Thursday, December 31, 2015

For those about to YOB, we salute you

So as you may have noticed, I interviewed Mike Scheidt of YOB, playing Dec. 31st at the Rickshaw with Bison and Astrakhan. Alas, I won't be at the show! (What can I say, my girlfriend just isn't a fan of such heavy music, and she wants us to spend New Years Eve together. I'm REALLY glad a band we both like, Red Herring, is playing a show tonight at a house party at Id Guinness', to distract me from my NOT seeing YOB and Bison. I think I'd much rather spend New Year's in an intimate party environment, anyhow, rather than a big metal gig...

But I thought I'd put up a few outtakes from my YOB interview, for those of you who are going. Enjoy the show! The art above is from YOB's magnificent 2014 album, Clearing the Path to Ascend, which kicks off with Alan Watts saying "Time to wake up" and achieves some really blissful (if brooding and heavy) spaces. Quotes are from Mike Scheidt:

On playing live: "it's great, depending on various factors. I often get sick on tour, so that's not always a pleasure, but I love playing live. That's where I feel like we're at our best."

On how tonight's show at the Rickshaw is not actually part of a tour:

"We did a full European tour and two US tours, including Canadian dates, where we didn't get to Vancouver, on those trips. And we did an Australian tour. So we've actually toured out the album quite a bit. It's more just for fun and to have a great time and play with our friends Bison. That's kinda where it's at right now."

On what to expect on the setlist: "We don't write down setlists. We have tended to lean toward certain songs. We haven't not been able to play 'Marrow,' yet, since that album came out. So my guess is it will make an experience, but as far as the rest of it goes, I don't know yet."

On disappearing into his process, when working on songs: "you can't really be there to witness it, in order for it really to be working. That's my feeling, so... I have to keep playing where there are spaces in time where it starts to feel like the outside world is maybe gone, and then I start to feel like maybe we're onto something."

On whether he finds some metal too dark, evil, and so forth.

"Well, some of it is, for sure. Some of it is very dark and nihilistic and any number of things in heavy music, and some of it isn't. You have the Sleeps and the Oms of the world, and you have the Loss(es) and Burning Witches of the world. I think there's room for all of it, provided the group of musicians playing it are there are the way, and feeling it all the way. Then it works, even if no one it likes it, it works."
On Seattle doom pioneers Burning Witch: "I wasn't familiar with them when they were current. I discovered them whenever Southern Lord put out Crippled Lucifer, which I want to say is later 90's. I still think for nihilistic/ heavy, they're unrivaled."
Has YOB played with Bison before?

"We have not, though I did see them and play with them when I came up with Red Fang. And they were amazing."

On his history with Vancouver: "We've played up there a few times. I've played up there with Vohl. We have a long history of playing with bands up there. One of my favourites is Goatsblood. That dude Matt (Wood), who is the drummer for Bison, and also is the drummer for Goatsblood, and played in Pride Tiger - that guy is just insanely talented, and any chance I can get to watch him play is a pleasure."

Yeah, I observe. He's got a really beatific smile sometimes when he plays with Bison. I love to watch him.
"Goatsblood was similar but more evil and a lot more drool."

Enjoy the show, and Happy New Year, folks! (Why do I expect a few Motorhead covers?).

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