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The Songwriter Who Tore Time Asunder - Part 1, Amboy Dukes / Who - 1967 Southfield High

Original DIY GANG promo picture (Steve Farmer in shades) next to Greg Arama.

I had awoken a bit groggy this morning. No surprise, considering my excursion with the SRC at the Magic Bag the night before. Brewing some coffee, I ordered up for breakfast, then checked my calendar just to confirm the date. Ah yes, present time, I thought to myself. This is good—or is it?

I opened the hotel curtains and stood at the window for several minutes, gazing at Windsor on the other side of the glistening Detroit river.  Figuring that some music might perk me up, I turned on the bedside radio. Some local station was spinning psychedelic classics—just the ticket to stimulate my drowsy mind.

I was really enjoying the retro ‛60’s tunes. But then a song came on that really blew my mind:
‟You’re got to redefine yourself...If you wish to find...The crystal visions of an open mind...And it’s easy, it’s easy, it’s oh so easy to do....” 1
Astounded, I turned up the volume on ‟Starvation” by one of acid rock’s most eternal bands—Golden Dawn. Their groovy sound and insightful lyrics filled the room.... I was diggin’ the way the music was opening up my eyes and mind. How much better could this get? What a way to start a day!

An original GANG flyer '63

Lighting up a joint while still groovin’ with the tune, I spied the card on my hotel nightstand that had been handed to me the night before by Satori Circus. Was it possible he could assist me in my time-tripping? I was still very much a novice in this, and knew that my trans-dimensional moves were ‟par chance”, under only modest control at best. Satori Circus had, without question, made quite the appearance at the Michigan Palace, and I surmised that he was way more experienced in this than I.

With that thought in mind, I flipped open my cell and began to hit the digits—3-1-3—and so on. Damn, I thought, it's ringing....    

“Satori Circus speaking. Bonjour Mischa!”

‟How did ya know it was me?” I asked, surprised.

“I have you scheduled at this time for a call!” came the matter-of-fact reply.

Before I could say another word, he stated that he would be waiting for me at the hotel front in an hour. Just as we ended the call, the waitstaff arrived with my omelet and morning wine.

Feeling renewed after my breakfast and a refreshing shower, I made my way downstairs and outside the hotel just as the Lincoln pulled up, with Mr. Circus behind the wheel. The concierge opened the car door and I stepped inside.

Once seated, I pulled the card Satori Circus had given me from my billfold, glanced at the tag-line, and inquired, ‟Monsieur, what does it mean—‛Gets You There On Time’?”

Smiling, he replied, ‟Wait and see.... See and believe! Relax Mischa—Turn on the radio and enjoy the ride!” I did just that—or tried to, anyway—as we motored down I-75. Problem was, I couldn’t seem to tune in to a station—all I was getting was a bunch of annoying static.

Soon, Satori announced, ‟Next stop—Southfield High!”

‟Southfield High?” I was curious. ‟Why there and who are we going to see?”

‟Exactly!” he exclaimed.

His answer confused me, but before I could ask him to explain, the static from the radio increased in volume to near unbearable levels. Just when I could take no more of it and reached to turn the device off, the tuner suddenly landed on a clear signal, and I heard the words: ‟Many things will come to pass / And the smoke shall rise again / To the place above where it began....” Ah yes, groovy, the Bubble Puppy, I said to myself. I’ll leave it here. It’s good to hear a band with a keen appreciation of Aldous Huxley.

‟Time will bring the fire and flame / As surely as it brought the rain / But in the gardens of the moon / Time is held within the silver spoon.” 2

I was firing up a joint as the song faded out, but just as my lungs had filled with the heady vapor, my ears were suddenly blasted with that incredibly annoying static, back in full force. I exhaled, and through the thick cloud of smoke, I saw my hand reach out to switch off the sound system...and a multitude of colorful trails following behind. I froze, uncertain. I hadn’t taken any hits from the Grande Ballroom card, so what could be up?

The buzzing in my ears had increased now to a roar, which, oddly, wasn’t as uncomfortable as I would have expected.  In fact, it was strangely soothing...reverberating and expanding...filling my head completely until there was nothing else...nothing at all....

‟—sorry about that, Mischa.... Mischa! Are you alright?” And the voice of Satori Circus came forth, lassoing me, pulling me back from the void.

‟Yes—I’m...I can’t explain...”  My voice trailed off, struggling to comprehend.

‟You’ll be fine, Mischa. Just a little ways more to go!  In the meantime, take a listen to this—I think you’ll really dig it!”

The psychedelic sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators burst through the speakers.  But in my fragile state of mind, the lush, overlapping instrumentals were almost more than I could bear. Instead, I lit a cigarette and zeroed in on the lyrics, which soon pulled me in, carrying me along their exuberant groove.

‟She lives, no fear
Doubtless in everything she knows
Through time unchecked,
The sureness of her flows.
She leaves herself inside you when she goes.

She lives in a time of her own....

You have always heard her speaking,
She's always been in your ear.
Her voice sounds a tone within you,
Listen to the words you hear.
Her time has no past or future,
She lives everything she sees.
Her time doesn't spin outside here,
It's in every breath she breaths.

She lives in a time of her own....” 3

Damn! Stunned by how the lyrics had captured my innermost visions, I felt renewed and completely alive in the moment.... Smiling, my eyes met those of Satori Circus, looking back at me in the rear-view mirror. And it was as though he was reading my mind, and wordlessly declared: Yes! I knew you’d dig it, Mischa!

As the song wound down and began to fade, we pulled into the parking lot at Southfield High. My door opened and Satori Circus extended his hand, saying with a gleeful smile, ‟Got ya here on time! Enjoy the concert, Mischa. I’ll be back to pick you up at midnight.”

But what concert was Satori referring to? Before I could ask, he was gone.

I scanned my surroundings as I strolled toward the auditorium, and immediately noticed several mimeographed fliers that were taped up all along the building.

Oh my gawd, it suddenly dawned on me—the mimeographed fliers—November 22—The Who! Oh, fuck yeah! This was the famous Amboy Dukes and Who concert of 1967. This was freekin’ far out! Unbelievable...but happening indeed. How could I ever on this green earth ask for more!

This was going to be way cool. I would be witness to the Dukes in their original incarnation.

I had arrived at just the right time to be able to hang with the members of the bands in the gymnasium’s changing room during the supporting act’s performance. For some reason or other, the Who’s stage outfits had never arrived. This minor issue was solved when the Amboy Dukes’ girlfriends supplied the English lads with some cool looking clothing of their own.

It was not long after the weed was lit and the incense was flowing that Steve Farmer began reciting the story of how the Amboy Dukes had come to be. This had occurred when members of the Gang, led by Steve Farmer, had united with the Lourds, led by Ted Nugent. We all sat spellbound as the Brian Jones look-alike continued on.

Early days of The GANG, one of the first bad boy bands in the Motor-City.

‟We had this musical competition going between the Gang and the Lourds,” Steve stated, ‟as we were from the Detroit area, and the Lourds hailed from Chicago. However, here was the caveat—one of their members had grown up in Detroit, and he had a cool rep—everyone had heard of him. This, of course, was Ted.” Farmer paused briefly, taking a heavy toke from a joint just handed him. ‟The Lourds dressed more in a stylistic hippie manner, whereas us members of the Gang wore the Brooks black leather jackets. We believed that our look, and most importantly, our attitude, captured the reality and vibes of the Motor City,” he stated with a grin.

‟My friends and I were all in high school together, right here at Southfield High, and it was my fascination with the bad boy look of the Rolling Stones that really gave me the drive to form a band,” Farmer recalled. ‟The Beatles were just too clean cut and more of a girl’s band. But the Stones, you see, had that image and style of the working class that we all identified with. It was with this in mind that I began developing my first band, the Gang, with Greg Arama, Dave O’Brien, Jim Butler, and Don Henderson. We jammed around the Detroit area and soon came across others of the same mindset. I’m referring here to our camaraderie with the Fugitives, who, by the way, were to evolve into the SRC. Any show in which we shared a stage with the SRC was always a great show!” At this point Rick Lober nodded in affirmation.

‟There were places we hung out at that really fit the image, such as The Cellar and The Hideout, which was in all actuality Hideout Records....” On and on Farmer went. Both the groupies and even members of the Who sat listening attentively, taking in all the groovy background on the band as the joints were passed.

‟It was when Ted moved back to the Detroit area with his band, the Lourds, that the melding of our two distinctive outfits took place. Much like the pulp novel, we united and formed the Amboy Dukes. The band was rockin’ tight for our first three albums. And everything seemed to gel when ‛Journey to the Center of the Mind’ hit number one nationally.”

What? Wait a minute—first three albums?  If this was 1967—and I was fairly certain it was—the Dukes had only released one full length album so far. Looking around me, I noticed puzzled expressions on the faces of some of the listeners in the room.

But Farmer carried on, giving detailed impressions that he knew of what was to happen in times yet to come. Launching into a history of the Amboy Dukes from the vantage of ‛72 to ‛86 and then on to 2001, he painted pictures so vivid there was no question he had already lived it all. What the hell, I thought. I knew the history of the Dukes, as I had traveled from the future to be here, but could there be others in the room who were time-travelers as well—in particular, Mr. Farmer himself?

It was all here: the beginnings of the Dukes, how this had brought about the subsequent formation of the Wilson Mower Pursuit, and Ted’s recognition of the talented ‟Wheatgerm” as the only guitarist in Detroit he felt could hold a candle to his own expertise. Steve spoke of the legendary Grande Ballroom with such passion that it came alive. There were details of the Dukes’ tour with Hendrix, the recording of their first albums, and the origins of and inspirations for both ‟Journey” albums, from ‟Journey to the Center of the Mind” in the ‛60s to the band’s comeback sans Ted on ‟Journey to the Darkside of the Mind” in 2000. And get this—the time Ted did LSD (did I hear that right?)!

All the while, Ted himself had been unbelievably quiet, tuning the strings on his guitar off to the side of the room (thank God for small favors)!

Mesmerized by it all, I was completely absorbed with the energy of the room. Then it hit me—I was not the only LSD time-traveler here. This was evident by the words and expressions I was hearing from some of the others. It seemed they had also returned for this historic event.

Damn! This was one step beyond the twilight zone! What an incredibly freekin’ treat this was turning out to be! Farmer became more than a storyteller; he was rendering a private viewing, in 3-D technicolor, of the history of the Detroit music scene—and we all had front row seats.

Beatle Bob (front) along with Wheatgerm, George Korinek and newest member Bob Franco hook-up with ex-GANG spin-off members Dave O'brien and Jim Butler to form the Detroit psychedelic rock outfit The Wilson Mower Pursuit.

So, my fellow time-travelers, tune in for the next exciting feuilleton chapter in this band’s most incredible journey, where you will witness the conflict between Hendrix and Nugent, and ride with a youthful Ted high on the gonzo waves of  LSD. Get ready to revel in the rebellious adventures of one of Detroit’s most galvanizing bands, and marvel at the never before talked about exciting escapades of one of the finest outfits to ever emerge out of psychedelia. All this and more, coming to you from one of the most creative musical eras and grooviest locations to ever exist on this planet...the 1960’s Motor City!

Stay turned on for part 2

1.Golden Dawn – Starvation –  George Kinney / T. Ramsey 1967
2. Hot Smoke and Sassafras – Bubble Puppy - Fore / Prince / Cox / Potter - 1969

3. She Lives (In A Time Of Her Own)  - 13th Floor Elevators –  Roky Erickson / Tommy Hall 1967

Column made by Michele Dawn Saint Thomas/2014
© Copyright

Belzebong interview with Sheepy Dude, Alky Dude and Cheesy Dude

The narcotic properties of Belzebong, while not fully medically tested at this point, will definitely hinder fine motor skills and impair higher brain functions.  The fun doesn’t stop there though.  Belzebong is guided by a deranged Bong Jinni that offers up ancient riffs from the Pagan witch Sabbaths that occurred in the mountain ranges surrounding their hometown in Poland.  Now normally I would scoff at such a claim, but the more I listen to Belzebong the more I wonder.  They do sound heavier and harder than ninety-nine percent of the biggest metal bands going, and they do it all without having to play a million miles an hour.  It’s like this, have you ever had your dope dealer tell you to be careful with drugs before?  A sale preempted by a cryptic warning or the obligatory, “Only take one hit of this, don’t smoke too much of that…”  Well take it from Uncle Jerk when I tell you to carefully inhale the riffage on this one!  Prepare to feel your body fade away, your brain turn to sludge and your face melt instantly.  I’m serious.  Be warned, this is some heavy shit.  I’m not sure there’s any other way to prepare listeners for the blistering, stoney, Armageddon style riffage that is Belzebong.  I listen to a lot of heavy music, stoner rock, desert and even dead ahead metal from time to time but Belzebong take the cake.  While they might not even have a full-length album out yet, their songs are plenty long enough to lull the listener into a false sense of security while they’re becoming so inebriated by it that I’m sure it’s illegal for them to operate heavy machinery after listening to the complete “Dungeon Vultures” or “Acid Funeral” tracks.  Don’t take my word for it though, judge for yourself…
Listen while you read:

© Paweł Wygoda

What is Belzebong’s current lineup?  Has this always been your lineup or have you made some changes over time?

Sheepy dude:  Belzebong’s current lineup is Cheesy dude, Alky dude, Falony dude and Sheepy dude.  There’s also Boogie dude who’s responsible for the video-visuals at our gigs.  The thing that’s really changed over time is our drummer, few years ago Falony dude replaced the former dude Jelony.  That and we’ve grown moustaches.

Alky dude:  Once we had a vocalist, but, as the legend goes, we forgot to pick him up from a parking lot somewhere along the highway and there’s a rumor that says his ghost now wanders the streets of Salem.

The more people I talk to the more I realize most musicians who are trying to pay the bills these are days are in more than one band.  Are any of you in any other bands that are currently active?  Have you released any music with anyone else?  If so can you tell us about that?

Alky dude:  Never paid a bill with music, mostly in cash, or bank transfers.  Yeah some of us are involved in other bands, playing totally different stuff though.

Sheepy dude:  Yeah, music and bills don’t mix man.  To pay bills eventually you’re going to need a real job.

Where are you originally from? 

Alky dude:  Kielce, Poland in the middle of Europe.

Sheepy dude:  The city where the wind blows cold as fuck, so they say.  It’s located in these old ass mountains.  Actually they’re so old they don’t look like mountains anymore man.  They’re pretty low; lots of forests around, witches, boars and shit.  There’s a hill where witch Sabbaths took place a long time ago in the pagan times, that’s why a witch riding a broomstick is the official symbol of the region.

Did the music scene where you grew up play a large part in your childhood or musical taste?

Sheepy dude:  Nope, not really.  The local scene here is mostly focused on hip hop shit, which has never interested us.

Was your household very musical when you were a child?  Were either your parents or any of your relatives musicians or extremely interested or involved in music?

Alky dude:  My parents weren’t, but my granddad used to play drunken folk chants on the accordion at parties.

Sheepy dude:  No, there were no musicians in my family.  I got hooked on my own.

What was your first real exposure to music?

Alky dude:  80's disco/pop on the radio.

Sheepy dude:  I think that a Dr. Alban cassette was the first shit I got to listen to.

Cheesy dude:  My father used to bring home some Russian vinyl from the black market in late 80's.  I remember the Commodores, Bon Jovi and Michael Jackson in particular.

If you had to pick one defining moment of transcendent music to you, a moment that changed how you heard music and opened the door to all the infinite possibilities, what would it be?

Alky dude:  Hearing Sodom’s In The Sign Of Evil when I was ten years old.  Followed by Venom and King Diamond later on.

Sheepy dude:  Oh man, listening to music while trippin’ in the woods, seeing sounds and shit!  That experience changed my view on music and other stuff.  The doors of perception were opened wide and my musical taste even changed a bit too; I have swum into the open seas of psychedelia.

When and how did you all originally meet?

Alky dude:  We met in the woods surrounding our city.  Seriously.  And it was hell a long ago.

Sheepy dude:  Yes, Cheesy, Alky and I have known each other for a while.  It’s hard to tell you exactly how we met in those woods, but we’ve been good friends ever since.

What exactly led to the formation of Belzebong and when was that?  Is there any guiding force or universal principal that you all subscribe to?

Alky dude:  A toothless gypsy fairy with a rat on a string we met in a damp cellar gave as bong full of riffs.

Sheepy dude:  Something like that.  Sometimes a rat on a string is a bat on a stick.  The guiding force is a bong with a gravity that draws us all together to smoke some shit and make some badass riffs.  Smoke and riff, riff and weed, that’s our game, that’s our creed.

What does the name Belzebong mean or refer to?  I seriously dig the name!  How did you go about choosing it and who came up with it?

Alky dude:  Once again, the legend goes that it was the Bong Jinni from the afore mentioned bong.  He came up with the idea, or maybe it was someone else?  Hmm...  I don't remember.

Sheepy dude:  The Bong gave us the name.  Well, actually we accidently released a green Jinn from the old bong that the gypsy witch gave us the other day.  It didn’t grant us any wishes though, greedy motherfucker, but it did give us that funny name which defines our style so well.

Where’s the band currently located at?

Alky dude:  Four different cities in Poland, in a 500 km perimeter.

Sheepy dude:  Yeah, we’re a bit scattered.  We rehearse in Warsaw, the capitol of Poland.

How would you describe the local music scene there?

Alky dude:  It's okayyy...

Sheepy dude:  The scene is growing man.  There’s some interesting bands coming up, there’re some cool shows too, and even a stoner festival with some big names on it.  Not bad at all if you ask me.

Are you very involved in the local music scene?  Do you book or attend a lot of shows?  Do you help to record and or release any local music?

Cheesy dude:  Check out Weedpecker dude, they're pretty awesome.  I recorded some FX-textures for their track “Weedfields”.

Do you feel like the local music scene where you all are at has played a large role in Belzebong in any capacity or do you feel like you could have done what you have and sound like you do regardless of your geographic location or musical surroundings? 

Sheepy dude:  Not really.  Actually location had nothing to do with our sound or style since there were weren’t any other bands in Poland even slightly similar to what we were doing back then when we started.  So we didn’t really look locally for inspiration, we’ve found that elsewhere on the internet and shit.  Then we just put the bong in motion and the riffs followed.

While we are talking so much about Belzebong’s history can we take a moment to talk about your musical influences?  There are some pretty obvious sounds that you draw from for a lot of your music, but there are a lot of less apparent elements to the music that only become audible when you listen to the music a few times and start to pick it apart a bit.  I’m interested to hear who you’d cite as your major musical influences?  What about influences on the band as a whole rather than individually?

Alky dude:  Songs 'bout drugs and space, in general.

Sheepy dude:  Bud, cheeba, chronic, dagga, dak, dank, dope, doobage, draw, dro, electric puha, frodis, ganja, grass, green, hash, hay, herb, indo, instaga, kush, leaf, Mary Jane, nugget, nug, pot, reefer, schwag, sensi, skunk, sticky-icky-icky, tea, tree, wacky tobacky.  Weed…  The main musical influences on Belzebong are bands such as Bongzilla, Electric Wizard, Sleep and Weedeater to name the obvious ones.  There’s also some bluesy and psychedelic stuff, some drone and of course Black Sabbath.

I would like to think I’m fairly good at a lot of things, and I love what I do.  I love tracking down, talking to and sharing great bands with people.  But one of the reasons I will be forever grateful to the internet is being able to link people to music instead of having to describe it because I am shamefully bad at it.  I end up spending a bunch of time meandering on and on, using needless verbiage and ultimately end up confusing more people than I interest.  Rather than me taking some awkward stab at describing your sound to our readers, how would you describe Belzebong’s sound to our readers who might not have heard you before in your own words?

Sheepy dude:  A poet would say it sounds like a stoned ass motherfuckin’ giant goat tumbling down a staircase straight to hell in slow motion.  I’d say it’s the sound of thick smoke bubbling up from a dirty old bong.  I’d say it sounds like feeling really stoned in mysterious and eerie surroundings, like a space swamp and shit.

Do you all enjoy recording?  I know that most musicians can appreciate the final product, there’s not a whole lot in the world that beats holding a finished album in your hands and knowing that it’s yours and you made it.  Getting into the studio to record that material though, it can be really trying to say the least!  How is it recording for you all?

Alky dude:  Unfortunately we can't reveal to you the secret of our recording procedure.  We can only say that it's a ritual which involves virgin sacrifices.

Sheepy dude:  Recording is kinda fun.  We’re usually stoned.  But to be honest I prefer live shows, where we’re much more stoned and it’s even more fun.

How do you all handle recording?  Do you head into the studio to record or is it more of a DIY project on your own time, terms and turf?

Sheepy dude:  Yep, it’s more of a DIY, on our terms with the help of our friends and the bong Jinni occasionally, kind of thing.

Cheesy dude:  We take our old vintage amps and effects and put up some microphones.  A wall of fuzz and a mist of psychedelia are required to produce our stuff.

Does Belzebong do a lot of preparation work before recording getting all the arrangements and changes just the way you want them?  Or is it more of a flexible organic process where things have room for change and variation during the recording process?

Sheepy dude:  It turns out to be pretty flexible, ‘cause it’s always time for a good change.  We often play our songs differently at different shows, and the recorded versions are just one of those different versions.  It could be a little bit slower or even super slow depending on how much weed we smoke while playing it.  The main structure of the song and the riffs are solid and set before recording, but a lot of stuff, space effects and arrangements are often improvised by Cheesy dude on the spot.

Electro Harmonix Belzebong Pedal

Can you tell us about Belzebong’s songwriting process?  Is there someone who approaches the rest of the band with a riff or more finished idea to work out and compose with the rest of the band or is it more of a cohesive exchange of ideas while jamming together in the practice space?

Sheepy dude:  Usually we work on ideas at home separately and bring them to the practice space.  Sometimes it’s just a riff or two, and sometimes it’s a whole raw piece.  We’ll add some other riffs, check how they fit, smoke a lot of dope.  That’s it.

Alky dude:  It's more of a cohesive exchange of ideas while jamming together in the practice space.  Yeah, space is the word.

You guys seem pretty open about your drug usage, at least as far as marijuana is concerned with Sonic Scapes & Weedy Grooves being the name of your first album and your name containing the word bong.  Do substances play a large part in your songwriting process?  Do you ever utilize psychotropic drugs when writing or performing your music?

Sheepy dude:  Marijuana, yes.  We’ve dedicated our music to that very substance.  The substance is the process itself.  From the early beginning to the very end of it.  We want to produce sound and riffs that make you stoned just by listening to it.  We had to soak every single note with smoke to do so, even if that meant we had to be getting baked constantly in the process.  That’s real deal stoner magic right there.  We don’t use any other drugs when writing or performing music because it would make a dissonance in our message.

© Marcin Pawłowski
 © Marcin Pawłowski
© Marcin Pawłowski

Alky dude:  Never did it sober though.

Let’s take some time and talk a little bit about your back catalog for a moment.  Your first release was 2011’s Sonic Scapes & Weedy Grooves which at that point was a self-released CD housed in a mini album sleeve, hand numbered and limited to 420 copies ha-ha!  Can you share your memories of recording that first album?  Was it a fun pleasant experience for you all?  When was that material recorded?  Where was it recorded at?  Who recorded it?  What kind of equipment was used?

Cheesy dude:  I remember it was cold outside...  We recorded it in Cracow with our friend Misiek in two days.  A lot of people ask us about the equipment that was used, the only thing that I can really say is that a Big Muff was involved in the process.

Sonic Scapes & Weedy Grooves was extremely well received.  How do you feel about the receival of the album?  It has to be kind of overwhelming!  While a lot of bands these days are lucky to sell out a pressing of 300 LPs in a few years I know the initial self-released CD pressing of 420 copies sold out and then was re-released in several forms by Emetic Records.  They started with a Tour Edition of 30 copies on translucent green vinyl, followed by a run of 300 copies on translucent green vinyl with alternate artwork and 500 more copies of the CD again housed in a mini album sleeve.  Instant Classics issued an ultra-rare edition of 66 copies on cassette tape this year (2013) as well.  Emetic Records has also issued a black vinyl pressing of the album this year.  Do you know how many copies that black vinyl pressing is limited to?  Is that out of print at this point?  I checked out Emetic’s webpage and couldn’t find any copies on their site.

Erratum:  The 30 piece Tour Edition was a before the tour idea.  In fact it sold out pretty fast.  The black pressing was limited to 500 copies and it's already sold out as well.  No further represses are to be done on wax, cd or tape.

Sheepy dude:  Yes, it’s awesome that the album was so well received.  I guess we were just very lucky.  Shit rolls on though man.

You followed up the extremely successful Sonic Scapes & Weedy Grooves with Dungeon Vultures, a single-sided 12” limited to 350 copies Instant Classic Records earlier this year.  Was the recording of this material very different than the session(s) for Sonic Scapes & Weedy Grooves?  What can our listeners expect from the new album?  Did you try anything new or radically different with the songwriting or recording of Dungeon Vultures? 

Sheepy dude:  The recording ritual on Dungeon Vultures was pretty much the same as the Sonic Scapes process.  A lot of smoke and shit.

Cheesy dude:  We recorded it with Misiek again but this time it we were in Warsaw, in the Belzebong dungeon.

Alky dude:  Yeah, we loaded the bongs even more than usual.

I know that Dungeon Vultures is limited to 350 copies but there were also 42 copies that came with “personalized Ouija boards for summoning the Bong Jinni”.  What did the personalized Ouija boards consist of?  What brought about the idea of including Ouija boards with copies of the album?

Alky dude:  It was the Jinni again.  By using this board one can summon him and decide whether to smoke or to smoke, ya know.  But first, you have to put a resined inflorescence on the board so the Jinni’s satisfied when he appears.

Does Belzebong have any music that we haven’t talked about yet?  Have you been featured on any compilations or have any exclusive tracks featured anywhere?

Alky dude:  It's in our heads man.  It just needs to be recorded sometime soon.

Sheepy dude:  That’s pretty much all of it, new tracks can only be heard live for now.  We’ll put them on a record soon.

With the somewhat recent release of Dungeon Vultures are there any other releases planned or in the works at this point?  If so can you talk a little bit about them?

Alky dude:  EmeticRecords is pressing the US version of Dungeon Vultures on green wax with additional 2009 demo tracks, never before released on any physical media.

Sheepy dude:  Yeah man we’re baking some new material to be released sometime next year.  As for now the Jinn has suggested “Drug Me To Hell” as the name for the new album.  You can expect some quality Belzebong’s riffs and shit on it.

Where’s the best place for our US readers to pick up copies of your music?  With the recent insane international postage rate increases I try to provide people with as many options for picking up music as I possibly can!

Alky dude:  Emetic Records is the place!

What about our international and overseas readers?

Alky dude:  There’s eBay, Discogs and some distributors, but be aware, this stuff is selling faster than you can roll a fatty.

And where’s the best place for readers to keep up on the latest news from Belzebong like upcoming shows and album releases at?

Alky dude:  Facebong page.

Are there any major goals that you all are looking to accomplish in 2014?

Alky dude:  Play sober.  Nah, just kiddin' ha-ha.  That won't happen.

Sheepy dude:  Hit some festivals, hit some bongs, record and release some shit, have a good time and get more people stoned with our sonic dope.

What do you have planned as far as touring goes for the rest of the year if anything?  With 2014 right around the corner what about the New Year?

Alky dude:  I think that we'll get wasted as usual on the New Year’s Eve.  Some touring plans are being crystalized in Heisenberg's lab right now.  We'll see.

Do you all enjoy touring?  Do you spend a lot of time on the road?

Alky dude:  In fact we spend more time on the road than in the clubs ha-ha!  And yeah, we enjoy it; adventure!!!

Sheepy dude:  Bong in hand, the road ahead.  We love it man.

You have played with some seriously awesome bands over the last few years.  Who are some of your personal favorites that you’ve had a chance to share a bill with?

Alky dude:  Pentagram, oh and Gebarrmaschinenman, or whatever they were called.  Great experience!

© Kemper
 © Kemper
© Kemper
© Kemper

Sheepy dude:  Well yes indeed.  There were many awesome bands we have played with last years.  My favorites?  Weedeater for sure, love these guys.  Ufomammut, we had some fun together, Bongripper and Conan in London that was heavy as fuck!

Do you have any funny or interesting stories from live shows or performances that you’d like to share here with our readers?

Cheesy dude:  Once I had a nose bleed for half a show, once someone gave us a pipe with something other than weed in it, once a guy stood on his head on the front of the stage surrounded by green smoke.

© Hubert Herbut 

In your dreams, who are you on tour with?

Alky dude:  Rihanna and Janis.  That would be a perfect combo!

Sheepy dude:  Spinal Tap!

With all of the various mediums available to musicians today I’m always curious why they choose and prefer the various methods that they do.  Do you have a preferred medium of release for your own music?  What about when you are listening to and or purchasing music?

Sheepy dude:  Music itself is something ethereal, wax, cd or tape, it’s just merely the vessel.  My preferred medium would be telepathy.

I grew up around a fairly sizable collection and fell in love with being able to hold music in your hands.  There’s something about having liner notes and artwork to look at that offers a rare brief glimpse inside the minds of the artists that created it and make for a more complete listening experience, at least for me.  Do you have any such connection with physically released music?

Alky dude:  Well, yeah.  Sometimes I spank it when I get a nicely pressed piece of wax man!

Sheepy dude:  I like the smells.

Do you have a music collection at all?  If so can you tell us a little bit about it?

Alky dude:  It's a vast one.  Find me on Discogs.

As much as I love my collection of music it’s always presented a number of problems for me when I’m not around the house.  Even with the portability of CDs and cassettes I could never manage to muster up everything that I would want to listen to on any given day.  There would inevitably be “that one” album that I really wanted to listen to but hadn’t thought to bring.  Digital music has changed all of that though.  It still weirds me out having my entire music collection at the click of a finger but more than that when teamed with the internet digital music has been a real game changer, and as always with the good comes the bad and vice versa.  While digital music seems to be leveling the playing field somewhat for independent artists willing to promote and keep up a strong online presence and has exposed people from all over the world that they otherwise would never had heard of.  On the other hand illegal downloading is running rampant in the industry and the face of the music industry is rapidly changing to say the least!  As an artist during the reign of the digital era what’s your opinion on digital music and distribution?

Sheepy dude:  It works just fine for us.  Our music spreads all over the world, and gets to places and people we never thought of getting it to.  More listeners are exposed to the effects of our weedy tunes as they’re passing it to each other like a slow burning joint.  That’s awesome if you ask me.  If someone gets our shit for free somewhere, legally or not, and has fun with it, we won’t be bitchin about it.  Have a toke mate.  The shit sells anyway.

I try to keep up with as much good music as I humanly can.  I spend countless hours poring over the bins at the local shop and talking to the record store clerks digging for tips and tasty treats.  A lot of the best tips that I get come from musicians such as yourselves though, is there anyone from your local scene or area that I should be listening to that I might not have heard of before?

Alky dude:  Check out our friends Weedpecker.

Sheepy dude:  Yeah, check that shit man.

What about nationally and internationally?

Sheepy dude:  We should ask you man, you’re the pro.

Thanks so much for taking the time to make it through this, it wasn’t short and I can’t imagine that it was super easy but hopefully you had a little fun while doing looking back at things in the big picture and seeing what you’ve accomplished!  Is there anything that I missed or that you’d just like to take this opportunity to talk about?

© Marcin Pawłowski

Alky dude:  We're Belzebong, we play joke, give you poo as dope.

Sheepy dude:  Aawwwright.

© Rafał Kudyba

(2011)  Belzebong – Sonic Scapes & Weedy Grooves – digital, Cassette Tape, CD, 12” – Self-Released/Emetic Records/Instant Classics (Originally released on CD in mini album sleeve limited to 420 hand numbered copies, re-released by Emetic Records in a tour edition on translucent green vinyl limited to 30 copies, regular Emetic Records translucent green vinyl with alternate cover art limited to 300 copies, Emetic Records CD mini album reissue limited to 500 copies, Instant Classics Cassette Tape version limited to 66 hand numbered copies, Emetic Records black vinyl edition limited to 500 copies)
(2013)  Belzebong – Dungeon Vultures – single-sided 12”/Double-Sided 12” – Instant Classic/Emetic Records (1st pressing limited to 350 copies, 42 copies with personalized Ouija boards, 2nd pressing limited to 500 copies on Swamp Green Vinyl with unreleased demos on B-Side)

Interview made by Roman Rathert/2014
© Copyright

Bayeté (Todd Cochran) - Worlds Around The Sun (2014) review

Bayeté (Todd Cochran) "Worlds Around The Sun" (Omnivore Recordings, 2014)

               I generally hesitate to review jazz music. To do that you really ought to be an aficionado with extensive knowledge of the genre, and I’m just not that. But I’ve spent plenty of time listening to records by the likes of Coltrane, Monk, Mingus, Miles, as well as things like B-3 grooves and the Blue Break Beats series, etc. This underappreciated gem from 1972 puts me in mind of all of that, and then some. While there isn’t a note on here that you would call easy listening, some of the tracks are steady enough to sound good over the speakers of an urban coffee shop during the morning rush. Other pieces are more challenging, freeform wailing in a way that could bring knowing looks from fans of the likes of Albert Ayler. One selection is a moody number that could have worked as a soundtrack theme to an art film about inner city culture in the late 60s/early 70s. But it’s not a straight jazz album. The political “Free Angela” is driven by a chanting vocal, was later covered by Santana, and could have fit on a Gil Scot-Heron album. And “I’m On It” is far-out funk/soul/rock a la Shuggie Otis. All these records pass through my mind as I listen to this: A Love Supreme, Mingus Ah-Um, On the Corner, There’s a Riot Goin’ On, Inspiration Information. Look for it mid-March.

Review made by Brian Greene/2014
© Copyright

Chatham Rise - Chatham Rise (2013) review

Chatham Rise "Chatham Rise" (2013) review

Chatham Rise hypnotically undulates, mesmerizing in a hazy fashion of lo-fi psychedelia that’s expansive and dense, yet never rises above the trance-like state of chemical intoxication, gently morphing as the Blue Sandoz winds down, as the walls barely move, and you’re finally able to close your eyes and drift as one with the music.  These songs ride like mildly labored breathing, seemingly endless, coming from within and without in a singular breath ... as if these bits of wanderlust exist just for you, in this very moment of time, conjuring images of blue velvet nights, and foaming summer waves lapping like the curtain lace of your open windows.

Consider this my gift to you, when you’ll need it most ...

Review made by Jenell Kesler/2014
© Copyright

Aqua Nebula Oscillator interview

Aqua Nebula Oscillator formed in Paris back in 1999 and had several formations and due to those changes there was a significant difference in the sound of the band. Why did you decide to replace members? Is it only about your idea or the concept?

Well  the original idea was to form a group of people who could come and go as they want, to recreate a dark poetic vision of a psychedelic journey, the idea wasn’t to have a proper group with fix people, but more of a family who was into that! I have never "replaced" or fired people, they just left at a certain moment of their life, when they weren’t into it any more. "Nebula" is an astral factory of stars, so there is many "stars", with the "aqua" there is a permanent flow going into the oscillation of life! Come and go as we want!

You have three albums out, an EP called “Excavation” and a split with Kadaver. Can you take us on a journey through all three records and tell us the differences between them, the inspiration for specific record and how and why did the changes happen?

The real first album was Caves Recording! To me it’s the purest and childish one, made when I came back from India, the desert of Mexico, and Morocco in search of the "light" while listening early Pink Floyd, Soft Machine, ancient tribal music, and reading HP Lovecraft! The UFO one was the result of a coming back from the forest and a collaboration with my brother Juan Trip! The Under The Moon was an immersion into love, decadence and psychedelics with Shazzula (my girl by the time) both fan (by the time) of raw garage punk! Third was a reunion of a bunch of assholes (me and my brothers) living the most decadent life we could, doing speed freak space rock on acid while 2 girls and an old woman was giving them blow job reading Baudelaire ahahaha! poetes maudits!!!!

Who are the members of the current lineup?

The current lineup is totally changed! There is a killer far out jazz drummer Adrian Bang, killer bass player too Alexis Raphaellof, cosmic cowboy on oscillation, flute, harmonica, backing vocal and strange instruments, and me on vocals, space guitar, sitar, organ, and weird noise! Included skul, slave chain dense (new instrument ahaha).

On 5th November new record "Spiritus Mundi" came out. Can you tell us a few words about the record? What can we expect from it?

"Spiritus Mundi" the new one out on Tee Pee and Pan European Recording in November, is the accomplishment of all the albums! The idea was to have the bigger and cleanest valve tape sound, and to have the possibility to play the entire album on acoustic guitar, which means proper songs. We recorded in a really cool studio in Toulouse called Swamp who use only tapes and the album has been mastered in Terrazoni studio who was working for Decca in the 70's for classical music. We used a lot of acoustic instruments as percussions, violin, 12 string guitar, sitar, wisper and oscillation, space guitar, fairy and witches voices and everything. One of the only album of Aqua Nebula that you can play on your stereo without hearing a hudge ssscccccccccccccccccccccccrrrrrrrhhhhhhhhhhhh mosquito sound type ahahah!!!

What inspires you beside music. When listening to your music, it looks like this dark psychedelia mixed with space sounds comes from other parts of art. You must have been a regular reader of occult or am I wrong?

Well since I was born I have been always in a "find the light, infinite & immortality". I have been raised by my mother who was really into religious spiritism, goths and all that, then I took my first LSD trip at the age of 15 and it opened my "eye" and put me into the "real world" then I lived for one year in India, met the kali agori babas, who was really far out into body changes, then to the desert of Mexico to meet ciguri, then in Morocco to see gnawas and trance music! In literature was really into HP Lovecraft, Antonin Artaud, Baudelaire, Melmoth, in painter I’m a huge fan of Hieronymous bosh and Salvador Dali, those people opened my eye too! I have stopped reading 10 years ago, cause to me after a while you have to stop reading and experiencing the life of the others to create your own journey, cause the only thing I have learned is that there is no master, we are our own master! We have all the world, spirits & occult inside us! Just a matter of what you choose to do with it! voila, merci Klemen.

Are you planning any tour in the near future?

We will go on our tour for a month in USA, play at the Austin Psych Fest, then Roadburn in April and we will also record a new album in July. That's about it.

© Monster Rat

Interview made by Klemen Breznikar/2014
© Copyright

DOSES interview with Kristopher Kirk

How do you even begin to describe DOSES to the uninitiated?  They play a twisted, deranged version of punk rock that’s crashing headlong into some definite garage and noise territory, I guess.  Distilled into a mangled corpsy syrup of sometimes atonal confrontation and always mind-numbing riffage, DOSES is both wildly original and somehow manages to float, suspended out of time and space; uninhibited by any wish to sound like anything that you’ve ever heard on planet earth before.  They sport a drum-machine and, at least the lineup of the band that I spoke to, are a devout two-piece band with a single-mind to destroy all that is “false and impure”.  Guided by a somewhat enigmatic religious view of sorts, DOSES has got to be some of the purest, true to its roots punk that I’ve ever heard.  The debut album out now on Going Underground Records instantly brings artists like Francis Harold and The Holograms to mind, but the more I listen to DOSES the less they sound like anything else I’ve heard; and that’s not easy to pull off.  If you’re a noise junky, love some sinister scum rock, or are just a diehard punk freak you’re going to need to hear this album, trust me.  Songs like “Pig Gut” and “Bang Bang” propel you into the start of the manic journey that is the self-titled DOSES album, and once the ride’s started you better keep your hands and feet inside the cage because there are going to be dangerous riffs about!  Sludge monsters that thirst for flesh like “Dull Silk” and “When You’re Gone” or the twisted creatures risen from the depths of your subconscious like “Reasons To Kill” finish out the album.  It’s an insane ride and it’s not for everyone but for those that can grasp what DOSES are trying to say, this is gonna be a good one! 
Listen while you read:

What is DOSES current lineup?  If I understand correctly there have been a few different radically different incarnation of DOSES.  Can you talk a little bit about how the band has changed and progressed over time in those regards?

DOSES consist of Kristopher Kirk and John Gaston at the moment.  There have been many incarnations of DOSES.  This is DOSES version VI.  The previous V incarnations of DOSES are completely irrelevant to version VI.  John and I are not original members of DOSES. 

Are either of you in any other bands right now?  Have you released any music in the past with anyone else?  If so can you tell us a little bit about that?

Neither of us are in any other bands right now.  We both have released music in the past with a multitude of bands.  Those bands are all defunct and have no impact on the current state of DOSES, in fact they mean nothing as those bands weren’t real. 

Where are you originally from?

I am originally from Huntington Beach, California.  Home of PUNK.

What was the music scene like where you grew up?  Did you see a lot of shows growing up?  Do you feel like the music scene there played a large role in shaping yore musical tastes or the way that you play now?

On the surface, the music scene in Huntington Beach is awful.  There’s no place for kids to play really, it’s mainly bars and strip malls.  Bands that are bred from that environment are complete and utter garbage.  I did go to a lot of shows growing up, mainly around Santa Ana, Long Beach and Los Angeles.  The music scene in Huntington Beach did shape my musical taste, because most of those bands were awful.

Was your house very musical growing up?  Were either your parents or any of your relatives musicians or extremely involved/interested in music?

Ron and Barb were not heavily involved in music.  None of my relatives care that much either.

What was your first real exposure to music?

I hadn’t had any before DOSES.  I had exposure to music, but if you read back, it wasn’t a real exposure as stated above.  DOSES is the only real musical force at the moment.

If you had to pick one moment of music that changed everything for you, redefined art and opened your eyes to the infinite possibilities of music what would it be?

When DOSES became real.

When did you decide that you wanted to start writing and performing your own music and what brought that decision about to begin with?

Krishna delivered a message to me in the meditation trance I was having.  I was told to conquer the world with a single notion, and that notion was that everything before this was superficial.  This was real.

When and how did you two originally meet?

I was introduced to John by our Chinese financial backer in 2012 and we became the recent incarnation you see now.  He saw big things for the two of us.  I can’t pronounce his Chinese name so we just call him Myst.  Myst provides us with the finances we need to move forth in DOSES. 

What led to the formation of DOSES and when was that?

DOSES formed in 2011 as I was told.  It came from two people by the names of Hunter Wallace and Nathaniel Reager.  They were originally from Kansas and DOSES started there.  They’re no longer part of DOSES and are written off as has-beens, John and myself represent DOSES now.  In the future we may not even be a part of DOSES. 

Why a two-piece rather than a traditional trio or something?  Did DOSES intentionally set out to be a two-piece or was it just kind of a natural progression with the band?  Did you draw any inspiration for particular duos that had come before you?  Ten years ago two-piece bands were kind of a rarity, but it seems like they’ve gained a lot of recognition and people are much more willing to take them seriously these days rather than dismiss them as a gimmick or something.  What are the best and worst parts about having a two piece band?

DOSES has always been a two-piece and will continue to be a two-piece at its core.  We don’t want any more dead weight added to this group.  We might include a rare one off entity in a live performance or on recording, but it will always be a two-piece band.  Adam and Eve were a two-piece and look what the accomplished; humanity and life.  That’s what we’re doing.

Is there a shared creed, ideal or mantra that the band lives by?

We share a mantra with the one high and mighty.  Krishna told us to destroy the physical world as it exists and to cherish no tangible devices.  Our music is an extension to fulfill the wishes of the all-mighty.

What does the name DOSES mean or refer to in the context of your band name?  Who came up with it and how did you go about choosing it?

DOSES is an acronym for the way we would like to see ourselves and live life.  It stands for DEPRIVATION OF SELF EXISTENCE SUSTAINS. 

Where’s DOSES currently located at?


How would you describe the local music scene where you’re at now?

The local music scene lacks direction and belief.  It’s full of yester-years rock n roll rip-offs.  It’s very soft.

Are you very involved in the local music scene?  Do you book or attend a lot of local shows?  Do you help to record or release any local music?

I don’t book shows.  Doing so provides a great deal of stress.  I do attend shows as much as a I can.  I have recorded and released local bands in the past but time constraints on my current life have prevent me from doing such anymore.

There’s a lot of stuff that I’m good at when it comes to my job with Psychedelic Baby, or at least I’d like to think so.  One thing that I’m definitely no good at though is describing how a band sounds to our readers.  I don’t think that music fits into these tidy boxes and labels that we like to assign to them.  And that’s usually fine but makes describing music to people who haven’t heard it gets a little muddy and confusing without it.  Rather than me making some long winded weird description of the band that doesn’t make sense would you describe DOSES’ sound to our readers who might not have heard you before?

DOSES sounds like a saw with a dull blade trying to cut cement.  It won’t cut if the blades dull, but one keeps trying.  It squeals and hurts your sense of hearing.  It’s ugly and not for the weak.  Have you ever overheard your younger sister having sex with her obviously older boyfriend?  It sounds like that; bleak.

You all have an extremely interesting sound that seems to combine a lot of different types of musical influences in a fluid sound all your own.  While we’re talking so much about the band’s backstory and makeup I’m curious to hear who you would cite as your major musical influences?  What about influences on the band as a whole rather than just individually?

We prefer to not associate our sound with a direct influence of another act that we put on a pedestal.  We are content enough with being influenced by one another and our surroundings.  When I look into John’s eyes, I know what he’s thinking.  He knows what I’m thinking.  It’s a bond that only we can share. 

Can you talk a little bit about DOSES’ songwriting process?  Is there a lot of jamming and free exchange of ideas when you get together that gets distilled and refined into a song working together?  Or is it more of a situation where one of you will come to the rest of the band with a riff or more finished idea to work out and compose with the rest of the band?

The song writing process is XXXXXXXXXXX.  XXXX  XXXXXX  XX  XXXX X XXXXXXX.  XXXXXX XXX XXX X XXXXXX XX XXXX XXXXXX.  We kind of tend to keep that under wraps and a tight lid on it. 

Do you all enjoy recording?  As a musician myself I think that most of us can definitely appreciate the end result, there’s not a lot in the world that beats holding an album in your hands knowing that it’s yours, you made it and no one can take that away from you.  Getting to that point though, getting into a studio, or even recording the material yourself, especially when it comes to dealing with an entire band, even if that’s only one other person, can be really stressful to say the least.  How is it in the studio for DOSES?

Recording is a wonderful experience.  The studio was flawless.  We woke up like this.  There were no issues at all recording.  We finished the record in about four to five hours.  Having two people made it a most fluid experience. 

How do you all go about recording?  Do you utilize studio environments or is it more of a DIY, on your own time and turf proposition for you both?

We recorded in a studio in Venice.  It was more of a DIY, on our own, proposition.  The only thing we actually utilized was the recording interface and mics.  Everything was on our own time and own merit.

Does DOSES do a lot of prep work before you all record getting arrangements and compositions worked out and sounding just the way that you want them?  Or is recording more of a flexible organic proposition where things have room to change and evolve?

There is absolutely no flexibility.  We use a drum machine, so everything needs to be precise.  The arrangements are already complete and the songs are usually ritualistically performed live before any recording can be accomplished.  There is room to change and evolve a song, but that means re-sequencing the drum patterns. 

Your first release I know of was the Live at The Hogcreek Icehouse in Waco, Texas 10/8/2012 cassette tape limited to only 50 copies which you released fairly early on in 2013.  How was that material recorded?  Who recorded it?  What kind of equipment was used?  Did you all mic stuff up or was it just a handheld recording?

That was our first tangible release.  It was originally limited to 50 copies and was self-released and it was later repressed on Video Disease.  I believe it was 150 repress copies.  There’s different packaging on the earlier press and the latter.  It was all recorded at Hogcreek, live through the soundboard and these room microphones in the Icehouse.  The sound man was responsible for recording it that night.  I’m not positive on the equipment used, I’m sure it was some digital set up they have there.  We were handed a CD after our set and told to leave and to never return to Waco.

Since Live at The Hogcreek Icehouse in Waco, Texas 10/8/2012 received such a limited release I don’t believe it’s available digitally are there any plans to make that material available again via a digital distribution center or rerelease the material in a hard copy sometime in the future?

It actually is available digitally somewhere.  By the time this interview is published it will also be available on our Bandcamp page along with all the other releases.  They will all be free to download but this will never be re-released as a hard copy.  It had its time in the sun and no its over.

You just released your debut self-titled album on Going Underground Records who I am familiar with because they released an awesome Francis Harold & The Holograms single before they unfortunately split this past year.  How did you get hooked up with Going Underground Records?  I know they don’t release a whole lot of stuff.  Can you tell us a little bit about the recording of the material for DOSES?  Was it a fun pleasurable experience for you all?  Where and when was that material recorded?  Who recorded it?  What kind of equipment was used?

You are absolutely correct.  The Francis Harold singles and LP that Going Underground Records put out are possibly the most important records of the 2000’s; I couldn’t agree more.  Ronald, who is an old black man that lives in Bakersfield, had asked us to be part of the Going Underground Family.  We have never met Ronald, but he has a spiritual connection to Jah and we respect that.  We feel the connection with him and felt it was the right decision.  The recording was fairly simple in actual recording terms.  We recorded the bass and guitar together, then did one guitar over-dub.  The vocals were done a week later once the music was completed.  Our dear friend Michael Porter engineered the whole session for us, minus the vocals, I did that on my own time.  My guitar was recorded through a Sunn Concert lead into a Fender Bassman 2x15.  There were two different pedals used, one being a distortion pedal and the other was a harmonic percolator.  I can’t speak for John as I don’t recall what was used. 

There is two version of the DOSES album out, a vinyl edition limited to 500 copies with some of them being colored and then the cassette edition which actually features an entire exclusive side to it consisting of DJ Hate Crime remixing the entire DOSES album and comes in an extremely limited edition one time pressing of 150 copies.  How did the collaboration with DJ Hate Crime come about?  What was the reason for having a remix B-Side on the cassette?  I know that the digital version of the album is available for free on your Bandcamp page for those who want to preview tracks, are there any plans to make the DJ Hate Crime remix material available digitally in the future once the tape sells out?

We met DJ Hate Crime through a mutual friend.  He’s an elusive DJ that chops and screws a lot of punk songs.  He released a mixtape in 2011 I think.  Maybe it was 2010, but it was fantastic.  It’s entitled All Chopped and Skrewed Up Vol. 1.  We loved it and we wanted to make the cassettes different so people would be more excited to buy a cassette then if it was just a clone of the LP.  In reality, I hate cassettes and wouldn’t buy it unless there was something different about it.  The DJ Hate Crime remix will be available digitally as well once this interview is posted as well.  Everything is free.  Free of guilt, free of worries and free of shame.

Does DOSES have any other music that we haven’t talked about, maybe a single or a song on a compilation that I missed?

Just personal demos that aren’t for anyone else’s ears except ours.

With the release of DOSES extremely recently are there any other releases in the works or on the horizon at this point?

We are working on a 7” for Torn Light Records.  There’s no expected release date for that, but it will be amazing obviously.

Where’s the best place for our US readers to pick up copies of DOSES’ music at?

If you aren’t local, I would suggest Going Underground Records or going to your local record shop and urging them to stock the LP.  If you’re local to southern California, I highly recommend people come to a live event and buy the LP from us directly. 

With the completely batty international postage rate increases this last year I try to provide our readers with as many options for picking up import releases as I can.  There’s not a whole lot in the world that drives me up the all more than knowing an album is out, being able to afford the album but not being able to pay for the stinking shipping just because it wasn’t pressed in the US!  Where’s the best place for our international and overseas readers to pick up your music?

I am not too sure at this point.  I’m not aware of any overseas retailers or distros that have it at the moment. 

And where’s the best place for fans to keep up on the latest news like upcoming shows and album releases from DOSES at?

Are there any major goals that you all are looking to accomplish in 2014?

To destroy the competition and annihilate the impure. 

What, if anything, do you have planned as far as touring goes for 2014 so far?

We have one small trip planned to the Bay Area in March.  That’s all for now. 

Do you spend a lot of time on the road touring?  Do you enjoy touring?  What’s life like on the road for DOSES?

No we don’t spend any time on the road.  We love traveling but our jobs and responsibilities in the home land prevent us from doing just that.  I imagine touring with DOSES would be utter bliss.

Who are some of your personal favorite acts that you all have had a chance to share a bill with so far?

Stupid Life, Stoic Violence, High-Functioning Flesh, Blazing Eye, Perfect Pussy, On Parade & Destruction Unit.

Do you remember what the first song that DOSES ever played live was?  Where and when was that?

Since John and I are not original members of DOSES I cannot comment on when and where the first show was and what song was played, sorry.

In your dreams, who are you on tour with?

DOSES.  Headlining everything.

Do you have any funny or interesting stories from live shows or performances that you’d like to share here with our readers?

We played this small venue in Nevada, I forgot the name, but it was dreadful.  We were promised a guarantee to help pay for our gas and we were shorted a lot after the show.  The promoter claimed we ruined the sound system there and that we drove business away.  Which wasn’t true because the place was packed and no one was leaving.  Luckily we had Myst, our Chinese financial backer, with us and he got our payment.  Myst carries a small axe with him where ever he goes.  So essentially Myst went into the office of the venue, tied the promoter up to a chair and threatened to cut off all his fingers with this axe.  The promoter literally pissed his pants and agreed to give Myst our money.  Myst was already so upset that he just essentially took our guarantee and whatever else was In the envelope of money.  Also Myst speaks very little English so there was a huge language barrier.  We left and didn’t untie the poor guy. 

With all of the various mediums of release available to artists today I’m always curious why they choose and prefer the particular methods of release that they do.  Do you have a preferred medium of release for your own music?  What about when you’re buying and or listening to music and if so, why?

Vinyl only and always.  I mainly buy vinyl when it comes down to it, but sometimes I will purchase a tape if it’s the only thing a band has.

Do you have a music collection at all?  If so can you tell us a little bit about it?

I do.  It’s huge.

I grew up around a good collection of music and I developed an appreciation for physical music from a pretty young age as a result.  There was always something magical about being able to saunter up to the shelves and shelves of music, pull something off completely at random, pop it in the player, stare at the artwork, read the liner notes and let the music transport me off to another world.  Having something concrete and physical to hold in my hands always made for a much more complete listening experience, at least for me.  Do you have any such connection with physically released music?

Of course.  That is the sole reason we press our music onto vinyl.  CD’s are disposable.  You treat them like shit when you handle them, they’re a format of music that has come and gone.  There’s a reason why vinyl is still relevant to so many people.  Owning vinyl gives you the responsibility of taking care of something you cherish.

As much as I love my physical music portability has always been an issue for me.  I really enjoy listening to music when I’m doing just about anything and I just couldn’t ever take enough of it on the go with me to keep me happy.  The advent of digital music has alleviated that problem almost overnight and when teamed with the internet has proven to be a real game changer.  It’s exposed people to a whole world of music that they otherwise wouldn’t have been privy to.  On the other hand though illegal downloading is running rampant and the digital conundrum has dealt a hefty blow to the music industry, as most of us know it at least.  As an artist during the reign of the digital era, what’s your opinion on digital music and distribution?

I feel digital music should be free to anyone.  Why deprive someone of hearing something that was created?  That makes no sense to me.  Also, what is the music industry nowadays anyways?  There are no more rock stars.  If someone truly cares about music they will support that artist by attending a show or buying their physical product.  Those people are the people I want supporting us.  If you’re just going to download it and not support the band, that’s fine.  At the same time though, fuck you.  You don’t really care about that band and that is also fine. 

I try to keep up with as much good music as I possibly can.  I spend more of my life online listening to music, searching through bins at the local shop and talking to anyone I trust for good recommendations than I would like to admit here.  A lot of the best tips that I get though come from musicians such as you.  Is there anyone from your local scene or area that should be listening to I might not have heard of before?

Abortion Reels, Stupid Life, Stoic Violence, Pretty P, Blazing Eye & High-functioning Flesh.

What about nationally and internationally?

Too many to go through.

Thanks so much for taking the time to make it to the end here!  I know this wasn’t short but I don’t like to half ass stuff and I hope it didn’t bore you to tears, completely.  Before we sign off and call it a day is there anything that I might have missed or that you’d just like to take this opportunity to discuss with our readers here?

Only I can destroy I and I will never destroy I.

*Photos by Madison East & Graphic Garrett

(2012)  DOSES – Demo – digital – Self-Released
(2013)  DOSES – Live at The Hogcreek Icehouse in Waco, Texas 10/8/2012 – Cassette Tape – Self-Released/Video Disease Records (Self-Released edition limited to 50 copies, Video Disease repress limited to 150 copies)
(2013)  DOSES – DOSES – digital, 12” – Going Underground Records (Limited to 500 copies, 100 copies on Gold Vinyl, 100 on Blue Vinyl and 300 on Black Vinyl.)
(2014)  DOSES – DOSES + DJ Hate Crime – Cassette Tape – Going Underground Records (Limited to 150 Cassette Tapes.  A-Side is the DOSES album, B-Side is the DOSES album remixed by DJ Hate Crime.)

Interview made by Roman Rathert/2014
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