LOMM: Can you give a little biographical and historical info; who is involved in the band, and how did you guys meet up?
The artist: My name is Matt, I play guitar and manage all of our online stuff. Our sound features elements of thrash, death metal and grindcore thrown into a pot, putting the heat on high and the result is something we call “American Razorgrind”. Besides myself, we have Chris Young on bass, Max “Thunder” Stark on drums & Jay Medina on vocals. All of us knew each other growing up since middle school with the exception of Max. He has been in the band since 2014 and he was the final piece of the puzzle we needed to achieve our sound.
LOMM: Pandemic has taken an emotional toll on everyone yet the arts have been hit especially hard. The musicians are vulnerable to financial upheaval. How have you guys have been holding up?
The artist: All of us minus Chris actually managed to hold on to our employment. If anything, this has shown plenty of people that you can’t rely on the government to help you out, so as hard as a lesson as it’s been, it’s honestly probably better for everyone to have this realization. It’s really been a bummer to not play out of state all of last year but we’ve been keeping busy.
LOMM: On the other hand you seem to have had a productive time. Is that right?
The artist: We have indeed been keeping ourselves in a productive mindset. We are already four songs into our next release and if everything goes as planned, we’ll be putting out a full-length in 2021. We also may have some out-of-state dates coming up this summer but with restrictions going up and down all the time we’re waiting to announce anything like that until the day comes closer.
LOMM: Modern sounds are my thing J How about you? What does your genre means to you, why did you choose this genre?
The artist: I mean, riffs and blast beats are what everyone comes to expect from extreme metal but black metal sounds a certain way, grindcore sounds a certain way, thrash sounds a certain way, etc. We just like to take elements from everything and toss them together. I think we all have a collective love for death metal simply because there are no boundaries.
LOMM: How did the initial musical and thematic elements evolve?
The artist: Originally when we started, at least before we met Max, we just wanted to play fast, heavy and loud. We have two recordings that are long out-of-print by now and if you find those they tell a pretty good story about how our sound changed. Our very first recordings are more in the vein of early 90s death metal, drawing a lot of influences from Cannibal Corpse and Deicide. As time went on some thrash riff stylings started to seep their way in along with the occasional grindcore section. Essentially, we settled on the power of the riff and made sure that people want to kill each other in the pit when we hit the stage.
LOMM: Are you happy with your product? I mean, what aspects of it do you think you guys nailed, and what parts do you think you could improve
The artist: I think we’re all pretty happy with what we put out over the last few releases. If you listen to our music that is available, I’d say it’s pretty clear that we get better as musicians and tighter as a whole. As far as improvements go, I don’t think any of us are necessarily settled into our current skill level so we all just make it a point to get better year after year and hopefully that translates well into each new release.
LOMM: How has the overall reception been?
The artist: Overall the reception has been amazing. We’re moving merch fairly regularly without even playing shows and every review we got on our previous release “Quorum Of Unspeakable Curses” were all positive. I can’t answer this question though without shouting out Curtis of the Dewar PR for getting it out to the world. Had it not been for him then I believe our positive reception likely would have been cut in half at least.
LOMM: Have you ever been on a tour? Given live performances? Is it tough for you not to be able to do so now?
The artist: Live performances and out of state shows/tours are what we live for really. Not doing either of those on a regular basis definitely chips away at your sanity as a musician but we certainly haven’t slowed down at all. We just have been putting our energy in other directions that keep the band on our fan’s mind’s until touring and live performances become a regular thing again.
LOMM: What do you see for your future? How is it looking?
The artist: As far as the future goes I would say that it looks bright. We are on track for another full length so the writing hasn’t ceased and with the vaccine rolling out all we can do is keep hustling until life returns to normal.
LOMM: Could you tell us about the lyrics / themes /concepts you focus on or plan to focus on? How did the ideas come about, and how do they influence the writing process? Who is writing the lyrics?
The artist: We certainly don’t have a concept or theme that we are always going for. Our mantra is to earn the parental advisory sticker. Our lyrical content pretty much consists of anything vile that human beings can do to one another, sci-fi creatures that induce terror or the ridiculousness of religion. With small exceptions here and there, Jay is the one who writes all of the lyrics. While we all despise religion, Jay is the biggest horror movie buff so it’s only fitting that we have him come up with lyrical content.
LOMM: Which is more exciting? Being on the road or studio?
The artist: I would say that they’re equally exciting. On one hand you get to meet new faces, see new bands and watch people kill each other to our music. On the other hand, going to a studio and finally putting life into the songs you’ve been working on for a year or two is extremely rewarding. They both have their individual allure and to say that I prefer one over the other would be a lie.
LOMM: Who is composing the songs?
The artist: Chris and I get together, he might have 30 seconds of music and I have 25 seconds of music, we figure out tempos and how to splice them together so that it doesn’t just sound like riff salad and once we feel like the product is complete, we hand it over to Max. Every once in a while one of us will provide a suggestion to another as far as what they should do during a specific part of a song but overall nobody tells each other what to do. I don’t think any of us have ever turned down lyrics that Jay has presented so we just let him do his thing as he’s got a pretty good track record of being simultaneously morbid and funny.
LOMM: What bands do you draw your inspiration from?
The artist: Our lyrical stylings are reminiscent of GWAR in that if we can make you laugh a few times going through one of our releases, that’s good enough for us. As far as the musical aspect goes, I would say that you will likely dig what we do if you’re a fan of Cattle Decapitation, Aborted or Cryptopsy. I might even throw Revocation in there too.
LOMM: What’s more important to you? Catering to the audience or music for its own sake?
The artist: I think they both have their merits but you can’t let one of those dominate how you do things. If you write music solely to cater to your audience then you’re really putting yourself in a box. At no point have we ever sat down after finishing a song and question if our fans would like it. Now that doesn’t mean that all of a sudden you’re going to hear a clean track on an upcoming release. We’re not going to change our style anytime soon and hopefully that is catering to the audience enough. At the end of the day we just write music that we like to play and we are happy that people enjoy it.
LOMM: When you look back your music career, what do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment?
The artist: “Greatest” is a weird word to put up against the word “favorite”. As far as my favorite accomplishment goes, that would have to be opening up the regional date for Summer Slaughter here in Denver back in 2016. The Summer Slaughter lineup is always give or take a little bit because there’s going to be a few bands on there that you aren’t super excited to see. Getting to play on the bill from 2016 though, that year was amazing for death metal and of all years to open up Summer Slaughter, we couldn’t have asked for a better one. Our greatest accomplishment I would probably say was our last release “Quorum Of Unspeakable Curses’. After Summer Slaughter in 2016 we got incredibly motivated to just take this thing a hundred miles an hour in one direction and seeing the response we got from the last two releases after all of the work we had put in felt incredible.
LOMM: Anything else you think your fans should know?
The artist: This spring we will be putting out a re-release of our last two albums but instead of them featuring music they are going to feature progressively drunker commentary about each song. Jay and I drank hard for about three to four hours while recording the commentary and hopefully people find our morbid sense of humor entertaining. Beyond that, you can find us on all the major social media & streaming platforms and we also have a few merch designs available on our bandcamp if you’re looking for a reason to offend your family.