“LET IT BLEED” – Cutting deeply with Wristmeetrazor
Culled from such disparate locals as Louisville, Vegas, and D.C., the three-piece force of nature that is Wristmeetrazor has nonetheless sharpened their collective blades, emerging furious and fully formed. Running coldly through the veins of their music is a frenzied and unmatched desperation, as brutal as it is heartwrenching. Having dropped a double 7″, titled “I Talk To God” and “But The Sky Is Empty”, respectively at the end of 2017, Wristmeetrazor is poised to make their mark… a crimson slice of emotional violence. Their attack is both frenetic and draining, a maelstrom of vulnerability frought with pain and aggression that calls to mind such stalwarts as Pg. 99, Majority Rule, Portraits of Past, etc. Don’t sleep on this band.
There will doubtless be those scrambling to qualify genres. It’s a mixed blessing that I am old enough now to have witnessed the screamo/emo-violence progenitors whose influence can be heard throughout the unrelenting, gnarled backbone of Wristmeetrazor. I’ll be the first to attest that they aren’t standing on the shoulders of giants… they’re standing toe to toe, both mining from and diverging from a template laid years ago. This isn’t a retread. This is fucking now. Don’t sleep on ’em.
Both Jonah (guitar/vocals) and Justin (bass/vocals) were kind enough to dialogue about myriad things. Present in spirit was drummer Bryan (drums/vocals).
Briefly give us the background about the band’s formation…
Justin: The wristmeetrazor demo was essentially a solo project that Jonah created on his computer in spring of last year. He performed and recorded all the instruments. After he released those songs in May of last year I had talked to him about turning it into a full band. I guess you could say that was when wristmeetrazor really began. As members we are all very displaced across the country. I live in Las Vegas, Jonah lives in DC and our drummer – Bryan – lives in Louisville.
I’m in my late 30’s and, to these ears, you’ve done your homework on the first wave screamo/Emo-violence/etc., bands (Ampere, Joshua Fit For Battle, pageninetynine, Neil Perry, City of Caterpillar, Orchid, Saetia, You and I, etc.) Where does that influence come from? How were you initially exposed to this particular scene?
Jonah: I was introduced to heavy music at a young age by my Dad and was listening to bands like Norma Jean, Zao, Mortal Treason, etc. which is where the more metal side of Wristmeetrazor comes from. But growing up going to shows all around D.C. and Baltimore, I became close friends with a lot of different people from different scenes where one of my good friends introduced me to Hassan I Sabbah and Forcefedglass a few years ago, which gave me the insiration to start Wristmeetrazor.”Letters to Catalonia and SeeYouSpaceCowboy are both bands who we’ve all admired from afar since we began. Jonah’s other project Second Grade Knife Fight did a split with SeeYouSpaceCowboy earlier this year and they quickly became a band we wanted to meet, which will happen when we travel to California in May.
There’s a current wave of amazing stuff right now with bands like your own, .gif from God, Letters to Catalonia, SeeYouSpaceCowboy, Sanction, Chamber, and myriad other peers. What’re the connections, if any? Is there a sense of community/solidarity with any particular bands local or otherwise? Who should we check out?
Justin: As individuals each of us are very deeply rooted in the hardcore scene. We’ve all grown up in it, I still regularly book hardcore shows in Las Vegas. Jonah has been friends with Sanction for a long time via attending shows, so our weekend run with them earlier this year just made sense. They’re also good friends of ours and one of our collective favorite current bands. Letters to Catalonia and SeeYouSpaceCowboy are both bands who we’ve all admired from afar since we began. Jonah’s other project Second Grade Knife Fight did a split with SeeYouSpaceCowboy earlier this year and they quickly became a band we wanted to meet, which will happen when we travel to California in May.
You recently got a shout from Chris Taylor on pageninetynine on the 100 Words or Less Podcast. That’s an amazing and deserved co-sign. Can you tell us anything about the possible collaboration you have coming? What does 2018 have in store for wristmeetrazor?
Jonah: Well, without going too into detail, Chris has been working on art for our full length coming out late summer/early fall and we are all very excited to share what we’ve been working on. This year we have a bunch of really awesome things in the works, unfortunately we don’t have much we can share just yet.
Tell me a bit about how the “I talk to God… but the sky is empty” double 7’’ came together. They are ferocious, cathartic pieces that stand on their own in a triumphant but melancholic way. When listened to together, though, it’s a tremendous and brutal listen. https://wristmeetrazor.bandcamp.com/
Justin: “I talk to god… but the sky is empty” was musically already in creation when I joined. Jonah and I collaborated almost entirely via Facebook messenger, sending ideas back and forth. We had a common goal for the energy of the record, so things fell in place fairly quickly. Originally it was just going to be one LP, but being a new band, it felt more natural to be presented as two EPs. The songs were, however, all written and recorded together. I think the desperation of the record speaks to the gravity of the moment better than words ever could.
“1716” is an absolutely harrowing listen. I lost my younger brother to addiction and this song is, for me, the most poignant and potent listen. I’m to understand you lost someone close and I’m deeply sorry. Lyrically, it pushes the listener into a confrontationally emotional place. Discuss it a bit if you’re comfortable.
Jonah: I’m very sorry for your loss as well. Addiction is truly a disease and I hope that someday the stigma behind addiction fades so that people can really see that. I’ve grown up with distant family who have struggled with addiction, but most significantly back about three or so years ago I worked in a restaurant where I grew to be good friends with someone I worked with. He would come to my old band’s shows, I’d go and hang out with him at his band’s practices/shows, etc. He had struggled with substance abuse for awhile, and was clean for about two months before he relapsed and overdosed on January 7th 2016. He was an amazing person who just wasn’t able to escape his demons, and I wrote 1716 to honor his memory.
What do you all do outside of the band?
Justin: So, our entire band is vegan and Bryan and I are both straight edge. The three of our lifestyles are very similar and intermingled. We all share a mutual quirkiness and macabre sense of humor, but I think we’re fairly typical guys, living fairly unconventional lives compared to our peers. Our mystery and privacy are also things we revel in.
What’re your Top 5 emo-violence, screamo, etc Records?
Jonah: This is a hard question honestly but the first five that come to mind would be (in no particular order) would have to be Neil Perry’s ‘Lineage Situation’, Examination of the…’s ‘We Are the Architect’, Jeromes Dream ‘Seeing Means More Than Safety’, Joshua Fit For Battle ‘To Bring Our Own End’, and Majority Rule’s ‘Interviews With David Frost’. For good meausure, honorable mentions to Pg.99’s ‘Document#5’, the Van Johnson self-titled, and the Kodan Armada’s ‘A Collection of Songs’.
Top 5 Records nobody would expect you to jam?
Justin: As a band, we listen to “bad” screamo and pop punk far more often than I think anyone would ever believe. A few that remain in constant rotation on the road are: Senses Fail “Let it Enfold You”, Fall Out Boy “Take This to Your Grave”, Escape the Fate “Dying is Your Latest Fashion”, My Chemical Romance “Three Cheers for Revenge”, The Used “Self-titled”.
How can people get in touch/stay updated on the band?
Jonah: If you want to stay in touch with us you can subscribe to our bandcamp mailing list, and follow our Twitter and Instagram! No Facebook as of now, but maybe that’ll change eventually haha.