A retrospective: INDIAN, LORD MANTIS & COFFINWORM Changed the ugly face of Sludge!
Almost 9 years ago we started CVLT Nation, and the one release that gave me grim chills was INDIAN’s Guiltless because I had never heard something so fucking vile! I knew then that I had to speak to the band about how they created such an insanely fucked up record, and I knew that I wanted to hear more bands that had a depraved sound full of maggot-infested filth. Then I got into COFFINWORM, and my mind was blown again – I had to search them out and speak to them as well. The last band to complete this putrid trinity of Hate-Filled Demented Sludge was LORD MANTIS. When I first heard Pervertor I totally lost my shit because this record sounded like what serial killers listened to before they stalked their victims!
Sanford Parker was involved in all three of these projects at some point, plus all of these bands hailed from the Midwest. Bill Bumgardner (R.I.P.) played drums on both the Indian and Lord Mantis albums. These three records will never get old because they were ahead of their time. They’re also at the foundation of what we do here at CVLT Nation and for that we salute them! It’s also important to give a huge shout out to all of the labels that believed in these bands: Seventh Rule, Relapse Records and Profound Lore Records. Don’t get it twisted, both INDIAN and LORD MANTIS are still creating sick music and still can’t be fucked with!
This interview was originally published on APRIL 20, 2011
One of the sickest albums to come out so far this year is Guiltless by Chicago’s blackened doom wizards INDIAN. I know for a fact this album will stand the test of time. CVLT Nation had a chance to interview Will from INDIAN & get his perspective on the creative process on this album. After the jump, check out this epic interview & some special live footage…now tune in!
What up Indian…how you brothers feeling today?
Well, today is the North American release date for Guiltless, which we’re all pretty excited about. This album has been a long time coming.
The vocals are meaner, more hateful & blackened beyond belief on Guiltless, did this happen organically or was it intentional?
I guess I would say it happened more organically than anything else. The music certainly demanded that kind of delivery in my opinion.
On any level, was there something Indian wanted to express with this album that maybe you had not in the past?
Well, I definitely has some personal things to express with this album due to the few years leading up to it not being the most fulfilling for me, musically speaking. All five of us felt the need to really push the band to something beyond the previous albums, and we wanted to kind of revamp things with Sean and I being involved on this album.
Your use of drone is on point…it seems that you use it almost as a melodic instrument. Is that hard to achieve?
The drones and all of the elements of the album really came rather naturally. We had the vaguest concept of where we wanted the album to go, but it ultimately came out on its own. Nothing was really forced.
With all of that being said, I was really happy with how the drones and whatnot came out and it’s nice to hear that other people noticed it.
Could you describe your creative relationship with Sanford Parker?
Sanford is a very good friend of ours and he has recorded almost everything the band has ever done. His old band played with Indian quite a bit when Indian was starting, too. I have also toured with Sanford four times in various bands. He understands our music and knows what we want it to sound like. Sanford is also an incredibly talented engineer and there is no one else I would rather work with.
When you are performing live, what kind of energy takes over the band?
I really can’t describe it. To use an extremely overused cliché, it is a cathartic experience and it certainly kind of carries me away.
Besides making music together, what other activities do you guys like to do together?
We’re all drinking buddies. On occasion, we’ll go to shows together depending on who’s playing. With summer coming on, we’ll probably be barbequeing rather frequently.
Your new album’s artwork is super…what was the concept behind it?
Our friend, Scott Fricke, did the artwork. He is a local tattooist. Scott came to the studio while we were recording to hear what was going on and kind of get some of the feeling behind what we were doing and that was the artwork he gave us. We didn’t give him any suggestions or ideas. It was all Scott’s concept and it came out amazing.
Could each of you break down the album you heard that made you say “damn I want to start a band”?
For me, it was Black Flag’s “Who’s Got the ten-and-a-half” album. There are other Black Flag albums I like more, but Black Flag is my favorite band and that was the first one I heard. I can’t speak for the other guys, although I know seeing The Melvins for the first time was an inspirational moment for Ron and Dylan.
Who are some of the bands that you consider peers & what bonds you to them?
Bloodiest, who are another Chicago band, are peers and good friends. We’re just the same type of people and we love each others bands. Other local bands would include Sweet Cobra and Anatomy of Habit. Rwake and Yob are bands that are also good friends and are bands that we love. Right after I send this interview, I will probably think of at least five more bands I should have listed. So it goes….
I just wanted to say thanks for creating super sick heavy music that we @ CVLT Nation dig…any final words?
Thanks for getting in touch and doing the interview.
COFFINWORM When All Became None
This interview was originally published on APRIL 14, 2011
Here at CVLT Nation, we like our sludge crusty, damaged & blackened. So who better to interview than Coffinworm. This band unleashed the beast with their 2010 release When All Became None. Now hear from their own minds what makes them tick & what they have in store for the future.
What up Coffinworm? How are things in your neck of the universe?
Everything is going well. We’re busy writing new material for our next album and for a split 7″ with Fistula, which we’re very excited about. Taking most of the winter off from shows has produced favorable results and now we’re gearing up to do some regional shows this summer and hit some cities we’ve been meaning to get to for awhile.
How does Coffinworm create the resin-soaked blackened crust blues sound that’s blasting from my speakers?
There’s no set formula for how we write or what goes into the mix, which is how I think we’ve been able to combine many elements of underground music that we like into a cohesive sound. I don’t usually like bands that can be summed up by comparisons to other bands, although with 12 notes there’s not a lot of room for anything totally new. We write what we like and if it doesn’t give us the feeling we’re striving for, it gets reworked or canned. Outside influences for our music tend to be derived from where we live, our shitty jobs, intoxicants of choice, and the constant barrage of idiotic human behavior that all of us have to wade through every day.
What are some of the visual pictures the band is trying to convey through your lyrics? What is your greatest inspiration for lyrics?
Death, doom, and destruction to be succinct. Dave (vocals) is a huge fan of horror films and other high quality low-brow entertainment, so there are several nods to some of his favorite works in the lyrical content on ‘When All Became None’. Apocalypse and destruction as lyrical themes isn’t anything new in metal, but if it ain’t broke why fix it?
When Coffinworm has the dis-sludge on a 100% in front of a crowd, what kind energy over takes your bodies?
I [Carl] can only speak for myself, but when I was playing drums in the band (I’ve switched to guitar now) I had several shows that felt like I had transcended the physical. Sounds somewhat ridiculous I’m sure, but that’s the best way I can describe it. On a regular basis, though, it’s generally an alcohol-fueled ritual of high volumes and hate…every show is a blank slate and whatever happens is gonna happen. I think most bands strive for a very calculated set, but with us it’s less about playing things exactly as they were recorded and more about creating a palpable energy between us and the audience.
Does this blood sucking vampire of a so-called government with their trailer loads of social justice inaction inspire how & what you create?
Not sure what you mean exactly, but in general political matters don’t enter the Coffinworm domain. The music exists outside of a social or political ideological framework. We aren’t fascists, though, and only speaking for myself I don’t buy the typical “fuck everyone and everything” stance that many people in extreme metal purport. As a sentiment, sure, but few put that into practice in the realm of action. If anyone really felt that way they wouldn’t make music or be in a band considering the social connections required to do anything musical. Negativity and hate are universal and we all can relate to those things on some level, though. It’s all about catharsis.
Has the DIY circuit of couches & punk houses helped serve you in the spread of your sonic stench?
We haven’t done what I would call touring with this band, although most of us have done plenty of DIY tours in previous bands. I still support and believe in the DIY movement, though, and despite the trappings of ‘scenes’ I see viability in doing things on a DIY platform. Too many people are removed from what it was like before downloading, Myspace and Facebook, and corporate stipends. Whatever works is what’s best for you, but I think most bands today are hungry to jump on the gravy train without putting in any work and selling themselves to the hype machine in the process. As a result, the music suffers. It becomes less about someone going to a record store and buying your album and more about a ridiculous marketing scheme. You’re a logo or a bullet point on someone’s web site at that point. DIY keeps things at an honest level, but it isn’t a means to an end either. If we could do some killer tour with a bigger band I don’t have any qualms about dealing with a booking agent and all that shit, but for where we’re at now it makes no sense to let anyone outside the inner circle handle anything.
What was the force & the purpose that brought your five beings together?
We’d all been friends for varying lengths of time and had a shared desire to play music like this. Everyone has been in all kinds of different bands in the past within the punk and metal framework (or otherwise), but things clicked from the inception of Coffinworm. There was a shared vision of the music, which has certainly changed over time and especially with the recent lineup changes. The core is still the same, though.
Is there anyone who is in Coffinworm that knows that aliens exist? If so, what evidence do they point to?
I’d have to say no to this question.
Does the inhaling of sweetleaf on the part of Coffinworm effect how you sound?
Depends on who it is partaking in the greens. I can drink myself into oblivion and still play fine, but I’ve never been able to play well after inhaling the devil’s lettuce. So, in that respect it can fuck up our sound. Haha! It certainly plays a part in writing and performance for some of us, though.
What was the creative process for your album When all became none?
It was long and slow. We spent 2 years working on material from our inception until the recording sessions, discarding a heap of compositions along the way and fine tuning the songs that did get recorded. The recording process was incredible, though, and while there are always humbling moments it was mostly smooth. Sanford is a great engineer and producer. Once the basic tracking was done he sort of let us loose to experiment with different textures and amps/effects to fill out the sound on the record. The creative process was very laid back and anything we wanted to try he encouraged.
Things have changed since then, though, and we’re writing much faster these days with a clearer vision of what we want the new material to sound like (without getting calculated about the writing process).
When will the world be hearing another Coffinworm album?
The loose plan in our camp is to have a slew of new songs finished by the end of this year (or earlier) and then make plans to get into the studio by early next year. We want to have plenty of material to choose from for the record and so far we’re on the right track. There won’t be a new full-length until 2012, but we’ll have a split 7″ with Fistula out this summer on Hell Comes Home records and a few other cool small releases have been discussed including a live tape.
Do you guys have any plans to tour Europe?
We would jump at the chance to get over there. Once the next record is released would be opportune, so maybe next year? Nothing is planned at this point, but touring Europe is certainly something we would like to do.
Do you have any shout outs to your peers, labels, fans or family?
Thanks to those who continue to support us and to you and the CVLT Nation staff for the interview. Cheers!
CVLT Nation would like to thank Coffinworm for creating super rad music & for their support!
LORD MANTIS Pervertor
Originally published MARCH 13, 2012
Do you fucking realize what today is? It’s when the world is touched by the hand of filth called LORD MANTIS. They are releasing one of the direst and deranged albums of the year, Pervertor, today via Candlelight Records USA. I was listening to this album the other day and I asked myself, is the world ready for what is about to happen to them? If the worst human-eating disease had a sound, it just might come in the form of LORD MANTIS. With Pervertor, this band has conjured up an album that is ahead of its time – they have been able to harness pure evil and shape it into sonic torment. The vocals that you will encounter on this record are half havoc, but all death. As songwriters, LORD MANTIS have created a killer album with hidden layers of bleakness, and with each listen, you will hear sirens of chaos. Fuck writing any more about how sick this band is – CVLT Nation is super stoked to be streaming Pervertor in full below! Now turn off the lights, blast this record and go numb!