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Saturday, July 28, 2012

Interview: Chris from Chimpgrinder

Band: Chimpgrinder
Genre: Metal
Location: Philly
Members: Aaron,

Interview Though Email with: Chris

What is the overall sound of your latest release "Volume 666"?
     "The bluesier side of sludge. A lot of Sludge has a southern rock influence but being from Philly we bring the blues you get trying to make it in a cramped post-industrial East Coast City to the dirty world of Sludge."

What gave you guys the idea to use the same type of cover as Black Sabbath's album Vol. 4?
      "Sitting at the bar one night after practice, we thought the concept would be a cool idea for a T shirt as a tribute to our forefathers and a little ironic statement about ourselves. The resulting photoshop product was so right that we decided to put ourselves in the same stratosphere as Sabbath and Sleep (gasp). The Vol 4 cover is symbolic and instantly recognizable; to anyone into slow paces and skull numbing distortion it's iconography is an admission of brotherhood and invitation to the sacred rite of jamming the fuck out."

How do you feel about the EP?
      "It put us on some peoples' radar and captured where we were at musically at the time. It's heavy and it's the work of a band just finding its sound. Right now we're finishing up a new EP Oliver that builds on Vol.666's sound and, we think, shows us coming into our own."

How was it being in the recording studio?
     "We self-record and mix thanks to today's technology. It's cool to draw on the energy of our home base where a lot of the vibe from the songs originates. Plus it's fucking cheap."
What is the band's writing process?
     "Riff-based with everyone offering suggestions/opinions as we build the songs. For the new EP Oliver we had a couple songs written ahead of time but built the EP around a concept. Lyrics get started as ideas and then once we have a song they get adapted to fit the composition."
Do you have a favorite song off the album?
     "For Vol.666. we dig Obliteration and Bliss
for our new joint Oliver we have to say Sacred Ape"
Can you give a short history about the band?
     "We've have all been in bands since puberty, which for all of us was more than a minute ago. Steve and Chris T have been playing guitar and drums together in different projects for over 15 years. Some of your readers might know Jeer at Rome and Perils of Obedience. Chris S played in legendary NYC drunk punk band As$troland waaay back in the 90’s (sorry Chris), and came into the fold in the fall of 2010. Aaron is a poet transplanted from the California punk and metal scene who hasn't done anything you're likely to have heard about. Aaron got in touch with Chris T and Steve through a Craigslist ad and jammed but nothing really came of it except for an invitation to play bass but Aaron, knowing his vocal gifts were not to be squandered behind the 4 strings declined. In an act of characteristic altruism he told them to expect an email from a better bass player than he. Aaron knew Chris S through playing in another band where Chris's funktified talents were being wasted and Chris S gladly jammed with what was then an unnamed project and their chemistry changed the sound and direction of the group. Things went full circle and eventually Aaron was convinced by Chris's unique ability to motivate to join the Chimp cabal in time for a show that Chris had optimistically booked in Brooklyn and which was just 3 weeks away. Show went off well, we had a blast and here we are. Our practice space is a small room in the animal wing of what is now one of the largest decommissioned human centrifuge buildings in the US. You can walk down the hall from us and see the Chimps' old living quarters now piled with garbage. In the heart of the building is the old Centrifuge with grooves in the wall from the damn thing spinning so fast. They rent it out for weddings now. Beginning in 1950’s this is where scientists studied the effects of G forces on animals and humans. Training for the early space missions were all done there, including spinning some chimps. We try to live up to this legacy of exploration, torture, sci-fi wet dreams and questionable ethics in our music."
synopsis for "OLIVER"
     "For twenty years Oliver had been kept in a small, isolated compound. Agent Jefferson was his only friend. He exposed Oliver to the blues, he shared cases of Budweiser with the Astro Chimp as they watched boxing matches and the Discovery Channel, he brought in armfuls of magazines Oliver used to makes collages; Agent Jefferson was the one-time space chimp’s pipeline to the outside world. Jefferson was also the man paid by the government to keep Oliver satisfied and imprisoned. When Oliver found a photo of a certain blonde nurse in the wallet that Jefferson carelessly left out one day, 20 years of friendship, and imprisonment, came to an end. Now Oliver, with blood on his hands, must face the legacy of a past he doesn’t understand and a future that has flashbacks of Centaurus A screaming across his mind."
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