When I was an obsessive grind-head with little or few tastes outside harsh grind, Pig Destroyer were one of my favourite bands. I still throw on Prowler In The Yard and Terrifyer with far more regularity than most grind albums of yesteryear. The Sydney leg of their Australian tour back in 2008 was outrageous, drunken, grind fun -- topped perhaps only by seeing Insect Warfare and Agents of Abhorrence in Maggotsville warehouse earlier that year.
It is therefore with great joy that I learn Pig Destroyer are back in the studio for the first time in 5 years! From Relapse Records:
The extreme music world is about to get a much needed cinderblock to the face as the mighty PIG DESTROYER has entered the studio to record their highly anticipated 5th full-length record and first album in over five years! The band is self-producing and recording the new album at guitarist Scott Hull’s Visceral Sound Studios in Alexandria, VA. The as-of-yet-titled album is a return to a raw, primitive sound and will feature 19 songs of their signature misanthropic grind. A late 2012 release is expected via Relapse Records.
This time around, PIG DESTROYER have enlisted the help of Adam Jarvis (MISERY INDEX) to lend inhuman drumming skills to the aural hatred. Now a full time member, Scott Hull commented on the addition of Adam:
“Tracking the drums happened this week and I'm honestly amazed at how Adam stepped up to the task of learning some challenging shit outside of his standard comfort zone. He came into the studio ready to destroy and destroy he did. And in the haze of long studio hours he never settled for a bad take. He's a real soldier. Adam has helped breathe new life into the band and we feel like we are starting fresh. Everyone here is excited for people to check out the new jams.”
Additionally, PIG DESTROYER has been confirmed for the UK’s prestigious Damnation Festival this November with numerous other dates and festivals to be announced shortly.
I can still remember the night I saw Agents of Abhorrence support Insect Warfare at Maggotsville warehouse. It still sticks in my head as the best grind gig I have ever seen, and the best set I have seen from a grindcore band. They only played for a little over 16 minutes, but they did not need a second more to prove to me they are one of the most intense bands on the face of the earth. As incredible as Insect Warfare were following them, they could not reach that extremely level of distilled intensity that Agents of Abhorrence achieved.
Well, onto some news from the Abhorrent ONES:
- Their vocalist has left, to be replaced by a man named Jake Winkler
- They head off to play 7 dates in Japan (for like the THIRD time) with GATE in Novemeber
- Their new album/LP should be out on 625 Thrash early next year... just in time for their USA tour with Hatred Surge
Jealous? I know I am.
Insect Warfare have long been hailed in the music underground as one of the best grind bands of the modern era - and rightly so. Their sheer intensity and aggression is supported by extremely proficient musicianship (in part thanks to their incredibly tight drummer), and a shocking penchant for awesome catchy breakdowns.
Their final opus is World Extermination - inarguably one of the best pieces of recorded grindcore. They toured Australia in 2008. I can still remember their incredible intensity that was their show at Maggotsville warehouse alongside Agents of Abhorrence (who may have overshadowed them). Quite simply, it was one of the greatest grind shows I have even experienced.
In any case, the webzine Diabolical Conquest has a very interesting new interview up with guitarist Beau Beasley of Insect Warfare. May I suggest that you click here to check it out. Beau talks about the usual - musical influences, the status of the band and so forth - but he also touches on where he thinks has the best grind scene. The answer? You guessed it! Australia!
Please note that Diabolical Conquest - along with Teufel's Tomb - is really the only webzine I openly support. The professionalism, insight and level of detail that accompanies each review is extremely indicative of their passion. I implore you to support them.
Insect Warfare at Maggotsville Warehouse (Australia)
Agents of Abhorrence at Maggotsville Warehouse (Australia)
One of the most disheartening news of recent times was the closure of Sydney’s Hopetoun Hotel – long a staple of quality local music, and one of the last few legitimate music venues left in this sad city. But the growing issue of venues to support the Australian music scene doesn’t start or end there – it is merely one of the more publicized instances in recent times.
A range of factors have combined to essentially rob Sydney of a strong grass-roots local music scene – everything from noise restrictions, expensive small venue licensing costs, insurance costs (especially for all age shows), growing cost/taxing of alcohol, poker machines, residential complaints, dance clubs and DJs.
The result has been very strict finishing times for venues like The Sandringham Hotel – who require the headlining band to finish up by 11:45 PM – not to mention exorbitant fines being gaily handed out. Take for example the Annandale Hotel, who were engaged in a 5 year court battle over late-trading and noise compliance costing them over $200,000.
In the case of festivals, one need not look further than this year’s Soundwave Festival, which was located at Eastern Creek Raceway – a full 40km from the centre of Sydney! Such saddening news of course does not stop there:
- The Hopetoun Hotel has been boarded up without warning and put on the market.
- The Harp Hotel closed after a management dispute with the venues owners.
- The Annandale Hotel is rumored to be in great financial woe and may have to close its doors.
- The Metro is now owned by Virgin Mobile, and is to be rebranded the Virgin Mobile Metro.
- Maggotsville Warehouse – a valued DIY venue – has been forcibly closed by police.
- The Empire Hotel – once an incredibly valued staple of Sydney’s rock, metal and punk scene – has since deteriorated into a paunch, faux-upper class bar which refuses to book such low class ‘riff raff’. It’s sad to see a venue like that turn into Opera Bar Lite®.
- And let us not forget the likes of The Crest Hotel in Sylvania cancelling live music and and The Arncliffe Hotel completely closing its doors
It is certainly a sad time indeed, wherein we are left only with a smattering of smaller venues that are forced only to support larger-scale local music. Fewer still are now willing to support up and coming bands – let alone non-mainstream genres. One can no longer even find a fucking jazz club in Sydney. It should be no surprise that pathetic, riff-and-song-stealing frauds like Wolfmother represents our 'healthy rock scene', while truly innovative bands in the same genre who have been dropping the jaws of all spectators (I'm talking of Looking Glass) remain anonymous and unknown.
We are faced with a rising cost of venue licensing, insurance and alcohol coupled with residential and council pressure for stronger noise control. It is no wonder that the likes of Melbourne have long been seen as a city of taste, culture, art and creativity while Sydney has slowly been relegated to a gray, drab, burnt out husk of popular whim and the mainstream. The more time goes on, the more I agree with that assessment.
Compare a snapshot of Sydney to say, a show in Adelaide. I have been to Adelaide a total of 4 times in 12 months with my bands. Why? Because noise restrictions are not enforced in central city venues – you can have a headlining band not play until 2AM when punters are sufficiently in party mode. What’s more, you can play fucking LOUD – like dissident music is always supposed to be. Adelaide is also the only state which differentiates between "noise" and "music" when it comes to laws regarding "noise restrictions".
When you add up the cost of all of the above, coupled with the cost of bands, mixers, promoters and all the other growing financial headaches of the music venue world, it really becomes just a matter of time before all Sydney venues descending into an impalpable gray haze of poker machines, jukeboxes, ridiculous iPod DJs and those fucking acoustic-guitar wielding jerk shitheads who do nothing other than play horrible Jack Johnson covers to pre-programmed backing tracks for ample cash.
The concept of a small, old-style pub in Sydney has been long dead - sacrified for up-market, snooty psuedo-clubs. Now it looks like venue support for our local music scene is the next to go.
I want live music - so I go to gigs (Facebook support group thang)
Call for live aid (SMH)
Musos suffer new blow as Harp Irish Pub closes (SMH)
Howls of protest as Hopetoun shuts (SMH)
Is Australia's live music scene dying? (ABC radio - from all the way back in 2003)
Nostalgia can't save the Hopetoun (Daily Telegraph)
Save the Hopetoun Hotel Blog (Some decent resources here and a push to help Sydney music)
Another rock hotel faces heartbreak (SMH)
So rumour has is that Maggotsville - long staple of the Sydney DIY music scene - is shutting down and the housemates are being evicted.
This is pretty sad news considering the sheer amount of punk, crust, hardcore, thrash, grind and metal bands that have played at Maggotsville over the years. Last years Insect Warfare / Agents of Abhorrence / Crux show was both one of the best grind shows and the best DIY warehouse shows I'd ever been to. And while I've had mixed feelings and experiences with the Maggotsville 'scene' overall, there is no doubt that Maggotsville was instrumental in the continuation of Sydney's underground music scene.
We see so many music venues come and go in Sydney. C'est la vie. RIP Maggotsville.
There are more than a few good shows going down in Sydney town this weekend. Personally I'll be at the Squat Club one at the Excelsior come Saturday night, followed by some warehouse noise thing with Anklepants I think might be on from midnight at Louie's in Marrickville.
Oh and Testament are playing at The Metro too on Saturday if thats your kinda thing.
Maggotsville - 40 Fitzroy st, Marrickville
Saturday 27th Sept 8pm $8
Scum System Kill (crusty punx)
Useless Children (Melbourne, female fronted fast hardcore)
Repo Man (80s style mosh)
Maus (Instrumental grind ex-Massappeal)
Excelsior Hotel - 64 Foveaux St Surry Hills
Saturday 27th Sept $8 Presale $10 on door
Part of Bird’s Robe Collective.
Six Thinking Hats