Friday, October 11, 2013

Interview with Zack from Oozing Wound

Oozing Wound slays. If you know that and see what the album cover looks like on their upcoming debut LP, then you should have a pretty good idea of the music that they make. In case you still don't, it's heavy riffage with pounding drums, quick-witted bass lines, and unforgiving throbbing vocals. Thrash metal done extremely well. Their music is entertaining as it is pulverizing. There's a tongue-in-cheek candidness to the band, as is clearly visible in their COMMERCIAL for Retrash, their debut LP coming out on Thrill Jockey, home to the likes of Liturgy, Tortoise, White Hills and more.

The band plays regularly in Chicago at all sorts of venues from DIY squats to venues. I've never been able to see them to be honest, but I'm definitely looking forward to their show at THE EMPTY BOTTLE with The Body, Running, and Toupee on October 24. I've heard good reports on all accounts and I'm always down for some ol' fashioned face-melting.

You can check them out on FACEBOOK for updates.

Honestly, I'm not going to sum up this band as well as they do. Here's what Zack (guitar/vocals) said to me.

Jordan: Who all is in Oozing Wound? How did you all start?

 Zack: The wound is Kevin, Kyle, and I (Zack)--we started as a side project I was going to do for songs that didn't fit into my other bands.  At the time I was in Cacaw with Kyle and a thrash band called ZATH, both of which had some riffs and shit that didn't really fit with what I was writing.  It just kinda snowballed from there, we've had low expectations and it's been paying off.

J: How did you get the name Oozing Wound?

Z: I don't remember the moment but I do remember walking around work asking friends about two band names that I had thought of.  Oozing Wound won by a pretty unforgiving landslide.  Maybe we all just kind of morphed our expectations of what we were going to do from the name?

J: Define "slay"

Z: Well, some bands just wanna rock which I think is admirable, but we wanna take it up that extra dinosaur.  Slaying drains electrolytes.  Slaying requires bloodshed.  If it still doesn't make sense I suggest trying diet-slay.

J: What kind of bands or ideas have had an impact on your music? Anyone or anything specific that you can think of?

Z: Metal-wise I am really into Teutonic thrash like Kreator, Sodom, Destruction, Exhumer-- they have this forward momentum feeling in their songs.  Matt Pike, specifically High on Fire has been a huge influence on me, in the beginning there was definitely more Pike worship.  Beyond that, you know, Nirvana, ABBA, Gary Glitter, Beach Boys.  I think of my best heavy stuff listening to pop.

J: How do you all write songs? What sorts of roles do you have for the songwriting process?

Z: Standard process is I usually come up with a back log of riffs that I show the dudes and we'll find something and jam on it for a while.  That's where most of the slower/longer songs come from, the shorter dudes are a similar process but I usually have them more formed out.  Kevin and Kyle are necessary to make this shit work though. It takes all three of us to write an Oozer.

J: How do you record your music? Do you use a particular studio?

Z: We jam econo.  We've only been in the studio twice and for one day at a time.  First time we recorded the four songs from the Vape and Pillage tape, did that in one night session in Studio Chicago which isn't really a viable option these days.  2nd time was a full day at Electrical Audio where we did 6 songs.  We'd like more time in the studio, but shit's hard.

J: The artwork on your releases is really awesome. Can you tell me a little bit about that?

Z: Sam Nigrosh, man.  He is a killer fucking artist and deserves like 90% of the credit for all the visuals.  He takes our really stupid fucking ideas and makes them into something badass. I have like no visual artistic ability so it's great that we have this guy who can turn this shit out.

J: How did you guys get linked up with Thrill Jockey? How was it been working with them? Do they let you guys still have autonomy behind your music?

Z: Total luck.  We played a show with Black Pus and I shit you not that's all it took to get signed.  We also already had our record done so that probably helped.  TJ is my favorite thing I've ever been a part of.  Like the best dudes and Bettina is fucking great.  We've never had a label with a support network in it, with people who have a job to actually make your band go somewhere.  It fills me with little happy bubbles or some shit.  TJ has never once told us we couldn't do something.

J: Tell me a little bit about the video for "Welcome to the Spaceship, Motherfucker." What was the idea behind that? How did you guys make it?

Z: We needed two video ideas and had kinda spaced on coming up with one for this song.  We were looking through a gallery of photos we took (also a weird moment in our lives) and thought it would be a fucked up video to watch if it was all glitched out gifs and shit.  That's as much as we did, Joe Martinez and Leon Kelsick did the whole video and we saw it when it was finished.  It made me wanna puke and cry at the same time, it was so beautiful.

J: You guys are in a lot of other bands and projects. Give me a brief rundown of who all is doing what.

Z: Right now?  Uh Kyle runs Rotted Tooth Records which takes up a lot of his free time, Kevin plays in his other band Unmanned Ship, and I from time to time have been known to play with ZATH.  We've been really focused on the Ooze lately, so it's kinda been it.  The list of projects that follows us is more cumulative at this point than active, we've just been doing shit in this city for a while.

J: What all have you guys been listening to lately? Any noteworthy artists that have stuck out recently? What about Chicago artists?

Z: Best bands in Chicago?  Well, no matter what this is going to be incomplete with a city this vast.  The usuals are bands like Running, Heavy Times, Basic Cable, Rectal Hygienics, Unmanned Ship, Toupee, Sky Maul, CAVE, SINE/Psychic Steel...the list is fucking endless, seriously.  Look at the Rotted Tooth roster of bands that's all good shit.  I usually listen to pop rock from the 70's and 80's, lately it's been Dust, Jerusalem, Badfinger, The Troggs, Iron Claw...others I am sure.

J: How often do you guys get to play live?

Z: About once a month right now, but we've got a tour coming up.  There aren't a ton of spaces to play that work well for us, but we'll probably start doing more shows once all this record shit quiets down.  Playing shows means you have to steer away from writing new material which we're pretty focused on at this moment.

J: Tell me a little about the upcoming tour.

Z: East Coast Rippers and Burners tour, bro!  Hitting up the Halloween parties up and down the coast.  Wish there was more exciting things to say, but I imagine there's more to talk about after.

J: What all is in your future?

Z: Robots, bank collapse, probably defaulting on our national loans, uh bachelorette degrees, maybe a sun tan, giant crab people, an anthropomorphized bong, mutant woodchucks, an MTV VMA statue, a pitchfork 10.0 rating, a rolling stone feature, a failed military coup, maybe some ice cream.

J: Anything else you'd like to say?

Z: We are here to slay, get with it.

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