Vulgarian – Interview
Interview with Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (http://petesrocknewsandviews.com)
FB – Frank Binder – Guitar
AD – Anders Dread – Vocals
KH – Kevin Handlon – Bass
TH – Thomas Horner – Drums
PD: What type of artist are you?
V: We are a politically outspoken sludge band that leans heavy on the hardcore punk influences.
PD: Tell us the brief history of yourself.
V: The band was formed on the day after the 2016 presidential elections. We were all longtime friends who have all been playing in metal bands together, so a few text messages went out and the lineup was complete. We had flirted with various punk projects before but we were galvanized into really trying to pursue a hardcore-influenced project more seriously by our disgust that someone so inept and racist could get elected. Our original bassist contributed to our self-titled EP, but moved onto other projects, and we were lucky to get our equally-talented friend Kevin from Dreadnought to join us and kick up the songwriting process another notch.
PD: Who are your musical and non-musical influences?
V: We have a wide range of influences because each member brings something completely different. For vocals: largely 80s hardcore bands like Minor Threat, Black Flag, and Dead Kennedeys with some classic sludge bands like EHG, Dystopia, Grief, etc. The drummer is particularly influenced by the more charismatically-drummed doom stuff like Reverend Bizarre and Boris. Our guitarist is definitely a huge Opeth fan and really enjoys metal in that style, and before which resulted in a rather strange-sounding self-titled EP before we reigned it in. We made him listen to nothing but Melvins for two weeks in order to get the bullshitting out of his system and recalibrate him to a more root-note centered riff philosophy — and it worked. Now the riffs are coming from more of a mashup of Yob, Neurosis, Dystopia, and Discharge, with a hint of Death.
Non-musically, we’re obviously influenced by the state of society and the world. It is no secret that we come from a very leftist community.
PD: What are your dreams and goals?
AD: I just like playing music. There is nothing better than just nailing a performance, so if I could keep doing that and have people show up and pay to see it, I’m happy.
TH: I want the widespread suffering of people to end.
FB: I’d love to play overseas. Roadburn Fest sounds like a great time.
KH: Pretty much what Frank said, I’d also like to tour in Japan some time.
PD: Who writes your songs, what are they about?
V: We all write the songs collaboratively. Oftentimes Frank, the guitarist, comes up with some riffs and we rip them apart, contribute changes, and throw ideas out until we like them — but everyone in the band has contributed riffs on their own at some point, particularly our bassist Kevin. DPD was written solely from the basis of “let’s have an A-C-A-B chord progression,” which was a pretty cheesy meme that actually sounds punk as fuck.
PD: How do you promote your band and shows?
V: This is probably something we could work a lot harder on. We were content for a while to let things get out just through word of mouth. The great thing about the Denver scene is we know a lot of amazing musicians — and it was nice to know that a lot of people with discerning ears really liked what we’re doing. However, with the full length, we are making a concerted effort to really promote the music, as best we can in the Covid era — we had to cancel our tour and release show — this includes doing interviews like this, being more active on social media, getting promotional help from external sources, etc.
PD: What do you think about downloading music online?
V: It’s great. Physical music collections are also great. There’s no wrong way to distribute or listen to music. Streaming is less great, from an artist standpoint, but what are you going to do about it? Especially for this stuff, as long as people are listening, that’s all we want.
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
AD: Basically every Dead Kennedys song from their first three albums. They are such a great combination of original musicianship and lyrics that is instantly recognizable and never replicated.
FB: Under the Surface by Neurosis.
PD: What are some of your pet peeves?
V: Having fans (or more specifically, drunk people who happen to be drinking at the venue’s bar) compare us to Pantera or any other banal tough-guy crap like that. This is probably something you’ve encountered if you play in a metal band, no matter what genre you play, no matter how different you sound from Pantera. Also, friends who bail on shows at the last minute. You have to learn the art of making your presence known, and then quietly slipping away into the night.
PD: What is your proudest moment in music?
V: Recording our upcoming debut album “Human Scum.” It was many years in the making and the final product was a higher level than what we’re used to, since we’ve mostly done everything DIY, except Kevin, who plays in a proper band with label backing — and it was his experience with this and drive that pushed us into trying to achieve the next level. Working with Pete at World Famous Studios was a real privilege. Pete was a consummate professional and it really blew my mind how much the quality of the recording improved with his work.
PD: So what are you working on at the moment?
V: Were this a normal year, we would be hitting the road to promote the album we just finished. Unfortunately Covid makes that impossible right now. Right now we’re trying to get all the art, merch, and physical copy stuff done which is a lot of work. Once that’s done we’ll probably take a breather for a bit, though the next few months in the social / political landscape promise to be exciting and continue to fuel our efforts.
PD: Tell us about your next shows and why we should be there.
V: We don’t have any upcoming shows, and you shouldn’t plan to be there, on account of an ongoing global pandemic. We’re not sure it’s worth it for us until moshing becomes a thing again — and that looks to be a ways out. We also think, for this style of music, that livestream shows are kind of strange — maybe we’ll do one, but it’s really not the effect we’re going for.