Archive for March, 2018


Questions For RLYR

Photo credit: Michael Vallera


RLYR is one of the best new bands around. I fucking love these guys. Made of up Colin DeKuiper (Bloodiest), Steven Hess (Locrian, Pan-American, Cleared), and Trevor de Brauw (Pelican, Chord), their debut Delayer landed at #2 in my 2016 year end metal list. When they toured that record, they played a bunch of songs from the then-untitled follow up record. They’re already at work on the third record but now the second one is titled (Actual Existence) and coming very soon via The Flenser on April 13th. DO NOT MISS THIS. It’s fucking incredible and uncategorizable, like some sort of heavy power-pop math-metal emo post-rock mutant. This is so much better than Delayer, it’s more intricate, loaded with more hooks and more surprising climaxes that reach higher levels of transcendence. Take Delayer, run it through an intensifier, a tightener, and an identity solidifier, and you’ve got Actual fucking Existence.

These three dudes are unbelievably talented on their own and know exactly what they’re doing here. I love em to death. I’m super psyched to have them contribute to my Q&A series. Go pre-order Actual Existence first, then come back here and read about the time Steven almost fell to his death, the time Colin was almost robbed inside his own house, and why Trevor thinks death is so annoying.

What is an ideal death?
Colin: The bishop/priest/father (forgive me) in Caddyshack.

Steven: Something pain-free or damn close too pain-free. Sudden death when I’m not expecting it. Possibly a heart attack that happens just after I reach the summit of a mountain I’ve just spent the day hiking to the top of. I just cracked open a good beer (and have a drink), take in the amazing view, and POW!… I drop dead. I just don’t want a death that involves fire or sharks.

Trevor: I don’t know that there is one. Death seems hopelessly inconvenient, there’s more than a lifetime’s worth of things to accomplish and I can’t imagine not being irritated by death bringing everything to a premature end.
What makes you happy?
Colin: I think it might be purpose, but unfortunately that hasn’t always come as a singular ingredient.

Steven: Many things, but right off the top of my head… Friends, loved ones, and the surprise of what will happen tomorrow and every day that follows. Music makes me very happy, and that I’m able to play music with others, both friends and strangers. I consider myself very lucky that I’m able to do that.

Trevor: Coffee, music, hugs from my family.
How can you die happy?
Colin: Hmmmm.

Steven: Painlessly, at the end of a long and full life.

Trevor: Probably only way for this to happen is to die completely unexpectedly. As I referenced before dying is a real annoyance to me, so I hope to be blissfully unaware when my life ends.
How close have you come to death?
Colin: It has always been transportation related. A few times I have felt in control with the acknowledgement that things could go south fast. These have always been weather related in brutal storms. They induce adrenaline and a little bit of crazy.

I can also think of at least two instances of incredibly close calls that could have ended me in horrific car/bike accidents within inches. Those didn’t have any feelings of control. Those moments do go into slow motion, but you walk away from those with the ability to process that you couldn’t have exercised any escape other than luck.

Steven: I’ve had a couple close calls. One I think of from time to time is when I was in my late teens and living in Colorado, a group of us would always go up to the Colorado National Monument to hike around, get high and drink beer. One day we all climbed up on this rock formation that looked like a giant breast made of sandstone (I think we even called it “the nipple.” Genius, I know) that was on the edge of a canyon. You could gain access to this formation from one side, climbing up and zigzagging your way to the top, but on the other side it was a straight drop down for about 500 ft. This particular time everyone made it to the top and I was working my way around it and I lost my footing and started to slide down the one side that went nowhere but 500 ft down. I remember just staring at everyone as they rolled a joint or something and thinking this is it, so long. Then all of a sudden my sneaker grabbed onto a little rock that was sticking out and I stopped sliding. A couple friends formed a short human chain and pulled me up to safety and we sat there and had a beer. Ah… Black Label Beer, truly one of the worst.

Trevor: There have been some pretty harrowing drives on tour where it seemed like we might be close. I remember one time driving out of Denver in a blizzard – we were on the highway doing between 15 and 20 mph just barely maintaining enough traction to stay on the road when a truck sped past us in the left hand lane, apparently unaffected by the snow. About a mile later we passed that same truck, which had lost control and flipped over on its side. That was a long, anxious day.
How can you make your life better?
Colin: Trying. I feel like that gets more intentional over time too.

Steven: Get as far away from people as often as you can. Be creative. Focus on the simple things in your life that bring you joy and learn to repeat those thoughts or actions as often as you can. I’d imagine therapy helps as well.

Trevor: Being self-aware and living more inside the moment would be a start. The current era and its overabundance of information is a real stumbling block to simply being able to step back and contextualize one’s place in the world, which I think is pretty essential to living a decent life. Here’s hoping we all work through it.
What does kindness mean to you?
Colin: Generosity, authenticity, and empathy. Truly kind people genuinely want to understand.

Steven: Understanding, listening, and being willing to lend a helping hand when others are in need.

Trevor: Being aware of others and their feelings and respecting them.
Where do you find love?
Colin: It’s family and friends, but also the things that I love to do. Dogs too. I can’t say that I always believe them, but they do a good job of putting on a show of affection most of the time.

Steven: All around: in nature, in music, in art, but mostly at home.

Trevor: At home.
When were you most afraid?
Colin: A few weeks ago my wife and I were about to fall asleep on a Saturday night close to 2am after being out at a bar with friends when we heard our front door slam. Both of our dogs were with us upstairs and they went into high alert. We live in an older house with the typical noises, but nothing like this. This was aggressive. We have both seen our share of home invasion thrillers and it felt like we were now in one. Just like a character you’d yell at in the movies, I had no real weapons to grab (it was a golf club, no bullshit) while my wife called 911 and we both moved downstairs. I quickly scanned a few rooms before moving outside into the expanse of our street and surveyed the house from the road. Lying in front of the door was a particularly thick edition of the Sunday paper.

Steven: There have been a few in my life so far, but I’ll just give you this one weird experience I had. When I was 25 I was living in Portland, OR with some friends and band members in this creepy-ass house in the SW area of the city, just off of Burnside Street. This was definitely a house that could have been in a horror movie – old, dilapidated, uneven stone steps leading up to the front porch, a three-floor old gothic style home with a coach-house/garage in the back. Overgrown weeds and a yard that never seemed to grow.

Anyway, it was late at night and everyone was asleep and I went up to my room – which was pretty much a large closet with a window. I turned off the light and got in bed and I’m laying there on my back for several minutes and all of a sudden I had the sensation of someone pushing on my chest and head holding me down on the bed. There was also this feeling (and sound of) a strong force of wind blowing straight down on me (the window was only cracked in my room and it was a still night). I couldn’t see anything or hear anything for 10 or 15 seconds, but if felt much longer. As soon as it stopped there was a loud crashing sound in my room and I jumped straight out of bed and hit the light switch and found that the posters were ripped down the center, and the couple other things I had hanging on the walls had been knocked down and were on the floor. I got the hell out of my room and started banging on my friends bedroom door. I told him all about it, calmed down, and stayed up the rest of the night.

Trevor: I watched the ’70s version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers at some unreasonably young age and was definitely freaked the fuck out by it, which set off a lifelong love affair with horror.
How do you listen to music?
Colin: Anyway that I can, but I’m not a huge fan of live music at restaurants. This seems to be a thing where I live now and I don’t get it.

Steven: Live is the first choice for listening, enjoying, and discovering new music, but I can’t do that everyday or as much as I would like to, so I listen to a majority of my music at home in the evenings and weekends, and it’s usually LP or CD format. During the weekdays it’s mostly mp3s through headphones, or through a car stereo.

Trevor: Any and every way I can.

A Thick Mist

A Thick Mist (March 21, 2018)

Got that new Vile Creature heaviness, plus UK Le Guin reading one of her fantastic short stories alongside YE Glotman’s acoustic wizardry, and Kevin Doria’s Total Life droning with Misra’s tabla tala.

A Thick Mist 2018/03/21

Background music: WK569 – Part 3 (from Omaggio A Marino Zuccheri)

00:00:00 Sonny Terry – Chain Gang Blues (from Chain Gang Blues)
00:03:28 Talk break
00:07:05 Botanist – Quoth Azalea, The Demon (Rhododendoom II) (from III – Doom In Bloom)
00:20:19 Nasser Rastegar-Nejad – Janne Janan (from The Persian Santur: Music Of Iran)
00:31:58 Talk break
00:35:21 Yair Elazar Glotman – Veil (from Compound)
00:36:22 Ursula K. Le Guin – The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas (from The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas)
00:56:42 Talk break
00:59:45 Vile Creature – Forest, Subsists As A Tomb (from Cast Of Static And Smoke)
01:13:17 Total Life – Part 3 (from Ken Bradshaw)
01:13:55 Mahapurush Misra – Tal Roopam (from The Transcendental Tal)
01:24:34 Unknown Yoruba musicians – Igbin Drums Part 1 (excerpt) (from Drums Of The Yoruba Of Nigeria)
01:27:16 Unknown – Dance Of The Freaks (excerpt) (from Get Your Ass In The Water And Swim Like Me! Narrative Poetry from Black Oral Tradition)
01:31:03 Talk break
01:36:45 Spektr – The Art To Disappear (from The Art To Disappear)
01:47:26 Adriano Zanni – Dreams And Falling Trees (from Disappearing)
01:57:46 Luella Miller – Peeping At The Rising Sun Blues (from Luella Miller 1926-27)
02:00:55 Talk break
02:03:26 Hermes Nye – The Buffalo Skinners (from Frontiers)

A Thick Mist

A Thick Mist (March 7, 2018)

Got a couple old Three Lobed jams, some Christian organ played by a child, Marine Corps training, the new Summoning, and some old Tuareg folk.

A Thick Mist 2018/03/07

Background music: Jon Porras – Into Midnight (from Black Mesa)

00:00:00 The Hodges Brothers – The Leaves Is Falling On The Ground (from Watermelon Hangin’ On The Vine)
00:01:31 Talk break
00:05:55 Nihill – Gnosis Pt. III (from Krach)
00:22:25 Unknown musicians from Eneden of the Kel Issekeneren – Arouia Idaoua Ouf Emri (from Tuareg Music Of The Southern Sahara)
00:28:58 Talk break
00:32:09 Yellow Swans – Descent B (from Descent)
00:37:11 Dr. Ronald E. Odom – Side A (from Living In The Red)
00:50:05 John Davis – Superpartner (from Ask The Dust)
01:01:34 Talk break
01:05:14 Summoning – With Doom I Come (from With Doom I Come)
01:16:35 Marisa Anderson – Keep Your Lamps Trimmed And Burning (from Traditional And Public Domain Songs)
01:19:38 Ronnie Davitt – How Great Thou Art (from Do You Know My Jesus?)
01:22:20 Jerry Goldsmith – Main Title (from Damien – Omen II Soundtrack)
01:27:22 The Body – Just, Wretched (from The Body / Whitehorse split)
01:31:26 Talk break
01:34:51 Basalt Fingers – Side B (from Basalt Fingers)
01:36:59 John Hart – Side B (from The Making Of A Marine!)
01:56:10 Unknown musicians from Agbaja – Percussion And Ritual Chants (from Folk Music Of Ghana)
02:01:11 Talk break
02:03:08 Curly Ray Cline – Kentucky Fox Race (from Curly Ray Cline And His Lonesome Pine Fiddle)

A Thick Mist

A Thick Mist (February 28, 2018)

There’s a new Clint Heidorn record!! Go get it. Also, I played some cool stuff like John Noble talking about his time spent as a prisoner in an arctic Soviet slave camp, men from a Botswana village singing upon their return from a battle to recapture stolen cattle, Gnaw Bone’s intense black noise metal, and the inimitable Uncle Dave Macon.

A Thick Mist 2018/02/28

Background music: Loss – When Death Is All (from Horizonless)

00:00:00 Blind Willie Johnson – Trouble Soon Be Over (from Blind Willie Johnson, 1927-1930)
00:02:34 Talk break
00:06:28 Pyrolatrous- The Marrow (from Teneral)
00:14:51 Clint Heidorn – Wild Parrots (from Pasadena)
00:19:41 Koichi Shimizu & Akritchalerm Kalayanamitr – Sharjah And Java (Dilbar / Morse Beat / Ablaze) (from Metaphors: Selected Soundworks From The Cinema Of Apichatpong Weerasethakul)
00:28:58 Talk break
00:34:05 Georgia Kelly – Tarashanti (from Tarashanti)
00:35:24 Indra Devi – Meditation Practice / Meditation (from Concentration & Meditation)
00:53:33 Uncle Dave Macon – Cumberland Mountain Deer Race (from Smoky Mountain Ballads)
00:56:18 Unknown Mochudi musicians – The Hills Of Mourning (from Traditional Music Of Botswana, Africa)
01:00:17 Talk break
01:03:38 Gnaw Bone – Side A (from Scorched Earth)
01:18:33 Carl Michael Von Hausswolff – Part 1 (from Still Life – Requiem)
01:19:25 Drug Addicts Relate To Their Experiences (excerpt) (from Drugs Is A Family Affair)
01:30:11 Talk break
01:33:15 Tarantel – Get Away From Me You Clouds Of Doom (from We Move Through Weather)
01:34:55 John Noble – Part 1 (excerpt) (from Slave 1-E-241)
01:52:07 Laggar Anders, Röjås Jonas, Pål Olle, Björn Ståbi, & Knut Hellberg – Wanderer’s Tune From Boda (from Authentic Swedish Fiddle Music From Boda Village)
01:54:58 Talk break
01:58:31 Calypso Rose – Warrior (from Her Majesty Calypso Rose)