AusGrind: Australian underground grindcore, punk, doom and DIY culture.

Earth set to tour Australia this September

Posted by Lachlan

Earth: Australian tour 2012This is the best thing to happen ever. Thanks to Rob MacManus and Heathen Skulls, Earth are touring Australia for the first time ever this September.

Earth formed in 1990 and led by guitarist Dylan Carlson. Mostly instrumental, their early work grew out of the Seattle area grunge scene and is recognized as pioneering the genre of drone doom — an experimental offshoot of doom metal, characterised by droning, minimalist, lengthy and repetitive structures.

Their early albums could be seen as a variation of the experimental doom-influenced metal of The Melvins. They now feature a markedly different sound, slow-paced and lengthy featuring strong elements of country music and jazz and the addition of a drummer.
Released earlier this year, “Angels Of Darkness, Demons Of Light II” is ultimately a completely unanticipated direction for Earth, and a very welcome one at that. Well respected by their musical peers, Earth were invited by Portishead to be apart of their curated ATP festival in 2011 and were subsequently asked to perform at ATP 2012, curated by Jeff Mangum (Neutral Milk Hotel).
Earth are heartfelt, haunting and deliver slow moving music that stretches into other worlds. Don’t miss your chance to see them in their first Australian tour this September. Special guests to be announced.
Saturday 8th Sept – The Kings Arms, Auckland
Sunday 9th Sept – The Zoo, Brisbane
Wednesday 12th Sept – The Toff In Town, Melbourne
Thursday 13th Sept – Hi Fi, Sydney
Friday 14th Sept – Fowlers Live, Adelaide
Saturday 15th Sept – The Rosemount Hotel, Perth
Sunday 16th Sept – The Corner Hotel, Melbourne
Tickets on sale 1 June 2012.

Nasum tour Australia / New Zealand August 2012

Posted by Lachlan

Nasum Australia / New Zealand tour August 2012 Pretty stoked this has happened. Grindcore legends Nasum are coming to Australia! Keijo Niinimaa of Rotten Sound will be performing vocal duties (which ain't a bad deal in lieu of Mr. Talarczyk). Nice one Heathen Skulls.

And the main supports are Psycroptic! Wait, what?

Wednesday 15th Aug - Amplifier, Perth
Thursday 16th Aug - Fowlers Live, Adelaide
Friday 17th Aug - Hi Fi, Brisbane
Saturday 18th Aug - Hi Fi, Sydney
Sunday 19th Aug - Hi Fi, Melbourne
Tuesday 21st Aug - The Kings Arms, Auckland

Tickets on sale Monday 21st May, see venues for details. Facebook event here.

Who else do you want to see on the bill?


Death Grips (USA) tour Australia January 2012

Posted by Lachlan

California's Death Grips featuring Zach HillAnd now for something completely different:

California's "sonic grim reapers" Death Grips will be touring Australia in January thanks to Heathen Skulls.

Death Grips have been producing some pretty different, dark and seriously fucking heavy music, and feature Zach Hill of Hella. This is probably not to everyones taste, but check out the clip below.

Press release and dates to follow:

DEATH GRIPS - California's darkest avant-garde Hip Hop collective invade Australia this January. Hailing from California’s capital City, Sacramento, Death Grips are a dark and intense experimental trio that bring to Hip Hop what Black Flag brought to hardcore, and that being unadulterated attitude and raw power.

Exploding into mass international consciousness on March 8th, 2011 with their video Full Moon, it wasn’t till April 25th when fans were fully exposed to sheer hostility and darkness of Death Grips, a date which marked the release of their free downloadable mix tape album entitled Ex-Military.

Death Grips are one of the hardest, darkest, and most uncompromising Hip Hop bands around; their live shows evoke nothing short of pure energy and intense emotion, which have earned them some well deserved international critical acclaim. In January Death Grips will be touring Australia nationally for the first time, with their first show being at Hobart prestigious arts festival Mona Foma. You’ve been warned.

Tickets on sale Friday, November 4th, from the usual outlets. See venues for details.

Friday 20th: Hobart at Mona Foma Festival
Saturday 21st: Perth at The Bakery
Sunday 22nd: Melbourne at East Brunswick Club
Wednesday 25th: Canberra at ANU Refectory
Thursday 26th: Brisbane at TBC
Friday 27th: Sydney at Hermanns Bar (Sydney University)
Saturday 28th: Melbourne at Northcote Social Club
Sunday 29th: Adelaide at Fowlers Live





5 Questions in 5 Minutes: Heathen Skulls, 666 Entertainment and Tenzenmen

Posted by Lachlan

In edition #2 of this series we get a reading of the state of Australian music from;

  • Rob of Melbourne-based touring company and label Heathen Skulls, who have brought us countless incredible international stoner and doom acts (most recently Russian Circles). Rob also acts as the skinsmen of Monarch and Grey Daturas (RIP).
  • Nathan of the Sydney-based touring company and label 666 Entertainment. Nath is responsible for the incredible Doomsday Festivals that helps bring attention to worthy stoner, doom, sludge and psychedelic bands every year. Nathan also plays drums in Summonus and Van.
  • Shaun of specialist DIY label and distro Tenzenmen, which sources incredible music from all over the Australiasia.

5 questions with Rob of Heathen Skulls / Monarch! (Melbourne)

  1. Favourite releases in 2011 so far?

    Being I'm a serious fan of sounds from an era long forgotten by modern music enthusiasts, one release I'm insanely looking forward to is the long over due release of the Beach Boys 1966 epic album Smile. It's coming out as a deluxe vinyl release with liner notes and all the extras. The same can be said for deluxe reissue of Nirvana's Nevermind. I can't bloody wait. As for new releases, Russian Circles epic new 4th album is definitely up there, Wolves in the Throne Rooms new album is up there also.

  2. Most anticipated upcoming release?

    The Beach Boys Smile, and Nirvana's Nevermind take the cake for me, that's what i'm holding out for, sorry.

  3. Best live show of 2011?

    The Boredoms 10 drummer exhibition at The Forum Theatre, no wait, that was last year. Um, The Swans, with out a doubt!

  4. Is the outlook for underground Australian music dandy or doomed? Why?

    I don't think underground Australian music is doomed, I also don't think it's all that dandy either, to be honest. It is what it is, and that's mainly due to musical trends and their relevance flowing like waves in the sea, sometimes their up, sometimes their down, it's all circumstantial. It's like anything in life. With that said the Australian scene seems to be fairly healthy at the moment, from what I can gather, anyway, there's a few decent bands kicking around, some of which are the best i've seen in a long time.

  5. Complete this sentence: _______ will save the Australian underground music scene.

    Record buyers and truly passionate music fans will save the Australian underground music scene.

    Check out Heathen Skulls.

5 questions with Nathan of 666 Entertainment / Summonus (Sydney)

  1. Favourite releases in 2011 so far?

    I Exist - II : The Broken Passage and Hydromedusa - Self Titled CD.

  2. Most anticipated upcoming release?

    The new Blood Duster, Clagg and Looking Glass albums should be interesting.

  3. Best live show of 2011?

    High on Fire at Soundwave.

  4. Is the outlook for underground Australian music dandy or doomed? Why?

    Dandy. A strong base of sick bands is already present with more evolving each year to strengthen the pile. If you want to play a gig or see bands, look around, there are gigs happening - get involved!

  5. Complete this sentence: _______ will save the Australian underground music scene.

    Loyal punters who don't just attend gigs featuring international bands will save the Australian underground music scene.

    Check out Doomsday Festival 2011.

5 questions with Shaun of Tenzenmen (Sydney)

  1. Favourite releases in 2011 so far?

    Duck Fight Goose - Flow EP - mathy electronic rock from Shanghai. Domestic release coming soon!

  2. Most anticipated upcoming release?

    Duck Fight Goose full album - new style promised and the players in this band always seem to deliver something unique and interesting. Features members of 33 Island, Boojii, Lava Ox Sea and Muscle Snog.

  3. Best live show of 2011?

    Bone, Michael Crafter, Do Not Resuscitate, Thorax, Thylacine, We Caught the Kraken at Shamhaus.

  4. Is the outlook for underground Australian music dandy or doomed? Why?

    Everything could always be better and things can always be improved. I'd like to see much more cross over genre wise as there are many people doing similar things that fail to support each other. I'm always excited to find new bands making great music and this year has been no exception. The outlook is always good as far as I'm concerned.

  5. Complete this sentence: _______ will save the Australian underground music scene.

    Save it from what? It's not going away, it's not in danger.

    Check out the Tenzenmen store.

Running count: 1 doomed, 3 dandy, 2 meh.


Video evidence of Russian Circles killing it in Melbourne

Posted by Lachlan

Well, looks like I may be a fool for missing Russian Circles on their Australian tour. Here's a nicely shot clip from their show at the Corner Hotel in Melbourne a few nights ago.

Based on this, I'd you'd do well to get out there and see them. They play in Sydney tonight at Hermanns Bar.

Russian Circles @ Corner, Richmond (8th Sept 2011) from Carbie Warbie on Vimeo.


An interview with Dav of Agonhymn

Posted by Lachlan

Dav and Liam of AgonhymnDav of the intense Melbourne doom duo Agonhymn was nice enough to answer a few of my questions about himself, the band and their forthcoming follow-up to the awesome "Doom Jazz" entitled "Blues Grind". These dudes mean serious fucking business.

Originally from 65 Degrees Music Cafe blog

Can you give us a little background about the band – who you guys are, how the band got started, what your goals/objectives are and so on?

Liam (drums) and I knew of each other, but didn't actually know each other, back when we both lived in Bendigo. Originally he was putting a Sleep/Fu Manchu-style stoner band together and I was asked to provide some vocals.

We had a jam in my parents' back shed with some other Bendigo cats from a band called BodyDogg and later that day (after seven or eight beers) we were listening to a vinyl copy of Kyuss covering Sabbath's "Into the Void" at the wrong speed... Something immediately clicked for both of us right there I think! Since then we've wanted to make intelligent yet loud and crushing music with an original, low and heavy sound with huge chords and unexpected changes.

It’s fairly clear from a random sampling of your music that Agonhymn is a band that experiments with a wide range of styles and influences. What would you consider as the bands biggest influences?

Black Sabbath of course! As far as my personal influences are concerned I would also have to namecheck Neurosis, Mastodon and Deftones. Definitely YOB. The heavy stuff from Faith No More's Angel Dust (best album ever). ZZ Top. Purple by Stone Temple Pilots. Helmet's Betty album. Soundgarden.

We listen to a really diverse range of music; soul, blues, funk and jazz, dub and ambient, classical... Billy Joel would be a huge influence for both of us as far as songwriting goes, not that you could probably hear it! But I guess you could say we're both really metalheads at heart.

How did you come across the idea to work as a two-piece?

Well, we tried working with other musos but it was really difficult to keep it slow and tight yet still elastic, if you know what I mean. Always writing and jamming as a duo got us extremely together musically, plus we're both perfectionists (control freaks?) so we didn't want to add anyone else's input really! We had a "dream" lineup but it never came to fruition; no-one would play slow enough! We also think it adds an interesting point of difference that sets us apart from a lot of other super-heavy "doom" bands. No-one expects such heaviness from a duo.

An Agonhymn show is an absolutely crushing experience. It is bizarre and frightening to hear such an absolutely monstrous sound come from two men. Is there anything you can reveal about the technical side of your live-set up? Or is that something of a trade secret?

Haha! Thanks! Let's just say that as soon as I revealed exactly what I did with my guitar chain, someone took the idea and formed a two piece band using that setup that day. So I'm somewhat reluctant there... But it's a bit similar to what Local H used to do.

What guitar(s) do you play?

A lot of people wouldn't realise that Takamine used to make solid-body electrics in the 80s. Mine is a GZ-300 model - glue-in neck, double cutaway, all mahogany with an oak top, DiMarzio pickups – a beautiful guitar that I basically stole from Music Swop Shop in Carlton. So cheap!

I bought it with the idea of having a guitar always in standard tuning but it kept getting lower and lower as they always do! It ended up in drop A tuning for ‘Doom Jazz’ and now it's tuned GDGCEA using 17-80 strings. And 70s Music Man amps are a big part of the sound - so fucking loud when you run the power tubes properly but super, super-clean and really responsive to how you play.

What other bands have you guys played in?

I've been fronting a sludge/rock band called Cement Pig for almost ten years now. I used to play bass in Terrorust and was in a punk/grind band called Suicide Bombers with Tim from Forward Defence and Matty Skitz from Every Band Ever.

Got a couple of other things on the cook at the moment... Liam grew up a punk drummer with some jazz/blues/funk training and has played in heaps of bands that have needed quality drums. He's also an excellent jazz guitarist, we write most of the Agonhymn stuff together. He can actually play rings around me, the bastard.

I hear that you have a new album ‘Blues Grind’ coming out sometime in 2010. Can you tell us a little about that? Is there a concept behind it?

The concept behind the new album would be getting on with your life no matter what the obstacles. Grinding through the blues that we all invariably feel at some point(s) or other. On the record there's a lot of super-depressing, ultra-negative parts that you have to get through to reach the uplifting part(s) at the end. The light at the end of the tunnel. so to speak. A philosophy of sticking to your guns through hard times and the power of positive thinking.

How happy have you been with the recording process for ‘Blues Grind’? Has it differed much to that of ‘Doom Jazz’?

What we've tracked in the end is something we're really proud of. It's different to ‘Doom Jazz’ in that we recorded the drums and the guitars at different home studio locations of mine; I moved house midway through the recording and had to set up my studio again. Fun times.

We had a couple of near-disasters recording the guitars with other people but eventually recognised that if you need to do a job properly, you have to DO IT YOURSELF. Other engineers just couldn't get their heads around the combination of multiple amplifiers, the different signal paths and why I needed to be in front of the DAW while tracking.

When and where can we expect to see it released?

Rob from Heathen Skulls will be putting it out. We're hoping to have it completely finished and ready for release by the end of winter.

Both you and Liam work as sound engineers; where do you find yourself working most of the time? I hear you’ve been doing a lot of the sound work for Rob MacManus’ Heathen Skulls tours?

Liam has been doing a lot of Rob's tours lately. He's always on the road with some band or other; he's been doing all The Red Shore's shows for a few years now. Together we've mixed the annual Melbourne No Escape Records Grindcore festival for the last few years. What's happening with that this year anyway?

I find myself stuck in the studio these days. My day job is as production manager at a studio in Fitzroy, coming up with jingles for radio and TV and doing voiceover work. I also do a fair bit of mastering and mixing from my home studio, Iridium Audio. I'm in the middle of making records for a few bands as well; Super Fun Happy Slide, Sons of the Ionian Sea and Winterun are all projects I'm in the middle of mixing.

What bands or gigs have managed to inspire a sense of awe in you in the past? Have there been any that have been particularly memorable or impactful?

I would have to say the final show from Melbourne's Peeping Tom at the Northcote Social Club would be near the top of the list. The first time I saw Birushanah I was utterly devastated. The Day Everything Became Nothing, Black Cobra Agents of Abhorrence, Palm, Grey Daturas, Black Boned Angel, Monarch!,  Carcass, Celtic Frost. I've been lucky enough to play shows with all these bands.

As an attendee, I saw Minsk play at The Knitting Factory in NYC and that was a revelatory experience. The recent Mastodon show in Melbourne absolutely floored me...

Have you heard Eagle Twin’s new album? Have you got a take on it?

Yeah. Rob Heathen Skulls put me onto them; "You've got to hear these guys, they remind me so much of Agonhymn!" Excellent guitar tone and I love that throat singing. They're definitely a very cool sounding band.

What about the latest Bohren & Der Club of Gore release – their Mitleid Lady EP?

Haven't heard that one yet but Black Earth is a particular favourite of mine.

Have there been any recent bands or releases that have come out that have floored you?

The new Revocation record is fucking amazing as far as brutal technical metal goes. Really catchy too. I can't think of anything else recent offhand...

What kind of music do you find yourself listening to most of the time?

Lately it's been a lot of soul from the 60s and Daptone revival stuff. D-Beat and Norwegian BM. Listening to Beanflipper right now... My fiance's a big Faith No More fan so it's always good to cop a bit of that in the car.

What is your take on the current state of the Australian music “scene” (I hate using that word)? Have you got an opinion about the highly publicized venue closures across Melbourne and Sydney?

Hmm... I wouldn't claim to understand the politics behind everything, but I have never seen two governments (in an election year!) fuck up so badly on so many levels! It seems to me that pubs putting on rock shows are being unfairly targeted. I'm not sure about the situation in Sydney, but when compared to clubs in the CBD (where all the violence happens) rock gigs are, without exception, extremely safe. So why the exorbitant fee-hikes and security requirements?

Victoria sorely needs to adopt regulations that protect venue operators from people moving in close by, in their new tilt-up beehives, and then complaining about the noise. Apparently we're the only state without legislation to protect the rights of those that were there first... If you move to where the culture is, deal with the culture for fuck's sake!

The closure of The Tote really upset me; hearing The Arthouse would be gone midway through next year really tore me up too. Those are the two pubs that were definitely closest to my heart. I learnt how to mix at those places! Where will up-and-coming audio guys get a half-decent set of tools to learn on now? Well, at least The Tote will be re-opening. I think John Perrin et al will run it with the respect it deserves. Maybe a booker who will book bands that actually pull a crowd on the appropriate nights would help... Inverted fingers crossed.

Are there any local bands that have impressed you lately?

See above. I'd have to mention Sons of the Ionian Sea and Akaname too. World-class bands both.

When can we expect to see you in Sydney with Agonhymn again?

Maybe sometime in September? Perhaps earlier? Only (elastic) time will tell my friend...

Related link: Check out some live clips of Agonhymn performing "Blues Grind" from their April 2010 Sydney show

Find Agonhymn on MySpace
Find Agonhymn on Facebook

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