Exclusive Interview: SIX OF SWORDS

Six of Swords Promo

Toronto, ON’s Six of Swords are set to release their debut EP, Polar Vortex, on February 23 through Sorrow Carrier Records. It’s an exceptionally solid release, anchored with brutality, harsh intensity and bleak atmosphere, showcasing the band’s take on modern death metal, which fuses their classic influences with elements of doom, sludge and hardcore. Guitarist Steve Parkhill and vocalist Josh Gordon recently caught up with American Aftermath to discuss the EP and how Six of Swords have evolved over the past few years, as well as the impact of having straightedge members in the band, and more. Continue reading

Exclusive Interview: MERDARAHTA’s Topon Das

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Canadians Merdarahta, featuring Fuck The Facts’ Topon Das and Melanie Mongeon, recently released their new album, As The Dark Clouds Swept Away We Could See The Sunset, on January 20. The band also features members of The Sun Through A Telescope, Mekhaya and others, and combines experimental ambient noise with doom and drone. In an interview with American Aftermath, Das discussed how Merdarahta came to be and how much of a departure it is from Fuck The Facts, as well as the writing process for As The Dark Clouds Swept Away We Could See The Sunset, the theme behind the album and more. Continue reading

Exclusive Interview: Antonio Marquez of SPINE

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Credits To Maclyn Bean Photography (https://www.facebook.com/maclynbeanphotography)

SPINE are a hardcore group based out of Kansas City, MO and Chicago, IL, consisting of current and former members of Weekend Nachos, Harm’s WaySorryXExcuse, Blindside USA, Kicked In, Last Laugh and Keef Mountain. Despite maintaining a part-time status, the group have managed to enjoy a rich career since their debut in 2011. They’ve carved out a viable live reputation, released a split with legendary Chicago maniacs The Repos, have entered the lexicon of contemporary musician/stand-up comedians and have been part of plans by Mikhail Gorbachev to be sent to the moon. With the recent release of their debut LP, Time Has Gone, I had the opportunity to talk with their lead vocalist, Antonio Marquez about all of the above in addition to quips about the record, arm-wrestling with Zero Progress (R.I.P.) Matt “The Champ” Saincome, acting, socks, Pepsi, gwapes, communism, making the best of lyrical content and barbecue.

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Exclusive Interview: YOUTH FUNERAL’s Casey Nealon

See You When I See You, the new EP from New Hampshire’s Youth Funeral, is arguably one of the new year’s first great releases. In a mere 11 minutes, See You When I See You devastates everything around it. Complex, feverish bouts of instrumentation are woven together with emotionally-charged vocals to create memorable tracks that are challenging, heavy, immediate, melodic and melancholic. The songs echo that of Orchid, Pg.99 and the rest of the screamo archetypes, but rearrange it just enough to make it their own. American Aftermath recently caught up with Youth Funeral guitarist and vocalist Casey Nealon to answer a few questions regarding the new release. 

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Exclusive Interview: WARSAWWASRAW

Warsawwasraw‘s debut full length, Sensitizer, came seemingly out of nowhere this year. I was not aware of the French duo’s existence until Three One G label head Justin Pearson (of The Locust/Retox) shared their track “Hollowcost” on various social media outlets. As if the whole “chaotic hardcore” genre couldn’t get more…chaotic. The instrumentation is fast and intense beyond measure. The drumming is furious and bludgeoning. The guitars churn out riffs that are extremely complex, noisy and vicious. Sensitizer is a whirlwind of auditory insanity that aims to distance itself from being just another album that simply echoes the work of Botch or Converge. In short, the album is a good kick in the ass. I recently got in touch with the two masterminds behind Warsawwasraw to discuss the album and more.

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Exclusive Interview: WRECK AND REFERENCE

As the year draws to a close, music journalists and bloggers reflect upon what was released in order to construct their year-end “Best Of” lists. It can sometimes be quite a daunting task putting these silly little lists together. “Did I forget anything?” “Well, this album should be placed at number 10 and this one at 15.” “I’ve been staring at the same computer screen for three hours; my life is in shambles.” But luckily, there are certain releases that were so good that it makes the process a little easier. So good, that you just can’t not  forget to mention them. For me, one of those albums is Wreck and Reference‘s Want. The bleak, experimental noise/ambient duo’s sophomore full length is unsettling and memorable in the all the right ways. American Aftermath recently caught up with the two musical architects Ignat Frege and Felix Skinner to talk a little bit about the record, the band’s sound and origins, pasta and sadness. 

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Exclusive: THORR-AXE Interview And Song Premiere “Descent”

Thorr-Axe 1A few weeks ago I was introduced to a band called Thorr-Axe. This band smashed me in the face with their punishing doom crushing and I had to get in contact with them. I set up an interview with vocalist/guitarist Tucker Thomasson and I found out a little about the bands new album Gates Of Winter and the derivation of their name. Read on to learn the answers to these questions and more as well as stream a new track titled “Descent,” which happens to be Tucker’s favorite track on the album. Enjoy.      Continue reading

Exclusive: LAE Track Premiere + Interview

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After nearly a decade-and-a-half of silence, Montreal-based experimental rock act Lae will release their long-awaiting debut full length, Break the Clasp, on November 25th.

The band were initially active in the mid 1990s under the name Lae-Tseu and impacted the Quebec art and post-hardcore/emo/indie scenes and earned a solid regional fanbase. As they were preparing to recorded their debut full length, the band dissolved and was put on hold in 2001. Now, nearly 13 years later, the newly reformed Lae are ready to unleash these songs upon the world.

We here at American Aftermath are excited to bring you your first taste of Break the Clasp in the form of the album’s seventh track, “Sister”. The song echoes psychedelic progressive rock and post-rock but the overall picture is far more expansive. The song, as well as the album in general, is wholly unique and escapes categorization. Stream “Sister” for yourself and read a quick interview with Lae mastermind Marc Lucas Ablasou after the break.

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Exclusive Interview: OLD WOUNDS

Last week (September 16), New Jersey metallic hardcore warriors Old Wounds released their incredible new EP, Death Projection. The EP follows their highly praised 2013 debut LP, From Where We Came Is Where We’ll Rest, and sees the band maturing and further honing their sound, which is rooted in a distinct ’90s hardcore influence. In this recent interview with American Aftermath, drummer Brandon Gallagher discussed the new release, how it compares to their previous material and the band’s influences, as well as creating the Death Projection artwork and more. Continue reading

Exclusive Interview: THE CONTORTIONIST

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Earlier this week (September 16) progressive metal act The Contortionist released their latest album, Language. Their third full-length and follow-up to 2012’s Intrinsic features a new line-up, with original members, Joey (drums) and Robby Baca (guitar), now accompanied by Michael Lessard (vocals), Jordan Eberhardt (bass) and Eric Guenther (keyboards). Along with the personnel change, Language sees the band delve further into experimental and atmospheric territory. In this recent interview with American Aftermath, Joey Baca discussed the new release, the member change and The Contortionist’s progressive sound, as well as the themes behind Language and more. Continue reading

Exclusive Interview: LAST PLAGUE

Over the six years my band has been part of the Vancouver live circuit, one particular show stands out in my memory. Within thirty seconds of their set, the band onstage at the Patricia Hotel caused total chaos when their vocalist jumped into the crowd. I remember thinking to myself, “Who is this madman?” Not only did the vocalist have the crowd at his whim, the vocal sounds coming out were powerful. Turns out that man was Last Plague’s Heath Fenton. Along with Last Plague, Heath played in the bands Witness Protection Program and Angry. I got a chance to pick Heath’s brain and find out what’s going on these days with Last Plague.

How has the Vancouver changed from your days as an all age musician to the present day?

Heath Fenton (vocals): It has changed a bunch. When I first moved here in 1996 it was the music scene that brought me here. There were a shit load of wicked bands and there was tonnes of support for the scene. All ages shows would sometimes draw in the high hundreds for local shows. Amazing stuff. That’s the main difference. Unfortunately that scene fizzled out shortly after we moved here. For whatever reason. People growing up. Drug addiction was a major factor in it. The scene is healthy now. There are a number of places to play. And so many amazing bands. people really have got to pay more attention to what is going on with heavy music in this town. Another difference is, in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s there was really only a couple of venues that would house heavier type bands. So that has changed. There are at least a dozen right now. And crowd support seems to be coming around again. But nothing like it was in the mid 1990s. Maybe that will change, but I have no idea what the kids are doing these days. And the bar crowd is not getting any younger.heath

What Vancouver venue sticks out in your memory as being fundamental to your show going/playing past?

The venue that stands out the most to me over the years is obviously the old Cobalt. That and the Columbia, which is called 303 now. Both were run by Wendy13, and anything she does pretty much rules for the metal/punk community. When I was in my first real Vancouver band (Human Resistance Program) she ran the Columbia shows and always booked us. We played a shit load of awesome shows there that stand out in my mind. After that place closed then it was onto the Cobalt. I don’t think i need to explain anything about that place and the legendary status it achieved with in the community. It’s just too bad it ended.

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Quick Interview With OLD WOUNDS’ Brandon Gallgher

Brandon GallagherIt was recently announced that my homies in Old Wounds had inked a deal with Good Fight Music, which is a huge step forward for them and I couldn’t be more proud of them. Well, I caught up with my good friend Brandon, drummer for Old Wounds and I asked him four very important questions. It went a little something like this.     Continue reading

Exclusive Interview: PELICAN

Forever Becoming, Pelican’s fifth full length album, represents a turning point in the band’s 14 year existence. The album is the first to not to feature founding guitarist Laurent Schroeder-Lebec, who parted ways with the band roughly a year prior to the album’s release. But that didn’t stop the band from pushing through and creating possibly their most solid effort to date. The album retains elements of Pelican’s traditional massive sound while continuing along the more experimental and aggressive route touched upon on the Araraxia/Taraxis EP. American Aftermath recently caught up with the band to delve a little deeper into Forever Becoming, the band’s other musical endeavors and future plans and releases.

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Exclusive Interview: THE GREAT SABATINI

Earlier this week (June 2) Montreal, QC noisy sludge warriors The Great Sabatini dropped their latest album, Dog Years. The follow-up record to 2012’s stellar Matterhorn, and accompanying EP The Royal We, sees the band further honing their chaotic, diverse sound that seethes elements of doom, grind and crushing ’70s-style rock. In this recent interview with American Aftermath, guitarist/vocalist Sean Sabatini discussed Dog Years, their unique “swamp trench arithmetic” sound, as well as their musical influences, unusual album art and more. Continue reading