poniedziałek, 14 listopada 2016

Interview with Gerald and Derek/ EXISTENCH!


        Existench is one of the most truthful to underground bands. The ideals changes in the past 25 years... How did you survived all this years as a band and didin't freak out?
       Gerald- I've kept active in bands over the past 25 years. Music is part of my life and is actually therapeutic for me. It's a great release physically and mentally. I'm in it for life I guess haha.
      Derek- We kept on playing never stopped in other projects so coming back to this was easy.
      On the beginning of grindcore era are Earache's bands, were you was inspired by them, or Existench roots are, more closer to punk and thrash? How did you meet your future friends from Existench/ Disabuse? I bet it wasn't easy to set up rehearsal space at the beginning of 90's?
split w/ Deboned (2016)
      Gerald- I met Derek when I was 18 back in 1990 I guess... I was already into Cryptic Slaughter, D.R.I, The Accused, C.O.C., Agnostic Front as well as Canadian, American and European thrash and death metal. Derek was definitely into the Earache bands and immediately turned me onto Napalm Death, Carcass, Boltthrower, Doom, Heresy, Concrete Sox etc. Anyway, Derek and I started a thrash band initially called Abhorrent and at that time I only played guitar. That band lasted about a year and then we changed the lineup and the name changed to Gorbage and we were more of a death metal band. Derek left after a year or so to pursue other bands (System Shit, the Shitheads, etc.) but he and I remained friends and eventually in '95/'96 we started Disabuse which was a d-beat band to begin with as I was just learning how to drum. By '97 we decided to change the name to Existench and the style became more aggressive and grind influenced. Derek remained in the band until '99. After that lineup change we kept going until 2001 or so but the departure of Ryan Davies kind of spelled the end of that era of Existench. Amazingly enough we've always had luck with rehearsal space. I don't think we've ever spent more than a few months without one ever!
      Derek- I Started listening to thrash and hardcore at a young age the faster it was the better so I got into all those crazy Earache/ Maniac Ear bands when they all came out in the 80s. All the bands I've played in previously before I met Gerald in 1990 were influenced by them.


       What caused the 12 years break in activity of Existench? Did System Shit and Thy Flesh Consumed have anything to do with this?
      Gerald- Most definitely Thy Flesh was my main band for around 9 years. Besides that, Ryan had moved to Ontario and Derek moved to B.C. so the main elements of Existench were not available anyway. The decision to start Existench up again was out of people's interest in the band and just for fun... It was great to get that old school grind feel back after years of playing death metal.
      Derek- I moved away to Vancouver so we figured it was done for good. I restarted System Shit in Vancouver plus I played in loads of other bands up here.

      How the hell your doing rehearsals playing on drum and guitar same time? What caused comeback without Amanda? Are you going to continue as a duo? It can be complicated to do live shows.
      Gerald- Derek lives in British Columbia and I live in Nova Scotia so you don't get much more extreme than that for a long distance band haha! Basically Derek and I write songs on guitar or bass and I piece them together on drums. I have to record the drums solo just reproducing the song from memory. Then I lay down some guitars and send what I have to Derek who has a friend with a studio where he does vocals, mixing and mastering. We asked Amanda but she hasn't played bass guitar in a while and she says she doesn't want to slow down the recording process, however, she's always welcome to return if she ever wanted to. For now it's just Derek and I and there are no live shows planned, but who knows what the future has in store?
      Derek- Amanda is always welcome.

      Existench have timeless lyrics about social and political problems, did you notice that your lyrics are now more relevant than ever? How it's possible that all the people have eyes, but some of them see much more than others?
      Gerald- It's always amazed me how times change but the root problems of society remain the same... we still fight over religion and politics. Big business still has a stranglehold on the political will of most countries, deciding policy and law to suit those who will profit from it, regardless of the consequences. People now have social media and connectivity with the world that was only in it's infancy when Existench started. But what do they do with it? Share funny memes and argue about petty bullshit. Fortunately there are some enlightened, passionate and active people out there who want to make positive change a reality.
      Derek- Our lyrics are all over the map. But me and Gerald don't always see eye to eye. As an example I'm not going to write some hardcore vegan lyrics in this band unless the whole band was vegan. But we do agree on allot of other topics. And were still pissed off. If your not, what fucking rock do you live under?

split 7"EP w/ Skunk (2015)
 
      Theme anarchy has been simplified, almost forgotten in last decade. People comply with rules, standards or laws, they're programmed at schools and behave like puppets. There's nowhere to hide, this is not just superficial matters. How the term anarchy evolved for you during the years of existench?
      Gerald- You summed it up pretty well right there. People live predetermined lives based on what they think their roll is in society. Just sheep stepping behind the footprints of the person in front of them, never questioning or looking outside of what is considered mainstream or "normal". Go to school, get a job, buy a house and a car, plan for retirement and die, just living like everyone else. Honestly I never really thought about it from an anarchist perspective. For me, I see injustice and apathy in the world and I feel kind of helpless to do anything about it besides make noise and speak my mind.
      Derek- Well I work... I held the same job for 10 yrs... I won't live on the dole. It's there for people who need it. I wouldn't consider myself as an anarchist as I did 20+ yrs ago. But I also don't take shit off this system. If I don't like something I try n change it. People tend to forget how much change they can do especially when we are all unified. The system will always be shit but maybe people should first change themselves before complaining about EVERYTHING because 50% of the time they are the problem which they complain about.

      How would you characterize Grindcore?
      Gerald- To me grindcore is a hybrid of extreme music forms that concentrates on speed and heaviness. I prefer socially conscious lyrics to gore/ porn. Hardcore punk, thrash and death metal are my influences for sure but there are all kinds of approaches to the genre which keeps it interesting and ever evolving.
      Derek- I remember Grindcore before it was called that. I mean bands always played fast. Look at Larm, Seige, Protes Beng, The Neo's, Asocial. Without hardcore Grindcore could not possibly exist.

Exclusive stream of the Existench split 7 inch with Deboned! Enjoy!

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