bantha, and the new Antigama EP. For my most anticipated, yeah, definitely the new Pig Destroyer. Fucking can’t wait for that one. I’m also excited for the new Noisear records and splits, the Antigama full length, that xBrainiax/Sidetracked split, Gadget, Mindless, the Extortion/Hatred Surge split that will hopefully come out this year, the new Backslider 10″, and the Bastard Noise/Lack Of Interest split, just to name a select few. The new Gojira should be interesting as well.
What’s coming up for Hiroshima Vacation? You recently completed a split with Standing On A Floor Of Bodies, right? Those tracks are fucking vicious, can you tell me a bit about them? Recording, lyrical themes?
Hopefully that split will be out soon. I haven’t been getting a whole lot of updates. It’s coming out on a cassette by Sweet Stache Records, and this will be the first release on the label. We’re also doing a split 7″ with The Drip and another split with Greber, from Canada, both of which will be out later in the year. We recorded all these songs at Stark Studios in our home city of Ithaca, NY. Definitely the most professional recording we’ve ever done, and I think everything came out great.
Is there anything else you’re working on that you can tell me about?
I have a new fastcore/powerviolence project called Loathe. I’m not sure I can give all the details away right now, but you can rest assure that it’s gonna be amazing! I’m also keeping busy with my noise project, (<o>) (pronouced Eye). A collaboration with Merdarahta is in the works, as well as a couple other splits/EPs.
What would you say is your favorite grind record of all time?
Fucking A, this question is impossible. I can’t really say what my favorite of all time is, since I hopefully still have a lot of living and listening to do. But, some of my favorites are still In Disgust’s Reality Choke, Pig Destroyer’s Prowler in The Yard and Phantom Limb, Discordance Axis’s The Inalienable Dreamless, Agents of Abhorrence’s Earth.Sun,Water, and many many others.
Be Sure To Check Out VII’s bands Hiroshima Vacation, Loathe, (<o>) and whatever else this dude does. He’s a fucking monster and he will be legendary. Thanks for the interview, bro. Keep it grind.